Banff is as beautiful as the photos you have seen online. From the stunning views of the mountains to the perfectly blue lakes scattered around the entire national park. This place is a must to add to your bucket list. If you are into exploring you will love this place. There are a ton of hiking trails to find some hidden spots with incredible views. You can hire canoes, boats and jet skis on different lakes found around the area too. The actual town of Banff is so lovely with the best atmosphere! Here is my ultimate guide to making the most of what Banff has to offer…
How to get around
Road tripping across Canada was probably the best travel decision I have ever made, with my 2 other friends I travelled with too of course! If you really want to experience everything Canada has to offer I definitely recommend driving. If you are thinking about hiring a car make sure you check the age infomation. Coming from Australia you have to be at least 25. So it was good having a friend who lives in Canada with a car because I could drive even though I’m only 22. We were able to see so much more because we didn’t have to think about public transport. The only down side I can say is driving on the other side of the road. Being Australian we drive on the left hand side of the road so it was a little weird! But driving in Canada there are heaps of highways so it wasn’t too bad.
Where to stay
While we were in Banff, we booked a campsite with Parks Canada at the Johnston Canyon campground. The sites were really big with a picnic table and campfires. The bathrooms were really clean with hot water for showers which is a major bonus! The campground was located about 20 minutes away from the actually town of Banff. Which wasn’t a problem because there is heaps to do outside of town too in the National Park itself. I was just a little nervous about seeing a bear in the area but we didn’t so that was okay! With that being said there are plenty of hotels, hostels and Airbnb’s. So take you pick to what you prefer!
What to do
Banff literally has an endless list of things to do. So we did the classic tourist attractions like the gondola, Lake Louise, Lake Minnewanka, Johnston Canyon hike and had to take a cheesy photo at the Banff sign. A big tip I can give you is get to the attractions early. Yes, there are crowds but not as bad as I thought but I still recommend getting there as early as you can. Sometimes the parking can be a hassle but they do have shuttle buses. Also buy any of the tickets for attractions online prior to getting there. It makes is so much quicker. You will have more time seeing everything then waiting in line to buy a ticket then waiting in another line to get to the actual attraction.
Where to eat
Honestly, because we were camping we mostly had Nutella and bread for breakfast and some hotdogs for dinner. Which were actually so yum! But during the day we were out in the town and they have so many different restaurants. My favourite was Magpie & Stump, which is a Mexican restaurant and so good!
I would love to hear about your experience in Banff if you have ever been. What was your favourite part about it? If you haven’t would you ever want to visit? I highly recommend from my experience!