Everything you need to know to plan a winter trip to Banff

Nov 5 2016, 1:52 am

One of the huge perks of living in Calgary is the close proximity to the mountains, and no matter what the season, there’s always something new or different to do. Not to mention it makes a great destination for a weekend out with your gang, or for a romantic staycation with your significant other (Valentine’s Day is just around the corner…)

Where to Stay

No matter your budget, you can easily find a place to crash. Here’s some ideas on where to rest your head after a day on the slopes or a night partying in town, and some activities to fill your days.


Hostels in the Banff area start as low as $27 a night. It’s a great way to meet people too if you’re new to the city and want to find some like-minded mountain adventurers. Hostelbookers is a great way to check what’s available.

Hotels and Airbnb

Banff Ave. is plentiful with the amount of hotels they have available, and most likely you’ll be able to find somewhere with a cheap available room. Even keep your eye on discount site like Groupon for weekend deals. Expedia and Red Tag are also a great for finding some last minute and affordable accommodations.

If you’re travelling with a larger group, it’s harder to find a place where you can all stay together right inside of Banff. You may find it more desirable to check out larger condos in the Canmore area. Airbnb and Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO) are probably more ideal for larger groups, since you’ll have a whole house or apartment potentially to yourselves.

However, be warned that if you choose this route but still want to make your way to Banff in the evenings, cab fare won’t be cheap; sometimes it’s more worth while to be split up from some of your friends or family in hotel rooms in town.

Special Occasions or Living More Lavishly

It’s no secret that Banff hosts some of the most beautiful views in the world, and with that, some of the most beautiful and regal hotels. If you feel like treating yourself or loved ones, be sure to check out the Fairmont Banff Springs HotelRimrock Resort Hotel or Chateau Lake Louise. Even if you can’t afford to stay there, these gorgeous castle-like places are worth a visit.

Things To Do

No matter what time of year, you can always find something to do out in the mountains. With winter upon us, here’s some chilly weather activities.

Go Dog Sledding

If you’re feeling adventurous and love four-legged fur balls, this just might be for you. You can choose to stand on the back and direct your own team, or stay nice and warm in the sled while you enjoy the ride.

Visit the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary

If you still want to see some pups but aren’t down for a ride, visiting the wolfdogs can be an amazing experience. Get up close and personal with these majestic creatures.

Go skating at Chateau Lake Louise

While this is an activity only available deeper into the winter, it’s definitely worth it to check out. In the summer you can paddle over the scenic aqua-coloured waters, and in the winter you can skate on them. Skate rentals are available inside the hotel.

Relax and Soak in the Banff Hot Springs

Whether you’re treating your sore muscles after a day on the slopes, or just want to soak in this warm basin, the Banff Hot Springs are legendary.

Have brunch at Tooloulou’s

This locally owned and operated restaurant has become a staple in the Banff food scene and its easy to see why. Try and get there early to avoid an insane wait.

Ski or Snowboard

It looks like we’re in for a snowy winter, especially in contrast to last year. Sunshine Village hasn’t opened this early in over 30 years, so you know we’re in for a good season.

Go Snowshoeing

There’s a few places in Calgary and Banff that allows you to rent a pair for the weekend or just for the day. Do some backcountry exploring, but be sure to check trail conditions just like if you were going hiking in the summer.

Dance Up a Storm at the Dancing Sasquatch

If you’re feeling the need to show off some of your sweet dance moves, boogie on over to Dancing Sasquatch for a night out. If you’re lucky, you might even see the Sasquatch himself…

Sarah MangSarah Mang

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