How will you explore in the snow?
Discover magic in the mountains
Celebrations fit for winter
How to Get Here
Getting to Banff and Lake Louise is easy. Fly to Calgary International Airport and then enjoy a scenic drive or shuttle bus to Banff National Park.
Flying to Calgary International Airport (YYC) is an accessible and easy option when travelling to Banff and Lake Louise. Get on the plane, then after a glass of wine, a film or two, and a little nap, you will find yourself flying overhead the snow-covered peaks of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
Getting From the Airport
It takes around 90 minutes to drive from the Calgary International Airport to Banff depending on traffic. If you're heading to Lake Louise add another 40-45 minutes. It’s a very scenic and straightforward trip. You could rent a car from the Calgary airport or city centre or take one of the shuttle buses or scheduled coach services. Find out more information about trip planning.
Getting From Calgary
If you’re staying in Calgary, there are options to get from downtown and parts of the city of Calgary. Visit our Getting Here page for more information.
Where to Stay
You’ll find the perfect winter base accommodation in Banff National Park. With fairy-tale castles, boutique hotels, hostels, remote backcountry lodges, charming B&Bs or mountain chalets: there’s something for all preferences and budgets.
Look at the Fairmont Banff Springs if you like luxury and the idea of staying in a fairy-tale castle. You may even catch a glimpse of the famous Bow Falls outside your hotel window.
For perhaps the most spectacular setting ever (think: right beside a frozen lake surrounded by mountains and glaciers), try the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. With ice skating, winter hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and outdoor campfires under the stars, you may never want to leave.
If you’re after ultimate views, surrounded by trees whilst being nestled in the mountains, then stay at the Rimrock Resort. Not only has it got the views, but you’ll be staying in luxurious rooms with elegant service.
If you’re wanting a winter escape, to be surrounded by nature and snow, check out our list of cozy cabins in Banff National Park. You’ll have the option of remote, often hike-in backcountry lodges, or easier accessible frontcountry lodges and cabins.
For a full list of accommodations and hotels in Banff and Lake Louise, visit our Places to Stay page.
Where to Eat
There are so many options for food and drinks in the town of Banff and the hamlet of Lake Louise. Choose between distilled spirits and microbrews, delicious juices for breakfast, pizza or picnics for lunch, or Western-style steak or vegan meals for dinner.
Après is a way of life in Banff and Lake Louise. Whether you want a cold beer brewed with glacial water, a hot chocolate by a log fire, or cocktails, you will find what you are looking for guaranteed. Here are where we recommend you visit for après.
If you’re hitting the ski fields, there are some mouth-watering bites to get your lips around
For ideas on cozy restaurants with mouth-watering food, or take-out to enjoy by the fire in your room, check out the dining page.
What to Wear
Are you looking forward to the beauty of Banff National Park in winter? All those snow-capped mountains, trees topped with snow and frozen lakes. Winter in Banff is spectacular, but you’ll need to be prepared with temperatures ranging from –5°C to –40°C. So, we’ve put together a list for you of what to wear.
Layers are essential for all activities in Banff National Park through most seasons, but particularly winter.
- Pack thermal longjohns and thermal long-sleeved shirts. Make sure your whole body is covered by a base layer of either wool or another synthetic material
- Shirt on top of your thermals. Flannels work amazing!
- Waterproof pants (ski pants or snow pants) if you’re going to be in the snow or ice. Otherwise, if you’re after a casual look, jeans or other pants (fleece-lined leggings are amazing) can be worn on top of thermals.
- Fleece jacket or a wool sweater for your upper body.
- Jacket or coat. Insulated warm jackets are perfect. Waterproof or resistant is great for when you are out exploring or skiing.
- Winter or snow boots, try to ensure they’re waterproof to avoid issues with snow.
- Warm socks, either wool or synthetic (not cotton).
Other Winter Needs
- Hand warmers are heavenly at times
- Beanie or Toque, the type with lining and no holes.
- Mittens or gloves, but remember mittens trap the warm air between your fingers making them warmer. Get ones with lining.
- Scarf or neck warmer
- Sunglasses are a must in winter! Snow can be bright on the eyes.
- Microspikes to avoid those slips
If you’ve forgotten your gear, not a problem! There are various stores in town where you can buy or rent some gear.