Whether your idea of being immersed in the Canadian Rockies is strolling through snow-covered streets, cozying up by a fire with a decadent hot chocolate, skiing or snowboarding freshly groomed runs, or ice skating over a frozen lake - there's enchanted winter experiences for everyone in Banff and Lake Louise.
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 about getting here.
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. Plan the ultimate cozy cabin getaway with out blog.
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.
For a full list of places to stay in Banff and Lake Louise, visit our accommodation page.
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 breakfast and brunch spots, pizza or picnics for lunch, and 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.
For ideas on cozy restaurants with mouth-watering food, or take-out to enjoy by the fire in your room, check out or dining page.
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.
Featured Winter Blogs
The Ultimate Guide to Resort Skiing and Snowboarding in Banff National Park for Beginners
Your ultimate guide to resort skiing and snowboarding in Banff National Park for beginners