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10 BEST Hotels in Banff Town (Downtown!) for all Travelers & Budgets

10 BEST Hotels in Banff Town (Downtown!) for all Travelers & Budgets

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There are well over 100 hotels in Banff, yes, I know, that’s a lot of hotels for a tiny town of only 9,000 permanent residents! In fact, there are so many hotels that it can seem overwhelming when trying to choose where to stay in Banff – I’m sure that’s how you’re feeling!

And what’s worse?

The definition of the “best hotels in Banff” changes for every person. What do I mean?

Well, the best hotels in Banff differ depending on who is booking. Some people are looking for great value and something that won’t break the bank. Others want the ultimate Banff experience staying up in the mountains, while others won’t sacrifice luxury for anything else.

Is location the most important factor when deciding the best place to stay in Banff? Is your budget more important? What about parking, on-site restaurants, or pools? Does it need to have a spa?

Well, based on the dozens of times I’ve been to Banff, the many hotels I’ve stayed in, and the chitter-chatter around them all from my friends and family who frequent Banff, I’ve come up with this blog.

This blog outlines the BEST hotels in Banff town, near the downtown area because, let’s face it, that’s where most visitors to Banff want to stay. As an added bonus, I’ve also included some of the best places to stay in Banff National Park in other areas outside of town.

It is not only a list of the best hotels in Banff town (including the downtown area), but it is also a list broken up into categories to suit whatever type of traveler you are! It includes the best 5-star hotels near downtown Banff as well as cheap places to stay in Banff. So no matter what, you’ll find the right hotel for you on this list!

BEST Hotels IN Banff Town (near Downtown)

1. Rimrock Resort Hotel – The Most Romantic Hotel in Banff

The views of the Rimrock Resort in Banff, Canada
The rooms here have amazing views! Photo Credit: Rimrock Resort Hotel
  • Cost: Standard rooms start at about $280+ CAD per night during the low season.
  • Amenities and Facilities: On-site spa and wellness center, indoor pool and hot tub, restaurant, and bar. Some rooms have a balcony, a large tub, and mountain views.
  • Location: Near the Banff Upper Hot Springs, a 5-minute drive from Banff town center
  • Who will love it: Couples or those on a romantic honeymoon in Banff looking for a luxurious stay.
  • Pet friendly?: Yes, one level of the hotel is reserved for guests with pets you must book this in advance.
the inside of the infinity suite at the Rimrock Hotel in Banff
The rooms are gorgeous! Photo Credit: Rimrock Hotel

The Rimrock Hotel is one of the top hotels in Banff and perfect for couples looking for a luxurious retreat. Its location is close enough to town that you can easily visit whenever you’d like, but also far enough away that it is peaceful and quiet with superb mountain views.

One of the things I love most about Rimrock’s location is that it is right next to the Banff Upper Hot Springs and the base of the Banff Gondola – two of the best things to do in Banff!

At the Rimrock Hotel, they also have a highly rated day spa offering couples massages. The on-site restaurant and bar have amazing views for a romantic dinner, and the rooms range from standard more affordable options to pure luxury with spa tubs!

You can check availability and book the Rimrock Hotel on

2. Banff Inn – Best value-for-money Hotel in Banff

banff inn hotel is great value
The rooms are comfortable and well-priced. Photo Credit: Banff Inn
  • Cost: $135+ CAD for a standard double room with two double beds.
  • Amenities & Facilities: Hot tub, sauna, restaurant and bar, free parking, air conditioning and heating in every room as well as tea and coffee making facilities.
  • Location: A 10-minute walk from the center of Banff town on Banff Ave
  • Who will love it: Anybody looking for a comfortable stay without spending a fortune on extras.
  • Pet friendly?: No
the hot tub at Banff Inn
Relaxing in this hot tub is perfect after a day out exploring Banff. Photo Credit: Banff Inn

I’ve chosen the Banff Inn as the “best value” hotel in Banff because of its reasonable prices, high rating, and good facilities. This hotel has everything you could need without all the extra bells and whistles that cost so much more.

The rooms are spacious and the staff are helpful. The large hot tub is perfect for relaxing on a winter day and the location is convenient making getting to town very easy. There is also a sauna, restaurant (Carlito’s Pizzeria), and bar onsite. They also offer free underground parking.

This hotel is perfect for families too since their standard room features two queen beds and can sleep up to four people. Rooms come with air conditioning too which is perfect for those hot summer days in Banff. And in the winter, you can take advantage of the ski storage.

When it comes to the location, Banff Inn is conveniently located right on Banff Ave, only a short 10-minute walk from the heart of town.

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Banff that is comfortable but also affordable, the Banff Inn is probably the best choice for you!

You can check availability and book the Banff Inn online here – they often are fully booked so you should book in advance.

Related Read: Only have a few days in Banff? Check out our ultimate 3-day Banff itinerary!

3. Sunshine Mountain Lodge – Best Banff Hotel for a Ski Holiday

View from a room at the Sunshine Village Lodge, Banff
The ski hill will be right outside of your room! Photo Credit: Sunshine Mountain Lodge
  • Cost: $410+ CAD per night for a deluxe room that sleeps three people. Package deals are available when combined with lift tickets.
  • Amenities & Facilities: A large outdoor hot tub, indoor gym and dry sauna, ski storage, many restaurants, and a day spa.
  • Location: Right at Banff Sunshine Village. You can literally start skiing right from the hotel’s back door! A 20-minute drive to Banff town center and a 20-minute ride on the Banff Sunshine Gondola.
  • Who will love it: Anybody looking for a ski-in-ski-out hotel in Banff
  • Pet friendly?: No
inside a premier room at the Sunshine Lodge in Banff
The rooms are so nice too! Photo Credit: Sunshine Mountain Lodge

If you’re coming to Banff for skiing or snowboarding, then the Sunshine Mountain Lodge is the best hotel in Banff for skiing! You can have a comfortable and beautiful hotel located right beside the ski lifts!

You can book package deals that allow you to combine your stay with lift passes and/or lessons and rentals.

The hotel also boasts a central location, only a 20-minute drive from Banff town center. And if you don’t want to drive, no worries, they also operate a shuttle! One thing to note is that you’ll have to ride one of the gondolas in Banff for 20 minutes to get to the hotel. This is a really cool feature about this hotel – it’s located right up in the mountains!

There are plenty of restaurants to choose from right at the hotel as well as Banff’s largest outdoor hot tub! What could be better after a long day of hitting the slopes?!

In the summer, the Lodge is still open. Prices are even cheaper and it is still one of the best hotels in Banff as there is tons of hiking to be done in and around the area, not to mention the scenic chairlift!

It’s super important to book Sunshine Mountain Lodge well in advance as they tend to book up months in advance.

You can check availability and book the Sunshine Mountain Lodge on

4. Moose Hotel and Suites – Most centrally located Hotel in Banff town

The front of the Moose Hotel and Suites in Banff, Alberta
This is one of my personal favorite hotels in Banff! Photo Credit: Moose Hotel and Suites
  • Cost: $233+ CAD for a double room during the low season.
  • Amenities & Facilities: All rooms have a balcony or patio. There is an onsite day spa and wellness center, indoor pool, gym, two hot tubs on the roof with views, and an Italian restaurant with a bar.
  • Location: A 1-minute walk from the heart of Banff. Located on Banff Ave with plenty of restaurants and shops right on its doorstep.
  • Who will love it: Families and couples who want to be in the heart of Banff with amazing amenities
  • Pet Friendly?: Yes, but an additional fee applies.
the lobby of Moose Hotel and Suites in Banff
This hotel is new and beautiful! Photo Credit: Moose Hotel and Suites

For those looking for location, location, location – this is it!

The Moose Hotel and Suites has incredible reviews and is a beautiful hotel located right in the heart of Banff town. If you want somewhere to stay where you can park your car (for free) and then walk for the majority of your holiday then this hotel in Banff is perfect.

The Moose also doesn’t sacrifice when it comes to amenities. They have not one, but two, hot tubs on the roof! This is the perfect place to relax on a cold day and enjoy the views of the surrounding mountains!

They offer everything from standard rooms to rooftop one-bedroom suites.

The onsite Italian restaurant also has some incredible food and is one of the top-rated restaurants in Banff!

You can check availability and book the Moose Hotel and Suites on

5. Banff Rocky Mountain Resort – The Best Hotel for Families

The pool area at the Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
The outdoor pool is ideal for summer! Photo Credit: Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
  • Cost: $200 CAD for a junior suite with two queen beds that sleeps four. Prices are more during peak season for one and two-bedroom apartments.
  • Amenities & Facilities: Outdoor and indoor pools and hot tub, tennis courts, squash court, gym, bike rentals, BBQs, kitchenette or full kitchens in all rooms, free shuttle to Banff town. Onsite restaurant.
  • Location: On Tunnel Mountain Road, a 7-minute drive from Banff town center.
  • Who will love it: Families looking for a fun and affordable stay
  • Pet friendly?: Yes, but an additional fee applies.
the iside of the two bedroom condo at the Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
These condos are perfect for families. Photo Credit: Banff Rocky Mountain Resort

The Banff Rocky Mountain Resort is the most ideal hotel for families! They offer suites and apartments with plenty of room for everybody.

There is also a ton of outdoor space to explore and play including both outdoor and indoor pools as well as the opportunity to rent bikes and explore the countless trails nearby – tons to keep the little ones busy right outside your hotel door!

The prices are also very affordable for families that are a little budget conscious. The in-room kitchens are perfect for storing groceries or snacks and doing some cooking if you’d like. The hotel also includes a complimentary shuttle to Banff town.

Pets are welcome too! So, if you’re family includes a four-legged friend, bring them along!

You can check availability and book the Banff Rocky Mountain Resort on

6. Juniper Hotel & Bistro – Banff Hotel with the Best Views

Mt Norquay Banff National Park. Views from the Juniper Hotel & Bistro
Isn’t that view amazing?!
  • Cost: $118 CAD+ for a standard room for two people in low season.
  • Amenities & Facilities: Outdoor hot tub, onsite restaurant with amazing gourmet food and reviews, mountain views, all rooms have a mini-fridge.
  • Location: Near the base of Mt Norquay (10-minute drive) and about a 6-minute drive from Banff town.
  • Who will love it: Anybody who can appreciate an amazing view and doesn’t mind being a few minutes from town
  • Pet friendly?: Yes, but must be booked in advance and an additional fee applies
the inside of a room at the Juniper Hotel in Banff
Such modern rooms with mountain views! Photo Credit: The Juniper Hotel

Without a doubt, the Juniper Hotel has the best views in all of Banff. Set at the base of Mt Norquay only a couple of minutes from town, this peaceful hotel offers mountain views from every window and balcony.

For a relaxing evening, sit in the hot tub and take in the gorgeous setting!

The hotel bistro is also one of the top-rated restaurants in all of Banff. It offers local specialties and a huge cocktail list!

If you plan on going skiing at Mt Norquay, this is a very convenient hotel. Otherwise, the free shuttle into Banff town is also very handy!

Prices for the Juniper are also incredibly reasonable starting under $200 CAD a night.

You can check availability and book the Juniper Hotel on

7. Samesun Banff – The Best Budget Hotel/Hostel in Banff

room with a mountain view from the window in the Samesun Banff hostel
Check out that mountain view! Photo Credit: Samesun Banff
  • Cost: $28 CAD for a dorm in a mixed room/175+ CAD for a double room during low season.
  • Amenities & Facilities: Private bathrooms in all rooms (even dorms), communal areas including a shared kitchen, on-site bar, and restaurant
  • Location: Right in Banff town center, just off Banff Ave
  • Who will love it: Those on a tight budget. Solo travelers will enjoy the dorm rooms, while couples can stay in the budget double room.
  • Pet friendly?: No
double room with a fireplace at that Samesun Banff
Cozy fireplaces in the rooms. Photo Credit: Samesun Banff

For those looking for a cheap place to stay in Banff, the Samesun Banff is a perfect choice! Rooms are well under $180 CAD a night and are comfortable with a private bathroom, a small balcony, and free parking included. You can find a dorm bed in a mixed room for as low as $28 CAD!

The location is right in the heart of Banff, ideal for walking to many of the attractions and activities in the area.

The amazing price tag does come with a couple of sacrifices though. There is no onsite pool and the rooms don’t have air conditioning (which isn’t normally a problem in Banff but is worth noting.) The on-site bar can also get quite rowdy and loud, so this might not be the best place to stay for those who are light sleepers.

That all being said, the reviews of this hotel are incredible for the price and there is a reason it is almost always booked full months in advance!

You can check availability and book the Samesun Banff either on Hostelworld or

8. Fox Inn & Suites – Best Hotel for a Group Weekend Getaway

The cave spa at the Fox Inn & Suites
The hot tub is in a cave setting. Photo Credit: Fox Inn & Suites
  • Cost: $225+ CAD for a double room or $550+ for a two-bedroom suite that sleeps 6!
  • Amenities & Facilities: Chili’s onsite restaurant and bar, huge hot tub styled like a cave, sauna, mountain views, one and two bedroom apartments with kitchens. Free underground parking, free breakfast, and laundry facilities.
  • Location: A 10-minute walk from the center of Banff town
  • Who will love this hotel: Perfect for groups of friends or large families in their 2-bedroom apartments.
  • Pet friendly?: Yes! However, you do need to book for the pet in advance and there is a $25 extra charge
the living room in the two bedroom suite at the Fox Inn in Banff
The living room in the two-bedroom apartment, Photo Credit: Fox Inn

For a large group looking for a weekend getaway, the Fox Inn & Suites is an ideal place to stay in Banff! Not only does the hotel have everything you could ever need within it, but it is also only a short walk into the heart of town. You can easily venture into town for attractions or a night on the town.

The hot tub resembles a cave and is very luxurious and relaxing. A perfect place to unwind after a day of exploring!

The Fox Inn & Suites is also one of the only hotels that offers a complimentary breakfast!

I love the trendy bar and restaurant on-site as well as the incredible views.

For large groups, they offer one and two-bedroom apartments that can sleep up to 6 people! These are actually really great value and awesome for a girl’s weekend getaway in Banff!

You can check availability and book the Fox Inn & Suites on

9. Fairmont Banff Springs – Most Luxurious Hotel in Banff

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel is a romantic honeymoon hotel in Banff
Photo credit – Banff & Lake Louise Tourism Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
  • Cost: Standard rooms start at $450 CAD during the low season.
  • Amenities & Facilities: 11 restaurants, 14 shops, outdoor heated pool, indoor lap pool, day spa, and gym all onsite. Rooms offer views, feather beds, down duvets, and air conditioning and heating.
  • Location: A 7-minute drive from Banff located on the drive up towards the Banff Upper Hot Springs.
  • Who will love it: Luxury travelers or those looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
  • Pet friendly?: Yes, for a fee.
At the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
Me, in front of the Fairmont Banff.

If you truly want an experience and a hotel all in one, then you MUST stay at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. This luxurious hotel is actually an old Scottish Castle built in 1888 and declared a National Historic Site.

The Fairmont is the most prestigious hotel in the area offering a range of restaurants on-site to choose from as well as tons of activities. Guests can go bowling, play tennis, or swim in the large lap pool.

They don’t cut corners when it comes to details either. The rooms are carefully designed with guest comfort in mind.

The location is close enough to town that you can walk, but a free shuttle is also offered. The views from most of the rooms is amazing too. You’ll also be just around the corner from the Banff Upper Hot Springs – a must-do if you’re visiting Banff in the winter months.

The Fairmont is also known to host many different events. If you’re coming to Banff around Christmas time, be sure to enjoy all of the family-friend activities they offer right at the hotel.

You can check availability and book the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel on

Best Hotels NEAR Banff Town (Around Banff National Park)

You don’t necessarily need to stay right in Banff town to experience Banff and all that Banff National Park has to offer. Often, hotels in Banff are completely booked up so you might have no other choice but to stay elsewhere.

Near Banff, there are a few other places to stay that also offer great accommodation. Some of the areas you can stay near Banff to easily access the park include:

Hotels in Lake Louise

Lake Moraine on a cold morning in Banff National Park
Moraine Lake at sunrise on a cold morning in Banff National Park

Lake Louise is an attraction all on its own. This beautiful lake and village is home to some very famous attractions. There is a range of things to do in Lake Louise including visiting Lake Louise Ski Resort, Moraine Lake, and tons of hikes (like the popular Larch Valley Trail.) In Lake Louise village you’ll find a few amazing restaurants as well as hotels to choose from.

Some great hotels in Lake Louise are:

  • Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise – Similar to the Fairmont Banff Springs, Fairmont Lake Louise is everything luxury! In fact, many say it offers even better views!
  • Lake Louise Inn – This hotel is reasonably priced and offers spacious rooms and apartments. There is a pool, gym, hot tub, and three different restaurants onsite.
  • Baker Creek by Basecamp – This is another luxurious option featuring spacious chalets and suites with a fireplace. Guests can enjoy spending time in their fitness center, steam room, and sauna. Or head outside and have a campfire by the river or go skating on the rink.

Be sure to read about all of the fun things to do if you’re visiting Lake Louise in winter.

Hotels in Canmore

Three Sisters Mountain Peaks In The Canadian Rockies Of Canmore,
Canmore’s famous Three Sisters mountain peaks and their reflections on the Bow River

Canmore is a great alternative to the pricey hotels in Banff. First of all, Canmore is not technically in Banff National Park (right on the border) which means you don’t need to buy a national park pass for the days you stay within Canmore.

Second of all, the hotel prices in Canmore are generally cheaper than in Banff town. This is great considering Canmore is only a short 20-minute drive from Banff town center – a win-win if you ask me!

Besides, Canmore is a beautiful destination on its own. There are a ton of fun things to do in Canmore including popular day-hikes like the famous Grassi Lakes and Ha Ling Peak, or relax with a beer in hand at one of Canmore’s local breweries.

Some great hotels in Canmore are:

  • Canadian Rockies Chalets – Close to the center of Canmore, this gorgeous hotel offers chalets with 2 and 3 bedrooms, private patios, and full kitchens for as little as $135 CAD!
  • Lamphouse Hotel – This hotel is in a very central, but scenic location. It is perfect for those on a budget at only $115 CAD a night for a double room.
  • Malcolm Hotel – A luxury hotel with impeccable reviews offering an indoor pool and hot tub, BBQs, bar, and gym.


The city skyline of Calgary
The city skyline of Calgary

Calgary isn’t necessarily “close” to Banff, but if you stay on the edge of the city closest to Banff the drive is only 1 hour and 20 minutes. The last time I went to Banff I spent one night in Calgary before heading to Banff for a couple of nights. I got up early after the night in Calgary and still had an entire day in Banff!

Doing this is a smart way to increase the amount of time you can spend in Banff by a day on either side for a cheap price. Hotels in Calgary are significantly cheaper than in Banff.

Alternatively, you could always stay in Calgary and just join a day tour to Banff or go on your own day trip!

Some great hotels in Calgary are:

  • Centro Motel – This is a basic hotel very close to Banff. It is comfortable though and has free parking. It’s a good place to rest your head for a night before heading to Banff bright and early!

Be sure to check out all of the fun activities you can do in Calgary in the winter before you go!

Other Things to do While You’re in Banff

Banff gondola building and boardwalk on a early spring day with lots of snow
The top of the Banff Gondola
Bailey and her mum pose for a photo at Moraine Lake
Moraine Lake!

While planning your trip, there are so many incredible things to do in Banff. But with so much to choose from, it might feel overwhelming. So below, I’ve picked some of my favorite activities in the area to help you out!

  • Visit Lake Louise and Moraine Lake – If you want to see more stunning lakes in the area, check out these two! Parking at Lake Louise can be tricky (and impossible at Moraine Lake!), so we’d recommend this Banff National Park Tour. You’ll get to visit Lake Louise as well as Moraine Lake in one go – with enough time to walk around, learn the local history, and snap postcard-worthy photos.
  • Ride the Banff Gondola – If you want the best vantage point in town, ride up the Banff Gondola! You’ll climb 698 meters (2,292 feet) to the top of Sulphur Mountain where you’ll have a view of six different mountain ranges. Tickets do sell out in the busy season, so make sure to purchase yours ahead of time!
  • Look for wildlife – Banff is home to some pretty incredible wildlife. You might just spot elk, bears, deer, foxes, coyotes, bighorn sheep, and more! The best chance you have of seeing the most critters is on a wildlife tour in Banff. We really liked this small group tour where the guides tailor the itinerary to recent wildlife spottings and you get to see highlights of the national park along the way.
  • Explore Banff town – While many nature-based activities are nearby, you shouldn’t neglect Banff town itself! Start your morning by visiting one of the cute local cafes, or grab patio drinks along Banff Avenue in the afternoon. To avoid traffic, check out the pedestrian-only Bear Street, with even more restaurants, cafes, and shops. And if that’s not enough, there’s also a Farmers Market every Wednesday in the summertime.

Parks Canada Pass Quick Info

If you plan on spending time in Canada’s national parks (including Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Mount Revelstoke, Glacier, Kootenay, and more) then you’re going to have to pay for a Parks Pass.

Single Daily Admission:

This type of pass is valid for one person for one day. It is ONLY the best value if you are traveling alone and only plan to visit a national park for a couple of days.

  • Adult (ages 18-64) is $10.50 CAD
  • Senior (65+) is $9.00 CAD
  • Youth/Child (17 or younger) is FREE

Group Daily Admission:

If you’re traveling in a group or with family, you can buy a single-day admission for your entire vehicle (up to 7 people in one vehicle.)

  • $21.00 CAD gets your entire vehicle entry for one full day

Parks Canada Discovery Pass

The “Discovery Pass” is what Parks Canada calls their year-long (365 days from the purchase date), multi-park entry pass. This pass will give 365 days of access to all participating national parks in Canada. This includes the most popular parks like Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, Glacier, Mount Revelstoke, and so much more.

  • Adult (age 18-64) – $72.25 CAD
  • Senior (64+) – $61.75 CAD
  • Group/Family (up to 7 people in one vehicle) – $145.25 CAD

Hot Tip: Although more expensive up front, if you plan on spending more than 7 days in different parks in Canada within a 12-month period, then the Discovery Pass is actually the better deal!

Parks Canada Passes can be bought online here or at one of the Visitor Centers or booths at the entrance to many national parks.

Renting a Car in Alberta

A car drives along the Icefields Parkway
The drive is memorizing!

If you’re arriving in Alberta via plane then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. Canada is a large country and traveling between cities and even just getting out to some of the best places to visit in Alberta requires transport. Although you can use public transport, on some occasions, it means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.

Renting a car will definitely make exploring all of the fun things to see and do in Alberta easier.

Car rental in Canada isn’t super cheap, but it isn’t overly expensive either, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with pickup and drop-off in different locations is around $100 CAD per day. The price does vary though depending on the time of year and the type of car that you rent. For car rentals, I use the website It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used them all over the world including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia.

Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter.) Using Motorhome Republic you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada, and using crown land and campsites, you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!

Travel Insurance is more important than ever right now!

If you’re traveling during these uncertain times, be sure that you have travel insurance!

SafetyWing is our go-to insurance when we are going on longer trips. They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!) and even have coverage in case you get that dreaded c-word. The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.  

We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!)

It’s safe to say that travel insurance has saved us thousands over the years!

Canada Travel Essentials

Bailey stands on a mountain in essential gear for the Canadian Rockies
A windproof jacket and Buff will save you in the mountains!

Before you decide to head off and explore the gorgeous mountains, lakes, towns, and cities around Canada it’s important to have the right equipment. Of course, it’s likely you’ll have most of the basics already but there are some common items people forget that I never travel without.

Crampons: In winter, crampons are super handy, but what people don’t realize is that they come in handy in summer too. In fact, up until mid-July, you can still expect icy conditions in the mountains. The pair I use is only $37 CAD and they have lasted me 3 seasons so far!

Waterproof shell: Most people will have this item but I thought I’d include it anyway since it’s so handy in Canada. The Columbia waterproof jacket is a lightweight windproof jacket that will seriously save you in many situations. The best part, though? It comes in pink!

Bear bells: These are a must, and for the price, you shouldn’t hike without them. The bear bells I use are only $9 CAD and they come with a silencer (a must) so you can easily travel with them.

Scent-proof bag (for bears): Most people think you only need to keep the smell of food away from you when you’re overnight camping. However, bears can smell the food in your bag while you’re hiking and the best way to avoid an encounter is to use a scent-proof bear bag. Basically, you put your food in the bag and the bear cannot smell it while you’re hiking. This is one item most people never have (I never hike without it) but it could save you and the bear.

Buff: I love my buff! Seriously, I go nowhere without it both in winter and summer. There are a few brands around but I always buy the original Buff (you know, the one from Survivor!) They’re a little more expensive but the material is good quality and both breathable and quick drying.

Dry bag: I have expensive camera equipment, so I always travel with a dry bag large enough to fit some of my equipment. It can be a camera, book, binoculars, or even my keys. Regardless, a dry bag gives me peace of mind! The MARCHWAY bag is really good quality, and when not in use, takes up only a small amount of room.

Binoculars: I love my binoculars! Seriously they have come in handy so many times, especially when I’m looking for wildlife. The best part is, I use a set that only costs $25 CAD and they serve my basic needs without any issues!

Thanks for reading!

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie on the Banff Gondola
Thank you for reading!

I hope this blog has helped you choose the best hotel for you for your Banff holiday! Banff is truly one of my favorite towns in the whole world – I hope you enjoy it as much as I always do!

If you have any questions about your upcoming trip to Banff or Canada leave us a comment below and we will get back to you! Also if you loved this travel guide, check out all our Canada travel Guides here or these related articles below.

BEST things to do in Vancouver

BEST Hot Springs in Alberta (and near the BC border)

Road Trip Guide: Vancouver to Banff

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10 best hotels in Banff Canada Pin

Michael Paul

Friday 4th of September 2020

Just going through the exciting process of planning a trip to Canada for next year, we live in the UK and have never been to Canada, so trying to get as much info as possible and have been on loads of websites over the last few weeks, and have found this to be one of, if not the best, full of so much info explained in a clear and interesting way. The plan is to fly to Vancouver for six nights, then by train to Banff for four nights, and drive the Icefields Parkway to Jasper staying four nights, Back to Banff for three then Calgary to fly home, so this guide has been invaluable, thank you so much.


Monday 7th of September 2020

Hey Michael!

Thank you so much for the kind words! We always love to hear that our travel guides are being put to good use and helping others plan their holiday.

Sounds like you have a really good trip coming up. I have always wanted to take the train from Vancouver to Banff, the trip looks so amazing.

I will mention though that we just published a new blog on Canmore. Canmore is only 45 minutes from Banff but outside the national park. Despite this, there is still so much to do there and a great option, if you want to spend time in another small mountain town that is cheaper than Banff. You can check it out in the blog section on our website!

Once again thank you! It's messages like this that make blogging so rewarding!