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48 Hours in Banff

Home > Banff > Escape the City | Long Weekend | Weekend Escapes
by Amanda I (subscribe)
I'm a freelance travel writer living in Brisbane. Visit my blog at www.aussieglobetrotter.net.
Published June 29th 2016
Mountainous panoramas, glacier-fed lakes, wildlife and more
Nestled high in the Rocky Mountains, Banff radiates small-town charm. Spectacular mountainous panoramas, glacier-fed lakes and its abundance of wildlife will delight visitors.

An easy drive from Calgary, Banff is the perfect place to escape the city. Here are some ideas on how to spend 48 hours in this gorgeous town:

Day 1

Explore the town on foot
A delightful mix of souvenir shops, galleries, restaurants and boutique hotels line Banff Avenue, Banff's main street. Hours can be spent exploring these quirky shops.

Get into the Spirit of Christmas at any time of year at the Spirit of Christmas. Operating for over 25 years, this two-storey Christmas shop is bursting at the seams with ornaments, collectibles and nativity sets.

The town is easily accessible on foot and as it is only 3.94 square metres in size, nature really is on Banff's doorstep. The majestic peaks of Mt Rundle and Mt Cascade dominate the breath-taking view.

Majestic scenery
Majestic scenery


Lunch at the Rocky Mountain Bread Co.
Grab a quick bite to eat at the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co., located in the Cascade Plaza food court. Utlising local and organic produce, the food is delicious. Soups, flatbread pizzas and pastas are available. The Apple Chicken Harvest pizza is unique and refreshing. Created from organic tomato sauce, mozzarella and aged cheddar cheeses, rosemary-lemon chicken, Granny Smith apples, tomatoes and a three-herb pesto, this pizza is divine.

Apple Chicken Harvest Pizza
Apple Chicken Harvest Pizza


Banff Gondola
Experience 360 degree views of the Banff town and its surrounding valleys from the top of Sulphur Mountain. The 8-minute gondola journey whisks passengers to the upper terminal with its boardwalk and viewing decks offering the most breath-taking sights.

Banff Gondola
Banff Gondola


Dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory
Enjoy delicious, reasonably-priced fare at this family-friendly Italian restaurant located in the Cascade Plaza. All main meals are served with sourdough bread and garlic butter, a choice of soup or a salad and ice-cream. The restaurant is popular, so reservations are recommended.

The Old Spaghetti Factory
The Old Spaghetti Factory


Day 2

Banff Upper Hot Springs
Soak in hot mineral water amongst a stunning mountainous backdrop at Banff's Upper Hot Springs. Situated at an elevation of 1,585 metres, the steamy water is kept at a temperature of between 37C and 40C. Minerals found in the water include Sulphate, Calcium, Bicarbonate, Magnesium and Sodium.

The hot springs are open daily from 20 May to 16 October 2016, 9am to 11pm. The morning is the most relaxing time for a visit.

Adults $7.30
Children $6.30
Seniors $6.30

Banff Lake Cruise
Cruise the picturesque, emerald green waters of Lake Minnewanks on a one hour interpretative cruise. Learn about native folklore while keeping your eyes peeled for wildlife.

Banff Lake Cruise
Banff Lake Cruise


Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
Stimulate your taste buds with scones, finger sandwiches, pistachio and strawberry panna cotta, French macaroons and lavender and lemon cream puffs at an enchanting afternoon tea in the Banff Springs Rundle Lounge. 12 loose-leaf teas accompany these tasty delights.

Afternoon tea is available daily from 12pm to 3.30pm, costing $43 per person.
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Why? Sightseeing in Banff
Where: Banff
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