Getting Around Banff
The best way to get around Banff is on foot. But when weather prevents the casual stroll, this small resort town also has a bus system that is easy to use. Even more convenient, your hotel will most likely offer a complimentary shuttle that services the town and ski areas. All three ski hills also offer complimentary shuttle between the hills and the town of Banff. The closest airport, Calgary International Airport (YYC), handles most major airlines; from there you could rent a car to drive the 90 miles west to Banff or hop on the Banff Airporter, a shuttle that transports visitors from the Calgary airport directly to their hotel.
Walking will give you a better understanding of the unique environment. But follow this advice only in summer when the weather accommodates a stroll. Stick to the main drag (Banff Avenue), but don't miss Bear Street. The quaint stores will surprise you with fun trinkets, especially those in Bison Courtyard.
This small resort town is easy to navigate. Residents are friendly and helpful to visitors, so don't hesitate to ask for directions. If you rent a car, select one with four-wheel drive to better navigate off-road or through the winter snow. You can rent a car at the Calgary airport or once in Banff. You don't need to apply for an international driving permit to drive in Canada; your U.S. driver's license is valid. Driving in Banff is very similar to driving in the U.S., with one notable exception: speed limits are posted in kilometers per hour. If you're driving in winter, check the Parks Canada website to see the latest road conditions.
"Roam," the town bus system, offers convenient transportation through the streets and to popular attractions, including the hot springs and the gondola. Buses do run sporadically, so check the town's public transit website for schedules and routes. Fares for rides within Banff cost CA$2 (around $1.50) for adults and CA$1 (or about $0.80) for seniors and kids (children younger than 6 ride for free). You can also purchase an unlimited day pass for CA$5 (about $4). Service runs daily from 6:15 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
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