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Banff

Travel Guide North America Canada Alberta Banff National Park Banff

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Introduction

Peyto Lake

Peyto Lake

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Banff is located in the province of Alberta in the west of Canada and is the largest town in the Banff National Park with roughly 7,000 inhabitants. It's also Canada's highest town at almost 1,500 metres above sea level. About 130 kilometres west of Calgary, this town might as well be the touristic capital of the country as no less than 4 million visitors go here and enjoy the town and it's magnificent surroundings every year!

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Sights and Activities

  • Banff Upper Hot Springs
  • Skiing in winter
  • Hiking, biking and mountain climbing in summer
  • Mount Rundle/Cascade Mountain/Mount Norquay

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Weather

Winters are from November to March with frost and snow for months in a row though temperatures sometimes do get above zero as well. It has over 2 metres of snow a year and is even possible during summer! It's an excellent time to come if you like skiing and other wintersports, but temperatures can drop below -20 degrees Celsius easily at night. Summer temperatures in the warmest months (June to early September) are pleasant with an average high of 22 degrees Celsius and an average low of around 7 degrees.

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Getting There

By Plane

Calgary International Airport, (airport code: YYC) is the nearest airport, almost 2 hours away from Banff. Air Canada connects Calgary to more destinations across Canada, the USA and the rest of the world direct from here. WestJet flies from Calgary to destinations across Canada, as well as select places in North America. In addition, many US airlines fly to Calgary.

By Car

Banff is easily reached by car along the Trans-Canada Highway. It's best to pick up a car at the airport in Calgary where there is much more competition and choice.

By Bus

Greyhound Canada has buses to Calgary (almost 2 hours) and Vancouver (14 hours) and many places in between.
Brewster Transportation offers pick up from the hotel to Lake Louise (1 hour) and Jasper (4,5 hours). Sundog Tours has transfers to Jasper as well.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
AWA Hotel HC Banff419 Banff Avenue, Box 700Hotel-
Banff Chalet - SameSun433 Banff AvenueHostel87
Banff Y Mountain LodgePO Box 520 102 Spray Ave.Hostel80
HI Lake LouiseVillage Road, Box 115 Lake Louise Lake Louise, AlbertaHostel86
HI-Banff Alpine Centre#801 Hidden Ridge Way Banff, AlbertaHostel87
HI-Castle MountainBox 1358 Banff, T1L 1B3 (Banff National Park)Hostel-
HI-Mosquito CreekHighway 93 c/o PO Box 1358, Banff, AlbertaHostel84
HI-Rampart CreekHighway 93 c/o PO Box 1358Hostel-
HI-Whiskey Jack (Yoho)Yoho National Park, c/o Box 1358Hostel-
SameSun Backpacker Lodge - Banff449 Banff Avenue, T0L 0C0 Banff, AlbertaHostel-
The AWA Hotel Driftarrow Banff377 Banff Avenue Banff, AlbertaHotel83

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet usage is wide-spread in Canada. Wi-fi is available in many locations in larger cities, sometimes free and sometimes at a cost. You will find Wi-Fi in coffee stores, some restaurants and also hotels and motels more and more offer this service for free, but with a code usually. Internet cafes are common along major streets, and and in larger cities, charge between $3 and $4 for an hour, usually in 20-minute increments.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Canada is: 1. To make an international call from Canada, the code is: 011. Emergency services can be reached by dialling 911. This number will give you free access to Police, Fire and Ambulance services and can be used from landlines, phone booths and cell phones.

The populous areas of Canada along the border with the USA have excellent cellular and wired telecommunications, meaning that travellers are never fair from an international phone call home, a WIFI connection or an internet cafe. Depending on the mobile phone provider, coverage could be either CDMA and GSM coverage. Travellers wishing to purchase SIM cards for GSM phones should look for Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility, which all offer nationwide availability.

Post

Postal service is provided by Canada Post, a crown corporation owned by the government but run as an independent business. Most post offices keep hours from 9:00am to 5:00pm though in bigger places longer hourse might be available.

To format the envelope of a letter sent within Canada, put the destination address on the centre of its envelope, with a stamp, postal indicia, meter label, or frank mark on the top-right corner of the envelope to acknowledge payment of postage. A return address, although it is not required, can be put on the top-left corner of the envelope in smaller type than the destination address.

The lettermail service allows the mailing of a letter. The basic rate is currently set at $0.63 for one standard letter (30 grams or less). The rates for lettermail are based or weight and size and determine whether the article falls into the aforementioned standard format, or in the oversize one. The rate is the same for a postcard. Mail sent internationally is known as letterpost. It can only contain paper documents. The rate for a standard letter is of $1.10 if sent to the United States, and $1.85 if sent to any other destination. Oversize or overweight letters may be charged a higher fee. Larger parcels can be shipped via Canada post both domestically and internationally, the rate is dependent on the weight and destination. [1]

Federal Express, TNT, UPS or DHL also provide interntional shipping from Canada and are usually very quick and reliable though might cost a little more compared to Canada Post.

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This is version 8. Last edited at 10:31 on Jul 19, 13 by Utrecht. 8 articles link to this page.

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