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An Escape to Banff The Ultimate Roadmap for Calgarian Adventurers

An Escape to Banff: The Ultimate Roadmap for Calgarian Adventurers 

Aside from the city’s own beloved treasures, there’s another reason why we at The Best Calgary absolutely adore living in Calgary – its proximity to dreamy destinations like Banff. 

Why Banff, you ask? Well, it looks like whoever created Earth took their sweet time creating this town. The sensational view of the mountains was actually enough for it to earn a spot on the list of most beautiful places in the world by Travel + Leisure. 

Banff should be on everyone’s bucket list, in short. If you desire to escape to this surreal place, here’s the ultimate roadmap for doing so from our city! 

How do you travel to Banff from Calgary? 

To travel to Banff from Calgary, you have four options: the fastest route (by car), the scenic route (by car), the luxurious way (by limo service), and the economical way (by bus). 

1. The Fastest Route (by car)

DifficultyVery Easy ●○○○○
Number of steps3
Time required1 hour and 30 minutes
Things you needA car, money for gas

If you want to get to Banff from Calgary quickly, we highly recommend this route. It’s easy to navigate as there are only three steps to follow in order to get to Banff. 

Step 1: Head to Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1)

From Calgary, you should start driving west to get to the Trans-Canada Highway. As a precaution, keep in mind that the highway can get busy, so be mindful when merging onto the highway. 

Just continue on that path for around 70 miles until you see a sign that says exit for Banff. 

Step 2: Exit at Banff

Once you see the exit sign for Banff, head in that direction. Make sure to merge onto Banff Avenue or AB-1A. 

Step 3: Continue driving along Banff Avenue 

Once you merge onto Banff Avenue, just continue driving on that road for approximately 2.5 miles until you reach Banff. Before you know it, you’re already there!

2. The Scenic Route 

DifficultyVery Easy ●○○○○
Number of steps5
Time required2 hours or more
Things you needA car, money for gas

The scenic route only adds an extra 30 minutes to the fastest route, but because there’s plenty to explore, it’s possible to make more detours as you go. That said, if you like beautiful nature views, it’s worth it. 

Step 1: Drive to Trans-Canada Highway (AB-1 W) 

Head west from Calgary to make your way to Trans-Canada Highway (AB-1 W). 

Step 2: Take the exit at Three Sisters Pkwy 

About 75 miles in the Trans-Canada Highway, you’ll be able to see the exit for Three Sisters Pkwy (AB-1A S). From there, merge onto AB-1A S. 

Continue driving for about 5.5 along this path until you find yourself in Canmore. 

Step 3: Drive through Canmore

Once you reach Canmore, you should be halfway through your journey! However, there’s plenty to explore in this town, so you might just want to stay for a bit longer.  

We suggest that you should take this opportunity to see the beautiful sights of Canmore, a town popular for its striking nature views. 

If you’re not in a hurry, go explore the lovely downtown area where you’ll be greeted by the breathtaking view of the mountains. 

Step 4: Get back to the AB-1A S

Once you get your fill of nature views, you can leave Canmore and continue on your journey along AB-1A S. Continue driving for around 15.5 miles until you reach Banff. 

Step 5: Look for signs 

We’re glad you reached Banff safe and sound! From here, you can follow the signs to town or any of your desired destinations in the Banff National Park. 

3. The Luxurious Way (by limousine) 

DifficultyVery Easy ●○○○○
Number of steps6
Time required30 minutes (for booking)

1 hour and 30 minutes (for the trip)

Things you needAn internet connection, a phone or laptop

If you want to go for a more luxurious travel experience, then by all means, go ahead! By hiring a limousine service, not only will you be able to sit back and relax during the journey, you’ll also be assisted by a gallant driver. 

With that in mind, it sounds like a worthy splurge!

Step 1: Finalize the schedule

The first thing you do is to finalize the schedule of your trip. It’s because you need to let the limo service know about your desired pick up date and time when you submit a request. 

Step 2: Go to the limo service website 

Now that the schedule is out of the way, you can finally go to the limo service website to book. Note that you can opt for any limo service of your choice, but if you need recommendations, we highly recommend AM PM Limousines

Step 3: Choose from their fleet options

Another good thing about hiring a limousine service is you can choose what type of automobile to travel on. At AM PM Limousines, they have a wide variety of options depending on your taste and the number of your travel companions. 

They can even accommodate up to 36 passengers! 

Step 4: Fill up their form

Once you’re done choosing your desired fleet, fill up their form that has all important information about your trip. You should be able to hear back from them as soon as possible with the quote for the cost. 

Step 5: Finalize the booking 

Yay, you’re one step closer to getting to Banff from Calgary! If the quote is up to your budget, you can finalize the booking with the limo service. 

Step 6: Enjoy your trip

Now, that wasn’t so hard right? All that’s left now is for you to pack your bags and prepare for an exciting trip ahead. Let us know how it goes! 

4. The Economical Way (by bus services)

DifficultyVery Easy ●○○○○
Number of steps3
Time required15 minutes (for booking)

1 hour and 30 minutes (for the trip)

Things you needAn internet connection, a phone or laptop

Another option to get to Banff from Calgary is by traveling the economical way through bus services. It’s easy and convenient to use too. 

The downside to this is that you can’t stop over for photos during the trip. However, if that’s something you’re willing to miss, we don’t see why you can’t choose riding a bus. 

Step 1: Go to the bus service website and check the schedule

There are plenty of bus services that operate from Calgary to Banff. We recommend the Brewster Express, but you’re welcome to choose any company. 

Anyway, the first step is to go to their website and check the schedule. Once you find a time and date that you prefer, it’s time to book!

Step 2: Fill up the form

The form will ask for several information such as how many adults are traveling, when you’re planning on departing, where your desired pick up location is, and such. This shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. 

Once your booking is a success, you can relax and wait for the day itself. 

Step 3: Go to the pickup location

On the day of your travels, you have to go to the pickup location that you chose. 

Among the 6 choices they have available are the Calgary International Airport, Calgary Marriott Hotel, Delta Calgary Downtown, Fairmont Palliser Hotel, International Hotel Suites Calgary, Sandman Calgary City Centre, and Westin Calgary.  

Be on time to avoid missing the bus. 

What are the top attractions to visit along the Calgary to Banff drive?

The top attractions to visit along the Calgary to Banff drive are the Grotto Canyon, Moraine Lake, Kananaskis Village, and Canmore. That said, there are plenty more popular stopovers along the way such as the Calaway Park, Jura Creek Trail, Gap Lake, and Cascade Ponds. 

Honestly, we can go on and on about the top attractions along the Calgary to Banff drive, which is why we suggest allotting time for stopovers if you truly want an adventurous trip. 

Is there a train going to Banff from Calgary?

Unfortunately, there is no train that can take you to Banff from Calgary. The options you have are taking the bus, booking a limo service, and driving the car. 

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