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There are many ways to see and enjoy the fabulous Canadian Rockies. This is a spectacular place, vibrant and inspiring to the core. Once you’re here, it’s hard to go wrong. But we think you should get your special visit just right.

To make your visit here as memorable as possible and to get the most out of each moment, we've put together what we think is the ultimate way to spend three days in Banff.

So, we’ve carefully-curated the perfect Canadian Rockies itinerary. It's got just the right combination of adventure and comfort in our pristine natural surroundings. And we’ve narrowed it down to three fantastic experiences.

We call it our Ultimate Explorer 3-day Itinerary.

The key is to plan this at least 48-hour ahead of time so you can save money and rest assured that it's all sorted.

Ultimate Banff Day 1:

Be one of the first special guests to stay in the new and reimagined Mount Royal Hotel. Relax in high style and rich heritage right in the heart of downtown Banff.

Two people sit in a leather couch in a tall lobby with artwork above a fireplace.

After checking in and spending some time strolling the shops and restaurants of downtown Banff, start your journey in the beautiful Rocky Mountains at the Banff Gondola. This is the classic Rockies experience—Banff's #1 attraction. Just a short distance from your downtown hotel, the iconic Banff Gondola has taken visitors and locals of all ages on a memorable ride to the top of Sulphur mountain for many successful years. You can hop on the free shuttle to get their quickly and easily.

Contemporary and modern, not only is the Banff Gondola a safe and secure eight-minute ride to the most incredible mountain views, it has a beautiful interpretive boardwalk trail and plenty of places to rest and revel in the six mountain ranges visible from the boardwalk.

To add to your experience, the Gondola’s new Upper Terminal has a fantastic 360-degree observation deck, an interpretive centre and theatre, a café and two great restaurants. So, enjoy a delicious meal as the sun sets and toast your first perfect day in the Rockies. This is the perfect place for the ultimate dinner with a view. And follow up your meal with some time enjoying the Sunset Festival. Cheers to day 1!

Once the sun has dropped behind the peaks, head back to the Mount Royal Hotel and call it a night—you've got an early start tomorrow!

The Banff Gondola Upper Terminal atop a forested mountain-ridge with a boardwalk stretching forward.

Two people dine at a wide window overlooking mountains.

Ultimate Banff Day 2:

This is going to be one of those days you will never forget. Get an early start and be on the road along the Icefields Parkway by 8 AM if you can—that'll mean better chances of spotting wildlife, less traffic and more solitude en route. When you arrive at the Columbia Icefield, head inside and then let the adventure begin. The Columbia Icefield Adventure and Skywalk is actually two unforgettable experiences in one.

Two people walk along a glacier.

On your inspiring Columbia Icefield Adventure, you (and your friends) will explore one of the largest non-polar icefields in the world, situated along the iconic Icefields Parkway. Here, you will take a thrilling ride on an ice explorer, right onto the surface of the marvelous Athabasca Glacier. Then, lay down your feet on the glass-floored skywalk to get an awe-inspiring view of one of the world’s most stunning natural phenomena.

After the adventure, head inside for a relaxing meal overlooking the glacier at Chalet. Take a drink out to the patio to soak up the views before heading back to Banff.

A metal and glass platform extends over a high valley.

Two people enjoy a bottle of wine at a table overlooking a glacier.

Hopefully you'll spot some wildlife en route, and then be back at the Mount Royal Hotel for dinner. Don't miss a soak in the 5th Floor hot tubs to mark the end of another incredible day in the Rockies.

Ultimate Banff Day 3:

Today is about slowing down. Start by heading out to the enormous, picturesque Lake Minnewanka. The Lake Minnewanka Cruise takes you places you can’t reach on foot, and to share stories you won’t hear anywhere else. Learn about the sacred lands of Indigenous peoples, about artifacts buried on the shores of Lake Minnewanka as many as 13,000 years ago and about the nature and wildlife of the Fairholme Range. And just relish in the stunning scenery.

Two boat-workers get a blue and white boat ready to dock.

When your boat returns to the dock, grab some lunch at the Black Anchor Snack Shop and head over the lakeside for a picnic table. Spend as much time as you have enjoying the view, hiking to Stewart Canyon or even renting a kayak and going for a paddle. You'll wrap up your Banff visit with a cool head, a happy heart and a camera full of memories to cherish.

The Ultimate Explorer is the best way to experience this three-day itinerary in Banff. Book in advance to save up to 15% on these iconic adventures.

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