Before You Come to Banff
Banff is located in Canada,
therefore you must bring Canadian currency
(Canadian dollars). It's a good idea
to purchase Canadian dollars from the
country of your origin before you arrive.
Major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard) are
accepted everywhere as well. U.S. dollars
are accepted in most places, however it is
still advisable to exchange at least some of
your currency into Canadian dollars.
Travelers' cheques and U.S. dollar currency
are accepted by many businesses in Banff. Also note that the nick
names "loonie" and "toonie" refer to the $1
coin and the $2 coin respectively.
Canada has a Goods and Services
Tax (GST) of 7%. Therefore, whatever you
purchase from Banff will have a 7% tax added on
top of the cost. Non-Canadian tourists may claim the GST
from the Canadian government. Please click here for details.
Banff's weather can change very
quickly. Warm clothing and proper footwear are
very important. In the winter time, snow-boots
(insulated water-proof boots; available
throughout Calgary) and warm jackets are a must.
If you are planning on going skiing, then you
should bring snow-pants and proper gloves as
well. Don't be fooled by the warm sunshine
during the summer, make sure you bring at least
a jacket even then.
Please click here for detailed weather
Though Canada is a bilingual
country where the official languages are both
English and French, few people speak
French in western Canada and everybody speaks
English. Due to Canada's rich ethnic minorities,
you will find lots of Punjabi and Cantonese
speaking people as well.
Though reservations are not
necessary, they are a very good idea before you
arrive. Try to plan your trip thoroughly and
reserve appropriately. For example, reserve a
rental car (if you're going to be renting a car)
beforehand, also make reservations with
tour-guides (if you're taking a guided tour).
The AC-power voltage in Canada is 110 volts
(60 Hz). Most notebook computers and cell-phone chargers are made for both 110 and 220 volts, however check your power adaptor just
to be safe. Power converters can allow you to plug in your 220 volt appliances into the Canadian 110-volt AC-power supply. Power converters are available in most electronics stores.
Canada uses the same electric current as the
Unlike most tourist spots,
Banff's crime rate is very low. If you
are bringing valuables however, it would be a
wise decision to place them in a locked safe.
Most hotels have small vaults for this very
purpose. Other than that, use common sense.
Banff is located in the
Mountain Standard Time Zone. Canada switches
to daylight savings time on the last Sunday in
April and switches back to standard time on the
last Sunday in October. So it is GMT-7 hours in
the summer and GMT-6 hours in the winter.
Incase of an emergency, call
911 for police, fire, and ambulance. The
hospital located in Banff is Mineral Springs
Hospital on 301 Lynx Street, Phone: (403)
762-2222. Pharmacies are located throughout
Banff. They are normally open from Monday thru
Friday from 9am to 6pm.
Internet is available through a
cyber cafe located on 215 Banff Avenue, Phone:
(403) 762-9226. Internet access is available in
many hotels as well.
Stores, restaurants, banks, and
other tourist spots are open through most
holidays however with shorter timings. The
holidays observed in Banff are listed below.
- Banff's area code is 1-(403).
When calling from outside Canada to Banff,
dial 1-(403) before the 7-digit phone
number. When making phone calls between
Banff and Calgary, the area-code is not
mandatory, you may dial the 7-digit phone