Travel Information

The town of Banff is west of Calgary, Alberta. Most attendees will fly into Calgary International Airport (YYC) and drive or take a bus to Banff.

Porter Airlines is the official airline partner for ICAPS 2024. ICAPS attendees hoping to fly with Porter are invited to reach out to porter@icaps2024.com for a discount code on flights to/from Calgary on Porter Airlines.

Note: Banff is in Banff National Park. The Park has an entry fee. See below.

Bus from YYC to Banff

A two-hour drive away, the Calgary International Airport (YYC) is the closest airport to Banff. The Calgary International Airport maintains a website with up-to-date information on transportation and accommodation information. Visit https://yyc.com/.

Banff Airporter is the official transportation partner for ICAPS 2024. ICAPS attendees enjoy 15% off the cost of travel to/from Banff when you use the code “ICAPS2024”. The trip from YYC to the Banff Centre is approximately two hours (the bus drops you off at the Banff Centre’s hotel front desk). Phone 403.762.3330 or 1.888.449.2901 (toll-free within North America) or visit https://banffairporter.com/.

Brewster Travel Canada offers daily motor coach shuttles from YYC to Banff. Reservations are required. Visit https://www.banffjaspercollection.com/brewster-express/. The bus stops at the Banff bus station, a five-minute drive or 30 minute walk to the Banff Centre. Call Taxi Taxi at 403.762.0000.

Drive from YYC to Banff

For those attending the Symposium on Combinatorial Search (SOCS) this year, note the location of Kananaskis Village on the map. There are numerous places to park at the Banff Centre. Parking is free.

Banff National Park Entry Fee

[From https://parks.canada.ca/pn-np/ab/banff/visit/tarifs-fees#admission, February 25]

A fee is charged for admission to Banff National Park. The revenues are used to support visitor services and facilities. The fee per day (in Canadian dollars):

Adult (age 18 to 64): $11

Senior (age 65+): $9.50

Youth (age 17 and under): free

Family/group (up to seven people arriving in a single vehicle): $22

Getting Around in Banff

Uber and Lyft are not available in Banff. Call Taxi Taxi at 403.762.0000.

BANFF NATIONAL PARK

Visitor Information

Banff Lake Louise Tourism

Travel Alberta

National Park Information

Banff National Park Info Lake Louise & Moraine Lake Park Info

  • Banff to Lake Louise is a 38 minute drive (57.1 km) via Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W
  • Banff to Lake Moraine is a 1 hout 50 minute drive (71.4 km) via Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W

Canmore & Kananaskis Visitor Info

Wildlife

As the Banff Centre and the town of Banff are in Banff National Park, various types of wildlife are often observed. Sightings range from different bird species to the most frequently encountered large mammals: elk, mountain goats, bears, and mountain lions.

Keep in mind that the wildlife you may encounter is just that — wild! Please ensure that you respect the animals’ spaces and habitats while in the park. That perfect picture can sometimes lead to a compromising situation for both the subject and the photographer. For your safety and theirs, please treat them with respect and keep your distance. Please do not feed any of the animals, including the squirrels, as they are protected by law.

Please do not feed any animals, this can result in animals becoming habituated to humans and could lead to them being put down.

Elk can be fast and dangerous, especially during spring calving (May 15-July 1). If you encounter any elk, keep your distance. You must always stay at least three bus lengths away from elk. Do not use headphones on trails. It is always best to travel in groups and to be always aware of your surroundings. If you see wildlife on the Banff Centre campus, please contact Security Services via the main switchboard by dialling ‘0’ or calling 1.403.760.0098.

It is your responsibility to educate yourself on the topic of wildlife and how to prepare for wildlife encounters. Mountains can be dangerous. If you are planning an excursion, contact the Parks Canada Information Centre at 403.762.1550 for up-to-date weather and avalanche information, reports on trail conditions, and wildlife activity. Visit https://parks.canada.ca/pn-np/ab/banff for more information.

Also see:

For vehicle use, wildlife signage along highways and some local roads are posted. Drive accordingly as you may see some animals crossing as you drive. Watch the road and the ditches alongside within these marked areas. Use extra caution when approaching curves/bends on roads and when reaching the crest of a hill.

Weather + Packing Essentials

  • This time of year has warm/hot days and cooler nights as the wind can make it quite chilly. We suggest packing clothes for weather ranging between 10℃ - 30℃.
  • Sunscreen is also recommended as there are many days where it is all sun and no clouds.
  • Alberta also has dry weather. Chapstick and lotion may be helpful.
  • Pack clothing for hot days & chilly nights, may include jackets for fall type weather and sweaters. Bring layers so you can easily put on a jacket/sweater if you get cold.
  • There are areas that may be chillier than others, this can depend on sun exposure, proximity to water, altitude (especially when hiking).

Restaurants

Our Recommendations:

  • ($10-20) Hankki: Korean street food restaurant, small seating areas, (new) desserts area. Serves vegetarian dishes, Wi-Fi and high chairs available.
  • ($20-30) Magpie and Stump Mexican Restaurant + Bar: Features a rustic and casual environment, amazing food and drinks. This relaxed eatery serves classic Mexican fare and cocktails in rugged, down-home decor.
  • ($$$): Balkan Greek Restaurant: Upbeat mainstay featuring traditional fare such as moussaka and gyros, plus weekly Greek dance nights. Vegetarian dishes available.

Vegan and Vegetarian Options Available:

$

  • Banff Shawarma: Halal and vegetarian dishes available.

$$

  • Nourish Bistro Banff: Quirky eatery featuring inventive vegan and vegetarian dishes and desserts, plus cool cocktails.
  • Maclab Bistro: Airy restaurant and bar offering eclectic eats, including specialty burgers, plus scenic views.
  • Magpie and Stump Mexican Restaurant + Bar: This relaxed eatery serves classic Mexican fare and cocktails in rugged, down-home decor.
  • Block Kitchen + Bar: Eclectic small plates with Asian flair, wine and cocktails served in a hip, convivial atmosphere. Google Review: “The vegan bao bun was outstanding and the falafel naanwich was delicious.”
  • Farm and Fire: Contemporary restaurant offering farm-to-fork specialties and cocktails, plus happy-hour specials.
  • Shoku Izakaya: Easygoing restaurant serving Japanese and Pan-Asian dishes like steamed buns, sushi and grilled meats.
  • UNA pizza + wine: Has outdoor seating, serves vegan dishes, has kids’ menu.
  • The Old Spaghetti Factory: Family-friendly chain eatery featuring traditional Italian entrees amid turn-of-the-century decor.
  • Bear Street Tavern: Rustic, laid-back hangout offering thin-crust pizza, Canadian pub grub, craft beer on tap and a patio.
  • Coyotes Southwestern Grill: Southwestern and Mediterranean cuisine, with a focus on fresh ingredients, in a homey atmosphere. Serves happy hour food and has kids’ menu.
  • Indian Curry House: Serves vegan dishes, has Wi-Fi and high chairs available.

$$$

  • Three Bears Brewery and Restaurant: Creative pub eats and house beers in a cool, wood-lined hangout with wildlife statues and a pine tree. Vegan cheese option.
  • Park Distillery Restaurant + Bar: Mesquite-grilled meats, gourmet comfort eats and small-batch spirits in a hip and rustic space. Vegan options available.
  • Brazen Has outdoor seating, serves great cocktails and vegetarian dishes.

$$$$

  • ($100+) The Bison Restaurant: Seasonal Canadian cuisine prepped in an open kitchen, plus a terrace with mountain views.
  • El Toro Restaurant: Upscale eatery serving Canadian, Mexican and Spanish-influenced cuisine, including breakfast and tapas.
  • The Maple Leaf: New Canadian eats, such as game stroganoff and seafood, are presented in a rustic-modern setting.

Halal Options Available:

$

  • Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen: Louisiana-inspired fast-food chain known for its spicy fried chicken, biscuits and sides.
  • Night Owl Shawarma Donair and Convenience: Lebanese restaurant, Halal Certified, doesn’t accept reservations.
  • Banff Shawarma: Halal and vegetarian dishes available.

$$

  • Masala Authentic Indian Cuisine: Casual Indian spot with curries and dishes from a wood-fired tandoori clay oven, plus lunch specials.
  • Saffron Indian Bistro: Relaxed restaurant serving traditional Indian cuisine, lunchtime thalis and Indo-Chinese dishes.
  • Zyka Elevated Indian Restaurant Banff: Has all you can eat, outdoor seating and serves great cocktails.
  • Indian Curry House: Serves vegan dishes, has Wi-Fi and high chairs available.

$$$

  • Balkan Greek Restaurant: Upbeat mainstay featuring traditional fare such as moussaka and gyros, plus weekly Greek dance nights. Vegetarian dishes available.

Maps

Map of Canadian Rockies & Tourist Attractions

Banff Pedestrian & Cycling Trails Map

Banff Easy, Family-Friendly Hiking Trails Map

Banff Centre District Map

BIRS Map Banff Centre District Map

Banff Map

Town of Banff Map Google Maps Banff Map

Transportation and Touring

Distance from Banff Centre to Downtown Banff is roughly a 5 minute drive or 18 minute walk (see link for route via Google Maps)

Route from Banff Centre to Downtown Banff (Google Maps)

Purchase Banff Park Pass *Required for Vehicles

Generally, costs for Roam public transit is more affordable and convenient for getting around Banff and surrounding areas. The Roam Transit has 10 Bus routes in Banff with 124 Bus stops. Their Bus routes cover an area from the Lake Louise Lakeshore Summer stop to the Stewart Creek stop and from the Lake Louise Village North stop to the Stewart Creek stop.

About “Roam” Bus Public Transit and “Roam” Bus Schedules

Reservations required for Shuttle Busses (to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake)

E-Bike Rentals

Banff Taxi & Shuttles (Google Maps)

Banff Touring Companies (Google Maps)

Indigenous Traditions & Culture

Banff Indigenous Peoples

Banff Centre Info

Banff Centre Events Banff Sally Borden Fitness & Recreation Banff Walter Phillips Gallery Banff Library & Archives Banff Artist Facilities

Banff Police, Medical, Violence/Abuse & Emergency Service Resources

Contact police immediately at (Banff RCMP: 403-762-2226) or come to the police station.

Fire Department Email: erica.gilmore@banff.ca Physical Address: 201 Beaver Street Banff, AB T1L 1A1 Phone: 403.762.1256 Emergency Phone: 911

Banff Crime Statistics Banff Medical Resources & Information Banff Centre Gender Based and Sexual Violence Policy Banff Sexual Violence Response Program (YMCA)