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Banff or Lake Louise

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Dublin, Ireland
posts: 59
reviews: 18
Banff or Lake Louise

I am going skiing with my husband for 1 week in April and would like some advice on where to stay - either Banff or Lake Louise.

Will it be possible to use public transportation to get from Calgary to Banff/Lake Louise and is there public transport between Banff and Lake Louise. We would rather not rent a car on this trip.

Thanks for any advice and suggestions you might have.

Jean O'Donoghue

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary, TripAdvisor Support
posts: 22,751
reviews: 66
1. Re: Banff or Lake Louise

This TripAdvisor Traveller Article discusses the pros and cons of various bases in the Rockies, including Banff and Lake Louise:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g154910-c14815/Banff-…

Traveller Articles are written by TA members like you and me, in response to the most popular forum questions.

You can take a Brewster Connect from Calgary airport or downtown Calgary to Banff &/or Lake Louise.

brewstertransportation.com/banff-airport-exp…

The Banff Airporter goes from the airport to Banff.

http://www.banffairporter.com/

Brewster Connect and Greyhound will both take you between Banff and Lake Louise; however, if you're skiing, there is a ski shuttle that will take you from Banff to Lake Louise as well. I don't know if there is one that will take skiers to Norquay and Sunshine from Lake Louise.

In the Banff townsite, Roam transit buses will take you most places within the town limits. Lake Louise is a tiny village, and has one taxi service which charges a flat rate per customer; I think it's $7 per person per trip. In summer you can walk most places in Lake Louise (except for the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, which is a bit far for some), but in winter that may not be as practical.

seattle
Destination Expert
for Seattle
posts: 14,669
reviews: 83
2. Re: Banff or Lake Louise

Banff has far more restaraunts and places to go and there is a good bus system. Lk Louise has a few overpriced restaraunts and without a car I think its extremely limiting. It is close to skiing but no nightlife.

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
posts: 12,060
reviews: 80
3. Re: Banff or Lake Louise

I may have missed it (skimming) but I don't think anyone has mentioned that the Lake Louise village is 4 km downhill from the lake itself (and the Fairmont Chateau LL). This is, I think, what C_W was alluding to in saying that walking may not be practical in winter. The village is tiny - a collection of a few visitor services (a few hotels, a hostel, a strip mall with a few shops and places to eat), a gas station, and the Parks Canada info centre. Up at the lake itself is the Chateau LL, and nearby, Deer Lodge.

For a week's stay, I think you'd be better off in Banff, where there is much more to see and do, and it's easier to get around, or you might want to split your stay, with a couple of days at LL.

Edited: 2:05 pm, January 20, 2013
Banff, Canada
Destination Expert
for Banff, Banff National Park
posts: 4,358
reviews: 71
4. Re: Banff or Lake Louise

I agree -- unless you want to ski, ski, ski and all other things are minor, you're better off to base yourself in Banff, where you have access to public transit, convenient ski buses to all three hills, and lots of dinner and nightlife alternatives.

Dublin, Ireland
posts: 59
reviews: 18
5. Re: Banff or Lake Louise

thank you all for your advice. We have now reserved an apartment in Banff and will use the Banff airporter and local buses to get around rather than renting a car. Looking forward to our Canadian rockies experience.

Banff, Canada
Destination Expert
for Banff, Banff National Park
posts: 4,358
reviews: 71
6. Re: Banff or Lake Louise

Just a note because you mentioned "apartment". Perhaps you're referring to a suite in a hotel, which is fine. But -- Vacation rentals are illegal in Banff. So do be sure that your apartment is part of a hotel or a licensed B and B and make sure that it is actually located in the Town of Banff, not in Canmore. ( Some vacation rental owners in Canmore list their properties as "Banff".)

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary, TripAdvisor Support
posts: 22,751
reviews: 66
7. Re: Banff or Lake Louise

I was going to point that out also. Have a look at this TripAdvisor Traveller Article on vacation rentals in Banff:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g154911-c81176/Banff:…

Traveller Articles are written by TA members like you and me, in response to popular questions on the forums.

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary
posts: 2,875
reviews: 25
8. Re: Banff or Lake Louise

Good advice, and I think choosing Banff was the best option for you. As the others have said, there is much more to see and do in Banff, so I agree that it is a good place to base yourselves.

Besides, LL is not that far from Banff, so you could still get up there for a day of skiing, etc. And LL has fantastic skiing http://www.skilouise.com/

Sunshine also has great skiing, and you will really enjoy that too. http://www.skibanff.com/

Nakiska is also good, but it located in Kananaskis country (its east of Banff)

http://www.skinakiska.com/getting-here.aspx

9. Re: Banff or Lake Louise

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