A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Calgary vs. Ottawa

Should you visit Calgary or Ottawa?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Calgary and Ottawa can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Calgary

Calgary is the largest city in Alberta and, located at the edge of the prairie and foothills, it is a gateway to the Rocky Mountains. If you're headed to Banff or Jasper, this is likely to be your first stop. It's also Canada's fourth largest city and worth a few days visit. Calgary's economy is diverse, but includes energy, financial services, film and television, transportation, technology, manufacturing, and much more.

Ottawa

Ottawa is the capital city of Canada, located on the Ontario side of the Ottawa River. A city of many ethnic populations, Ottawa is uniquely bilingual with English as the first language of the population's majority and French as a close second. It is best known as the nation's capital, which is centered on Parliament Hill, an architectural landmark as well as the seat of government.

Which city is cheaper, Ottawa or Calgary?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Calgary is $135, while the average daily cost in Ottawa is $117. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Calgary and Ottawa in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Calgary is $128. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $50 in Ottawa For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Calgary $64
    Ottawa $25
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Calgary $128
    Ottawa $50

Food

In Calgary travelers spend around $27 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

The average traveler spends about $15 per day in Ottawa for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Calgary $27
    Ottawa $15
Typical Food prices in Calgary

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Calgary:


  • Bread, Chips, Cheese
    $8.95

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Ottawa

For Ottawa, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Oh Canada Eh Dinner Show Ottawa: $73

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Calgary is $11 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

Ottawa's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $6.37 per person, per day on transportation in Ottawa.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Calgary $11
    Ottawa $6.37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Calgary

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Calgary:

  • Transfer in private minivan from Calgary Downtown to Calgary Airport (YYC): $59
  • Transfer in private minivan from Calgary Airport (YYC) to Calgary Downtown: $59
  • Transfer in Private Car from Calgary Downtown to Calgary Airport (YYC): $41
  • Transfer in Private Car from Calgary Airport (YYC) to Calgary Downtown: $41
  • Shuttle Transfer Calgary to Banff: $387
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Calgary Airport to Alberta Hotels: $63
  • Round-Trip Transfer in Private Car from-to Calgary Airport in Calgary Downtown: $82
  • Round trip transfer in private minivan from-to Calgary Airport-Calgary Downtown: $119
  • Round Trip Calgary Airport (YYC) Transfer to Calgary City Center: $103
  • Private Transfer: YYC to Calgary Downtown: $106
  • Private Transfer: YYC to Banff by Sedan: $333
  • Private Transfer: Calgary to Waterton Lakes: $762

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ottawa

Also for Ottawa, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier Airport (YOW) to Ottawa - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $124
  • Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier Airport (YOW) to Ottawa City - Arrival Private Transfer: $62
  • Ottawa to Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier Airport (YOW) - Departure Private Transfer: $62
  • Private Airport Transfer: Ottawa to Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier Int. Airport (YOW): $47
  • Private Airport Transfer: Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier Int. Airport (YOW) to Ottawa: $47
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier Airport YOW: $55
  • Private Arrival Transfer from YOW Ottawa Airport to Ottawa City: $75
  • Private Departure Transfer from Ottawa City to YOW Ottawa Airport: $75
  • Private Departure Transfer to Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier Airport YOW: $55
  • Private Transfer: Ottawa International Airport (YOW) to Ottawa: $622
  • Private Transfer: Ottawa to Ottawa International Airport (YOW): $622

Entertainment

Calgary's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $14 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Ottawa can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $35 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Calgary $14
    Ottawa $35
Typical Entertainment prices in Calgary

Here are a few typical costs in Calgary for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Stampede Admission (for 2)
    $24

Tours and Activities in Calgary

Here are a few actual costs in Calgary for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 15Seat Minivan -Private Tour From Calgary-Banff/Canmore/Edmonton/Drumheller: $837
  • 4-Day Winter Banff Mini Tour: $1,081
  • 7seat Minivan -Private Tour From Calgary-Banff/Canmore/Edmonton/Drumheller: $512
  • Calgary City Sightseeing Tour: $173
  • Calgary and Banff Mountain Biking Adventure: $347
  • Calgary to Royal Tyler Museum | Drumheller | Badland – Private Sightseeing Tour: $195
  • Calgary's Beltline District GPS-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $5.63
  • Private Tour with a Local: $29
  • Columbia Icefield Adventure 1-Day Tour from Calgary or Banff: $152
  • Creepy Calgary Ghost Tour: $309
  • Discover Downtown Calgary GPS-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $4.84
  • Drumheller & Horseshoe Canyon 1-Day Tour: $118

Tours and Activities in Ottawa

For Ottawa, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Explore Canada Through Ottawa's Eyes with Walking Tours Through The City: $4.84
  • Pioneering Days: An audio tour of the captivating history of Ottawa's pioneers: $5.00
  • Ottawa River Tour: $26
  • Rideau Canal Cruise: $27
  • Ottawa-Gatineau Experience Express: $28
  • Ottawa Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $29
  • Rideau Canal Cruise: $30
  • Boat Tour in the Ottawa River: $32
  • Ottawa Tourist Scavenger Hunt: $36
  • Ottawa Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour: $37
  • 2-Hour Ottawa Express City Bike Tour: $38
  • Ottawa Bike Tour: The Essentials: $41

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Calgary may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $9.69 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Typically, people visiting Ottawa spend on average $16 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Calgary $9.69
    Ottawa $16

Sample the Local Flavors in Calgary

Also in Calgary, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Calgary Bar Crawl: Cruisin' Calgary: $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Ottawa

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Ottawa:

  • Epic Ottawa Bar Crawl: By Let’s Roam: $12


When comparing the travel costs between Calgary and Ottawa, we can see that Calgary is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Calgary vs. Ottawa Travel Comparison

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