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

Should you visit Calgary or Ottawa?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

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

Where Should I go: Calgary or Ottawa?


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 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 place 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 $157, while the average daily cost in Ottawa is $124. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Calgary and Ottawa in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Calgary $74
    Ottawa $18
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Calgary $148
    Ottawa $36
Compare Hotels in Calgary and Ottawa

Looking for a hotel in Calgary or Ottawa? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Calgary

Hotels in Ottawa

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Calgary Hotel Prices and Ottawa Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Calgary $13
    Ottawa $7.34

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Calgary

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Calgary:

  • Transfer in private minivan from Calgary to Downtown Calgary Airport (YYC): $138
  • Transfer in private minivan from Calgary Downtown - Calgary Airport (YYC): $77
  • Transfer in private minivan from Calgary Airport (YYC) to Calgary Downtown: $138
  • Transfer in private minivan from Calgary Airport (YYC) - Calgary Downtown: $77
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Calgary Downtown - Calgary Airport (YYC): $71
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Calgary Airport (YYC) - Calgary Downtown: $71
  • Shuttle Transfer Calgary to Banff: $363
  • Roundtrip Transfer Private Vehicle Calgary Airport (YYC) -Calgary Downtown: $143
  • Roundtrip Transfer Private Minivan Calgary Airport (YYC) -Calgary: $153
  • Private Transfer: Calgary to Lake Louise in Luxury Vehicle: $605
  • Private Transfer: Calgary to Banff, Lake Louise, Canmore & Kananaskis: $415
  • Private Transfer: Calgary Airport to Downtown: $113

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: $130
  • Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier Airport (YOW) to Ottawa City - Arrival Private Transfer: $65
  • Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier Airport YOW Private Arrival/Departure Shuttle Transfer : $53
  • Ottawa to Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier Airport (YOW) - Departure Private Transfer: $65
  • Private Airport Transfer: Ottawa International Airport (YOW) to/from Ottawa: $85
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier Airport YOW: $55
  • Private Arrival Transfer in Ottawa Airport : $53
  • Private Departure Transfer to Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier Airport YOW: $55
  • Private Transfer from Ottawa Airport (YOW) to Ottawa City: $65
  • Private Transfer from Ottawa City hotels to Ottawa Airport YOW: $65

Is it cheaper to fly into Calgary or Ottawa?

Prices for flights to both Ottawa and Calgary change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Calgary $32
    Ottawa $17
Typical Food prices in Calgary

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

  • Bread, Chips, Cheese

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Calgary

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Calgary.

  • Light Brunch & Food Tour at Calgary Farmers' Market WEST: $82

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 Musical : $73
  • Taste of the ByWard Market Food Tour: $87

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Calgary $16
    Ottawa $41
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)

Tours and Activities in Calgary

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

  • Classic Banff Day Tour: Banff, Sulphur Mountain, Johnston Canyon : $120
  • Lake Louise, Moraine Lake & Banff Tour: $415
  • 1 Day Tour in Rocky Mountain Banff National Park: $119
  • 2-Day Private Tour in Jasper National Park: $1,890
  • 2-Hour Private Walking Tour of Calgary's Highlights: $242
  • 2-Hour Scooter Tour of Calgary's City Highlights: $67
  • 3 Day Rockies Tour, travel Banff & Columbia Icefield from Calgary: $486
  • 3 Day Rocky Mountains Columbia Icefields Banff and Yoho NP Tour: $485
  • 3 Days Surprise Rocky Mountain Tour: Banff, Lake Louise & Jasper: $646
  • 3-Day Columbia Icefield & Jasper Tour from Calgary,airport pickup: $458
  • 3-Day Rockies Classic Tour (Yoho & Jasper National Park): $659
  • 3-Hour Street Art Tour of Calgary with Craft Beer Tastings: $67

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: $6.80
  • Ottawa Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.00
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Ottawa by Wacky Walks: $11
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Ottawa by Crazy Dash: $11
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Ottawa by Operation City Quest: $11
  • Haunted Night Walking Tour: $22
  • Haunted Carleton County Jail Tour: $22
  • Hidden Gems Guided Walking Tour: $22
  • Haunted Ottawa Jail Tour: $22
  • 4 or 8-Hour Bike Rental with Self-Guided Tour: $26
  • Ottawa Senators NHL Game Ticket at Canadian Tire Center: $28
  • Sightseeing River Cruise: $33

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Calgary $11
    Ottawa $18

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
  • Calgary Brewery Tour: $91

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 we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Calgary and Ottawa, we can see that Calgary is more expensive. And not only is Ottawa much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Ottawa would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Ottawa and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Calgary would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Calgary than you might in Ottawa.

Which is Bigger, Calgary or Ottawa?

Calgary is bigger, and its population is about 26% larger than the population of Ottawa. When comparing the population of Calgary vs. Ottawa, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit and the activities that interest you.

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.
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Calgary vs. Ottawa Travel Comparison

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