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

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 $124, while the average daily cost in Ottawa is $99. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Calgary and Ottawa in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Calgary $58
    Ottawa $15
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Calgary $116
    Ottawa $30
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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Calgary $10
    Ottawa $5.84

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
  • Transfer between Calgary International Airport and Banff: $61
  • 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

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

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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Calgary $25
    Ottawa $14
Typical Food prices in Calgary

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


  • Bread, Chips, Cheese
    $8.20

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Calgary $13
    Ottawa $32
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)
    $22

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 Downtown: 2-Hour Introductory Walking Tour: $23
  • 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
  • 2 Hour Stampede Park Art & Wild West Tour: $23
  • Calgary Tower General Admission Ticket: $15
  • Private Tour with a Local: $29
  • Self-Guided Kayak Tour on the Bow River: $41

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
  • Haunted Night Walking Tour: $22
  • Ottawa River Tour: $26
  • Ottawa-Gatineau Experience Express: $28
  • Ottawa Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $29
  • Rideau Canal Cruise: $30
  • Boat Tour in the Ottawa River: $32
  • Hop-On Hop-Off Guided City Tour Day Ticket: $35
  • Ottawa Tourist Scavenger Hunt: $36
  • Ottawa Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour: $37
  • 2-Hour Ottawa Express City Bike Tour: $38

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Calgary $8.88
    Ottawa $15

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 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.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Calgary vs. Ottawa Travel Comparison

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