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

Should you visit Calgary or Whistler?

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 Whistler 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 Whistler?

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.

Whistler

Located in the province of British Columbia in Canada, Whistler is most famous as the largest ski area in North America. It is also only a short distance from the city of Vancouver, and offers countless opportunities for snow boarding and other winter sports. The town has a permanent population of almost 10,000 and there is a larger seasonal population of workers that come from all over the world. Whistler is a major travel destination with more than two million people visiting the town yearly. As such, there are countless amenities available to visitors. Hotels can vary dramatically in price and quality. There are some budget options, including a couple of hostels in the area, but most people do not visit Whistler as a budget travel destination. It's usually an expensive vacation, but few would argue that it isn't worth the cost.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Canada, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Canada, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Canada, and Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Canada.


Which place is cheaper, Whistler or Calgary?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Calgary is $154, while the average daily cost in Whistler is $125. 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 Whistler in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Calgary $73
    Whistler $65
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Calgary $146
    Whistler $130
Compare Hotels in Calgary and Whistler

Looking for a hotel in Calgary or Whistler? 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 Whistler


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 Whistler Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Calgary $12
    Whistler $20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Calgary

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Calgary:

  • Private Transfer from Calgary Airport to Sunshine Village : $60
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Calgary Downtown - Calgary Airport (YYC): $61
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Calgary Airport (YYC) - Calgary Downtown: $61
  • Private Transfer from Calgary Airport to Calgary Hotels: $63
  • Alberta Transfer: Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise, Calgary: $64
  • Private Transfer from YYC Airport to Kicking Horse or Panorama: $76
  • Calgary Int Airport (YYC) to Fernie - Arrival Private Transfer: $76
  • Calgary Downtown Transfers: $87
  • Transfer in private minivan from Calgary Airport (YYC) - Calgary Downtown: $91
  • Transfer in private minivan from Calgary Downtown - Calgary Airport (YYC): $91
  • Departure Private Transfer: Calgary to Calgary Airport YYC in Business Car: $108
  • Private Transfer: Calgary Airport to Downtown: $111

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Whistler

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Whistler:

  • Private Transfer from Whistler to Downtown Vancouver: $566
  • Private Transfer from Whistler to Richmond BC: $629
  • Vancouver: Seaplane Transfer between Vancouver & Whistler: $160

Is it cheaper to fly into Calgary or Whistler?

Prices for flights to both Whistler 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 $31
    Whistler $30
Typical Food Prices in Calgary

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


  • Bread, Chips, Cheese
    $8.10

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: $81

Typical Food Prices in Whistler

Some typical examples of dining costs in Whistler are as follows:


  • Coffee at Starbucks
    $12
  • Tim Hortons Breakfast
    $12
  • Coffee at Timmy's
    $3.63

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Whistler

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

  • Finer Things: 4-Course Dinner Tour in Whistler: $130
  • Finer Things Dinner Tour in Whistler: $145

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Calgary $15
    Whistler $78
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:

  • Ottawa: First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.20
  • Downtown Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $5.07
  • Bow River Trail Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $5.07
  • Downtown Calgary a Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $5.22
  • 3-hour Tips-Based City Walking Tour: $6.53
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: $11
  • Rocky Mountains: Smartphone Driving and Walking Audio Tours: $15
  • Calgary Flames Ice Hockey Game Ticket: $19
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Calgary with Holly Jolly Hunt: $21
  • Calgary Downtown: 2-Hour Introductory Walking Tour: $21
  • Heritage Park Historical Village Admission Ticket: $25
  • Calgary self-guided walking tour and scavenger hunt: $38

Typical Entertainment Prices in Whistler

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Whistler are as follows:


  • Driving Range
    $15

Tours and Activities in Whistler

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Whistler are as follows:

  • Sea to Sky Highway: a Smartphone Audio Driving Tour: $6.34
  • Vallea Lumina Multimedia Experience: $32
  • One Hour Axe Throwing Guided Experience in Whistler: $34
  • Whistler Sightseeing Tour: Discover all of Whistler Year-Round!: $78
  • Guided Lunch Tour in Whistler: $89
  • Rock Climbing Beginner Experience: $94
  • Sky-Walk Mountain Climbing Tour: $101
  • Whistler Valley Tour by Seaplane: 20-Minute Flight: $101
  • Guided eBike Adventure: $105
  • Medicine Trail Snowshoe Tour : $109
  • Whistler Snowshoeing Adventure : $111
  • 2 Hour Late Afternoon Winter Zipline Adventure: $112

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Calgary $11
    Whistler $8.72

Sample the Local Flavors in Calgary

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

  • Calgary Brewery and Wine Tours at Award Winning Venues: $83
  • Calgary Brewery Tour: $90

Sample the Local Flavors in Whistler

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Whistler:

  • Whistler Distillery Tour & Tasting Experience: $66


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Calgary and Whistler, we can see that Calgary is more expensive. And not only is Whistler much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Whistler would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Whistler 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 Whistler.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Calgary Expensive? and Is Whistler Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Calgary or Whistler?

Calgary has a larger population, and is about 100 times larger than the population of Whistler. When comparing the sizes of Calgary and Whistler, 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 along with the activities and attractions that interest you.