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

Should you visit Ottawa or Whistler?

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

Should I visit Ottawa or Whistler? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Ottawa or Whistler?

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.

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 Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Canada, The Best Coach Bus Tours in Canada, The Best Adventure Tours to Canada, and The Best Eco Tours in Canada.


Which place is cheaper, Whistler or Ottawa?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Ottawa is $122, 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 Ottawa and Whistler in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Ottawa $18
    Whistler $65
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Ottawa $36
    Whistler $130
Compare Hotels in Ottawa and Whistler

Looking for a hotel in Ottawa 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 Ottawa


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: Ottawa Hotel Prices and Whistler Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Ottawa $7.22
    Whistler $20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ottawa

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

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier Airport YOW: $40
  • Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier Airport YOW Private Arrival/Departure Shuttle Transfer : $52
  • Private Arrival Transfer in Ottawa Airport : $52
  • Ottawa to Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier Airport (YOW) - Departure Private Transfer: $66

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Whistler

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Whistler:

  • Vancouver to Whistler Seaplane Transfer: $176
  • Private Transfer from Whistler to Richmond BC: $633
  • Private Transfer from Whistler to Downtown Vancouver: $569

Is it cheaper to fly into Ottawa or Whistler?

Prices for flights to both Whistler and Ottawa 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
    Ottawa $17
    Whistler $30

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 : $72
  • Taste of the ByWard Market Food Tour: $79
  • Evening Taste of the ByWard Market Food Tour: $82

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
    $3.64

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: $131
  • Finer Things Dinner Tour in Whistler: $145

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Ottawa $40
    Whistler $78

Tours and Activities in Ottawa

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

  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.21
  • Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt & Walking Tour: $6.42
  • City Exploration Game and Tour: $6.42
  • Explore Canada Through Ottawa's Eyes with Walking Tours Through The City: $6.70
  • Ottawa's Hidden History: A Self Guided Audio Tour: $6.99
  • A Self Guided Audio Tour of Ottawa's Hidden History: $6.99
  • Rockcliffe Quest Experience: $7.10
  • Across the Ottawa River: A Self Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Street Art in Quest Experience: $8.20
  • Downtown Private Investigator Quest Experience: $8.20
  • Ottawa Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.00
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Ottawa by Wacky Walks: $10

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:

  • Adult Only Guided Sensory Forest Experience in Whistler: $57
  • Audain Art Museum Admission Ticket: $16
  • Call of the Wild ATV Tour: $156
  • Full Day Fly Fishing Tour: $250
  • Full Day Spin Fishing Tour: $250
  • Glacier Sightseeing Experience by Seaplane from Whistler: $183
  • Guided Fishing Adventure in Whistler: $156
  • Guided Lunch Tour in Whistler: $89
  • Half Day Fly Fishing Tour: $195
  • Half Day Spin Fishing Tour: $195
  • One Hour Axe Throwing Guided Experience in Whistler: $34
  • Private Whistler Sightseeing Tour: Discover all of Whistler in Comfort!: $165

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Ottawa $18
    Whistler $8.74

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Whistler

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Whistler:

  • Whistler Distillery Tour & Tasting Experience: $66


When comparing the travel costs between Ottawa and Whistler, we can see that Whistler 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.

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


Which is Bigger, Ottawa or Whistler?

Ottawa has a larger population, and is about 80 times larger than the population of Whistler. When comparing the sizes of Ottawa 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.


When is the best time to visit Ottawa or Whistler?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Ottawa or Whistler in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Ottawa as well as Whistler.

In the summer, Ottawa is a little warmer than Whistler. Typically, the summer temperatures in Ottawa in July average around 21°C (71°F), and Whistler averages at about 18°C (64°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Whistler. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Ottawa this time of the year. In the summer, Ottawa often gets less sunshine than Whistler. Ottawa gets 268 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Whistler receives 296 hours of full sun.

Ottawa usually gets more rain in July than Whistler. Ottawa gets 87 mm (3.4 in) of rain, while Whistler receives 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Ottawa 21°C (71°F) 
    Whistler 18°C (64°F)

Should I visit Ottawa or Whistler in the Autumn?

Both Whistler and Ottawa are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities.

In October, Ottawa is generally cooler than Whistler. Daily temperatures in Ottawa average around 9°C (48°F), and Whistler fluctuates around 11°C (51°F).

Ottawa usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Whistler during autumn. Ottawa gets 116 hours of sunny skies, while Whistler receives 124 hours of full sun in the autumn.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Whistler. In October, Ottawa usually receives less rain than Whistler. Ottawa gets 75 mm (3 in) of rain, while Whistler receives 164 mm (6.5 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Ottawa 9°C (48°F) 
    Whistler 11°C (51°F)

Should I visit Ottawa or Whistler in the Winter?

Both Whistler and Ottawa during the winter are popular places to visit.

The weather in Whistler can be very cold. Ottawa can be very cold during winter. Ottawa is much colder than Whistler in the winter. The daily temperature in Ottawa averages around -10°C (14°F) in January, and Whistler fluctuates around 4°C (40°F).

In the winter, Ottawa often gets more sunshine than Whistler. Ottawa gets 93 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Whistler receives 55 hours of full sun.

Whistler gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Ottawa usually gets less rain in January than Whistler. Ottawa gets 51 mm (2 in) of rain, while Whistler receives 167 mm (6.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Ottawa -10°C (14°F) 
    Whistler 4°C (40°F)

Should I visit Ottawa or Whistler in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Ottawa and Whistler.

In the spring, Ottawa is cooler than Whistler. Typically, the spring temperatures in Ottawa in April average around 6°C (44°F), and Whistler averages at about 9°C (49°F).

Ottawa usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Whistler during spring. Ottawa gets 180 hours of sunny skies, while Whistler receives 172 hours of full sun in the spring.

Whistler receives a lot of rain in the spring. In April, Ottawa usually receives less rain than Whistler. Ottawa gets 65 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Whistler receives 110 mm (4.3 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Ottawa 6°C (44°F) 
    Whistler 9°C (49°F)

Typical Weather for Whistler and Ottawa

Ottawa Whistler
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -10°C (14°F) 51 mm (2 in) 4°C (40°F) 167 mm (6.6 in)
Feb -9°C (16°F) 50 mm (2 in) 6°C (42°F) 179 mm (7.1 in)
Mar -2°C (28°F) 57 mm (2.2 in) 7°C (45°F) 142 mm (5.6 in)
Apr 6°C (44°F) 65 mm (2.6 in) 9°C (49°F) 110 mm (4.3 in)
May 13°C (56°F) 77 mm (3 in) 13°C (55°F) 81 mm (3.2 in)
Jun 19°C (65°F) 84 mm (3.3 in) 16°C (60°F) 66 mm (2.6 in)
Jul 21°C (71°F) 87 mm (3.4 in) 18°C (64°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)
Aug 20°C (68°F) 88 mm (3.5 in) 18°C (64°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Sep 15°C (59°F) 84 mm (3.3 in) 15°C (59°F) 73 mm (2.9 in)
Oct 9°C (48°F) 75 mm (3 in) 11°C (51°F) 164 mm (6.5 in)
Nov 2°C (36°F) 81 mm (3.2 in) 7°C (44°F) 234 mm (9.2 in)
Dec -7°C (20°F) 73 mm (2.9 in) 4°C (40°F) 198 mm (7.8 in)