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

Should you visit Vancouver or Whistler?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Vancouver and Whistler. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Vancouver or Whistler?

Vancouver

Vancouver is a beautiful and cosmopolitan city in Western Canada. It is also the largest city in British Columbia, and is dramatically positioned between the coast and mountains. It's a very international city, with a high level of energy and countless activites that you can enjoy while you're in town. In addition to offering all of the activities and entertainment of a modern city, it is also in jumping off distance to any number of outdoor activities.

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 10-Day Tours from Vancouver, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Canada, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Canada, and The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Canada.


Which place is cheaper, Whistler or Vancouver?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Vancouver is $141, 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 Vancouver and Whistler in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Vancouver $87
    Whistler $65
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Vancouver $174
    Whistler $130
Compare Hotels in Vancouver and Whistler

Looking for a hotel in Vancouver 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 Vancouver


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: Vancouver Hotel Prices and Whistler Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Vancouver $12
    Whistler $20
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Vancouver

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Vancouver are as follows:


  • SkyTrain from Airport
    $6.35
  • Taxi from Airport to Downtown
    $21
  • 15 min Taxi Ride
    $8.71
  • SkyTrain DayPass
    $6.53

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Vancouver

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

  • Private Departure Transfer to Vancouver Airport (YVR): $32
  • Vancouver Airport (YVR) to White Rock - Arrival Private Transfer: $46
  • White Rock to Vancouver Airport (YVR) - Departure Private Transfer: $46
  • Vancouver to Canada Place Cruise Port Departure Private Transfer: $55
  • Canada Place Port to Vancouver Airport(YVR) - Departure Transfer : $55
  • Vancouver Airport (YVR) to Canada Place Port - Arrival Transfer: $55
  • City Highlights Tour with Hotel Transfers: $57
  • Vancouver to Victoria: Ferry with Bus Transfer: $72
  • Vancouver to Victoria, Coach Bus Transfer: $74
  • Private Transfer from Canada Place Cruise Terminal to any Hotel: $75
  • Departure Private Transfer Vancouver to YVR Airport or Cruise Port- Business Car: $85
  • Vancouver Airport (YVR) to Vancouver hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $87

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Whistler

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Whistler:

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Vancouver or Whistler?

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

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Vancouver:


  • All You Can Eat Sushi Lunch
    $8.80

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Vancouver

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

  • 3 Hours Walking Food Tour at Vancouver, British Columbia: $79
  • A Wok Around Food Tour of the Granville Island Public Market: $84
  • The Gastwon Experience Walking Food Tour: $84
  • Gastown Historic Walking Food Tour: $96
  • Vancouver Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $101
  • Private Historical Food Tour of Gastown : $108
  • VIP Access Granville Island Market Walking Food Tour: $111
  • Vancouver Authentic Chinese Food Tour: $134
  • Authentic Asian Eats Walking Food Tour: $141
  • 3-Hour Bowen Island Boat Cruise with Dinner: $152
  • Vancouver Evening Dinner Cruise: $158
  • Granville Island Uncorked Walking Food Tour: $160

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.
    Vancouver $36
    Whistler $78

Tours and Activities in Vancouver

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Vancouver.

  • Vancouver self-guided tour App - multilingual AudioGuide: $4.26
  • Self-Guided Smartphone Walking Tour of Gastown: $4.71
  • Self-Guided Smartphone Walking Tour of Gastown: $4.85
  • Discover Stanley Park with a Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $5.07
  • Fort Langley: a Film & Television Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $5.22
  • Cycling the Seawall: A Self-Guided Audio Tour Along the Stanley Park Seawall: $5.46
  • 3-Hour Tips-Based Walking Tour of Vancouver: $5.49
  • Walking Tour Along Stanley Park's Seawall: $6.72
  • Vancouver Downtown: Espionage Adventure Outdoor Escape Game: $6.92
  • Self-Guided Smartphone Tour of Stanley Park: $7.25
  • Self-Guided Smartphone Walking Tours of Stanley Park: $7.46
  • VanDusen Botanical Garden Admission Ticket: $7.69

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:

  • 2 Hour Late Afternoon Winter Zipline Adventure: $112
  • Call of the Wild ATV Tour: $156
  • Callaghan Cruiser Snowmobile Tour : $211
  • Fishing Adventure in Whistler: $141
  • Full Day Fly Fishing Tour: $252
  • Full Day Spin Fishing Tour: $250
  • Glacier Sightseeing Experience by Seaplane from Whistler: $179
  • Guided Lunch Tour in Whistler: $89
  • Half Day Fly Fishing Tour: $195
  • Half Day Spin Fishing Tour: $195
  • Ice Fishing Adventure in Whistler: $141
  • Medicine Trail Snowshoe Tour : $109

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Vancouver $16
    Whistler $8.72

Sample the Local Flavors in Vancouver

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Vancouver:

  • Gastown Pub Crawl: $22
  • Vancouver - Granville Pub Crawl: $25
  • 3.5-Hour Craft Brewery Tour: $83
  • Vancouver Craft Brewery Tour Led by a Local: $90
  • Vancouver Behind-the-Scenes Brewery Tour: $93
  • Taste of the Valley Wine Tour: $126
  • Fraser Valley Wine Tour: $134
  • Fraser Valley Wine Tour with a light Lunch from Vancouver: $134
  • Vancouver Wine Tour (Fraser Valley): $134
  • From Half-Day Fraser Valley Wine Tour: $137
  • Stawamus Chief Hike and Local Brewery Tasting: $163
  • Stawamus Chief Hike & Local Brewery Tasting : $168

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 Vancouver and Whistler, we can see that Vancouver 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 Vancouver Expensive? and Is Whistler Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Vancouver or Whistler?

Vancouver has a larger population, and is about 170 times larger than the population of Whistler. When comparing the sizes of Vancouver 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 Vancouver 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 Vancouver or Whistler in the Summer?

Both Whistler and Vancouver during the summer are popular places to visit.

Vancouver is around the same temperature as Whistler in the summer. The daily temperature in Vancouver averages around 18°C (64°F) in July, and Whistler fluctuates around 18°C (64°F).

In Whistler, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Vancouver. In the summer, Vancouver often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Whistler. Vancouver gets 296 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Whistler receives 296 hours of full sun.

Vancouver usually gets around the same amount of rain in July as Whistler. Vancouver gets 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain, while Whistler receives 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Vancouver 18°C (64°F) 
    Whistler 18°C (64°F)

Should I visit Vancouver or Whistler in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Vancouver and Whistler.

In the autumn, Vancouver is around the same temperature as Whistler. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Vancouver in October average around 11°C (51°F), and Whistler averages at about 11°C (51°F).

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

Whistler receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Vancouver gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Vancouver usually receives around the same amount of rain as Whistler. Vancouver gets 164 mm (6.5 in) of rain, while Whistler receives 164 mm (6.5 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Vancouver 11°C (51°F) 
    Whistler 11°C (51°F)

Should I visit Vancouver or Whistler in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Vancouver as well as Whistler.

It's quite cold in Whistler in the winter. The weather in Vancouver can be very cold. In January, Vancouver is generally around the same temperature as Whistler. Daily temperatures in Vancouver average around 4°C (40°F), and Whistler fluctuates around 4°C (40°F).

In the winter, Vancouver often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Whistler. Vancouver gets 55 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Whistler receives 55 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Whistler. Vancouver receives a lot of rain in the winter. Vancouver usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Whistler. Vancouver gets 167 mm (6.6 in) of rain, while Whistler receives 167 mm (6.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Vancouver 4°C (40°F) 
    Whistler 4°C (40°F)

Should I visit Vancouver or Whistler in the Spring?

Both Whistler and Vancouver are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities.

Vancouver is around the same temperature as Whistler in the spring. The daily temperature in Vancouver averages around 9°C (49°F) in April, and Whistler fluctuates around 9°C (49°F).

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

It rains a lot this time of the year in Whistler. It's quite rainy in Vancouver. In April, Vancouver usually receives around the same amount of rain as Whistler. Vancouver gets 110 mm (4.3 in) of rain, while Whistler receives 110 mm (4.3 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Vancouver 9°C (49°F) 
    Whistler 9°C (49°F)

Typical Weather for Whistler and Vancouver

Vancouver Whistler
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 4°C (40°F) 167 mm (6.6 in) 4°C (40°F) 167 mm (6.6 in)
Feb 6°C (42°F) 179 mm (7.1 in) 6°C (42°F) 179 mm (7.1 in)
Mar 7°C (45°F) 142 mm (5.6 in) 7°C (45°F) 142 mm (5.6 in)
Apr 9°C (49°F) 110 mm (4.3 in) 9°C (49°F) 110 mm (4.3 in)
May 13°C (55°F) 81 mm (3.2 in) 13°C (55°F) 81 mm (3.2 in)
Jun 16°C (60°F) 66 mm (2.6 in) 16°C (60°F) 66 mm (2.6 in)
Jul 18°C (64°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 18°C (64°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)
Aug 18°C (64°F) 45 mm (1.8 in) 18°C (64°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Sep 15°C (59°F) 73 mm (2.9 in) 15°C (59°F) 73 mm (2.9 in)
Oct 11°C (51°F) 164 mm (6.5 in) 11°C (51°F) 164 mm (6.5 in)
Nov 7°C (44°F) 234 mm (9.2 in) 7°C (44°F) 234 mm (9.2 in)
Dec 4°C (40°F) 198 mm (7.8 in) 4°C (40°F) 198 mm (7.8 in)