A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Fort Lauderdale vs. Panama City for Resorts, Beaches, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Fort Lauderdale or Panama City?

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 Fort Lauderdale and Panama City. 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.

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is a spirited, luxury, and high energy coastal city. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the shopping, nightlife, and food.

Panama City

Panama City is a fun-filled, active, and cosmopolitan beach town. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It's also known for live music, food, and beaches.

Fort Lauderdale and Panama City: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Great resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
Cons
  • Not as many resort options
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less walkable


How is Fort Lauderdale different from Panama City?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Panama City and Fort Lauderdale. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Panama City Better for Food?

Fort Lauderdale
Panama City

Both Fort Lauderdale and Panama City offer a number of unique restaurants to choose from.

Fort Lauderdale offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. Seafood is the obvious option with popular dishes being fish tacos, sea bass, and scallop risotto.

Panama City has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. Fried seafood is popular when eating out.


Is Fort Lauderdale or Panama City Better for Nightlife?

Fort Lauderdale
Panama City

It's hard to distinguish whether Fort Lauderdale or Panama City has a better nightlife scene.

The people in Fort Lauderdale know how to have a good time. Most people head to the beach, Las Olas Blvd, River Front and The New Hard Rock Seminole Hotel Complex for the best bars and clubs.

The nightlife in Panama City has something for everybody. The nightlife is particular crazy during spring break, when the town fills with students. Head to the famous Club La Vela or Spinnaker for music and fun at night.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Panama City Better for Resorts?

Fort Lauderdale
Panama City

With generally more resort options, Fort Lauderdale attracts a high number of vacationers.

Vacationers flock to Fort Lauderdale for its luxury resorts. Luxury beachfront resorts are plentiful in the area. Several of the most impressive include the Ritz-Carlton, W Fort Lauderdale, and the Dalmar.

With a selection of resorts, Panama City makes a nice vacation spot. Most people stay in condos that are VRBO's or Airbnbs, but there are resorts in the area as well.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Panama City Better for Beaches?

Fort Lauderdale
Panama City

Fort Lauderdale and Panama City both offer beautiful beaches.

Fort Lauderdale offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. With seven miles of beautiful sandy beaches, a fun boardwalk, and impressive views, the beaches here are among the best in the area.

Panama City is considered a top beach destination. With miles of long white sand beaches and crystal blue waters, this areas beaches offer a beautiful escape.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Panama City Better for Shopping?

Fort Lauderdale
Panama City

Shopping is a popular activity in both Panama City and Fort Lauderdale.

Fort Lauderdale is a great destination for shopping. For interesting local boutiques head to Las Olas Boulevard and for name brand stores you'll want to visit Sawgrass Mills Mall.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Panama City. There are a number of malls and shopping centers in the area.


Is Fort Lauderdale or Panama City Better for Families?

Fort Lauderdale
Panama City

Both Fort Lauderdale and Panama City are family-friendly destinations.

Fort Lauderdale is a very family-friendly place to visit. With seven miles of beautiful sandy beaches and a number of kid-oriented activities the kids will be entertained. Fun activities include Bluefoot Pirate Adventures, Butterfly World, and Funderdome.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Panama City is a very family-friendly destination. This area has large sandy beaches, waterparks, amusement parks, and marine parks.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Panama City Better for Couples?

Fort Lauderdale
Panama City

Fort Lauderdale offers a wider variety of romantic activities for couples than Panama City.

Fort Lauderdale is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. Fine dining, beautiful beaches, and great shopping make for a great romantic getaway. Couples and honeymooners love relaxing at the beaches in Fort Lauderdale.

Panama City makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The beautiful beaches and romantic restaurants make for a great romantic getaway.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Panama City a more walkable city?

Fort Lauderdale
Panama City

Fort Lauderdale is generally more walkable than Panama City.

Fort Lauderdale is very walkable. It is one of the most walkable Florida communities with a boardwalk and several pedestrian areas that are fun to wander around.

Panama City is not a very walkable coastal city. There's often construction and the streets aren't designed for pedestrians.

Should I spend more time in Panama City or Fort Lauderdale?

How long in Fort Lauderdale or Panama City?

Both Fort Lauderdale and Panama City have a number of activities to choose from. You can spend a similar amount of time exploring either.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Fort Lauderdale is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Panama City is 3-7 days.


  • How many days in Fort Lauderdale or Panama City? Ideal Length of Stay
    Fort Lauderdale 3-7 
    Panama City 3-7

One day in Fort Lauderdale or Panama City?

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the scenic coastal city of Fort Lauderdale. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Most people visit for the beaches. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

The cosmopolitan destination of Panama City offers nightlife and live music. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.


A weekend in Fort Lauderdale or Panama City?

Visitors enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the scenic destination of Fort Lauderdale. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This coastal city offers something for everyone. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

The beach town of Panama City offers live music and food. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Five days in Fort Lauderdale or Panama City?

Visitors enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the luxury coastal city of Fort Lauderdale. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. Many people spend five days here.If you enjoy all that's offered here, then five days is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Panama City is a great place to explore. It's also a great beach destination, too. This beach town offers something for everyone. It is common to spend five days here. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.

A week in Fort Lauderdale or Panama City?

Visitors enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting the destination of Fort Lauderdale. Anyone can find something fun to do here. This is a popular place to visit for one week. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. Most people visit for the beaches. In one week, you should have a good grasp of this coastal city.

The active beach town of Panama City offers shopping and nightlife. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. For many, it makes a great getaway for one week. Because of this, one week is usually enough time for a trip here.

Which city is cheaper, Panama City or Fort Lauderdale?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Fort Lauderdale is $146, while the average daily cost in Panama City is $179. 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 Fort Lauderdale and Panama City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Fort Lauderdale $77
    Panama City $103
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Fort Lauderdale $154
    Panama City $206
Compare Hotels in Fort Lauderdale and Panama City

Looking for a hotel in Fort Lauderdale or Panama City? 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 Fort Lauderdale


Hotels in Panama City


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: Fort Lauderdale Hotel Prices and Panama City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Fort Lauderdale $41
    Panama City $38

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Fort Lauderdale

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Fort Lauderdale:

  • Arrival Private Transfers from Fort Lauderdale Airport FLL to Hollywood: $103
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Fort Lauderdale Airport FLL to Hollywood: $117
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Fort Lauderdale Airport FLL to Hollywood: $100
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Fort Lauderdale Airport FLL to Hollywood: $77
  • Florida Transfers and Tours: $150
  • Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) Private Arrival Transfer: $77
  • Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) to Boca Raton - Arrival Private Transfer: $98
  • Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) to Boca Raton - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $197
  • Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) to Boynton Beach - Arrival Private Transfer: $137
  • Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) to Boynton Beach - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $274
  • Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) to Coral Gables - Arrival Private Transfer: $71
  • Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) to Coral Gables - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $142

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Panama City

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Panama City:

  • Airport Private Transfer Tocumen Direct to Panama City: $18
  • Airport Transfer Service: $25
  • Departure Private Business Transfer: Panama City to Panama PTY or PAC Airport: $63
  • Departure Private Transfer Panama City to Panama Airport BLB by SUV: $104
  • Departure Private Transfer Panama City to Panama Airport BLB by Sedan Car: $58
  • Departure Private Transfer Panama City to Panama PTY or PAC Airport by Sedan Car: $40
  • Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport One Way Transfer: $80
  • Panama City Private Arrival Transfer: $43
  • Panama City Private Departure Transfer: $43
  • Private Airport Transfer: Panama City to Tocumen International Airport (PTY): $19
  • Private Airport Transfer: Tocumen International Airport (PTY) to Panama City: $19
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Panama City to Panama Pacifico Airport (BLB): $25

Is it cheaper to fly into Fort Lauderdale or Panama City?

Prices for flights to both Panama City and Fort Lauderdale 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
    Fort Lauderdale $39
    Panama City $53
Typical Food prices in Fort Lauderdale

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


  • Quick Lunch
    $12

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Fort Lauderdale

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

  • All You Can Eat BBQ Dinner and Show at Tropical Isle with Sightseeing Cruise: $60

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Panama City

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

  • Food Tour - Panama Gastronomy: $102
  • Casco Antiguo Sunset Walking Tour with Dinner: $170
  • The 'Real' Panamanian Private Food Tour: $200
  • Whale Watching + Beach + Seafood Dinner - BEST VALUE IN PANAMA: $205

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Fort Lauderdale $12
    Panama City $15

Tours and Activities in Fort Lauderdale

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

  • Beach Cruiser Bike Rentals in Fort Lauderdale: $11
  • Fort Lauderdale Historical Walking Tour: $12
  • 1-Hour Interactive Pirate Adventure Cruise in Fort Lauderdale (Family-Friendly): $23
  • 90-Minute Narrated Sightseeing Cruises: $23
  • Fort Lauderdale Daily Sightseeing Cruise - On the Venice of America: $27
  • Everglades Eco Adventure: 2-Hour Sawgrass Recreation Park: $28
  • Jungle Queen Sightseeing Cruise: $33
  • Everglades Airboat Tour & Gator Boys Alligator Rescue Show from Fort Lauderdale: $37
  • Ft Lauderdale Cocktail Cruise: $45
  • Island Time Boat Cruise: $45
  • 1-Hour Bike Tour of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park: $47
  • SUP PUP Paddleboard Tour: $47

Tours and Activities in Panama City

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

  • Casco Antiguo Virtual Live Tour: $12
  • Skip the Line: Panama La Vieja Admission Ticket: $15
  • Dolphin Sightseeing Tour on The Footloose Catamaran from Panama City Beach: $25
  • Sea Breeze Champagne Adventure: $28
  • Panama City and Canal Tour ( Centro de Visitante de Miraflores): $31
  • Panama City Beach: Gulf World Marine Park Entrance Ticket: $36
  • Private Panama Canal Tour: $41
  • Shopping Tour in Panama: $42
  • Tour Colonial Panama: $42
  • Panama Viejo Ruins Sightseeing Tour: $43
  • Panama City Tour highlight: $45
  • Panama City Sunset E-Bike Adventure: $48

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Fort Lauderdale $27
    Panama City $45
Typical Alcohol prices in Fort Lauderdale

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Fort Lauderdale are as follows:


  • Beer
    $7.30

Sample the Local Flavors in Fort Lauderdale

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Fort Lauderdale:

  • Party Bike Bar Crawl: $59

Sample the Local Flavors in Panama City

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

  • Panama Bar Crawl (private): $33


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Fort Lauderdale and Panama City, we can see that Panama City is more expensive. And not only is Fort Lauderdale much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Fort Lauderdale would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Fort Lauderdale 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 Panama City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Panama City than you might in Fort Lauderdale.


When is the best time to visit Fort Lauderdale or Panama City?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Fort Lauderdale or Panama City in the Summer?

Both Panama City and Fort Lauderdale are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Fort Lauderdale in the summer for the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Panama City for the beaches, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In the summer, Fort Lauderdale is around the same temperature as Panama City. Typically, the summer temperatures in Fort Lauderdale in July are around 83°F (28°C), and Panama City is about 82°F (28°C).

It's quite sunny in Panama City. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale usually receives more sunshine than Panama City during summer. Fort Lauderdale gets 316 hours of sunny skies, while Panama City receives 283 hours of full sun in the summer.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Panama City. It's quite rainy in Fort Lauderdale. In July, Fort Lauderdale usually receives less rain than Panama City. Fort Lauderdale gets 5.9 inches (149 mm) of rain, while Panama City receives 7.3 inches (184 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Fort Lauderdale 83°F (28°C) 
    Panama City 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Fort Lauderdale or Panama City in the Autumn?

Both Panama City and Fort Lauderdale during the autumn are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Fort Lauderdale for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Panama City because of the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Fort Lauderdale is generally a little warmer than Panama City. Temperatures in Fort Lauderdale average around 78°F (26°C), and Panama City stays around 71°F (22°C).

In Panama City, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Fort Lauderdale. In the autumn, Fort Lauderdale often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Panama City. Fort Lauderdale gets 275 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Panama City receives 256 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale usually gets more rain in October than Panama City. Fort Lauderdale gets 5.6 inches (143 mm) of rain, while Panama City receives 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Fort Lauderdale 78°F (26°C) 
    Panama City 71°F (22°C)

Should I visit Fort Lauderdale or Panama City in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Fort Lauderdale and Panama City. The winter months attract visitors to Fort Lauderdale because of the shopping scene and the cuisine. Also, the shopping scene and the cuisine are the main draw to Panama City this time of year.

Fort Lauderdale is much warmer than Panama City in the winter. The temperature in Fort Lauderdale is usually 67°F (20°C) in January, and Panama City stays around 52°F (11°C).

In Fort Lauderdale, it's very sunny this time of the year. Fort Lauderdale usually receives more sunshine than Panama City during winter. Fort Lauderdale gets 243 hours of sunny skies, while Panama City receives 185 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Fort Lauderdale usually receives less rain than Panama City. Fort Lauderdale gets 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain, while Panama City receives 3.9 inches (99 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Fort Lauderdale 67°F (20°C) 
    Panama City 52°F (11°C)

Should I visit Fort Lauderdale or Panama City in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Fort Lauderdale as well as Panama City. The beaches and the natural beauty are the main draw to Fort Lauderdale this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Panama City for the beaches and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Fort Lauderdale is a little warmer than Panama City. Typically, the spring temperatures in Fort Lauderdale in April are around 75°F (24°C), and Panama City is about 68°F (20°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Panama City. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Fort Lauderdale this time of the year. In the spring, Fort Lauderdale often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Panama City. Fort Lauderdale gets 300 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Panama City receives 295 hours of full sun.

Fort Lauderdale usually gets more rain in April than Panama City. Fort Lauderdale gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Panama City receives 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Fort Lauderdale 75°F (24°C) 
    Panama City 68°F (20°C)

Typical Weather for Panama City and Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale Panama City
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 67°F (20°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Feb 68°F (20°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Mar 72°F (22°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 61°F (16°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
Apr 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 68°F (20°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
May 79°F (26°C) 6.4 inches (162 mm) 74°F (24°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 9.4 inches (238 mm) 80°F (27°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm)
Jul 83°F (28°C) 5.9 inches (149 mm) 82°F (28°C) 7.3 inches (184 mm)
Aug 83°F (28°C) 7.5 inches (191 mm) 82°F (28°C) 7.5 inches (191 mm)
Sep 82°F (28°C) 7.6 inches (194 mm) 79°F (26°C) 7.5 inches (192 mm)
Oct 78°F (26°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm) 71°F (22°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm)
Nov 73°F (23°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 63°F (17°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm)
Dec 69°F (21°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 56°F (13°C) 4.1 inches (104 mm)


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Fort Lauderdale vs. Panama City Travel Comparison

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