A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Fort Lauderdale vs. Tampa for Beaches, Couples, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Fort Lauderdale or Tampa?

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 Tampa. 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 scenic, bustling, and spirited coastal city. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and shopping.

Tampa

Tampa is a low-key, laid-back, and easy-going city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. It's also known for beaches.

Fort Lauderdale and Tampa: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Not as popular for scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less walkable


How is Fort Lauderdale different from Tampa?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Fort Lauderdale or Tampa Better for Food?

Fort Lauderdale
Tampa

Both Fort Lauderdale and Tampa 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.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Tampa. Some favorite dishes include fresh caught seafood, Grouper sandwiches, and Cuban sandwiches.


Is Fort Lauderdale or Tampa Better for Nightlife?

Fort Lauderdale
Tampa

Party-goers will usually choose Fort Lauderdale over Tampa.

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.

Tampa doesn't have the most active nightlife scene. The city has some good nightclubs, sports bars, and other spots where locals enjoy spending the evening.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Tampa Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Fort Lauderdale
Tampa

You'll find places where you can go scuba diving or snorkeling in Fort Lauderdale and Tampa.

Grab a mask and fins and explore the underwater scenery in Fort Lauderdale. Popular snorkeling spots nearby include the Vista Park Reef, Pompano Beach, and Hollywood North Beach Park.

There are few places where you can go snorkeling in Tampa. While the water isn't always the clearest, there are some nice snorkeling and diving spots in the area. Options include Shell Key and Egmont Key, Crystal River, and Fort De Soto.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Tampa Better for Beaches?

Fort Lauderdale
Tampa

Fort Lauderdale and Tampa 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.

Tampa is considered a top beach destination. Popular beaches near Tampa include Ben T. Davis Beach, Fred Howard Park, and Indian Rocks Beach.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Tampa Better for Families?

Fort Lauderdale
Tampa

Both Fort Lauderdale and Tampa 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.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Tampa is very family-friendly. The city has a number of kid-oriented attractions including Busch Gardens Amusement Park, several kid-friendly museums, and a number of animal centers, aquariums, and wildlife rescue facilities.


Is Fort Lauderdale or Tampa Better for Couples?

Fort Lauderdale
Tampa

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

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.

Most people don't think of Tampa as a couple's destination. The area does have great restaurants and some fun places to explore.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Tampa a more walkable city?

Fort Lauderdale
Tampa

Fort Lauderdale is generally more walkable than Tampa.

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.

Tampa is generally not a very walkable coastal city. While there are some neighborhoods that are considered walkable, you really need a car if you hope to explore Tampa in depth.

Should I spend more time in Tampa or Fort Lauderdale?

How long in Fort Lauderdale or Tampa?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Fort Lauderdale and Tampa. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Fort Lauderdale than Tampa.

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 Tampa is 2-3 days.


  • How many days in Fort Lauderdale or Tampa? Ideal Length of Stay
    Fort Lauderdale 3-7 
    Tampa 2-3

One day in Fort Lauderdale or Tampa?

In Fort Lauderdale, many people enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping that this high energy destination offers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. Lots of people come for the beaches. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

The low-key destination of Tampa offers . 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 Tampa?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Fort Lauderdale. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

The city of Tampa offers . People usually spend lots of time at the beach. A weekend here is typical. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities.


Five days in Fort Lauderdale or Tampa?

Fort Lauderdale is a fun place to experience. In Fort Lauderdale, many people enjoy the nightlife and food that this destination offers. Lots of people come for the beaches. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Tampa is a great place to explore. It's also a great beach destination, too. This city offers something for everyone. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

A week in Fort Lauderdale or Tampa?

In Fort Lauderdale, many people enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling that this high energy destination offers. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Lots of people come for the beaches. One week is often enough time to do most activities.

Many people enjoy the when visiting Tampa. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Which city is cheaper, Tampa 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 Tampa is $136. 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 Tampa in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Fort Lauderdale $77
    Tampa $68
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Fort Lauderdale $154
    Tampa $136
Compare Hotels in Fort Lauderdale and Tampa

Looking for a hotel in Fort Lauderdale or Tampa? 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 Tampa


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 Tampa Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Fort Lauderdale $41
    Tampa $58

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Fort Lauderdale

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Fort Lauderdale:

  • Transfer in executive car from Fort Lauderdale Airport(FLL) to Miami downtown: $64
  • Transfer in Executive Private Vehicle from Fort Lauderdale City to Airport: $57
  • Transfer in Executive Private Vehicle from Fort Lauderdale Airport to City: $57
  • Transfer from Port Everglades to Miami International Airport: $130
  • Transfer from Port Everglades to Miami Beach: $130
  • Transfer from Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International to Fort Lauderdale: $100
  • Transfer from Fort Lauderdale Airport to Port Of Miami: $125
  • Transfer from Fort Lauderdale Airport to Orlando: $750
  • Transfer from Fort Lauderdale Airport to Miami Beach: $130
  • Transfer from Fort Lauderdale Airport to Miami: $130
  • Transfer From Fort Lauderdale to Airport/Port: $25
  • Round-Trip Transfer in Executive Private Car from-to Airport in Fort Lauderdale: $113

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tampa

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

  • Private Airport Transfer: Tampa International Airport (TPA) to Tampa: $61
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Tampa to Tampa International Airport (TPA): $44
  • Private Arrival Transfer - from Tampa Airport (TPA): $32
  • Private Departure Transfer - to Tampa Airport (TPA): $28
  • Private Tampa Area to Orlando Area Transfer up to 11 One Price Mercedes Sprinter: $300
  • Private Tampa Transfer: Airport to Hotel or Cruise Port: $113
  • Private Tampa Transfer: Cruise Port to Airport or Hotel: $113
  • Private Tampa Transfer: Hotel to Airport or Cruise Port: $113
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Anna Maria Island: $120
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Bradenton: $110
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Land O' Lakes Florida: $60
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Sarasota: $120

Is it cheaper to fly into Fort Lauderdale or Tampa?

Prices for flights to both Tampa 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
    Tampa $34
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

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

Tours and Activities in Fort Lauderdale

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

  • 1 Hour Central Park Guided Electric Bike Tour: $49
  • 1-Hour Bike Tour of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park: $47
  • 1-Hour Interactive Pirate Adventure Cruise in Fort Lauderdale (Family-Friendly): $23
  • 2 Hour Fort Lauderdale Guided Electric Bike Tour: $60
  • 2 Hour Venice Of America Jet Ski Adventure & Exploration Tour of Fort Lauderdale: $225
  • 3 Hour All Inclusive 007 Millionaires Row Jet Ski Adventure Fort Lauderdale: $307
  • 5-Day Miami+Key West+Palm Beach+Fort Lauderdale Tour (Miami Departure)(MIA5-A): $579
  • 90-Minute Narrated Sightseeing Cruises: $23
  • 90-Minute Snorkel & Seabob Underwater Guided Reef Tour in Fort Lauderdale: $139
  • Airport to Cruise Shuttle Private Group Transportation: $580
  • Beach Cruiser Bike Rentals in Fort Lauderdale: $11
  • Champagne Sunset Cruise Ft. Lauderdale: $58

Tours and Activities in Tampa

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

  • 1 Hour Haunted History Walking Tour: $23
  • Skip the Line: The Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay Ticket: $26
  • Tampa Celebrity Homes Boat Tour: $30
  • 1.5-hour Dolphin Sightseeing Cruise from Tampa: $31
  • Tampa History Cruise: $31
  • VIP Ghost Hunters Tour Semi Private: $35
  • Skip the Line: ZooTampa at Lowry Park Admission Ticket: $45
  • Historic Ybor City Food and Drink Walking Tour: $59
  • 2-hour Tiki Boat BYOB Cruise in Tampa: $60
  • Adventure Island Water Park Ticket: $63
  • Tampa Indoor Skydiving Experience with 2 Flights & Personalized Certificate: $70
  • ZooQuarium 1-Day Ticket: $79

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Fort Lauderdale $27
    Tampa $20
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 Tampa

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Tampa:

  • Tampa Bar Hunt: Tampa Takeover Bar Crawl: $12
  • Haunted Tampa Ghost and Pub Walking Tour - Ybor City: $26
  • Private Tampa Brewery Tour - Party Bus: $600


When comparing the travel costs between Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, we can see that Fort Lauderdale 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.


When is the best time to visit Fort Lauderdale or Tampa?

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 Fort Lauderdale or Tampa in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Fort Lauderdale as well as Tampa. The beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Fort Lauderdale this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Tampa for the beaches, snorkeling, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Fort Lauderdale is generally around the same temperature as Tampa. Temperatures in Fort Lauderdale average around 83°F (28°C), and Tampa stays around 82°F (28°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Tampa. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Fort Lauderdale this time of the year. In the summer, Fort Lauderdale often gets more sunshine than Tampa. Fort Lauderdale gets 316 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Tampa receives 265 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Tampa. Fort Lauderdale receives a lot of rain in the summer. Fort Lauderdale usually gets less rain in July than Tampa. Fort Lauderdale gets 5.9 inches (149 mm) of rain, while Tampa receives 8.4 inches (214 mm) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Fort Lauderdale or Tampa in the Autumn?

Both Tampa and Fort Lauderdale are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Fort Lauderdale for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Also, many visitors come to Tampa in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions.

Fort Lauderdale is around the same temperature as Tampa in the autumn. The temperature in Fort Lauderdale is usually 78°F (26°C) in October, and Tampa stays around 75°F (24°C).

It's quite sunny in Tampa. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale usually receives more sunshine than Tampa during autumn. Fort Lauderdale gets 275 hours of sunny skies, while Tampa receives 234 hours of full sun in the autumn.

It's quite rainy in Fort Lauderdale. In October, Fort Lauderdale usually receives more rain than Tampa. Fort Lauderdale gets 5.6 inches (143 mm) of rain, while Tampa receives 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Fort Lauderdale 78°F (26°C) 
    Tampa 75°F (24°C)

Should I visit Fort Lauderdale or Tampa in the Winter?

Both Tampa and Fort Lauderdale during the winter are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Fort Lauderdale in the winter for the shopping scene and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Tampa for the cuisine during these months.

In the winter, Fort Lauderdale is a little warmer than Tampa. Typically, the winter temperatures in Fort Lauderdale in January are around 67°F (20°C), and Tampa is about 60°F (15°C).

In Tampa, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Fort Lauderdale. In the winter, Fort Lauderdale often gets more sunshine than Tampa. Fort Lauderdale gets 243 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Tampa receives 200 hours of full sun.

Fort Lauderdale usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Tampa. Fort Lauderdale gets 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain, while Tampa receives 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Fort Lauderdale 67°F (20°C) 
    Tampa 60°F (15°C)

Should I visit Fort Lauderdale or Tampa in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Fort Lauderdale and Tampa. Most visitors come to Fort Lauderdale for the beaches and the natural beauty during these months. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Tampa because of the beaches and the activities around the city.

In April, Fort Lauderdale is generally around the same temperature as Tampa. Temperatures in Fort Lauderdale average around 75°F (24°C), and Tampa stays around 71°F (22°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Tampa this time of the year. In Fort Lauderdale, it's very sunny this time of the year. Fort Lauderdale usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Tampa during spring. Fort Lauderdale gets 300 hours of sunny skies, while Tampa receives 299 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Fort Lauderdale usually receives more rain than Tampa. Fort Lauderdale gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Tampa receives 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Fort Lauderdale 75°F (24°C) 
    Tampa 71°F (22°C)

Typical Weather for Tampa and Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale Tampa
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 67°F (20°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 60°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm)
Feb 68°F (20°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm) 61°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Mar 72°F (22°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 67°F (19°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Apr 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 71°F (22°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm)
May 79°F (26°C) 6.4 inches (162 mm) 77°F (25°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 9.4 inches (238 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (165 mm)
Jul 83°F (28°C) 5.9 inches (149 mm) 82°F (28°C) 8.4 inches (214 mm)
Aug 83°F (28°C) 7.5 inches (191 mm) 82°F (28°C) 8 inches (203 mm)
Sep 82°F (28°C) 7.6 inches (194 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm)
Oct 78°F (26°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm) 75°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm)
Nov 73°F (23°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 68°F (20°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm)
Dec 69°F (21°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)


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Fort Lauderdale vs. Tampa Travel Comparison

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