A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Gainesville vs. Tampa for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Gainesville or Tampa?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Gainesville or Tampa, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Where Should I go: Gainesville or Tampa?


Home to the University of Florida as well as Santa Fe College, the town of Gainesville has all of the shopping, entertainment, and restaurants that you could want in a college town - plus easy access to a number of outdoor adventures from canoeing, diving, and kayaking to birding, fishing, hiking, and biking. Some of the top features include the Butterfly Rainforest, the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, and Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park.


On the north shore of Tampa Bay, across the water from Saint Peterburg, is the city of Tampa. The city has a population of almost 350,000. The metropolitan area includes Tampa, St. Peterburg, and Clearwater. It has about 2.9 million residents and is the second largest metropolitan area in the state. The city is a popular destination for outdoor activities and in 2008 it was ranked the 5th best outdoor city by Forbes.

Which place is cheaper, Tampa or Gainesville?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Gainesville is $221, while the average daily cost in Tampa 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Gainesville and Tampa in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Gainesville $119
    Tampa $85
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Gainesville $238
    Tampa $170
Compare Hotels in Gainesville and Tampa

Looking for a hotel in Gainesville 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 Gainesville

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: Gainesville Hotel Prices and Tampa Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Gainesville $40
    Tampa $69

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tampa

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

  • Private Departure Transfer - to Tampa Airport (TPA): $28
  • Private Arrival Transfer - from Tampa Airport (TPA): $32
  • Tampa Bay Cruise Port to Tampa Airport (TPA) - Departure Private Transfer: $37
  • Tampa Bay Cruise Port to Tampa Airport (TPA) - Departure Transfer: $38
  • Private Transfer to/from Tampa Airport (TPA): $71
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to Tampa hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $78
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Clearwater: $120
  • Tampa Airport (TPA): Transfer tо Tampa Bay Cruise Port: $199
  • Tampa Bay Cruise Port: Private Transfer to Tampa hotels: $199
  • Tampa Airport (TPA): Private Transfer to Tampa hotel/address: $208
  • Private Transfer from Tampa to Port Canaveral: $454

Is it cheaper to fly into Gainesville or Tampa?

Prices for flights to both Tampa and Gainesville 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 Meals for one day
    Gainesville $70
    Tampa $53
Typical Food prices in Gainesville

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

  • Diner Breakfast for Two
  • Lunch at Chop Stix (for 2)

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tampa

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

  • Ybor City Food Tour On Sundays: $89

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Gainesville $44
    Tampa $20
Typical Entertainment prices in Gainesville

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

  • Manatee Tour for Two
  • Tour Guide Tip

Tours and Activities in Gainesville

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

  • Butterfly Rainforest at Florida Museum of Natural History Ticket: $15
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Gainesville by Operation City Quest: $10

Tours and Activities in Tampa

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

  • Ybor City Immigrant influence Smart Phone guided App (GPS) walking tour: $6.50
  • Tampa Riverwalk: A Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $7.32
  • Tampa Riverwalk a Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $7.99
  • Tampa Terrors Ghost Tour: $26
  • Shared Ybor City Historic Walking Tour: $30
  • Tampa Terrors Ghost Tour By US Ghost Adventures: $30
  • The Official Downtown Tampa Ghost Tour: $30
  • Downtown Tampa Historic Walking Tour: $30
  • Tampa Celebrity Homes Boat Tour: $31
  • Tampa History Cruise: $31
  • 1.5-hour Dolphin Sightseeing Cruise from Tampa: $31
  • Skip the Line: The Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay Ticket: $32

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Gainesville $49
    Tampa $26

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
  • Tampa Terrors Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $27
  • Haunted Tampa Ghost and Pub Walking Tour - Ybor City: $35
  • Tampa Bar Crawl on a 2023 Street Legal Golf Cart: $40
  • Ybor City Brewery Tour by Private Golf Cart: $200
  • Tampa Heights Private Brewery Tour by Custom Golf Cart: $225
  • Tampa Heights Private Brewery Tour by Private Golf Cart: $225

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

Which is Bigger, Gainesville or Tampa?

Tampa is bigger, and its population is about 2.6 times larger than the population of Gainesville. When comparing the population of Gainesville vs. Tampa, 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 and the activities that interest you.

When is the best time to visit Gainesville 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 Gainesville or Tampa in the Summer?

Both Tampa and Gainesville during the summer are popular places to visit. Also, most visitors come to Tampa for the beaches, snorkeling, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In July, Gainesville is generally around the same temperature as Tampa. Daily temperatures in Gainesville average around 81°F (27°C), and Tampa fluctuates around 82°F (28°C).

Tampa gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Gainesville. Gainesville usually gets less rain in July than Tampa. Gainesville gets 6.8 inches (174 mm) of rain, while Tampa receives 8.4 inches (214 mm) of rain this time of the year.

  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Gainesville 81°F (27°C) 
    Tampa 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Tampa in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Gainesville and Tampa. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Tampa because of the city's sights and attractions.

Gainesville is around the same temperature as Tampa in the autumn. The daily temperature in Gainesville averages around 71°F (22°C) in October, and Tampa fluctuates around 75°F (24°C).

In October, Gainesville usually receives less rain than Tampa. Gainesville gets 2 inches (51 mm) of rain, while Tampa receives 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.

  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Gainesville 71°F (22°C) 
    Tampa 75°F (24°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Tampa in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Gainesville as well as Tampa. Also, the cuisine are the main draw to Tampa this time of year.

In the winter, Gainesville is cooler than Tampa. Typically, the winter temperatures in Gainesville in January average around 54°F (12°C), and Tampa averages at about 60°F (15°C).

Gainesville usually gets more rain in January than Tampa. Gainesville gets 2.9 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Tampa receives 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain this time of the year.

  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Gainesville 54°F (12°C) 
    Tampa 60°F (15°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Tampa in the Spring?

Both Tampa and Gainesville are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Also, many travelers come to Tampa for the beaches and the activities around the city.

In April, Gainesville is generally around the same temperature as Tampa. Daily temperatures in Gainesville average around 69°F (20°C), and Tampa fluctuates around 71°F (22°C).

In April, Gainesville usually receives around the same amount of rain as Tampa. Gainesville gets 2 inches (50 mm) of rain, while Tampa receives 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain each month for the spring.

  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Gainesville 69°F (20°C) 
    Tampa 71°F (22°C)

Typical Weather for Tampa and Gainesville

Gainesville Tampa
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 54°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm) 60°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm)
Feb 57°F (14°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm) 61°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Mar 63°F (17°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 67°F (19°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Apr 69°F (20°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 71°F (22°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm)
May 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 77°F (25°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
Jun 80°F (26°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (165 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 82°F (28°C) 8.4 inches (214 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm) 82°F (28°C) 8 inches (203 mm)
Sep 78°F (26°C) 5.5 inches (139 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm)
Oct 71°F (22°C) 2 inches (51 mm) 75°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm)
Nov 63°F (17°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 68°F (20°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm)
Dec 56°F (14°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.
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Gainesville vs. Tampa Travel Comparison

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