A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Key West vs. Miami for Food, Nightlife, Resorts, and Beaches

Should you visit Key West or Miami?

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

Should I visit Key West or Miami? 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.

Key West

Key West is a quaint, laid-back, and bustling town. Don't miss this spot, as it's a charming small town with plenty of activities. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. With a quaint atmosphere, it also offers a unique feeling. It's also known for scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and nightlife.

Miami

Miami is a glamorous, exciting, and diverse beach city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. And you can't forget about the food, beaches, and shopping.

How is Key West different from Miami?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Key West or Miami better for Food?

Most foodies will appreciate the options in Miami a bit more than Key West.

For foodies, Miami is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. The city's food scene is as diverse as its population. It is known for its Stone Crabs, fish sandwiches, Cuban sandwiches, and Key Lime pie.

Key West offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. The town is known for its stone crabs, conch fritters, and Mahi Mahi sandwiches.


Is Key West or Miami better for Nightlife?

Evening events are similar in both Key West and Miami.

Key West has plenty to do after the sun goes down. This area has some of the most lively nightlife in the Florida Keys. There are quirky bars and fun hangouts where you can spend the evening.

Miami has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. From the posh nightlife clubs in South Beach, to the local salsa dancing venues in Little Havana, Miami is a city that thrives with energy.

Is Key West or Miami better for Resorts?

Key West and Miami offer a relatively similar set of luxury resort options.

Key West is known as a popular and fun resort destination. There are a number of high end resorts around the island, many with recognizable names such as the Hyatt and Hilton. Prices can be high, but these resorts often come with reliable luxury.

If you're looking for a fantastic resort destination, Miami is a perfect choice. Known for it's luxury, you'll find many resorts in the area. Popular options include The Ritz-Carlton South Beach, Fontainebleau, and Carillon Miami.

Is Key West or Miami better for Beaches?

For a relaxing beach holiday, both Key West and Miami are good choices.

Key West is considered a top beach destination. One of the best beaches in the area is Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park. The beach has soft sand and stunning turquoise water. As is typical in the Keys, the water stays shallow for great distances.

Many people head to Miami to enjoy the beach. If you're looking for long sandy beaches, luxury yacht clubs, and fine dining restaurants, the area's beaches have them all.

Is Key West or Miami better for Shopping?

Miami often provides a better shopping experience than Key West.

The abundance of shops in Miami make it a world-class shopping destination. The city has every high end brand you could want, along with diverse neighborhoods with local finds and unique purchases.

Key West is a good destination for shopping. While it definitely has its share of gimmicky souvenir shops and t-shirt stores, there are still a number of art galleries and local shops around Key West where you can enjoy shopping.


Is Key West or Miami better for Families?

There's generally more to do with your family in Key West than Miami.

Key West is a very kid-friendly town. Families that enjoy snorkeling, aquariums, water sports, and exploring new places will enjoy visiting here.

Miami doesn't usually come to mind when thinking about kid-friendly destinations. Because it's so big, you'll find some kid-friendly options in the area. There are kid-friendly museums and activities around the city.

Is Key West or Miami better for Couples?

With fun activities for couples, both Key West and Miami make for a good place to visit.

Key West is a very popular place to visit for couples. From Mallory Square to the beautiful nearby parks, Key West makes a wonderful, romantic destination. Whether it's your honeymoon, an anniversary, or simply a couples' retreat, Key West is a great option.

Couples visit Miami frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. For couples who love nightlife, wining and dining, and high end beach clubs, this is the place to be.

Is Key West or Miami better for Public Transit?

While Key West and Miami both provide public transit, overall the system in Miami is considered to be better.

Miami has a few public transit options. There's an elevated metrorail as well as buses around the city.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Key West. Public transportation in Key West is limited to a few buses.

Is Key West or Miami a more walkable city?

Key West and Miami both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Key West is a somewhat walkable place. The town is the most walkable part of the Florida Keys. The area around Mallory Square and Duval Street is the most pedestrian friendly.

Miami is very walkable. Many parts of city are surprisingly walkable and pedestrian friendly, allowing you to eat out, go shopping, or explore without the need for a car.


Key West and Miami: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable
Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Popular beach
  • Good for shopping
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less family-friendly


Should I spend more time in Miami or Key West?

How long in Key West or Miami?

Both Key West and Miami 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 Key West is 5-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Miami is 7 days.


  • How many days in Key West or Miami? Ideal Length of Stay
    Key West 5-7 
    Miami 7

One day in Key West or Miami?

In Key West, many people enjoy the nightlife and food that this quaint destination offers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. This town 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.

Miami is a big city with plenty to do. It's also a relaxing resort destination. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Key West or Miami?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Key West. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. 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.

Miami is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.

Five days in Key West or Miami?

Key West is a fun place to experience. 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.

Miami is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Miami, five days is sufficent for most. The entire area has lots to do.

A week in Key West or Miami?

In Key West, many people enjoy the nightlife and food that this lively destination offers. Plenty of people spend one week here when traveling. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. One week is often enough time to spend here.

Miami is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Miami has to offer. This beach city offers something for everyone.

Which city is cheaper, Miami or Key West?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Key West is $441, while the average daily cost in Miami is $165. 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 Key West and Miami in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Key West $106
    Miami $106
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Key West $212
    Miami $212

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Key West $41
    Miami $32
Typical Local Transportation prices in Key West

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Key West:


  • Rental Car for One Day
    $38

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Key West

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Key West:

  • Key West International Airport One Way Transfer: $53
  • Miami & One-Way Transfer by Motor Coach Bus: $54
  • Private Airport Transfer in Key West, Florida: $209
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Key West Airport to Hotel: $116
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Key West Airport: $116
  • Round-Trip Transfer: Fort Lauderdale to Key West: $198

Typical Local Transportation prices in Miami

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


  • Car Rental for a Day
    $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Miami

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Miami:

  • Transfers to Port of Miami: $28
  • Luxury Airport Transfer from Miami International Airport: $33
  • Private Departure Transfer: Miami City or Miami Beach to Miami Airport: $37
  • Private Arrival Transfer: MIA Miami Airport to Miami City or Miami Beach: $37
  • Miami Airport Transfer To Miami Area: $40
  • Private Airport Transfer: Miami International Airport (MIA) to Miami: $41
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Miami to Miami International Airport (MIA): $41
  • Miami Private Airport Transfer: $44
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Miami Downtown to Miami Airport: $46
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Miami Airport to Miami Downtown: $46
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Miami Airport to Miami Beach: $46
  • Private Miami International Airport (MIA) Transfer: $48

Is it cheaper to fly into Key West or Miami?

Prices for flights to both Miami and Key West 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
    Key West $308
    Miami $33

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Key West

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Key West.

  • Key West Sunset Dinner Cruise with Tropical Buffet: $68
  • Sunset Cruise with Buffet Dinner and Open Bar: $90
  • Private Secret Food Tour of Key West: $103
  • Secret Food Tour of Key West w/ Private Tour Option: $221

Typical Food prices in Miami

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


  • Lunch with Drinks (for 2)
    $45
  • David's Cafe Lunch (for 1)
    $16

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Miami

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

  • Little Havana Street Food Tours: $61
  • Haitian Cooking Experience: $85
  • Private Little Havana Cuban Food Tour: $99
  • Private VIP Historical Citywide Food Tour: $159

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Key West $26
    Miami $25

Tours and Activities in Key West

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

  • Self-Guided Bike Tour to Key West Beaches and Back Roads: $7.19
  • Easy Stroll Audio Tour Downtown Key West: $7.99
  • The Ghosts of Key West Walking Tour: $20
  • Key West Scavenger Hunt Adventure Mobile Experience: $21
  • Key West Ghost Tour: $24
  • 6th Sense Haunted Tour of Key West: $25
  • Haunted Walking Tour with Psychic Guide: $27
  • The Dark Side of Key West Ghost Tour: $28
  • Southernmost Key West History and Culture Small-Group Walking Tour: $28
  • Old Town Key West Literary Walking Tour: $30
  • Key West Ghost and Mysteries Guided Tour: $32
  • Southernmost Key West Historical Tour in Small Group: $33

Tours and Activities in Miami

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

  • 1/2 Hour Jet Ski Island Adventure: $5.00
  • Haunted Themed Smartphone Audio Driving Tour: $7.84
  • Miami Dance Cruise: $11
  • Little Havana: Beyond Cuba Tour: $20
  • La Perle de Little Haiti Tour: $20
  • La Perle De Little Haiti Tour: $20
  • Pirates Adventures Sightseeing Tour from Miami: $23
  • Miami Skyline View Cruise: $23
  • Skip the Line: Zoo Miami Ticket with Optional Upgrade: $25
  • Biscayne Bay Boat Tour in Miami: $25
  • Best of Little Havana Miami Tour: $25
  • Sightseeing Cruise of Biscayne Bay: $27

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Key West $13
    Miami $18

Sample the Local Flavors in Key West

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

  • Key West Haunted Pub Crawl and Ghost Tour: $23
  • Yes, Queen! Drag Queen Pub Crawl of Key West: $34
  • Key West Pub Crawl: $35

Typical Alcohol prices in Miami

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


  • Evening at a Bar
    $32

Sample the Local Flavors in Miami

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Miami:

  • Making Your Own Gin Distillery Tour and Tasting Experience: $190


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

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Key West vs. Miami Travel Comparison

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