A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Key West vs. Orlando for Resorts, Families, Food, and Nightlife

Should you visit Key West or Orlando?

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

Should I visit Key West or Orlando? 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 lively, quaint, and laid-back town. With fun activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Since it has a quaint atmosphere, you'll want to spend time soaking it all in. Other reasons to visit include beaches, nightlife, and food.

Orlando

Orlando is a entertaining, active, and family-friendly city. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and shopping.

How is Key West different from Orlando?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Key West or Orlando better for Food?

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine in both Key West and Orlando.

Visitors will find a budding food scene in Key West. The town is known for its stone crabs, conch fritters, and Mahi Mahi sandwiches.

The food selection is excellent in Orlando. There are a diversity of restaurants on the Disney grounds and nearby. Restaurants can be challenging though, as reservations must be made months in advance.


Is Key West or Orlando better for Nightlife?

Evening events are similar in both Key West and Orlando.

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.

If you're looking for night time activities Orlando has a few options to choose from. If you need a break from the kids, you'll find some of the best nightlife around Orlando at Disney Springs, Wall Street Plaza and Universal CityWalk.

Is Key West or Orlando better for Resorts?

Key West and Orlando 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.

For the ultimate resort vacation, Orlando is a great choice. Disney World is famous for its many iconic resorts. Some of the most popular are the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Port Orleans Resort, and the Grand Floridian Resort.

Is Key West or Orlando better for Shopping?

Orlando often provides a better shopping experience than Key West.

Orlando is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. Shopping is a dream for any Disney enthusiast. There are countless malls and shops, both on and off the Disney grounds, that sell all of the Disney paraphernalia.

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 Orlando better for Families?

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Key West or Orlando.

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

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Orlando is a very family-friendly destination. Known as a theme park capital, here you'll find the iconic Disney World, as well as Universal Studios, SeaWorld and many more.


Is Key West or Orlando better for Couples?

With fun activities for couples, both Key West and Orlando 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.

Orlando is a nice destination for couples. While most people visit the area with family, there is a niche crowd that enjoys honeymooning or vacationing here as a couple. There are many beautiful restaurants and interesting activities that couples can enjoy together.

Is Key West or Orlando better for Public Transit?

Both Key West and Orlando offer public transit options.

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

Public transit is mostly limited in Orlando. If you're staying at a Disney Property, there is excellent transportation around the complex, but otherwise, a car is essential.

Is Key West or Orlando a more walkable city?

Key West is considered more walkable than Orlando.

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.

Orlando is not a very walkable town. The city is sprawling, so unless you stay on the Disney grounds, it's best to rent a car.

Key West and Orlando: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • Less popular for shopping
Pros
  • Good for shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Cons
  • Less walkable


Should I spend more time in Orlando or Key West?

How long in Key West or Orlando?

Both Key West and Orlando 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 Orlando is 7 days.


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

One day in Key West or Orlando?

In Key West, you'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and nightlife. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. This town offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

The city of Orlando offers food and shopping. 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 Orlando?

In Key West, you'll find nightlife and food. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Visiting the old town is also a must. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Orlando 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 Orlando?

Key West is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Key West has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

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

A week in Key West or Orlando?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Key West. It's also a relaxing resort destination. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.

Orlando 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 Orlando has to offer. This city offers something for everyone.

Which city is cheaper, Orlando 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 Orlando is $240. 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 Orlando in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Key West $106
    Orlando $112
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Key West $212
    Orlando $224

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Key West $41
    Orlando $48
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:

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

Typical Local Transportation prices in Orlando

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


  • Parking
    $14
  • Taxi Ride
    $45

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Orlando

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

  • Orlando Attractions Roundtrip Transfer: $19
  • Private Departure Transfer to Orlando Sanford Airport (SFB): $24
  • Private Arrival Transfer - from Orlando Sanford Airport (SFB): $24
  • Shared Orlando Cruise Port Transfer: Airport to Port: $32
  • Shared Orlando Cruise Port Transfer: Port to Airport: $32
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Orlando to Orlando International Airport (MCO): $39
  • Private Airport Transfer: Orlando International Airport (MCO) to Orlando: $39
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Orlando Int. Airport (MCO) to Walt Disney World: $39
  • Disney World Resort to Orlando Airport MCO. Private Transfer Up to 4 pax: $45
  • Disney World or Universal Studios transfer to Orlando Airport MCO up to 4 pax: $45
  • Orlando (MCO) Airport transfer to / from Orlando area hotels (One Way) Regular: $52
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Orlando Airport to Hotel: $53

Is it cheaper to fly into Key West or Orlando?

Prices for flights to both Orlando 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
    Orlando $50

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 Orlando

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


  • Lunch for Two at Epcot
    $29

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Orlando

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

  • The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show, Orlando: $34
  • Mango's Tropical Cafe Orlando Dinner and Show Ticket: $50
  • The Rock Dinner Show in Orlando: $51
  • Food Tour of Celebration: $55
  • Pirates Dinner Adventure Orlando: $57

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Key West $26
    Orlando $163

Tours and Activities in Key West

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

  • 2 Hour Private Highlights of Key West Walking Tour: $99
  • 2-Hour Private Sunset Cruise around Key West: $200
  • 2-Hour Private Sunset Cruise on Tiki Bar Boat in Key West: $457
  • 4-Hour Private Sand Bar Cruise on a Tiki Bar Boat in Key West: $565
  • 6th Sense Haunted Tour of Key West: $25
  • Adults only Champagne Celebration Sunset Cruise from Key West: $79
  • All-Inclusive Water Adventure Excursion in Key West: $129
  • Booze Cruise Key West Private Charter: $248
  • Cultural Walking Tour of Key West with Food and Drink Tastings: $240
  • Do It All Watersports Adventure with Lunch: $148
  • Easy Stroll Audio Tour Downtown Key West: $7.99
  • Florida Keys Afternoon Reef Snorkel & Sail Adventure: $69

Typical Entertainment prices in Orlando

For Orlando, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Universal Studios for Two
    $110

Tours and Activities in Orlando

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

  • A Walk Around Lake Eola Audio Tour: $6.65
  • Port Canaveral Cruise shuttles: $15
  • Port Canaveral Cruise shuttles: $15
  • Factory Adventure Tour in Chocolate Kingdom: $18
  • Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens Admission Ticket: $20
  • Orlando Walking Ghost Tour: $20
  • 1-Hour Haunted Walking Tour: $23
  • Titanic - The Artifact Exhibition Ticket: $24
  • Crayola Experience Orlando Ticket: $25
  • Lost Caverns Adventure Golf: $29
  • Skip the Line: Indoor Kart Racing Experience Ticket: $32
  • The Escape Game Epic 60-Minute Adventures: $37

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Key West $13
    Orlando $24

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Orlando

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Orlando:

  • Florida Craft Beer & Brewery Tour: $65


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Key West and Orlando, we can see that Key West is more expensive. And not only is Orlando much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Orlando would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Orlando 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 Orlando.

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Key West vs. Orlando Travel Comparison

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