A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Key West vs. Panama City for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Key West or Panama City?

Should I visit Key West or Panama City? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Key West

Key West is both a city and an island as well as the southern most Florida Key. It is also the southern most city in the continental United States. The island is only about four miles long and one mile wide. The total land mass covers just 4.2 square miles. The most famous street in town is Duval Street, which runs just 1.1 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. There are 14 blocks. The size of the island doubled during the 1950s when many of the salt ponds along the eastern side of the island were filled in.

Panama City

As the tropical breeze kisses your face amidst the never-ending rows of palm trees and high-rise beach condos, you find both pleasure and peace in this popular beach vacation spot. Such a city could be no place else than Panama City, Florida, located on the Florida Panhandle on the Gulf Coast. The entire region is known for it's calm beach with white sand, blue water, and spring break and summer vacation fun. Panama City offers a multitude of hotels, parks, beaches, and restaurants to make it a prime destination to both party and relax. However, as you explore the city, you will find that Panama City acquires its own diverse, vibrant character unique to other beach towns. Bring out the fishing rods and boogie boards and take advantage of one of Florida's most popular destinations! It's a great destination for families, kids, younger travelers, singles, couples, and retirees alike.

Which city is cheaper, Panama City 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 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Key West and Panama City in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $106. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Key West the cost is $212 on average.

A hotel room in Panama City is about $206 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Key West $106
    Panama City $103
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Key West $212
    Panama City $206

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Key West is $41 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

The average price of local transportation around Panama City is $38 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Key West $41
    Panama City $38
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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Panama City

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Panama City:

  • Transfer to Panama Canal (Miraflores Locks): $11
  • Private Departure Transfer to Panama City Airport (PTY): $12
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Panama City Airport (PTY): $12
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Tocumen International Airport to Panama City Hotels: $15
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Panama City Hotels to Tocumen International Airport: $15
  • Airport Private Transfer Tocumen Direct to Panama City: $18
  • Transfer to Dreams Playa Bonita: $18
  • Private Airport Transfer: Panama City to Tocumen International Airport (PTY): $19
  • Private Airport Transfer: Tocumen International Airport (PTY) to Panama City: $19
  • Transfer from Panama City to Tocumen Airport: $19
  • Private Transfer from Tocumen Airport to Downtown Panama City, Panama: $20
  • Private Transfer Airport PTY to Panama City: $22

Is it cheaper to fly into Key West or Panama City?

Prices for flights to both Panama City 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

The price of a meal in Key West can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $308 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $123 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

On average, meal and food prices in Panama City cost around $53 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $21.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Key West $308
    Panama City $53

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

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

Key West's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $26 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

Panama City's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $15 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Key West $26
    Panama City $15

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 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

The average person spends about $13 on alcoholic beverages in Key West per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Panama City may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $45 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Key West $13
    Panama City $45

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 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 Key West and Panama City, we can see that Key West is more expensive. And not only is Panama City much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Panama City would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Panama City 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 Panama City.

Budget Your Trip

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Key West vs. Panama City Travel Comparison

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