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

Should you visit Sarasota or Tampa?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Sarasota and Tampa can help you decide which place is right for you.

Sarasota

Located on the Gulf Coast of southwest Florida, Sarasota is a popular city known for its thriving arts scene, selection of restaurants, plenty of shopping, and beautiful beaches. The metropolitan area is a hub of city culture, while the beaches offer escapes of fine white sand and aqua waters.

Tampa

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 city is cheaper, Tampa or Sarasota?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Sarasota is $279, while the average daily cost in Tampa is $119. 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 Sarasota and Tampa in more detail.


Accommodation

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $332 in Sarasota For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.

Travelers usually pay around $120 for a double occupancy room in Tampa If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Sarasota $166
    Tampa $60
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Sarasota $333
    Tampa $120


Food

The average traveler spends about $110 per day in Sarasota for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

In Tampa travelers spend around $35 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Sarasota $110
    Tampa $35

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sarasota

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

  • Downtown Walking Food Tour in Sarasota: $99


Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Sarasota than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $0.00 on transportation in Sarasota on average per day.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Tampa than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $38 on transportation in Tampa on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Sarasota $0.00
    Tampa $38

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sarasota

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

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Sarasota Airport SRQ: $32
  • Private Departure Transfer to Sarasota Airport SRQ: $32
  • Sarasota to Sarasota–Bradenton Intl. Airport (SRQ) - Departure Private Transfer: $112
  • Sarasota–Bradenton Intl. Airport (SRQ) to Sarasota - Arrival Private Transfer: $112
  • Sarasota Airport to Hotel Private Transfer: $133
  • Sarasota Private Transfer - Hotel to Airport: $133
  • Sarasota–Bradenton Intl. Airport (SRQ) to Sarasota - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $224
  • Private Transfer from Sarasota to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $453
  • Private Transfer from Sarasota to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport: $615
  • Private Transfer from Sarasota to Port Canaveral: $658

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
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Tampa to Tampa International Airport (TPA): $44
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Land O' Lakes Florida: $60
  • Private Airport Transfer: Tampa International Airport (TPA) to Tampa: $61
  • Transfer from Tampa International Airport to Tampa: $75
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to Tampa hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $82
  • Tampa hotel or address to Tampa Airport (TPA) - Departure Private Transfer: $82
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to St Petersburg hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $83
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to Clearwater Beach - Arrival Private Transfer: $83


Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Sarasota, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $9.08 per day, per person.

Sightseeing expenses in Tampa, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $15 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Sarasota $9.08
    Tampa $15

Tours and Activities in Sarasota

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

  • Public Art Tour: $39
  • Psychic Sunday Tour: $40
  • City Sightseeing Trolley Tour of Sarasota: $43
  • Tiki Trivia Trolley Tour with Local Performer and Guide: $43
  • Sightseeing Trolley Tour of Sarasota for Private Groups & Corporate Events: $45
  • Infamous Sarasota - Happy Hour City Trolley Tour: $46
  • Sarasota Bay & Lido Key BEST Mangrove Kayak Tour: $50
  • Kayak Tour through Mangrove Tunnels: $51
  • Paddleboard or Kayak Tour Through Mangrove Tunnels: $51
  • Mangrove Tunnel Kayak Ecotour: $51

Tours and Activities in Tampa

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

  • Nature Lovers Combo Tour: $136
  • Skip the Line: The Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay Ticket: $26
  • Tampa Celebrity Homes Boat Tour: $30
  • Tampa History Cruise: $31
  • 1.5-hour Dolphin Sightseeing Cruise from Tampa: $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


Alcohol

The average person spends about $0.00 on alcoholic beverages in Sarasota per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

The average person spends about $20 on alcoholic beverages in Tampa per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Sarasota $0.00
    Tampa $20

Sample the Local Flavors in Tampa

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

  • 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 we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Sarasota and Tampa, we can see that Sarasota 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 Sarasota would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Sarasota than you might in Tampa.

Budget Your Trip

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Sarasota vs. Tampa Travel Comparison

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