A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Tampa vs. Austin for Food, Nightlife, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Tampa or Austin?

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

Should I visit Tampa or Austin? 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.

Tampa

Tampa is a low-key, laid-back, and easy-going city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. It's also known for food and beaches.

Austin

Austin is a unconventional, lively, and entrepreneurial city. With a variety of activities, it's a big city. This is beautiful destination to visit. It's also popular because of the food, shopping, and museums.

Tampa and Austin: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with couples
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students


Is there more to do in Tampa or Austin?

You'll generally find more things to do in Austin than Tampa. Austin is bigger than Tampa, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Austin is better known for its museums, food, nightlife, music, hiking, shopping, and impressive beauty, while Tampa is more popular for its scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and big city activities. Austin is more touristy than Tampa and is popular for its live music scene, excellent Texas barbecue, authentic Mexican food, and vibrant student population. Also, Austin is famous for The Texas Capital. Tampa is well known for its amusement parks, wildlife parks, and popularity as a cruise ship port.

How is Tampa different from Austin?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Austin and Tampa. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Tampa or Austin?

Tampa
Austin

Austin is an excellent place to visit for its museums and history. However, Tampa does not have museums and landmarks.

Austin offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. Austin has a number of great museums and sights including the Blanton Museum of Art, the Mexic-Arte Museum, and the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. There's also a huge supply of local art galleries. Perhaps the most notable landmark in town is the beautiful Texas Capital Building

Tampa does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Tampa or Austin? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Tampa
Austin

Austin is an amazing city to visit for its restaurants. Also, Tampa is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

For foodies, Austin is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. It is credited with being the original food truck city and you'll find many diverse food truck options around town. There is also amazing Mexican food, world renowned Texas barbecue, and many modern restaurants that reflect the city's culinary influence.

Tampa offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. There are a surprising number of great local restaurants around town as well as a good food truck scene. Some favorite dishes include fresh caught seafood, Grouper sandwiches, and Cuban sandwiches.

Is Tampa or Austin Better for Nightlife?

Tampa
Austin

Austin is an amazing city to visit for its evening party scene. However, Tampa is lacking in options for nightlife.

Austin has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. It's nightlife is centered around its thriving live music scene. Head for Sixth Street for some of the most popular bars and clubs. There are also many music festivals and outdoor concerts, particularly during the summer months. Popular bars and clubs around town include the White Horse, the Rose Room, and Antone's Nightclub.

Tampa is generally a quiet destination but there are options around. The city has some good nightclubs, sports bars, and other spots where locals enjoy spending the evening.

Is Tampa or Austin Better for Music?

Tampa
Austin

Austin is an amazing city to visit for its music scene. However, Tampa is not a live music destination.

Austin has become a mecca for musicians from around the world. Music is what gives this city its character. There are many live music venues, concerts, and music festivals to experience. Austin has influenced many music genres such as rock, blues, jazz, hip hop, punk, and country.

Tampa is not a live music destination.


Is Tampa or Austin Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Tampa
Austin

Tampa is a city with a few options for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. However, Austin is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Tampa has a few snorkeling spots. While the water isn't always the clearest, there are some nice snorkeling and diving spots in the area. Options include Shell Key and Egmont Key, Crystal River, and Fort De Soto.

Austin is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Tampa or Austin Better for Beaches?

Tampa
Austin

Tampa is a great destination for its beaches. However, Austin is not a beach destination.

You'll have a great beach vacation in Tampa. Popular beaches near Tampa include Ben T. Davis Beach, Fred Howard Park, and Indian Rocks Beach.

Austin is not a beach destination.

Is Tampa or Austin Better for Hiking?

Tampa
Austin

Austin is a decent place to visit for its hiking trails. However, Tampa is not a hiking destination.

Hiking is a fun activity while in Austin. Head just outside of town to explore a few great hiking spots right near town.

Tampa is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Tampa or Austin?

Tampa
Austin

Austin is a popular place for its shopping areas. However, Tampa is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Austin has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. There are a number of local boutiques around town where you can enjoy shopping.

Tampa is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Tampa or Austin Better for Families?

Tampa
Austin

Tampa is a great destination for its family-friendly activities. Also, Austin is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.

Tampa is a very family-friendly place to visit. The city has a number of kid-oriented attractions including Busch Gardens Amusement Park, several kid-friendly museums, and a number of animal centers, aquariums, and wildlife rescue facilities.

Austin offers lots of family activities. The city is a popular destination for young travelers, but there are also some family-friendly activities like Barton Springs, Zilker Park, and several natural swimming holes. There's a number of nice parks around town that are great for kids of all ages.

Is Tampa or Austin Better for Couples?

Tampa
Austin

Austin is a popular place for couples. However, Tampa is lacking in options for romance.

Austin is a good city for couples to visit. Young couples will enjoy the city for its lively nightlife, fun music scene, and youthful vibe. There are also many outdoor areas where you can hike or explore. The restaurant scene is among the best as well.

Tampa is not the best destination for a couple to visit. The area does have great restaurants and some fun places to explore, but the downtown area has room for improvement and much of the city is suburban.


Is Tampa or Austin Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Tampa
Austin

Austin is an excellent place to visit for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Tampa is not a backpacker-friendly destination.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Austin. Although the city is relatively small, it does see a disproportionate number of backpackers. There are a couple of hostels in town as well.

Tampa is not a backpacker-friendly destination.

Is Tampa or Austin Better for Students?

Tampa
Austin

Austin is an excellent place to visit for its student-friendly activities. However, Tampa is not popular with students.

Austin is a very popular city for students and younger travelers. The city has a huge university, the University of Texas at Austin, and it is a young city with tons for international students. There is a great nightlife scene and plenty for students to see and do.

Tampa is not popular with students.

Is Tampa or Austin Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Tampa
Austin

Austin is a decent place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Tampa is lacking in options for its public transit.

Public transit is mostly limited in Austin. There are city buses and a very limited lightrail system, but you really need a car to explore the city.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Tampa. There is the street car that runs from downtown Tampa to Ybor City and stops at 11 stations.


Is Tampa or Austin a more walkable city?

Tampa
Austin

Tampa and Austin are respectable when it comes to walkability.

Tampa is generally not a very walkable city. While there are some neighborhoods that are considered walkable, you really need a car if you hope to explore Tampa in depth.

Austin is generally not very walkable. The city, like most southern cities, isn't very walkable and it's important to have a car to get around. There are some downtown areas that are pedestrian-friendly.

For even more information, also check out Is Tampa Worth Visiting? and Is Austin Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Austin or Tampa?

How long in Tampa or Austin?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Tampa and Austin. In our opinion, Austin has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Austin than Tampa. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Tampa than Austin. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Tampa, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Austin than Tampa. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Austin that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Austin than Tampa if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Austin.


  • How many days in Tampa or Austin? Ideal Length of Stay
    Tampa 2-3 
    Austin 2-3

One day in Tampa or Austin?

Many travelers enjoy the food when visiting the destination of Tampa. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

In Austin, many people enjoy the live music and food that this lively destination offers. This city 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.

A weekend in Tampa or Austin?

Tampa is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Austin. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.


Five days in Tampa or Austin?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Tampa. Most people come for the beaches. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Austin is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the destination of Austin. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

A week in Tampa or Austin?

Travelers enjoy the food when visiting the easy-going destination of Tampa. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the lively destination of Austin. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from Los Angeles, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America, The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America, and The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Austin or Tampa?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tampa is $179, while the average daily cost in Austin is $142. 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 Tampa and Austin in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tampa $85
    Austin $56
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tampa $170
    Austin $112
Compare Hotels in Tampa and Austin

Looking for a hotel in Tampa or Austin? 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 Tampa


Hotels in Austin


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: Tampa Hotel Prices and Austin Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tampa $69
    Austin $47

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tampa

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

  • Tampa hotels to Tampa Bay Cruise Port - Departure Private Transfer : $50
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Tampa Airport TPA to Tampa City in Business Car: $73
  • Departure Private Transfer: Tampa City to Tampa Airport TPA in Business Car: $72
  • Private Arrival Transfer - from Tampa Airport (TPA): $36
  • Private Arrival Transfer In Tampa International Airport (TPA) : $35
  • Private Transfer from TPA to Lakeland and Winter Haven: $158
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport (TPA) to Clearwater Beach: $187
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport (TPA) to St Petersburg Accommodation: $189
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport (TPA) to Tampa hotel or address : $187
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport TPA to Lakeland/Winter Haven: $189
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Clearwater: $120
  • Private transfer Arrival or Departure - Tampa International Airport (TPA): $79

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Austin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Austin:

  • Private Transfer Between Airport and Hotels: $80
  • Austin Airport Group Pickup / Transfer up to 1 hour away.: $150

Is it cheaper to fly into Tampa or Austin?

Prices for flights to both Austin and Tampa 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
    Tampa $53
    Austin $35

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tampa

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

  • Cooking Class near Disney in Tampa Florida: $88
  • Ybor City Food Tour On Sundays: $89

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Austin

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

  • East Austin Food Tour: $44
  • Devour Downtown Austin Walking Food Tour: $80
  • Famous Texas BBQ & Food Tour in Austin: $89
  • Famous Texas BBQ & Food Tour in Austin: $89
  • Austin South Congress Walking Food Tour for Small Groups: $95
  • Secret Food Tour: $98
  • Austin Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $99
  • Secret Food Tour of South Congress: $109
  • The Brunch Bus: Food Tour with a Live Band on Board the Bus!: $125

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tampa $20
    Austin $28

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: $7.35
  • Smartphone Audio Private Walking Tour in Tampa Riverwalk: $7.99
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Tampa by Crazy Dash: $10
  • Tampa Food & Drink Tour - Hop On Hop Off: $11
  • Tampa Terrors Ghost Tour: $26
  • Discover Tampa with Local Stories from a Virtual Tour: $30
  • Tampa Terrors Ghost Tour By US Ghost Adventures: $30
  • Sunset and Night Cruises Tour: $30
  • Shared Ybor City Historic Walking Tour: $30
  • Downtown Tampa Historic Walking Tour: $30
  • The Official Downtown Tampa Ghost Tour: $30

Typical Entertainment Prices in Austin

Here are a few typical costs in Austin for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Austin Duck Tour
    $31

Tours and Activities in Austin

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

  • Austin Glass Bottom Kayak Tour with Olympian: $50
  • Austin Art & Architecture Bicycle Tour: $56
  • Austin Art and Architecture Bicycle Tour: $56
  • Austin Biker Gang E-Bike Tour: $99
  • Austin Boat Tour with Full Sun Shading Available: $84
  • Austin E-Bike Foodie Tour : $128
  • Austin Electric Bike Tour: Let it Ride: $70
  • Austin Family Explorer: A Magical Urban Adventure: $458
  • Austin Famous Ghost and Bat Segway Tour: $70
  • Austin Ghosts By US Ghost Adventures: $30
  • Austin Good Vibes E-Bike Tours with Rooster: $68
  • Austin Guided Outdoor Climbing Experience: $127

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tampa $26
    Austin $28

Sample the Local Flavors in Tampa

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Tampa:

  • Tampa Bar Crawl on a 2023 Street Legal Golf Cart: $40
  • Haunted Pub Crawl: $40
  • Ybor City Private Brewery Tour by Custom Golf Cart: $200

Sample the Local Flavors in Austin

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Austin:

  • Austin Bar Hunt: Sixth Street Spree: Austin Bar Crawl: $12
  • Austin Haunted Pub Crawl Walking Tour: $30
  • Haunted Pub Crawl Walking Tour: $30
  • Downtown Austin Live Music Pub Crawl: $35
  • Downtown Live Music Pub Crawl: $35
  • Public Pedal Pub Tour in Austin: $39
  • Austin Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $45
  • From Texas Hill Country Brewery & Distillery Shuttle: $65
  • Half-Day Hill Country Brewery and Distillery Shuttle from Austin: $65
  • Private Austin Brewery Tour by Pedicab with All-Inclusive Beer Flight Option: $70
  • Metro Rail Brewery Tour Across Austin: $90
  • 4-Hour Austin Signature Brewery Tour: $100


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Tampa Expensive? and Is Austin Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Tampa or Austin?

Austin has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of Tampa. When comparing the sizes of Tampa and Austin, 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 along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Tampa or Austin?

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 Tampa or Austin in the Summer?

Both Austin and Tampa during the summer are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Tampa for the beaches, snorkeling, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Austin in the summer for the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Tampa is around the same temperature as Austin. Typically, the summer temperatures in Tampa in July average around 82°F (28°C), and Austin averages at about 87°F (30°C).

In Austin, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Tampa. In the summer, Tampa often gets less sunshine than Austin. Tampa gets 265 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Austin receives 318 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Tampa. Tampa usually gets more rain in July than Austin. Tampa gets 8.4 inches (214 mm) of rain, while Austin receives 1.9 inches (48 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Tampa 82°F (28°C) 
    Austin 87°F (30°C)

Should I visit Tampa or Austin in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Tampa and Austin. Many visitors come to Tampa in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions. Also, most visitors come to Austin for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In October, Tampa is generally around the same temperature as Austin. Daily temperatures in Tampa average around 75°F (24°C), and Austin fluctuates around 73°F (23°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Austin this time of the year. In Tampa, it's very sunny this time of the year. Tampa usually receives more sunshine than Austin during autumn. Tampa gets 234 hours of sunny skies, while Austin receives 214 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Tampa usually receives less rain than Austin. Tampa gets 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain, while Austin receives 3 inches (77 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Tampa 75°F (24°C) 
    Austin 73°F (23°C)

Should I visit Tampa or Austin in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Tampa as well as Austin. Most visitors come to Tampa for the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Austin because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Tampa is a little warmer than Austin in the winter. The daily temperature in Tampa averages around 60°F (15°C) in January, and Austin fluctuates around 51°F (11°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Tampa this time of the year. In the winter, Tampa often gets more sunshine than Austin. Tampa gets 200 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Austin receives 163 hours of full sun.

Tampa usually gets more rain in January than Austin. Tampa gets 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain, while Austin receives 1.9 inches (48 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Tampa 60°F (15°C) 
    Austin 51°F (11°C)

Should I visit Tampa or Austin in the Spring?

Both Austin and Tampa are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The spring months attract visitors to Tampa because of the beaches and the activities around the city. Also, the activities around the city and the natural beauty are the main draw to Austin this time of year.

In the spring, Tampa is around the same temperature as Austin. Typically, the spring temperatures in Tampa in April average around 71°F (22°C), and Austin averages at about 71°F (22°C).

It's quite sunny in Austin. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Tampa. Tampa usually receives more sunshine than Austin during spring. Tampa gets 299 hours of sunny skies, while Austin receives 209 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Tampa usually receives less rain than Austin. Tampa gets 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain, while Austin receives 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Tampa 71°F (22°C) 
    Austin 71°F (22°C)

Typical Weather for Austin and Tampa

Tampa Austin
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 60°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm) 51°F (11°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm)
Feb 61°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
Mar 67°F (19°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm)
Apr 71°F (22°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm) 71°F (22°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 77°F (25°C) 4 inches (101 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (165 mm) 83°F (29°C) 3.1 inches (80 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 8.4 inches (214 mm) 87°F (30°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 8 inches (203 mm) 87°F (31°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm) 82°F (28°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Oct 75°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3 inches (77 mm)
Nov 68°F (20°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm) 62°F (17°C) 2 inches (52 mm)
Dec 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)