Should you visit Tampa or Columbia?
Should I visit Tampa or Columbia? 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.
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.
Both the largest and capital city of South Carolina, Columbia is literally the center of everything. Geographically it is located in the middle of the state, and it is the home to the University of South Carolina, the Army's Fort Jackson, as well as a variety of museums that celebrate the city's art, history, and culture.
Which city is cheaper, Columbia or Tampa?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Tampa is $119, while the average daily cost in Columbia is $0.00. 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 Tampa and Columbia in more detail.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $120 in Tampa For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
On average, meal and food prices in Tampa cost around $35 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 $14.
The price of a meal in Columbia can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $4.02 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $1.61 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.
Meals for one day
Tampa's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $38 per person, per day on transportation in Tampa.
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):
Private Arrival Transfer - from Tampa Airport (TPA):
Private Airport Transfer: from Tampa to Tampa International Airport (TPA):
Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Land O' Lakes Florida:
Private Airport Transfer: Tampa International Airport (TPA) to Tampa:
Transfer from Tampa International Airport to Tampa:
Tampa Airport (TPA) to Tampa hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer:
Tampa hotel or address to Tampa Airport (TPA) - Departure Private Transfer:
Tampa Airport (TPA) to St Petersburg hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer:
Tampa Airport (TPA) to Clearwater Beach - Arrival Private Transfer:
Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Bradenton:
Private Tampa Transfer: Cruise Port to Airport or Hotel:
Is it cheaper to fly into Tampa or Columbia?
Prices for flights to both Columbia 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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Tampa can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $15 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Tours and Activities in Tampa
For Tampa, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
1 Hour Haunted History Walking Tour:
Skip the Line: The Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay Ticket:
Tampa Celebrity Homes Boat Tour:
Tampa History Cruise:
1.5-hour Dolphin Sightseeing Cruise from Tampa:
VIP Ghost Hunters Tour Semi Private:
Skip the Line: ZooTampa at Lowry Park Admission Ticket:
Historic Ybor City Food and Drink Walking Tour:
2-hour Tiki Boat BYOB Cruise in Tampa:
ZooQuarium 1-Day Ticket:
Adventure Island Water Park Ticket:
Tampa Indoor Skydiving Experience with 2 Flights & Personalized Certificate:
Typically, people visiting Tampa spend on average $20 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
The average person spends about $70 on alcoholic beverages in Columbia per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
Sample the Local Flavors in Tampa
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Tampa:
Tampa Bar Hunt: Tampa Takeover Bar Crawl:
Haunted Tampa Ghost and Pub Walking Tour - Ybor City:
Private Tampa Brewery Tour - Party Bus:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Tampa and Columbia, we can see that Tampa is more expensive. And not only is Columbia much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Columbia would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Columbia 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 Columbia.
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