Should you visit Tampa or Columbus?
Should I visit Tampa or Columbus? 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.
The capital city of Ohio, Columbus sits at the meeting point of America's Rust Belt, Bible Belt, Appalachia, and the Plains. It is also home of Ohio State University, which is a major financial and economic force in the city. You'll likely need a car to navigate the city, although there is a bus system, COTA, which can take you to some of Columbus' highlights.
Which city is cheaper, Columbus 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 Columbus is $126. 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 Columbus 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.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $116 in Columbus 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 average traveler spends about $39 per day in Columbus 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.
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.
To get around in Columbus, the average visitor spends $40 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tampa
Also for Tampa, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Transfer from Tampa International Airport to Tampa:
Tampa hotel or address to Tampa Airport (TPA) - Departure Private Transfer:
Tampa Airport (TPA) to Tampa hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Tampa Airport (TPA) to Tampa hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer:
Tampa Airport (TPA) to St Petersburg hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer:
Tampa Airport (TPA) to St Petersburg - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Tampa Airport (TPA) to Clearwater Beach - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Tampa Airport (TPA) to Clearwater Beach - Arrival Private Transfer:
Private Transfer from Tampa to Port Canaveral:
Private Transfer from Tampa to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport:
Private Transfer from Tampa to Orlando (MCO) Airport:
Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Sarasota:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Columbus
Also for Columbus, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Columbus to Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) - Departure Private Transfer:
Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Arrival Private Transfer:
Is it cheaper to fly into Tampa or Columbus?
Prices for flights to both Columbus 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.
In Columbus, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $37 per person, per day.
Tours and Activities in Tampa
For Tampa, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
1.5-hour Dolphin Sightseeing Cruise from Tampa:
2-hour Tiki Boat BYOB Cruise in Tampa:
Adventure Island Water Park Ticket:
Bayshore Drive Motorbike Tour:
Bicycle Tour Orlando, Over Tampa Bay Ride:
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Admission Ticket:
Historic Ybor City Food and Drink Walking Tour:
Motorcycle Tour of Sunshine Skyway Bridge:
Nature Coast Private Day Tour From Tampa with Photographer , Max Group of 4:
Nature Lovers Combo Tour:
Skip the Line: The Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay Ticket:
Skip the Line: ZooTampa at Lowry Park Admission Ticket:
Tours and Activities in Columbus
For Columbus, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Central Park Bike Tour:
Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket:
Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus:
Typically, people visiting Tampa spend on average $20 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typically, people visiting Columbus spend on average $16 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
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 comparing the travel costs between Tampa and Columbus, we can see that Columbus is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.
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