Should you visit Tampa or Galveston?
Should I visit Tampa or Galveston? 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.
Located on Galveston Island off the Texas Gulf Coast, Galveston is a popular destination for Texans and a departure point for cruise ships. It also makes a great beach destination for anyone looking to enjoy a week or weekend.
Galveston is a popular destination during the summer months, but the warm climate makes it comfortable year round. Even during the winter months you can enjoy mild temperatures, although on occasion it can have a cold spell.
Which city is cheaper, Galveston 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 Galveston is $147. 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 Galveston 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.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $128 in Galveston For nicer amenities and a premiere location, 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.
On average, meal and food prices in Galveston cost around $42 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 $17.
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.
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Galveston than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $28 on transportation in Galveston on average per day.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tampa
Also for Tampa, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
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 Tampa Area to Orlando Area Transfer up to 11 One Price Mercedes Sprinter:
Tampa Airport (TPA) to St Petersburg - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Tampa Airport (TPA) to Clearwater Beach - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Tampa Airport (TPA) to Tampa hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Anna Maria Island:
Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Sarasota:
Private Tampa Transfer: Hotel to Airport or Cruise Port:
Private Tampa Transfer: Cruise Port to Airport or Hotel:
Private Tampa Transfer: Airport to Hotel or Cruise Port:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Galveston
Also for Galveston, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private Galveston Port to Houston Airport Transfer:
Is it cheaper to fly into Tampa or Galveston?
Prices for flights to both Galveston 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.
Sightseeing expenses in Galveston, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $12 per day, per person.
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 Galveston
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Galveston.
Al's Galveston Ghost Tour:
Dolphin Sightseeing Tour in Galveston with a Guide:
E-bike Island Adventure Tour:
From Houston: 6-Hour Galveston Island Tour:
Galveston Ghost Tour:
Galveston Ghosts Walking Tour:
Galveston Island Ghost Tour:
Galveston Island Red Light District Tour:
Galveston Red Light District Tour:
Galveston's Haunted Cemetery Walking Tour:
Ghost Bus Tour in Galveston:
Ghost On the Strand Ghost Tour:
Typically, people visiting Tampa spend on average $20 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Galveston, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $30.
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 Galveston, we can see that Galveston 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 Galveston would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Galveston than you might in Tampa.
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