In this EPIC GUIDE, we cover where to stay in Tampa based on your travel style & budget. Check out the coolest areas in Tampa!
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Tampa is a surprising city. It has a thriving restaurant scene, world-class museums, diverse culture, and well-preserved history. Without a doubt, Tampa is one of the most underrated destinations in Florida.

The only downside to Tampa is just how expensive it can be. That’s why we put together this guide for where to stay in Tampa.

This guide was written for travellers by travellers. It highlights the five best areas to stay in Tampa and breaks them down based on your travel interests.

So whether you want to party all night long, delve into history, or simply lap up those Florida rays, we’ve got exactly what you’re looking for.

So, without further ado, here are our recommendations for where to stay in Tampa, Florida, USA.

 

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Tampa

 

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

 
Downtown Tampa
Downtown Tampa is the neighbourhood at the heart of the city. It is the central business district and is home to skyscrapers, cultural institutions, restaurants, museums, and the incredible Florida Aquarium.
 
Places to Visit:
  • Catch a performance at the historic Tampa Theatre.
  • Dive deep into history at the Tampa Bay Historical Centre.
  • Eat a tasty breakfast at Yolk, White & Associates.

 

Where to Stay in Tampa

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Tampa.

 

Best Hostel in Tampa: Gram’s Place BnB/Hostel

Gram’s Place is ideally located in Tampa Heights. It is a music-themed hostel that offers good people, good vibes, good fun – and of course, good music. Rooms come complete with air conditioning, cable and a flat screen TV. All of this combined makes this our pick for the best hostel in Tampa.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Tampa: Convenient apartment for city explorers

Just a short walk from central Downtown, this property got everything you need to make your life easy as pie during your stay in Tampa. Great amenities for cooking and laundry, walking distance to all the major tourist attractions, and good public transport links will take you mind of the logistics and out it firmly on exploring.

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Best Hotel in Tampa: Hampton Inn & Suites Tampa Ybor City Downtown

The Hampton Inn & Suites Tampa is our choice for the best hotel in Tampa. Set in Ybor City, it is conveniently located for shopping and dining and offers easy access to the city’s best bars and clubs. Each room is well-equipped to ensure a comfortable stay.

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Tampa Neighborhood Guide

Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Tampa

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Downtown Tampa

  • Downtown Tampa is the neighbourhood at the heart of the city. It is the central business district and is home to skyscrapers, cultural institutions, restaurants, museums, and the incredible Florida Aquarium.
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Tampa Heights

  • Tampa Heights is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city. It sits nestled between downtown and North Tampa and is close to the bars, clubs and restaurants of Ybor City.
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Ybor City

  • Ybor City is a historic neighbourhood located adjacent to downtown Tampa. It was founded in the 1880s and was for many years home to thousands of immigrants and renowned cigar factories.
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Hyde Park

  • Hyde Park is an upscale and trendy neighbourhood located southwest of the city centre. It is a hub for Tampa’s young, hip and fabulous populations and is our pick for the coolest neighbourhood in the city.
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North Tampa

  • North Tampa is a massive neighbourhood known for it’s fun and exciting attractions. Home to theme parks, museums, and an excellent zoo, North Tampa is a neighbourhood brimming with things to do and see.
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Tampa is a large city located in West Central Florida. It sits on the north shores of Tampa Bay and is a sparkling, diverse and sprawling coastal city that captivates travellers with its history, culture, food and nightlife.

It is one of the more underestimated cities in Florida and is often overlooked in favour of lively and vibrant Miami or fun and exciting Orlando. But, Tampa is a city with plenty to see and do, and so much to offer visitors.

The city is divided into five main districts which fan out from downtown. Within these districts, you’ll find six official historical areas and at least 86 diverse neighbourhoods.

To help you make the most of your time in Tampa, this guide will look at the can’t miss activities and Tampa attractions in the five best neighbourhoods.

Starting in the north you have the massive North Tampa neighbourhood. Home to popular attractions like Busch Gardens and the ZooTampa at Lowry Park, this area is a haven for families and travellers looking for fun, games, entertainment and animals.

Travel south and you’ll pass through Tampa Heights. This charming neighbourhood boasts a good variety of delicious restaurants and charming breweries, and it is where you’ll find the only hostel in Tampa.

Ybor City is a historic neighbourhood set southeast of Tampa Heights. It is characterized by its heritage landmarks and is famous for it’s vivacious and energetic entertainment and nightlife.

Head southwest to downtown. The heart, soul and centre of Tampa, downtown is packed with hip restaurants, charming bars, and great tourist attractions. It is also well-connected throughout the city, making it an ideal base no matter your interests.

And finally, Hyde Park is located west of the city centre. It is one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the city and is known for its upscale bars and upmarket restaurants. It has great food and a fantastic atmosphere, and plenty of fun – day or night.

There are also some awesome Airbnbs in Tampa where you can really live it up.

Still not sure where to stay in Tampa? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

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Tampa’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

In this next section, we’ll take an in-depth look at the five best neighbourhoods to stay in Tampa. Each is a little different from the last so be sure to read each section carefully and pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you!

 

#1 Downtown Tampa – Where to stay in Tampa first time

Downtown Tampa is the neighbourhood at the heart of the city. It is the central business district and is home to skyscrapers, cultural institutions, restaurants, museums, and the incredible Florida Aquarium. Because there is so much to see and do in downtown Tampa, this neighbourhood is our pick for where to stay if you’re visiting for the first time.

In addition to being the business and cultural hub of the city, downtown Tampa is one of the city’s most well-connected neighbourhoods. So whether you’re looking to delve into history, indulge in the delicious food scene or enjoy the fun and games of Busch Gardens, from your base in downtown you’ll be able to explore Tampa with relative ease.

Downtown Tampa, Tampa

 

Things to See and Do in Downtown Tampa

– Catch a performance at the historic Tampa Theatre.

– Dive deep into history at the Tampa Bay Historical Centre.

– Eat a tasty breakfast at Yolk, White & Associates.

– Enjoy great American fare at WaterWorks Bar And Grill.

– Feel like a kid again at Glazer Children’s Museum.

– Get close to fierce felines at Big Cat Rescue.

– Grab a pint at The Anchor Bar.

– Look at great works of art and antiquities at the Tampa Museum of Art.

– See more than 20,000 aquatic plants and animals at the Florida Aquarium.

 

Best Hotel in Downtown Tampa: Floridan Palace Hotel Tampa

This excellent hotel is our pick for where to stay in downtown thanks to its great location and spacious rooms. It is conveniently situated and offers easy access to Tampa’s best hot spots. You’ll enjoy air-conditioned rooms with modern amenities. There’s also a delicious Mediterranean restaurant on-site.

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Best Airbnb in Downtown Tampa: Convenient apartment for city explorers

Just a short walk from central Downtown, this property got everything you need to make your life easy as pie during your stay in Tampa. Great amenities for cooking and laundry, walking distance to all the major tourist attractions, and good public transport links will take you mind of the logistics and out it firmly on exploring.

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Best Hotel in Downtown Tampa: Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel

The Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk is ideally situated in downtown. It is close to popular tourist attractions and landmarks and is within walking distance of bars, restaurants and shops. This four-star hotel has 277 air-conditioned rooms. There’s also a gym, an outdoor swimming pool and free wifi.

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Best Hotel in Downtown Tampa: The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk

This three-star hotel is in a fantastic spot for exploring Tampa. There are plenty of tourist attractions and landmarks nearby, and it is within walking distance of bars, restaurants, shops and clubs. This hotel has modern rooms, a swimming pool, a gym and a restaurant.

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#2 Tampa Heights – Where to stay in Tampa on a budget

Tampa Heights is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city. It sits nestled between downtown and North Tampa and is close to the bars, clubs and restaurants of Ybor City.

Not only is Tampa Heights noted for its great location, but it also holds the distinction of being home to Gram’s Place, the only hostel in Tampa.

Additionally, this neighbourhood is where you’ll find a good selection of good-value hotels, charming vacation rentals, and modern apartments to help you offset some of the higher costs of Tampa’s famous attractions.

So, if you’re a backpacker on a budget or a cost-conscious traveller, you’re going to want to make your base in Tampa Heights.

Tampa Heights, Tampa
source: Ebyabe (Wikicommons)

Things to See and Do in Tampa Heights

– Eat mouthwatering burgers at Gold Ring Café.

– Feast on tasty Asian fare at Ming Gardens Restaurant.

– Grab a quick and delicious bite to eat at Café Hey.

– Pop into Lee’s Grocery and enjoy delicious stone-baked pizza and craft beer.

– Sample a variety of craft beers at Hidden Springs Ale Works.

– Sink your teeth into homemade burgers at the Three Burger Spot.

– Sip cappuccinos at The Blind Tiger Café.

 

Best Hostel in Tampa Heights: Gram’s Place BnB/Hostel

Gram’s Place is ideally located in Tampa Heights. It is a music-themed hostel that offers good people, good vibes, good fun – and of course, good music. Rooms come complete with air conditioning, cable and a flat screen TV. All of this combined makes this our pick for where to stay in Tampa Heights.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Tampa Heights: Cheap room for the eco-conscious

Make the most of Tampa while keeping costs own ( and your conscious clear) with this private room in a homestay. Everythings running of solar here, and check-ins a breeze with the unique digital check-in system. Can’t go wrong for the price.

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Best Mini-House in Tampa Heights: Charming Mini-House in The Heights

This classic bungalow is located at the heart of Tampa Heights. It is a short drive from downtown and is close to restaurants and shops. This guesthouse offers well-equipped rooms with flat-screen TVs and private bathrooms. There’s also a kitchen and a comfortable lounge.

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Best Guesthouse in Tampa Heights: The Suite Spot

The Suite Spot is a stunning and rustic guesthouse in Tampa Heights. This one-bedroom apartment offers comfortable accommodations with a TV and a full kitchen. They provide free towels and linens, and there is wifi throughout the property.

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# 3 Ybor City – Best area to stay in Tampa for nightlife

Ybor City is a historic neighbourhood located adjacent to downtown Tampa. It was founded in the 1880s and was for many years home to thousands of immigrants and renowned cigar factories. This area is less about the places to visit in Tampa and more about the nightlife.

Following a revamp in the early-2000s, Ybor City’s 7th Avenue was developed into Tampa’s nightlife and entertainment district. Today, it is a thriving and vibrant neighbourhood where locals and tourists flock to enjoy a night filled with drinks, dancing and unforgettable fun.

In addition to being our pick for where to stay in Tampa for nightlife, Ybor City is also a great hub for culture vultures. Dotted throughout the neighbourhood are a myriad of museums and art galleries that highlight the history and stories of this great city and its people.

Ybor City, Tampa

 

Things to See and Do in Ybor City

– Dine on local dishes at Gaspar’s Grotto.

– Dive deep into history at the Ybor City State Museum and Ybor City Cigar Museum.

– Don’t miss Club Prana with four floors of music and dancing to choose from.

– Drink cheap beer at Coyote Ugly Saloon.

– Eat at Columbia Restaurant, the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Ybor City.

– Listen to local music at Crowbar.

– Satisfy your sweet tooth at La Creperia Café.

– Sip a glass of wine at Ybor City Wine Bar.

 

Best Hotel in Ybor City: Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Tampa East – Ybor City Tampa

This charming hotel has a lot to offer travellers. It boasts a swimming pool, free internet, and comfortable rooms for travellers. Thanks to its Ybor City location, this hotel is within walking distance of bars, restaurants and clubs, as well as a variety of great museums.

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Best Airbnb in Ybor City: Massive apartment at a knock-down price

Located just a stone’s throw from the highlights of Ybor City, this 400 sqft apartment is great choice for a city getaway. It’s kitted out with everything you’ll need to make this your home away from home for your stay.

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Best Hotel in Ybor City: Hampton Inn & Suites Tampa Ybor City Downtown

The Hampton Inn & Suites Tampa is our top recommendation for where to stay in Ybor City. It is conveniently located for shopping and dining and offers easy access to the city’s best bars and clubs. Each room is well-equipped to ensure a comfortable stay.

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Best Hotel in Ybor City: Hilton Garden Inn Tampa Ybor Historic District

A great location in Ybor City makes this one of our favourite hotels in Tampa. It is set at the heart of the nightlife district and is a short walk to bars, clubs and restaurants. This property has an outdoor pool and a delicious on-site restaurant.

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# 4 Hyde Park – Coolest place to stay in Tampa

Hyde Park is an upscale and trendy neighbourhood located southwest of the city centre. It is a hub for Tampa’s young, hip and fabulous populations and is our pick for the coolest neighbourhood in the city.

One of Tampa’s six historic districts, Hyde Park is home to a vast array of historic homes and heritage buildings. It’s a fantastic neighbourhood to explore if you’re an architecture aficionado or a fan of design.

This neighbourhood is also a haven and a must-visit for fearless foodies who love to sip and sample the latest cocktails and creations. Trust us when we say, in Hyde Park, you can eat very, very well!

Hyde Park, Tampa
source: Daniel X. O’Neil (flickr)

Things to See and Do in Hyde Park

– Dine on upscale southern fare at Elevage.

– Don’t miss the lively Hyde Park Café.

– Eat mouthwatering local dishes at Datz.

– Enjoy amazing drinks and appetizers at Four Green Fields.

– Excite your sense at Green Lemon.

– Explore Hyde Park Village.

– Feast on pizza, sushi and other quick bites at Cheap.

– Indulge at Bern’s Steak House.

– Kickstart your day at Daily Eats.

– Sample local beers at Yard of Ale.

– Savour flavour experiments at Edison.

– Sip cocktails at Ciro’s Speakeasy and Supper Club.

 

Best Hotel in Hyde Park: Quality Inn Airport – Cruise Port

This delightful two-star hotel is your best bet for budget accommodations in Hyde Park. It is conveniently situated in Tampa and offers easy access to restaurants and cafes. This hotel has 80 recently refurbished rooms, a heated pool, a fitness centre and free wifi.

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Best Airbnb in Hyde Park: City apartment comes fully stocked!

Make the most of Hyde Parks cultural highlights with this awesome little pad. Forget something? Don’t worry, the gracious host will make the sure pantrys are fully stocked before you arrive, just because they’re nice! That means coffee to boot, lovely!

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Best Hotel in Hyde Park: Best Western Tampa

The Best Western Tampa wins our vote for where to stay in Hyde Park because of its location. The area surrounding the hotel is home to a range of eateries and bars, and this hotel is a quick hop to downtown and Ybor City. It has comfortable and well-equipped rooms and has a fitness centre for guests.

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Best Motel in Hyde Park: University Inn Downtown Tampa

Thanks to its Hyde Park location, this is one of the best hotels for exploring the city. You’ll find a good variety of dining, nightlife and shopping options nearby, and the top attractions of downtown are just a short drive away. This motel boasts 18 comfortable rooms each outfitted with essential amenities to ensure a great stay.

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#5 North Tampa – Best neighbourhood in Tampa for families

North Tampa is a massive neighbourhood known for it’s fun and exciting attractions. Home to theme parks, museums, and an excellent zoo, North Tampa is a neighbourhood brimming with things to do and see. That’s why North Tampa is our pick for where to stay in Tampa for families.

Busch Gardens is the area’s most famous attractions. Covering more than 335-acres, Busch Gardens is an African-themed animal theme park where you and your children can get close to your favourite animals from around the world. On the grounds, you’ll also find roller coasters and water rides, guaranteeing a day the whole family won’t soon forget.

North Tampa, Tampa

 

Things to See and Do in North Tampa

– Delve deep into the worlds of science, technology and industry at the Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI).

– Enjoy American diner-style dishes at Mama’s Kitchen.

– Get back to nature by exploring the Hillsborough River on foot or by boat.

– Indulge in mouthwatering seafood at Skipper’s Smokehouse.

– See more than 1,300 animals from around the world at the ZooTampa at Lowry Park.

– Spend a fun and exciting day a Busch Gardens.

– Stop and smell the roses at the University of South Florida Botanical Gardens.

– Swim, splash, and float at Adventure Island.

 

Best Hostel in North Tampa: Quality Inn & Conference Center Tampa

This three-star hotel is ideally located in Tampa. It is close to Busch Gardens and offers easy access to shopping, dining and sightseeing. This hotel features comfortable rooms that are perfect for families. There’s also a gym, a swimming pool, a kids pool and waterslides.

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Best Airbnb in North Tampa: Cottage home that’s full of suprises

Looking for an awesome nature retreat with amazing city access look no further! If it’s the river in your back yard, own the easy access to kid-friendly highlights like Lowery Park Zoo, Adventure Island, Glazer Museum, Hard Rock Casino, Riverwalk, you’ll never have a dull moment.

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Best Hotel in North Tampa: La Quinta Inn & Suites Tampa USF

Located near the University of South Florida, this hotel makes for an excellent base for families visiting Tampa. It is a short drive to the city’s top attractions and landmarks and is close to restaurants, shops and cafes. Rooms are spacious and well-equipped with modern amenities and features.

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Best Hotel in North Tampa: Wingate By Wyndham-Tampa USF/Busch Gardens

The Wingate by Wyndham is our recommendation for where to stay in North Tampa. It boasts large and spacious rooms that are ideal for families of all sizes. Guests can enjoy a range of wellness facilities, including a swimming pool and a Jacuzzi.

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Tampa

Tampa is an incredibly diverse city with so much to see and do. It has a rich history, varied culture, an exciting food scene, and is home to some of the most fun theme parks and attractions in the region. Tampa is a city with something to offer visitors no matter their ages, interests or budgets.

In this guide, we’ve looked at the best places to stay in Tampa. Although there aren’t many hostels in the city, we’ve done our best to include good-value hotels and vacation rentals to ensure Tampa is accessible to all travellers. If you’re still not sure which neighbourhood is right for you, here is a quick recap.

Gram’s Place BnB/Hostel is a music-themed hostel and our favourite option for budget accommodations. It has a great location, air conditioning, and flat-screen TVs.

Our choice hotel is the Hampton Inn & Suites Tampa Ybor City Downtown because of its close proximity to great bars, delicious restaurants and lively clubs.

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In this EPIC GUIDE, we cover where to stay in Tampa based on your travel style & budget. Check out the coolest areas in Tampa!