Skip Navigation

Tampa

Travel Guide North America USA Southern United States Florida Central Florida Tampa

edit

Introduction

Tampa is situated on the north shore of Tampa Bay on the west coast of Florida in the United States. The metropolitan area of which it is a part, is usually referred to as the "Tampa Bay Area". The largest city in the greater West Central Florida region, it is also the county seat of Hillsborough county. A 2008 estimate[1] puts the city's population at 340,882. To the west of the bay lies Saint Petersburg, a popular tourist destination, while Bradenton is on the southern shore of the Bay Area.

Top

edit

Neighbourhoods

  • Downtown Tampa
  • New Tampa
  • North Tampa
  • East Tampa
  • West Tampa
  • South Tampa

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

  • Busch Gardens - Based on African themes, the park is full of animals, live shows and thrilling rides. The park claims to have some of the tallest, longest and fastest roller-coasters in America: Kumba, SheiKra, Gwazi and the inverted Montu. And for those looking for a more relaxed type of entertainment, the safari will take them across the wild life of Africa, with more than 2,500 animals to see.
  • Museum of Science and Industry - Aiming to combine fun and science, MOSI includes 450 hands-on activities, including an IMAX theatre, a butterfly garden, Disasterville and the Sky Trail ropes course.
  • Florida Aquarium
  • Tampa Museum of Art
  • Tampa Theatre
  • Lowry Park Zoo
  • Ybor City State Museum

Top

Top

edit

Weather

Tampa has a tropical climate with warm to hot weather and humid conditions year-round, though there are some seasonal differences regarding temperatures. Summers last from May to October with average highs of 29-32 °C and nights in the 20-24 °C range. This is also the wettest time of the year, especially from June to mid-September with an average amount of 150-200 mm a month, accounting for around 60% of the annual amount of 1,150 mm in just 4 months. From November to April, temperatures are a much more pleasant 22-27 °C on average during the day with nights mostly between 12 °C and 16 °C. It's mostly dry and sunny with occasional rainshowers though. This obviously is the best season if you want to do more than just lazying around.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max21 °C21.9 °C24.8 °C27.6 °C30.7 °C31.9 °C32.3 °C32.3 °C31.7 °C29.1 °C25.4 °C22.3 °C
Avg Min10 °C10.9 °C13.6 °C16 °C19.7 °C22.7 °C23.6 °C23.6 °C22.7 °C18.4 °C14 °C11.3 °C
Rainfall50.5 mm78.2 mm76.5 mm29.2 mm78.7 mm139.2 mm167.1 mm193.3 mm151.9 mm51.3 mm45 mm54.6 mm
Rain Days5.15.85.135.11012.514.29.74.64.25

Top

edit

Getting There

By Plane

Tampa International Airport (IATA: TPA, ICAO: KTPA, FAA LID: TPA) is located around 11 kilometres from Tampa's CBD. A few dozen of airlines serve the airport, mainly on domestic routes, but there are a few interesting alternatives on international routes, like the one to London Gatwick Airport.

By Train

The Silver Service/Palmetto, operated by Amtrak, travels between New York and Tampa.

By Bus

Greyhound offers bus connections throughout Florida and some further beyond.

Top

edit

Getting Around

By Car

There are numerous car rental facilities at both the airport as well as several places in Tampa itself, including downtown. Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

By Public Transport

There is a trolley bus system in Tampa, which has the following lines running in the CBD area:

  • The purple line runs north-south from I-275, through downtown to the northern end of Harbor Island. It has service every 10 minutes at 17 stops, Monday through Friday from 6:00-9:00am and 3:00-6:00pm.
  • The green line runs only on Friday and Saturday nights from 6:00am-2:00am. It has service every 10 minutes at 17 stops along the Hillsborough River (west side of CBD), the northern tip of Harbor Island, and along Channelside Drive.

HART provides bus services throughout Hillsborough County. The TECO Line Streetcar has streetcars from Dick Greco Plaza downtown to Centennial Park in Ybor City with 8 stops along the way and is useful for travellers.

By Foot

Unfortunately, Tampa is not very pedestrian-friendly. Ybor, Downtown, and SoHo are the only areas you can really get around on by foot. Plan to rent a car, if you're flying in.

Top

edit

Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Gram's Place BnB/Hostel3109 N. Ola aveGuesthouse73
Red Roof Inn Tampa Busch2307 East Busch BoulevardHotel63
Sunset Inn2106 E Busch BlvdHotel-
Red Roof Inn32000 us hwy 19 nHotel77
Motel 6 Tampa Downtown333 E Fowler Avenue TampaHotel-
Red Roof Inn Tampa Busch2307 East Busch BlvdHotel-

Top

Top

edit

Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

Top

Quick Facts

[edit]

Coordinates
  • Latitude: 27.970898
  • Longitude: -82.46464

On Travellerspoint

Contributors

as well as Sam I Am (5%), OceanFl (1%), Sander (1%), travelwend (1%)

Help contribute to this article to share the ad revenue.

Tampa Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Tampa

This is version 18. Last edited at 10:27 on Jul 11, 13 by Utrecht. 51 articles link to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License