Tampa deserves its time in the sun. Usually considered just a hub of commerce, it actually contains an abundance of attractions. Top of the list are the world-class Florida Aquarium and the city’s two theme parks, while the Tampa Museum of Art and ZooTampa at Lowry Park sit nearly as high. Strolling the Hillsborough Riverwalk, you’ll be impressed by the modern architecture and wonderful dining scene. Let us find you a cheap hotel in Tampa, and you’ll wonder what took you so long to get here.
Aloft is perfect for taking in Tampa’s central attractions. Perched on the Hillsborough River, just upstream from where it spills into Hillsborough Bay, you’ll find the Tampa Riverwalk, Museum of Photographic Arts and multiple parks literally outside your door. Inside, Aloft is all clean lines, potted palms and modern comforts. From entry-level guest rooms to the presidential suite, everything sings with bright Floridian colors. Some are accessible to guests with mobility issues, and all feature rainfall showers and Bliss Spa toiletries.
It’s a slight stretch to name this hotel for Busch Gardens – a theme park full of adrenaline-inducing rollercoasters, a five-minute drive away – but this slick, sensibly priced Hyatt gets a pass. Closer to the actual greenery of USF Botanical Gardens, it’s pet-friendly and offers a gym, pool, restaurant serving complimentary hot breakfast sandwiches and artisanal pastries, and all the amenities you’d expect from a Hyatt. Rooms are quiet, both acoustically and decoratively, with carpets, heavy drapes and muted grey tones, offering an extremely comfortable night’s sleep. Accessibility is a focus, with many rooms ADA-compliant.
This cheap Tampa hotel is one for the culture-seekers. Several blocks back from the river, it’s nonetheless right in the heart of Tampa’s cultural zone. An easy stroll takes you to the Tampa Museum of Art, Glazer Children’s Museum or the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Pale washes of interior color provide a light, soothing effect, while the pool and gym take care of travelers in need of physical stimulation. Rooms of all standards come in sedate creams and grays, with bold statement walls, splashes of contemporary art and armchairs for relaxing.
The 19th-century district of Ybor, once home to Tampa’s cigar industry and retaining a distinct Cuban, Italian and Spanish flavor, is the point-of-difference here. Of course, you can count on Hilton’s universally high standards, but you really must venture out to enjoy Ybor’s bubbling nightlife and restaurant scene. Inside, expect standard luxuries like an on-site gym, pool and restaurant, and enjoy the ocher-and-red palette of rooms featuring 250-thread-count sheets, Mirra chairs by Herman Miller and a range of accessibility options.
Those visiting students of the University of South Florida’s Tampa Campus will appreciate this budget Tampa hotel right across the street. The neutral-colored rooms are well set up, with blackout shades for a good night’s rest, walk-in showers, kitchenettes and even work spaces, in case you need to catch up on your emails. It’s also very family-friendly: one kid under 18 per parent can stay for free, and two under-11s per paying adult eat for free. The complimentary hot breakfast includes eggs the way you like them, plus bacon and sausage.
This fully appointed Marriott to the east of central Tampa really rolls out the welcome mat. All-suite accommodation comes with fully equipped kitchens (just don’t miss out on the generous breakfast buffet). Mondays to Wednesdays, the management invites you to meet the other guests for the Mix, an evening of complimentary drinks, light bites and good conversations. You’ll find a first-nighter kit to welcome you to comfortable rooms in muted greys and browns, with good-quality beds and accessible options.
The fitness center at this IHG hotel east of downtown is open 24 hours, and it really is a great place to keep your training going while away on vacation. There’s also a palm-fringed outdoor pool, and plenty of thought has been given to accessibility, from specially configured rooms to visual alarms and amplified telephones. All rooms are suites, with well-equipped kitchens, a neutral color scheme and blond-wood headboards. You needn’t come here alone, either; your pet pooch is welcome here.
Another great-value Tampa hotel option a little east of the Hillsborough River, the Garden Inn lives up to its name, with greenery sprouting throughout the neat brick premises. Naturally, there’s a pool and gym, and the rooms include thoughtful features like ergonomic Mirra desk chairs, non-allergenic feather pillows, 250-thread-count sheets, Keurig coffeemakers and deep, relaxing sofas. The convenient location right off the I-75 means that you’re just 10-15 minutes’ drive from such attractions as the Busch Gardens theme park, Adventure Island waterpark and Croc Encounters – a zoo that gets you up close and personal with its toothiest denizens.
For more hotel options, check out our guide to the best hotels in Tampa, Florida, bookable on Culture Trip.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.