Where to stay in Tampa?

Are you heading to Florida to visit the state or settle down? Here’s our selection of the best places to stay in Tampa!

Enclosed by the eponymous bay in the center of Florida’s west coast, Tampa – the seat of Hillsborough County – is the state’s third most populous city after Jacksonville and Miami. Discovered by the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, the city grew rapidly during the 19th century, becoming Florida’s leading job-creating metropolis. A port city next to a seaside resort, Tampa is home to 330,000 residents and over 4 million people in the entire Tampa Bay area. Its rich history, subtropical climate, beautiful beaches and cultural heritage make it one of the major tourist destinations in the United States. Apartment rents are on the rise and housing in Tampa can be expensive, depending on the quarter you choose.

As is often the case when arriving in a new city, the question « which neighborhood to sleep in in Tampa » is one of your major concerns? Between Ybor City, the port, the business district and residential neighborhoods, here’s where to stay in Tampa.

Ybor City

Ybor City, loger à Tampa

Photo credit: Flickr – Allen Forrest

Ybor City is the city’s historic center, the hub of Tampa’s party scene. The district takes its name from a Spanish immigrant, Vicente Martinez Ybor, who built his first cigar factory in Cuba, where tobacco growing was very lucrative. Rivalry between Spaniards and Cubans prompted him to emigrate north to Florida: in 1885, Vicente Martinez Ybor settled in Tampa, where he built workers’ housing for his factory. Ybor City was thus a former working-class neighborhood where Spanish, Italian, German and Cuban workers flocked. Cigar capital of the world until the Great Depression, Ybor City is a rich cultural, ethnic and architectural melting pot.

Avenida la Setima is the commercial heart of the downtown area, from where you’ll see historic red-brick buildings, a jewel box of New Orleans and Mediterranean city. More than 900 historic buildings dot the district, including Ybor Square, home to Vicente Martinez Ybor’s factory. A trolley bus takes you on a tour of the district: the Teco line streetcar museum. Among other things, you’ll find numerous art galleries, museums – including the Ybor City State Museum – and a huge concentration of bars and restaurants serving international cuisine. Accommodation in Ybor City offers a central location.

Downtown Tampa & Westshore

This is the CBD(Central Business District). But it’s not all skyscrapers and banks: Downtown Tampa is a cultural district that will also appeal to art lovers and family vacationers. Lodging in Downtown Tampa offers a central location with numerous bars and restaurants, parks and green spaces, proximity to the main train station – Tampa Union Station – or the Greyhound bus station – ideal for boarding a bus to Miami and visiting Florida, or shopping and visiting museums: Tampa Museum of Art, Glazer Children’s Museum, Tampa Firefighters Museum. Like all downtown areas, however, accommodations in Downtown Tampa can be expensive. Hotels in Downtown Tampa are more likely to be found on the west side of the district, near the Hillsborough River.