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Tampa (Florida)

America's Next Greatest City.

Tampa (Florida)

Rooms From €99 (Per Person)

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Photograph of Tampa (Florida)

America's Next Greatest City.

Multi-ethnic Tampa on the Florida peninsula’s west coast is a thriving city where quaint historic neighbourhoods co-exist happily with sleek skyscrapers, and shrimp boats vie with cruise liners for space in the busy port. It was the Cuban immigrant community, led by Vicente Martinez Ybor, who put Tampa on the map when they introduced the cigar industry in the 1880s and developed Ybor City, now fully restored to its Latin Quarter elegance and a favourite neighbourhood for tourists to explore, by day or night.
Most visitors to the Tampa area stay in the resorts of St Petersburg and Clearwater, across Tampa Bay from the city. Most pay at least one visit to Tampa itself, however, for the exciting attractions and excellent museums on offer, particularly families with children in tow. The most popular attraction is the Busch Gardens entertainment park. Tampa is also within easy reach of Orlando, site of the world-famous Walt Disney World's theme and adventure park. 

  • Stay on the golden beaches of Clearwater or St Pete where you can get a city and beach break all in one.
  • Spend a few hours strolling around Ybor City, in downtown Tampa with its concentration of Cuban diners and cigar manufacturers. This area sports posh pubs and great nightlife.
  • Visit fantastic Busch Gardens for an exhilarating theme park experience
  • Head to downtown St Petersburg where you will find the Salvador Dali Museum, here you will see dozens of the Artists painting's, this is the main cultural attraction of the city.
  • Head south for lunch on US19 over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to Sarasota's Armand Circle for lunch. Stop for shopping on the way back at the Premium Outlets factory shops in Ellenton.
  • Laze on Caladesi Island or Honeymoon Island beaches.
  • Take a few hours out for lunch in Greek influenced Tarpon Springs.

There are no direct flights to Tampa from Ireland but numerous connections via the UK or USA.

Average flight time from Ireland to Tampa is 10-11 hours.

When it comes to planning out how to reach your destination, Platinum Travel have all the air travel expertise to help you get the best route to your final location.

As a licensed and bonded Travel Agent we have access to negotiated contract and wholesale fares with airlines worldwide. Our Travel Concierge team members will help you with the best connections and airlines to suit your own personal requirements.

For many destinations a number of flights may be required and sometimes it will include arriving into one airport and leaving from another. We will ensure you have the best combination of flights to do this and make sure you cover the necessary MCT (minimum connecting time) so that you have the best opportunity of a smooth and easy journey.

Several airlines have introduced many ancillary charges such as seat assignments, checked bags, priority boarding etc. Platinum Travel will look after these for you and book you at the best available bundle package at the best price. Upgraded airline fares, lounge access & Fasttrack are also available and again Platinum Travel know how to avail of the best value for these extras.

Platinum Travel are a fully licensed and bonded travel agent so you have a lot more protection with us than with the internet (airlines are not bonded).

Tampa International Airport

Located in Hillsborough County, seven miles (11km) from Tampa, Tampa International Airport offers passengers easy access to the sunny beaches of Florida. The airport has a great selection of shops and restaurants as well as a duty free section in the satellite terminals handling international flights.
From the air, or the Marriott Hotel's revolving restaurant, Tampa International Airport resembles a wheel with four spokes. It's an easy airport to get around and offers passengers a friendly welcome to the sunshine state.
Location The airport is located four miles (6km) west of downtown Tampa.
Getting to the city Interactive Ground Transportation information kiosks are available in the baggage claim area near the escalators. There are shared passenger van services as well as several city buses that travel to Tampa and other destinations. The local HARTLine bus stop is at the East end of the Red Baggage Claim. Taxis are also available curbside outside the baggage claim areas; the ride to the city centre takes around 20 minutes and costs a flat rate of $20.
Time GMT -5 (GMT -4 from March to November).
Contacts Tel: +1 813 870 8700.
Car rental Car hire companies represented at the airport include Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz and Thrifty.
Transfer between terminals The terminals are connected by walkways.
Facilities The airport has a bank, ATMs, bureaux de change, a shopping mall and several restaurants, bars and cafes. The business centre at the airport offers Internet access, fax and photocopy facilities. The Airport Marriott (located in the terminal) has its own business centre and conference rooms. Disabled facilities are good, those with special needs should advise their airline in advance.
Parking Short-term parking at Tampa International is located above the terminal. The first 60 minutes is free. Then it costs $4 for up to 80 minutes and $1 per 20 minutes thereafter, with a daily maximum of $20. The daily maximum for the two long-term parking options range between $9 and $15.
Departure Tax None.
Website www.tampaairport.com
Airlines North American carriers offer the main flights to Tampa International Airport. Canadians flying to Tampa can fly on WestJet or Air Canada, while British Airways flies between London and Tampa. Other airlines flying to Tampa International Airport include Cayman Airways, AirTran, Continental, Delta, American Airlines, Southwest, JetBlue, United and US Airways.
Internet Free wifi is available on the TPA Network in the landside and airside terminals.
Business Lounges Conference and business facilities, including meeting rooms, workstations, photocopying, printing and faxing services, are available at the on-site Marriott Hotel

Getting Around Tampa


Like in most American cities, a hire car is the easiest way to get around Tampa, because public transport is limited. The HARTline provides local and express bus services for the Tampa area, serving all the major malls and attractions and connecting to nearby beaches. Gray Line motor coaches and minibuses also serve the entire area, operating out of Orlando, St Petersburg and Sarasota. The Tampa Tours transport company offers charter trips, tours and hotel and airport shuttles in and around the city. Tampa is served by several taxi and limousine hire companies. The TECO Line streetcar system operates in Tampa's historic district, connecting the downtown area, Channelside, and Ybor City.

What to See and Do in Tampa

Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens is a massive zoo-come-theme park, which predates Florida's more famous Walt Disney World and offers an equally exciting and entertaining experience for visitors. The park is based on an overall African theme, divided into eight different areas with thousands of animals living in naturalistic environments. The site also contains thrill rides, live entertainment venues, shops and restaurants, all easily viewed from above from the Skyride cable car that crosses the park. In one day it is possible to visit Tutankhamen's Tomb in Egypt, cross the plains of the Serengeti and watch snake charmers in a Moroccan sultan's tent. A popular new ride is the Cheetah Hunt roller coaster, that travels up to 60mph.
Ybor City

Ybor City in central Tampa, with its cobblestone streets and huge old cigar factory buildings, is a National Historic Landmark District that beckons visitors back to an era when this Latin Quarter was known as the cigar capital of the world. The historic enclave, founded in 1886, has been fully restored and although the cigar factories are no longer operational, the buildings now house shops, restaurants, clubs and art galleries drawing large numbers of visitors. It is still possible to watch locals demonstrate the ancient art of premium hand-rolled cigar making, or spend a wild night applauding Spanish Flamenco dancers.

Shopping in Tampa

Eye great buys in Hyde Park Village, an open-air shopping center located within the heart of one of Tampa's older neighborhoods, go global at International Plaza, shop and then drop into great restaurants at Westshore Plaza, ride a carousel in Westfield, search for bargains at Ellenton, or find original art and handmade crafts at area farmer's markets.
So whatever the reason, whatever the season, shops, malls and retail stores throughout Tampa are filled with an amazing range of things to buy. Major shopping malls are plentiful, as are smaller collections of specialized stores located in unique and distinct neighborhoods.
Antique shops, vintage clothing stores, weekend markets that feature handmade jewelry and crafts, and most major chains round out the area's ever-changing, ever-expanding retail environment.

Dining in Tampa

From the waterfront bistros and fine dining restaurants serving fresh seafood to the Spanish dishes served by families who own and operate their own cafes, the quest for a memorable meal ends here. Every type of food and every sort of atmosphere is offered on the local menu.
Here in Tampa Bay, you don't have to go far to find the original flavor of Florida. It's in the spicy scent of our Spanish paella, a rich sip of café con leche, a healthy bite of a Cuban sandwich or the delicate taste of fresh, local seafood.
Tampa Bay's food and restaurant scene tells a distinctive story of its people, its past and its location. Even the trendy, nationally recognized chefs pay homage to the style of cooking Tampa Bay's immigrants brought to this area by building fresh, inventive dishes with traditional ingredients.

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