Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Pirate News

Which Is Cheaper To Visit Miami Or Fort Lauderdale?

A handful of preparation materials for a tour


While both Miami and Fort Lauderdale offer sunshine and Florida fun, Fort Lauderdale generally tends to be the more budget-friendly option. Accommodation, dining, and even entertainment often come with a smaller price tag in “The Venice of America” compared to its flashier neighbor. This affordability edge stems from several factors, including a wider range of mid-range hotels and restaurants and a focus on family-friendly activities that are easier on the wallet. However, remember that both cities cater to various budgets. Miami might surprise you with hidden gems, while Fort Lauderdale could see your costs rise if you crave luxury experiences. Ultimately, the “cheaper” choice depends on your spending habits and priorities.


A tourist thinking where to go next

Fort Lauderdale versus Miami: Which Is Cooler for Your Vacation?

Are you trying to figure out whether Fort Lauderdale or Miami is the better spot to hang out? Well, you’re in luck because I’ve got the ultimate guide for you right here!Both of these cities are super famous for spring break! They’ve got awesome beaches, really good restaurants, and tons of fun stuff to do at night.Both of these cities are super famous for spring break! They’ve got awesome beaches, really good restaurants, and tons of fun stuff to do at night.

There are so many cool places to check out and fun stuff to do in these nearby cities! Sometimes it’s super hard to pick which one to go to for a vacation or just a quick weekend field trips.

But, like, even though they’re kinda similar, these places totally give off different vibes depending on what you’re into!

Check out what’s up ahead to get the lowdown on costs, cool places to check out, where to grab the best grub, awesome beaches, live tunes, and all that jazz!Planning a last-minute trip to Fort Lauderdale or Miami? No worries, we’ve got you covered with some awesome tours and experiences you shouldn’t miss out on!

Top Tour in Fort Lauderdale

  1. Bluefoot pirates adventure 
  • See Ft. Lauderdale all lit up at night!
  • Hop on and off all day long!
  • Take a scenic 90-minute cruise with narration.

Top Hotels in Fort Lauderdale

  1. Riverside Hotel – Great location and top-rated!
  2. Hotel Maren Fort Lauderdale Beach – Best beach nearby hotel!

Top Hotels in Miami

  1. The Elser Hotel Miami – Highly-rated and downtown!
  2. Loews Coral Gables Hotel – Perfect location and highly rated!

A beautiful view of the Miami beach

Which City’s Beaches Are the Coolest?

Fort Lauderdale Beaches

If you want a chill day at the beach, Fort Lauderdale’s got you covered. It’s known for being more family-friendly, so you won’t see as many wild party animals or rowdy drinking scenes as you would in Miami. Plus, it’s cleaner thanks to the crowd it attracts.

But don’t worry, there’s still some fun to be had! You might catch a few drinks or nighttime activities, just not as crazy as Miami Beach.

And hey, Fort Lauderdale’s beaches have been in movies and magazines, so they’re kinda famous. Some top picks are Las Olas Beach, Ft. Lauderdale Beach, North Ocean Park, and Hollywood Beach.

Miami Beaches

Now, if you’re all about the party scene, Miami’s where it’s at. It’s like a magnet for party animals, singles, and college kids. The beaches here are always buzzing with activity, especially during Spring Break.

Miami Beach and South Beach, also known as “SoBe,” are the hotspots. They’re surrounded by awesome food spots, art galleries, and clubs for nighttime fun.

But if you’re into more chill vibes with scenic views, you’ve got options like Lummus Park Beach, South Pointe Park Pier, and Haulover Beach. They’ve got that classic tropical feel with crystal blue water and tons of sand.

So, which city wins the beach battle? It’s up to you! If you want a relaxed family trip, go for Fort Lauderdale. But if you’re all about the party life, Miami’s calling your name.

A girl standing infront of the airport line

Which Airport is the Coolest to Fly Into?

South Florida is like a dream vacation spot for people all around the globe.

Because of this, there are a few different airports you can choose from to make your trip super easy.

If you’re heading to Miami, the closest airport is Miami International Airport (MIA). It’s only a quick 20-minute drive to most parts of the city.

MIA is where a lot of folks flying in from South America and the Caribbean first touch down when they come to the U.S. It’s like the main entrance to the country from those places!

This airport has flights going all over the world, making it super convenient if you’re coming from afar.

Now, if you’re aiming for Fort Lauderdale or places nearby, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) might be your go-to.

FLL has more flights within the U.S., especially if you’re flying with budget airlines like Spirit, Southwest, or JetBlue.

It’s perfect if you’re planning to spend most of your time in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Pompano Beach, or Delray Beach. Plus, it’s generally less crowded and easier to get around than MIA.

Even if your main destination is Miami, FLL is still a solid choice. It’s only about 30 to 40 minutes north of Miami, so it’s not too far away and still pretty easy to get to.

A woman greeted a dinning customer

Which town’s got the Better Restaurant experience?

Choosing between Miami and Fort Lauderdale for dining can be a real head-scratcher since both cities have awesome restaurant scenes.

They’re like melting pots of flavors, blending cuisines from places like Cuba, Mexico, Haiti, and China. So, if you’re into food, either city is a win!

Miami being bigger

Naturally has more dining spots than Fort Lauderdale. You name it, they’ve got it – from fancy new American and Mediterranean to classic Chinese and real-deal Cuban.

Plus, Miami’s got cool food halls and markets, like the Time Out Market Miami, where you can taste the city’s best bites and try dishes from rising star chefs.

And don’t forget about the South Beach Wine & Food Festival – it’s like a foodie’s dream come true with dinners, parties, food sampling, and live cooking shows all in one place every February.

But hey,

Fort Lauderdale shouldn’t be overlooked 

They’ve got gems like Padrino’s serving up mouthwatering Cuban delights like empanadas and Cubanos. And if you’re into deli sandwiches and coffee, The Alchemist Cafe is a must-visit. For seafood with a view, Sea Watch on the Ocean has you covered.

A man holding a hundred dollar bill

Which City Costs Less to Visit?

Considering how pricey travel can be right now, it’s likely that folks are thinking about costs when deciding between Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

Just so you know, both places can get expensive depending on what kind of experience you’re aiming for.

If you’re thinking about staying at fancy hotels or dining at super fancy restaurants, get ready to shell out some serious cash.

But hey, you don’t have to break the bank to have a good time! You can still have a blast in both cities without spending a ton of money.

Miami’s got a reputation as a hotspot for the rich and famous, which unfortunately means prices for stuff like food, hotels, and clubs can be through the roof. 

But don’t sweat it – there are still loads of affordable options to explore and enjoy!

Miami Magic on a Shoestring Budget

If you want to save money on lodging, look to stay at hotels or Airbnbs that are further away from the beach.

The closer to the beachfront a property is, the more expensive the price tag becomes.

Many resorts near the water or on the beach also make guests pay excessive fees for services, food and beverage, and sometimes, just because they feel like it!

Oppositely, make sure you don’t book something too cheap.

Miami is known to be a generally safe city, but it also has a darker side depending on what part of the city you’re looking to stay in.

If something seems to good (or cheap) to be true, it probably is.

Only use verified websites for booking hotels and Airbnb’s, and never give out your personal information or credit card information to an individual person.

If you’re saving money on a big expense like lodging, you’ll likely have more to play with.

You can stretch your dollar even further by dining at mid-range cafes and restaurants, or going on small group tours versus private excursions.

Plenty of beaches are also free to enjoy, while some only charge to rent umbrellas, chairs, or other beach equipment like boogie boards or snorkeling gear.

Exploring Fort Lauderdale Without Breaking the Bank

When it comes to keeping your wallet happy, Fort Lauderdale is a great pick! Compared to Miami, it’s much friendlier to your budget. There’s loads of stuff to do here that won’t break the bank.

One super popular thing to do is hop on a water taxi and cruise around what they call the “Venice of America.” You can make 15 stops along the way, and it’s like a tour on the water plus a way to get from one cool spot to another.

Sometimes, they even run day cruises to Miami Beach. So, you can hit up both cities in one day without burning a hole in your pocket.

And guess what? Your water taxi ticket can score you discounts at certain places like restaurants, bars, shops, and museums. So, it’s like saving money while having a blast!

When it comes to finding a place to crash, the trick is to look further from the beach. The hotels and Airbnbs get way cheaper the farther you go. Some of these spots even have sweet apartment-style suites that are perfect for groups or families.

There’s this spot called Fortuna Hotel, just a short walk from Ft. Lauderdale Beach. And then there’s Tranquilo Hotel, which is surrounded by tons of cool shops and places to grub. So, you’ve got options that won’t empty your wallet!

A group of travellers planning their trips

Best Times to Visit for Affordable Prices

With travel costs soaring these days, people are definitely thinking about their wallets when choosing between Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

Just to be clear, both places can drain your funds depending on what you’re into.

If you’re all about staying in fancy hotels, dining at top-notch restaurants, and splurging on Michelin-star meals, get ready to break the bank.

But hey, you don’t have to be rolling in dough to have a good time in either spot.

Miami’s reputation as a playground for the rich and famous means prices can be through the roof for fancy eats, posh stays, and clubbing. But don’t sweat it – there are affordable ways to soak up the city’s vibes too!

A group of shoppers enjoying shopping

Which Place Has Cooler Stores: Miami or Fort Lauderdale?

Let’s Talk Shopping in Miami

Miami is the ultimate champ when it comes to shopping! Being a big city, Miami has tons of places to shop, from cute little stores to huge malls and fancy shops.

One of the coolest spots is the Bayside Marketplace, which is one of the biggest outdoor malls in the whole U.S.! There are over 150 shops there, selling all sorts of stuff like local foods, clothes, and handmade jewelry. 

Plus, sometimes they have live music playing while you shop!

You can’t visit Miami without checking out Flagler Street, which is like the shopping hub of the city. There are loads of stores there, from really cheap ones to more mid-range ones.

You’ll find big names like Macy’s, Marshalls, and Target, as well as some cool Cuban stores like La Epoca. It’s where the shopping action is!

Heading to the Stores in Fort Lauderdale

Just ’cause Miami has tons of stores doesn’t mean you should sleep on Fort Lauderdale’s shopping scene!

There are loads of spots to snag souvenirs, clothes, beach gear, and cool gifts all over town.

You gotta hit up places like Las Olas Boulevard and the Galleria at Fort Lauderdale for a killer shopping day.

And if you’re into a little bit of everything, Las Olas is the spot for you.

This street’s got it all: art galleries, cafes, bars, medical spots, jewelry shops, fancy boutiques, and top-notch restaurants.

It’s basically the ultimate shopping hub in Fort Lauderdale!

A beautiful scenic view of downtown Miami

Which City Has the Best Views?

This decision is a tough one, and it really depends on what kind of vibe you’re into!

If you’re all about that city life with tall buildings and bustling streets, then Miami is the place for you. Even though it’s known for its amazing beaches, there’s still plenty of urban action with skyscrapers and shopping centers dominating the skyline.

But if you’re more into natural beauty and chilling under palm trees by the beach, then Fort Lauderdale is calling your name. Here, it’s all about enjoying the scenery without those big condo buildings stealing the spotlight from Mother Nature.

Plus, there’s the Bluefoot pirates adventure nearby! It’s not a typical sightseeing cruise – this high-seas escapade throws you headfirst into a swashbuckling pirate adventure designed for buccaneers of all ages.

Imagine transforming into a salty deckhand, learning pirate lingo, and firing real water cannons in epic battles against mischievous scallywags.

The hunt for hidden treasure keeps everyone on their toes, while the friendly pirate crew ensures no landlubber feels left behind. 

Whether you’re celebrating a birthday or simply seeking a splash of family fun, Bluefoot Pirates guarantees an unforgettable voyage filled with laughter, thrills, and memories that will make you yo ho ho all the way home! 

So raise the Jolly Roger, grab your little scallywags, and prepare to embark on a pirate adventure that’s anything but ordinary!

Couples deciding what to choose

Closing Ideas – Fort Lauderdale versus Miami

Looking to plan a budget-friendly trip but torn between Miami and Fort Lauderdale? Let’s break it down.

First off, Fort Lauderdale tends to be a bit easier on the wallet compared to Miami. You’ll find that accommodations, dining options, and even activities are often more affordable in Fort Lauderdale. Plus, with its reputation for a calmer atmosphere, you might end up spending less on nightlife and entertainment compared to the lively scene in Miami.

Speaking of entertainment, Miami is known for its vibrant nightlife and diverse cultural experiences, but that excitement often comes with a price tag. From trendy clubs to world-class restaurants, Miami offers plenty of opportunities to splurge. However, if you’re willing to do some digging, you can still find some budget-friendly gems amidst the glitz and glamour.

Transportation costs can also play a significant role in your overall expenses. While both cities offer public transit options, Miami’s expansive layout might result in higher transportation costs if you plan on exploring beyond the immediate downtown area. In contrast, Fort Lauderdale’s more compact size could mean fewer expenses getting from one place to another.

When it comes to outdoor activities and attractions, both cities boast beautiful beaches and plenty of opportunities for fun in the sun. However, Fort Lauderdale’s nature trails and parks might offer more budget-friendly options for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore without breaking the bank.

Ultimately, whether Miami or Fort Lauderdale is cheaper for you depends on your preferences and priorities. If you’re willing to sacrifice some of the glitz and glamour for a more budget-friendly experience, Fort Lauderdale might be the way to go. But if you’re set on experiencing Miami’s vibrant culture and nightlife scene, just be prepared to budget accordingly. Either way, both cities offer unique experiences that are sure to leave you with unforgettable memories, regardless of your budget constraints.

Ultimately, whether Miami or Fort Lauderdale is cheaper for you depends on your preferences and how you plan your trip. With a bit of research and flexibility, you can enjoy a fantastic vacation in either destination without breaking the bank.