Tampa knows how to have a great time. Whether it’s feeling the rush of cheering on one of their pro sports teams, finding your inner swashbuckler at their annual Gasparilla Pirate Festival, or just having a pint of Tampa Bay’s fantastic local beer under the swaying palm trees, Tampa Bay is the perfect holiday destination.
It’s almost as if Tampa was designed for incredible holidays. A sun-soaked, sophisticated inlet on the Gulf coast of Florida, Tampa is the ideal place to kick your feet up and enjoy yourself. For adult travellers, Tampa features a city of sunshine, swaying palm trees, and plenty of excitement. Tampa is a hip, contemporary city, and it shows: there’s no shortage of trendy restaurants or craft breweries to be sampled. With professional baseball, hockey, and American football teams, there’s no better way to spend a summer afternoon than cheering your heart out for the home team.
For travellers with children – or just those who are young at heart – don’t worry: Tampa has plenty of fascinating museums and thrilling theme parks to be enjoyed as well. Bust out the sunscreen and spend a day riding some of America’s best roller coasters at Busch Gardens, enjoying the water slides at Adventure Island water park, or marvelling at the diverse marine life in the Florida Aquarium.
No matter what you choose, a phenomenal holiday is guaranteed, so book your flight from Zurich to Tampa with SWISS today.
- All timetable details may be subject to change. Insofar as is permitted by law, SWISS accepts no liability for the correctness and completeness of the details provided.
How do I get around Tampa Bay?
One thing’s for sure: you’ve got no shortage of options. For a true Tampa Bay experience, consider taking the historic street cars that connect many of the city’s most well-known sights and attractions. Rides are free and run frequently during daytime hours. Buses also run to outlying areas, with schedules and routes available online. Water taxis navigate the city’s Hillsborough River for those visitors looking to get a unique perspective on Tampa’s down town, connecting the city’s most popular riverside destinations during regular business hours. Tampa is also known as a particularly bike-friendly city, so travellers looking to enjoy the city’s excellent weather will be well-served by the city’s many dedicated bike paths and bike-share system. The city even offers self-repair stations, lock-shower facilities, and a free official bike map that is available online.
What is the weather like in Tampa Bay?
Tampa Bay tends towards perfect holiday weather: sunny and hot for the majority of the year. Although Tampa is drier in autumn, winter, and spring, the city tends to experience frequent thunderstorms during its warm and humid summer months (roughly early June to late August), especially during the afternoons. Travellers visiting at any time of year will want to pack a light raincoat in case of rain showers.
When is the best time to see a sports game?
The sports you can see depend on the season during which you visit. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the city’s American football team, play once a week from roughly early September to late December. The Tampa Bay Rays, the city’s Major League Baseball team, typically play from late March until late September. The Tampa Bay Lightning, the city’s hockey team, play between early October and April.
Go with the flow in down town Tampa Bay
Perhaps the best way to see what Tampa has to offer is to take a stroll along the city’s picturesque Riverwalk. Following the path of the Hillsborough River, the 2.6-mile path takes visitors on a tour of the city’s down town core - replete with murals, busts, and monuments celebrating the city’s past and present. And if all that walking has you working up an appetite, plenty of restaurants, bars and cafés border the Riverwalk as well. Notable attractions connected by the path include:
- Tampa Museum of Art
- Glazer Children’s Museum
- Rivergate Tower
- Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
- Curtis Hixon Park
Festival fever in Tampa
For over 100 years, Tampa Bay has celebrated the Gasparilla Pirate Festival, a series of parades and festivities that rivals any other celebration in the country. Beginning in late January, the festival celebrates the legend of José Gaspar, a Spanish pirate from Florida’s past.
Party like a pirate
The festival’s main event is Gasparilla Day, on which a pirate conquest of the city is staged, with a pirate ship invading the city and kicking off the third-largest parade in America, with an annual attendance of around 300,000 people.
And as if that wasn’t enough entertainment, the Gasparilla Pirate Festival also kicks off several related events that take place after Gasparilla Day during what is known as “Gasparilla season,” including the Gasparilla Film Festival, the Gasparilla Music Festival, and the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts. Dates vary slightly from year to year, but the festival is always a sure-fire hit.
Find your own inner pirate and book your trip from Zurich to Tampa with SWISS today.
Bite into Tampa’s diverse culinary scene
Tampa is rightfully known as a dynamic culinary city. Contemporary American cuisine and traditional Cuban influence have become fast friends in Tampa, resulting in food unlike anywhere else in the U.S. For a true Tampa experience, make sure to sample one of the city’s famous Cuban sandwiches, which are said to have originated in Tampa: a mix of ham, roast pork, pickles, mustard and Swiss cheese on Cuban bread.
Drink like a (modern) pirate
While you may not be able to find any grog to swig while you sail the seven seas, Tampa has recently undergone a craft beer renaissance, and is quickly on its way to becoming one of America’s craft beer destinations. There are over 50 different breweries in the Tampa area, all of which bring their own takes on Tampa’s favourite beverage. And if you’d like to meet and greet with other beer enthusiasts, there are several annual beer events throughout the year, including Tampa Bay Beer Week, a beloved festival in early March featuring tastings, dinners, and more.
X marks the spot in Tampa
Visitors looking to bring home some booty of their own have a slew of options, from upscale shopping plazas to smaller, more eclectic shops. The International Plaza, near Tampa’s International Airport, is a popular shopping destination that features beloved luxury retailers such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany & Co. For visitors looking to find smaller, more unique products, neighbourhoods like Ybor City feature plenty of boutiques and workshops, while markets like the city’s famous Oxford Exchange house a diverse roster of artists and artisans whose wares are beyond compare.
Zurich - ChicagoFlight duration: 10:05 hrs total, Frequency: 5 x daily
Departure ZurichTerminal: 1 / 3Counter opening time: 24 h prior to departure
Airbus A330-300Height: 16.80 mLength: 63.70 mSeats: 236
Crew:Pilots: 2Cabin crew: 11
Transit OHare Intl Arpt (ORD)Arrival: 16:25Transit time: 1h 30m
Chicago - TampaFlight duration: 02:45 hrs total, Frequency:
Arrival TampaDistance to city centre: 15 km