15 Best Things to Do in Ybor City, FL (for 2024) (2024)

Ybor City, one of Tampa’s historic districts, is a vibrant melting pot where Cuban flair meets Floridian charm.

I’ve called Florida home for years, and this place is a gem.

Forget the guidebooks.

I’ve walked these streets of “Little Havana” and tasted the culture firsthand.

You’re stepping into a world where Latin American zest dances through the air.

So, are you keen to know the best things to do in Ybor City, FL?

Well, you’re in luck.

From sizzling Latin cuisine to foot-tapping salsa beats, this place is a sensory fiesta waiting to happen.

Buckle up because Ybor City is one ride you don’t want to miss.

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Best Things To Do In Ybor City, FL Compared

If you’re planning a trip to Ybor City, you won’t want to miss my top picks for the best things to do in the area.

From historic charm to vibrant nightlife, I’ve got you covered.

Editor’s Choice

15 Best Things to Do in Ybor City, FL (for 2024) (1)

Food Walking Tour

Food Walking Tour is a 3-hour walking tour exploring the food and history of Ybor City, featuring tastings from 4-5 restaurants.

  • Family-Friendliness: 5/5
  • Affordability: 3/5
  • Accessibility: 4/5
  • Fun Factor: 5/5
  • Educational Value: 4/5

#2nd Best Choice

15 Best Things to Do in Ybor City, FL (for 2024) (2)

Ghost Hunters Paranormal Ghost Tour

Ghost Hunters Paranormal Ghost Tour is a spooky interactive tour that started in 2005, exploring haunted sites in Ybor City with real ghost-hunting equipment.

  • Family-Friendliness: 2/5
  • Affordability: 3/5
  • Accessibility: 3/5
  • Fun Factor: 4/5
  • Educational Value: 2/5

#3rd Best Choice

15 Best Things to Do in Ybor City, FL (for 2024) (3)

Historic Walking Tour

Historic Walking Tour is a shared tour exploring the cultural, historical, and architectural treasures of Ybor City.

  • Family-Friendliness: 5/5
  • Affordability: 4/5
  • Accessibility: 4/5
  • Fun Factor: 4/5
  • Educational Value: 5/5

Here are the top 15 things to do in Ybor City, FL.

1. Food Walking Tour (Editor’s Choice)

15 Best Things to Do in Ybor City, FL (for 2024) (4)

1600 E 7th Ave
Tampa, FL 33605
(813) 408-1078
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Food Walking Tour is a 3-hour walking tour exploring the food and history of Ybor City, featuring tastings from 4-5 restaurants.

Ratings Criteria

  • Family-Friendliness: 5/5
  • Affordability: 3/5
  • Accessibility: 4/5
  • Fun Factor: 5/5
  • Educational Value: 4/5

Pros

  • Culinary experience: The food walking tour in Ybor City allows you to sample a wide variety of delicious dishes, including Cuban, Spanish, and Italian cuisine.
  • Local insights: You’ll get the chance to interact with local guides who can provide you with insights into the history and culture of Ybor City, making it an educational and entertaining experience.

Cons

  • Cost: The food walking tour can be relatively expensive, especially if you’re traveling with a group or family.
  • Dietary restrictions: If you have dietary restrictions or allergies, it may be challenging to fully enjoy the food walking tour as the set menu may not accommodate all dietary needs.

Why You Should Go

The Food Walking Tour is like a casual date with history, but you can eat your way through it.

You wander through streets that have seen more years, stopping at spots that serve up more than just a meal.

Cuban sandwiches?

Check.

Authentic tapas?

Absolutely.

It’s a way to get to know a place through its flavors, and it’s a hit with the kids and adults alike.

You learn, you eat, and you come away with a sense of the local culture that no ordinary restaurant can offer.

Expert Tip

First up, don’t eat before you go because you’ll want all the room you can get.

Second, think about comfort over style for your footwear.

You’ll be walking from one tasty spot to another, and the last thing you want is sore feet.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hilton Garden Inn Tampa Ybor Historic District

2. Ghost Hunters Paranormal Ghost Tour

15 Best Things to Do in Ybor City, FL (for 2024) (5)

1523 E 7th Ave
Tampa, FL 33605
(813) 505-6779
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Ghost Hunters Paranormal Ghost Tour is a spooky interactive tour that started in 2005, exploring haunted sites in Ybor City with real ghost-hunting equipment.

Ratings Criteria

  • Family-Friendliness: 2/5
  • Affordability: 3/5
  • Accessibility: 3/5
  • Fun Factor: 4/5
  • Educational Value: 2/5

Pros

  • Spooky experience: If you’re into the paranormal and enjoy ghost stories, this tour can be a thrilling and eerie adventure, providing a unique and spine-tingling experience.
  • Historical insights: The ghost tour often delves into the history and folklore of the area, offering a different perspective on the city’s past and its haunted tales.

Cons

  • Scary for some: While it’s a pro for those seeking a spooky experience, the paranormal theme might not be suitable for everyone, especially young children or those easily frightened.
  • Limited evidence: Some may find the ghost tour disappointing if they’re expecting concrete evidence of paranormal activity since the tour often relies on storytelling rather than actual ghost sightings.

Why You Should Go

So, you’re thinking about a ghost tour in Ybor City?

It’s not your run-of-the-mill family outing.

Imagine strolling through cobblestone streets, your guide spilling secrets of the city’s haunted past.

It’s like a history lesson but with chills up your spine.

You will hear tales of cigar magnates and restless spirits, all while clutching your loved ones a little tighter.

It’s a bonding experience but with a side of eerie.

Plus, it’s a great way to explore Ybor City in a different light.

Expert Tip

Bring a flashlight.

Not just for the dark corners but to catch those fleeting shadows you’ll swear weren’t just your imagination.

It adds a layer of interactive fun and a little comfort.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hampton Inn & Suites Tampa Ybor City Downtown

Related: Best Restaurants in Ybor City

3. Historic Walking Tour

15 Best Things to Do in Ybor City, FL (for 2024) (6)

1601 East 7th Ave
Tampa, FL 33605
(813) 505-6779
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Historic Walking Tour is a shared tour exploring the cultural, historical, and architectural treasures of Ybor City.

Ratings Criteria

  • Family-Friendliness: 5/5
  • Affordability: 4/5
  • Accessibility: 4/5
  • Fun Factor: 4/5
  • Educational Value: 5/5

Pros

  • Cultural and historical learning: The historic walking tour offers valuable insights into the history, architecture, and culture of Ybor City, making it an enriching experience for history enthusiasts.
  • Physical activity: The walking tour provides a healthy way to explore the city while staying active, and you can cover a lot of ground on foot, allowing you to appreciate the details of the area.

Cons

  • Weather dependent: Weather conditions can greatly impact the experience. Extreme heat or rain can make the tour uncomfortable or less enjoyable.
  • Pace and duration: The historic walking tour can be lengthy, and the pace may be slow for some visitors.

Why You Should Go

The Historic Walking Tour is a narrative journey, one where the sidewalks practically talk.

You meander through a mesh of cultures—Spanish, Cuban, Italian—each leaving its imprint like a well-thumbed book.

The kids will be too busy eyeing the old trolley cars to realize they’re learning something.

And you’ll find a quiet kind of joy in the ornate balconies and vintage storefronts.

It’s a break from the usual without the breakneck pace.

You’ll end the day with a cup of Cuban coffee, not as a tourist, but as a temporary local.

Expert Tip

Wear comfy shoes because Ybor City’s cobblestone streets are no joke, and you’ll want to explore comfortably.

While you’re at it, don’t miss out on the local food—Cuban sandwiches and café con leche are must-tries.

These two tips will make your walking tour not just educational but also downright enjoyable.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hotel Haya

Also See:
Jupiter Activities
Fun Stuff to Do in DeLand

4. Tabanero Cigars

15 Best Things to Do in Ybor City, FL (for 2024) (7)

1601 E 7th Ave
Tampa, FL 33605
(813) 402-6316
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Located at the heart of downtown Ybor City, this cigar lounge has a long manufacturing history.

Why You Should Go

Our list of relaxing indoor stuff to do when it’s raining or cold in Ybor City isn’t complete without a visit to this cigar lounge and café.

The city’s Cuban cigars are known throughout the country, and here you’ll see why.

Even if you don’t smoke, you can watch the process of making and rolling cigars.

You can also enjoy a nice cup of espresso and Cuban-style coffee.

Expert Tip

This is the perfect place to relax after a shopping trip at the Centro Ybor right across from the café.

When ordering, you can never go wrong with the Café con Leche, which both locals and tourists love.

Take advantage of the outside seating to enjoy the overall downtown Hispanic ambiance.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Tampa Marriott Water Street

5. Tampa Baseball Museum

15 Best Things to Do in Ybor City, FL (for 2024) (8)

2003 N 19th St
Tampa, FL 33605
(813) 400-2353
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This museum on 19th Street is located inside the childhood home of a Major League player, Al Lopez.

Why You Should Go

Want to know what to do in Ybor City if you like sports?

Why not stop by this museum?

The locals flock to the Tampa Baseball Museum inside the house of Al “El Señor” Lopez.

He grew up in Ybor City, so the museum features some personal effects and the original house structure.

Inside are photos, old uniforms, and equipment spanning 135 years of baseball in Ybor City.

Expert Tip

On some days, visiting the museum means getting a chance to win a ticket for a game.

It includes free parking and free food and drinks.

It’s better to follow their Facebook page where they also post discounts on specific dates.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Le Méridien Tampa, The Courthouse

6. Columbia Restaurant

15 Best Things to Do in Ybor City, FL (for 2024) (9)

2117 E 7th Ave
Tampa, FL 33605
(813) 248-4961
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The oldest diner in Florida is perfect for group events, with 15 dining rooms to choose from.

Why You Should Go

No list of must-see downtown spots to visit in this city is complete without this 117-year-old restaurant.

It started as the Columbian Saloon in 1903 and became the Columbian Restaurant two years later.

Today, this 52,000-square-foot building is the largest Spanish eatery in the world.

Each room has its own distinct style and character for a more memorable dining experience.

Expert Tip

I recommend ordering the iconic Cuban sandwich for its flavorful and authentic taste.

The wait can be long, so it’s better to reserve a table and arrive early.

Sometimes there are flamenco performances, so it’s better to call ahead to schedule your visit.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: JW Marriott Tampa Water Street

7. Tampa Bay Brewing Company

15 Best Things to Do in Ybor City, FL (for 2024) (10)

1600 East 8th Ave
Tampa, FL 33605
(813) 247-1422
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Located on the ground floor of Centro Ybor, this brewery and pub is known for its beer-infused meals.

Why You Should Go

There are plenty of nice places to visit in Ybor City, and this pet-friendly brewery is one of them.

Established in 1995, the company has 24 rotating taps and a full-service kitchen.

It gets a lot of visitors who are eager for new brews on Thursdays and new meal specials on Fridays and Saturdays.

Expert Tip

To get a tour, come on the more quiet days since tours only depend on manager availability.

Although there’s no Happy Hour, you can join the Mug Club to get food and drink discounts.

One of my favorites here is the Red Eye Cider Wings and a pineapple cider for a spicy and hearty meal.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hampton Inn Tampa Downtown Channel District

Also See:
Lakeland: Things to Do
What to Do in Wellington
Fun Things to Do in Ruskin, FL

8. Centennial Park

15 Best Things to Do in Ybor City, FL (for 2024) (11)

1800 East 8th Ave
Tampa, FL 33605
(813) 274-8615
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This 2.5-acre park is home to historical statues, social events, and the local market.

Why You Should Go

Looking for free romantic things to do in Ybor City for couples?

Take your partner to this historical park for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.

The park is also home to friendly chickens and regular vendors who sell food and crafts.

Here, you’ll also find an art studio where you can take pottery, sewing, or metalwork classes.

Expert Tip

Instead of holing up in a hotel, bring a book and enjoy the fresh breeze at this park.

There are regular local events held here, so make a stop after you visit a museum or restaurant.

You can take pictures or visit the historic homes right across the park.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hyatt Place Tampa Downtown

9. Dysfunctional Grace Art Co.

15 Best Things to Do in Ybor City, FL (for 2024) (12)

1903 E 7th Ave
Tampa, FL 33605
(813) 842-0830
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Located in the city’s commercial hub, this unique shop has a ton of strange and vintage objects for sale.

Why You Should Go

Searching for more unique things to see in Ybor City?

Look no further than the Dysfunctional Grace shop to find real human skulls, war artifacts, and vintage dolls.

This store is perfect for history buffs, specialty collectors, and lovers of old jewelry.

It’s also connected to a coffee shop where you can relax after shopping down the avenue.

Expert Tip

Just looking around the place is already like being in a museum.

The owners are friendly and knowledgeable about the things on display.

It’s best to go on a Saturday when the shop has longer hours, from 11 am to 8 pm.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Downtown Convention Center

10. Jose Marti Park

15 Best Things to Do in Ybor City, FL (for 2024) (13)

1303 E 8th Ave
Tampa, FL 33605
(813) 968-7479
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This park used to be the only Cuban-owned land in the country until the establishment of the Cuban Embassy in 2015.

Why You Should Go

There are many free things to do in Ybor City.

One of them is visiting this tiny but valuable park named after a journalist who fought for Cuban independence.

His statue stands in the middle of the park, with a plaque about his actions and contributions.

Here, you’ll essentially be stepping on Cuban soil since the land was gifted to the Republic of Cuba in 1956.

Expert Tip

The gates are sometimes locked, so you might want to call ahead for a visit and tour from the local office.

The signage “Isla de Cuba” is a great photo spot for a visual souvenir from Florida’s little Cuba.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hyatt House Tampa Downtown

11. The Blind Tiger Café

15 Best Things to Do in Ybor City, FL (for 2024) (14)

1901 E 7th Ave
Tampa, FL 33605
(813) 540-2233
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Inspired by the 1920s speakeasies, The Blind Tiger Café offers rich coffee and pastries influenced by the city’s immigrant cultures.

Why You Should Go

Bored and looking for places to go today?

Have brunch at a local favorite, The Blind Tiger Café.

“Blind Tiger” is another name for a speakeasy, which inspires the café’s drinks and interior decor.

This dog-friendly establishment also has vegetarian options for its sandwiches and cookies.

Expert Tip

One of my recommendations is its delicious and filling guava and cheese pastry.

The online shop allows you to buy not just coffee but also apparel and subscriptions.

The clothes belong to its lifestyle brand, Black & Denim, made with raw materials from the U.S.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Home2 Suites By Hilton Tampa Downtown Channel District

Also See:
Activities in Riverview
Things to Do in Cedar Key
Things to Do in hom*osassa

12. Home Port Gallery

15 Best Things to Do in Ybor City, FL (for 2024) (15)

228 Apollo Beach Blvd
Apollo Beach, FL 33572
(813) 294-0831
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Home Port Gallery is an art gallery in Apollo Beach that opened in 2014 and features two large exhibition rooms and a custom picture-framing facility.

Why You Should Go

If you’re craving a touch of culture that doesn’t involve smoke rings, you’ll find the Home Port Gallery just a 21-minute drive away from Ybor City.

This isn’t just another gallery with abstract blobs on canvas.

They’ve got a unique focus on war and aviation art, which is oddly captivating, even if you’re not a history buff.

It’s the kind of place where you can lose yourself in a painting and actually want to read the artist’s description next to it.

Local talent also gets some wall space, offering a fresh take on Florida’s landscapes and culture.

Expert Tip

Don’t just breeze through the aviation section.

Even if you can’t tell a propeller from a paper plane, linger a bit.

The artists often hide Easter eggs in the details—like hidden messages.

It’s like a visual scavenger hunt for grown-ups.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Tampa East – Ybor City, an IHG Hotel

13. Ybor City Saturday Market

15 Best Things to Do in Ybor City, FL (for 2024) (16)

1901 19th St
Tampa, FL 33605
(813) 241-2442
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Right in the heart of Ybor City’s business district is the Saturday market, which operates throughout the year.

Why You Should Go

Up for some interesting sights to see this weekend?

Then, it’s a good thing that Ybor City’s local outdoor market is always on every Saturday, rain or shine.

Admission is free, and you can bring your pets while you shop, as long as they don’t mind the chickens running around.

At the market, you’ll find freshly baked goods, plants, pet treats, woodworking, jewelry, and other local crafts.

Expert Tip

Bring your own eco-bag or buy a drawstring bag from one of the booths before you start shopping.

During the holidays, the booths have longer hours and there are more vendors.

The area is a one-stop shop since it’s close to other iconic restaurants and museums.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hampton Inn & Suites Tampa Ybor City Downtown

14. The Ritz Ybor

15 Best Things to Do in Ybor City, FL (for 2024) (17)

1503 E 7th Ave
Tampa, FL 33605
(813) 873-8368
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Opened in 1917, this former movie theater now hosts live music events from local and national artists.

Why You Should Go

On the hunt for fun activities in Ybor City for music lovers?

Say no more because The Ritz Ybor always has an event lined up every weekend.

Once named “Rivoli Theater”, this venue has 17,000 square feet of space made up of three rooms, a foyer, and a catering kitchen.

The bars have a wide selection of tap beers, and the service is quick even when it’s crowded.

The bathroom attendants are friendly, and the restrooms are clean.

Expert Tip

Bring extra cash since water bottles here can be more expensive than some drinks.

Check the Sunset Events link on the website for discount codes, promos, and a list of activities.

Only VIP tickets have seats, so make sure that you’re wearing comfortable footwear if you buy general tickets.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Courtyard Tampa Downtown

15. GameTime

15 Best Things to Do in Ybor City, FL (for 2024) (18)

1600 E 8th Ave
Tampa, FL 33605
(813) 241-9675
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The perfect entertainment building, GameTime is famous among families for its arcades, restaurants, and party packages.

Why You Should Go

GameTime is where kids go to play over 165 games and eat delicious pizza, pasta, and burgers.

Grown-ups, too, come here for the co*cktail bars, pool tables, and prize machines.

The drinks are cheap, and there’s always something to do for everyone in the family.

Whether you’re out solo or with friends, this is one of the best things to do in Ybor City, FL.

Expert Tip

Always check the website for promotions that include 50% off drinks during Happy Hour.

There’s also a combo dine-and-play access for more credits at a lower price.

Weekends are crowded and cause service delays, so it’s better to come here on a weekday afternoon.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Epicurean Hotel, Autograph Collection

Activity Guide

Comparing Attractions: Which One Is Right For You?

Ybor City is a place where history, food, and the supernatural dance in the streets like it’s nobody’s business.

Let’s talk about the three tours I took.

First up, the Food Walking Tour.

Imagine strolling through cobblestone streets, and each bite is a new chapter in Ybor’s culinary tale.

But it’s not the best for calorie-counting or picky eaters.

Next, the Ghost Hunters Paranormal Ghost Tour.

We wandered through haunted buildings, and I swear I felt a chill.

But if you’ve got little ones, this might be a bedtime story you’d rather skip.

Lastly, the Historic Walking Tour.

A deep dive into Ybor’s past without the eerie soundtrack.

Think of it as a live-action history book, minus the dust.

So, which to choose?

Food tour for the foodies, ghost tour for the thrill-seekers, and the historic tour for the curious cats.

Each offers a different slice of Ybor, but all are equally unforgettable.

How I Picked The Activities

Living in Florida, I’ve got a bit of home-field advantage.

I’ve chatted up with locals, swapped stories with travelers, and done my homework.

I’ve carefully examined each item on the list and based my conclusions on my own experiences and observations.

Each activity made the cut for a reason, offering something unique to the Ybor experience.

Our Rating Method

I rate these attractions based on the following criteria:

  • Family-Friendliness: I use this criterion to assess the family-friendly appeal of every activity. Is it suitable for families with kids? Is it safe, engaging, and fun for children? I ask myself these questions in order to rate family-friendliness.
  • Affordability: This is used to evaluate the attraction’s affordability. Will visitors get a lot of bang for their buck? Is it free or cheaper compared to the other options? Does it offer discounted rates, special promotions, or free entry? I consider these factors when rating affordability.
  • Accessibility: This evaluates the activity’s accessibility. Is it easily accessible by public transportation? Are there plenty of parking spaces available? Is it wheelchair accessible? I ask myself these questions when assessing the attraction’s accessibility.
  • Fun Factor: I use this to evaluate how enjoyable the attraction is for visitors. Will it create positive and memorable experiences? Is it engaging, fun, and exciting? I use these questions to evaluate this criterion.
  • Educational Value: This assesses the educational benefits of the activity. Does it provide learning opportunities to kids? Will it teach visitors lessons in science and history? I ask myself these important questions when rating educational value.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Take A Guided Tour Of Ybor City?

Yes, guided tours are available to delve deeper into Ybor City’s history and culture. You can take walking tours or even hop on a streetcar tour to explore the area with knowledgeable guides.

Can I Explore Ybor City On A Budget?

Yes, Ybor City offers budget-friendly options, such as free walking tours, affordable dining choices, and the opportunity to enjoy the historic district’s architecture and atmosphere without spending much.

Are There Any Family-Friendly Activities In Ybor City?

Yes, Ybor City offers family-friendly activities, including the Ybor City Museum Gardens, which provide a serene setting for a family picnic or leisurely stroll, and the Tampa Bay History Center nearby.

Conclusion

If you’re still pondering over the best things to do in Ybor City, FL, the Food Walking Tour should be at the top of your list.

It’s not just about stuffing your face with delicious bites.

It’s a journey through Ybor’s rich culinary tapestry.

You’ll wander through streets that have stories to tell, and the food?

From Cuban sandwiches to authentic tapas, each dish is a chapter in a book you won’t want to put down.

So, if you’re looking for an activity that offers more than just surface-level thrills, this is it.

It’s the kind of outing that satisfies the soul as much as it does the appetite.

15 Best Things to Do in Ybor City, FL (for 2024) (19)

Editor’s Choice

Food Walking Tour

Food Walking Tour is a 3-hour walking tour exploring the food and history of Ybor City, featuring tastings from 4-5 restaurants.

  • Family-Friendliness: 5/5
  • Affordability: 3/5
  • Accessibility: 4/5
  • Fun Factor: 5/5
  • Educational Value: 4/5
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