Orlando vs Miami: How Do the Two Stack Up?

Orlando Vs Miami

Packing your bags for the sunshine state? While a lot of travelers prefer visiting Orlando and Miami both, in such a scenario, sometimes financial or time constraints might make you choose between the two. Tough one, right?

Orlando is more of a family destination with its water parks, Disney World, and Universal Studios. On the other hand, Miami is more about adult time out, with its sandy beaches and vibrant nightlife.

However, this is just the tip of the iceberg! Read on, for a detailed comparison between the two sunny cities and find out which one is the perfect match for your mood.

Orlando vs Miami Map

Orlando and Miami are the prized possessions of the state of Florida. They lie at a distance of 328 km from each other. If you plan to fly from one place to the other, it will take you approximately 0.36 hours. 

Orlando vs Miami to Live

Every city has a unique vibe to it and these two Florida cities offer a characteristic lifestyle to their residents. If you are looking for something for the entire family, Orlando might be your best bet thanks to its abundance of theme parks and attractions catering to all age groups. 

Looking for something that’s easy on the eye? Orlando won’t disappoint you since it’s known for its clean streets and well-maintained parks, making it an attractive place for families to live and visit. 

On the other hand, if you prefer an urban chic neighborhood then Miami would suit your mood just fine with its cosmopolitan vibe. The city is known for its diverse population, vibrant arts and cultural scene, and thriving nightlife. 

Miami is also a major international gateway, with a large international airport and a booming cruise industry.

As far as city culture is concerned, both cities boast a rich cultural scene but with different flavors. Orlando has a diverse population which makes it a melting pot of cultures from around the world. 

You can experience Orlando’s cultural diversity with its year-round cultural festivals, events, and performances, all showcasing the city’s diverse heritage. 

Miami, on the other hand, has a strong Latin influence, with a large population of Hispanic and Latino residents. According to the US Census Bureau, in the year 2020, Miami had a Hispanic population of approximately 70%. So don’t be surprised if all that you hear is Spanish, every time you step out into your neighborhood!

Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood is a hub of Cuban culture, with its colorful murals, lively street life, and delicious Cuban cuisine. The city also hosts the annual Miami International Film Festival which celebrates the diversity of Latin American Hispanic cinema.

Orlando vs Miami Cost of Living

This is an important consideration whenever you are relocating to a new city. You might be tempted to think that the cost of living might be comparable in both cities since both belong to phenomenal Florida. However, there’s a marked difference between the two.

Miami is 18.5% more expensive than Orlando, with housing prices contributing to the major chunk of expenses. On average, housing is 35.3% more expensive in Miami, as compared to Orlando. 

Additionally, if you’re looking to rent or buy a home in popular Miami areas like South Beach or Downtown Miami, be prepared to shell out even higher amounts.

On the other hand, Orlando offers a lower cost of living compared to many other major cities in the United States. Housing costs in Orlando are generally more affordable and you would find a variety of neighborhoods and communities that would suit your particular budget. 

Orlando vs Miami For Vacation

Both, Orlando and Miami are tourist magnets. Let’s take a look at how the two cities compare with each other keeping various vacation factors in mind.


There isn’t a soul in this world, who’d starve themselves on their vacation. We know how important it is to satisfy your taste buds when you’re on holiday. Miami is a clear winner when it comes to the culinary scene since it is as diverse as its population. 

Some popular foods to try out when you’re in Miami are Stone Crabs, fish sandwiches, Cuban sandwiches, and key lime pie. 

Orlando has some great restaurants too. On the flip side, grabbing a spot in one can be challenging, since most of the time reservations have to be done months in advance! 


This is another area where Miami steals the show. When the sun goes down, the party kickstarts in Miami. Nightlife here is legendary, with world-class restaurants, bars, and nightclubs that cater to a diverse crowd. 

In Miami, you wouldn’t have to look around much if you want to dance your heart out all night. There are plenty of venues to choose from ranging from the posh clubs in South Beach to local salsa dancing hubs in Little Havana. 

Orlando, on the other hand, is more of a day-trotter’s haven. However, if you’re really keen on some nighttime activities, you can head out to Disney Springs, Wall Street Plaza, or Universal CityWalk. 


This is more of a theme park vs beaches debate, and probably the single most important deciding factor when it comes to planning your vacation. 

Orlando is known as the theme park capital of the world. It is home to Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and Sea World Orlando, which are major crowd pullers. In the year 2018, Orlando welcome a record-breaking 75 million visitors with an estimated economic impact of $75.2 billion! 

If you are traveling with children get ready to deal with excited squeals throughout the trip because Orlando is every child’s (and adult’s) dream come true. The Walt Disney World Resort alone covers an area larger than Manhattan and offers a magical experience with its four theme parks, two water parks, and countless entertainment options. 

Additionally, Universal Orlando Resort, immerses visitors in the world of movies and TV shows with its two theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and the popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

If you are looking for a nature-friendly trip and plan to head back to work with the perfect tan, book a trip to Miami, without any second thoughts. The city is renowned for its stunning world-famous beaches such as South Beach, Miami Beach, and Key Biscayne.

In Miami, you can soak up the sun, swim in the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean, and enjoy a variety of water sports while you are at it. 


Of course, your holiday wouldn’t be complete without a shopping spree. Miami is all about luxury, and you would find every high-end brand here. Orlando has countless malls and shops too, but it’s all about Disney fever out here. If you are a Disney enthusiast, you can get your hands on all sorts of Disney paraphernalia here.

Getting Around

If you haven’t driven all the way up to your vacation spot, getting around the city can be a major concern. Miami is better when it comes to public transport. There’s a Metrorail and bus service in the city, but it doesn’t cover the entire area of the city.

On the other hand, the only place that offers good transportation is the Disney grounds in Orlando. Other than that, if you intend to explore the city, you would need a car for moving around. 

Furthermore, Miami is also more walkable when compared to Orlando. While on foot, you can easily, grab a bite, make a quick shopping trip or even look around. 

SeaWorld Orlando vs Miami Seaquarium

If you have the time and budget for visiting only one of these marine facilities, we will help you choose. Orlando’s SeaWorld is relatively newer and offers some more activities and excitement than Miami’s Seaquarium.

To start off, Orlando’s activities revolve around adrenaline-pumping rides and roller coasters; with the SeaWorld being no different. If you want a break from visiting your aquatic pals, you can always hop on a scintillating ride to remind yourself that you’re still in Orlando!

Additionally, you can have a one-on-one experience feeding the dolphins or witness a choreographed animal presentation. Furthermore, there’s always something “extra” happening at the facility, like live concerts or festival celebrations.

Miami’s Seaquarium has its fair share of aquatic life. From dolphins and sea lions to manatees, sea turtles, penguins, and much more, the aquarium is brimming with marine life. 

There’s plenty to do at Miami’s Seaquarium too. You can enjoy live mammal shows, or you can head out to the Conservation Outpost and learn about aquatic animal care and rescue operations. 

Of course, there’s no Miami activity that doesn’t involve some splashing around! You can dive right into the water and explore life under the sea or even have an up-close dolphin interaction.

Sports in Orlando and Miami

Orlando and Miami are pro-outdoor activities, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that both cities are home to professional sports teams. You’d see die-hard sports fans pouring into stadiums in large numbers just to cheer for their favorite side. 

Orlando vs Miami NBA

Orlando has the Orlando Magic, a professional basketball team in the NBA, while Miami boasts the Miami Heat. Both teams are known for their competitive spirit and passionate fan base. 

Basketball happens to be a big part of the sports culture in Orlando and Miami, with fans cheering on their respective teams during the NBA season. 

While Miami’s team is better established and has won more games than the other, both teams demonstrate a neck-and-neck rivalry in order to become Florida’s favorite.

Orlando vs Miami Soccer

If you’re a soccer fan, you’ll have plenty to cheer for in both cities as both are home to professional and semi-pro teams. Miami has the Miami FC, whereas Orlando has its very own Orlando SC.

Orlando Airport vs Miami Airport

With so many tourists flocking to the two cities, it’s no surprise that each is equipped with its very own international airport. If you are planning to arrive via air, it’s important to know how the two airports compare with each other so that you can catch a plane to whichever suits you best.

The Orlando International Airport is quite popular and in the year 2019, saw a whopping 50 million passengers! This airport is often grouped among the best of America’s large airports. 

To facilitate the heavy crowds, the gate sections have been divided into two, with a further subdivision of two terminals for every gate. This airport is all about passenger convenience. The airport hotel is located within the airport itself, so you don’t have to worry about your flights in the wee hours. 

On the other hand, Miami International Airport can safely be grouped (along with some others) as Florida’s worst airport. The airport is huge and the terminals are far apart, so you need to be ready for some serious brisk walk.

Another offside of the airport is the lack of vegetarian food at the food courts. The Miami International Airport also holds a poor reputation in regard to flight times. You are likely to experience a flight delay of 68 minutes on average!


What is the difference between Miami and Orlando?

The main difference between Miami and Orlando is the feel of the two cities. Orlando has a more suburban feel to it, while Miami is more towards the urban side.

Is Miami or Orlando better for shopping?

Shopping in Miami and Orlando is the same since the taxes in both cities are the same. Therefore, the only difference in your shopping experience might be related to the items available in each city’s outlet and the amount of time that you have on your hands.

What is cheaper Orlando or Miami?

Orlando is a lot cheaper than Miami. The standard of life that you will maintain with $7000 in Miami can be achieved in $5724 in Orlando.

What is must see between Orlando and Miami?

There are many must-see sights on the drive from Orlando to Miami. Sights that top the list include Sawgrass Mills, Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, Hollywood Beach, McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary, and Aventura Mall.

Final Thoughts

Orlando and Miami are two unique and vibrant cities in Florida that offer distinct attractions, lifestyles, cultures, and sports scenes. 

Orlando is known for its world-class theme parks, family-friendly atmosphere, and diverse cultural scene. If you are looking for thrilling fun for the entire family, then Orlando may be the perfect fit for you.

Miami, on the other hand, is famous for its beautiful beaches, Latin flair, and one-of-a-kind nightlife. If you’re drawn to the sun, sand, and an urban chic lifestyle, then the waves of Miami are calling out to you!

Whether you’re dreaming of Mickey Mouse or salsa dancing, Florida has something for everyone in the epic battle of Orlando city vs Miami.

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