Frequently Asked Questions
- Where is Ybor City?
- What makes Ybor City so “historic”?
- Where can I park in Ybor City?
- How do I get to Ybor City?
- What’s the best time of the day to go to Ybor City?
- Is there more to Ybor City than 7th Avenue?
- How’s the nightlife in Ybor City?
- Ybor City is called Tampa’s Latin Quarter. Are there only Latin restaurants in Ybor City?
- What kind of family friendly activities can I find in Ybor City?
- Can I still find freshly made cigars in Ybor City?
- Are there any special events that go on in Ybor City?
- Are there hotels in Ybor City?
- Is Ybor City safe?
Ybor City (pronounced EE-bor) is located just northeast of downtown Tampa. The Historic District’s borders are Interstate 4 to the north, Adamo Drive to the south, Nuccio Parkway to the west and 22nd Street to the east.
Ybor City owes its beginnings to the instability in Havana - labor unrest, the high tariff on Cuban cigars, and the start of the Cuban Revolution - which led the cigar factory owners to look for another location. Don Vicente Martinez-Ybor founded Ybor City in 1886, and immigrants from all over the world, including Spain, Cuba, Germany and Italy, came to work in Ybor City’s cigar factories.
So many cigars were created in Ybor City that it surpassed Cuba as the Cigar Capitol of the World. Many of the cigar factories, cigar workers' homes and other buildings from Ybor’s past are still standing today. Many have been restored and renovated to fit modern uses and house offices, restaurants, cafes, shops and more.
Some of the cigar worker's homes, called casitas, line 19th Street and are home to a cafe, tea room, gallery and gift shop. Restored casitas are still used as homes and they can be found along 4th, 5th and 6th Avenues. Several are now offices or restaurants.
Don Vicente Martinez-Ybor had such a lasting impact on Tampa that he will be among the first individuals honored with a bust along the Hillsborough River waterfront in downtown Tampa.
There are many different parking options available in Ybor City. Street parking is free for up to two hours along 7th Avenue and the intersecting streets.
Two city-operated parking garages, the Centro Ybor and Fernando J. Noriega, offer parking at reasonable rates 24 hours a day. There are also city surface lots, privately-owned parking lots and even valet parking options available in Ybor City.
Ybor City is easily accessible from every area of Tampa. From the cruise terminals in Channelside (or downtown Tampa), ride the TECO streetcar, an electric trolley system, to experience old Ybor City. The streetcar has several stops in Ybor City, including one at Centennial Park.
If you’re coming from Tampa International Airport or the beaches, just hop on Interstate 275 North. Merge onto Interstate 4 East and take the first exit - Exit 1 for 21st/22nd Street. Follow the signage to find the parking garages and other landmarks in Ybor City.
If you’re coming from Busch Gardens, take Interstate 275 South and merge onto Interstate 4 East, where you will get off on Exit 1 for 21st/22nd Street. Head south until you can make a right onto 7th Avenue and you’re heading for the heart of the historic district.
From Orlando, Plant City and Lakeland areas, the easiest way to get to Ybor City is to follow Interstate 4 east until Exit 1 for 21st/22nd Street. Turn right on any cross street from Palm Avenue to Adamo Drive to find historic Ybor City.
Tampa’s public mass transit system, HART bus line, stops directly in Ybor City.
Go any time of day that you’re looking for something interesting, fun or different to do. Get a bite to eat at some of Tampa’s best independent restaurants, tour a cigar factory or museum, visit a gallery or shop the boutiques in Ybor City.
Visit during the daytime and you’re sure to be pleased. As a National Historic Landmark District, exploring Ybor City exercises your body and mind. Soak in the eclectic architecture and learn how the buildings were used and who lived there. Experience one of the many festivals held in Ybor City or check out the Ybor City Saturday Market.
Then once the sun goes down, Ybor City transforms into Tampa Bay’s most exciting entertainment district. Bars, clubs and live music venues ensure you’ll be entertained.
If the nightlife doesn’t entice you, head to Centro Ybor and catch a movie for a relaxing night or see a comedian perform at Improv Tampa.
Seventh Avenue is among Tampa’s most well-known streets, and it’s definitely a great place to get a taste of Ybor. Travel off of the main strip and really get to know Ybor City.
Take a turn off of 7th Avenue and you’ll find the Ybor City Visitor Information Center (actually on 8th Avenue), Centennial Park, shops, restaurants, museums and much more. Stop in the Ybor City Visitor Information Center to ask for recommendations suited to your tastes and find out more about the great things to do in Ybor, both on and off 7th.
Quite simply, Ybor City is Tampa Bay’s premiere entertainment district. Whatever your scene is, Ybor is sure to have it.
Dance the night away one of many clubs playing a variety of music from hip hop to industrial, rock to jazz. Of course, there is Latin music as well. Many of Ybor’s small cigar shops turn into mini-salsa clubs during the night.
Ybor City is the center of Tampa’s GLBT community. More than 100 clubs, bars, restaurants and merchants belong to the GaYBOR District Coalition.
There is no shortage of bars either. Whether you like the loud, crowded bar scene or prefer kicking back in a more intimate setting, it’s here in Ybor.
Ybor City does have its fair share of great Latin restaurants, including the nation’s oldest Spanish restaurant. But you can experience all types of different flavors in Ybor City. Founded by immigrants from many different countries, the cuisines represented in Ybor City are just as diverse. You can find Ybor City restaurants specializing in Cuban, Jamaican, Italian, Greek, American, and many more types of cuisines.
Going to Ybor is a fantastic way to add a little zest to the usual family outing. Ybor City hosts many festivals throughout the year, including Festa Italiana, Flan Fest, Fiesta Day and more. Most of the festivals are free of charge, and have activities for kids, live music and entertainment for all ages.
Take a guided tour through the National Historic Landmark District. After that, stop and get something to eat with the family, whether it is a quick slice of pizza or a casual sit down meal. Throw a little bit of shopping into the mix and end the day with a family movie.
While Ybor City doesn’t produce nearly the volume of cigars it did in its heyday, you can still find a freshly made cigar in Ybor (and distinguished labels made elsewhere). Walk down famous 7th Avenue to find the cigar shops. Many have viewing windows where you can watch cigars being made the old fashioned way…by hand. Enjoy a cigar during your visit or ask one of the merchants to package it to take home with you.
On any given day, you can usually find a special event in Ybor City. There are large, annual events like the Outback Bowl parade, Fiesta Day, Rough Riders' St. Patrick's Day parade, The Krewe of the Nights of Sant’ Yago Knight Parade, GaYbor Days and Guavaween, weekly events like the Ybor City Saturday Market, and events that just happen to be going on in Ybor that day.
There are quite a few places to stay in Ybor City. To stay overnight in Ybor City, choose from several hotels from national chains and boutique accommodations exclusive to Ybor City.
Ybor City is safe. Ybor City's reduction in crime has outpaced the overall decrease in Tampa, according a recent article in the Tampa Bay Times. The crime rate in Ybor City has decreased by 84 percent since 2001.
Ybor City businesses and Tampa Police Department are partnering on a Business Watch Program to help make the community even safer.
In March 2012, the Tampa Tribune reports that the crime rate dropped 7.8 percent in Tampa Police Department's District 3, which includes Ybor City, downtown, the Channel District, East Tampa, and the Port of Tampa.