Want to visit Miami but don’t have too much to spend? We share these tips on how to visit Miami on a budget, so you can enjoy the fabulous beach without breaking the bank.
Planning a trip to Miami on a budget
Getting to Miami on a budget
Fly into Fort Lauderdale – Most visitors to Miami arrive via flight.
If you are flying domestically, it may be cheaper to fly into Fort Lauderdale. Just an hour north of Miami, flights often are a lot cheaper into here than into Miami. Budget airlines like JetBlue, Spirit, and Southwest Airlines are great options for those on a budget.
International flyers – International flyers can fly via Miami International Airport but book flights in advance and fly during the week to save some money. Compare flights on Skyscanner and Google Flights and check out last-minute deals on websites like LastMinute.com or Holiday Pirates.
Cheapest time to visit Miami
Visit in the off-season – December through to Spring is peak season in Miami with people looking to escape the winter chill. If you can, avoid visiting during this time, you will save quite a bit of money on accommodation. The summer in Miami is humid but May, October, and November offer a good compromise between weather, prices, and crowds.
Avoid the weekends – When possible, avoid the weekends to get cheaper accommodation but also cheaper flights; mid-week flights often work out cheaper than flying any day between Friday to Monday.
Also, check for festivals in Miami too. The city is home to some incredible festivals and events which are fantastic to attend. However, if you don’t plan on attending a festival or event, try to avoid visiting the city on the same dates; hotels book up quickly and prices rise. Planning a trip away from the festivals will help visit Miami on a budget.
Getting around Miami on a budget
Use Uber and Lyft – The rideshare apps are a lot cheaper than taxis in Miami, so save money by sticking to these apps. Miami has Uber POOL and Express Pool that can save you even more money whilst Lyft offers Lyft Shuttle. Just make sure to keep an eye on surging prices during peak travel time and avoid these times when possible.
Take the Trolley – Miami has a free trolley service that you can use to get around the city, taking you between Miami Beach, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, and Little Havana. This is a great way to visit Miami on a budget and see all the sights on offer.
Rent a Citi Bike – Miami Beach offers Citi bikes for visitors to explore the area with ease. The city is a bike-friendly destination and you can pick up and dock a Citi Bike for hourly rental at any of the stations.
Or you can get yourself a Membership of the bike program, which allows you to ride a bike for 30 minutes for free and that time resets if you arrive at a station/destination and dock your bike. Memberships start at $15 and are ideal for locals whilst visitors can rent a bike for $4.50 for 30 minutes, $6.50 for an hour or $24 for a whole day pass.
Where to stay in Miami on a budget
Book boutique hotels – Miami has plenty of fancy branded hotels and luxury places to stay but they are pricey. Instead, check out the boutique hotels that are typically smaller, further away from the beach, are rated 3 stars, and tend to cost around $100.
Hostels in Miami – The US isn’t always the best place to take advantage of hotels because they can be more expensive than budget hotels. However, with hotel prices in Miami being fairly high, you can save money by using dorm beds in Miami. Compare options on Hostelworld for dorm beds as low as $20. When staying in hostels, remember to use a VPN app to keep you safe online, especially whilst using hostel wi-fi.
Stay near South Beach – If you want to be near a beach but don’t want to overspend on accommodation, check out the hotels on South Beach. You can get a moderate hotel for under $120 that is on or a block or two away from the beach.
Save on food in Miami
Use the food trucks – Miami has some tasty tacos and mouthwatering burgers that you must try. Food trucks are all over the city but check the roaming Hunger website for food trucks near your location and opening times.
Avoid eating on Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road – To visit Miaimi on a budget, you should avoid eating in these touristy areas. These restaurants are overpriced and the quality isn’t always great. Instead, head to Coral Gables or Little Havana for great affordable dining options.
Save on attractions in Miami
Walking tours – There are plenty of free walking tours, taking you around the historic sights in the city. Free Tours by Foot offers great free walking tours, including an art walking tour in Wynwood Walls and Little Havana Walking Tour.
Go Miami Card – If you want to visit many attractions in Miami, get yourself the Go Miami Card. It includes over 25 entrances for one price, saving you up to 20%.
Miami Museum Month – Running through May but often starting in early April as well, Miami runs museum and attraction offers. These change depending on the year and attraction but include deals on admission such as money off or buy one get one free.
Enjoy the beaches – Miami is known for its beautiful coast, making it a great destination for a beach holiday. All of Miami’s beaches are open to the public for free; perfect for those visiting Miami on a budget. The many different types of beaches mean there is something for everyone; quieter and sheltered beaches for families and busier beaches with beachfront bars great for couples and friends. We personally love South Beach as there are plenty of restaurants and sightseeing opportunities nearby.
Cultural Fridays – The 3rd Friday of each month in Miami sees Cultural Fridays. These are free festivals in the heart of Little Havana running from 7 pm to 11 pm, including musical performances and artwork displays from local artists. There are fine art galleries to explore, snacks available, and nearby local restaurants offer deals.
Free outdoor movies – In various parks around Miami, you will find free outdoor movie screenings. Bring along a blanket and enjoy a free evening watching a movie. Some venues offer refreshments whilst others allow you to bring your own, so check online for different venue rules and screenings.
Free attractions – Miami is also home to plenty of free attractions to enjoy. Of course, you have the many beaches we have mentioned before but also tour the Art Deco district, see the street art of Wynwood, ride the free metro mover to greater downtown Miami and relax at Bayfront Park. Visit the Museum of Art and Design for free then walk the Pier at South Pointe Park.