MIAMI TRAVEL GUIDE
This Miami Travel Guide shares everything you need to know before visiting the city, including where to stay, what to do and how to save money in Miami.
Miami is one of the world’s most popular vacation spots, known for its trendy nightlife, Art Deco district, historic hideaways and beaches galore.
Located in southeastern Florida, Miami is the seventh largest metropolis in the US. It is a vibrant city, home to an incredible art scene, a diverse population and some of the biggest festivals in the world.
Typical costs in Miami
Budget: Although a glamorous city, Miami can be visited on a budget. Dorm rooms can be found for as little as $20 whilst private rooms in budget chain hotels cost around $60.
Midrange: Downtown hotels and 3-star boutique hotels will cost you between $150 – $200.
Luxury: 5-star hotels will cost upwards of $240.
Transport: One-way bus fares start at $2.25 whilst car rentals cost as little as $11 a da.
The average cost of food:
Eat your heart at in Miami with some amazing street food costing around $3. Mid-range restaurants cost around $15 whilst popular seafood plates costs between $20 – $25.
Best time to visit Miami
The best time to visit Miami is in the Spring, from February through to May. The weather is warm, humidity is low and hurricane season hasn’t started yet. Plus, it is the end of high season, so prices begin to drop as the crowds clear.
November to March is also a popular time to visit, with temperatures rarely dropping under 20°C and less rainfall.
Where to stay in Miami
Generator Miami is a popular hostel, dating back to the 1940s. Located in the heart of Miami’s South Beach District and jus steps away from the beach, this is the perfect place for those looking to enjoy the nightlife and relax in the sun. Dorm beds start at $25 and private rooms start at $100.
Freehand Miami is a convenient hostel for those looking for modern comforts. A short walk from the beach and nightlife, hostel dorms cost $26 whilst private rooms cost $90.
The Vagabond Hotel in North Miami is a 1950s-inspired boutique, with a gorgeous pool area and free wifi, just 5 miles from Miami City Center. Rooms cost $149 with family rooms available from $154.
TownePlace Suites Miami Kendall West offers comfortable and spacious rooms for $121 including breakfast. The hotel is clean and modern in a good location.
Kimpton Angler’s Hotel is a luxurious place to stay in the South Beach area, with rooms starting at $240. The hotel is a great choice for those looking to rest and relax along the beach whilst exploring the city centre.
SLS Brickell is another top pick in the Downtown Miami/City Center area. Rooms cost £270+ and the location is perfect for newbies to the city, want to explore everything the city has to offer.
Save money in Miami
Miami is a fantastic place to explore but it can be expensive. However, there are many ways you can save money in the city too.
- Package deals – Miami is a popular tourist destination, meaning it is possible to get a package deal including hotel, flights and even attractions. If you browse the Miami and Florida tourism websites, you will be able to snag a great deal depending on when you visit. Also, if you are from the UK, check out Miami deals on LastMinute.com and Virgin Holidays.
- Fly into Fort Lauderdale – Just an hour north of Miami, flights often are a lot cheaper here than into Miami. Budget airlines lick JetBlue and Spirit are great options for those on a budget.
- Couchsurf – Miami has a great couch surfing community, so you can save money by staying with a host in the city for free.
- Walking tours – There are plenty of free walking tours, taking you around the historic sights in the city.
- Go Miami Card – If you want to visit many attractions in Miami, get yourself the Go Miami Card. If includes over 25 entrances for one price, saving you up to 20%.
- Use Uber and Lyft – The rideshare apps are a lot cheaper than taxis in Miami, so save money by sticking to these apps. You can also choose the shared/pool options to save even more.
- 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.
- Chain hotels – The USA has many budget chain hotels. These are basic and make sure to check reviews on Yelp and Tripadvisor first, but you can save some serious money staying in places like Econolodge, Travelodge, Days in and Super 8.
- Hotels with kitchenettes – When booking a hotel or motel, check if there is a kitchenette. If there is a room or hotel with a kitchenette, then opt for that choice, especially if you are staying somewhere for an extended period of time. This means you can save loads of money cooking food yourself rather than eating out.
- Farmer markets – Heading to farmer markets or ethnic grocery stores can save you money on snacks and food.
- Early Bird – When eating out, either aim to have a big lunch or head to a restaurant before 5. Many places offer an early bird option, where you can save money when eating between 2 – 5pm.
- Coupons – Pick up the local newspaper to find coupons for attractions and restaurants each week. If you plan on visiting a chain restaurant or cafe (such as Starbucks), check for vouchers or gift certificates on Ebay.
- Reward cards – If you travel a lot, why not get a rewards credit card for your favourite hotel chain. Hilton and Marriott have great sign up offer, so you can collect points each time you spend money on the card and then redeem free stays and upgrades worldwide.
- Compare rentals – If you intend on road tripping, make sure you compare prices for a rental car on websites such as rentalcars.com or hotwire.com.
- Turo – Another option if you are looking to rent a car is by using getaround.com or turo.com. This is a similar concept to airbnb but for cars; you can rent a car from owners and this can work out cheaper than renting from a rental company.
- Avoid checked luggage – If you are flying in or out and visiting for a short period, avoid having checked luggage. You can book budget flights to save money but these don’t always include checked luggage.
- Hotel Tonight – This app can be used in the big cities such as New York, LA, Chicago, Miami and Vegas. It offers last-minute rooms, particularly great if you are thinking of a weekend away.
- Download a Wifi Map – This map is fantastic at finding available Wifi Spots in your area. These aren’t just Free Wifi Spots too, they have a database of passwords to make your connection reliable and safe.
- Avoid Public Holidays – Hotel and travel prices rise around the 4th July and Labor Day, so avoid travelling at this time. If you do want to travel at this time, book everything in advance.
Best things to do in Miami
- Miami Beach
- Jungle Island
- Little Havana
- Zoo Miami
- Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
- South Beach
- Ocean Drive
- Art Deco District
- Bayside Marketplace
- The Miami Science Museum
- Everglades National Park
- The Miami Sea Aquarium
- Bayfront Park
- Crandon Park
- Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
- Coral Art
- Olympia Theater
How to get to Miami
Flights – The Miami International Airport is the most popular route into the city, with direct flights from other major cities in the US as well as European cities. From the airport, you can catch a Uber or Lyft to Downtown Miami or Miami Beach, taking under 20 minutes and costing around $15.
Alternatively, you can catch the Airport Flyer Bus (Route 150) to Miami Beach running every 30 minutes from the airport whilst the MIA Mover is an easy option to get to Downtown Miami.
Coach – You can catch a greyhound or Megabus to Miami from other major cities in America. There are some great Megabus deals from Orlando and Tampa if you book in advance.
Rail – The Amtrak connects Miami to other major cities in the US but is a slow option.
How to get around Miami
The trolley – Miami has a free trolley service that helps you navigate around the city for free. The service takes you between Miami Beach, Little Havanna, Coral Gables, and Coconut Grove.
Bus – You can catch a Metrobus for $2.25 around Miami. However, you will need the exact change or an Easy Card – a top up type card that can be purchased from the Metrorail Stations.
Train – There is also a monorail/train that takes you a 21-mile route around Downtown Miami, with trains running every 5-15 minutes and also cost $2.25 for one way.
Bicycle – Citi Bike is a great bike-sharing program for experienced cyclists who wants to explore the city on a bike. A day pass costs $24 whilst an hour costs $6.50.
Taxis – Taxi fares start at $2.95 for the first sixth of a mile then go up by $0.85 for each additional sixth of a mile – so yes, expensive. Stick to ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft.