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Miami is a young city - it was founded in 1896 - but has taken full advantage of its prominent location to become one of the United States' foremost cities. Its meteoric growth from nothing to a city of 5.5 million in 110 years earned it the nickname of "The Magic City".
Miami enjoys a resplendent location in southeast Florida. Tropical weather year-round ensures a steady stream of tourists, especially in winter. The city has some of the most popular beaches in the US and also has a vibrant Latin American community.
Miami hosts many entertainment venues, theaters, museums, parks and performing arts centers.
Miami has a tropical climate. During summer (June to September), temperatures range between 24 °C and 32 °C and there is quite a bit of rain. In winter (December to April), the temperatures are between 15 °C and 24 °C, but there is little rain. In winter, Miami tends to attract a lot of Americans trying to escape the cold, while avoiding the humid heat of the summer. Note that officially the hurricane season is from 1 June to 30 November, though hurricanes rarely cause any problems for travellers in Miami itself.
|Avg Max||24 °C||24.7 °C||26.2 °C||28 °C||29.6 °C||30.9 °C||31.7 °C||31.7 °C||31 °C||29.2 °C||26.9 °C||24.8 °C|
|Avg Min||15.1 °C||15.8 °C||17.9 °C||19.9 °C||22.3 °C||23.9 °C||24.6 °C||24.8 °C||24.4 °C||22.3 °C||19.3 °C||16.4 °C|
|Rainfall||51.1 mm||52.8 mm||60.7 mm||72.4 mm||157.7 mm||237 mm||144.8 mm||192.5 mm||193.8 mm||143.3 mm||67.6 mm||46.5 mm|
Miami International Airport (MIA/KMIA) is the city's main airport and is one of the United States' largest airports. It is located around 13 kilometres from downtown Miami. There are non-stop routes from and to well over 100 destinations worldwide, including cities throughout North and South America, Europe and the Middle East. Miami International Airport is also the largest international gateway for American Airlines, which has nearly 100 destinations served alone!
Some of the main destinations are Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Havana, Düsseldorf, Toronto, Madrid, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Aruba, La Paz, Lima, London, Rio de Janeiro, St. Thomas, Panama City, Manaus, Santiago, Frankfurt, Sao Paulo and Washington, D.C..
To/from the airport
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) has a number of international connections as well as a fair number of domestic flights. It is located about 5 kilometres from the CBD of Fort Lauderdale and about 33 kilometres from Miami.
To/from the airport
Four interstate highways (I-75, I-95, I-195, I-395) and several U.S. Highways service the Miami-Dade County.
From the airport:
Take the SR 112 (Airport Expressway) into downtown.
Miami has been dubbed the "Cruise Capital of the World". The Port of Miami is one of the most significant ports in the United States and the world's largest cruise ship port. In 2005, over 3.5 million cruise passengers passed through Miami.
Eight cruise lines sail out from Miami:
Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Sixt, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.
For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.
Metrobus, Metromover and Metrorail are all operated by Miami-Dade Transit.
Miami is considered a dangerous city for pedestrians. South Beach is as safe as anywhere for walking any time of the day or night. As are most of the neighborhoods of Miami.
Cycling in South Beach can be fun, but rollerblades are better.
Foodies and chefs alike herald Miami for its unique New World cuisine. Created in the 1990s, the cuisine alternatively known as New World, Nuevo Latino or Florribean cuisine blends local produce, Latin American and Caribbean culinary tradition and the technical skills required in European cooking. Nuevo Latino is said to be the brainchild of four chefs: Allen Susser, Norman Van Aken, Mark Militello and Douglas Rodriguez. All of them still work in Miami and most of them work at the restaurants they created in the 1990s. New World is not restricted to these chefs’ menus. This cuisine influences several restaurants around the city to this day.
Miami may be known for its Latin cuisine (especially its Cuban cuisine but also cuisines from South American countries such as Colombia), but there are other different kinds of restaurants to be found around the city. In addition to stand-alone Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern, and Italian (among others) restaurants, there are cafés, steakhouses and restaurants operating from boutique hotels, as well as chain restaurants such as TGI Fridays and Ben & Jerry’s.
Miami is known for having nightclubs double as restaurants throughout the city. Most of these restaurants, such as Tantra (which had one of their chefs recently appear on Top Chef: Miami), BED and the Pearl Restaurant and Champagne Lounge (attached to Nikki Beach), are located throughout South Beach. However, some of these restaurants/nightclubs like Grass Lounge can be found in the Design District (north of downtown but south of North Miami).
If many of Miami’s premiere restaurants don’t fit into your daily budget, consider eating during Miami Restaurant Month (better known as Miami Spice) in August and September. This year at 80 select restaurants, lunch costs $22 and dinner is $35.
Miami’s dining scene reflects burgeoning diversity, mixing exotic newcomer restaurants with long-standing institutions, often seasoned by Latin influence and hot winds of the Caribbean. New World cuisine, a culinary counterpart to accompany Miami’s New World Symphony, provides a loose fusion of Latin, Asian, and Caribbean flavors utilizing fresh, area-grown ingredients. Innovative restaurateurs and chefs similarly reel in patrons with Floribbean-flavored seafood fare, while keeping true to down-home Florida favorites.
Don't be fooled by the plethora of super lean model types you're likely to see posing throughout Miami. Contrary to popular belief, dining in this city is as much a sport as the in-line skating on Ocean Drive. With over 6,000 restaurants to choose from, dining out in Miami has become a passionate pastime for locals and visitors alike. Its star chefs have fused Californian-Asian with Caribbean and Latin elements to create a world-class flavor all its own: Floribbean. Think mango chutney splashed over fresh swordfish or a spicy sushi sauce served alongside Peruvian ceviche.
Whatever you're craving, Miami's got it—with the exception of decent Chinese food and a New York-style slice of pizza. If you're craving a scene with your steak, then South Beach is the place to be. Like many cities in Europe and Latin America, it is fashionable to dine late in South Beach, preferably after 9PM, sometimes as late as midnight. Service on South Beach is notoriously slow and arrogant, but it comes with the turf (of course, it is possible to find restaurants that defy the notoriety and actually pride themselves on friendly service). On the mainland—especially in Coral Gables, and, more recently, downtown and on Brickell Avenue—you can also experience fine, creative dining without the pretense.
There are several Peruvian restaurants at SW 88th Street and SW 137th Avenue in Kendale Lakes. Take the 88 or 288 buses from Dadeland North train station. This is kind of out of the way, but it is worth it.
Coconut Grove was established in 1825 and is the location for many nightclubs, bars and restaurants.
Nightlife in Miami consists of upscale hotel clubs, independent bars frequented by locals (including sports bars) and nightclubs. Most hotel bars and independent bars turn the other cheek at your physical appearance, but you have to dress to impress (which does not mean dress like a stripper) to get into a nightclub. Also remember to never, under any circumstances, insult the doormen and/or nightclub employees that will grant you entry or touch the velvet ropes or you may as well be sitting on the opposite side of the clamoring masses trying to get in. Attempting to tip the doormen and claiming that you know employees that work in the nightclubs (unless you actually called and reserved a table or a spot on the VIP list) is also considered an affront. Getting to the club unfashionably early and pushing through the crowd (and not the doormen) also can help make you stand out in the crowd. Finally, most nightclubs won’t admit groups of men unless those men are waiting in front of a gay bar. Bring some women or leave the pack if you’re desperate to get in. And once you get in, remember that the charge to get in these clubs can cost up to $20, cash only (some clubs, however, mercifully have ATMs, that can charge up to $7 for a withdrawal). Popular drinks in Miami include the Cuba Libre and the mojito.
Miami is known for its boutique hotels (especially those in South Beach). Designers such as Ian Schrager (the Delano, Shore Club), André Balazs (Raleigh, Standard on Belle Isle) and Todd Oldham (the Hotel) helped put South Beach on the map with their creative hotel designs. The downside of many of the boutique hotels is that rooms can be small, particularly if the building was built during the height of the Art Deco period in Miami. If you value space, a boutique hotel may not be the type of hotel for you. If you don't need to stay in a boutique hotel (and value space), Miami has several upscale high-rise hotels north and south of South Beach, as well as near the downtown area. Miami does have its share of less costly chain hotels for those who value space and/or money.
The high season for hotels is around Nov to Apr because of the lower temperatures. However, Miami's lower temperatures, in comparison to the majority of the United States around this time, are still warm. High season is also marked by the advent of many Miami events, such as the Winter Music Conference and Spring Break. If you wish to reserve a room during Miami’s high season, especially at a boutique hotel and/or a hotel on South Beach, you should book months in advance.
Be aware that hotels have a 12.5% room tax and some hotels may add a 15% service charge which may or may not be added if you reserve a room through the hotel, through a travel agent/agency (either in person or using an online site such as or similar to Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity) or through an opaque (prices are given, but the name and location of the hotel is unknown) travel site such as Priceline or Hotwire.
The cost of services in hotels can be pricey just like hotels elsewhere in the world but you can seek out local services within walking distances or online such as the popular Oliom. laundry service for hotel guests edit.
Some hotels offer garage and/or valet parking; check with your hotel about parking before booking a room if you wish to drive around Miami.
|AAE Miami Beach Lombardy Hotel and Hostel||Collins Road 6300||Hostel||76|
|Airport Villas||4325 N.W. 18th Street||Hostel||-|
|Chateaubleau Hotel||1111 Ponce De Leon Blvd Coral Gables, Florida||Hotel||-|
|Deco Walk Hostel | South Beach||928 Ocean Drive||HOSTEL||78|
|Freehand Miami||2727 Indian Creek Drive||HOSTEL||83|
|Island House South Beach||1428 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida 33139||Hotel||80|
|Jazz on South Beach Hostel||321 Collins Avenue||Hostel||74|
|Miami Beach International Hostel||236 9th Street Miami Beach||Hostel||82|
|Miami Beach Vacation Apartments||919 Michigan Av South Beach Miami Beach||Apartment||-|
|Midtown Inn - Port of Miami||3400 Biscayne Blvd.||Hotel||-|
|Motel Blu||7700 Biscayne Blvd.||Hotel||76|
|Red Roof Miami Airport||3401 NW Lejeune Rd||Hotel||79|
|Santa Barbara Hostel||230 20th Street||Hostel||-|
|The Clay Hotel and Hostel||1438 Washington Avenue South Beach, Miami Beach||Hotel||-|
|South Beach Hostel||235 Washington Avenue Miami Beach||Hostel||81|
|The Tropics Hotel and Hostel||1550 Collins Ave||Hostel||78|
|Days Hotel Thunderbird Beach Resort||18401 Collins Avenue Sunny Isles Beach||Hotel||-|
|Travelodge Monaco||17501 Collins Avenue Sunny Isles Beach||Hotel||-|
|Rodeway Inn Miami Airport||1050 NW 14 ST||HOTEL||-|
|Chesterfield Hotel, Suites & Day Spa||855 Collins Avenue||Hotel||-|
|Whitelaw||808 Collins Avenue||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Chelsea||944 Washington Avenue||Hotel||-|
|Catalina Hotel & Beach Club||1732-1756 Collins Avenue||Hotel||-|
|Metropole South Beach||635 Collins Avenue||Hotel||-|
|Riviera South Beach||2000 Liberty Avenue||Hotel||-|
|Everglades Hostel & Tours||20 SW 2nd AVE||Hostel||-|
|The Best Miami Hotel||5959 SW 71 Street 0000||Hotel||79|
|River Park Hotel & Suites||100 SE 4 Street 00000||HOTEL||79|
|Airways Inn||5001 nw 36 street 0000||HOTEL||-|
|Ocean Surf||7436 Ocean Terrace Miami||Hotel||-|
|Holidays Golden Glades||148 nw 167 st North Miami Beach 0000||HOTEL||-|
|Venezia Hotel||3865 Indian Creek Dr||Hotel||-|
|Hawaii Hotel||7430 Ocean Terrace||Hotel||-|
|Beach Place Hotel||8601 Harding Ave||Hotel||79|
|Greenview Hotel||1671 Washington Ave,Miami Beach 0000||Hotel||-|
|Leamington Hotel-Downtown/Port of Miami||307 NE 1st Street||Hotel||77|
|Miami Hostel||810 Alton Rd. Miami Beach, FL||HOSTEL||81|
|The New Casablanca On The Ocean||6345 Collins Avenue||Hotel||-|
|Hotel 18||230 18th Street||Hotel||-|
|Miami Apartment Hostel||1620 Bay Road #4||Hostel||-|
|SoBe Design Studio||420, 15th street||Apartment||-|
|Sobe studios at the Royal||763 Pennsylvania Avenue||Apartment||-|
|Bikini Hostel Miami Beach||1247 West Avenue Miami Beach||Hostel||77|
|First on Lincoln||1619 Lenox Avenue||Apartment||-|
|First Sofi||130 3rd street||Apartment||-|
|Hotel Roma||16805 NW 12th Ave.||Hotel||-|
|Circa 39 Hotel||3900 Collins Avenue||Hotel||-|
|AWA Miami Hotel and Hostel||226 Northeast 1st Avenue||Hostel||-|
|Hotel Shelley||844 Collins Avenue||Hotel||-|
|Sadigo Court Apartment Hotel||334 20 street||APARTMENT||-|
|Zuly's Guest Rooms||7861 NW 113 Pl||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Bikini Hostel||1255 West Ave||Hostel||-|
|Quality Inn Miami Airport||3959 NW 79th Avenue||HOTEL||-|
|European Guesthouse||721 Michigan Avenue Miami Beach||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Alamo Hotel||4121 Indian Creek Drive||HOTEL||-|
|Miami Springs Inn||661 East Drive||HOTEL||80|
|Wishes Motel||4700 SW 8th Street||HOTEL||-|
|Aladdin Miami Hotel||901 S. Royal Poinciana Boulevard||HOTEL||-|
|Collins Hotel||6600 Collins Avenue Miami Beach||HOTEL||-|
|Design Suites at Castle Beach||5445 Collins Avenue||APARTMENT||-|
|Comfort Inn & Suites Miami Airport||5301 N.W. 36th St||Hotel||-|
|Posh South Beach||808 Collins Avenue||HOSTEL||-|
|Mercury Resorts||100 Collins Avenue||Apartment||-|
|Room in Apartment in Miami Brickell Bay||950 Brickell Bay Dr unit 4907||GUESTHOUSE||-|
There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.
See also International Telephone Calls
The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.
The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.
We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Miami searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Miami and areas nearby.
Ask donnerme a question about Miami
The home town of my close family. I visit Miami several times a years, for many years.
Ask gr8bertino a question about Miami
I am (nearly) a Native Floridian who has lived in the state for 3/4 of my life. I am a Miami local y vivaba aqui por mas de 15 años. I used public transportation regularly.
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