Miami is one of those cities that offers something special for every type of traveler.
This culturally diverse, sunny, and lively city is truly a unique American gem. Brimming with attractive architecture, gorgeous beaches, and thriving arts and culture scene, Miami should be on every traveler’s bucket list.
But before setting off to Miami, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about traveling to Miami, including:
- What are the costs for travelers?
- Things to know about culture and etiquette
- What are the top attractions?
- How safe is it?
- Local food and drinks
- How good is the WiFi?
- Best times to visit
Ready? Here are the top 7 things you need to know before visiting Miami:
Did you know… Miami and Miami Beach are two different and unique municipalities, although the name Miami is used interchangeably. Although the two are only 10 miles apart, they are both distinct destinations in their own right. Miami is urban and gritty, and full of culture and art, while Miami Beach is famous for its art deco buildings, inclusivity, and is generally more laid-back.
1) Miami Affordability
Miami isn’t a cheap destination. In fact, it is one of the pricier cities to visit in the U.S. Travelers can expect to pay up for hotels and drinks, but can likely save money by using public transit and being selective with dining options.
- Average hotel price: The current average rate for one night at a 3-star hotel in Miami is $275, while an average 4-star hotel is about $350.
- Luxury 5-star hotels: On average, a 5-star hotel costs around $600 per night. However, there are pricier options if you are looking to splurge. The uber-luxurious Faena Hotel is one of the most expensive hotels in the area – basic rooms start at $1,650, while the 4- bedroom King Suite is available for close to $20,000 per night.
- If you’re on a budget: Prices at hostels in Miami fluctuate with the seasons. During high season expect to pay at least $50 for a bed in a hostel, or over $100 per night for a private room.
- A 3-course meal at a mid-range restaurant for two costs around $100.
- For a cheap meal at an inexpensive restaurant, expect to pay around $20.
- A beer costs between $6-$8, depending on where you are drinking, while a cappuccino is about $4.50.
- Both the City of Miami and Miami Beach have free trolleys that operate 7 days a week. You can see the different routes on their website. The trolleys in Miami Beach do not connect to Downtown Miami or to the surrounding neighborhoods, but they are a good way to get around within the serviced areas.
- The city also operates a public transportation network that includes the Metrobus, Metrorail, and Metromover which navigate the city at a cost of $2.25 per ride. Alternatively, you can purchase a one-day pass for $4.65.
- Taxi fares start at $3 plus an additional $2.70 per mile traveled. Uber and Lyft both operate in Miami and are typically cheaper options.
- While not the most bike-friendly city, Miami does offer a bike-share program called Citi Bike. 30-minute passes are just under $5, or $24 for a day pass.
- Car rentals are affordable and are a good idea if you intend on exploring areas outside of the city. Day rates start at $35.
2) Culture And Etiquette In Miami
Miami is an incredibly diverse city and, in particular, a melting pot for Caribbean cultures. Take time to explore the unique cultural offerings, including food, music, and art throughout the city. Miami is also one of the most welcoming destinations for LGBTQ+ tourists.
Check this list before your trip! Here are some of the major Dos and Don’ts in Miami.
- DON’T expect an early night out: If you plan on clubbing in Miami, check the opening times of your venue before heading out. Some clubs don’t open until midnight, with DJs often not taking the stage until 2 or 3 am.
- DO check out the art scene: While Miami might not boast as many art museums as other major cities, the arts scene here is thriving. Take time to explore the impressive street art and galleries throughout the city.
- DON’T forget to check the dress code: Casual dress is typically fine at beaches and pools, but many of the restaurants and clubs have dress codes in the evening, so make sure you check ahead.
3) Top Attractions in Miami
Here are a few of the top things to see and do while exploring in and around Miami:
- Vizcaya Estate – A historic 50-acre estate that includes a mansion, museum, and formal gardens dating back to 1916.
- Little Havana – Miami is home to over 1.2 million Cuban Americans. Little Havana, the city’s vibrant Cuban neighborhood, is centered around SW 8th Street and is a great place to take a food tour.
- Wynwood Walls – an impressive collection of street art containing over 35 murals. There are also galleries and shops if you want to take home a piece of art.
4) How Safe Is It For Tourists?
Miami is generally safe for tourists. However, there are still some things that visitors should keep in mind to stay safe during their visit:
- Beware of thieves: pickpocketing is common in Miami, so be sure to take extra caution with your valuables. Avoid bringing anything of value to the beach, as thieves are common there.
- Choose your neighborhood wisely: While crime against tourists in Miami is rare, certain areas are more prone to violent crime. Exercise increased caution if you find yourself in Liberty City, Overtown, or Opa-Locka.
- Watch your drink: don’t lose track of your drink at the bar, and never accept a beverage from someone you don’t know. Take a taxi back to your hotel at night if you’ve had too much to drink or if you are traveling alone.
- DO get travel insurance: Travel insurance can help in health emergencies as well as with covering the costs of any travel mishaps during your Miami trip. For 5 great options, read more here.
5) Local Eats And Drinks
Miami is an incredible food city, thanks to its diverse population. Be adventurous and don’t let yourself leave without trying at least one of the following:
- Cuban Sandwich – pork, ham, and cheese sandwiched in soft Cuban-style bread along with pickles, spices, and a citrusy marinade.
- Stone crab – Only available between October in March, these tender crustaceans are a sweet, juicy delicacy.
- Ropa Vieja – Shredded beef stewed with a mix of tomatoes, onions, and peppers, typical in Spain and Latin America
- Tostones – Crispy twice-fried plantains that are also popular in the Caribbean and Latin America
- Jerk Chicken – This iconic spicy seasoned Jamaican dish is also popular in Miami
- Mojito – The most iconic Cubancocktail is unsurprisingly popular in Miami. This refreshing drink is made with light rum, sugar, lime, mint, and soda water.
- Cafecito – A strong Cuban espresso topped with a sweet foam popular at all hours
- Rum Runner – While originally from the Florida Keys, this fruity cocktail is made with light and dark rum, pineapple and orange juice, banana and blackberry liqueur, and a splash of grenadine.
6) How’s The WiFi?
Using Ookla, an internet speed testing service, the average internet speeds in Miami for February 2023 were 79.68mbps download and 9.59mbps upload.
7) Best Time To Visit
The high season in Miami is from November to March, when the weather is warm and dry, and visitors flock to the city. Prices and crowds are at their peak during winter months.
Spring is also a great time to visit – especially during Pride when the city is teeming with fun parties and events. Prices are typically lower from April – June. Miami’s low season is from July to October, and while prices and crowds are at their lowest, the threat of hurricanes is at its peak.
Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com