Stay – Around downtown Miami you’ll find the cheapest places to stay. However, the nicest place to stay is around South Beach (SoBe). Hostels around this area cost you about $20 (€18) a night. The nice thing about hostels in the USA is that often you get free breakfast and dinner! Don’t expect too much from it, but still… Free food!
For a single (two persons) room, you’ll pay a lot extra. But of course it’s a little more luxurious and quiet than in a hostel. Expect to pay around $80 a room. (€72)
Food – (Good) Food was quite expensive in Miami, compared to the rest of America. For a burger with fries and a soda you’ll need to pay $20 (€18). The cheapest you’ll find is about $16 (€15) but don’t forget the tip of 15% you have to add on these prices!
Transport – Public transportation is quite good in Miami. The busses that stop at Miami Airport easily bring you to Downtown or one of the beach areas. A single ticket costs $2,25 (€2) and an unlimited day pass is $5 (€4,5).
Taxi’s are rather expensive and not really necessary. The public transportation is fast enough and the distances aren’t too big.
Predrinks – Going out in Miami can cost you hundreds of dollars. To keep a little more of your vacation money, you’d better already drink some alcoholic beverages while at home. You can get booze in the many supermarkets all around the place, like Wallgreens or CVS. Do keep in mind that you have to be 21 to consume alcohol in the USA. Also when you’re -21 you do not get allowed into clubs. So don’t forget to take your ID with you when you go clubbing!
Go to the Everglades yourself – And book a tour from there. The transport to the Everglades often costs most of your whole trip. If you hire a car anyway, you’d better use it! Otherwise you’ll pay a surcharge of at least 30% on your Everglades tour.
Buy a bus day pass – Or if you’re planning to stay longer and do more sightseeing; a week pass. To see some of the sights of Miami, you need to transfer busses at certain times. That way you already need to pay $2,25 x 2. And then you still need to go back… A day pass often comes out a lot cheaper.
Everglades – Go have an adventure between the giant swamps of the Everglades. Home of giant crocodiles, alligators, anacondas and other creepy animals. People who are interested in birds and other (smaller) wildlife will probably love the Everglades as well. You have the possibility to hop on an airboat (the boats with the big propellers) or a smaller boat, which will bring you a lot closer into the mangrove forests.
The Keys – About three hours driving from Miami. An island archipelago with an excellent road connection from the mainland. If you want to escape the bustling city, these islands are a top choice.
Key west is the nicest island to be. But it also is located the furthest away. Definitely go see the southernmost point of continental USA and go visit the Zachary Tayflor Fort.
More info about Key west can be found here.
Little Havana – A lot of Cubans live in and around Miami. Cuba only lies about 100 kilometers away (80 miles). Little Havana gives a nice insight on how Cuban culture mixed with America. Try to eat at one of the typical Cuban restaurants with uplifting music.
Venice Pool – Everyone who wants an atypical swimming experience should go to Venice pool. The outside pool makes you believe you’re swimming in a flooded Venice.
Go out! – Go enjoy the excellent nightlife in Miami! Great music, an amazing party crowd and heavenly cocktails! Let yourself go on the tropical dance floor!
Relaxation – Don’t forget. You go to Miami to relax. Go hire yourself a beach chair and enjoy the burning hot sun. Go jump in your swimming pool or the warm sea. Maybe you see some tropical fish swimming by!
People looking – No idea why everyone keeps telling me that Miami is full of gorgeous people. There are, of course, some very good looking persons strolling around the Miami beaches, but sixpacks or super skinny girls I have not seen that much during my stay in Miami. And honestly, the beaches were packed!
I personally liked the kind of crazy people who sat around the wooden embankment the most.
Sightseeing bus – The typical hop-on, hop-off busses without roof are expensive and they rarely make a stop at some of the famous sights. If you always have to get off to take a closer look somewhere, you won’t see a lot. Because there aren’t that many busses coming by.
Definitely watch out for attacking branches while you’re on top of the bus.
Tanning without sunscreen – The sun in Miami is mercilessly. Even when you think you’re an expert tanner whose skin doesn’t burn anymore. You’ll get red as a lobster if you don’t watch out.
Overtown – The only neighbourhood around the city you shouldn’t visit.