Welcome to Miami – Bienvenido a Miami

Miami skyline
Miami skyline

Will Smith sure knows what he was talking about. The English greeting is not enough. This is a city with a huge Latin American community.

Skyscrapers, wide beaches, posh hotels and night clubs just to mention a few of Miami’s characteristics.

Miami can be pretty expensive, but also cheap – it all depends on you.

Free stuff to see and do:

  • Visit Little Havana

As already mentioned Miami has a huge Hispanic community and around 60% of the people speak Spanish. Little Havana is the centre of this community. Here you can find good and reasonably priced restaurants. Markets offer a great variety of fruit and vegetables and some even have “normal” bread – everyone who has been to the US will know what I mean. Don’t miss Domino Park and all the colourful graffiti on the walls.

Little Havana
Little Havana
  • Visit Coconut Grove

Another lovely neighbourhood with its Coco Walk with many restaurants and bars. If you have time visit Barnacle park, a small park that takes visitors to the shore through a lush forest.

Coco walk
Coco walk
  • Bayfront Park and Mall

Directly in the downtown area. This the place where the magic happens. 🙂 This the venue of Ultra Music Festival so we had to check it out. Personally we have no idea how they manage to get all the stages in this park (maybe the Ultra Europe venue with only four stages is actually bigger).

At the north side of the park there is Bayfront mall. Positioned right next to the marina this place comes alive in the evenings and before NBA games. From here you can go on a boat tour, dinner cruise.

The "Ultra" park
The “Ultra” park
  • Miami beach

Miami beach is actually an island, connected to the mainland by a few causeways. It has a long and wide stretch of sandy beach, but this a city all by itself. Worth visiting is the Art deco district. A must for all shopaholics is Lincoln road with wide selection of shops, restaurants and bars. On Sundays there is even a farmers market.

Art deco district on Miami beach
Art deco district on Miami beach

What else:

  • Visit an NBA game

Miami is currently home totwo Slovene professional basketball players (Beno Udrih and Goran Dragić) so we took the chance and went to the game (Miami Heat vs Raptors).

We bought the tickets online, but price rise for playoff and important games.

NBA
NBA
  • Go on a cruise

Miami is also called the cruise capital of the world. With the Caribbean islands just around the corner you can embark on one of many cruise ships. The shortest cruises are for 3 nights. Check last minute prices because they tend to be cheaper, but you have to be flexible with itinerary and cruise line.

Cruise ship
Cruise ship
  • Visit the Everglades

Just a short drive to the west lies the national park the Everglades. Go on an airboat tour, see an alligator show and enjoy nature.

Everglades
Everglades
  • Visit The Keys

Miami is also the gateway to the Florida Keys. If your schedule and budget allow you this rent a car and explore the many islands. The southernmost is Key West only 90 miles from Havana, Cuba.

Key west - note the photo was taken 2007
Key west – note the photo was taken 2007

 

Going around

Miami has a good public transport system, offering many possibilities.

  • Trolley connects the cruise terminal with many different parts of the city and it’s free.
  • Metromover is a skytrain with 3 routes (down town, north, south). All are free.
  • Buses cover all the city also Miami Beach. Tickets are 2,25$. Be sure to bring change with an exact amount as the machines on the bus do not return change. You can also buy an easy card, top it up at major stations and use for buses and metro.
  • Metrorail is a train system (Miami does not have a subway because of high levels of ground water and coral rock) that connects the city with the airport, providing cheap transport to the airport.
  • Hop on – hop off buses cover a big area and can be a great choice. You can find a cheap deals on the internet, so search!
The free metromover
The free metromover

Where to stay

Miami offers numerous hotels in all price ranges. A good choice is Airbnb or a hostel. A lovely hostel with good location is HI Miami Beach. It’s a short walk from Lincoln road and one block from the beach. Restaurants, shops, bars are just outside the door. So a great choice for a budget traveller 😉

Miami
Miami

 

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