Downtown Miami Travel Guide : a comprehensive article


In Miami, there are many neighborhoods where you can have fun and explore the city. Whether it’s South Beach or Little Havana, each neighborhood has its own personality and offers something different for visitors. But one place that’s often overlooked when planning a trip to Miami is Downtown. It might seem like just another neighborhood with high-rises and office buildings, but Downtown Miami has so much history and culture that you should stop by even if you’re visiting South Beach. Here are some highlights:

Visiting Downtown Miami

Downtown Miami is a great place to visit. It has a lot of history, culture, and fun. If you’re planning on visiting Downtown Miami, here are some tips:

  • Take a walk through its historic district. There are many beautiful buildings that were built in the early 1900s. You’ll also see some cool art installations and sculptures scattered around the area!
  • Visit one of its many museums or public parks to learn more about how people lived in Miami during different periods in history. Then stop by one of the local restaurants for lunch or dinner before heading back home! Because there’s nothing better than good food with friends (or alone if you’re single).

Getting to and Around Downtown Miami

Getting to Downtown Miami is easier than ever with more and more modes of transportation available. Whether you choose rail, bus, taxi, Uber or Lyft, there’s a way for you to get here!

Airport: If you’re flying into MIA (Miami International Airport), our airport is just five miles away from downtown. No matter which airline or terminal your flight arrives at, it’s easy to get around this massive hub of international travel using the Metrorail system. The rail route runs 24 hours a day on weekdays and all day on weekends; fares are $2 per ride if purchased before boarding and $4 after purchasing from a ticket machine in an underground station (cash only). You may find yourself transferring between trains several times before reaching your final destination; this is normal because there are so many stops along the way! Once off at Government Center Station (the last stop), take an elevator up two floors then walk straight ahead toward Biscayne Boulevard until reaching Bayfront Park–your official starting point for exploring Downtown Miami!

Best hotels in downtown miami

Miami is a city known for its beaches and nightlife, but it’s also home to some of the best downtown hotels in the country. Here are our picks for the top five hotels in downtown Miami:

The Biltmore Hotel

Location: The Biltmore Hotel is located at 1200 Anastasia Avenue in Coral Gables, Florida. It’s just a short drive from Miami International Airport (MIA), where you can find rental cars and taxis if you’re driving yourself to the hotel.

The luxury hotel offers an array of amenities, including concierge services, valet parking, room service and an outdoor swimming pool with cabanas for guests to relax under the sun.

JW Marriott Marquis Miami

You’ll find the JW Marriott Marquis Miami in the heart of downtown, close to the American Airlines Arena and a number of other attractions. The hotel has a spa, pool, and fitness center on-site, along with two restaurants. It’s also near many restaurants, including celebrity chef David Chang’s Fuku (the name is inspired by his signature chicken sandwich), which serves up Asian fusion fare like Korean fried chicken made with buttermilk marinade and reserved for 24 hours before cooking.

Four Seasons Hotel Miami

The Four Seasons Hotel Miami is a luxury hotel boasting modern amenities, spacious rooms and suites, and a prime location in the heart of downtown. The property offers guests access to an array of top-notch dining options with their own personal butler service at any time of the day or night.

The hotel has been recognized by TripAdvisor as one of the best hotels in Miami for couples, who love its spa facilities including a poolside cabana where you can relax with your partner while taking advantage of complimentary massages or enjoying fresh fruit smoothies from their on-site juice bar.

This luxurious hotel is also known for being family friendly thanks to its impressive array of kids’ activities available daily—from fun pool parties to private movie screenings (complete with popcorn). When it comes to dining options during your stay here, there’s something for everyone: from sushi restaurants like Matsuri Sushi Lounge & Bar (which serves up mouthwatering Japanese cuisine)

EPIC Hotel, Downtown Miami

The EPIC Hotel, Downtown Miami is located in the heart of historic downtown Miami. This property offers a rooftop pool, spa and fitness center with panoramic views of Biscayne Bay. Guests can enjoy drinks at the rooftop bar or lounge and enjoy special events such as their weekly sunrise yoga class.

Conrad Miami

The Conrad Miami is a hotel that promises to deliver luxury, and it does. Located on the edge of Brickell, this hotel has everything you could dream of and more. The staff is kind and helpful, the rooms are comfortable, and the food is delicious.

If you’re looking for an upscale experience in downtown Miami while staying near all of your favorite places—Bayside Marketplace, AmericanAirlines Arena (home to the Miami Heat), Lincoln Road Mall—this is your best bet!

InterContinental Miami

The InterContinental Miami is located in the heart of downtown and has a prime location.

The rooms are spacious, with modern amenities that include private balconies. The hotel also offers excellent restaurants and bars, a pool, and spa services.

Mandarin Oriental, Miami

If you’re looking for a luxury hotel in downtown Miami, look no further than Mandarin Oriental, Miami. The property is located on the edge of Brickell’s financial district and has all of the amenities you’d expect from an upscale hotel. There are over 100 guest rooms and suites available to stay at, as well as various dining options including a rooftop pool bar and restaurant that serves up contemporary takes on regional cuisine. If you’re feeling particularly fancy after your meal, why not check out their spa? You’ll also find plenty of opportunities to work out while staying at this hotel thanks to its fitness center or business center with complimentary Wi-Fi access and PC’s available 24 hours a day (as long as you don’t mind taking them out of service at night).

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And if these perks weren’t enough for pet owners looking for accommodations downtown Miami should know that cats are welcome here!

Hilton Miami Downtown

The Hilton Miami Downtown is located on the southernmost tip of Biscayne Bay, which means it’s just a few minutes walk from the water, as well as all the action going on in South Beach. The hotel has both indoor and outdoor pools, meaning you can work out at the gym or relax by the pool without leaving your room. The rooms are spacious and modern with large windows that let in plenty of light. There are several dining options within walking distance including Caffe Abbracci, Casa Tua Italian Restaurant & Bar and Prime 112 Steakhouse (which was originally opened by chef Allen Susser). There’s also an on-site hair salon if you’d like to get pampered before heading out for an evening on the town.

Marriott Biscayne Bay Hotel

This recently renovated hotel is situated on the bay next to a marina and offers easy access to Miami Beach. The rooms are equipped with flat-screen TVs, minibars and Wi-Fi. There are also two restaurants on site: The Lounge Bar & Grill serves breakfast daily while Lido Restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine for lunch and dinner.

The hotel is located near the South Pointe Park & Gardens, which features a botanical garden filled with live plants from around the world. Nearby attractions include Phil Collins Hall of Fame Plaza (home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame), American Airlines Arena (home of Miami Heat basketball team), Vizcaya Museum & Gardens (Italian Renaissance estate) and Jungle Island aquarium park with rides ranging from roller coasters to educational shows about marine life

Best things to do in Miami

Bayside Marketplace miami

Bayside Marketplace is a large shopping center located in Downtown Miami. It is perfect for those who love to shop and eat, as there are many stores and restaurants available for you to enjoy. The Marketplace also hosts many special events each year, including art shows, concerts and holiday celebrations. You can take advantage of the water views by walking along the boardwalk or taking a boat ride around Biscayne Bay, which will give you an up-close view of this beautiful area.

Miami Riverwalk Trail

The Miami Riverwalk is a great place to walk, which can be enjoyed with your family or friends.

The Miami Riverwalk is a great place to walk, and it’s also a great place for families and friends to spend time together.

Eat at an open-air restaurant

  • The Broken Shaker. This is the rooftop bar at the Freehand Miami hotel, which boasts a beautiful view of Biscayne Bay. You can order anything from their extensive cocktail list and enjoy it in style.
  • Stiltsville Fish Bar & Grill. This place is known for its fresh seafood, so if you’re into that kind of thing, it’s definitely worth checking out! Make sure to try the grilled mahi-mahi (butterflied) or grouper cheeks when you go!
  • Yardbird Southern Table & Bar. This is one of my favorite restaurants in all of Miami; they specialize in southern comfort food with a twist on classic dishes like fried chicken or macaroni and cheese (which comes served with caviar!). They also have an extensive wine list featuring more than 100 vinos–the perfect place to celebrate something special with your loved ones!

Go grocery shopping in an Art Deco building

If you really want to get in the zone for your Miami shopping, then head over to The Shops at Mary Brickell Village. This giant complex features three levels of stores and restaurants, including a food court on the ground floor. The building itself is a renovated 1930s former Sears & Roebuck store that was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987 for its Art Deco architecture (the style popularized by Cuba’s Havana).

There are also many other things to do here besides shopping: there’s an outdoor movie theater, a rooftop bar with views of Biscayne Bay, and even an outdoor pool where you can relax while enjoying amazing views of downtown Miami!

Tour the Perez Art Museum

The Perez Art Museum is one of the newest additions to downtown Miami’s cultural offerings. It was designed by Herzog and de Meuron, best known for their work on Tate Modern and Beijing National Stadium. The museum is located in Miami Design District, a neighborhood with plenty of restaurants and shops for your shopping pleasure before or after your visit.

The museum is home to the largest collection of Keith Haring’s work outside of New York City and features rotating exhibitions from artists such as Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg and Roy Lichtenstein (to name only a few).

Cycle the Venetian Causeway

The Venetian Causeway is a popular bike route, and for good reason. It’s an island that was built in an effort to bridge the gap between Miami Beach and Miami proper. The Venetian Causeway is also a great place to see the sunset and get some exercise before dinner. You can rent bikes from any number of businesses on either end of the causeway, but if you go with Pedal People (located near Bayside Marketplace), they offer free water bottles for every rider!

If you’re looking to stop by another man-made island while you’re here, consider visiting Watson Island—the location of PortMiami. Connected by an underwater tunnel (and not nearly as crowded as Key Biscayne), Watson Island offers plenty of opportunities for fun activities like rollerblading or walking around its picturesque grounds (#tbt).

Cross the Rickenbacker Causeway to Key Biscayne

To get to Key Biscayne, you can either drive or take the Rickenbacker Causeway. If you do decide to drive, there are several parking garages in South Beach and Downtown Miami. Parking at these garages costs $10-$15 per hour depending on if you’re staying overnight or not. The Rickenbacker Causeway is free to cross and takes between 10-20 minutes depending on traffic. Once you arrive at Key Biscayne, there are many things to do including:

  • Kayaking
  • Dolphin watching
  • Boating + fishing

Explore the Wynwood Walls

The Wynwood Walls are a collection of murals in Wynwood, Miami. The murals were painted by artists from around the world, and they can be viewed in various locations throughout the neighborhood.

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The walls are usually painted over after about three years. Artists sign their work so visitors can learn more about them and what inspires them to paint.

See a show at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

At the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, you can find a variety of theatrical productions, including Broadway shows and concerts. It’s located in downtown Miami and is recognized as one of the largest performing arts centers in the United States.

Watch giant movies on a giant screen at SoundScape Park

SoundScape Park is a free public park located in the heart of downtown Miami. It’s a great place to relax, enjoy live music and watch movies on a giant screen. The park has been featured in many TV shows and films, including “Miami Vice” and “The Fast & The Furious.”

You can also have dinner at one of the food trucks that regularly visit SoundScape Park. There are plenty of options for both vegetarians and meat eaters. The park also hosts art exhibitions by local artists so you never know what you might find there! SoundScape Park opens daily from 6:30pm-11pm every day except Mondays when it closes at 5:00pm

Downtown Miami is full of activities and experiences to enjoy.

With a vibrant social scene and an eclectic array of cultural venues, Downtown Miami is the place to be for anyone looking for fun things to do. The area has become a hub for restaurants, art galleries and museums since the early 2000s when developers began investing in revitalizing the downtown core. And we’re still seeing new things popping up today!

The arts scene in Downtown Miami is booming with more than 30 art galleries showcasing some amazing works by local artists and internationally recognized talent alike. Take your pick from contemporary pieces by emerging artists or traditional styles at one of these fine establishments:

  • Art Basel Miami Beach (link) – Opens every December
  • ArtCenter/South Florida (link) – Opens every January

Miami has a reputation for being a party city, and for being full of nightclubs that cater to tourists.

Miami has a reputation for being a party city, and for being full of nightclubs that cater to tourists. So it’s no surprise that the best bars in downtown miami are also the most popular spots for hitting the town (or not).

For example: The Broken Shaker is a cocktail bar and restaurant that features drinks made with fresh herbs and produce from local farmers markets. It also offers live music performances from local bands during brunch services from 11am to 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Next up, we’ve got Tobacco Road Sports Bar & Grill—a popular sports bar where you can enjoy drinks while watching games on any number of TVs throughout the establishment. You’ll find their signature drinks here too!

Finally, if you want something happening later at night…well…there are plenty of options nearby! From Top 40 Dance Clubs like Cameo Night Club & Lounge to Latin Dance Clubs like Z Ultra Lounge Bar & Restaurant (which might be better known as “Z”), there’s always something going down in Little Havana or South Beach.”

But actually, there are a number of great bars, restaurants and nightclubs in downtown Miami that aren’t like that at all.

But actually, there are a number of great bars, restaurants and nightclubs in downtown Miami that aren’t like that at all.

  • San Francisco (a bar) is one of the best places to get drinks on a Friday night in downtown Miami. It’s also pretty affordable: most drinks are between $10-20 dollars, but if you’re looking for cheaper options they have a happy hour from 3 PM-7 PM where all beers are $4 and well drinks are $5. I’m personally not much of a beer drinker so I usually go for the classic vodka soda or whiskey sour—both very refreshing!
  • The Blind Pig (a restaurant) has become my favorite place to go out on Saturday nights because it’s kind of like being at an outdoor patio with your friends but without having to worry about pesky things like weather conditions or bugs getting into your food! And if you’re worried about finding parking nearby, don’t be—they have valet service so it won’t cost you anything extra either way!

List of the best restaurants in downtown Miami

The best restaurants in downtown Miami

Let’s start with the basics: great food. Downtown Miami has some of the best restaurants in Florida, and many of them are located near Brickell Avenue (so you can get there by bike or bus). Here are some recommendations for lunch, dinner and dessert:

  • For lunch: The Butcher Shop & Deli is known for its sandwiches and salads; it also has a fun atmosphere! Their signature sandwich is called “The Colombian” because it contains Colombian beers and cheeses. This place is so popular that they actually have three locations: one in Brickell Village and another two on South Beach. If you’re looking for something more casual, check out La Mar by Gaston Acurio at Miami Marriott Marquis hotel. They serve up delicious Peruvian ceviche with interesting ingredients like red snapper sashimi or raw spicy shrimp salad served on a bed of palm hearts.* For dinner: Another great option is Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink (located at 151 SE Second Ave) which offers innovative twists on traditional dishes such as their version of steak tartare—made from beef heart instead! This restaurant also offers an excellent wine list with over 250 bottles available by the glass.* For dessert: Finally—if you need something sweet after all that savory food—go to Alba Coffee House & Bakery (located inside The Setai Hotel). The pastries here are so good that people often take them home after enjoying them during breakfast hours!

List of the best bars in downtown Miami

Tequila Girl

Tequila Girl is the go-to for excellent drinks and live music in downtown Miami. This bar is located in the heart of South Beach and offers patrons a chance to enjoy some tasty tequila shots while listening to some great live music. The atmosphere at this bar is very casual, so you will be comfortable as soon as you walk through its doors. The live music acts that play here are known for performing hits from many different genres including rock, pop, alternative and even hip hop! If you want a place where you can relax with friends while enjoying delicious drinks then Tequila Girl is definitely worth checking out!

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The PUB (or Pub) has been around since 1962 when it first opened its doors on Lincoln Road Mall in South Beach! Nowadays however they have expanded their business beyond just selling beer but instead offer food as well which makes them stand out from most other bars since most places only serve alcohol or nothing at all except maybe water if they’re feeling generous enough (but usually not).

The Broken Shaker

This bar is known for its cocktails and it has won many awards over the years. The Broken Shaker is located in the Freehand Hotel Miami on Collins Avenue which makes it perfect if you’re looking to get away from all of those tourists who flock to South Beach every year; they will never find you here. The atmosphere at this bar is relaxed and casual so don’t worry about dressing up like some other places would require.

The Edison

This place was built with one goal in mind: to create an atmosphere of innovation and creativity. The Edison is located on the second floor of a historic building that’s been converted into a hotel called The Vagabond Hotel Miami Beach; it’s just across from Collins Avenue at 16thStreet so if you’re looking for something close by then this would be perfect for you! The Corner Bar – This is another great place to go if you want something that’s local but still

If you’re looking for an authentic night out in Miami, avoid South Beach and try downtown instead.

  • Avoid tourist traps. The biggest difference between South Beach and downtown Miami is that the former attracts tourists, whereas the latter attracts locals. If you want to experience an authentic night out in South Beach, avoid places like LIV (it’s too loud) and Nikki Beach (it’s too expensive).
  • Avoid nightclubs. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more mellow night out in Miami, try any one of these bars or restaurants instead: Terence Hotel Bar (a great place for happy hour), Icicle Seafood Bar & Grill (the best fish tacos on Lincoln Road), or Beaker & Gray (their signature drink has been called “liquid crack”).

Best museums in downtown Miami

Downtown Miami is a vibrant, exciting area where you’ll find museums, restaurants, and more. There are many great attractions to visit while you’re here, including the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, which showcases a historic home built by a 19th-century sugar baron; the Miami Children’s Museum with its planetarium and mini-supermarket; and HistoryMiami. You can also explore the Gold Coast Railroad Museum (a former passenger station), or learn about local history at nearby Miami Art Museum.

Miami Art Museum

The Miami Art Museum is located in the heart of Miami’s downtown cultural district. The museum is home to the largest collection of Cuban art in the world, and it features a variety of exhibitions from local artists throughout the year.

The museum hosts a number of events and programs throughout the year, including lectures by artists and curators about their work, as well as special events for children. The Miami Design District Market will be held at this museum on November 19-20th; it showcases local design talent from across South Florida.


HistoryMiami is located in the Stephen P. Clark Government Center, at 100 N.E. 1st Street (at Biscayne Boulevard). It’s a museum dedicated to exploring the past of Miami and South Florida, with exhibits that range from exhibits on Hurricane Andrew and Little Havana to an ongoing exhibit about Miami-Dade County during World War I. You’ll also learn about the history of Miami-Dade County law enforcement with an exhibit called “Law & Order: A Decade After 9/11.”

The HistoryMiami Museum has two permanent exhibits: one highlighting Cuban culture in Miami and another focusing on life in early 20th century Florida; both are fascinating tours through time!

The Gold Coast Railroad Museum

The Gold Coast Railroad Museum is the newest of the museums in downtown Miami, opening in 2017. It’s located on 2nd Street and North River Drive, right across from Bayside Marketplace. The museum offers year-round fun for all ages!

  • History: Established by a group of railroad enthusiasts who wanted to preserve rail history in South Florida, this museum focuses on trains that ran along Miami’s coast before World War II. You’ll find many artifacts from these trains as well as models and other displays depicting life during that time period.
  • Hours: Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Sundays from 12–5 p.m.; closed Mondays except for special events; last entry at 3 p.m., tours offered daily at 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door; admission is free for children 12 and younger with paying adult (up to 5 kids per paying adult) or $10/person otherwise ($15/person after 5pm). Closed Mondays except for special events such as Super Saturday train rides & meetups every month on an unannounced date – check their website calendar often!

Downtown Miami has so much history, culture, food and fun that you should stop by even if you’re visiting South Beach.

  • If you’re visiting Miami, it’s worth taking a day to explore Downtown.
  • Downtown is home to many historical sites like the Freedom Tower, Flagler Street and the Miami River.
  • You can also visit a few of the many museums in downtown such as the Frost Museum of Science or history museum HistoryMiami. These museums are great for kids!
  • There are tons of restaurants and bars in downtown that offer delicious food and drinks at affordable prices! Make sure to stop by Harry’s Bar & Burger Joint or Magic City Casino for some yummy grub.


We hope this guide has helped you to make the most of your time in Downtown Miami. As always, we encourage you to be adventurous and have fun!

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