Miami

Summer, sun, beach life: Miami is famous for its year-round good weather. But the metropolis at the southern tip of Florida is also surprisingly creative. Follow us to the Magic City of the USA and discover its most beautiful places!

Miami facts

State: Florida
County: Miami-Dade
Area: 143.14 km²
Population: about 442,000
Nickname: Magic City
Time zone: Eastern (UTC -5)

Miami: location & population

Sun-drenched Miami stretches along the southern tip of Florida by the Atlantic Ocean. The city is surrounded by Everglades National Park to the west as well as Biscayne Bay to the east and south.

In terms of its surface size, Miami is one of the smallest metropolises in the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Magic City covers a total area of 145.2 km2, with only 93.2 km2 being landmass and 52.0 km2 being water. Therefore, with about 4,740 inhabitants per km2, Miami is one of the most densely populated US cities, along with New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia.

The population of the Magic City is diverse. According to data from the US Census, Hispanics make up about 70% of Miami's residents. About half of them are of Cuban descent. Other frequently represented countries of origin include Nicaragua, Honduras, Colombia, and Puerto Rico. About 19% of Miami's population is of African or Afro-Caribbean origin, and about 12% of residents are ancestors of European immigrants.

Districts of Miami

Miami is a sunny destination known for its beautiful beaches. But the Magic City is much more than a tourist hotspot: you can expect a lot of art, creativity, and Caribbean influences!

South Beach

You probably know Miami's South Beach district from various postcard images. In this tourist paradise, which stretches from the tip of the island to 26th Street, the candy-colored buildings of the Art Déco district intermingle with the modern architecture of the hotel and residential buildings. The clubs of South Beach and the annual Miami Beach Gay Pride Festival are legendary – and of course, the long stretch of Southpoint Beach with its colorful lifeguard houses is not to be missed either!

Coconut Grove

Lush gardens and Art Déco architecture await you in Miami's oldest neighborhood, Coconut Grove. The district once grew up around a quiet cove that proved ideal for free-thinking business people. In the 1960s, one of the centers of the hippie movement formed here. Despite the growing number of modern high-rises, the charming district in the south of Miami is still a magnet for creative people from all over the world.

Little Havana

A must-do in the Magic City is a visit to the Little Havana neighborhood, where many of Miami's Cuban immigrants have settled. A little knowledge of Spanish is, therefore, an advantage if you want to end the evening over a cocktail in the famous Calle Ocho. Besides cultural highlights like the Calle Ocho Festival, the Viernes Culturales, and the Three Kings Parade, you can also visit the Little Havana Walk of Fame. It looks very similar to the original in Los Angeles, but the stars are reserved for Latino celebrities like Julio Iglesias or Gloria Estefan.

Wynwood Wards

The vibrant Wynwood Wards neighborhood will captivate you with huge galleries and exciting museums! Don't forget to take a selfie in front of the mile-long murals and graffiti that adorn the buildings of this former industrial district.

If you're an art lover, head to Florida for the annual Art Basel Miami Beach in December and mingle with the photographers and influencers. In addition to the creative highlights, Wynwood Wards is also known for trendy bars, excellent restaurants, and a variety of breweries.

Downtown Miami

Downtown Miami is becoming more and more popular! With the ever-growing number of skyscrapers, the business and banking district is now dominated by elegant post-millennium architecture. Culturally, Downtown has also experienced a major renaissance in recent years, during which a new generation of museums and fashionable bars have settled in the district. Live music events and clubs are also becoming more and more common Downtown.

Climate in Miami

Miami is the perfect place for sun-seekers, for you never have to freeze at the southern tip of Florida! Not without reason, a large number of retirees are drawn to the Sunshine State of the USA every year to "hibernate."

Due to the tropical and humid monsoon climate, temperatures climb to a hot 32°C in the summer months. With water temperatures of around 30°C, you will feel like you are in a warm bathtub when swimming in the ocean. However, it can get a bit stormier from time to time, as Florida is at risk of hurricanes between June and November.

With the dry season starting in November, the danger of thunderstorms diminishes, but the air temperatures remain consistently warm with pleasant 24°C to 29°C. The water temperatures are around 22°C in the winter months, allowing year-round swimming.

Traveling to Miami

A flight to Miami brings you to Miami International Airport (MIA), which is located about 13 km northwest of the city center. With over 45 million passengers annually, it is one of the most important hubs for air traffic in the US state of Florida, along with Orlando Airport.

About 22 million passengers arrive at Miami International Airport on international routes. Airlines serving the airport include American Airlines, Air France, British Airways, Delta, Finnair, KLM, Lufthansa, and United Airlines.

Non-stop flights from Europe depart from Paris-Charles de Gaulle, London-Heathrow, or Istanbul, for example, at ticket prices starting at €400. If you depart from Frankfurt am Main, Munich, or Amsterdam, you usually have to plan a stopover.

Travelers from Asia arrive in Miami with a stopover in Europe or Dubai. Flights cost at least €800 to €900.

Travel authorization Miami

Has this article whetted your appetite for travel? Before you book your flight, do keep in mind: you need an ESTA travel authorization or a US visa to be allowed to travel to the United States.

ESTA – visa-free to the USA

With an ESTA, you can stay 90 days visa-free in the USA. Apply online now!

Getting around in Miami

In Miami, you can get around well in several ways. Among other things, you have these options:

Public transport

Public transport is well organized in Miami-Dade County. Numerous bus lines take you from A to B within the city, but also to Fort Lauderdale or Broward County.

You can also use the elevated Metrorail system, which serves the tourist areas of Miami and the surrounding towns on two lines. One-way tickets for Metrorail and Metrobus cost $2.25.

Rental car

Driving in Miami is fun! You can get around effortlessly on the well-developed highway and road system in and around the city. Miami is also connected to the entire US East Coast via Highway 95.

With most car rental companies, you can pick up your vehicle directly at the airport. And now that you're independent, don't miss out on a trip to Key West and the Everglades.

Taxi

Cab rides are comparatively expensive in Miami. In addition to the basic fare of $2.50, you pay $0.40 for every 1/6 mile (about 0.3 km) driven. For rides from popular nightclub areas like Miami Beach, you'll typically pay $30 to $60, depending on where you plan to arrive. A cheap alternative to cabs in Miami is the ride service Uber.

Bike

If the heat doesn't discourage you, you can rent a bicycle at the CitiBike stations, which you can find in all tourist areas. You will pay $4.50 for 30 minutes and $24 for the whole day. There are also many smaller stores in Miami, where you can rent a bike or even a scooter.

On foot

Miami goes on and on! If you want to stay in Downtown and Miami Beach, you can easily get around on foot. For all other destinations, we recommend switching to train, bus, bike, or car.

Accommodation in Miami

The selection of hotels in the vacationer mecca of Miami is huge. From cheap to luxurious, you will find a variety of offers:

Hotels

Most hotels in Miami are concentrated in and around Downtown and South Beach. Here are some recommendations:

Booking.com

Collins Hotel

Beachfront rooms in Miami start at €70 to €80 per night, for example, at the Collins Hotel on North Beach. The budget rooms are equipped with a king-size bed, a refrigerator, and a flat-screen TV.

  • District: North Beach
  • Address: 6600 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33141, USA
  • Price category: $
  • Hotel details: The Collins Hotel

Crest Hotel Suites

For a room on the famous South Beach, you should budget between €100 and €200 per night. In addition to its beachfront location, Crest Hotel Suites offers you an outdoor pool, cable TV, a vegan restaurant, a tropical courtyard garden, and an airport shuttle service.

  • District: South Beach
  • Address: 1670 James Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA
  • Price category: $$
  • Hotel details: The Crest Hotel Suites

The Vagabond Hotel

The boutique hotel is inspired by the design of the 1950s; an absolute eye-catcher is the outdoor mosaic pool. The hotel also has a fitness center, a Mediterranean cuisine restaurant, and free parking.

  • District: Upper East Side
  • Address: 7301 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33138, USA
  • Price category: $$
  • Hotel details: The Vagabond Hotel

The Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne

If you're looking to treat yourself properly, head to the luxurious Ritz Carlton on the island of Key Biscayne. This iconic, exclusive hotel welcomes you with an outdoor pool, a 2,323-square-foot spa, a marble bath, a hair salon, a fitness center, and much more.

Apartments

An apartment can be a cheap alternative to booking a hotel room. You can find suitable accommodation on these websites:

  • apartments.com
  • airbnb.com
  • apartmentlist.com/fl/
  • first-apts.com

Hostels

Party nights in Miami can really blow your travel budget! If you spend half the night in the clubs of Miami anyway, you can save some money by staying in a hostel. In Miami, they can be booked for about €30 to €40 per night.

Top attractions in Miami

If you're sightseeing in Miami, don't miss these top five sights in the Magic City:

South Pointe Beach

The colorful lifeguard houses of Miami's South Pointe Beach are world-famous! The long stretch of beach right on the Atlantic Ocean is attractive at any time of day: greet the day with a run or yoga, soak up the Florida sun during the day, watch the cruise ships pass through the Government Cut channel in the afternoon, or stroll along the boardwalk after nightfall!

Art Déco District & Ocean Drive

The famous Ocean Drive and the adjacent Art Déco District on the southern tip of the island are absolute must-sees, and not just since the series Miami Vice. In addition to pastel-colored facades, you'll also find trendy bars and a variety of hotels. Before you start your beach day, book a hop-on hop-off tour and let your guide explain the fascinating details of the Art Déco architecture.

Key Biscayne

You can reach the picturesque island of Key Biscayne off the coast of Miami by driving along the Rickenbacker Causeway. Here, you can stay in the luxurious Ritz Carlton, visit the Cape Florida Lighthouse, go kayaking or on a fishing charter, explore the Matheson Coconut Plantation, or hike through the natural paradises of Crandon Park and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

Calle Ocho

Let the day come to an end while enjoying the Cuban vibes of Miami! A wide variety of bars, restaurants, and salsa clubs can be found in Little Havana around Calle Ocho. The neighborhood of the Cuban immigrants is also exciting during the day: discover craft stores and street art, or stroll along the Walk of Fame of Little Havana!

Freedom Tower

The bright yellow, 78-meter-tall Freedom Tower rises among the glass buildings of Downtown Miami. It is not only a National Historic Landmark and monument to Cuban immigration to the US, but is also used as a contemporary art museum for various art disciplines of Miami Dade College.

 

Culture highlights in Miami

If you catch a rainy day during your Miami trip, it's not a big deal because, besides its dream beaches, the Magic City also has plenty of cultural highlights to offer. These Miami museums are always worth a visit:

  • Pérez Art Museum Miami – Museum of contemporary art with over 1,800 objects on display
  • Vizcaya Museum & Gardens – Palace-like villa in the style of the northern Italian Renaissance
  • Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science – Interactive museum including aquarium and planetarium
  • Bass Museum of Art – Museum of Medieval and Renaissance Art
  • HistoryMiami Museum – Museum of the history of South Florida

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Nature and parks in Miami

Get active with sports or relax at a picnic – Miami's most beautiful parks offer you numerous choices for your leisure time.

Lummus Park

The famous green stretch between South Beach and Ocean Drive is called Lummus Park. Here, you can get active at any time: runners, hikers, and cyclists cover their morning miles here as early as sunrise. Volleyball players enjoy the numerous beach courts and fitness freaks will be thrilled by the two outdoor gyms. On weekends, you can also browse arts and crafts markets here.

South Pointe Park

South Pointe Park adorns the southern tip of Miami, just a few steps away from South Beach. Here, you can find the South Pointe Pier, numerous walking trails, picnic and barbecue areas, a water playground, a café, and the Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse. The charming green space also offers a magnificent view of South Beach, the skyscrapers of Downtown Miami, Fisher Island, and the passing cruise ships.

Although there are plenty of beautiful parks in the Miami metropolitan area, don't miss out on a day trip to Key West, the southernmost point in the United States. Set aside another day to explore the Everglades National Park, which is not far from Miami – the unique nature of the vast swamps will more than impress you!

Shopping in Miami

Looking for a souvenir of your Miami trip or gifts for your loved ones back home? Then you should include these places in your shopping route:

  • Lincoln Road – Huge outdoor mall with numerous clothing and specialized stores
  • Bayside Marketplace – Mix of shopping mall and food court as well as starting point of numerous sightseeing tours
  • Dolphin Mall – City's largest outlet mall in West Miami
  • Macy’s – Huge department store spread over several floors in Downtown Miami
  • Design District – More than 55 stores with luxury brands like Rolex, Versace, Miu Miu, and Christian Louboutin

Food and drinks in Miami

Local cuisine in South Florida is heavily influenced by the Caribbean and Latin American specialties and is therefore referred to as "Floribbean Cuisine."

In Miami, popular foods include Cuban sandwiches, Cuban espresso, croquetas (croquettes, or croquettes), and the Caribbean dishes of Haiti. Due to Miami's location on the Atlantic Ocean, seafood is also an ever-present item on the restaurant's menus.

Be sure to treat yourself to a slice of key lime pie when you're in Miami. A popular dessert in southern Florida, this pie with lime and meringue crust received its name because the limes used were originally from the Florida Keys.

Nightlife in Miami

Night owls and clubbers will not be disappointed in Miami – the choice of nightlife options is huge! What is it going to be for you: lively clubs in South Beach, rooftop bars in Downtown Miami, or salsa dancing in Little Havana?

Can't make up your mind? Check out these famous locations in Miami:

  • Mango’s Tropical Cafe – Restaurant and nightclub in South Beach with live music plus salsa and samba tunes
  • LIV at the Fontainebleau – Nightclub and exclusive lounge on the lower floor of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel (Attention, celebrity alert: you could meet stars like Rihanna or Paris Hilton here!)
  • Bar of the Gaythering Hotel – Hotspot of the LGBTQ+ Community
  • E11EVEN MIAMI – The world's only 24/7 ultra club with spectacular live shows and top DJs in Downtown Miami
  • Gramps – Trendy cocktail bar in Wynwood Wards
  • Cerveceria La Tropical – Well-known Cuban beer bar in Wynwood Wards

Sports events in Miami

Sports fans find plenty to enjoy in Miami as teams from all the popular US sports are represented in the Magic City.

American Football

The Miami Dolphins have played in the National League Football (NFL) since 1966. In 1972 and 1973, they won the Super Bowl trophy. You can cheer on the Miami Dolphins during their home games at Hard Rock Stadium in the Miami Gardens district.

In addition to the NFL team, Miami also has successful college sports squads. The University of Miami Hurricanes also play at Hard Rock Stadium, and the Florida International University Panthers play at Riccardo Silva Stadium.

Basketball

The NBA team of the city of Miami is fittingly named Miami Heat. The team has won the championship title three times and throws its baskets in the FTX Arena on Biscayne Boulevard.

Baseball

Miami baseball fans can watch the MLB team Miami Marlins in action. The two-time World Series winners play their home games at LoanDepart Park in the East Little Havana district.

Ice Hockey

If you want to let some cool air blow around your nose for a change, you should go to a game of the Florida Panthers in the FLA Live Arena. The arena is not located directly in Miami but in the town of Sunrise, about 35 km north of the city. Although they have not yet won the Stanley Cup, the Panthers hold another title: they are the southernmost team playing in the National Hockey League.

Would you rather do sports yourself? No problem, because you are in a water sports paradise! Sailing, surfing, wakeboarding, jet skiing – you won't be short of opportunities for fun things to do in Miami!

Instagram hotspots in Miami

What would be better to share on your Instagram account than the sweet beach life in Miami? These five motifs will make your photos especially memorable:

  1. Wall paintings in Wynwood Wards
  2. Street art in Little Havana
  3. Lifeguard cottage at South Beach
  4. Fitness courts in Lummus Park
  5. Art Déco houses in Coconut Grove

History of Miami

Before European settlement, the region around Miami was home to the Tequesta Indians. These were expelled during the rule of the Spaniards in the 19th century.

In 1891, Julia Tuttle from Cleveland acquired hundreds of hectares of land on the banks of the Miami River and convinced oil magnate Henry M. Flagler of the region's potential. Flagler had the rail network expanded, the port of Miami built, and the Royal Palm Hotel constructed – the kickoff for tourism in Miami.

In 1896, Miami was officially recognized as a city and attracted many new residents in the following years. Furthermore, Miami allowed gambling in the 1920s. Despite severe hurricanes in 1926 and 1935, the construction boom remained unbroken. Only the Great Depression stopped the development.

Another population boom took place in the 1960s when thousands of refugees from Cuba settled in the city. New problems emerged in the city in the 1980s, when it became the largest hub for drugs from South America.

In the course of the 1990s, the large Latin American drug cartels were broken up, and the crime rate dropped drastically. A new, still ongoing construction boom began, which brought forth numerous hotel and commercial buildings, but also trendy neighborhoods such as Wynwood and the Design District.

Fun facts Miami

Do you want to learn more about the beach paradise Miami? We have found a few more interesting facts for you:

  • The name Miami is derived from the Mayaimi tribe that inhabited the area in the 1600s and 1700s.
  • Miami was founded in 1896 by Julia Tuttle. She is thus the only woman to be credited for founding a major US city.
  • Miami owes its nickname "Magic City" to the fact that new skyscrapers are constantly being built, changing the skyline. For visitors, this creates the impression that the city is growing as if by magic.
  • The Port of Miami is the busiest cruise port in the world.
  • Miami Beach harbors the world's largest collection of Art Déco architecture.
  • The first Burger King franchise opened in Miami in 1954.
  • The television series "Miami Vice" focuses on the Miami drug scene of the 1980s.
  • There are more than 50 underwater wrecks around the city, which can be explored by divers. That is why Miami is known as the "wreck diving capital of the world."
  • According to the city's meteorological records, it has snowed once in Miami so far: on January 19th, 1977.

Immigrate to Miami

You never want to leave the magical Miami again? We can understand that very well! With these tips, you can make the transition to a new life:

Working in Miami

As a major commercial and financial center, Miami is home to numerous international service companies. More than 1,400 multinational companies are based in the Magic City: for example, Brightstar Corporation, Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Corporation, Greenberg, Inktel Direct, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Southern Wine & Spirits, Watsco, and World Fuel Services. Fast-food giant Burger King is headquartered not far from Miami in Dade County.

In addition to the financial and service sectors, Miami's port and airport are also very important. They are among the busiest ports of entry in the USA, especially for cargo from South America and the Caribbean. Miami's port is also an important hub for cruise ships.

Of course, the tourism metropolis of Miami also offers many job opportunities in the restaurant and hotel industry as well as in the culture and arts scene.

Living in Miami

The sweet life in sunny Miami has its price! The cost of living in Miami is around 23% higher than the US average. You have to dig especially deep into your pocket for housing and transportation: the cost here is more than 40% higher than in the rest of America.

If you manage to earn an annual income of at least $75,000, you can live in Miami without worries and really only have to choose between one of the top residential areas. Do you want to wake up to the sound of the ocean, for example in Coconut Grove, Bal Harbour, or Surfside? Or do you prefer to enjoy the laid-back suburban atmosphere in Pinecrest? And the nature paradise on the island of Key Biscayne also has its charms.

To Miami with a Green Card

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