Miami is nothing short of a traveler’s paradise. It’s bright, colorful and constantly buzzing – and it has incredible beaches, fantastic nightlife, unique architecture, and a world-renowned food scene.

But Miami is a massive city and some of its neighborhoods don’t offer much to visitors. That’s why I wrote this insider’s guide on where to stay in Miami to help you plan your trip!

The Broke Backpacker’s no stress-neighborhood guide is designed with one purpose: to help you find the best area to stay in Miami based on your travel interests. Whether that’s lounging on the beach, dancing the night away, sampling the city’s best food, or taking in its arts and culture scenes, there’s a place in Miami for you!

So let’s get to it! Here are the absolute best places to stay in Miami.

Life’s a beach.

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    Where to Stay in Miami

    Traveling to Miami? Looking for an awesome pad to rest your bones at? These are the overall best places to stay in the city:

    Best Airbnb in Miami: Oceanfront Apartment

    Oceanfront one bedroom and bathroom apartment

    The best Airbnb in Miami is the best for a reason: it just ticks every box! Start your vacation in a modern beachfront studio apartment in Miami Beach, complete with 180-degree ocean views of the crystal clear water AND free parking. The apartment features a king-size bed and complimentary WiFi. If you want to stay in one of the best Airbnbs in Miami Beach, look no further than this one!

    Best Hostel in Miami: Generator Miami

    Generator Miami

    With a prime South Beach location and great vibes all around, Generator Miami is without a doubt the best hostel in Miami. Located only a few minutes from the beach, this hostel is also close to all of South Beach’s top shops, bars, clubs, and restaurants. You can stay in dorms or private rooms. A light breakfast is included and, furthermore, this hostel boasts not one but two restaurants AND a pool!

    Best Hotel in Miami: Four Seasons Hotel Brickell

    reflective pool at the best hotel in miami with palm trees

    This incredible hotel is located across from Biscayne Bay in Brickell and features 5-star luxury all around. Enjoy the two stunning outdoor pools and hot tub, soak in the sauna or enjoy the state-of-the-art fitness room. The service, quality of the rooms, and on-location bar and restaurant seal the deal: While it’s not cheap, this is truly the best hotel in Miami.

    Miami Neighborhood Guide

    Downtown Miami, Miami

    Downtown Miami

    Downtown Miami is the commercial and financial centre of the city and the best place to stay for your first time in Miami. visitors. It is a generally busy area that is jam-packed with skyscrapers and businesses, shops and boutiques, and entertainment venues.

    Miami Beach, Miami

    Miami Beach

    Although Miami Beach isn’t technically part of Miami, we’ve decided to include it for where to stay in Miami Beach. Because really, there’s no neighbourhood that is more quintessentially Miami than Miami Beach.

    South Beach, Miami

    South Beach

    South Beach is one of the most famous neighbourhoods not just in Miami, but in the United States. Renowned throughout the country, South Beach is the city’s dedicated nightlife area with plenty of bars, restaurants, clubs, bistros, and hip hangouts and our recommendation for where to stay in Miami for nightlife.

    Brickell, Miami


    Brickell is a neighbourhood that appears buttoned-up at first glance because it’s home to a variety of financial institutions and commercial enterprises.

    Key Biscayne, Miami

    Key Biscayne

    Key Biscayne is a tropical island south of Miami and the best area to stay in Miami for families. It’s noted for its verdant nature, pristine beaches and its relaxed and laid-back attitude.

    Miami is the largest city in Florida. It boasts a rich history and diverse cultural heritage and is home to one of the largest Spanish-speaking populations in the US, and those influences can be seen throughout the city.

    There are more than 25 neighborhoods in the Miami area. Each offers visitors a diverse selection of attractions and activities. To get a good feel for the city, you should definitely add more than one to your Miami itinerary.

    Starting at the heart of Miami, you have Downtown. The commercial, cultural, and financial center of the city, Downtown Miami is where you’ll find flashy skyscrapers, interesting museums, unique art galleries, and plenty of history.

    Some street art in Miami
    Wynwood Walls, Miami

    South of Downtown is the up-and-coming neighborhood of Brickell. A favorite local spot, this neighborhood is packed with fantastic shops and incredible restaurants.

    Travel east across the McArthur Causeway and you’ll arrive in Miami Beach and, more specifically, South Beach. Arguably the liveliest and most famous place in Miami, this is where to stay if you’re looking for great beaches. If you’re looking for a good time, there are many things to do in Miami Beach and it’s also where you’ll find Miami’s party hostels.

    Head back south through the city to find Key Biscayne, one of Miami’s hidden gems that most tourists never see. One of the greenest areas of the city, this island paradise is packed with family-friendly activities and stunning, natural beaches.

    5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Miami

    Let’s take a look at the five best neighborhoods to stay in Miami. Each is different from the last, so be sure to choose the one that’s right for you.

    1. Downtown – Best Place to Stay in Miami for First-Timers

    Downtown is the commercial and financial center of the city. It is a generally busy area that is jam-packed with businesses, restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues. If you’re into electronic music, Club Space is in Downtown Miami and shouldn’t be missed, especially if they happen to have a big event.

    But that’s not all there is in Downtown Miami. This area of the city is also where you’ll find its core cultural institutions including world-class art galleries and renowned museums. With so much going on, it’s the perfect place to stay for your first time in Miami. It’s also the area closest to Miami International Airport and the American Airlines Arena.

    downtown Miami Night skyline
    The colorful nighttime glow of Downtown Miami.

    Downtown Miami is also home to trendy Wynwood. Bursting with creative vibes, cool bars and cafes, and delicious restaurants, Wynwood is the best place in Miami to simply wander the streets and take it all in. You can also check out Little Havana, where you can find authentic Cuban food, coffee, and vibes. Don’t miss out on Azucar Ice Cream–it’s truly delicious.

    Best Luxury Condo in Downtown Miami: 2 Bedroom Apartment with Stunning Views

    2 Bedroom Apartment with Stunning Views

    You can never do wrong with a bit of luxury. In this case, it’s a lot of luxury! This stunning apartment offers the absolute best views of the ocean and the bay. Sleeping 4 people, it’s the perfect spot to bring some friends with you on your first Miami visit. You can use all of the facilities that the building offers. While it’ll be hard to leave this stunning condo, rest assured that you’ll be practically within walking distance of some of Miami’s top attractions.

    Best Hotel in Downtown Miami: Hilton Miami Downtown

    Hilton Miami Downtown

    A fantastic location, elegant décor, and luxurious rooms are just a few of the reasons this is my top pick for where to stay in Downtown Miami. This hotel boasts a fitness center, swimming pool, and a stylish on-site bar.

    It is close to well-known attractions and is within walking distance of a few of Miami’s hottest clubs.

    Best Airbnb in Downtown Miami: Bright and Modern Condo

    Bright and Modern Condo

    This very stylish condo couldn’t be in a better location. If you’re visiting Miami for the first time, you’ll want to stay in the heart of Downtown, and this is exactly where you can find this charming home.

    Flooded with sunlight – thanks to the massive window front – the modern condominium offers the perfect getaway from the busy streets and a great base to explore the city. You can use all of the facilities of the building, which include a gym, a pool, and a parking lot.

    Bright and Modern Condo is one of our favourites in Miami but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

    Things to See and Do in Downtown Miami

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    2. Miami Beach – Best Place to Stay in Miami on a Budget

    There’s no neighborhood in Miami that is more quintessentially “Miami” than Miami Beach. This small barrier island just east of downtown is packed with things to do and see, such as art deco architecture, swaying palm trees, neon lights, and glitzy clubs.

    It’s also the top choice of Where to Stay in Miami on a Budget. It’s here where you can find Miami vacation rentals that don’t cost an arm and a leg, though those options are certainly available if you need them.

    Miami Beach - Where to Stay in Miami on a Budget

    Staying in Miami can be a challenge if you’re on a budget. While you can find some cheap motels in Miami along with some cool backpacker hostels in Miami, most accommodation is NOT easy on the wallet.

    That’s why I recommend Miami Beach to anyone looking to save a bit of money. Here you can actually find double-digit nightly stays and a few amazing Miami bed and breakfasts – all perfect for keeping the money in your pockets.

    You can also check out some of the amazing (and less touristy) seaside near North Miami Beach. Miami’s North Beach is a lot quieter and more relaxing than the South, so it’s ideal for couples and families looking to escape the nightlife.

    Best Airbnb in Miami Beach: Oceanfront Apartment

    Oceanfront one bedroom and bathroom apartment

    Fall in love with this modern-style beachfront studio apartment in North Miami Beach, one of the many iconic Florida Airbnb listings to choose from.

    Boasting 180-degree ocean views of the crystal clear water and free parking, the apartment features a king-size bed and high-speed WiFI. Not only will you be steps from the beach, but you’ll also have access to an on-site pool, and the hosts provide free
    beach chairs and snorkeling gear as well!

    Best Hostel in Miami Beach: Generator Miami

    Generator Miami

    The Generator Miami is the best hostel in Miami Beach, hands down. Located at the center of this vibrant and lively district, this party hostel is close to South Beach, shops, bars, clubs, and restaurants. A light breakfast is included and this hostel boasts not one but two restaurants!

    Best Hotel in Miami Beach: Nautilus A SIXTY Hotel

    Nautilus A SIXTY Hotel

    This modern hotel is the epitome of Miami-chic. Each room is bright and airy and features comfortable beds and modern amenities.

    This four-star property comes complete with an outdoor swimming pool, fitness facilities, and a helpful and knowledgeable staff. It also has a fantastic restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

    Things to See and Do in Miami Beach

    • Spend a day at North Beach Oceanside Park
    • Take a salsa dance lesson
    • Swim in your birthday suit at Haulover’s Nude Beach
    • Listen to live music at the North Beach Bandshell
    • Go on a duck boat tour!
    • Explore Mid Beach
    • Party the night away at LIV
    • Stroll around the Miami Beach Botanical Garden

    3. South Beach – Best Place to Stay in Miami for Nightlife

    South Beach is one of the most famous neighborhoods not just in Miami, but in the United States. Renowned throughout the country, South Beach is the city’s dedicated nightlife area with plenty of bars, restaurants, clubs, bistros, and hip hangouts. South Beach is definitely Where to Stay in Miami for Nightlife

    SoBe is where you’ll find Miami’s young, rich and famous partying almost every day of the week at the area’s famous clubs and bars. The nightlife here is so incredible and abundant you’ll never have to question what to do.

    Whether you want to dance until sunrise or enjoy custom cocktails on a rooftop patio, South Beach has it all.

    Best Airbnb in South Beach: Bright Apartment Steps from the Beach

    Bright Apartment Steps from the Beach

    This stunning and bright one-bedroom apartment features a trendy, modern interior unlike any other Airbnb in South Beach. Located near the famous Lincoln Road, you’ll be close to the goings on as well as being steps away from the beach. You’ll also be able to enjoy the apartment’s beach equipment and relish its central location near to some of the best things to do in Miami.

    Best Apartment in South Beach: Ocean Drive Luxury Apartment 

    Ocean Drive Luxury Apartment

    The title says it already, this amazing apartment is located on Ocean Drive, just steps from the beach, in the heart of all the action and nightlife of South Beach. The luxury home offers all high-quality amenities that you might need during your stay, including a high-end kitchen, AC, and a massive satellite flatscreen TV – perfect to cure those hangover days!

    Best Hostel in South Beach: Viajero Miami

    colorful hostel design with a pool in south beach where to stay in miami

    Looking to save some cash by staying at a top-rated hostel in Miami? Look no further than Viajero–located in the heart of SoBe, Viajero is barely a block from the beach and features an artsy design, free tea/coffee, and a pool.

    You’ll find yourself smack in the middle of all South Beach has to offer, with dozens of restaurants and bars just seconds away, AND an on-site bar too! You can choose from 4, 6, or 8-bed dorms OR splurge a bit on a private room. The hostel also has a library/coworking
    space for anyone living the digital nomad life.

    Best Hotel in South Beach: 1 Hotel

    incredible rooftop pool on south beach miami trip

    This top-rated luxury hotel in South Beach may not be budget-friendly, but it’s truly worth every dollar you pay. The hotel is a 2-minute walk from the beach and features a jaw-droppingly gorgeous rooftop pool that rivals all others in the neighborhood.

    As if that wasn’t enough, 1 Hotel has three other pools and a fitness center to keep you busy, as well as snack and beverage bars. Aside from being right on the beach and near all of South Beach’s top attractions, you’ll be in for world-class comfort and service, too.

    Things to See and Do in South Beach

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    4. Brickell – Coolest Neighborhood in Miami

    Tucked away south of Downtown is Brickell, one of Miami’s trendiest and happening hot spots. With plenty of places to eat, party, chill, and shop, it’s no surprise that Brickell is the coolest neighborhood in Miami.

    main brickell thoroughway at night where to stay in miami
    Brickell is like a city within a city.

    Brickell is a place that appears buttoned at first glance because it’s home to a variety of financial institutions and commercial enterprises. But scratch the surface and you’ll quickly realize that this often-overlooked area is one of the coolest neighborhoods in Miami with its independent boutiques and rustic bars.

    Love to eat? In Brickell, you’ll find the best restaurants in Miami. From chic bistros and upscale fine dining to rooftop patios and charming kitchens, Brickell is where you can tease your taste buds and enjoy unique flavors from cuisines from around the world. It’s also right on Biscayne Bay, which means turquoise-colored views all around and easy access to Key Biscayne’s amazing beaches.

    Best Airbnb in Brickell: Sky Residence Condo

    white balcony with an ocean and pool view in miami

    Relax and unwind in the heart of Brickell at one of the top Airbnbs in Miami. This large, airy condo features a stunning ocean view from the balcony, wide-open spaces, and a jacuzzi AND a pool to enjoy. You’ll also get to avail super-high-speed internet, 4k SMART TVs with cable, a rain shower head, and plenty of more amenities right near the hottest Brickell eateries and attractions.

    Best Hotel in Brickell: Mandarin Oriental Miami

    mandarin miami hotel room in brickell

    This top-rated hotel isn’t just the best in Brickell, but one of the best luxury hotels in all of Miami. While the Mandarin is centrally located to all of Brickell’s top attractions, you might not want to leave once you see its incredible pool and 5-star luxury spa services. The comfort and cleanliness couldn’t be better, and you can even enjoy delicious food and drinks at their bar & restaurant.

    Best Apartment in Brickell: Massive Family Penthouse

    Massive Family Penthouse

    Traveling with your family? This accommodation sleeps up to 8 people, which makes it the absolute perfect getaway for you and your loved ones. Overlooking the city, you could spend the whole day simply admiring the view from your living room sofa. If you want to explore the area, you’ll be pleased to know that there are many hotspots literally around the corner. There’s also a gym and a pool in the building which are free to use.

    Massive Family Penthouse is one of our favourites in Miami but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

    Things to See and Do in Brickell

    • Shop at the Brickell City Center
    • Walk around Brickell Key
    • Grab a snack at Mary Brickell Village
    • Have brunch at American Social
    • Enjoy happy hour at The Wharf

    5. Key Biscayne – Best Place to Stay in Miami for Families

    Key Biscayne is the Best Place to Stay in Miami for Families as it’s noted for its verdant nature, pristine beaches, and its relaxed, and laid-back attitude. It’s one of the best locations to stay in Miami for those who just want to escape the feeling of the city. It’s also the ideal place to rent a boat in Miami for a day–nothing beats the waters around the Key!

    Key Biscayne - Best Place to Stay in Miami for Families
    Bill Baggs State Park (on the Key) is one of the best beaches in Miami.

    Key Biscayne is the perfect place to stay in Miami with kids as it’s one of the greenest neighborhoods in the city. Not only are there numerous stunning beaches to choose from, but you’ll also find many tropical forests, mangroves, and parks nearby. It’s also one of the safest places in Miami, and very close to one of the city’s most beautiful suburbs, Coconut Grove.

    Best Airbnb in Key Biscayne: Cozy Modern Apartment With Beach Access

    white airy bedroom in key biscayne airbnb where to stay in miami

    This stunning modern one-bedroom apartment is impeccably clean and provides private access to the Key Biscayne Beach Club. The club is within walking distance, and you can also cool off in the property’s very own infinity-style pool. The host also offers golf club rentals for a true island vibe, though many Key Biscayne attractions (including restaurants) are also walkable.

    Best Hotel in Key Biscayne: Coral Reef at Key Biscayne

    Coral Reef at Key Biscayne

    Frugal families won’t find a better deal on accommodation in Miami than this charming three-star property. Located in Key Biscayne, this hotel is a short walk from beaches, boats, restaurants, and all the fun. It has a fitness room, swimming pool, and an outdoor pool. Furthermore, you can also enjoy paradise from the sands of its private beach.

    Things to See and Do in Key Biscayne

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    Best Places to Stay in Miami: FAQs

    Here’s what people usually ask about the areas of Miami and where to stay.

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    Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Miami

    Wild parties, a rich history, incredible nature and stunning views – Miami has so much to offer travelers. It’s no wonder that this southern Florida city is one of the most famous – and most visited – cities in the United States.

    With plenty to see, do, eat and experience in Miami, there really is something for every type of traveler. Find the nicest area in Miami fit for your needs and then settle into that dreamy sunny life. Still not sure what the best place to stay in Miami is?

    South Beach with its iconic turquoise waters, unique architecture, and thriving nightlife scenes is sure to be a hit, especially if you’re coming from the cold.

    So what are you waiting for? Book your Miami accommodation (and ticket!) today!

    Miami Beach - top place to stay in Miami
    Once you experience a day like this in Miami, you’ll never want to leave.

    Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.

    Last Updated April 2022 by Samantha Shea from Intentional Detours

    And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!