Miami is nothing short of a traveller’s paradise. It’s bright, colourful 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 neighbourhoods don’t offer much to visitors. That’s why I wrote this insider’s guide for where to stay in Miami.
The Broke Backpacker’s no stress-neighbourhood 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, our list will help you find the best area in Miami for your visit.
So let’s get to it. Here are our recommendations for where to stay in Miami.
Table of Contents
- Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Miami
- Where to Stay in Miami
- Miami Neighborhood Guide
- 5 Best Areas to Stay in Miami
- 1. Downtown Miami – Best Place to Stay in Miami for First-Timers
- 2. Miami Beach – Where to Stay in Miami on a Budget
- 3. South Beach – Where to Stay in Miami for Nightlife
- 4. Brickell – Coolest Neighbourhood in Miami
- 5. Key Biscayne – Best Place to Stay in Miami for Families
- Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Miami
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Miami
- Where to stay in Miami first time – Downtown Miami
- Where to stay in Miami on a budget – Miami Beach
- Where to stay in Miami for nightlife – South Beach
- Coolest place to stay in Miami – Brickell
- Best area to stay in Miami for families – Key Biscayne
- Visit the Freedom Tower, one of the most iconic buildings in the city
- Go for a stroll along the water at Bayfront Park
- Shop til you drop at Bayside Marketplace, a two-story open-air shopping centre
Looking for a an awesome pad to rest your bones at? These are our highest recommendations for the best places to stay in Miami.
For more ideas, check out our roundup of the best hostels in Miami!
Best Hostel in Miami: Generator Miami
Some of the US’ best hostels are in Miami and this be one o’ them. The Generator Miami is our pick for the best hostel in Miami. Located at the centre of vibrant and lively Miami Beach, this hostel is close to South Beach, shops, bars, clubs and restaurants. A light breakfast is included and, furthermore, this hostel boasts not one but two restaurants!View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in Miami: Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Miami Downtown Brickell
This incredible hotel is located a short walk from Brickell’s trendiest spots. It comes complete with a fitness room, swimming pool, and a jacuzzi. The rooms are modern and stylish, and they are outfitted with a kitchenette, refrigerator, and coffee/tea facilities. Therefore, this is our pick for the best hotel in Miami.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Best Airbnb in Miami: One bedroom penthouse with a pool and gym
The 950 sqft apartment has everything you need for a comfortable stay – guests will feel like there at home… albeit a ridiculously swanky home with nothing but trimmings. The apt has a 45 inches flatscreen tv in the living room and a flatscreen tv in the bedroom, one king-size bed, one sofa, and an air mattress if needed.View on Airbnb
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Miami
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Miami is the largest city in Florida. It boasts a rich history and diverse cultural heritage. Miami is home to the largest Latin American population outside of Latin American, and those influences can be seen throughout the city.
There are more than 25 neighbourhoods in the Miami area. Each offers visitors a diverse selection of attractions and activities. To get a good feel for the city, we recommend you explore at least three or four neighbourhoods on your visit.
To help you plan your itinerary in Miami, this guide will break down each area by interest.
Starting at the heart of Miami, you have Downtown. The commercial, cultural, and financial centre of the city, Downtown Miami is where you’ll find skyscrapers, interesting museums, unique art galleries, and plenty of history.
South of Downtown is the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Brickell. One of Miami’s hidden gems, this neighbourhood is packed with fantastic shops and incredible restaurants.
Travel east across the water from Downtown and you’ll arrive in Miami Beach and South Beach. Arguably the liveliest and most famous neighbourhoods in Miami, this is where to stay if you’re looking for great beaches, hot clubs, and to hobnob with Miami’s young, rich, and famous.
Head south through the city to Key Biscayne. One of the greenest areas of the city, this island paradise is packed with family-friendly activities and animal-oriented attractions.
Still not sure where to stay in Miami? Keep reading because we’re about to break down each of these great areas below.
5 Best Areas to Stay in Miami
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighbourhoods to stay in Miami. Each is different from the last, so be sure to choose the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
Downtown Miami is the commercial and financial centre of the city. It is a generally busy area that is jam-packed with skyscrapers and businesses, shops and boutiques, and entertainment venues.
But that’s not all there is in Downtown Miami. This area of the city is also where you’ll find it’s 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.
Downtown Miami is also home to the trendy Design District. Bursting with creative flair and artistic highlights, the Design District is well-known for its restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops. This is one of the coolest parts of the city to spend a day in simply wandering the streets and taking it all in.
Best Hostel in Downtown Miami: The Golddigger Inn
Right by Downtown Miami in the Wynwood Arts District is The Golddigger Inn – a hostel with an awesome design and a unique feel of its own. Being in such a bustling district, many of the most popular things to do in Miami are right nearby. The best part? It’s right next door to the famous speakeasy bar, Mr. Wright’s Goldigger Saloon… sleep easy!View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in Downtown Miami: Eurostars Langford
This hotel is set right in the middle of Downtown Miami. Everything you could possibly need is just steps from your front door, including bars, restaurants, shops, and museums. The rooms are comfortable and spacious, and they feature a mini-bar and flat-screen TV. This hotel also boasts a chic on-site restaurant.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Best Hotel in Downtown Miami: Hilton Miami Downtown
A fantastic location, elegant décor, and luxurious rooms are just a few of the reasons this is our top pick for where to stay in Downtown Miami. This hotel boasts a fitness centre, swimming pool, and a stylish on-site bar.
It is close to well-known attractions and is within walking distance of Miami’s hottest clubs.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Best Airbnb in Downtown Miami: One bedroom penthouse with a pool and gym
The 950 sqft apartment has everything you need for a comfortable stay, our guests will feel to be like home. The apt has a 45 inches flat tv in the living room and a flat tv in the bedroom. One king-size bed, one sofa, and an air mattress if needed.View on Airbnb
Things to See and Do in Downtown Miami
– See some of the best examples of modern and contemporary art at the Pérez Art Museum Miami.
– Visit the Freedom Tower, one of the most iconic buildings in the city.
– Go for a stroll along the water at Bayfront Park.
– Wander throughout the Downtown Historic District and see unique structures from the early-20th-century.
– Party the night away at E11even.
– Explore Miami’s Design District, which is packed with upscale art galleries, high-end boutiques and chic restaurants.
– Dine on delicious seafood dishes at CVI.CHE 105.
– Shop til you drop at Bayside Marketplace, a two-story open-air shopping centre.
Although Miami Beach isn’t technically part of Miami, we’ve decided to include it because, really, there’s no neighbourhood in Miami that is more quintessentially Miami. It’s also the top choice of where to stay in Miami for cheap (skates).
When you think of Miami, you undoubtedly think of Miami Beach. This small barrier island just east of downtown is packed with art deco buildings, swaying palm tree, neon lights, and rowdy bars.
Staying in Miami can be a challenge if you’re on a budget. That’s why we recommend Miami Beach for the cost-conscious travel. Here you’ll find the highest concentration of backpacker hostels.
By staying in Miami Beach, you can save your hard-earned travel dollars for those once-in-a-lifetime Miami experiences.
Best Hostel in Miami Beach: Generator Miami
The Generator Miami is our pick for where to stay in Miami Beach. Located at the centre of this vibrant and lively district, this hotel is close to South Beach, shops, bars, clubs, and restaurants. A light breakfast is included and this hostel boasts not one but two restaurants!View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in Miami Beach: 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.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Best Hotel in Miami Beach: The Shepley Hotel
Nestled between Miami Beach and South Beach, this hotel is the perfect base for exploring the city. It is a short walk to Miami’s best bars, clubs and restaurants, and is just a stone’s throw from the beach.
The property boasts a fitness centre, convenient tour desk, and a stylish lounge bar.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Best Airbnb in Miami Beach: Oceanfront one bedroom and bathroom apartment
A modern style and freshly renovated large beachfront studio apartment in Miami Beach with 180-degree ocean views of the crystal clear water and free parking. The apartment features a king-size bed and complimentary WiFI.View on Airbnb
Things to See and Do in Miami Beach
– Go for a stroll along the Miami Beach Boardwalk
– Dine on quintessential American fare at Brugers Shares Inc.
– Try great cocktails at The Bleau Bar.
– Stop and smell the roses at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden.
– Take an art deco walking tour along Lincoln Road.
– See contemporary works of art at the Bass Museum of Art.
– Relax on the sand and soak up the sunshine on Miami Beach.
– Enjoy fresh and delicious food on the go at Go-Go Fresh Food.
– Sip cocktails in a tropical garden at the Broken Shaker Bar.
– Dance the night away under the stars at Skybar at the Shore Club.
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.
There’s no questioning that South Beach is our pick for where to stay in Miami if you’re looking for exciting nightlife. South Beach is where you’ll find Miami’s young, rich and famous partying on weekends. The nightlife here is so incredible and abundant you’ll never have to question what to do.
Whether you want to dance or enjoy custom cocktails on a rooftop patio, South Beach has it all.
Best Hostel in South Beach: Miami Beach International Hostel
You won’t have to go far from this Beach South hostel to find the hottest parties in the city. Not only is it a short walk from the best bars, clubs, and restaurants, but this hostel is buzzing with excitement and energy all day and night.
Your stay includes free breakfast AND free dinner. That’s double the free for none of the cost!View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in South Beach: Marlin Hotel Miami Beach
Located in Miami’s vibrant South Beach, this fabulous four-star hotel is within walking distance of world-class restaurants and buzzing nightlife. It has fantastic views and is close to the beach.
All of these things combine to make it our top choice for where to stay in South Beach.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Best Hotel in South Beach: Washington Park Hotel South Beach
This unique four-star hotel offers guests a range of accommodations throughout South Beach and the Miami Beach area. The rooms are comfortable and spacious, and feature air-conditioning and cable TV.
The property boasts a convenient restaurant, a fitness centre, and a communal BBQ.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Best Airbnb in South Beach: Cozy and stylish one bedroom hub for the best nightlife
Located just 1 block from the beach, this stylish resort room has an inspiring wall canvas of unique nature image, wooden floors, and comfortable beds. With daily breakfast and amentities like complimentary beach towels, rooftop pool access, its the perfect beach hotel in the area.
With a base like this, you’ll have awesome adventures and a comfy pillow to come back to at night. Easily, it’s one of the best places to stay in South Beach.View on Airbnb
Things to See and Do in South Beach
– Browse the exhibits at the World Erotic Art Museum.
– Sip whimsical cocktails at the Sugar Factory.
– Rub elbows with Miami elite at the iconic Nikki Beach.
– Dance the night away at STORY Nightclub.
– Indulge late night appetite at Big Pink.
– Bask in the heat and spend an afternoon lounging on South Beach.
– Enjoy great drinks, loud music and a vibrant atmosphere at Mango’s Tropical Café.
– Spend a night on the bustling and buzzy patio at Clevelander.
– Take a relaxing stroll through South Point Park.
– See incredible views and enjoy amazing food at La Savina.
Tucked away south of Downtown is the Brickell neighbourhood, one of Miami’s hidden gems and, arguably, it’s best-kept secret.
Brickell is a neighbourhood 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 neighbourhoods in Miami with its independent boutiques and rustic bars.
Love to eat? This up-and-coming neighbourhood is home to some of the best restaurants in Miami. From chic bistros and upscale fine dining to rooftop patios and charming kitchen, Brickell is where you can tease your taste buds and enjoy unique flavours from cuisines from around the world.
Best Hostel in Brickell: The 714
Located a short walk north, The 714 Guesthouse is your best bet for affordable accommodation near the Brickell district. This shared guesthouse offers quiet dorms in a safe neighbourhood. The property has a lush backyard, cooking facilities, including a barbecue, and a relaxing hammock.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Best Hotel in Brickell: Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Miami Downtown Brickell
Located just a few minutes walk from Miami’s trendiest spots, this is our pick for where to stay in Brickell. This incredible hotel comes complete with a fitness room, swimming pool, and a jacuzzi. The rooms are modern and stylish, and they are outfitted with a kitchenette, refrigerator, and coffee/tea facilities.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Best Hotel in Brickell: Aloft Miami Brickell
Aloft Miami Brickell is in a fantastic location. It is set at the centre of Brickell and is ideal for walking to the city’s best bars, clubs, restaurants and galleries. This modern hotel comes complete with a sundeck, an outdoor terrace and a trendy lounge bar. The rooms are well-equipped and very comfortable.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Best Airbnb in Brickell: Modern one bedroom penthoude with brreathtaking views
Newly furnished penthouse located in one of the most luxurious buildings in the Brickell area. The loft can accommodate 4 guests as there are two beds. Guests can also enjoy access to a gym, two pools, spa and a conference roof in the building.View on Airbnb
Things to See and Do in Brickell
– Browse the boutiques and eateries at Brickell City Centre.
– Enjoy the views – and an excellent cocktail or two – from the rooftop bar at Sugar.
– Delight your palette by indulging in Peruvian fare at La Mar.
– Wander through Mary Brickell Village and explore it’s many shops, restaurants and bars.
– Take advantage of happy hour specials at the American Social bar.
– Dance the night away at El Tucán Nightclub.
– Eat exotic Mexican dishes with a twist at Cantina La Veinte.
– Head up to the top of Area 31 and get those perfect pics of Miami’s cityscape for the ‘gram!
Key Biscayne is a tropical island south of Miami. 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 is our recommendation for where to stay in Miami with kids as it’s one of the greenest neighbourhoods in the city. Not only is Key Biscayne close to two amazing, golden sand beaches, but there are also tropical forests, mangroves, and parks nearby.
Need an activity to keep the kids entertained? Take a trip to the Miami Seaquarium. Home to aquatic creatures from around the globe – including orcas, penguins, dolphins and more – your little ones will have the time of their lives seeing these fantastic beasts up-close and in person.
Best Hotel in Key Biscayne: Coral Reef at Key Biscayne
Frugal families won’t find a better deal on accommodations 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.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Best Airbnb in Key Biscayne: One bedroom loft with housekeeping
Comfortable one bedroom loft apartment with one king bed and one sofa bed and with a 24 hours front desk agent to help you check-in. The beach is within a walkable distance and the host offers you the key for the private beach entrance. Housekeeping service is also included.View on Airbnb
Things to See and Do in Key Biscayne
– Explore stunning Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.
– Lounge on the beach and watch kitesurfers zip by at Rickenbacker Causeway Beach.
– Wander throughout lush and expansive Crandon Park.
– Rent kayaks and explore the mangroves.
– Climb the 109 steps to the top of the Cape Florida Lighthouse and enjoy the incredible views.
– See your favourite aquatic creatures, including penguins, dolphins, seals and orcas, at the Miami Seaquarium.
– Head out on the water and try your hand at stand up paddleboarding.
– Eat amazing steaks and Argentinean foods at Milanezza.
– Tickle your taste buds with delicious tapas at Kebo Restaurant.
– Enjoy a sweet treat at Piononos.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Miami
Wild parties, a rich history, incredible nature and stunning views – Miami has so much to offer travellers. 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 travellers of all ages and styles. 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?
To recap, our favourite neighbourhood is Miami Beach with its multitude of Miami’s budget accommodations while our favourite hostel is Generator Miami because it offers a great location and fantastic amenities at a price that can’t be beaten!
Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Miami Downtown Brickell is an excellent hotel to stay at in Miami. This hotel is modern, centrally located, and well-equipped.
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below!
And more than anything, you want to make sure that your trip runs smoothly. Read our safety guide for Miami and don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
Anything else before you hit the beach, nab that perfect tan, and then go back home to boast to everyone just how olive your complexion is? Yup! Read the Miami travel guide! It has loads of goodies and with it in hand, you’re going to have a dope adventure.
Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.
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