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.

Where to Stay in Miami

Visiting Miami? Looking for an awesome pad to rest your bones at? These are our highest recommendations for the best places to stay in Miami.

Best Airbnb in Miami: Oceanfront one bedroom and bathroom apartment

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. 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

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!

Best Hotel in Miami: Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Miami Downtown Brickell

Hampton Inn and Suites 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.

Miami Neighborhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN MIAMI
Downtown Miami, Miami
FIRST TIME IN 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.

ON A BUDGET
Miami Beach, Miami
ON A BUDGET

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.

NIGHTLIFE
South Beach, Miami
NIGHTLIFE

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.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Brickell, Miami
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Brickell

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

FOR FAMILIES
Key Biscayne, Miami
FOR FAMILIES

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. 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.

Some street art in Miami
Wynwood Walls, Miami

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.

The Best Travel Backpack?!
Nomatic 30L Travel Bag

Pssssst! Not picked the perfect travel backpack yet? The Broke Backpacker team has tried out over thirty backpacks this year! Our favourite carry on backpack is the Nomatic Travel Bag.

Read our full review!

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.

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

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.

Downtown Miami skyline - Best Place to Stay for a first time in Miami

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 City, and this is exactly where you can find this charming home. Flodded 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 famous area. You can use all of the facilities of the building, which include a gym, a pool and parking lot.

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 – but trust us, it’ll be hard to leave this stunning condo!

Best Hotel in Downtown Miami: Eurostars Langford

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.

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 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.

Things to See and Do in Downtown Miami

Visiting Downtown Miami for the first time
  • 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.

2. Miami Beach – Where to Stay in Miami on a Budget

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 and amazing Miami bed and breakfasts – perfect for keeping the money in your pockets.

By staying in Miami Beach, you can save your hard-earned travel dollars for those once-in-a-lifetime Miami experiences.

Miami Beach - Where to Stay in Miami on a Budget

Best Airbnb in Miami Beach: Oceanfront one bedroom and bathroom apartment

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.

Best Hostel in Miami Beach: Generator Miami

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!

Best Budget Apartment in Miami: Cheap Condo in South Beach

Cheap Condo in South Beach

Travelling to Miami on a budget will be a breeze if you stay at this affordable studio. The cozy home is located in a buzzy area of South Beach, in walking distance to bars, clubs, attractions and great restaurants. The beach is pretty much right on your doorstep, but if you don’t feel like getting sandy, you can also relax around the building’s pool. This accommodation is one of the best budget options in Miami beach according to previous guests – you’ll be in for a treat!

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

The bridge to 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.

3. South Beach – Where to Stay in Miami for Nightlife

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.

3. South Beach - Where to Stay in Miami for Nightlife

Best Airbnb in South Beach: Cozy and stylish one bedroom hub for the best nightlife

Cozy and stylish one bedroom hub for the best nightlife

If you’re planning on hitting the clubs at night, you better choose the right place to get rid of the next days hangover. This Airbnb is the perfect home to chill and relax during the day. It offers a great location, super close to the busy streets, but you can still enjoy a peaceful sleep. It’s got a super homely design, but still has some modern and stylish features, which gives the apartment a super welcoming and homely vibe.

Best Condo in South Beach: Stylish Beachfront Studio

Stylish Beachfront Studio

This amazing place is located right on South Beach’s front, which means that you’ll only have to walk a couple of steps until you feel the sand under your toes. The condo has been recently renovated and offers super modern and luxurious amenities. If you don’t feel like salt water, you can also opt to jump into the pool in your backyard and soak up the sunlight on your sun beds.

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, placing it in the heart of all the action and nightlife buzz of South Beach. The luxury home offers all of the high-quality amenities that you might need during your stay, including a high-end kitchen, an aircon and a massive satellite flatscreen TV – perfect to cure those hangover days!

Best Hotel in South Beach: Marlin Hotel Miami 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.

Things to See and Do in South Beach

Nikki Beach Miami
source: isvend09 (Flickr)
  • 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.
Need some extra energy?
Power Adapter

One of the best investments you can make is a worldwide travel adapter that will work anywhere! The one featured here is tough, reliable and a solid buy – Don’t leave home without one.

Buy your travel adapter on Amazon now.

4. Brickell – Coolest Neighbourhood in Miami

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.

Brickell - Coolest Neighbourhood in Miami

Best Airbnb in Brickell: Modern one bedroom penthouse with breathtaking views

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.

Best Apartment in Brickell: Massive Family Penthouse

Massive Family Penthouse

Travelling 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 livingroom 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 bulding which is free for you to use.

Best Hotel in Brickell: Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Miami Downtown Brickell

Hampton Inn and Suites 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.

Things to See and Do in Brickell

The water and shore at Brickell area in Miami
  • 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!

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

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.

Key Biscayne - Best Place to Stay in Miami for Families

Best Airbnb in Key Biscayne: One bedroom loft with housekeeping

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.

Best Hotel in Key Biscayne: Coral Reef at 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.

Things to See and Do in Key Biscayne

Key Biscayne lighthouse
  • 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 don’t forget to take out Travel Insurance for your trip! I have been using World Nomads for some time now and made a few claims over the years. They’re easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. They may also let you buy or extend a policy once you’ve started your trip and are already abroad which is super handy.

Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!

world nomads insurance banner

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? 

Peace out!

Miami Beach - top place to stay in Miami
Last one in is a stinky poopy butt!

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

Support the site and learn how to travel the world on $10 a day – check out The Broke Backpacker’s bible!

Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going.