Information about travelling by air, road, rail, car and taxi.
Getting to Miami
Miami homes basically two main airports. Miami International Airport (MIA), which is located 12 miles (19km) west of downtown and 10 miles from the beaches and is easily accessible from all the major hotels of the city.
The other major airport is Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL) that is about 30 miles (48km) north of the city which is close from the most of the popular hotels in the city.
MIA is one of the USA’s busiest airports when it comes to the number of aircrafts that make a stop here or the number of passengers. Most of the major European airlines have service to Miami, though there’s no direct service from Australia or New Zealand.
The ideal way to reach Miami within the US is from New York area airports.
The Greyhound Bus services run their buses to and from Miami to various destinations in the US. Miami is served by three main bus terminals that run buses to Orlando, New Orleans, Atlanta, Washington DC, and New York City.
Amtrak trains connect Miami with all the major cities from all over US and Canada. The rates are subject to change often and are generally a bit more than Greyhound.
The main car-rental firms operate off-site branches reached via shuttles from the terminals. Usually the car rentals provide you with the directions to your destination. The best way to get here is to take I-10, which passes through the gorgeous beaches of Pensacola and across the Florida Panhandle, connecting with I-95, Florida’s Turnpike, down the coast to Miami. I-75 and the Tamiami Trail (Hwy 41) also pass through. Incase you arrive late at night you can take a taxi to the nearby Hotel.
You can hire a taxi lined up in front of a dispatcher’s desk outside the airport’s arrivals terminals. Most cabs are metered, though some have flat rates to popular destinations. The fare would be around $20 to Coral Gables, $18 to downtown, and $24 to South Beach, plus tip, which should be at least 10% (add more for each bag the driver handles). Depending on traffic, the ride to Coral Gables or downtown takes about 15 to 20 minutes and 20 to 25 minutes to South Beach.
Getting around Miami
Below we’ve listed a number of public transportation options to get you around Miami and Miami Beach. Also keep in mind that Miami Beach has its own shuttle bus that loops around the most popular parts of South Beach and only costs $.25 to ride.
You can rent a car and whisk through the city only if you’re over 25 and have a major credit card. This is the most convenient way to get to Miami Beach, Coral Gables or Miami. Some of the rental agencies offer an hourly rate with no minimum charges.
South Beach Local Bus
Getting around the Beach is very easy. Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County both have excellent public transportation systems, including bus service, taxis and rail systems.
The one you’ll find most useful is a bus route called the “South Beach Local,” which circles Miami Beach on a 15-20-minute schedule and stops at all important areas of South Beach.
Another easy way of moving in the city is by the Metrobus service that runs between the airport and downtown Miami and Miami Beach. You can also take a Metrobus to the Greyhound station at the airport that would take a 20-minute journey to the downtown station several times a day.
You can also take Metro-Dade Transit’s buses that cover the entire city.
The Omni Metromover and Government Center Terminals are the main bus depots in downtown Miami. Metromover is actually the best and the cheapest solution to move in the city.
MetroBus of Miami-Dade County has 19 routes that serve Greater Miami and Miami Beach daily. Almost all Miami attractions are accessible via MetroBus, including the Miami Seaquarium, the Miami-Dade Cultural Center and Metrozoo.
Fares are $1.25 each way, exact change only. Seniors, persons with disabilities and students pay 60 cents with a bus permit or Medicare card. Bus-to-rail transfers cost 25 cents each (10 cents reduced fare). Metrobus operates Monday-Friday 4:30 a.m.2:13 a.m.
Two routes, the Night Owl and Airport Owl, operate between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. daily. Call for specific routes and weekend schedule. MetroBus – 305/770-3131 – TDD: 305/654-6530 – www.miamidade.gov/transit
Metrorail has one line that runs through downtown Miami and then south, connecting with Tri-Rail, Metromover and Metrobus at Government Center. Tri-Rail is a commuter rail system that runs between three counties: Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. The double-decker trains too are fantastic both in terms of money speed and cleanliness. If you have to go in for longer trips then it is suggested to hire a car because it takes longer by the Tri-Rail than to drive.
MetroRail is a 21-mile elevated rail system that serves Downtown Miami and extends west to Hialeah and south to Kendall with stops approximately every mile. Stations include Dadeland South, Dadeland North, South Miami, University, Douglas Road, Coconut Grove, Vizcaya, Brickell Avenue, Government Center, Overtown/Arena, Culmer, Civic Center, Santa Clara, Allapattah, Earlington Heights, Brownsville, Martin Luther King Jr., Northside, Tri-Rail, Hialeah and Okeechobee.
The trains connect to Metromover, Metrobus and Tri-Rail. Fares are $1.25 each way, exact change only.
Seniors, persons with disabilities and students pay 60 cents with a rail permit. Riders can transfer directly to Metromover free of charge at the Government Center and Brickell Avenue stations.
Metrorail runs 24 hours daily. Trains arrive every six minutes during weekday rush hours, every 10 minutes at midday, and every 15-30 minutes after 6 p.m. Weekday and weekend service after midnight is hourly. Weekend service runs every 15 minutes until approximately 8 p.m., then every 30 minutes until midnight. MetroRail – 305.770.3131 – www.miamidade.gov/transit.
South Florida’s only commuter rail system providing convenient transportation between the Greater Miami area and West Palm Beach, with 18 stations throughout Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Tri-Rail services Miami-Dade county’s communities with five stations. Passengers with a valid Tri-Rail ticket may transfer to Metrorail at no additional cost, for convenient access to or from Downtown Miami and South Miami. Tri-Rail buses provide low-cost connections to Miami, Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood and Palm Beach International Airports.
Fares are based on distance traveled and range from $2 for a one- way ticket to S9.25 for a round trip ticket. Tri-Rail provides a 50% discount to seniors age 65 or older, children (5-12), students, person with disabilities and Medicare recipients. Children under 5 ride free. Operates daily, including holidays, and services many South Florida special events. Tri-Rail – 305.836.0986 – FL & U.S. 800.874.7245.
Individual motorized cars run atop a 4.4-mile elevated track looping around Downtown Miami and the Brickell and Omni business districts.
MetroMover connects with Metrorail at Government Center and Brickell Avenue stations. Stops include Bayside Marketplace, Miami Arena, the Miami-Dade Cultural Center, some Downtown Miami hotels and the Miami Convention Center.
MetroMover is free and runs 24 hours daily. Service on the inner loop operates around the clock seven days a week. Service on the outer loop begins at 5:30 a.m. and ends weekdays and weekends at midnight. The Brickell and Omni loops run separately until closing. MetroMover – 305.770.3131.
Travel Tips – Miami
Offices are usually open weekdays from 9am to 5pm.
Banks are open weekdays from 9am to 3pm or later, and sometimes Saturday mornings. Stores,(especially those in shopping complexes on South Beach, in Coconut Grove, and in Key West) stay open about 9pm on weekdays and as late as 11pm on weekends.
They are operational 24 hours. They are found almost nook and corner right from the main shopping area to supermarkets and even in convenience stores
Foreign exchange bureaus in South Florida are not there.
Currency exchanges are present at the Miami International Airport, such as Miami Currency Exchanges (tel. 305/876-0040).
Abbot Foreign Exchange
230 NE First St. (tel. 305/374-2336), is located in downtown Miami and is open on weekdays from 8am to 5pm and on Saturday from 8am to 2pm.
The legal age for both purchasing and consumption of alcoholic beverages is 21( proof of your age is ie your id card is important especially on requested at bars, nightclubs, and restaurants)
Do not carry open containers of alcohol in your car or any public area that isn’t zoned for alcohol consumption and do not driving while intoxicated because you can be fined under the DUI (“driving under the influence”) act.
- In hotels, tip bellhops at least $1 per bag ($2 to $3 if you have a lot of luggage) and tip the chamber staff $1 to $3 per day
- Tip the Doorman or concierge only if he or she has provided you with some specific service.
- Tip the valet parking attendant $1 every time you get your car.
- In restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, tip service staff 15% to 20% of the check.
- Tip cab drivers 15% of the fare.