A Backpacker’s Guide to Miami

There are few cities in the world more geared for fun than Miami. The only problem is that Miami is a playground for the rich. If you have lots of money, this is one of the best places in the world to go spend it. There are high class clubs, restaurants and all sorts of entertaining activities as well. However, if you’re on a tight budget, you’re going to have to try a little bit harder. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen, you’ll just have to make sure that you stay away from the constant temptation to consume. Luckily, you’ll find that the city has a backpacker’s crowd big enough that there is a market for pleasing the budget crowd as well. Be smart about spending and you’ll have a blast in Miami

Time Needed: 3-5 days
Backpacker’s Budget: 60USD a day

Things to do in Miami

  • Miami Beach: I’m not sure any of the backpackers stay in the center of Miami, but if you want to be in the middle of the action you’ll want to be on Miami Beach.  The beach itself is great and always packed.  Even if you don’t get in the water it’s a fun place to go a people watch.
  • Everglades: Basically every hostel in town will offer a tour into the everglades which is a must do.  You have the chance to see some beautiful scenery and spot some wildlife including lots of birds and even some gators if you’re luck.
  • Viscaya Museum and Gardens: You might not think of museums when you think of Miami, but this in not only a must-see in Miami, but one of my favourite attractions in the South of America.
  • Sporting Events: Miami has a number of great sports venues.  There are professional Baseball, Basketball, Football and Hockey teams around so you’ll have a chance to take something in regardless of the time of year.  Check the website stubhub for good deals.
  • Pub/Club Crawls: The hostels always organize pub/club crawls and if you are looking to go out while not spending a fortune this is the way to do it.  A standard pub/club crawl costs about 10-15 dollars and gets you free entry to a couple places, free transport, plus a number of drinks.
  • Little Havana: Cuban culture is everywhere in Miami, but no where is it more present than in Little Havana.  This is a great place to go wander around, and an even better place to go eat.

Eating on a Budget in Miami

The truth is that eating on a budget in Miami really isn’t as much of a challenge as you think. The problem is that all the amazing looking restaurants can easily tempt you. Below I’ve outlined a couple tricks to eating on a budget

  • Stay at the Miami Beach International Hostel: They have free breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yup, all three meals are covered here.  The food is fairly basic, but you will definitely get a feed!
  • Eat sandwiches: Americans are famous for their sandwiches, and they are quite cheap.  In Miami, the Cuban sandwich is king, and it is delicious.
  • Groceries: If you’re really trying to save, make sure you spend you money at the grocery store rather than a sit down restaurant.

Where to stay in Miami

There are a couple of hostels in town, and both are decent. However, I warn you that if you’re hoping to get a bunch of decent night sleeps in the hostels of Miami you’re dillusional. The backpacker class that comes to Miami wants nothing more than to party until the bars close, and then when they do they’ll drink outside until after sunrise. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll think these hostels are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

As I mentioned before, I think you should stay at the Miami Beach International Hostel.  It has free meals, a good vibe, and the wildest party people in the city.  The rooms are basic, but they have lockers and comfy beds.  They also have some apartment rooms down the street if you’re looking for something less noisy.  If you’re staying at the hostel, and need a good night sleep try to ask for a bed on the opposite side of the building as the front doors.

Photos of Miami

Back to the United States travel guides

Want to improve your photography? Subscribe to my Travel Photography YouTube Channel!