Downtown Miami is the urban center of the city, home to striking highrise office towers, many of Miami’s finest shopping options, several museums and plenty of exciting nightlife venues. To find the center of the action, head to Brickell Avenue and Biscayne Boulevard, the 2 main thoroughfares in the district.

To tour the city like a local, visit the area around Miami Central Station to gaze at the interesting architecture or take a walk down North Miami Avenue and enjoy the shopping and dining at The Shops at Midtown Miami and the interesting boutiques surrounding the mall.

Many of the city’s finest hotels are lined up along Brickell Bay Drive, and it’s certainly one of the best places to stay in Miami if you’re looking for fun attractions, excellent dining and a taste of historical Miami.

Downtown Miami - one of the highlights of 10 Most Popular Neighbourhoods in Miami (Read all about Miami here)

What are the highlights of Downtown Miami?

Downtown Miami is home to many of the city’s most popular attractions, including the Skyviews Miami Observation Wheel, which reaches 176 ft into the city skies, with clear views of Downtown and Biscayne Bay. It’s fun to ride at any time of day but for the best photos, ride the big wheel around dusk for stunning selfies.

Head to the waterfront in Downtown Miami to find Bayfront Park. Here, you can enjoy a verdant green space with winding paths to enjoy the beautiful tropical sunshine. There are several picnic neighborhoods set up for visitors, along with a pavilion that hosts live music on weekends and free yoga sessions on weekdays. The Bayfront Park Amphitheater is where many of Miami’s annual celebrations take place, including a large New Year’s Eve gathering.

Next to the park, you can shop at the Bayside Marketplace. This outdoor mall has enough to keep the whole family entertained with 2 levels of shops and restaurants. You’ll find many famous American brands on sale here.

Other highlights include the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. It showcases natural history in several different sections that include an aquarium and a planetarium, as well as the American Airlines Arena, one of the city’s premier live entertainment spaces. This huge, 20,000-capacity arena regularly hosts Miami Heat basketball games as well as live theater, musicals, and music shows from renowned artists.

Once the sun sets, head to NW 5th Avenue for a taste of Downtown Miami’s nightlife. Use the Mana Wynwood Convention Center as your reference point, before bar hopping to hot spots like Syndicate Wynwood, Shots Miami and the Miami Mojito Company.

Good to know about Downtown Miami

Getting around Downtown Miami is pretty straightforward, thanks to 2 public transportation networks. The Metrorail links Downtown with the rest of Miami, while the Metromover is used primarily for short trips within Downtown along with getting to and from Miami International Airport.

The Metromover is free to use, making it a popular alternate to taxi cabs for budget travelers. Stations are placed every couple of blocks meaning you’re never too far from a station. This helps to keep the area relatively car-free. You’ll also find several bicycle lanes around Downtown, which is helping to make cycling a more popular means of transportation in Miami.

For Latino flavors, you can easily head to Little Havana from Downtown in just a few minutes, where you’ll find some of the best Cuban restaurants and live music bars in the state.

Downtown Miami

Paul Smith | Compulsive Traveler