WHAT TO DO IN DOWNTOWN MIAMI
The center of Miami, also known as Downtown, pays tribute to the banking boom of the 1980s. One of the most iconic buildings from that era is the Miami Tower, a skyscraper built in 1983 that is famous for its nighttime lighting.
A great way to enjoy the city’s views is aboard the Metromover, a small train that circulates around Downtown on elevated tracks and is also free.
Flagler Street is the main artery of the downtown area and is the ideal place to experience the Hispanic atmosphere. Here, you will find plenty of shops, generally with fairly affordable prices.
Below is a list of the most important places to visit in Downtown Miami. At the end of the page, we’ve included an interactive map of the Downtown area with all the points of interest marked, as well as some extra sites. We hope you find it useful. Shall we begin?
WHAT TO VISIT IN DOWNTOWN MIAMI?
This is the financial center of Miami, and its main stretch resembles New York’s Wall Street. The avenue is lined with tall glass buildings housing major international banks.
South of the curve on Brickell, you’ll find the group of buildings featured in the opening credits of the TV series «Miami Vice.»
For a panoramic view of the Downtown skyline, head to the Brickell Bridge, a bridge located on the easternmost part of downtown Miami.
Another significant attraction to visit in Miami Downtown is Bayfront Park, a beautiful park located by the sea that offers stunning views of Biscayne Bay and the Port of Miami.
At the northern end of Bayfront Park, there is an outdoor amphitheater where various concerts are held. If you take a stroll through Bayfront Park, you’ll come across several commemorative monuments, including one dedicated to the crew of the Challenger space shuttle.
The Torch of Friendship, located in the central part of the park, commemorates President J.F. Kennedy and is surrounded by the coats of arms of several South American countries.
It’s a great place for a walk, a picnic, or participating in the free activities organized there, such as yoga classes.
This is the most touristy area in Downtown. It’s a large commercial and entertainment complex with plenty of shops and boutiques for shopping. Among the well-known stores are Gap, Guess, and Brookstone.
There are also many entertainment options, a vibrant nightlife, and numerous restaurants to dine at. The famous Hard Rock Café, with its spectacular guitar-shaped roof, is located here.
The squares are often filled with street artists and musicians, especially in the evenings and on weekends.
Bayside Marketplace borders the Miamarina, a marina filled with docked boats and the departure point for cruises around Biscayne Bay.
CRUISES ON THE BAY
Biscayne Bay is the body of water that separates Downtown from Miami Beach. A great way to enjoy views of Downtown and Miami Beach is by taking one of the cruises that depart from the port located at Bayside Marketplace.
Most of these cruises include a short tour of the mansions of the rich and famous who have residences in Miami.
The Biscayne Bay cruises typically last no more than 90 minutes, are quite affordable, and provide a different perspective of Downtown Miami.
PÉREZ ART MUSEUM MIAMI
Do you enjoy contemporary art? The Pérez Art Museum (PAMM), Miami’s premier art museum, regularly hosts large-scale exhibitions.
You can find kinetic art exhibitions, mobile sculptures, projections, performances, and traditional paintings. The museum opened its doors in 2013, as the Miami-Dade Cultural Center had become too small to house so many artworks.
The building and its hanging garden, designed by prominent Swiss architects, are worth seeing.
One of the museum’s most famous permanent works is «For Those in Peril on the Sea,» a collection of ships located on the roof, representing the waves of immigrants arriving on Miami’s shores.
One of the buildings not to be missed in Downtown Miami is the Freedom Tower, a yellowish Mediterranean-style building that stands out from the surrounding structures.
The Freedom Tower was added to the National Register of Historic Places in the United States in 1979 and is currently home to the Museum of Art and Design (MOAD).
Originally, it housed the offices of the Miami News and later became the government’s headquarters for processing and documenting the massive influx of Cuban immigrants to Miami in the 1960s.
Its history is reflected in the Cultural Legacy Gallery, which is dedicated to works exploring the impact of Cuban culture in South Florida.
AMERICAN AIRLINES ARENA
We can’t complete the list of places to visit in Downtown without mentioning the home of the Miami Heat. If you stroll through the city center, it’s hard to miss the American Airlines Arena with its three-story, 3,400-square-foot illuminated canopy.
The massive white curved structure, designed by the renowned Miami firm Arquitectonica, can hold 19,600 spectators.
It’s a multipurpose stadium, and besides Miami Heat games, it also hosts most of Miami’s largest concerts and shows. Artists like Shakira, Taylor Swift, or Adele have performed here.
DOWNTOWN MIAMI TOURIST MAP
Here is an interactive map of Downtown Miami with the points of interest we just mentioned. We’ve added some extra places of interest so you can make the most of your visit. Use the zoom feature to navigate the map and plan your route through Downtown Miami.
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