Miami is one of the cities where most people often rent a car.
While it is a good option if you’re with a group, it’s unnecessary if you’re travelling alone or in a couple.
So how to get around Miami without a car?
Well, I’m glad you asked because that’s what today’s post is going to be about!
Let’s first go over how to get around in Miami area, covering the main routes:
Miami Airport → Miami/South Beach
Are you looking for the best way to get from Miami Airport to South Beach? You have several options:
Public Transportation: Miami Airport to South Beach
Miami International Airport is the closest airport to the beach areas and it is quite easy to find public transportation from Miami Airport to South Beach or Miami Beach.
What used to be called
Miami Beach Airport Flyer (Route 150) is now Miami Beach Airport Express, also Route no. 150.
This Miami Beach Airport Bus runs every 20-30 minutes from 6am to 11:40pm and goes straight to Miami Beach without stopping in between. A ticket costs only $2.25, so it is the cheapest way from Miami Airport to South Beach.
You can then choose from a number of stops along the Miami Beach and South Beach. The main ones, where every airport express bus stops are these four:
- 41st & Alton Rd
- 41st & Indian Creek
- Lincoln Rd & Washington Ave
- South Pointe Dr & Washington Ave
Find more info on the Miami Beach Airport Express here.
This bus is by far the best way to get to South Beach from Miami Airport.
BUT – if you’re just looking to get to downtown Miami from the Airport, your best option is to use the Metrorail (Orange line). The fare between Miami Airport and the City is $2.25.
For both the Airport Express no. 150 bus and the Metrorail, you’ll first need to take the Airport Mover to Airport Metrorail Station.
Taxis are convenient, but a lot more expensive than the public transport, of course.
However, when your hotel is far from any stop or you just don’t want to look for it with all your luggage, it’s the best option. Similarly, on your way back, taking a taxi from South Beach to Miami Airport is a good idea.
For the most optimum cost-to-comfort ratio, choose the public bus as the best transportation from Miami Airport to South Beach and then, on your way back, simply take a cab.
The cost of taxi from Miami Airport to South Beach is $35-$40. Taxis originating at the airport charge a flat fee, which includes road tolls already. You’re still expected to tip if you’ve been satisfied with the service.
Cabs from Miami International Airport to South Beach, as well as other Miami destinations, can be booked at a designated taxi stand at the lower level outside the baggage claim area.
Uber or Lyft
Ridesharing is possible too. Expect to pay about $20 for a trip from Miami Airport to South/Miami Beach.
For the most comfort, you can make use of a private transfer between Miami Airport and Miami beaches. This private sedan transfer is for up to 3 persons.
Shuttles also operate at Miami Airport, especially the Super Shuttle company. However, as of 2020, their reviews are so bad that it seems risky to use this option.
See, there really is no need for renting. Visiting Miami without a car can be done easily, even when it comes to travel between the airport and your hotel.
Fort Lauderdale Airport → Miami/South Beach
Fort Lauderdale has worse connections to Miami/South Beach. It’s possible to make the trip by a public bus, but you need to change once and it takes around 2 hours in total.
This is officially the cheapest way to get from Fort Lauderdale to Miami and Miami/South Beach. The whole trip costs around $5 in total.
You can take the bus route #01 from Fort Lauderdale to Aventura Mall Bus Terminal and then transfer to a bus that’ll take you to South Beach, e.g. #120.
I took the public bus and it was, above all, a unique people-watching experience. If you have large luggage with you, I don’t recommend this option.
There are many shuttle services as well. I haven’t tried any, but people seem to recommend Go Shuttle – it costs about $25 and leaves once it fills up.
As it’s a shared service, it might take only a little less time than the lengthy bus service described above, but at least you won’t have to transfer. You can book your trip easily via their Go Shuttle app.
If you opt for a taxi, it’ll cost you around $70. Let your budget decide.
Uber or Lyft
Based on my research, a ride through Uber or Lyft should cost around $40. Make sure to get a price estimate first before booking your ride.
Btw. looking into the other direction – Fort Lauderdale City (and other places) can also be enjoyed as Miami day trips.
Miami Beach to South Beach and Vice Versa
Whether you want to get from South Beach to Miami Beach or the other way round, it’s easy to do even without a car.
The beaches are well connected by the Miami Beach Trolley. It’s a free bus coming every 15 minutes, covering all the beaches!
There are four loops the Beach Trolley travels in: South Beach Loop, Middle Beach Loop, Collins Express and North Beach Loop. Find current info here.
You can also download the ‘Miami Beach Trolley’ app on both Android and iOS to get real-time info on hours of operation and routes.
Freebee is another free service, this time you can hail a ride in a small electric vehicle. The service covers both Miami Beach and South Beach. See more on Freebee below in the Miami City section.
Getting Around Miami Beach and South Beach
Wondering how to get around Miami Beach without a car?
Have you considered walking? :) I walked a great deal in both South and Miami Beach and it can be done easily.
For longer distances, the public transport in Miami Beach and South Beach works well. And it can even be free – look out for the free Miami Beach Trolley (more info above).
As for local buses, the cheap Metrobus covers the area too:
South Beach Local Bus
- Route 101 Route A – covers also Miami Beach
- Route 103 Route C – connecting bus routes to Miami Beach
- Route 113 Route M – covers also Miami Beach
- Route 119 Route S – covers also Miami Beach
- Route 120 Beach MAX – covers also Miami Beach
Miami Beach Local Bus
- Route 9 – connecting bus routes to South Beach
- Route 10 – connecting bus routes to South Beach
- Route 16 – connecting bus routes to South Beach
- Route 22
- Route 75
- Route 79 Street MAX – connecting bus routes to South Beach
- Route 93 Biscayne MAX – connecting bus routes to South Beach
- Route 101 Route A – covers also South Beach
- Route 105 Route E – connecting bus routes to South Beach
- Route 107 Route G
- Route 108 Route H – connecting bus routes to South Beach
- Route 110 Route J – connecting bus routes to South Beach
- Route 112 Route L – connecting bus routes to South Beach
- Route 113 Route M– covers also South Beach
- Route 115 Mid-North Beach Connection – connecting bus routes to South Beach
- Route 119 Route S – covers also South Beach
- Route 120 Beach MAX – covers also South Beach
- Route 183 183rd Local – connecting bus routes to South Beach
- Route NMB Line
More info on Metrobus follows.
Getting Around Miami’s Beaches on a Bike
South Beach and Miami Beach are both covered by the local bikesharing called Citibikes. You can easily rent a bike per hour. More info on Citibikes here.
You can also rent a bike and enjoy it for an hour or several days. Check out this South Beach Bike Rental, which includes comfortable cruiser bikes, a helmet and a lock. With a few friends, we actually rented these cruisers and went for a day trip all the way to Key Biscayne! So much fun.
How about putting on roller blades and exploring with wheels on your feet? You can do so in South Beach. Discover the area on rollerblade-friendly oceanfront paths and through parks. This South Beach Rollerblade Rental offers hourly or all-day options.
Miami City and Around
And now – how to travel around Miami City? I can assure you there are no less options:
City of Miami Trolley
Miami Public Transport also operates a free trolley, arriving every 15 – 30 minutes.
More info on the Miami Trolley can be found here. Don’t hesitate to also download an app called “City of Miami Trolley” on both Android and iOS.
City Buses are plentiful in Miami and the surroundings and they run quite often. For me, it was sometimes difficult to navigate the bus routes and schedules, but the locals and bus drivers were very helpful.
The buses are always just a few dollars. When it comes to network coverage, this is the best Miami transportation option. Cheap Miami travel doesn’t get much better than that. See also two free options below.
Metrorail is great especially if you need to travel to the outskirts of Miami, be it Coral Gables or Coconut Grove. It’s a nice urban train network and the fastest way to get anywhere. It also connects to the Miami International Airport.
My absolute favorite for getting around Miami city is the Metromover! It’s an elevated, self-driven train that’s free and features wifi access!
Plus, it’s really cool to ride above the city, through and among buildings.
I rode it several times, more for the fun of it rather than reaching any real destination. :)
Metromover covers just Miami downtown and Brickell financial district. Many of Miami City’s most popular attractions lie within a walking distance from a Metromover stop.
The Metromover not only looks cute but gets you anywhere you might need in Downtown Miami. It’s the best free transportation in Miami.
I consider the Metromover and local buses to be the best way to get around Miami.
Taxis around Miami are pretty good and not too expensive for the US. However, I’d consider using a taxi only if none of the other options is available. If you don’t carry cash, make sure with the driver you can pay by a card.
Miami cab companies include USA Taxi, Super E-Z Taxi, Central Cab and Yellow Cab.
As of 2020, both Uber and Lyft operate in Miami area. Many times, getting a ride in either can cost a lot less than a traditional cab, depending on what type of vehicle/service you choose.
This service didn’t exist when I was in Miami, but it sounds really cool. It’s a free ride in an electric vehicle! However, the reviews are mixed, so use with caution.
Freebee is available as an app called ‘Ride Freebee’ on both Android and iOS.
The Citibikes network covers Miami City too! I personally wouldn’t ride it in the Downtown, but it can be nice if you explore the calmer neighborhoods. More on the bikes here.
Between Miami’s Beaches and Miami City
Miami’s beaches are located on a barrier island connected to Miami City on the mainland via MacArthur Causeway crossing Biscayne Bay.
At first, I was quite puzzled as to how to get from Downtown Miami to South Beach and vice versa.
If you’d like to walk, you could technically do so via the Venetian Causeway instead, but it would take you nearly 2 hours!
Venetian Causeway is, however, great for biking. You can make use of the bike sharing option called Citibikes (mentioned above) or rent a bike.
I think that’s the easiest way to get between the South/Miami Beach and Miami City. Metrobus lines crossing over Biscayne Bay include:
via MacArthur Causeway:
- 113 Route M
- 119 Route S
- 120 Beach MAX
via Venetian Causeway:
- 101 Route A
via Julia Tuttle Causeway:
- 150 Miami Beach Airport Express
Ok, this is an option I did not try, but I’m listing it so that you have complete information. A unique way to get from Miami City to South Beach or vice versa, is to get a water taxi and hail a ride on a boat. :)
Taxis and ridesharing, such as Uber and Lyft, are available too, of course. See more info in the previous section.
So as you can see, getting around in Miami without a car is a breeze!
Miami is full of friendly people and bus drivers can be really nice even if the first impression doesn’t suggest that, so don’t be afraid to ask! And if you speak Spanish, put it to good use while you’re in and around Miami.
If you’re still unsure as to whether or not rent a car for a trip outside of Miami (Keywest is a must-see!), just know that it’s all manageable without a car as well. There are many tour agents located on Collins and Washington Avenue, so seeing more of Florida is a piece of cake.
There’s more to convince you to give the public transportation a chance – the network works well and you’ll have some great opportunities for people watching!
Of course, if you decide to venture further out of Miami, it’s best to rent a car. If you’re looking for accommodation, here are some cool Florida Airbnbs.
What to do in Miami, you ask? Here’s a guide from a friend of mine stating all the free things to do in Miami.
What has your experience been with the transport in Miami? Tell me about it!
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