Miami is a great city to visit, but it can also get a bit pricey when you add up the costs of all the great entertainment and accommodations the city offers. However, for those looking to do Miami on the cheaper side, there are plenty of great things to do throughout the city that won’t cost you a dime and can fill up your itinerary.
Also, many stores and restaurants offer discounts in coupon books that can purchased at visitors centers around the city. It's worth buying if you're planning on doing a lot of shopping as you'll end up saving money in the long run.
Add these free activities to your Miami itinerary, and explore the best of the city without blowing your budget.
Wynwood is a popular Miami neighborhood with an artsy style. In the past 10 years, this neighborhood has transformed, trading in its reputation for drugs for that of an artist’s paradise. The Wynwood Walls is the perfect example of this transformation. What used to be an industrial yard is now an outdoor museum due to the work of Wynwood developer Tony Goldman. Artists from around the world were invited to leave their mark on the walls in all forms. The result was a colorful, eclectic mix of art in all forms and mediums. The walls are updated periodically, so chances are you won’t see the same artists twice.
Take a Yoga Class
No matter where you are in the city, there is bound to be a free yoga class available, and some are held in or near Miami's popular sights. If you’re in Miami Beach, check out Noble Yoga’s free class in the park. They offer the free class in three locations—North Shore Park Bandshell, Collins Park, and South Pointe Park on different days throughout the week. For a beachside session try 3rd Street Beach Yoga, which offers free classes in the spring and summer.
Bayside Marketplace is a waterfront outdoor shopping center in Downtown Miami. During the day, it’s a great place to walk around, window shop, or grab some lunch. Head there any night of the week, and you’re bound to catch a live concert on the Marina Stage. All types of musical artists, from reggae to Latin to pop to rock have performed on the stage, making it a great free activity.
Check the Bayside Marketplace website for times and a full schedule.
Wood Tavern in Wynwood always serves up great food, and it tastes even better when it’s free! Head over there on Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. for their free taco happy hour. If you miss the free hours, tacos are just $1, so you can still stay on budget for dinner.
Take an Art Deco Walking Tour of South Beach
A guided walking tour of South Beach’s Ocean Drive (the one known for all the art deco hotels) will only run you about $20, but why not do it on your own and for free? Free Tours By Foot offers printable guides you can access online, along with maps and a route, so you can walk along your chosen route at your own pace.
Visit the Free Tours by Foot website to book your free tour, and you’ll receive everything via email.
The last Friday of every month is an ode to Cuban culture in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. The non-profit group Viernes Culturales sets up an outdoor market along Calle Ocho, the main street of the Little Havana district. You’ll find food, art, and entertainment from Latin artists and businesses across the city. It’s a great way to spend the night and the food is fantastic.
Viernes Culturales takes place on Calle Ocho between 13th and 17th Avenues from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on the last Friday of the month. Check the organization’s website to ensure the fair is taking place when you're there.
Relax on the Beach
If nothing else, Miami is known for its beautiful, free beaches. The beach spans the length of the city, but depending on your preferences, some beaches may be better than others. For a complete guide to Miami beaches, click here.
Most public beaches are open dawn 'til dusk, but be sure to check the lifeguard hours, so you know you are swimming in a safe zone.
If you are looking to hear some classical music, but tickets to the symphony aren’t in the budget, head over to SoundScape Park located right outside of the center for a WALLCAST concert. During select shows, the New World Center sets up a 7,000-square-foot screen and will project the show live to guests lounging on the lawn. Bring blankets and a picnic dinner, and enjoy the music.
Check the New World Center website for exact WALLCAST shows. There are public bathrooms in the southeast corner of the park.
Play Dominos in Maximo Park
You can feel the spirit of Little Havana just from walking down the street. But if you really want to get to heart of this neighborhood, head to Maximo Gomez Park, also known as Domino Park, and play a pick-up game of domino’s with a local. You’ll probably lose (these guys know their dominos), but you’ll have a great time.
Enter the park on SW 15th Street at the intersection with Calle Ocho. The park hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and you’re bound to find a game anytime throughout the day.
Redland is a little known neighborhood all the way in west Miami. Truthfully, you may not even realize you're still in Miami when you reach Redland because it's a euphoric farmland of sorts. Hit up the Redland Market Village—this family-owned flea market provides a full day of entertainment shopping for fresh fruit and vegetables, watching live entertainment, sampling items from the food trucks, and scouting out funky flea market finds. There is even a kid zone and pet store inside the village.
Redland Market Village is open Thursday- Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Lincoln Road is a premier outdoor mall right in the heart of South Beach. The 10-block stretch of luxury stores, fine dining, and great people-watching is an ideal place to take stroll day or night. During the day, you'll probably find lots of people shopping and browsing the stores, such as Anthropolgie, H&M, and Madewell, but at night, the mall comes alive with events, outdoor markets, and even more delicious foodie finds.
The Lincoln Road Mall is open Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. For special events, check the mall's website.
One of the most popular live music venues in Miami is the perfect place to try out a free salsa lesson. Ball & Chain is a popular bar and live music venue in Little Havana, and every Thursday night, they offer free salsa lessons for all. If dancing isn't your thing, it's still worth a visit. Ball & Chain has been around since the 1930s and is rich in Miami history. Although the bar has gone through more than 20 owners throughout the years, it prides itself on its service, good food and drinks, and amazing music.
Salsa lessons take place Thursdays at 9 p.m. Come early as they tend to get crowded.
Tour a Free Museum
Free museum day is a popular event in many big cities, and Miami is no different. Take advantage of the opportunity to explore one of Miami's many museums on this day, like the Miami Children's Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), or the Bass Museum of Art.
The Miami Children's Museum offers free admission every third Friday of the month from 3 to 9 p.m. MOCA offers free gallery admission the last Friday of every month from 7 to 10 p.m. Bass Museum of Art is free the last Sunday of every month from 2 to 4 p.m.