Miami International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world and serves as a huge hub for international flights between the United States and Latin America as well as the Caribbean. More than 45 million passengers passed through in 2018, making it the 40th busiest airport in the world.
Airport Code, Location, and Contact Information
Opened in 1928, the Miami International Airport (MIA) is operated by the Miami-Dade Aviation Department.
Know Before You Go
MIA is shaped like a horseshoe with north, central, and south terminal areas, which have three levels. For arrivals and baggage claim, go to Level 1. For departures, check-in, and ticketing, head to Level 2.
Level 3 is for navigating the airport quickly and efficiently: You can use moving walkways to move between terminals, or head to the MIA Mover, the airport's free monorail system that will connect you to the Intermodal Center, where you'll find rental car agencies and a train station. Also on level 3, above Concourse D, the Skytrain can help you navigate the mile-long concourse with stations at four locations. A complete list of airlines and terminals is available on the official website.
With the city's unpredictable weather, it's always a good idea to look up your flight before you head to the airport. A little rain may not change anything, but if there are thunderstorms (or rain/snowstorms in the direction you’re headed), there may also be flight delays.
Miami International Airport Parking
Long-term parking, up to 60 days, is available on the airport grounds in the Flamingo Garage (serves Central Terminals F and G and South Terminals H and J) and Dolphin Garage (serves North Terminals D and E). Valet parking is available on the second level of each garage, however, you are only permitted to leave your car for a maximum of 20 days.
When picking someone up from the airport, you can wait in the Cell Phone Waiting Lot, which is free for private vehicles to use when waiting on a phone call or text message from their passenger.
From downtown Miami, get on FL-836 West, merge on NW 14th Street, and follow the ramp to the airport. From North Beach, take I-195 West, continue onto FL-112, and use the left two lanes to take the exit toward the Miami Airport.
Public Transportation and Taxis
If you're looking for a taxi to take you to your hotel or another location in Miami, taxi stands are located outside the baggage claim level of Miami International Airport. There are also shuttle services and ride-hailing services. The ride-hailing service app will tell you where the designated pick-up zone is so you can request your ride.
To travel to Miami by public transportation, you can take the Metrorail which departs every 30 minutes. The Orange Line will take you all the way through Downtown Miami, Coconut Grove, and Dadeland stations, but you will need to switch to the Green Line at Earlington Heights Stations if you want to travel north to Northside, Hialeah, or Palmetto stations. Another option is to connect to the commuter train Tri-Rail by taking the MIA Mover to Miami Central Station.
You can also take the Miami Beach buses, which runs every day from 6 a.m. to 11:40 p.m. between the Miami Airport Metrorail station and Miami Beach on 41st street for just $2.65 each way.
Miami International airport is served by Miami's mass transportation system. Metrobus, Metrorail, and Tri-Rail airport connections are located in the Miami Central Station, the city's transportation hub.
Where to Eat and Drink
You'll find everything from burgers to ceviche and empanadas at the Miami airport. There are over 60 restaurants here, which means sit-down dinners are an option, but so are bars for brews or cocktails and quick grab-and-go foods. There is plenty of Cuban food here (Bongo’s, La Carreta, Cafe Versailles, Estefan Kitchen Express) for those craving one last Miami comfort meal. For coffee, there’s Juan Valdez Cafe, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, illy, and McDonald’s.
Some of the best spots for eating and drinking include Beaudevin, a wine bar with healthy and tasty food options, The Counter for a juicy burger, Spring Chicken for some Southern flavor that includes fried chicken sandwiches and tomato salad with pork cracklings and mozzarella and, last but not least, the dependable and delicious Sushi Maki.
Where to Shop
At MIA, you can shop for necessities as well as luxury items from stores like Coach, TUMI, Michael Kors, Montblanc, Calvin Klein, and POLO Ralph Lauren. Cuban Crafters sells boutique cigars, humidors, and accessories at the airport. Miami-inspired gifts can be purchased at the Miami Heat Store, the Miami Marlins Store, or Miami Gifts To Go. Snag a last-minute pair of sunglasses at Sunglass Hut or some reading material at the locally-owned Books & Books. If you’d rather get pampered than spend your leisure time at the airport shopping, there’s Xpress Spa, perfect for manicures, pedicures, or a relaxing massage.
How to Spend Your Layover
If you want to leave the airport during a layover, you will need at least five hours to enjoy some of Miami's sights and make it back in time for your flight. You can either take the Miami Beach bus to South Beach for a quick meal by the water or head downtown to check out some of the museums or try one of the city's hottest restaurants. Less than twenty minutes away by taxi, Wynwood is one of Miami's most popular neighborhoods filled with colorful murals and hip restaurants, bars, and shops. To store your bags, check out the Baggage Checkroom located on the 2nd floor of terminal E.
If you don't have time to leave the airport, you can turn your layover into a treasure hunt by looking for the Instagram-worthy murals scattered throughout MIA like Terminal D's famous "Peace & Love flower wall."
For travelers with an overnight layover, it's possible to sleep through the night without leaving the airport at the Miami International Airport Hotel, which is located in Concourse E.
In the Miami Airport, there are a few premium lounges where it's possible to buy a day pass. Passes are available at the Avianca VIP Lounge in Concourse J and Club America in Concourse F.
There is also a military lounge available for active and retired military personnel, located in Concourse E.
Wi-Fi and Charging Stations
Miami International Airport offers complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the indoor areas of the airport. Charging stations are also located throughout all the concourses and gates, so you can keep all your devices charged.
Miami International Airport Tips and Tidbits
- For individuals with cognitive or developmental disabilities, like autism, for example, the Miami airport offers an Airport Instruction and Readiness program that allows passengers with a disability an opportunity to practice the whole travel experience in a controlled environment.
- There is a children's play area located in Concourse E near Gate 5 and is also accessible from Concourse D.
- In Terminal H, you can find a yoga room equipped with complimentary mats.
- U.S. Mail Drop boxes are available on the second level of the terminal.
- If you are traveling with a pet, you can find animal relief areas with waste stations on the arrival level of Concourses D, E, and J. This is extremely helpful, especially when you have a connection and may not have time to exit the airport.