Upscale shopping, fine dining, gorgeous beaches, and a party atmosphere: It’s no wonder Miami has one of the most vibrant nightlife scenes in the US. The only downside? The bar and club scene’s popularity means you can end up paying an arm and a leg just to enjoy a night on the town.
But don’t despair. If you’re looking to experience Miami nightlife on a budget, simply arm yourself with these strategies, pregame with a few PBRs, and get ready to have the night of your life.
Visit in the off-peak.
Miami’s high season is from November to April; in the hot summer months, prices dip along with the crowds. You’ll be much more likely to find deals on everything from flights to cover charges if you schedule a trip during the low season, so plan accordingly.
Schedule your trip over a Friday.
There are several free nightlife events in Miami on Fridays, so it’s worth booking a long weekend in the city. On the third Friday of each month, “Big Night in Haiti” at the Little Haiti Cultural Center features live music, DJs, food, and art. On the last Friday of every month, enjoy a free jazz concert presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Embrace the happy hours.
Hands down, one of the best ways to achieve a budget-friendly bar experience in Miami is to start the night a little earlier. A huge number of Miami bars and restaurants offer happy hour discounts, many of which extend well into the night. Ask around in order to find the best deals.
Eschew cover charges.
Many of the city’s large clubs issue a cover charge upwards of $20 or $30, but these aren’t the only clubbing options in the city. Ask around, and you’ll be able to find some clubs and music venues—such as FDR lounge and Jazid—that don’t charge an entrance fee.
Skimp on transportation.
It’ll cost around $2.25 to ride the bus or metro, and walking is free. You’ll save a good chunk of change if you skip taxis and rely on public transportation options or bar hop on foot.
Save money during the day.
Subsist on a small budget during the day, and you’ll have more money to spend on nightlife. There are plenty of free attractions in the city—take advantage of free admission at the Bacardi Museum, the Biltmore Hotel, the Holocaust Memorial, and the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. Also aim to save money on food by avoiding restaurants in South Beach and opting for cheaper eateries in Little Havana.
It might not be quite as much fun as hitting the mega-clubs, but trust us: People-watching in Miami is a form of entertainment in its own right. Head to Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road for some of the best sightseeing. There, you can sip on a $5 craft brew at Rio Station while perusing the interesting humans on display.
See a film.
If clubs aren’t your thing, then head to the New World Center’s ExoStage. Every Wednesday evening, they screen a film outdoors—for free! This year, the 7,000 square-foot screen will feature a mixture of new releases and modern classics, including Avengers: Age of Ultron, Independence Day, and Forrest Gump.
Go at the right time, go to the right places, and you’ll be able to enjoy Miami nightlife and still afford the flight home.