One day in Downtown Miami is enough to enjoy the iconic Miami skyline around sunset!

Ultimate Guide: One Day In Downtown Miami From A Frequent Visitor (2024)

Visiting Downtown Miami is not like visiting the laidback Wynwood Art District or Miami Beach. One day in Downtown Miami, you will experience the super urban part of the city of lights, with the famous highrises creating the Miami Skyline!

This is not where you go to just stroll the streets and go window shopping or chill in a park.

I have stayed in Miami for longer periods of time in the last few years while traveling to the Caribbean region. To be honest, Downtown is not where I go to relax and unwind, but to get my shopping done in a fast-paced environment!

There is traffic and speed and big building structures, so you need to know where you are going and just get yourself there (and find parking)!

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In A Hurry? Top 5 Things To Do Downtown

πŸ“ Here are the things you definitely should not miss in Downtown Miami:

  • Take a boat trip from Bayside Marketplace
  • Go shopping in Brickell City Center
  • Visit the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
  • Go for Happy Hour on Over Under
  • Have a stylish dinner at The River Oyster Bar

Planning What To Do In Downtown Miami In 24 Hours

However, there are a variety of amazing human-made oases and green pockets Downtown as well.

Also, you are never far from the shores of Biscayne Bay, Bayside Marketplace, and the park, from where you can chill or head out for super nice boat tours!

So you will be smart to research and plan your Downtown Miami day; it will probably take you more time than you think to move between areas, find your way, and enjoy the places you visit!

Here is all the information you need to plan your urban Miami day, with links to all the places you might want to research yourself for your itinerary!

Enjoy, let’s go!

A Great Start: Breakfast In Downtown Miami

One day in Downtown Miami, you can get all the shopping done that you dream of!

Starting the day with the best breakfast in Downtown Miami, a big-city breakfast at πŸ“Crema Gourmet Downtown serves impeccable breakfasts for everyone from health freaks to morning sweet tooths in delicate surroundings on E Flagler Street.

Another excellent breakfast choice is πŸ“B Bistro Miami on 600 Brickell Avenue, which has an incredibly elegant high ceiling and a wide menu with anything from granola and fruits, eggs in any form, to sandwiches and even soup!

Or just get fuelled up for the day with a coffee in five-star ARCH Cafe before heading out into Downtown Miami.

Moving on!

Shopping in Downtown Miami

The big thing Downtown is the shopping opportunities, so if that is your passion, this section is for you!

Downtown is not made for strolling leisurely the streets; there is a lot of traffic that you probably want to stay out of. But it is definitely made for shopping!

This is why there are not only malls in Downtown Miami; there are shopping havens with amazing indoor and outdoor spaces, dining, recreational activities, and – shopping!

For a few hours of retail therapy, check out πŸ“Mary Brickell Village in Downtown Miami, an oasis of elegant shops and dining options.

Another amazing space you will love for a chill shopping experience is πŸ“Brickell City Center, which is a shopping, dining, and entertainment area over three blocks and four levels!

If you enjoy the open air and being by the sea, πŸ“Bayside Marketplace in Downtown Miami is a place you will be very happy.

This is a little oasis on the shores of Biscayne Bay with great shopping, a variety of restaurants over two floors, and a laid-back outdoor market in the middle.

At the end of the pier, you also find an airy Ferris wheel. This is where a lot of the boat tours of Biscayne Bay start, and I really recommend you try one of those!

Tours in Downtown Miami

Bayside Marketplace downtown Miami Ferris wheel at the end of the pier
The Bayside Ferris wheel

There are myriad fun or relaxing πŸ“boat tours of Biscayne Bay starting from Bayside Marketplace in Downtown Miami for an hour or longer.

You can book online or just ask while you are there; there are departure times almost every hour of every day. If you are a group of people, you might enjoy booking a πŸ“private boat tour just for you guys.

If you are a solo traveler or couple, there are a variety of πŸ“sightseeing boats with great reviews on the water you can join as well and have a really good experience.

I did one traveling solo in Miami, and I enjoyed it very much (also because the weather on that particular day was incredible)!

There area also a variety of other tours to do from Downtown if you want to explore further.

On dry land, a great option is this top-rated guided walking tour called πŸ“Hidden Gems of Downtown, or you can do a self-guided πŸ“Smartphone Audio Walking Tour super cheaply but without the company and jokes of the guide!

From Downtown Miami, you can also do tours to explore famous parts of the greater Miami area.

This 5 star rated Miami combination tour of exploring Downtown Miami, Little Havana, and the nature of the Everglades will give you incredible experiences all packed into one day!

Lunch in Downtown Miami

Panorama photo from Downtown Miami with highrises and the blue sky above!
Skyscrapers and palm trees in downtown Miami on a sunny day. Southern Florida, USA

In the Bayside area, there are a couple of really great places for lunch neatly tucked in by the seaside.

πŸ“Cuba Cabana Bayside will not disappoint anyone who loves Cuban cuisine, and they also have a raw bar!

For a vegan feast in Downtown Miami, head over to πŸ“Manna Life Food, a couple of blocks from Bayfront Park, where you find all the superfoods on all the variations your heart and stomach can desire!

If you prefer a serious long lunch with a big dose of pasta, pizza, or amazing Italian tastes, you will love πŸ“North Italia, where the menu has loads of Italian goodies, spices, and flavors you can enjoy for hours.

Most Popular Museums in Downtown Miami

Frost Museum of Science in Miami is situated along the bayside to Biscayne Bay.
The aquarium at the Frost Museum of Science in Miami

From Bayfront Park, you can actually walk the five or six blocks to reach the πŸ“History Miami Museum, where you can discover Miami’s ancient history, the long lines of Florida, and exhibitions telling tales of Miami that are active for shorter periods of time!

Check out the calendar and upcoming events for the details.

Another beautiful must-visit is πŸ“Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science on Biscayne Boulevard, a super interesting and fun place to learn new things and have a great time (Have a snack at Food@Science while you are there)!

Best Happy Hour in Downtown

Best 3 Downtown Happy Hours:

πŸ“ Over Under
πŸ“ Black Market Miami
πŸ“ American Social Bar

Dinner in Downtown

With thousands of reviews from ecstatic guests, πŸ“MisterO1 Pizza in Brickell is probably the best option for a laid-back gourmet pizza experience in central Miami!

For seafood, head over to πŸ“The River Oyster Bar for stylish surroundings and amazing treats from the sea.

Combine great Italian food with a high-end gourmet experience at Il Gabbiano, or go for the big Italian family dinner vibe at πŸ“Ristorante Fratelli Milano.

Nightlife in Brickell and Downtown Miami

An iconic nightclub in Downtown Miami is πŸ“Club Space, which for over 20 years has been a dance haven for lovers of electronic music and long nights out!

Thanks to its 24-hour liquor license, you can get into zen dance mode here all night long into the sunrise.

Enjoy the famous terrace at Club Space, where there is a clear ceiling showing the night sky turning into the morning directly from the dance floor.

Then you have the multi-award-winning πŸ“E11EVEN Club on NW Eleventh Street for Best New Concept and Best Night Club in America, to mention just a couple!

Here, some of the best DJs in the U.S. are playing, and you will find incredible shows, dining, bottle service, and everything you need for a truly unique nightlife experience!

Oh, and E11EVEN has been named the 6th best place in the WORLD to celebrate New Year’s Eve by Yahoo Travel!

Wrap-Up One Day In Downtown Miami

Wow, that was a lot!

I am fully aware that you will not be able to do all of these activities in 24 hours, but my objective here is to make sure you have choices and alternatives to create your best Downtown Miami in Florida day!

If anything is missing, feel free to comment below to add to the Downtown Miami list for everyone’s benefit!

As always, all that is left for me to say is Happy Travel Planning!

xoxo/Hege

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