15 Totally Free Things to Do in Miami

Because the rent is too damn high.

Miami is not an inexpensive city, unless you’re one of those Insta-models who seems to find themselves getting everything for free. Drinks. Clubs. Fancy dinners. Champagne on yachts.

So, maybe you didn’t win the genetic lottery and don’t have access to those hookups, but fortunately there’s more than just hanging on the sand at the beach that’s fun and free to do in Miami—‘cause we all know you’ve got bills to pay and rent ain’t cheap in the 305. Thankfully, our year-round sunshine and creatively cheap residents have come to the rescue with a lot of fun things to do that don’t cost a penny. Here are 15 of them.

On the first Friday of every month hundreds of bicycle enthusiasts meet at downtown’s Government Center for an informal, but fun bike ride that goes on for about 15 miles. There’s no sign up needed, just bring your bike and follow along—you never know who you might meet.

Flickr/Hugh Millward

Explore the city via free public transportation

Various neighborhoods
View Miami from a different vantage point by checking out the metromover downtown or one of the city’s free trolleys (available in Miami Beach, Homestead, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Wynwood, Downtown/Brickell, and Doral). These easy hop-on or off modes of transportation make getting around the Magic City super simple and save you from having to call an Uber.

Take a Wynwood art walk

It’s pretty clear to locals that Wynwood is becoming Miami’s Ocean Drive 2.0. This trendy art-filled neighborhood is basically a huge block party most nights of the week making it a lively place to wander and take in the ever-changing mural covered walls.

1 Hotel South Beach (Miami Beach, FL)
1 Hotel South Beach (Miami Beach, FL)

Sneak into a hotel pool

Various locations
There’s plenty of them to choose from, just be slick about it—and know you just might have to buy an overpriced drink to keep from looking too suspicious.

hip hop night
Flickr/Knight Foundation

Watch live music every night at Bayside Marketplace

Downtown Miami
It doesn’t get more Miami shopping than this: There are yachts, waterfront bars and restaurants, and fantastic people-watching, and it’s steps from where the Miami Heat call home. As an added bonus, the Marina Stage, right in front of Biscayne Bay, has daily live concerts with everything from Brazilian and Latin tunes, to pop, rock, funk, and more.

soundscape movie
Courtesy of New World Center

Miami Beach
The New World Symphony not only plays its concerts on the front wall of its sleek performance hall, but it also shows classic movies like The Princess Bride and Ghostbusters for anyone in the park to watch. For free. All you need is a blanket, some booze, snacks, and a friend.

books and books events

Various locations throughout Miami
Miami’s signature local bookstore has an event nearly every night of the week—from staged readings and chef dinners to celebrity author signings—at its stores in Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Bal Harbour, Pinecrest, Miami Beach, and at the Adrienne Arsht Center.

domino park
Courtesy of Carlos Miller

Catch a game at Domino Park

Little Havana
Most will agree that dominoes are Miami’s favorite pastime. Domino Park is the place to learn from the best, watch all the action, and if you’re lucky, break into the stiff lineup of veteran Abuelos and actually play a game.

sofar sounds
Flickr/Mark Bonaparte

Listen to Sofar Sounds

Various locations throughout Miami
Sign up here, pick a date, and then wait for your FREE invite to a secret gig at a secret location.

bear cut nature preserve
Matt Tilghman/Shutterstock

Explore Miami's best hidden nature trail

Key Biscayne
In the north end of Crandon Park you’ll find the Bear Cut Nature Preserve, a preserved wetland with paved and dirt trails that run along the coastline and into the marshes. Hike or bike the 3.5 miles of trails and learn about the ecology that makes up South Florida.

old cutler trail
Flickr/Marcos COMUNE

Coral Gables and Cutler Bay
Old Cutler is 11 miles of paved trail along Matheson Hammock Park, Biscayne Bay, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Pinecrest Gardens, and Deering Estate. It connects with Biscayne and Commodore trails on either end if you want to extend your trip.

Pérez Art Museum Miami
Pérez Art Museum Miami

Visit a museum for free

Various locations throughout Miami
The MDC Museum of Art and Design, in The Freedom Tower in Downtown Miami, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in the Design District are always free. Or you can hit the Perez Art Museum for free admission on the second Saturday of every month, and if you’re a member, get free drinks, access to the galleries, and live music on Third Thursdays. Friday nights at the Wolfsonian are free from 6 - 9 pm and include films, talks, and drinks specials.

All over Miami
Everyone—from European tourists, regular old tourists, and locals walking their dogs, to model restaurant hostesses, the occasional celebrity, and street performers—strolls through Lincoln Road, and there’s no telling what you’ll see. This is also true for Ocean Drive, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Brickell Avenue, Downtown Miami, and the 250-mile radius that makes up all of South Florida. 

south pointe park

Take in Miami's best views at South Pointe Park

Miami Beach
Located on the southern tip of the island, South Pointe Park offers priceless views of cruise ships leaving the Port of Miami and the Atlantic Ocean. Plus, parts of the park are open until 2 am.

Palmetto Bay
...which includes 30 acres of pineland and tropical hardwood hammocks, an aquarium, a live animal exhibit, fire pits, a nature trail, kayaking, and tons of bird-watching. Fun fact: The park is home to the Southern Cross Astronomical Society, which has a large telescope for stargazing and planet searching.

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Matt Meltzer is a contributing writer for Thrillist who always shows up five minutes after the free drinks run out. Follow him on Instagram @meltrez1.
Jennifer Agress is a native Miamian who’s a big fan of not paying for things. Follow her on Instagram at @jenniferagress to see what else she doesn’t like paying for.