How to Explore Miami for Free – Art, Culture, and History

Miami is a glamorous destination. There is no shortage of fancy restaurants, expensive shops, or exclusive clubs in this city, and the beaches and the bars are not always the cheapest. While the sunny weather and sandy beaches are the main reason tourists flood it, the city of Miami has plenty of hidden gems for art and culture lovers, outdoorsy tourists, or those traveling with families. Miami hotels come in all varieties, from private beach resorts to downtown ones or even ocean view properties on a budget, but there are many ways to expand your knowledge without spending a cent. Music, theatre, art, museums, or kid friendly activities—there are plenty of attractions to choose in all these categories, all for free.

Photo by Frank Louis-Jeune via

Start in downtown Miami with the famous Freedom Tower. It hosts the Miami Dade College Museum of Art and Design. It’s free of charge and you will enjoy contemporary art exhibitions showcasing both local and international performers and artists. If you like edgy and experimental, neighboring Wynwood Art District and Design District are filled with galleries, and every month on the second Saturday they are open till 10 p.m. The Gables Art Walk on Ponce de Leon Boulevard is another great option, and if you prefer evening walks, galleries are open till 10 p.m. on the first Friday of each month. Not only will you see the art for free, you will get free advice, and take the trolley between galleries. If you’re really lucky, you might get to enjoy a wine tasting here and there.

History buffs will be equally satisfied without paying anything. All you need to do is catch the free Sunday tours of the Biltmore Hotel’s historic grounds. You will get to retrace the steps of Judy Garland, Al Capone, or Ginger Rogers.

If you want to discover the true Hispanic culture of Miami, Little Havana is the place to start. Explore the monuments down Calle Ocho, including the Walk of Fame and the eternal flame at the Brigade 2506, or enjoy the Viernes Culturales (Cultural Fridays) when a segment of Calle Ocho turns into an open-air gallery hosting various artists and performers. Hispanic and Cuban roots are not the only ones being celebrated in Miami–every third Friday is dedicated to Haitian culture. Don’t miss the Big Night in Little Haiti street festival!

When it comes to museums where admission is free, Miami’s offer is impressive. Try the Holocaust Memorial, the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and their Free Sundays—last Sundays in July, August, and September– and the Perez Art Museum Miami, which is perfect for kids It’s free in the afternoon of the second Saturday of each month.

If music is your drug of choice, a lot of concerts are free in Miami. At the Gusman Concert Hall, most performances are free of charge; the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami has free live jazz shows on the last Friday of every month, and if you make it to Jazid by 11 pm, you will enjoy free live music from all genres.