Miami’s famous beaches and world-class nightlife attract visitors from all over the world. But there’s more to do than sunbathe and party in this Florida hot spot. In fact, Miami is home to a variety of fascinating museums and cultural attractions. In case you’ve spent all your money on Piña Coladas, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 free attractions and museums that Miami has to offer. When you are looking to spend some time indoors on a rainy day or to take a break from the sun and sand, head to these ten attractions for some fun for free.
Free Attractions in Miami: The City's Top 10 Places to Explore at No Cost
1. Wynwood Walls/ Wynwood Art Walk
Wynwood, just north of Brickell, is known for its unique street art. This cool area is perfect for art enthusiasts, who are sure to enjoy a nice afternoon taking in the beauty of the art that covers the walls of many of its local businesses. If you get tired, hungry or thirsty while strolling, stop by any of the cafes and restaurants in the area to get a special taste of Miami’s cuisine.
The highlight of any visit to Wynwood is the Wynwood Walls. This noteworthy space was originally dedicated to the arts in order to revitalize a section of Miami that was going through hard times. The project attracted artists from over a dozen countries around the world, whose vision and skills led Wynwood to become one of the most popular places to visit in Miami. If you’re taking kids along, keep in mind that some of the murals might contain nudity.
Hours: The Wynwood Walls are open on Mon-Thur from 11 a.m to 11:30 p.m, on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m to midnight, and on Sundays from the same time to 8 p.m.
Location: 2520 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127
2. Centro Cultural Español
Centro Cultural Español is not so much a museum as a cultural center for the Hispanic community of Miami. With exhibits showcasing Hispanic art as well as workshops, movie screenings, concerts and “micro-theaters”, it offers a great selection of activities and events to visitors of all ages – kids included! Most cultural works on display portray Latin Culture and the connection that it has with Miami. This is a great place to learn about Latin Americans as well as their contribution to Miami’s culture.
Please note that both the concerts and the micro-theater (short theatrical shows) are not free. The concert prices vary and the micro-theater usually costs $5 per show. Visit their website to see which shows and temporary exhibits are offered during the time of your visit.
Hours: The CCE is open on weekdays from 9 a.m to 5 p.m.
Location: 1490 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL (North of Brickell and the American Airlines Arena)
3. Bay of Pigs Museum
In the early 1960s, the U.S. government trained a group of Cubans from Miami to land in Cuba and overthrow the Castro regime. Without the proper reinforcement, the mission failed and unfortunately, many of the group members were captured or killed. The Bay of Pigs Museum, which was built in their honor, presents the event’s history in detail. In fact, many of the people who work there are veterans of the operation. This free Miami attraction is recommended to those who want to learn more about Cold War history and further explore the role of Hispanics, especially Cubans, in Miami’s history. Kids are welcome to visit.
Hours: The Bay of Pigs Museum is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m to 5 p.m and closed on weekends.
Location: 1821 SW 9th Street, at SW 18th Avenue, Miami, FL (Close to Calle Ocho)
4. De la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space
To enjoy fantastic contemporary art, visit the De la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space, hidden behind an innocuous building in the Design District. The collection is open to the public for free viewing and its recommend that those interested call ahead to schedule a viewing. Since its exhibits change, this museum is worth visiting more than once. It’s current exhibit, called Beneath the Surface, focuses on post-war art.
Hours: The De la Cruz Collection is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.
Location: 23 NE 41st St Miami, FL
5. Museum of Art + Design at Miami Dade College
This free museum, operated by Miami Dade College, sits inside Downtown’s Freedom House. The museum’s central location makes it easily accessible from most touristic areas and thus might save the day if the weather takes a turn for the worse. The museum focuses on design and esthetics but is not limited to that, as on the third Saturday of every month, from noon to 5 p.m, the museum hosts interactive activities for families and children. Guests can also schedule group visits for birthday parties and the like.
Hours: The museum is open on Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
Location: 600 Biscayne Blvd Miami, FL
6. Art Center of South Florida
The Art Center of South Florida is a community center of sorts for artists. The goal of the organizers is to advance the knowledge and practice of art in the South Florida region. This center serves as a home to many of the artists while also exhibiting the artifacts that they have crafted gratis. Throughout their history, they have exhibited the work of over 1,000 visual artists. The Art Center of South Florida offers art classes as well, though those are not free.
Hours: The exhibits at the Art Center are open from Monday through Thursday from noon to 9 p.m, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m to 10 p.m and on Sundays from 11 a.m to 9 p.m.
Location: 924 Lincoln Road Miami Beach, FL
7. Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum
This contemporary art museum inside Florida International University displays many works of art from local artists. Visitors often have the opportunity to meet the artists involved in the works on display, though the guides are available to provide insight into the art when the artists are not present. There are many collections from artists outside the university as well and temporary exhibits.
Hours: The Museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m to 5 p.m and on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
Location: 10975 S.W. 17th Street Miami, FL
8. Jewish Museum of Florida
The Jewish Museum of Florida details the history of the Jewish community of Miami and Florida. The museum walks guests through the dark days of discrimination in the area to the modern state of Miami’s Jewish community, which is one of America’s largest. The museum is only free on Saturdays. The museum’s facility itself is fascinating, as it exists in a building that was once two adjacent historic synagogues. Visitors of all ages are guaranteed to have a valuable learning experience when touring the Jewish Museum of Florida.
Hours: The museum is open daily from 10 a.m to 5 p.m excluding Mondays when it closes. Remember that the entry is only free on Saturdays though!
Location: 301 Washington Ave. Miami Beach, FL 33139
9. Walking Tour of South Beach
Miami is known not only for its natural beauty but also for its Art Deco architectural beauty. For a fantastic walking tour, start at 5th Street and Ocean Dr. (Collins Ave) and walk up Ocean Drive to 12th Street. From there, make your way to Lincoln Road and walk down the world-renowned promenade. Make sure to take in the beautiful sights around you and feel free to stop at any of the small restaurants and cafes along the way.
A walking tour is an ideal activity for visitors maximizing time outside and also looking to work in some exercise while on vacation. Those with a sweet tooth should keep an eye out for the ice cream stores, candy shops, and fancy bakeries that dot the streets. For an especially memorable evening, begin the tour about an hour or two before the sunset, sit down and have a drink or ice cream and then walk back at night. You will see how that the colorful lights of many of the buildings complement the Art Deco architecture.
10. Viernes Culturales
Viernes Culturales presents a fun opportunity for locals and visitors alike to celebrate Cuban culture. This festive event occurs on the last Friday night of each month between on Calle Ocho from 13th through 17th Avenues. The closed blocks transform into open-air markets and galleries, which display the works of local artists. A unique cultural attraction in Miami, visitors in town at the end of the month should certainly walk through Viernes Culturales to enjoy Cuban food, Cuban music, dancing and art.
Hours: 7-11 p.m.
Location: Calle Ocho between 13th and 17th Avenues