Miami International Airport 101: The best ways to get to or from MIA
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Miami International Airport (MIA) is the third-busiest airport in the U.S. for international travel. In all, it accommodates more than 100 airlines flying to more than 150 destinations, including more flights to Latin America and the Caribbean than any other U.S. airport. With all that air traffic comes notoriously bad congestion on the ground.
On the plus side, the airport is only a short distance away from downtown Miami and the city’s beaches. To get there, you can take public transportation, rent your own car or book an airport shuttle.
In recent years Miami-Dade Public Transit has added buses and trains at almost all hours to make the airport more accessible, but it’s still hard to connect to other parts of the city on public transportation.
The easiest way to get to most transportation into the city is the MIA Mover, an automated train from the airport to the Miami Intermodal Center. The MIA Mover station at the airport is on the third level between the Dolphin and Flamingo parking garages. Use the third-level Skyride (moving walkway) to reach the MIA Mover station. Then it’s about a four-minute ride to the Miami Intermodal Center.
Once you get to the Intermodal Center, you can take the Metrorail Orange Line ($2.25 per person each way) to the Government Center stop in Downtown and jump on the free people-mover tram that loops through the popular Downtown Miami areas.
If your final destination is Miami Beach, Miami-Dade Transit’s Airport Flyer — commonly referred to as “The Miami Beach Bus” — offers daily express bus service between MIA and Miami Beach. Buses run approximately every 30 minutes, from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. Passengers ride 40-foot buses with air-conditioning, comfortable seating and luggage racks at a cost of $2.65 each way. The trip takes about one hour since it stops along the way, yet it is the most cost-effective choice for reaching South Beach using public transportation.
Transit time: 60-90 minutes
Cost: $2.65 each way
Related: The best credit cards for commuting
Ride-hailing is a valuable form of transportation if you are coming to Miami for a weekend to hang out on the beach or experience the exciting Downtown neighborhoods. Cars from services like Uber and Lyft are plentiful and usually more economical than renting a car because parking and gas are expensive in popular neighborhoods like South Beach and Brickell.
Ride-hailing services at Miami International Airport can drop you off at the departure level in the terminal where your airline is located. For pickups, there is no designated space so once passengers land at MIA, they can pick up their luggage at baggage claim and step outside to request an Uber or Lyft. All airport pickups are subject to a $2 surcharge but ride-sharing is a better option than hailing a cab.
Commute time: 15-30 minutes, depending on traffic and outside of rush hour times.
Cost: $20 to $30 to Downtown Miami and Miami Beach.
Taxis in Miami are notoriously expensive. If you are adamant about taking one or you’re in town for work and your employer requires it for reimbursement, taxis charge a flat rate of $35 to South Beach and $21.70 to Downtown Miami hotels from MIA. Designated taxi stands are on the airport’s ground level (Arrivals), outside of the baggage claim area. There is no fee for sharing a taxi so you can always split the cost with another person or three. Many cabs now accept credit cards but check with the driver before starting your ride.
Commute time: 20-30 minutes, depending on traffic and outside of rush hour.
Cost: $21 to $90. The flat rate to South Beach is $35 and Downtown Miami is $21.70. Taxis have flat rates to certain zones in the urban metro-area. Outside of these zones, metered fares are charged at $4.50 for the first 1/6 mile and $.40 each additional 1/6 mile, which equals to $6.90 for the first mile and $2.40 for each additional mile.
Hotel Shuttle Service
There are dozens of airport hotels surrounding MIA and the tourist areas aren’t far away, so many hotels in Miami offer complimentary or low-cost shuttle service to and from the airport for their guests. Check with your hotel to see if this is available. Effective Dec. 11, 2019, hotel shuttle buses pick up/drop off at MIA on the ground level (Arrivals) at designated zones outside of baggage claim. Across from doors 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 15, 20 & 23, passengers can be picked up and driven to their hotel with no stops in between.
Commute time: 5 – 35 minutes, depending on hotel distance.
Cost: Complimentary or at a reduced rate for hotel guests.
If you want to explore the sprawling city and its surrounding areas, your best mode of transportation is renting a vehicle at MIA. Upon arrival, passengers can connect to the MIA Rental Car Center using the MIA Mover, located on the 3rd level between the Dolphin and Flamingo garages. The Rental Car Center provides direct access to and from the airport via the MIA Mover elevated train.
If your car rental agency is not at the Miami Intermodal Center, check the agency’s website or call them for pickup service, which is readily available as a courtesy just outside the lobby of the Rental Car Center.
Commute time: 15 – 30 minutes, depending on traffic and outside of rush hour times.
Cost: $15 – $125 per day, depending on vehicle type.
There are numerous ways to get to and from Miami International Airport, but your plans will determine what’s best for you. If you plan on exploring Miami and its surrounding cities or venturing to Fort Lauderdale, a rental car is an absolute must. If you plan to stay put on the beach or enjoy the downtown urban core of Brickell, Port of Miami and the Design District, ride-hailing services will make more sense.
Featured Image by GgWink/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.