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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Miami

Miami Holidays

The vibrant, sunny Florida city of Miami boasts some of the world's most popular beaches, yet also hides a lesser-known historic side and plenty of places to have fun. From zesty nightclubs to rooftop bars and from burger joints to elegant diners, this is a city sure to astound you.

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Colour and sunshine

Miami is much more than its beaches, but it's definitely one of the reasons why holidaymakers love this city. The coastlines here, perked up by bars and restaurants on the waterfront, are some of the best you'll ever see.

Miami Beach is so vast it's separated into north, central and south beaches, and they each bustle all year round. Quieter shores can be yours, from the lighthouse near Bill Baggs Cape to the wide swathes of Haulover Beach. However, this city also offers shopping, dining, nightlife and active expeditions.

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Attractions aplenty

From thrills and spills to some surprisingly rich history, things to do in Miami engage body and mind. Thanks to its classic ties with Spain, Miami has beautiful examples of architecture from the medieval era, such as the Ancient Spanish Monastery. Amazingly, this structure was brought to Miami from Spain piece by piece and rebuilt here, making it one of the oldest buildings in the Western Hemisphere.

Miami boasts plenty of museums for those of us looking to brush up on our culture during our stay. Vizcaya is a manor house in sprawling grounds that you can tour, while the Coral Castle Museum is a magnificent structure that still baffles experts even today.

On the more active side though, you can watch some roller derby antics courtesy of the Vice City Rollers, or rev your engines at the Homestead Miami Speedway, home of NASCAR. Art galleries, street performances and wine tasting sessions ensure that sophisticated visitors get plenty of value out of their Miami holiday too.

Party in the city where the heat is on

Miami's nightlife culture is among the best in Florida, welcoming all walks of life. Staying up late here is a given, thanks to the high energy feel of the coastal clubs and the more swanky destinations downtown. The good news is it's all budget friendly too, with Miami Beach hosting lots of competitive cocktail bars that hold happy hour deals throughout the week.

Nightclubs are definitely Miami's forte, and provide some of the city's greatest experiences. Trade is a nightclub specialising in house and trance music, while the racy Score is full of party-goers until dawn every day of the week, mixing up music from every genre. For a really intense night out, there are three floors of bass and blazing lights at Heart Nightclub in the downtown district.

More laid-back nights out are also easily found in Miami though. The Coconut Grove neighbourhood is the hangout of artists and bohemians, where you can expect open mic and poetry readings, as well as acoustic sessions.

Live bands and beer gardens are the mainstay of Midtown, where craft ales and cool lagers rule the roost, while a more sophisticated way to see the city can be had over wine at rooftop bars like Wynwood or SUGAR. In fact, you can even tuck into some hot Asian tapas at SUGAR too.

Mealtimes in Miami

Food of every kind has come to call this city home. Even so, a few places have become locally famous for focusing on one select aspect of the foodie scene. Joe's Stone Crab, for instance, is a seafood specialist whose clue is in the name, serving up piping hot stone crab that's flavoursome and healthy.

For a more gourmet take on a guilty pleasure, Ms Cheezious balances its punny name with a seriously awesome menu of grilled cheese sandwiches. These mighty bites come in plenty of flavours, sometimes cramming bacon or other goodies into the mix.

World food comes to life in Miami as well, with Latin American flavours from Mexico and Cuba proving particularly popular. El Mago De Las Fritas serves up towering Cuban burgers, while those of you after Japanese cuisine can stop by Zuma, where sushi and noodles are plentiful. Alternatively, check out Mandolin Aegean Bistro for Turkish and Greek food served in cosy vintage surroundings too.