Most visitors from Europe will arrive at
Airport, which is one of the busiest airports in America. Some also
arrive at Fort Lauderdale Airport, which is smaller and has less
international traffic, but is still busy nevertheless. There are
plans for a new runway and building extension at Fort Lauderdale
The first impression you'll
get of Miami Airport is that it is chaotic. After
disembarking from your 747 or similar, there is a
short walk to the immigration area. Have all your
documents ready, correctly filled in, and be
prepared to wait a while to get through. [TIP:
because many planes from Europe arrive
mid-afternoon, more and more immigration booths
open to accommodate the large numbers. Watch as
they open and be prepared to pounce, thus passing
through immigration with little hassle. But
please have all your documents correctly
completed. If they are not, you will be asked to
redo them and will be forced to the back of the
queue.] Customs comes next, which you clear after
collecting your luggage. DO NOT bring any meat or fruit, as they
are strictly forbidden. There are now stringent checks, and such
items will be confiscated anyway (and you might also be fined). Head towards the exit,
where you should board a rental car minibus (you
need to stop it by raising your hand) which will
take you to the rental car offices. Some car
rental companies have booths at the terminal,
however, so first check there.
After getting your car, please,
please, please get clear directions from the rental clerk and
also ask at the exit
gate for the shortest way to your destination.
Please note that the airport/rental car area of
Miami is not the safest, although in the last few
years the situation has improved and is being
regularly patrolled by the boys in black, the
Miami Police Department. Also, watch for the
signpost saying "The Beaches" which
will take you to the I-95 highway for Ft.
Lauderdale and the north, or head straight on for
Miami Beach. If very tired, it might be sensible
to sleep in one of the airport hotels and pick up
your car in the morning.
A taxi to Miami
Beach from the airport will cost about $25.
It is probably
best not to use public transport without being
absolutely sure where you are going.
If you are heading
for the Broward and Palm Beach counties
(Hollywood, Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Palm
Beach etc.) it is very convenient and inexpensive
using Tri-Rail, the local railway network. But
see our transport section for more details.