General Info

Palm TreeMiami

Most visitors from Europe will arrive at Miami 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 Airport.

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.