Where to Stay
It is crucial that you stay in Miami Beach, which is where all the fun is, as opposed to the main city of Miami. Miami Beach is a large strip of land comprised of several areas and I would highly recommend staying in South Beach, which is (obviously) at the southern part of the strip. Most nightlife takes place here, although you will have to leave this area by cab to get to certain nightclubs, such as Liv.
Stay at the Miami Beach International Travelers Hostel (http://www.hostelmiamibeach.com/) in South Beach. This is one of the craziest hostels I have ever stayed at. Surprisingly, the staff is very nice and the place is kept really clean as well. Every night of the week they organize some form of party or pre-drink in the main lobby. You pay them $10-20 for a wristband, which gets you free alcohol, a ride to the bar/club in a party bus and line bypass and free cover. This hostel is also a 4 minute walk to the beach.
I was expecting more of an American spring break crowd here, but that was not the case at all – it was the typical type of travelers you would meet at other backpacking hotspots around the world. You could easily come here solo and meet some great people.
Where to Party
Miami is known for its world-class nightlife. I must warn you that it can be very expensive, so make sure it is one of the last stops on your trip! Some of the clubs charge upwards of $15 for a drink. Some nights, such as the hostel’s pub crawl are pretty cheap. If you are into clubbing, check out Nikki Beach Club on Sunday night (the hostel arranges this outing for you), Mansion, Story, Liv and Space (I believe this one has a 24-hour liquor license). If you are looking for some good bars, check out Automatic Slim’s and Sofi Public House. Expect to see beautiful people, expensive drinks and awesome DJs.
Some compare Miami with Ibiza. All of the top DJs love playing here and almost every night you can find a cool musical event happening. Even the resident DJs at most of the clubs are a level above other cities, especially at Nikki Beach Club. Club Space has some amazing house and trance events that go all night. The big room house DJs tend to play Liv, Story and Mansion. You can also find some good house music at smaller clubs like Electric Pickle and Treehouse Miami.
Miami is host to some of the biggest events in electronic music as well, such as Ultra Music Festival and Winter Music Conference, which both happen in March every year.
During the Day
Most people spend their days at the beach. Miami is hot all year-round (although good weather isn’t guaranteed in the months of November-February). Lincoln Road is also a fun strip to walk around and shop. There are also tons of great restaurants if you are willing to spend a little extra money.