Catch the Creative Wave: Art Basel Miami 2018

Mark your calendar for the 2018 Art Basel Miami in Miami Beach, Florida. Use our guide to plan on where to go, what to do, and where to stay.

Share article:

Anyone who’s into modern art and wants to catch the latest work by the hottest new and known artists around the world should save the date for Art Basel Miami 2018. This massive art show runs from December 6 to 9 in Miami Beach, Florida.

The Miami Beach Convention Center is the heart of the show, and more than 200 galleries take part and showcase more than 4,000 artists. A cool creative vibe pumps through this sizzling, south Florida city this time of year, and you won’t want to miss out. Check out these tips for how to make your 2018 Art Basel trip a hands-on deep dive you won’t soon forget.

Buy Tickets Early

When you buy tickets online in advance, you’ll save a little cash and maybe a lot of time spent waiting in line at the Miami Beach Convention Center box office. Feel like a VIP as you zip ahead with your day pass or three-day pass saved on your smartphone. Even if you just plan to go for the day, the online ticket lets you leave for lunch and come back later that day.

View of the Miami Beach Ocean Drive lined with white Art Deco buildings with colorful trim under blue sky with palm trees swaying.

Book an Artsy Hotel

Although hotels fill up fast during Art Basel week, booking early will get you a room in one of the cool Art Deco hotels in the heart of Miami Beach. Built in the 1940s, the Riviera Hotel South Beach is a jet-setter’s dream with modern designs and apartment suites. The Nautilus, a SIXTY Hotel, also a quick walk to the convention center, has oceanfront rooms, hammocks, and a hip 1950s design by architect Morris Lapidus. The Vagabond Hotel, in the Miami Modern (MiMo) historical district, is another fave of Art Basel regulars.

Ready, Set, Basel

Once you breeze through the doors of the convention center, you’ve got a pass to see mind-blowing paintings, sculptures, installations, photography, film, and digital art in special galleries set up throughout the hall. See big-name artists and some up-and-comers who whip up limited editions of their work. Be sure to grab a coffee and check out one of the many talks by artists, curators, and critics held throughout the event. Go online to download the schedule and a layout of the show to plan your day. Not sure where to start? How about a guided tour?

Get 10% Off The Base Rate*

Change of Scene

Beyond all the art in the convention center, there are also huge sculptures and works of art at Collins Park, at 2200 Collins Ave. in South Beach. Get some fresh air before heading to SoundScape Park, also in Miami Beach. Throughout the week, attention-grabbing art films light up the 7,000-square-foot outdoor video wall designed by star architect Frank Gehry. These outdoor happenings aren’t far from a ton of independent galleries that have set up shop throughout South Beach. Be sure to spend some time scoping out all the exhibits to discover up-and-coming talent.

Woman in a floral print dress looking at the graffiti on the wall of Wynwood Kitchen & Bar.

Art for Your Taste Buds

Miami serves up amazing eats from all over the world, so make a reservation or two for some super-creative meals that look as awesome as they taste while checking out Art Basel. Inside Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, the walls are covered in art by creative talent like Shepard Fairey and Christian Awe. This tapas bar is in the heart of the Wynwood Walls district, an area that’s a year-round, outdoor art show worth a look. MC Kitchen, in the Design District, serves up seasonal and creative Italian favorites and artwork as an appetizer for your eyes. For brunch even closer to the art, locals rave about Verde at the Pérez Art Museum Miami. The relaxing views of Biscayne Bay are an unbeatable bonus.

Close up view from behind a DJ booth shows his hands on the turn table as people dance in the background.

Get in on the Party

With live music and DJs spinning late into the night, the party never stops during Art Basel. Dress up in your best duds and do your homework — many parties require RSVPs. Get on the guest list, or swing over to Broken Shaker at the Freehand Hotel, Employees Only, or Mana Wynwood for cool crowds and happening dance floors. Liv at the Fontainebleau is a great spot to scout for celebs who also flock to Miami for this special week.

View of the courtyard of the Bonnet House estate and museum with an ornate fountain surrounded by flowers and palm trees in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

See the Sights

Get up early and rev up with a café con leche in Miami’s Little Havana. Climb the lighthouse on Key Biscayne. You’ll recharge and return to the art world refreshed and ready for more. If all the crowds and traffic are too much, then spend an afternoon seeing other sights in the area. A short drive to Fort Lauderdale to tour the Bonnet House, a cool 1920 artist’s estate could be just the ticket for chilling out.

How will you pack in all the art in one week in Miami? Plan like a pro and share your tips for the hottest spots with us on Facebook.

Share article: