Art Basel Miami 2022 Survival Guide

People don’t always think of Miami as a world-class art destination but it is the proud host of the mother of all art fairs, Art Basel. If you are reading this, hopefully, you’ve already heard of this International Art Fair and are here for my Art Basel Miami Survival Guide. If not and you just want to know what the hell this Art Basel business is all about, I will explain. (Updated for 2022)

Having lived in Miami for almost 15 years, I attended Art Basel at least 10 of those years. Art Basel Miami never has a dull moment. It is an exciting time to be in Miami but one that requires some serious strategizing.

What is Art Basel Miami?

It is America’s most comprehensive international contemporary art fair with over 268 galleries from 35 countries showcasing works by more than 4,000 artists. The main fair is held at the Miami Beach Convention Center which has recently been renovated. A typical year attracts over 80,000 art dealers, artists, collectors, and general gawkers. There are more than 30 satellite fairs and more events and parties than I can toss a bottle of champagne at. 

2022 is the 20 year anniversary and may be the biggest one yet! This year’s dates are December 1 to Dec 3. The fair will open to invited VIP guests on November 29 and 30.

Public Opening Hours

Wednesday, Nov 30 (Vernissage/invitation only) 4pm-7pm

Thursday, December 1 11am to 7pm
Friday, December 2 11am to 7pm
Saturday, December 3 11am to 6pm

Ticket Prices

Day Ticket $70
Premium Ticket (all 4 days including access to Vernissage and select Miami museums) $600
Combo Art Basel and Design Miami  $98 (one day each)

Tickets for Art Basel’s 2022 show in Miami Beach are exclusively available online and cannot be purchased at the show venue. Only a limited amount of tickets are sold each day. Online tickets are available for sale up to the last day of the show

Guided Tours are also available.

https://www.artbasel.com/miami-beach

Shaken, not stirred.

The History of Art Basel

The Original Art Basel was founded in Basel, Switzerland in 1970. Three Swiss gallerists had the vision to bring together artists, curators, collectors, and critics from around the world. In 2002 Miami was chosen as the sister city to be the winter location for Art Basel and its location between North and South America made it a perfect choice. A 3rd Art Basel location is now in Hong Kong since 2012. Art Basel cities are the latest initiative and strive to bring the art fair to a different international city each year. Buenos Aires was chosen in 2018.

Love this nostalgic Miami collage

Planning Art Basel Miami 2022

Getting to Miami

Miami has two major airports only 20 minutes apart from one another. Miami International Airport, which is closer to downtown Miami and South Beach, and Fort Lauderdale International Airport, which services low-cost carriers such as Southwest, Spirit, and Jet Blue.

Use the Miami Super Shuttle for inexpensive airport transfers.

Where to Stay for Art Basel Miami

Book early!  Hotels will be sold out, Restaurant reservations will be harder to get and everything will be more expensive. You’ve been warned.

The good news is there are many great locations in Miami. I would recommend the neighborhoods of South Beach, Mid-Beach, Downtown, or Edgewater as a central place to park yourself and you will have access to both the Design District, Wynwood, and the Beach areas. A few hotels that I like are listed below by neighborhood.

Downtown

South Beach/Mid Beach

Edgewater

***If you have any local friends, USE THEM. Beg them for a place to stay!

Private Beach at Miami Beach Hotel

Getting Around Miami During Art Basel

Not going to lie, it will be a shit show. Mentally prepare yourselves and have a smart plan. I don’t recommend driving. Private helicopter is best but here’s some alternatives for us regular folks. 

  • Free Art Week Shuttle:  Miami Beach and Miami, which are two different cities FYI, have joined forces to operate a free shuttle that connects to existing free transportation and art shows in each city.
  • Deco Bike: While on South Beach consider renting a bike. You don’t have to worry about traffic or parking or paying high valet costs.  It’s truly my favorite way to get around the beach area.
  • South Beach Free Trolley
  • Water Taxi.  It is $15 per ride or $30 for an all-day pass. This runs every 90 minutes and gets you across Biscayne Bay from 3 different mainland locations to the South Beach Marina or vice versa.
  • Uber/Lyft
    • Be prepared. Download Spanish on your Google translate. A large portion of the drivers speak little to no English. Sometimes they don’t know their way around so “helping” to navigate on your phone will help.

Insider Tricks

  • Instruct driver to take Venetian causeway rather than 395 if going back and forth between South Beach and Downtown Miami. Always look at traffic before planning your route. Try to avoid rush hours which will just make the already horrible traffic into a murderous experience.
  • When going to Midtown from the beach DO NOT exit I-395 at North Miami Avenue.  It is always clogged. Instead, take Federal Highway if you’re trying to reach Wynwood or the Design District.
  • Whatever the travel times usually are, double them because traffic will be horrible. Plan strategically. Don’t spend the day in Wynwood then plan to be in South Beach for the evening then back to the Design District for late night. Try to organize all day and night activities in the same general area. Bring a change of clothes if necessary. 
When the art speaks to you…

Must-See Satellite Fairs

The official sister fair to Art Basel Miami Beach is the Design Miami tent adjacent to the Convention Center. This celebrates collectible 20th and 21st-century design.

Scope and Art Miami are two fairs that actually predate Art Basel Miami Beach and feature impressive modern works of art. Even more contemporary and cutting edge work can be found at Pulse Miami Beach, NADA Miami, and Untitled, Miami Beach.

Scope happens to be one of my favorite fairs on the beach. It is located on Ocean Drive and 8th street (just a few blocks from my old condo, sniff sniff).  Just to give you an idea, SCOPE Miami Beach features 140 International Exhibitors from 25 countries and 60 cities and welcomes 60,000 visitors over the course of 6 days. Crazy right? And that’s just a small satellite fair. It is a tent on the beach which makes it even more fun in my opinion.

Art Miami and Context are both next door to each other at a new location downtown. You can buy tickets to both plus Aqua including access to VIP preview and VIP lounges in both pavilions for $275. General admission for Art Miami and Context is $55.  Ticket options on the website. I have all the Fairs with locations listed below:

House made from empty prescription bottles

MIAMI BEACH

Aqua Art Miami

When: Nov 30-Dec 4 2022
Where: Aqua Hotel, 1530 Collins Avenue
Tickets: $25 one-day pass; $100 multi-day pass (multi-day pass includes access to sister fairs Art Miami and Context Art Miami)
More info: aquaartmiami.com

Design Miami

When: Nov 30-Dec 4, 2022
Where: Meridian Avenue and 19th Street at Miami Beach Convention Center

If you are taking an Uber or Lyft to the fair, the drop off and pick up location is on the corner of 19th Street and Meridian Ave. Nearby parking is available at the city parking garage at 1755 Meridian Ave.
Tickets: General Admission Day Ticket $35
More info: designmiami.com

Ink Miami Art Fair

When: Nov 30 – Dec 4, 2022
Where: Suites of Dorchester, 1850 Collins Avenue on Miami Beach
Tickets: Admission is free with advance registration
More info: inkartfair.com

Scope Miami Beach

When: Nov 30- Dec 4, 2022
Where: Scope Miami Beach Pavilion, 801 Ocean Drive on Miami Beach
Tickets: Day Pass $40
More info: scope-art.com

Untitled, Miami Beach

When: Nov 30-Dec 4, 2022
Where: Ocean Drive and 12th Street on Miami Beach
Tickets: $40 General Admission
More info: art-untitled.com

DOWNTOWN MIAMI

Art Miami

When: Nov 30-Dec 2, 2022

Where: One Miami Herald Plaza at NE 14th Street, Downtown
Tickets: Online only $57.5 or $130 multi-day pass (includes admission to sister fairs Context Art Miami and Aqua Art Miami)
More info: artmiamifair.com

Context Art Miami

When: Nov 30-Dec 4 2022
Where: One Miami Herald Plaza at NE 14th Street, Downtown
Tickets: $57.50 one-day pass (includes admission to sister fair Art Miami); $130 multi-day pass (includes admission to sister fairs Art Miami and Aqua Art Miami)
More info: contextartmiami.com

Art Beat Miami Art Fair

ART BEAT MIAMI celebrates its 8th year with its annual Art Fair showcasing the works of more than 30 emerging and renowned local, international and celebrity artists during Miami Art Week/Miami Art Season at the Caribbean Marketplace in Little Haiti. ART BEAT MIAMI will launch on Wednesday, December 1st, with an Opening Reception/Preview Party celebrating a one-of-a-kind experience of visual art, music, fashion and food inspired by the people and culture of the Caribbean. The ART BEAT MIAMI Art Fair opens daily virtually with musical performances, LIVE art, conversations with artists, fashion and food

When: Nov 30- Dec 4, 2022
Where: Caribbean Marketplace at Little Haiti Cultural Center, 212 NE 59th Street, Little Haiti
Tickets: Admission is free
More info: artbeatmiami.com

Miami River Art Fair

The 11th edition of the Miami River Art Fair, an international, boutique contemporary art fair, will take place at The Penthouse Riverside Wharf the only enclosed rooftop venue in Miami 360 degree views featuring the downtown skyline & lush Miami greenery wrap-around outdoor terrace.

This art fair was conceived as a showcase of world-class galleries, artists and projects in a unique location with 11,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor space .

When: Nov. 30- Dec 1, 2022
Where: Penthouse Riverside Wharf, Brickell
Tickets: Free
More info: miamiriverartfair.com

NADA Miami

When: Nov 30- Dec 1 2022
Where: Ice Palace Studios, 1400 N. Miami Avenue, Downtown
Tickets: TBA; 2018 prices $20 single day; $40 run of show
More info: newartdealers.org

WYNWOOD

Hive

HIVE is a complimentary four-day cocktail and culinary experience nestled in the main artery of Wynwood during Miami’s Art Basel Week. This four day event will create a swanky and chic atmosphere, allowing guests to feel at ease and experience the best of Wynwood has to offer in an enjoyable and unique open-format venue. Find your escape from the pushy crowds as Wynwood  transforms into a sanctuary-like oasis where you can feel at ease and appreciate all that Basel has to offer.

When: Dec 1- 4, 2022
Where: Mana Wynwood, 2250 NW 2nd Avenue, Wynwood
Tickets: Admission is free
More info: hivewynwood.com

Red Dot Miami

When: Nov 30- Dec 4, 2022
Where: Mana Wynwood, 2217 NW 5th Avenue, Wynwood
Tickets: From $35 general admission (includes Spectrum); from $100 opening night + five-day pass
More info: reddotmiami.com/

Spectrum Miami

Spectrum Miami is a curated art fair presenting 150+ independent career artists, studios, and younger galleries that are pushing the boundaries in surprising and significant ways. Taking place amidst Miami Art Week, Spectrum Miami offers the unique opportunity to talk to the artists, learn their stories, and take home pieces you love

When:
Where: Mana Wynwood, 2217 NW 5th Avenue, Wynwood
Tickets: From $25 general admission (Includes Red Dot); from $75 opening night + five-day pass
More info: spectrum-miami.com

I called this “Slinky on Crack”
Dutch artist Theo Jansen’s “Strandbeest” exhibit

Special Art Basel Events

A great resource for cool events is Timeout’s Things to Do Art Basel.This list is CRAZY. Pace yourself folks.

Accept that you can’t do it all. There is so much Art Baseling to do, it can get overwhelming. The years I’ve had the most fun were the years I scheduled things appropriately and realistically. There were years I Basel’d so hard I almost needed to be hospitalized! Here are some other cool things in Miami

  • The NightGarden exhibit at the Fairchild Tropical Gardens in Coconut Grove. It is described as an illuminated wonderland with technicolor mazes, scavenger hunts led by virtual fairies, an enchanting snowfall experience, glowing dandelion fields and, yes, the infamous talking tree.

This is from another cool presentation called “Reconstruction of the Universe” by Sun Xun

But Where Are The Art Basel Parties?

As if all these art fairs are not enough. You can also go to parties and other various events. Not going to sugarcoat it, this is easier if you have connections. Connections are everything in Miami. People who work in the design industry, for design or art-related magazines, who work in anything remotely related to art, even the hotel, restaurant, watch or vehicle industry, could have connections to get into the cool private parties. For example, BMW is a sponsor. I think I once went to a Mercedes party. You just never know so ask around.

Wondering how to find out to attend flashy fabulous Miami Art Basel parties even though you have no VIP connections? Here are a few tricks. Please use this power wisely. Click To Tweet
  • Google “Art Basel Parties”
    • I’m serious. You will find many events open to the public for free or small entrance fees that are not well advertised. There is likely something different every night of the week.
  • Check out Eventbrite
    • You’ll find out about all kinds of random parties, events, concerts, etc and many of them free or pretty cheap. I typically just sign up for all the free tickets and then only go to half of the events I think I’m going to. I dare you to go to all the things you want to! It’s exhausting.
  • Miami’s official website actually has a guide called “Where to Party During Art Basel”.  This could be habit forming.
  • Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) party.
    • This is a great party that is always on Thursday. It is by invitation only but also open to PAMM Sustaining and above-level members and VIP Passholders to: Art Miami, Art Basel Miami Beach, NADA Miami, PINTA Miami and UNTITLED Miami Beach.  So if you really want to go to this party, get yourself a VIP ticket to any of the other events or become a member of PAMM (that’s what I did one year…I considered it a donation to the arts as well as a donation to my free champagne fund)

NBD, just several photos of me being served champagne, sometimes by a model in a bathrobe or being fed caviar by some random Italian. You just never know what will happen during Art Basel.

What to Wear During Art Basel Miami

I’m gonna keep this simple. Anything goes here. Truly. Have fun and be creative. This is the time to debut that neon zebra tank top or your handbag made from rainbow painted pinecones. Whatever. You will see it all here but I’m going to give a few practical tips.

  • It is hot in Miami in December. Wear light clothing. Sometimes there is a cool beach breeze in the evenings so a light jacket or scarf is helpful.
  • You will be on your feet most of the day so wear comfortable shoes
  • The fashion scene is intense and there is no such thing as being too dressed up in Miami, especially during Art Basel.

A fun Art Basel activity is to find art that matches your outfit and of course, pose with it.

Pro Tip. Give yourself time to people watch. It is a serious fashion spectacle and you may see Miley Cyrus, Pharrell or Serena Williams walking by. You never know. Keep an eye out for an infamous couple that always wear the same outlandish outfit. They are an elderly gender ambiguous couple and both have shaved heads. You can’t make this up. Google “Eva and Adele”. Always a pleasure to run into them!

General Art Basel Miami Survival Tips

Here is a summary of everything discussed here so you can pass the quiz.

  • Don’t try to do everything
  • Plan out each day strategically. Consult the map to see where the various events and art fairs are located. Group them together by location.
  • Anticipate tons of traffic and no parking.
  • Make restaurant reservations NOW!
  • Dress stylishly but comfortably and appropriately for the warm weather.
  • Bring water and snacks when heading to the art fairs. Looking at all this art is a sport.
  • Do all the free stuff you can!!!
Twinning

You will DEFINITELY need to stay well-nourished for all of the Art Baseling so here is my handy list of Where to Eat and Drink in Miami Beach.

Ok kids. That’s all I got. Any questions?

Have you been to Art Basel? What tips do you have to share?

Pin it!!!

Disclaimer: Wandering Redhead participates in affiliate marketing. What this means if you purchase something through a link I provide, I may make a small commission that goes towards the cost of running this blog.

About The Author

Cherene Saradar

Cherene is a travel expert with 30 years of experience in over 100 countries and 7 continents. She has traveled solo to over 50 countries. She is also a nurse anesthesiologist with over 20 years of healthcare experience. Her passions include wildlife travel and visiting wine regions of the world.

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