If you’re planning a trip to Florida and want to visit multiple cities, Amtrak travel can be cheaper and easier than flying or renting a car. Travel between Orlando and Miami is especially popular, and there are two Amtrak routes to choose from when booking your tickets. Here’s what you need to know.
Distance and Travel Time
Miami is over 200 miles away from Orlando. By train, travel time is about 5.5 hours on the Silver Meteor route and almost 8 hours on the Silver Star route. In comparison, drive time is about 3.5 hours. Although the rail commute is longer, you have the option to view scenery out the window, nap, work (WiFi is available) and hang out in the café car.
There are two trains that travel to Miami each day from Orlando. The Silver Star departs mid-morning and the Silver Meteor (which is the faster option) in the afternoon. Both trains arrive in the early evening with enough time for a late dinner in Miami.
You may want to consider riding the Silver Star if you want to visit Tampa (overnight stay required) before continuing to Miami. The Amtrak station is in between downtown Tampa and Ybor City, plus there’s a free streetcar so it’s easy to get around and visit top attractions such as the Tampa Riverwalk and Florida Aquarium.
Note that if you’re planning to ride Amtrak after a Disney World or Universal Studios visit, you’ll save time and experience small town charm if you board the train at the Kissimmee Station instead of the Orlando Station.
You’ll typically pay less than $50 to travel in a coach seat from Orlando to Miami. There’s also the option to book a roomette or bedroom in the sleeper car, but expect to pay $250 to $800. As a perk, meals, coffee and other drinks are included in the price and you can convert your seat into a bed.
You’ll have at least one free meal on the train and possibly two if you book a roomette or bedroom. Your sleeper car attendant will take your order and bring food to your room. Be sure to bring cash so you can tip your sleeper car attendant when you get off the train ($5 to $10 recommended).
For coach seat passengers, you can buy snacks in the café car and all passengers can bring food on the train.
Miami Station Arrival
The Miami Amtrak Station is not in downtown Miami and is not in a very walkable or tourist-friendly area. Plan to use rideshare or taxi to reach your final destination.
For a better arrival experience, travel to Hollywood, Florida instead. The 1926 station provides a more charming experience and drive time to downtown Miami and Miami Beach is about the same as from the Miami Station (about 30 minutes). Plus, you’ll get off the train sooner in Hollywood.