Las Vegas is expensive. A city based on gambling will always be looking to take as much money from your wallet or purse as possible. Everywhere you look there’s another thing to see or do that costs a small fortune. But as with any big city, there’s actually plenty to see and do in Las Vegas that needn’t break the bank.
1. Walking the Strip
The biggest and frankly the best attraction in Las Vegas is Las Vegas Boulevard. The Las Vegas Strip has been the face of Vegas since the first casinos opened. And today, it’s a perfect place to begin our rundown of the best ways to enjoy the city on a budget. Take a walk up and down the strip and you’ll be able to spend all day people watching, taking in the spectacular sights and sounds. Grab a bite to eat and a drink on the go and you’ll have a whole day’s entertainment for less than 30 USD with ease.
Las Vegas Strip
Address: Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Website: Las Vegas Tourism
2. The Bellagio
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The Bellagio is one of the most iconic of Vegas’ incredible casinos. A must see on any trip. And for those of us looking for a great free experience, the Bellagio is the place to go. The famous fountains put on a spectacular performance every fifteen minutes, all synchronized to an ever changing soundtrack of the latest hits and old time classics. Stay awhile and watch the dancing fountains, but linger longer and take in the sights of the people.
Address: The Bellagio Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
The Freemont Street Experience is a more recent addition to Vegas. Freemont Street and Downtown Vegas was always the poor cousin to the Strip, with the cheaper casinos and a bad reputation. In recent years, the area’s undergone a transformation. Yes, it’s still the cheaper part of Vegas, which is great for us budget travelers, but it’s cleaned up its act a lot. Freemont Street now has a huge canopy covering it, and the whole street comes alive with a spectacular audio visual show.
Freemont Street Experience - Slotzilla
Price: From 20 USD per person (lower zipline, flying seated), 40 USD per person (upper zipline, flying prone)
Address: Freemont Street, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Facebook page: Freemont Street Experience Facebook
Duration: 2 hours
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4. Gambling and comp drinks
For anyone visiting Vegas who’s old enough to do so, it wouldn’t be right not to gamble at least a little. Yet for the budget traveler, this could make a real hole very quickly. The best way to gamble on the Strip is to gamble smart.
In the old days, you could visit any casino bar and play a twenty for a few hours, betting minimum each time on video poker and ordering complimentary drinks. Sadly, more and more casinos are cracking down on this practice now. The bartenders know who’s playing max bets and who isn’t now, so there are fewer comp drinks available. But comp drinks can still be yours. Just don’t expect the higher end casinos to do it.
Gambling and comp drinks
Price: Variable, 20 USD for video poker at a bar should get you at least one free round of drinks. 1 USD tip for the waitresses should get you free drinks at tables or slots.
Address: Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas, USA
5. Getting the best food on a budget
You can spend a fortune on food in Vegas. Especially if you’re based on the Strip. But amongst all of those high class, high-priced restaurants there’s plenty of really good eating to be had for very little money. Try the New York New York Pizzeria for great slices at great prices, or head for Denny’s on the strip for a filling meal for 20 USD.
Excalibur / Luxor Buffet
Price: Per person, 39.99 USD Monday through Thursday, 44.99 USD Friday through Sunday
Address: Excalibur and Luxor Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
6. Art experiences in Vegas
With a reputation for excess and low culture, it might surprise you to find that Vegas does have some incredible art and culture. And as most of Vegas focuses on taking money through gambling, these experiences can be ridiculously cheap.
Inside one of the finest and most beautiful of Strip casinos, you’ll find a world-class art gallery. Featuring artwork from around the world, this collection includes pieces from museums and private collections. In the past, it’s held works and exhibitions from Picasso, Monet, Warhol, and Fabergé.
Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art
Price: From 17.99 USD
Address: Bellagio Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
8. Akhob by James Turrell at Louis Vuitton inside The Shops at Crystals
This is a very special art installation from James Turrell, hidden away in the Louis Vuitton store. Recently made more famous by Drake’s “Hotline Bling” video, Akhob is a spectacular installation of light, color, and space. Admission to Akhob is absolutely free. But you have to arrange a visit by contacting the Louis Vuitton store well in advance. But trust us, it’s well worth the wait. Once you have the reservation, turn up at the store and enjoy the looks of amazement from the shoppers as you’re guided through the store to the hidden art.
Akhob by James Turrell at Louis Vuitton inside The Shops at Crystals
Address: Louis Vuitton, The Shops at Crystals, Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Website: Louis Vuitton
9. Seven Magic Mountains
For a truly spectacular large scale Vegas art experience, it’s well worth getting in a car and venturing 16 kilometers (10 miles) south of Las Vegas. Seven Magic Mountains is a public art installation by the internationally renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. Found near Jean Dry Lake and Interstate 15, this monumental set of seven towers of colorful, stacked boulders stands more than 9 meters (30 feet) high. Seven Magic Mountains dazzles and bewilders, but it’s certainly a spectacular experience. Open until May 2018, it’s a sight you should see.
Seven Magic Mountains by Ugo Rondinone
Address: Approx 16 kilometers (10 miles) south of the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and St. Rose Parkway in Henderson, Nevada
Website: Seven Magic Mountains
10. Las Vegas museums
Just as you might not think of Vegas for its art galleries, you probably won’t know about the fabulous museums around the city either. And just as with the gallery experience, the museums are very reasonably priced.
11. The Neon Museum
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The Neon Museum offers a 19 USD tour around the only museum to offer a glimpse into the neon past of this most colorful city. With the museum’s one-hour guided tour, you’ll see more than 120 of Vegas’ most iconic signs are on display in the museum, a fantastic sight for all. The Neon Museum is an outdoor attraction open from May to September.
The Neon Museum
Price: From USD 15 day tours, USD 22 night tours
Address: 770 N Las Vegas Blvd, 89101 Las Vegas, NV
Website: Neon Museum
12. The Mob Museum
The Mob Museum, officially known as the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, celebrates another part of Vegas history and looks more at some of the more unscrupulous elements involved in setting up the city.
The Mob Museum
Price: From USD 19.99 per person
Address: 300 Stewart Ave, 89101 Las Vegas, NV
Website: Mob Museum
Las Vegas: It is possible to do the city on a budget!
Las Vegas is an amazing city, full of incredible sights and sounds, but there’s no need to break the bank to have a great time in Sin City. Our 10 great things to do in Vegas on a budget should give you a great holiday for less than you’d think.
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