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Here's what to do in Vegas if you're traveling on a budget

Las Vegas is an expensive tourist destination. That’s probably what you’ve heard and sure, you can drop thousands on your Vegas vacation, but it’s not a requirement to have a great time. Most people associate Vegas with high roller gambling, expensive drinks and 4-star restaurant prices. Oh, yes, there’s much of that, but there are also some fun activities in Vegas for the traveler on a budget. Don’t let money dictate your ability to have a blast. These cool activities don’t cost a thing.

Watch the Bellagio fountain show

Bellagio is awesome in so many ways. From delicious restaurants to luxurious rooms, Bellagio can tickle even the wealthiest person’s fancy. Bellagio can also tickle a budget traveler’s fancy. Hourly, one of the world’s most awesome fountain shows takes place right out in front of Bellagio – and it’s free. If you feel like venturing inside the Bellagio Conservatory is also free and the display is changed five times a year. You can see something different every time you visit. 

Sightseeing tours hosted by you

Don’t want to pay hundreds to tour the city? You don’t have to. You have two feet, so get to walking! The Las Vegas Strip is one of the best places in the world to go for a walk. The best time is in the evening after the sun sets. Enjoy the bright lights. Walk from casino to casino and catch the Bellagio Fountain Show along the way. Good times and great exercise.

People watching provides great laughs

If you’ve been feeling down about yourself lately, head over to Fremont Street and check out the weirdoes. You’ll feel better about yourself! Even if you’re not looking to boost your self-esteem, the Fremont Street Experience as well as the Las Vegas Strip are great places to people watch. You’ll see a wide mix of characters from all walks of life.

Take a photo in front of the Las Vegas Sign

Las Vegas is known for its glitz, its glamour ... and its sign. The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada” sign, which you’ve probably seen in pictures and on TV a million times, is located about a half mile south of Mandalay Bay. Pose in front of the sign and post it on Facebook so you can brag to your friends that you’re in Vegas and they’re not.

Catch the Fremont Street Viva Vision light show

Every hour in the evening, the Fremont Street Experience makes way for an awesome light show on the world's largest LED canopy. You simply can’t come to Vegas and miss out on this cool experience. The light show features mesmerizing lights and some great music from bands like Queen, Heart, Bon Jovi and The Who.

Free concerts on the Fremont Street Experience

Who doesn’t love music? The place to be for music in Las Vegas is Fremont Street. They have nightly bands covering some of your favorite songs and it’s all free. Fremont Street Experience even has occasional free concerts. Clearly, you can’t beat Fremont Street when it comes to free stuff.

Drinks on the house

Why pay $12 for a cocktail when you can get it for free? When you are actively gambling at any casino, drinks are free. Don’t have a big budget for gambling? No biggie. You can still get free drinks if you play your cards right. All you have to do is lightly gamble. The best way to do that is to head over to one of the many video poker bars, put a $20 in the machine, and place the minimum bet over a long stretch of time. The best place for this is Bugsy’s Bar at Flamingo. Great atmosphere there.

Gamble on the house

Why gamble with your own money when you don’t have to? Many casinos around town offer free slot play and even free blackjack bets for new players. When you sign-up for a players card, they often give away $5 or more in free slot play. Some of the places that offer free slot play include Golden Nugget, Westgate, Westin (just off Strip), Casino Royale and Flamingo. Don’t forget to take advantage of free drinks while playing.

Get away from the crazy at Sunset Park

Located about a 12-minute drive from the Strip is many locals' favorite park in town – Sunset Park. This isn’t exactly a tourist destination, but if the weather is nice and you want to get away from the craziness of the Strip for a bit, this is a great place to relax. Sunset Park has a large trail, plenty of grass, charcoal grills, an athletic complex, a pond and a giant children’s playground.

We hope you have a fantastic, inexpensive trip to fabulous Las Vegas!

Jon Sofen
Jon Sofen is a freelance writer residing in Las Vegas. His areas of expertise range from sports and poker to travel and entertainment. His goal is to provide insightful commentary on his favorite activities in his favorite cities. Jon is an experienced Copywriter. You can visit his website at or follow him on Twitter.



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