Planning to travel to Las Vegas and wondering how much it’ll cost? It’s true that Vegas is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of free things to do in Las Vegas if you know where to look. Once you’ve passed the overpriced teas at Starbucks (normally $2.25, Vegas price $4.55) and the opportunity to gamble every second of the day, there are lots of inexpensive things to do in Vegas and I’ve picked out the best ones for you in the post!
Whilst we found lots of things to do in Las Vegas for free, we also treated ourselves to a hotel which made a change from staying in Elvis, our van. Thom booked a night in a hotel as a surprise and it was one of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed in. We got frozen cocktails by the pool and had so much fun. I genuinely wanted to cry when we had to leave the next morning.
Given that we had treated ourselves, we were on the lookout for cheap things to do in Las Vegas. Did you know there are tonnes of things to do for free in Las Vegas? So, for those of you looking for what to do in Vegas on a budget, this is for you. You’ll still feel like you’ve experienced Las Vegas after seeing these top Las Vegas attractions and you won’t come away with regret or a depressing bank statement.
Where to stay in Vegas
One of the best things about Las Vegas is that the hotels are surprisingly affordable for what you get. One thing you do need to bear in mind is that there’s often a sneaky resort fee added to the price per night. This is often shown in the additional details on Booking.com and can vary hugely. Overall the hotels aren’t usually too pricey, but make sure you check that so you’re not shocked at checkout when paying the bill!
Here are some of my picks of the best hotels in Vegas including the one we stayed at.
- The Signature at MGM Grand: Where we stayed and LOVED it
- Circus Circus Hotel, Casino & Theme Park
- New York New York
- Downtown Grand
Best fun free things to do in Las Vegas
With more than just the top 10 things to do in Las Vegas, this list is full of cheap stuff to do in Vegas. So, look no further for ideas of fun free things to do in Vegas!
Travel the world for free in Vegas
You’ve travelled all the way to Las Vegas but why stop there? Once you’re in Vegas all you need to do is take a walk down the strip and you’ll find plenty of things to see in Las Vegas. There’s a replica Eiffel Tower, the canals of Venice, the Statue of Liberty and even a replica of Italy’s Lake Como! You don’t need to spend any money on these free attractions in Las Vegas either.
The fact that you can see all these in one city is awesome and it’s definitely one of the answers to the question “what to do in Las Vegas?” These mini countries in Las Vegas are just some of the best places to visit in Las Vegas.
Feel like you’re in the movies
One of the weird things about Vegas is that you’ll feel like you’ve been there a hundred times before even when it’s your first visit. If you’re up for some Las Vegas sightseeing go and see where some of your favourite films were made; it’s pretty much a must-do in Las Vegas and one of the best things to do on the Vegas Strip.
There are the Bellagio Fountains from Ocean’s 11, the poolside at Garden of the Gods from The Big Short and, of course, Caesars lobby from The Hangover.
If you want to learn more as you wander around Las Vegas, check out this cheap Vegas walking tour.
Cool down in the pool
It’s so hot in Vegas. We left our exploring of the city until the late afternoon when it was a little bit cooler and spent the rest of the time either by the pool or in air-conditioned casinos. If you’re staying in the centre of Las Vegas then this is one of the top things to do in Las Vegas strip.
Most hotels have a pool attached to them which is free for residents. If you do fancy spending a little bit of money then try out these cool pools. Check out Mandalay Bay’s outdoor playground, which features a lazy river, a wave pool and a sandy beach. The Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan overlooks the Strip from four stories and at the Golden Nugget Downtown, you can take a waterslide and see a tank full of sharks.
See the vintage signs of Fremont Street
Away from The Strip, East Fremont Street is fast becoming a hip, cool neighbourhood. The area used to be a fairly dangerous place to be, but now it’s full of trendy bars (with more of a rock scene than the trance music of The Strip), shops, restaurants and even bookstores. Since its revival, it has become one of the best Las Vegas tourist attractions, and it’s proof that there’s more free stuff to do in Vegas than just gambling.
It was probably my favourite area in Vegas (apart from the hotel) and I’d say it’s a must do in Vegas. I loved the vintage signs and the rock atmosphere discovering this Las Vegas attraction for free is well worth it.
Go on a hike
What’s that? I’m telling you to go to Vegas and then go on a hike? Well, you know me. I do love a good hike and hiking is perhaps my favourite of Vegas activities. Yes, technically not in Las Vegas but if you’re looking for things to do near Las Vegas then this is it!
If you’ve hired a car then put it to good use and go hiking. It’s not long until the urban sprawl turns into the desert (although it is longer than I thought. I’d always imagined a couple of streets and then just desert and it’s not quite like that).
We’d just come from exploring a multitude of National Parks a little further away but for hikes closer to Las Vegas itself then head to Calico Basin where you’ll see Red Rock Canyon. To the north is Mount Charleston or a challenging route at Goldstrike Canyon where you’ll find ropes to help you and some natural hot springs along the way.
- If you’re looking for a fun, affordable day trip out of Vegas, check out this e-bike tour to Red Rock Canyon.
Watch a volcano erupt in Vegas
The Mirage hotel puts on a show every night for free and it’s just one of the super fun things to do in Vegas.
Believe it or not, you can see a Volcano erupt right along the strip. Fortunately for you, this volcano erupts like clockwork (and isn’t dangerous). This is one of several free shows in Las Vegas and you can check it out at the following times:
- Sunday – Thursday: 8:00 PM & 9:00 PM
- Friday – Saturday: 8:00 PM, 9:00 PM, 10:00 PM
The Fremont Street Experience
Besides cool vintage signs, Fremont Street has it’s own free experience that’s now a major tourist attraction and one of the top things to do in Vegas during the day and night!
The Fremont Street Experience is a canopy that covers a pedestrian walkway full of casinos, cheap eats and a really weird restaurant where you dress up in hospital clothes and prepare to eat yourself to a heart attack.
It’s one of the fun things to do in Vegas for free during the day but it’s arguably even better at night. The canopy has a nightly overhead light show called Viva Vision which is completely free and there are musicians busking along the walk too. We saw a boy who can’t have been older than 10 absolutely bossing it on some drums!
The Fall of Atlantis
Inside Caesars Palace Forum Shop a collection of statues regularly comes to life in a free show. This is one of the best Las Vegas shows and at the top of things to see in Vegas! You can count on incredible lighting and plenty of sound effects – it’s Las Vegas after all!
Arrive early at the Fall of Atlantis to secure a good viewing position around the fountain. A stroll through the Forum Shops is entertaining all by itself since there are loads of re-created ancient statues but this free Las Vegas show tops it off!
- Catch it every hour on the hour from 10 am-11 pm (until midnight on Friday & Saturday)
See some flamingos
I haven’t lost it, I promise you really can see flamingos in the middle of the Las Vegas strip. AND it’s free! Just a few minute’s walk away from the bustling Strip is a secluded area full of flamingos. At the Flamingo’s Wildlife Habitat you’ll find flamingos, swans, ducks, koi, turtles and even a couple of pelicans! This may be one of the stranger things to do around Las Vegas but it’s a good example of Las Vegas fun.
The incredible Bellagio Gardens
Another great option for free Las Vegas attractions to visit is the Bellagio Gardens. Whether you plan to gamble or not. you should visit the Bellagio Gardens during your visit to Vega. They’re up there with the best things to do in Las Vegas.
The gardens are huge and change with the seasons. Sometimes you may see gigantic Christmas trees and at others, rare flowers. It’s open 24/7 so visit whenever you happen to be nearby.
At The Venetian Casino you can stroll alongside Venice’s Grand Canal (or take a gondola), relax in St Mark’s Square AND watch some street performers too.
At these Las Vegas points of interest, the Venetian has dubbed these performers “Streetmosphere.” Singers, performers, and living statues line the inside of the casino (much like Covent Garden back home in London). There are also costumed singers who’ll serenade you and plenty more to see!
The dancing waters of the Fountains of Bellagio have become one of the best Las Vegas’ activities for free and is a must on your list of places to see in Las Vegas. They sure are impressive!
Jets of water shoot hundreds of feet into the air and sway gracefully to the music. It’s one of the best things to do in Vegas and seeing it only once won’t be enough!
Make sure you don’t miss this, one of the best free activities in Las Vegas. The Bellagio fountain show is on daily from 3pm to 7pm every 30 minutes and every 15 minutes from 7pm to midnight. On Saturdays and holidays the show starts at noon and on Sundays you can see the Bellagio water show from 2.30pm.
Get a snap with the welcome sign
Maybe one of the most cliched free stuff in Vegas to do is to get a snap with the “Welcome to Vegas” sign.
Designed back in 1959, the famous neon sign welcomes millions of visitors to Las Vegas each year. For many years, the sign was on the outskirts of town and stood in the median to greet drivers, but now it’s surrounded by hotels and has become popular enough that a parking lot was built just for it.
Watch a Vegas wedding
Looking for fun things to do in Las Vegas? Here’s one way to have some Vegas fun and another great option for free things in Las Vegas.
I really wanted to see someone come out of the classic Vegas wedding chapels during our stay. It didn’t happen (maybe I should’ve stood there at about 3 am rather than 3 pm?). There are so many wedding chapels, especially as you head out of the strip towards Fremont Street. You could always go and pretend you’re getting married just to try on the dresses…
Visit the Downtown Container Park
The Downtown Container Park is just like Shoreditch’s Box Park or Brixton’s Pop Brixton. It’s a mix of retail, dining and play made entirely of shipping containers which automatically makes it one of the cool things to do in vegas. The difference is that there’s a huge 55ft tall, fire breathing praying mantis outside! There’s free entertainment on most days. You can see what’s coming up here.
Look at Other People’s Money
Of all the crazy things you can see, one of the more unique things to do in Las Vegas is to see a stack of money. Yes, really. So if you’re still wondering what to see in Las Vegas, here’s an answer. Getting hold of this stack of dollars is even better than finding Las Vegas freebies.
The Gold Tower hotel is home to a Golden Nugget which was found in Australia in 1980. It was then sold for more than a million dollars! You can also get your picture taken with a million dollars at Binion’s Gambling Hall home of this free attraction in Las Vegas.
Get money for watching new TV pilots
Unfortunately, this one is just for American citizens who live outside of Vegas so I couldn’t take part. But if you are American then you can get free money just for watching some TV pilots! Now that’s got to be on a list of top 10 things to do on the Las Vegas strip.
To do so just sign up at the CBS Television City area in MGM Grand. Simply give your feedback and walk away with some money! They were paying $30 when we were there!
See a free circus show
Another of the best free things to do in Vegas is to go see a circus show. There are loads of free show in Vegas but did you know about this one? Circus Circus has circus performers that take to the Carnival Midway stage twice an hour throughout the day. They include trapeze artists, aerial acrobats and clowns. This makes Circus Circus one of the most fun places to go in Las Vegas and the show is completely free – go check out this must-see in Vegas!
Free arts in Downtown at First Friday
On the first Friday of the month, Downtown holds a free party that’s open to everyone. Not only is this one of many cheap things to do in Vegas, you’ll get to check out art exhibits earlier on during the party but then it turns into a lot of booze, food trucks, and girls in tank tops. There’s no charge to enter, so just show up and hang out. Don’t miss out on this fun thing to do in downtown Las Vegas!