The first things that comes to mind when one thinks of Las Vegas is shinning lights, four digits cocktail bar bills, stretch limousines and gambling, which is not too far from reality. Although these are some of the elements that make Las Vegas… Las Vegas, you do not necessarily need to have deep pockets in order to enjoy the city.
The new surge of hotel rooms capacity, due to the opening of new properties in the depths of recession, have allowed common folks to experience the city for affordable prices. Downtown Las Vegas is also known for better prices than The Strip, so adapting your plans is also a good tip in order to cut costs.
We will give you a head start with some tips on how you can experience the city, without breaking the bank. Everything you need is to bring your creativity and research skills to the table.
Stay on a Budget
We have a large selection of rooms in Las Vegas for very budget friendly prices, book your favorite, and spend your hard earned money on several attractions available in the city. Seasons also have an impact on room prices, make sure to book your stay mid-week during August, July and mid-December for great savings.
Eat on a Budget
Tacos El Gordo: This Mexican restaurant had its start in Tijuana, Mexico and specializes in authentic street-style tacos. The menu consist of a variety of delicious yet inexpensive dishes which include carne asada, carnitas, spicy pork, quesadillas, tostadas, guacamole and much more. Don’t expect table service here! Food can be ordered in different meat stations and paid in the cashier. The restaurant has a location downtown as well as one on Las Vegas Boulevard in a strip mall just north of the Wynn Hotel. The Strip location is open until 3 a.m. on weekdays and 5 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Big Wong Restaurant Las Vegas: This restaurant offers a large variety of oriental cuisine for very affordable prices. We recommend Hoi Nam chicken w/ seasoned rice or won ton soup and salt and pepper wings, each dish for about U$ 5. Do not expect the greatest customer service, but the food is surprisingly authentic.
Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace: Although buffets in the city are usually quite costly, the Caesars Palace’s Bacchanal is a huge exception. This buffet is quite new on the Vegas Strip and already has been recognized by several publications as a premier buffet, and the best of all, your lunch and dinner will not rip your pockets. Another option is to check Buffet of Buffets on the Strip. This is a day pass offered by Harrah’s that allow you to eat in several buffets around the city such as Paris, The Rio, and Planet Hollywood among others. Just beware that premium buffets like Caesar’s Palace’s will add a U$15 surcharge on top of the pass.
Secret Pizza: This is one of the best hidden treasures in the city. Inside the ritzy Cosmopolitan Hotel, you can find a cheap and unassuming pizza, to satiate a late night growling stomach. The sign-less restaurant serves New York styled pizza, with thin crust and a large variety of toppings. You can also get a variety of white pizza, homemade meatballs, cheese and pepperoni. You can never go wrong with a slice at around U$5.
Pro tip: Eating brunch buffets can also save you some money, they start at 11 a.m. and some even serve alcoholic beverages.
You don’t always have to spend money in order to have a good time in Vegas. Many of the city’s attractions are free and awesome!
On the Strip , you can wander around through various themed hotels, which can be an activity in itself. The canals of Venice, The Sphinx and the Eiffel Tower are great alternatives for incredible pictures. Nature lovers can experience the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio, which are always changing to suit the season. You can also see flamingos and a variety of other birds in the Flamingo Hotel’s wildlife habitat.
If you are more into performances, the local hotels offer a number of free performances to attract the crowds. At Circus Circus, the world’s largest permanent circus showcases new world class acts. Other attractions include the Sirens of TI, Treasure Island, and for something lighter, the beautiful fountains at the Bellagio.
It is also worth to venture downtown Las Vegas. The historic street is home to the largest LED screen in the world in the form of a giant canopy over a pedestrian walkway. You can see dazzling displays as well as several live performances. Many museums are also located in this district such as the Neon Museum, featuring original neon signs that once glittered across the city’s casinos, Downtown Gallery at Fremont Street, as well as the downtown project, which aims to completely transform Vegas’ urban core.
Pool Party on a Budget
One of the most esteemed activities in the city is gambling, but if you are trying to save some of your tokens or just prefer an alternative way to spend your time in the city, pool partying can be the answer. These daylong parties feature sizzling beats, incessant dancing as well as very pricey drinks, but these can be tolerated in some of the bigger venues such as Rehab, located at the Hard Rock Hotel, and Wet Republic, at the MGM Grand, as you can get in for free.
If you intend on chain drinking or paying less, a more budget-friendly ( and relaxed) option is the Venus Pool Club at Caesar’s Palace, where you can drink a beer for around U$8. Admission is in between U$10-30, depending on the night, ladies usually will always get in for free, and men are often handed in free passes too.
Get Entertained on a Budget
Vegas has numerous shows that run every night, from comedy shows to concerts, dance performances to magic shows and acrobatics. Some of the most famous shows are The Jabbawockeez, Absinthe and various Cirque du Soleil performances. These and other shows can be found for half the box office price by visiting tix4tonight, which is located in several different locations along the Strip.
Get Around on a Budget
To get around in the city is fairly easy and cheap. From the airport you can take bus routes 108, 109, or the Westcliff Airport Express. A single ride costs U$2, and tickets can be bought at the bus stop vending machine before boarding. Other alternatives include a number of Shuttle services which take tourists between the airport and hotels on either the Strip or Downtown. Most cost U$ 7 for Strip hotels and U$8,50 for downtown destinations. Taxis charge around U$15 depending on the route.
To get around the city, the cheapest option is the Deuce which runs 24 hours a day, while the SDX starts operating after 9 a.m. Both run every 15-20 minutes. Passes can be purchased at the vending machines located at bus stops. They’ll set you back $6 for two hours, $8 for a one-day pass, or $20 for three days.