You can burn through insane amounts of money in Las Vegas in no time at all. If you’re a celebrity or a rock star, you can run through thousands of dollars a night.
But you don’t have to spend a fortune to have fun in Las Vegas.
And even though Vegas doesn’t have the same volume of crazy cheap deals that it used to have, you still have plenty of options for free or for just a few bucks.
1 – The Underground at the Mob Museum
The actual name of the Mob Museum is “The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement.” It’s located in Downtown Las Vegas, which is my favorite place to hang out in Sin City.
The museum is housed in what used to be the courthouse and post office. This is a relatively new attraction for Vegas, having opened in 2012. They display memorabilia and stories about organized crime throughout the USA.
If you know anything about Las Vegas history, you’ll see the historical appropriateness of having the Mob Museum in Las Vegas.
The Underground is down the stairs and focuses on the 1920s. They even have a speakeasy with a distillery right on site so you can have some illicit drinks while you’re visiting.
They share a secret password on social media every day that you can use to get entrance and skip right through the museum.
2 – Eat at Practically ANY Downtown Restaurant
You can spend a fortune on brunch, lunch, or dinner in Vegas, but you don’t have to. Some of the best restaurants in town are also some of the most affordable, and you can find them in the Fremont Street area, on the east side.
Carson Kitchen is one notable example. They’ve been open since 2014, and Cory Harwell teamed up with Kerry Simon to create the restaurant. It’s located in the old John E. Carson Hotel, which is no longer a hotel but which does have a wide variety of interesting businesses occupying it.
Binion’s Café is another option. In fact, if you’re hungover, it might be your best option, as their hangover burger is excellent. Their ham and eggs are legendary, too. This is old-school, cheap, filling comfort food here.
SoyMexican Veggie-Vegan Eatery is the place to eat if you’re a vegetarian or vegan and want something good to eat at a low, low price. Found in the same parking lot as a neighborhood bar, SoyMexican is a little kiosk with outdoor seating and is unassuming in comparison to the tourist-heavy areas of downtown. The burritos and tacos here are comforting, authentic, and made with care!
3 – Shark Reef
Shark Reef is one of the biggest shark and exotic fish exhibits in the world. It’s hosted at Mandalay Bay and features over 2,000 different animals of over 100 different species of watery animals.
If you’re thinking that this is just another aquarium, you couldn’t be more mistaken. Shark Reef is far more immersive than any aquarium you’ve ever visited.
Imagine traveling through an ancient temple that’s slowly being overcome by the ocean. That’s the theme of Shark Reef.
The biggest exhibit features 1.3 million gallons of water. You’re in a shipwreck with an almost 360-degree view of the exotic fish and sharks living there.
They have the aquarium equivalent of a petting zoo, too, in the form of The Touch pool. You’ll get to see 14 different exhibits, total, and they even have piranhas. Adult tickets are $25, but Nevada residents get discounts, as do children and seniors.
4 – The Neon Museum
If you ever wondered what happens to old casino signs and other businesses, wonder no more. Many of them are still available to look at in The Neon Museum. They have over 2.62 acres devoted to preserving and displaying these modern artistic masterpieces.
The Neon Museum opened in 2012 and got many of the signs it displays from the Young Electric Sign Company, which were storing them in their boneyard. They weren’t taking pains to preserve these old signs, so the move to the Museum was a good thing for preservation purposes.
One of the latest exhibits at The Neon Museum was Lost Vegas: Tim Burton. It was Tim Burton’s first exhibit in over a decade.
He created the objects in the exhibit from his memories of childhood visits to Vegas with his parents. Some of the pieces are also inspired by his films, like Beetlejuice and Mars Attacks!, both of which were filmed in Sin City. The objects include dioramas, neon signs, photos, poems, and sculptures.
Burton’s work was ensconced amid the neon signs. One of the more interesting displays is Burton’s collection of flying saucer sculptures. If you check the official Neon Museum website, I’m sure you’ll come across an exhibit that’ll interest you.
5 – The Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck
It would probably be prohibitively expensive for a lot of people to travel to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower. But in Las Vegas, you can visit a replica, but not just any replica.
This replica of the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas has amazing views of the Las Vegas Strip. You can’t get THAT in the real Paris, France.
One of the best things to watch from the Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck is the Bellagio because of the Fountains, which are free. You can view the Fountains of Bellagio from the Strip, but they’re hard to beat when seen from above.
Compared to the rest of the action on the Strip, checking out the view from the Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck is incredibly peaceful. You can buy tickets next to the main entrance to Paris at the Caesars Rewards Center.
The viewing deck is 46 stories in the air. It’s not an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower, though, it’s a half-sized replica. But that’s still plenty big when you’re way up in the air.
You can (and probably should) spend a little extra to get the commemorative photo from your experience. I’m a big fan of souvenirs.
They’ve recently added a light show to the experience. That happens every half-hour, at the top of the hour and again at half-past. The show has over 300 colored lights and 800 white strobe lights. They choreograph the light show to music, and it’s really amazing.
The family special is the way to go with this one, it’s just $50 for four people.
It’s hard to find amazing gourmet meals for $5 in Sin City these days, but you can still find plenty to do in Las Vegas on a budget. Most of the attractions I’ve posted about here can be seen for less than $30, and many of them, less than $20.
And I’ve only scratched the surface of the cheap things to do in Las Vegas. There’s so much to explore in the great Sin City!