Getting Around Las Vegas on a Budget
Although it’s jam packed full of excitement, Las Vegas is relatively small. Because of this, there is no underground or metro system in place – because Vegas doesn’t need it! This means that getting around Las Vegas is not only easy, but it’s also cheap.
Las Vegas is served by it’s own airport, the McCarran International Airport which lies just 5 km away from The Strip – which means it doesn’t take long to get into the thick of it. There are various ways to get to The Strip from the airport, depending on your preference… and your patience.
If you don’t mind waiting a little longer to get into the city, you can get one of the many airport shuttles. These shuttles pick you and other passengers up from the airport terminal and take your directly to your hotel door – whether that be on The Strip or in Downtown Vegas. The only problem with Airport Shuttle Buses is that if you’re the furthest away from the airport, you’ll have to wait until the other travelers have been taken to their own hotel before you eventually get to yours. But if you’re not fussed about this, it’s the perfect way to get from the airport to your hotel. We’d recommend using Bell Trans – a round-trip ticket to your hotel on The Strip will cost you just $13, or a round-trip ticket to a hotel in Downtown Las Vegas will cost $16. But you will need to book online beforehand!
The airport is also served by an incredible taxi service – and although there will undoubtedly be a queue of people waiting for a cab when you get outside the terminal, you won’t have to wait long to grab one. Getting a taxi from the airport to your hotel is more convenient, and quicker – but will be much more expensive. Expect to pay around $15 – $30 each way.
When you get to your hotel, you’re going to want to get out and explore straight away. It’s Vegas! As The Strip is only 4 miles long, one of the best ways to travel Las Vegas on a budget would be to walk. It will take you about 2 hours to see what Las Vegas’s Strip has to offer, and to take in the sights. But we know, you didn’t come on vacation to walk everywhere…
If you’re not up for walking, one of the most efficient ways to get around Las Vegas is to use the Public Bus system. The Deuce Bus is the most popular form of transport, and these buses travel all the way from Downtown Las Vegas and up The Strip all day, every day. Although be warned, they get incredibly crowded and hot – so be sure to carry water with you! Depending on how often you intend to use the bus, there are different fare options. If you want a 2-hour bus ticket, it will cost you $6. If you wanted a 24-hour ticket, it will cost you $8. But if you wanted a 3-day ticket, it would cost you just $20 – which from experience is the best option, as you never know when you might want to hop on the bus! Check out the map and the stops here: http://www.lasvegas-how-to.com/strip-map.php
Budget Accommodation in Las Vegas
When it comes to finding accommodation in Las Vegas, you don’t need to worry about the price. What you should be worried about is how you’re going to decide which cheap accommodation in Las Vegas to go for! If you want the true, outrageous and extravagant Las Vegas experience, you may want to stay in some of The Strip’s most iconic hotels. However, these can set you back around $200 a night – not great for the budget trip to Vegas. But here are some equally awesome options for accommodation in Las Vegas, from Airbnb’s to Hostels and Hotels.
If you prefer traveling by your own rules, Airbnb’s could be the perfect option for you. Airbnb gives you the option to have your own space for the duration of your stay – and you can choose to either rent a private room from a host, or the whole apartment. But be warned, Airbnb does add on some extra costs, such as a cleaning fee and their service fee, so remember to take this into account when budgeting your Las Vegas trip! Here’s a few handpicked cheap Airbnbs in Las Vegas.
If you’re traveling solo in Las Vegas, you want as much as you can get – for the smallest price. This double bedroom comes complete with its own ensuite and full use of the house’s commodities – including a swimming pool and hot tub! (Ooooh, swanky). Although it’s not on The Strip, this room is within walking distance to the Rio Hotel, which has its own free Shuttle Bus to the Strip! Bonus. And for just $25 per night, you can’t go wrong.
If you’re looking for a bit more space, or a romantic getaway, renting a whole apartment can be much more desirable. This one bedroom luxury condo has all the mod-cons and even has a gated entry! Again, this Las Vegas Airbnb is located right by the Rio – so you can use the free Shuttle Bus to The Strip. You can sleep in this epic bed for just $48 per night for the whole apartment.
Finding a group apartment or house to suit everyone’s needs and budget can be pretty difficult – but not in Las Vegas. This Mid Century House comes complete with 4 double bedrooms, a back yard with pool (and of course, this awesome Flamingo float), BBQ grill, living room, dining room, and is only 5 minutes away from The Strip! The host of this Airbnb works within hospitality and can even get you discount on food and shows. The cost for the apartment per night is $149 per night, but divide that by 8 people, and that’s just over $18 a night!
If you’re not fussed about having your own space – but more a place to lay your head for the night, then hostels in Las Vegas are another Las Vegas accommodation option. However, hostels in Las Vegas are pretty hard to come by, and there are only five in the whole city! Because of this, they’ve bumped up the prices. But we’ve still managed to find two cheap hostels in that won’t break the budget:
Las Vegas Hostel, Downtown Vegas
From $15 per night, per person
The Las Vegas Hostel (we won’t judge them on that unoriginal name) is located in Downtown Vegas and just a short walk away from the bright lights of Fremont Street. The hostel comes complete with its own outdoor pool and hot tub, large common rooms and free WiFi throughout. For a night’s stay in an 8-bed dorm with private bathroom, it will set you back just $15.
Sin City Hostel, Downtown Vegas
From $20 per night, per person
The Sin City Hostel is also located in the Downtown District of Las Vegas, and close to Fremont Street where you can get the Deuce back up to The Strip. Although this hostel is pretty basic for the price – it does come complete with free WiFi and complimentary breakfast each morning – so you’ll be saving a few dollars on your breakfast! For an 8-bed dorm room, expect to pay $20 a night.
There are so many hotels in Las Vegas – yet they’re all different! From the high-rolling hotels on The Strip, to the smaller hotels in Downtown Las Vegas, there are hotels to suit everyone’s needs – and price ranges! Which is perfect for traveling to Las Vegas on a budget. Many of the cheap hotels in Las Vegas can be found on the outskirts of the city, but don’t worry; you can be in the thick of it in no time!
Americas Best Value Inn, Las Vegas Strip
From $35 per night
Although it’s not much to look at, Americas Best Value Inn does exactly what it says on the tin. You won’t find another hotel without resort fees on The Strip for $35 a night, that’s for sure! It’s a bit outdated, but has all the amenities you could need – including a double bed, private ensuite, a pool and a view of the famous MGM Grand (and it’s Lion).
Planet Hollywood, The Strip
From $55 per night
Everyone knows the Planet Hollywood franchise – and you could stay there! Rooms in this hotel start at $55 a night, but they will charge extra resort fees on top. The Planet Hollywood Hotel is located right on the main Strip of Las Vegas and is one of the most popular resorts. From residencies from the likes of Jennifer Lopez, the Backstreet Boys, Ringo Starr and Britney Spears – as well as Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant, you won’t be short of things to see and do (and eat) at this hotel.
The California Hotel & Casino, Downtown Las Vegas
From $45 per night
Our top pick is the California Hotel & Casino in Downtown Las Vegas. Located right by Fremont Street, you’re in on the action – without the hefty price tag. It’s been rated as a 4* hotel on TripAdvisor and has everything you could need from a hotel, and you can even get the full Las Vegas experience by staying in a Casino! For a deluxe room with a King Sized bed or two Double Beds, it will only set you back $45 per night. Perfect for traveling Las Vegas on a budget.
Eating & Drinking on a Budget in Las Vegas
There’s no food quite like American food. And after all of your exploring around Las Vegas, you’re going to get pretty hungry – and the food in Las Vegas with hit all the right buttons. Just like the city itself, the food in Las Vegas is excessive, extravagant and completely over-the-top! But this just makes it even more exciting, although be warned you might turn into a burger by the end of your trip! Despite the fact the city is overrun with food, it’s also competitive (because there are so, so many restaurants to choose from – meaning it’s super easy to eat cheap in Las Vegas.
If your hotel offers breakfast within the price of your room or stay – take it! The aim of your budget trip to Las Vegas is to get as many freebies as you can, and if it’s food…well, that’s even better. If not, breakfast in Las Vegas will normally consist of the likes of breakfast burritos, pancakes, French toast, cooked breakfasts and bacon. Lots and lots of bacon. So if you’re looking for a yummy, cheap breakfast in Las Vegas, check these places out:
Mr. Mamas, S Jones Blvd
Price Range: Cheap
If you want a cheap breakfast in Las Vegas that has every single option, huge portions and all the trimming, Mr. Mamas is the place for you. This restaurant is known for its epic breakfasts and huge portions, and was even named in the Top 100 of the best places to eat in the whole US in 2015. We’d recommend Mama’s Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs, for a true American breakfast.
Jamm’s Restaurant, S Rainbow Blvd
Price Range: Very Cheap
Although Jamm’s Restaurant is a bit of a stroll away from the main bright lights and restaurants of The Strip, it’s well worth trying out. With huge portions but a small price tag, you can fill yourself up on traditional American breakfast to fill you up before your day of sightseeing – but don’t worry if you don’t manage to finish all of it, as Jamm’s will give you a to-go box of everything you don’t eat. Perfect for a mid-morning snack.
Donut Bar, 6th St
Price Range: Cheap
You Donut want to miss out on these donuts! American’s love their donuts, and will eat them at any point in the day – which makes them a perfectly viable breakfast option (come on, you’re on vacation). The donuts here are probably the biggest and the best donuts you’ve ever seen in your life, and they’re just as tasty. But be sure to get there before 11 am because they sell out every day – they’re that good.
When visiting Las Vegas on a budget, the aim is to get the most out of your trip as possible, while keeping the cost down. But that doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on food. There are hundreds of food trucks, fast food, take-out diners and on-the-go food you can choose while on your travels – because who wants to waste time on a sit-down lunch meal when you could be out exploring? Here’s a few cheap options for lunch in Las Vegas:
Tacos El Gordo, Las Vegas Blvd
Price Range: Very Cheap
Tacos El Gordo is famous for its authentic Tijuana style tacos – and you really don’t want to miss out on these. There’s three of these fast food joints located around Vegas, so wherever you are you can try their famous tacos (we recommend the Suadero). Tacos start from as little as $2.10 which is an absolute steal.
Shake Shack @ New York, New York, Las Vegas Blvd
Price Range: Very Cheap
Located within the incredible New York, New York Hotel (which comes with its own replica of The Statue of Liberty and a roller coaster) this huge American food chain offers some of the tastiest burgers, that won’t break the bank. For just $6.69 you can try their legendary Smoke Shack Burger, complete with bacon, spicy red peppers, cheese and Shack sauce. However, be warned, there is always a queue here – but it’s so worth it for their burgers, and the perfect cheap lunch in Las Vegas.
Nordstrom Marketplace Cafe, Fashion Show Mall Las Vegas Blvd
Price: Very Cheap
If you’re looking for the perfect food on the go in Las Vegas, the Fashion Show Mall on Las Vegas Boulevard is the place to go – and we recommend trying out the Nordstrom Marketplace Cafe. If you’re craving a warm cup of tomato and basil soup, you can take it to go for just $3.10. And it’s pretty delicious…
When it comes to eating on a budget in Las Vegas, there are a few things to take note of. Firstly, there are some AMAZING hotels in Las Vegas that all offer their own restaurants (for example, eating your dinner at the top of the replica – but still huge – Eiffel Tower). However, many of these bump up their prices because they know their punters will pay them. Always make sure you check the menu before you walk in! Secondly, the portions in Las Vegas are huuuuuuge. If you fancy a cheap meal in Las Vegas, it could be an idea to share a main course between two – as this also splits the bill in two! For tasty and cheap food in Vegas, check out some of these options:
Ellis Island BBQ Restaurant, Koval Lane
Price Range: Cheap Enough
The Ellis Island BBQ Restaurant is famous around Las Vegas for exactly that – BBQ food. Because you can’t go to America and not taste their famous BBQ. The restaurant is located inside the Ellis Island casino and has everything you could possibly want from a meal. Steak? Check. Fries? Check. Burgers? Check. Ribs? Check. Fried Chicken? Check. Pasta? Check. Yummy desserts? Check.
Garden Court Buffet, Main Street
Price Range: Cheap
The Garden Court Buffet is located in the Main Street Casino in Downtown Las Vegas – and is one of the best buffets around. You can get an all you can eat buffet from just $11.99. And when they say ‘all you can eat’ they really do mean that! There’s everything from typical American food, to Mexican, to Asian, to speciality nights and dessert. So you definitely won’t go hungry.
The Cheesecake Factory, S Grand Central Parkway
The Cheesecake Factory is well-known all across the world because of it’s amazing food and cheesecake (and from The Big Bang Theory). If you’re going here, we’d recommend getting their Old Fashioned Glamburger, and all of their cheesecake choices (just kidding, this will really put you off budget. If only though, right?)
Las Vegas Nightlife
When it comes to partying the night away, Las Vegas is the only place to be. With everything from nightclubs, to bars, to casinos, to shows and performances, Las Vegas has it all. But like everything else in Las Vegas, keeping on your budget can prove difficult – but not if you know where to go. Check out some of the best cheap nightlife options in Las Vegas.
Double Down Saloon, Paradise Road
Price Range: Cheap
The tagline of Double Down Saloon in Las Vegas is to ‘Shut Up and Drink!’ and they make it pretty easy to do so. The bar-come-live music venue is one of the favorite hangout spots for Las Vegas locals because it doesn’t break the bank – and it’s pretty wacky! Drink cocktails out of mini toilet bowls, and try some of the oddest concoctions in the world. Go on, you know you want to try a Bacon Martini…
Don’t Tell Mama, Downtown Vegas
Price Range: Cheap
At Don’t Tell Mama, every night is Open Mic night. So if you’re feeling like a sing-song, just make sure you remember your words otherwise you might get booed off the stage. The bar is located in Downtown Vegas (where everything is cheaper). The night starts at 8pm and it fills up pretty quick so get there early to grab your cheap drinks and find a seat!
KISS by Monster Mini Golf, West Flamingo Road
If you’re looking for something a bit more active to go with your cheap drinks in Las Vegas, The KISS Mini Golf course is truly one of a kind – and incredibly fun. The 13,000 attraction has got 18-holes of mini golf for you to play, with some crazy and wacky KISS themed props and designs. A live DJ plays all of the best tunes, and the bar stocks some of the cheapest beer. $11.95 for 18-holes well spent.
Cheap or Free Attractions in Las Vegas
Seeing the sights and attractions of Las Vegas doesn’t have to break the budget. If you want to get the most out of your cheap trip to Vegas then always keep your eye out for any discounts vouchers or flyers coming your way. Whether it’s in the airport or on the street (but be warned, there are many girls handing out leaflets for…err…naughty places) always take advantage of any potential discounts or freebies – as this would be perfect for making the most out of the Las Vegas attractions. Here’s some of the best Las Vegas attractions and how to get them for the cheapest price! Just because we’re nice like that:
- Walking The Strip. We know, you didn’t come all the way to Las Vegas to walk. You can do that anywhere, right? Well, The Strip in Las Vegas isn’t your ordinary street. The hotels are legendary for their themes and attractions – and some of them are completely free! If you’ve never been to Paris, check out the replica Eiffel Tower at the Paris, Las Vegas. If you’ve never been to New York, check out the replica city, Statue of Liberty and rollercoaster at the New York, New York. If you love a free show, check out the free fountain and light show at the Bellagio Hotel (there are shows every half an hour). If you love a bit of history, check out the Fall of Atlantis performance at Caesars Palace. And if you fancy taking yourself to Venice for the day, take a wander through the streets of the Venetian, complete with canals and gondola rides. The best part? There’s so much more. Check out all of the free attractions at the hotels here.
- The Fremont Street Experience. If you want a break from The Strip, take a trip downtown for the Fremont Street Experience. Fremont Street is one of the most famous attractions in Las Vegas – and is completely free! The experience is a five-block entertainment district that is full to the brim of colorful light shows, LED video screens on the ceiling, and performs a daily light show for its visitors. They also put on live entertainment and shows. For the full calendar of events, check this out: https://vegasexperience.com/calendar/ You can even zipline through the center of Fremont Street for $20! Buy tickets here.
- The Stratosphere. The Stratosphere is a hotel and casino – but also a major attraction in Las Vegas. Standing at 1,149 ft high, it’s the tallest freestanding observation tower in the US and one of the best places to see the whole of Las Vegas. The observation tower at the top gives you 360 views of Sin City and you can even have your dinner up there! Admission to the top of the tower will cost you $20 – but it is definitely worth it. Buy tickets here. If you’re looking for more of a thrill, the Stratosphere also has three roller coasters on the top of the tower (one blasts off into the sky, the other hangs you upside down, and the other flings you off the edge. We’ll let you decide on that one…) All info for those rides are here.
- Las Vegas Shows. Las Vegas is famous for it’s incredible shows – from famous musicians, to circus acts, dance performers and so much more. Because it’s Las Vegas, you’re looking for some pretty hefty price tags with those tickets. But because we’re looking to explore Las Vegas on a budget, hefty price tags aren’t our friends. With Tix 4 Tonight you can get discount tickets for some of the best shows on The Strip. There are ticket booths up and down The Strip that will sell you show tickets for almost half the price!
- The Grand Canyon. If you’re traveling to Las Vegas, you can’t leave before witnessing The Grand Canyon with your very own eyes. While you can travel Las Vegas on a budget, seeing the Grand Canyon in all its glory will you back a few dollars more than you’re used to. But to see this amazing spectacle, it’s worth it. If you can make your own way to the Canyon, you could try you stomach at the 2007 built glass skywalk – but this will set you back around $83. However, with Canyon Tours, you can get discounted tickets for The Grand Canyon, and Hoover Dam. If you wanted, you could even splurge a little and take a helicopter over and into the canyon itself (and have breakfast in the canyon) for around $300. From personal experience, it is truly breathtaking and a once in a lifetime opportunity that is worth every cent – but only do it if it fits into your Las Vegas budget!
- Visit the Las Vegas Sign. Can you really say you went to Las Vegas if you didn’t take a picture of the Las Vegas sign? The sign is famous all across the world, and is definitely something to see before you go. Located on the Las Vegas Boulevard, it’s easy to find and completely free!
Final Top Tips for Visiting Las Vegas on a Budget
We’ve now given you all of the information you could possibly need to visit Las Vegas on a budget. Aren’t we good? But because we’re feeling generous, here are some final top tips:
- Remember to drink lots and lots of water! We can’t stress this enough. Because Las Vegas is literally in the middle of the desert, it gets EXTREMELY hot. Although there are spray fans dotted all across The Strip, you still need to keep your fluids up so you can make the most out of your trip to Sin City. Try and buy bottles of water from supermarkets rather than in the hotels, as this will be cheaper.
- Take as many leaflets, vouchers and flyers as possible. There are loads of people on the streets of Las Vegas handing out discount flyers – so make the most of them. This way, you can eat cheap in Las Vegas, and even explore the attractions in Las Vegas on a budget.
- Try to avoid getting a taxi from the airport into the city. If you’re not in any hurry, take an airport shuttle bus straight to your Las Vegas accommodation and save money. But remember to always book in advance!
- If you know you’re going to be traveling around Las Vegas (and don’t want to walk) make sure you buy a ticket for the Deuce Bus. It’s better to buy a three-day ticket rather than an hourly one – and this means you can use it as much as you want for a small price.
- Make sure you pick the right accommodation for you. The accommodation in Las Vegas is so different. Although there aren’t many hostels in Las Vegas, they are the cheapest beds available. If you’re looking for an Airbnb, make sure you take into account all of the hidden costs. And if you’re booking a hotel, choose one which doesn’t add any sneaky resort fees, or make sure you add these onto your budget.
- Eating in Las Vegas can be done on the cheap – if you don’t fall into the trap of eating at the main hotels on The Strip. Try to find smaller, independent and cheap restaurants in Las Vegas, as this will keep the prices down. The best bet is to find a good buffet where you can eat what you want for one set price.
- There are so many free attractions in Las Vegas; it makes sense to make the most of them! The best free attractions can be found on The Strip and Downtown in Fremont Street. So check out https://www.vegas.com/attractions/free-attractions-las-vegas/ for all the best things to see and do – so you don’t miss out!
- Take a trip to Tix 4 Tonight to get all the best deals on Las Vegas shows, restaurants and attractions.
- If you can, try and get yourself out to see The Grand Canyon. But be warned – it will be pricey!