How to Visit Vegas with a Tight Budget and no Gambling

Posted by on Oct 17, 2012 in Countries, United States | 0 comments

We spent one week in Las Vegas. I must say that I didn’t want to visit Las Vegas (Basel did), but as everyone in Los Angeles kept telling us that the city was nice and worth seeing, I started to change my mind. At first we stayed 20 minutes outside of downtown, but our Couch Surfing host took us to The Strip as often as we wanted.

Free Things to Do in Las Vegas

As everyone knows by now, we don’t have money to spend on expensive tours or museums, so basically what we did was walk (a lot) along the Strip and visit the hotels (which are all very beautiful—that’s what is worth seeing in Vegas). We didn’t gamble (neither of us tried any games), so we won’t be able to write any articles about anything related to the casinos. All I can say is that the majority of the people we saw gambling were old people, and especially old women.

The Hotels

In each hotel there is a casino, and all the casinos look more or less similar everywhere. What is interesting is the hotel itself, and especially the architecture that represents the name of the hotel. For example, in the Paris Hotel they reconstructed the streets, shops and restaurants of Paris—even the security employees are dressed like French policemen! You will find the same concept in all the hotels.

Here is a list of the hotels we visited and things you can see in each one:

The Bellagio

Inside the Bellagio you will find very nice floral decorations. But what we liked the most is the fountain show in front of the hotel, which is accompanied by music. You can watch the show for free every hour or so, and every time the music is different. The water flows very high, almost higher than the surrounding buildings. The show lasts for maybe 10 minutes.

The Bellagio’s Fountain


We didn’t stay for too long in the Paris Hotel. There is a restaurant in the Eiffel Tower, and we just took a quick walk in the “streets of Paris.” We also found a French bakery where they sell flan and other French pastries. It was quite expensive ($6 each) and I can’t comment on the quality, as we didn’t buy anything.

Cours Albert 1er

By sunshin27au on Flickr

Hotel Paris

Caesars Palace

Caesars Palace was definitely my favorite. The decorations are spectacular. You feel as if you have returned to the Roman times! There are huge statues everywhere, and the hotel is magnificent. Many people stay at the Caesars Palace, and many people like it.

Caesars Palace from outside

Caesars Palace from inside

The Venetian

The Venetian is also a very beautiful hotel that represent Venice during the Renaissance Era. You will find gondolas that move through the hotel. The decorations are gorgeous.

View from the Venetian

The Venetian from inside

You will find also very nice shops inside the hotel.

Treasure Island

There is not much to see inside the hotel, but we didn’t spend a long time inside. After we heard about the free show, we decided to come back another day during the evening. We were there on a Monday and arrived 40 min before the show, which starts at 7.30 pm. It was very crowded, and the show was not too bad (I mean, it was free, so it was ok). Basically the show is about a ship full of women fighting another ship full of men. Here is a photo.

The Treasure Island

The Mirage

We had almost the same experience with The Mirage—we spent half an hour inside, but attended the free show by chance, as it starts half an hour after the Treasure Island show, and it was on our way to the Caesars Palace hotel

The show reconstructs a volcanic eruption and lasts for five minutes.

New York New York

We visited this hotel at night. I really liked how it looks like from the outside. When we came in we found something like The Hotel Paris, with the streets of New York reconstructed—but I liked it more than Hotel Paris. The casino is also beautiful when compared with the casinos in other hotels.

New York New York Hotel


We were very tired when we arrived at the Luxor, so we didn’t stay inside for too long. We didn’t find a lot to see, although many people recommended that we visit it.

Luxor Hotel

There are a lot of other hotels that are worth a visit, such as Planet Hollywood,MGM and Wynn, but we didn’t have time to visit them all.

It was also in Vegas that we decided, after almost two months of Couchsurfing, to spend a night in a hotel. We found a very good offer online and checked in at The Imperial Hotel for only $27!
They were doing some work on the entrance to the hotel, so we presume that the was the reason for the special offer.

Our beautiful room, so beautiful that I could’t sleep at all!

Apart from the Strip and the casinos, Las Vegas is also a very nice city, and the areas a little bit away from downtown are beautiful. I love the desert, so I really appreciated the landscape. The climate was very nice as well, but we were there in late October, which is probably not as hot as the middle of July!

The desert around Las Vegas


If you don’t want to walk on the Strip, you will have to pay $6 or $8 for the bus. Elsewhere, the tickets cost $2 and $5 for a 24-hour pass.


It is very easy to do some shopping in Las Vegas, as the shops, restaurants and supermarkets are usually open 24 hours, even in the suburbs.

Locals kept telling us that the food in the restaurants is very cheap in Vegas, but it was still expensive for us. Fortunately, we managed to buy from supermarkets and cook for ourselves! As usual, Walmart was the cheapest.

Finally, there is one thing we really wanted to do, but couldn’t: The Grand Canyon. The tour costs $125 each in a bus and $350 with the helicopter option, so we had to make the difficult choice to skip it!

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