Most Vegas tourists only see the strip, but there’s another side to the city that you need to check out! Here’s how to spend 1 day in Downtown Las Vegas on a budget.
On my budget trip to Las Vegas last year, I decided to (mostly) stay away from the strip. Instead of spending time in the chaotic center of Vegas, I mostly explored Downtown Las Vegas.
Downtown Vegas will change the way you see the city. While there’s still a lot of focus on nightlife, entertainment, and partying, it’s not quite the same energy you find on the strip. You’ll find a lot of local businesses and cool little places to hang out. There’s also a lot of art and creative energy going on downtown.
This 24 hour guide to Downtown Las Vegas will show you some of my favorite places. It’s a simple itinerary for one day in downtown Vegas.
I recommend staying downtown on your trip to Vegas, but you can also just hop on the bus from the strip to try out some of this stuff.
24 Hours in Downtown Las Vegas
Late Breakfast at Rachel’s Kitchen
If you’re in Vegas, there’s a good chance you’re going to be sleeping in a bit. Once you roll out of bed, head to Rachel’s Kitchen for a late breakfast (or early lunch if you’re not feeling breakfast food). I stopped by every day, either for a big bowl of oatmeal and fruit, or a green juice. It’s a great spot in Downtown Las Vegas.
Address: 150 Las Vegas Blvd North
Hours: Mon-Sat 8 am – 3 pm
Street Art Walking Tour
After breakfast, take a walk around Downtown Vegas. Use this as an opportunity to check out all of the cool street art and murals. You don’t need a guide or map, just stick to the Fremont East District and you’ll see plenty of art. I’m sure a lot of the art work has changed since I visited, so there’s something new to discover!
Downtown Container Park
Next, head to the Downtown Container Park. This outdoor entertainment area is made out of repurposed shipping containers and features mostly local businesses. There are a lot of restaurants here if you’re hungry and some fun shops to browse. Grab a coffee and head upstairs for a good view of the downtown area. At night, you can see the giant grasshopper out front spit fire for a good show.
Address: 707 Fremont Street
Retail Hours: Daily 11 am – 9 pm
Restaurant/bar Hours: Open until midnight (21+ only after 9 pm)
Read More: Downtown Container Park
Take a Tour at the Neon Museum
The best attraction in Downtown Las Vegas is the Neon Museum. It’s a 10-15 minute walk from Fremont East, but you can also drive if you have a car. This is home to “the boneyard”, a collection of old neon signs from the early days of Vegas (and other places too). You must take a guided tour to see the signs, so reserve a spot in advance.
Address: 770 Las Vegas Blvd North
Tours: Run daily, both day & night, price ranges $19-28
Read More: The Neon Museum
Dinner at VegeNation
I was really happy to find that there are a lot of vegetarian/vegan options around Downtown Las Vegas. I tried VegeNation my first night in town and it was SO good. The entire menu is vegetarian and it all sounds delicious. It’s a casual spot perfect for lunch or dinner.
Address: 616 E Carson Ave, Suite 120
Hours: Sun-Thurs 8 am – 9 pm, Fri/Sat 8 am – 10 pm
Fremont Street Experience
Vegas is all about the nightlife and that’s no different in Downtown Las Vegas. The Fremont Street Experience can be enjoyed during the day, but it’s way more fun at night. There’s a lot of people, a lot of performers, a lot of drinking (which you can do out on the “street”), and a lot of fun to be had. Look up, there’s a cool light show going on and people ziplining above your head!
Stay at the Cabana Suites
There are a lot of affordable places to stay downtown. You can choose between motels, boutique hotels, and a hostel. There are also a lot of affordable AirBnB rentals in Las Vegas. I stayed in the Cabana Suites at the El Cortez and I was happy with my experience (and very happy with the price). It’s an easy walk from here to all the places in this guide.
Address: 651 E Ogden Ave
Check Availability & Prices here
Read More: Cabana Suites at the El Cortez
Cool Places in Downtown Vegas
The Market: Grab some groceries or snacks
Emergency Arts: Meet local artists & see what they’re creating
Gold Spike: A really fun place to hang out day or night
PublicUs: The coolest coffee shop in Downtown Vegas
The Mob Museum: Explores the history of organized crime throughout America.
Have you ever explored Downtown Las Vegas? Or do you prefer The Strip?
- How I Spent 3 Days in Vegas for Under $300
- 8 Awesome & Affordable AirBnBs in Las Vegas
- Experience Old Vegas at the Neon Museum
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