You don’t have to be a high roller to enjoy Las Vegas. Leave the poker table to the pros (or at least those with disposable cash) and take advantage of all the totally free (seriously!) things to do in Sin City without spending a dime—keep in mind all those so-called “free” drinks on the casino floors are accompanied with mandatory tipping and usually some time spent at a slot machine. Before you reach for your wallet, check out these 100 percent free Vegas activities.
Go on a world-class art tour
It may not seem like an art town, but Vegas surprisingly has tongs of incredible art right at your fingertips. Forge your own itinerary starting with a visit to the original Jeff Koons Tulips sculpture inside The Wynn. The contemporary collection at The Cosmopolitan includes works from Maya Hayuk, Marilyn Minter, Rosemarie Fiore, Nicola Lopez, Siobhan Liddell and Sylvia Hommer. And The Aria proudly houses a public art collection (complete with a complimentary tour!). And, of course, there’s the Dale Chihuly blown glass spiraling from the ceiling at the Bellagio.
Snap a selfie at the ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign
If you don’t stop for a pic at the sign, were you ever really in Vegas? Prevent the regret of realizing you don’t have this iconic picture when you get home by adding a visit to this American relic to your schedule.
Gawk at the live flamingos
Vegas’ hotels are notorious for luring you in with oddities to encourage patrons to spend money, but this completely free exhibit is worth visiting. The Wildlife Habitat at The Flamingo houses vibrant pink flamingos along with swans, turtles, koi fish and pelicans in a lush green environment that’s, yes, picture perfect.
Go to the circus
The carnival-themed Circus Circus hotel hosts completely free outdoor performances daily, starting at 11:30 a.m. Acts include trapeze, aerial silks, jugglers, acrobats and much more. Warning: if you’re afraid of clowns, this might not be the best attraction for you.
Visit the Bellagio’s Arcadia
In addition to its Chihuly sculptures, The Bellagio is known for its indoor conservatory and botanical garden, which boasts 14,000 square feet of horticulture, all viewable for free. Each season, the display at gardens shifts the complex to showcase the distinct sights and colors winter, spring, summer and fall. Past shows include Japanese Spring, Ice Princess and Chinese New Year, and most recently, the the beautiful landscapes of Italy.
Learn table games without betting a dime
Always wanted in a cigar-filled poker night but never had anyone with enough patience to coach you? Several casinos, like The Golden Nugget, The Palms, Tropicana and many more offer completely free tutorials to learn the classic table games. You don’t have to pay to play or bet any money. Who knows? You might just have the gifts.
Take a hike
Depending where you’re staying, Red Rock Canyon is 25 to 45 minutes away by car, so you’ll need a ride or rideshare service, but once you’re in, hiking, picnicking and enjoying the great outdoors is totally free.
Pretend you’re in Europe
Head to the Venetian to stroll through the Renaissance-inspired architecture and along the water at the Grand Canal (unfortunately, a gondola ride will cost you). Recreations of Venice past and present, like Piazza San Marco, will transport you to another place and time, that is, if you’re willing to suspend your imagination just a little.
Get your Elvis fix
A trip to Vegas would feel incomplete without at least a handful of Elvis impersonator sightings. But seeing Elvis perform takes the experience to another level. Illustrious impersonalis, Big Elvis, hosts a free show at Harrah’s Piano Bar on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and yes, the King takes requests (though you should probably have a couple bucks in hand).
Peruse the Grand Bazaar
If you’re truly trying to save money, leave your credit cards behind to wander through this indoor-outdoor marketplace packed with souvenir vendors, artisans, bars, restaurants and more.
Party by the pool
While Vegas pools are notorious for their steep cover charges, a few pools let in anyone for free. (They’re assuming you’ll buy drinks, but no one’s keeping tabs.) Planet Hollywood, Linq, Harrah’s and several more resorts offer free pool access. But heads up: hours can vary, and some parties may incur cover charges.
See a drag show
Flex Nightclub hosts complimentary Dragaoke! on Wednesday nights, Flamboyance on Thursdays and a weekly themed drag show on Saturday nights. Watching without tips would be a drag (sorry, had to), so be sure to have a few George Washingtons or Abe Lincolns on hand to tip the divas.
Visit the Seven Magic Mountains
Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone’s large scale outdoor installation Seven Magic Mountains puts seven colorful stacks of rocks in the middle of the Nevada desert, for visitors to admire, contemplate, and, of course, photograph.
Watch in the Bellagio Fountain Light Show
Even locals stop by this entrancing water and light show for a cheap date night. The world famous fountain show runs every 15 or 30 minutes and features hypnotizing amounts of water shooting hundreds of feet in the sky.
Walk down Fremont Street
This historic boulevard might not quite be the Champs Elysee, but antiques stores, craft shops and even free slot machines (for your first spin) are fun and free diversions. End at the Downtown Container Park, an outdoor mall made of old shipping containers.