One day in Las Vegas: 8 budget-friendly things to do

One day in Vegas – 24 hours – this is all we had. Not a lot of time for the city which never sleeps but enough to get a glimpse of what is going on here every day. Experience Las Vegas in a day. 8 tips on what to do in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Why just one day in Las Vegas?

Actually, my sister and I thought, that Las Vegas would be similar to Los Angeles, big, loud, dirty but…. it wasn’t!

This perfectly constructed city in the desert of Nevada was actually quite clean, the streets were wide and surprisingly, there were not a lot of people visiting when we visited (a Monday in October 2018).

On top of that, the temperature was pleasant the whole day – not to hot and not too cold. In the evening though it got a bit chilly, so make sure to pack some leggings or long trousers and a sweater.

We were definitely positively surprised by Las Vegas and had lots of fun exploring this amusement park for adults. Even though we just had one day, we totally made the best out of it.

So, what can you see in only one day in ‹Fabulous Las Vegas›?

The answer: A lot!

There is plenty to explore and do in Las Vegas, so plan accordingly to your budget. We didn’t drink nor gambled (okay – I played for 1 Dollar at a one-armed bandit) 😉 besides that, we didn’t have to pay for accommodation because we were Couchsurfing – which is one of the best ways to meet locals and to save tons of money!

So, for your planning, here are 8 things you can experience within 24 hours in Las Vegas in a day. Enjoy!

One day in Las Vegas – top 8 things to do and see

1. ‘Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas’-sign

It’s free, a classic, and definitely, a must when visiting Las Vegas for the first time.

The best time to visit is early in the morning before all the not-hungover Las Vegas tourists wake up and when the heat is still bearable. I heard that people sometimes stand in line for up to 1 hour just to take their photo – please don’t be one of them! Remember: You only have a day in Vegas, so don’t spend too long in a queue, rather go and have fun!

5200 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA

Good to know:
There will be a queue after 8 am, so you need to stand in line if you want to get the perfect angle for your pictures. There will be a photographer standing right at the best spot of the sign. This photographer isn’t hired by the city of Las Vegas, just someone who hopes to make some money. You don’t have to pay this person but I gave him a little tip for the short “photo shoot”.

Of course, you can always take your picture from the sides of the sign, therefore you don’t have to queue, but mostly there will be people in your background.


2. Experience the High Roller

Enjoy the beautiful view from the Las Vegas High Roller. The world’s tallest observation wheel is 550 feet tall ( meters) and offers a 360-degree view of the Las Vegas Valley and The Strip. One revolution of the wheel takes you about 30 minutes and gives you quite a good impression of the city in the desert of Nevada.

We did this during the day and it was quiet but I recommend you to go on the high roller at night when all the lights are beaming.

Good to know:
Purchase your ticket in advance online because first of all, it’s cheaper, and second, you don’t need to queue. So you won’t spend your time queuing on your day in Vegas. Have fun up there!

3. New York – New York in Las Vegas

A day in Vegas isn’t a good day in Vegas if you haven’t been to New York – New York. This is THE place to head out for food. It’s definitely cheaper than on the strip and you have so many options. I even found a delicious crêperie – perfect for a vegetarian like me! Further, I just loved strolling through the Village Street Eateries. Everything looked just so “New Yorkish”, really cool!

NYNY offers next to all the restaurants, bars, and nightclubs also a pretty cool hotel where I will definitely stay if I ever come back to Las Vegas.

There are real flamingos in Las Vegas, they live in the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and are originally from Chile.

Of course, they don’t really live IN the hotel, they live outside in the hotel’s tropical courtyard/garden pond with other birds like ducks and a pelican.

Kinda funny, but hey – everything is possible in Vegas! And the best thing: it’s free to look at them!

3555 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA

5. Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden

There is something which can’t be missed in Vegas: The Bellagio Conservatory! It is free to the public and one of the best-kept secrets in Vegas.

This fabulous display of flowers, plants, twigs, and other natural items changes several times a year depending on the season plus some holidays like the Chinese New Year, etc. I can imagine that it is always as original, colorful, and unique as when we visited in October 2018, where you could clearly see the fall theme.

I just loved seeing this and can totally recommend you to go there. Just wonderful!

Next to the lobby of the Bellagio Hotel
3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA

6. Gambling at one of the many casinos

Well, to be honest, I am not really a gambler but when in Vegas you should at least try it once. So what did I do? I played my mandatory 1 $ at the Bellagio Casino right after I purchased the “Cirque du soleil ‘O’”-tickets (there was not much money left)… 😉

Here is a picture of this “life-changing” moment. If you want to see the video of it, check out my Instagram highlight video about Las Vegas. 🙂

If you want to play with a bit more money than I did, I suggest the following casinos. Almost all Casinos throughout Las Vegas offer pretty much the standard array of games like poker, slots, and craps. So the only thing you have to do now is choose a casino and win! Good luck!

  • The Venetian
  • Golden Nugget Casino
  • Aria Resort & Casino
  • Hard Rock Casino
  • The Mirage Casino
  • Palms Casino Resort
  • Caesars Palace

7. Cirque du soleil ‘O’

It doesn’t matter if you like shows or not – the “Cirque du soleil ‘O’ show will impress you for sure! Masterly artistic performances with, in, and above water will entertain you until the end. Amazing dance artists, world-class acrobats, synchronized swimmers, and divers will take your breath away.

The only downside?

The price! The show tickets are extremely expensive and non of the Half-price ticket booths on the strip sell them cheaper. The only way how to save some bucks is to get a Mlife card, this card is for free and they actually give it to you in the Bellagio. You will get up to a 20% discount on certain seat categories with this card. So make the most of it and save a bit!

When you have the card just go to the Cirque du soleil ticket desk in the Bellagio and ask for the cheapest tickets they have available. We still paid a lot but could get some pretty good seats for a lower price just because of the Mlife card and the nice staff who tried to help us as well as they could.

And just that you know, most of the time it is no problem to get tickets for the same day, but if you want to be sure to get some decent-priced tickets, register for the Mlife card online and book the tickets online in advance.

Ah, and if you wonder like me what ‘O’ means – it means ‘eau’ – the French word for water. Ahaaaaaa! Katching!

Wednesday to Sunday
7 pm and 9.30 pm
The show takes 1.5 h

Located in Bellagio Hotel and Casion
3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA

8. Fountains of Bellagio

Photo by Brice Cooper on Unsplash

Even though you might have seen this fountain spectacle already on video – nothing compares to seeing them in person. The Fountains of Bellagio are perfectly synchronized with the ever-changing music and so good to see. Come here by night for the extra spark. Best thing: it’s free!

Every 30 minutes:
Monday – Friday from 3 pm to 8 pm
Saturday and Holidays from 12 am to 8 pm
Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm

Every 15 minutes:
Monday – Saturday & holidays from 8 pm to midnight
Sunday from 7 pm to midnight

3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA

I hope this blog post gave you some insights about what you can manage to see in Vegas in a day.

Let me know about other cool things to do in Las Vegas in the comment section!

Happy about every tip!



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