las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free

The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free

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Ready for a unique and free bucket list adventure down the Las Vegas strip? Whether you’re a tourist or a local, there is something special about taking in all of the sights and sounds of this iconic strip. 

Plus, it’s completely FREE! From exploring casinos to taking in views of the city skyline from one end to another, walking down The Strip can be an exciting way to experience Las Vegas. 

The Strip is always filled with people, activities, and attractions that will keep you entertained. It is truly a sensory overload! So put on your comfortable shoes and get ready for a unique Las Vegas experience.

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free
Looking over Las Vegas from a pedestrian bridge.

Bucket List Review

My Overall Rating7/10
CategoryLuxury
Who Needs to Add this To Their Bucket List?Luxurious yet active travelers who
want to see all the wonders of Vegas
without spending any money
Best Time to GoMarch to May, September to November
Traveling DifficultyEasy
Physical DifficultyModerate – lots of walking!
Popularity Rating9/10
Group/Tour RequiredNo
Budget$ (free)
Wheelchair AccessibleYes, but read my note on this later

If you want more information about my bucket list reviews, please swim here.

A full video on a free bucket list guide for the Las Vegas Strip.

Hotels to See and Cross off of Your Bucket List on the Vegas Strip

Please note that the amount of hotels on the Las Vegas Strip is unbelievable! Most of them are filled to the brim with fancy atmospheres and amenities. Instead of going through all of them, I will touch on the hotels with unique features or themes that need to be added to your bucket list.

Keep in mind too that I will point out only FREE things to see in these hotels, but the paid activities are endless!

Luxor

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen any massive pyramid hotels. That’s right…the entire thing is a pyramid. An Egyptian-themed hotel, it is a fun stop on the Las Vegas strip. 

It is right on the end by Mandalay Bay and is a great starting point for your journey down the Strip. Plus, the giant sphinx on the other side of the entrance (by the tram) is a perfect place for a bucket list photo op!

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free
The sphinx statue by the tram at the Luxor on the Las Vegas Strip.

New York New York

A hotel with a roller coaster in it? No way!? This New York-themed hotel is immersive and casual! When you walk through sections of this hotel and casino, it actually feels like you are walking on a nice night in New York. Sadly, the roller coaster does cost money but it is still cool to see!

This hotel is one of my favorites from the outside! It actually looks like the New York skyline! Don’t forget to spot the Statue of  Liberty outside!

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free
The exterior of New York New York hotel in Las Vegas.

Aria

Please don’t hate me, but this is the only one where I am going to suggest something that costs money. When I was in China, I tried the most miraculous dumplings called Xiao Long Bao. 

Scouring the globe, this small chain restaurant actually has a location in the Aria! If you love soup dumplings, I cannot recommend this enough…or you could just fly to Shanghai! Other than that, the Aria is a typical fancy Vegas hotel! 

I don’t want to be dramatic or anything, but I would fly to Vegas for these dumplings. Okay, back to the free hotel exploration. Thank you for going on that small journey with me.

Cosmopolitan

All Vegas hotels have spared no expense with their decor and ambiance. The Cosmopolitan is no exception. 

Although it doesn’t have a specific theme, it is just a cool hotel! My favorite part is the glittering crystal chandelier structure near the middle of the casino!

Bellagio

The Bellagio doesn’t really have a theme per se…but needs to be talked about nonetheless. Once you enter the main door, you will be greeted by an entire ceiling of glass-blown flowers. 

The lobby itself is absolutely stunning! Continuing through the lobby, there is a giant room with flowers and plants. Better yet, the theme of this room frequently changes. 

For example, I went and there were giant safari animals. When traveling most recently, the entire theme was Mother Earth and giant flowers! Get out your camera, because you are going to want to take a lot of pictures in this area! 

Once you are done there, make sure you don’t miss the world’s largest chocolate fountain!

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free
Inside the massive garden room near the lobby of the Bellagio.

Caesar’s Palace

One of the biggest hotels on the Vegas Strip! Seriously—it is fancy and it’s massive. Based on a Roman theme, this is one of the coolest hotels on the Strip. 

The outside feels like you have been transported to Ancient Rome and the inside casino just drips with luxury! Even if you are just passing through, it is truly a sight to see!

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free
A statue at the entrance of Caesar’s Palace on the Las Vegas Strip.

Paris Las Vegas

Why go see the Eiffel Tower in real life when you could see it in Vegas? Just kidding! But this hotel will get you close! The outside sports a 541ft (165m) Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and Parisian-style buildings. 

On the inside, you are transported to the streets of Paris. All the signs are in French, there are several French restaurants, and the main casino area is gorgeous. You will have to say, “Oo la la!” After this popular Vegas hotel!

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free
View of the Eiffel Tower and the Paris Las Vegas Hotel.

Mirage

This is another hotel where the magic is at the entrance and outside. When I say that there is foliage and waterfalls, I don’t think it quite does it justice. 

It feels like a tropical paradise when walking the grounds of the Mirage! Once you enter, there is a giant terrarium with live plants and more waterfalls! If anyone knows how they manage to keep all the plants thriving, please settle my curiosity…because I can barely keep a cactus alive!

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free
One of many waterfalls at the Mirage hotel on the Vegas Strip.

Treasure Island

Treasure Island is exactly how it sounds—there are pirates, treasure, and sirens! Although the entire casino is pirate themed, the real beauty comes from the outside. 

Surrounded by the entrance are two giant pirate ships with elaborate details! They are truly a sight to see! Plus, it is near the end of the strip (opposite Mandalay Bay), so it is a perfect place to begin your (pirate?) quest of conquering the Las Vegas Strip.

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free
The pirate ship outside of Treasure Island in Las Vegas.

the Venetian

I love several hotels that are located on the Strip, but this one just might be my favorite. 

This is a massive hotel that is grand, luxurious, and Italian!

Similar to Paris or New York, this hotel is an immersive Italian ambiance. Unlike the others, it is very expansive, spanning over an entire mall (see the Grand Canal Shoppes later). It even has an entire canal with traditional Venetian gondolas. 

Some ceilings are so detailed that you could swear you were back in Europe. When I was here, they also had performers covering songs in Italian. This is definitely one to check off your bucket list!

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free

Things to See on the Vegas Strip that Aren’t Hotels

Please note that some of these are inside hotels, but are entities of their own! Have fun checking them off of your bucket list!

Bellagio Fountain

One can’t go to Vegas and not stop to see the Bellagio fountain show. In fact, it might be one of the most popular free and iconic attractions in Las Vegas!

Fun fact! This fountain cost $50 million to build and $10,000 a day to run! It also has 22 million gallons of water and filters 5 million gallons a day! It has over 1,200 nozzles, 4,500 lights, and 8,000 meters of pipes! The water can shoot 460 feet into the air!

Bellagio Fountains Schedule

This amazing fountain show goes off every day starting at 12pm on weekdays and holidays and 3 pm on weekdays.

They shoot off every half hour during the day (until 6:30 pm), but every 15 minutes at night (until 12pm).

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free
The Bellagio Fountains. Photo by Simone Coltri.

Is it Better to See the Bellagio Fountains During the Day or Night?

Although it is still a spectacle during the day, there is nothing quite like seeing the Bellagio Fountains at nighttime

If you truly don’t want to miss out, I would do both!

Mirage Volcano Show

Did you know that amongst the impressive foliage and jawdropping waterfalls, there is a volcano show? If you are in the area at the right times, it might be worth a visit!

When does the volcano show happen at the Mirage?

The show happens Monday to Sunday at 7 pm, 8 pm, 9 pm, 10 pm, and 11 pm.

*Please confirm that it is open. As of 2023, it might be affected by construction!

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free
Waterfalls at the Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip.

Fremont Street Experience Light Shows

There are free nightly light shows at the Fremont Street Experience. 

They also have various free special concerts and events throughout the year!

Window Shopping

As I said, there is someplace to spend your money on every step you take on the Las Vegas Strip! This doesn’t mean you actually have to spend it! Sometimes it is fun to just look around and window shop. 

My favorite place to do this is at the Forum Shops (near Ceasar’s) and the Promenade Shops (near the Bellagio). If I am going to window shop, I might as well shop at Harry Winston and Tiffany’s!

Here is my list of all the coolest malls and shops to check out when exploring the Las Vegas strip!

The Forum Shops

Near Ceasar’s Palace, these shops are a must-see for Vegas! It isn’t really the shops per se…but the overall ambiance of the mall. 

Imagine a Roman-styled atrium brimming with golden details! There are curving escalators and even benches made out of fallen pillars! The entire thing is truly a sight to see and is guaranteed to make your jaw drop!

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free
Stunning interior of The Forum Shops.

Promenade Shops

Can I afford literally anything in these shops? Absolutely not. Is it fun to walk through and pretend like I can? Absolutely! Instead of a Roman or Venetian vibe, the theme here is luxury! And it is very fun to walk through and then head over to the Bellagio. 

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free
Window shopping at the Promenade Shops in Las Vegas.

Grand Canal Shoppes

A true bucket list experience and a shopping mall like you have never seen! This mall is in the Venetian and is one of the coolest places to shop!

The entire theme is Venice! It has an entire canal with traditional gondolas and classic Venetian architecture. And it’s not just one room, either! It’s the entire mall! Even if you never buy anything, it is a bucket list idea activity just to experience it!

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free
Posing in front of the canals at the Grand Canal Shoppes.

Miracle Mile

This is a 475,000-square-foot, 1.2-mile-long mall right in the heart of the Vegas Strip. It has over 170 shops, 15 restaurants and is home to several shows.

The easiest way to get here is to go through Planet Hollywood.

Don’t fear–this doesn’t have a “normal mall” ambiance either. The ceiling is made to look like the sky and the shops are made to look like outdoor buildings. They say it is supposed to be a North American harbor, but it gives me major “Aladdin” vibes!

Not impressed yet? Rumors have it that there is even a rainstorm show! These go from 10 am to 11 pm and are every hour on weekdays and every half hour on weekends. Don’t worry! You won’t get wet.

Art Galleries

Vegas is over-saturated with shopping centers and places to spend your hard-earned cash. 

However, I have found that many of these malls also offer private art galleries. Right now, I am not interested in investing in any art, but it was amazing to see all of the different art pieces in different locations on the strip! 

The Flamingo Wildlife Habitat

While the Flamingo Hotel itself is slightly outdated and underwhelming compared to its glamorous neighbors, it does have a free flamingo habitat

Reservations and tickets aren’t required–just go during normal operating hours!

The entire thing is a 4-acre garden that has waterfalls, streams, birds, turtles, and fish. Don’t forget to see the flamingos (obviously!). 

At 8:30 am and 2 pm, there is a Keeper’s Talk to learn more about the habitat.

This can be a peaceful and much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of The Strip!

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free
Shot of the Flamingo at night on the Las Vegas Strip.

Street Performers on the Las Vegas Strip

I would categorize these into 2 sections:

People who put on professional street shows

These shows usually involve professional gear and microphones. They are normally good enough to draw a crowd and can involve multiple people. 

When I watched these, I did not feel pressure to contribute or tip. The qualities of these shows were actually pretty good, too! 

People who dress up/perform for tips

These are the people you need to take caution with. If you take a picture, they will expect or hassle you for money.

This is mostly in the form of people dressed up in a costume looking for you to take a picture or they want to sing a song for you. They target individual groups or people instead of looking to draw a crowd.

And when I say hassle, I mean pester. I had a lady follow me for a block or two begging me to let her sing for me so I could give her money. 

It may seem rude, but if this happens to you, politely decline and continue walking. I am used to this in some countries (like India or some in South America), but this is the only place in America I have found where people are VERY persistent!

I am not saying to not pay for their services. If you want to take a picture with that girl in a skimpy show outfit, you go right ahead! Just know that it may cost you!

The Distance of the Las Vegas Strip and Strategies to Cross it Off of Your Bucket List without Going Mad

Where Does the Las Vegas Strip Begin and End?

The strip roughly goes from Sahara Ave (North) to Russel Road (South).

How Long is The Las Vegas Strip?

The Las Vegas Strip is 4.2 miles long (6.8 km)

Zig Zagging

One strategy for tackling the strip is to zig-zag your way down! Although this might seem like an effective way, it isn’t my favorite; and here’s why:

There are actually not a lot of horizontal crosswalks on the Vegas Strip. Instead, there are pedestrian bridges. And in case you weren’t already overwhelmed, there are sometimes two levels of the street.

When crossing a bridge, you need to take the stairs/escalator/elevator up and then either explore the upper level or go all the way back down. Simply, crossing the street on the Vegas Strip isn’t simple. It may not feel like it, but you might actually walk more by zig-zagging. 

I digress, this might be your only way to walk the strip if you can only do one section of the strip or don’t have as much time. Or, the hotels you want to see might be congregated all in one place! 

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free
Taking a rest from walking the Las Vegas Strip.

Up and Down

In this method, I just walked from hotel to hotel all the way down the strip, and then crossed and did the same thing on the other side. I basically did a giant circle of the strip and ended up exactly where I started. 

I didn’t miss much and had a generally clear path, but it can feel a bit more daunting as you gaze at all the hotels on the other side of Las Vegas Blvd. 

This can also be a bit tricky because as you make your way down, you may enter and exit a hotel at different places. This can make it a bit confusing and you can cause you to get lost. But let’s be honest, you are probably going to be confused and lost no matter what route you take. That’s Vegas, baby! 

What Side of the Vegas Strip to Start on 

If you are planning to walk the Las Vegas Strip, it might be benefiical to have a plan. This includes where you are going to start or end. 

When I went, I started at Mandalay Bay, made my way down all the way to Treasure Island, crossed over to the Venetian hotel area and made my way down the other side until the MGM.

Most of the hotels mentioned above are in the middle of the strip. The only ones that are far out there is the Venetian and Treasure Island on one end and the Excalibur and Luxor on the other. 

My advice would be to see which hotels you want to see and then plan around that. You may find that you only want to do one end or one side based on your bucket list preferences! 

Another thing to keep in mind: as your adventure progresses, you will most likely get fatigued or run out of time. Creating a game plan of which hotels you are going to see and which ones you are going to walk past may save you time and keep you from getting overwhelmed. 

Can You Walk the Las Vegas Strip in One Day?

I know what you’re thinking. Can this all be done in one day?

It depends. To see everything in one day would be a intense long day. Luckily, Vegas never sleeps, so you can keep exploring as long as you are able! If that is your travel style, then go for it! 

I was there for 1.5 days, walked about 15 miles, and didn’t even come close to seeing everything…

Also, even though this guide is free, there are a ton of things to throw your money at in Vegas. In addition to walking the Las Vegas strip, you may need to factor in time for shows, incredible food, gambling (responsibly!), and other bucket list activities. I will tell you this: you certainly won’t be bored in Vegas! 

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free
The Bellagio at sunset.

Tips and Tricks for Walking the Las Vegas Strip

Be Careful Not to Get Lost

I think that anyone who has been to Vegas can agree…it is a sensory overload! It is also what I would guess is the best destination equivalent to ADHD. Meaning, you look at something and then get distracted looking at something else. 

It doesn’t help that every hotel layout is different and there are multiple entrances/exits. Next thing you know, you are completely lost in a hotel you didn’t even know existed.

Wear Comfy Shoes or Pack Extra

I cannot stress this enough. It is Vegas. It is tempting to grab your tallest heels and go out on the town. I did this. Do you know how it ended? Me crying in my hotel room with my feet elevated because I walked 10 hours and 12 miles in heels. 

Super proud of myself, but I probably could have been smarter!

This is such an issue on the Vegas Strip that I’ve seen vending machines that give you portable flats.

Speaking of this…it is brilliant! If you can’t give up the heels (I get it!) there are foldable flat shoes that you can put into your purse. That way when your feet start to hurt, you have an extra pair of shoes and can put your heels back on for pictures. 

*I would recommend buying them cheap online because they will always upcharge you in person in Vegas.

Always Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Vegas is a lot of fun…but it is called sin city for a reason. There are a lot of people constantly walking on the strip, no matter what time it is. Although the crowds makes it safer in a sense, it can be a bit chaotic at the best of times. There can be performers, crowds, and/or drunk people. 

Always keep an eye on your belongings, be aware of scams, and use common sense for your safety. I would generally stay in the public areas of the strip (or go through the hotels) instead of trying to take back-cut shortcuts. I did this once and it was super sketchy and very confusing.

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free
Enjoying the Las Vegas Strip at night.

Vegas is a Unique Experience

Even if you are walking for free down the strip, you will soon realize that Vegas is a very flashy, loud, and boisterous destination. Try to keep an open mind and realize that it is a true bucket list experience to witness this type of environment…just try your best to stay out of trouble 😉 

Although it Can be Done with Children, I Wouldn’t Recommend it

Again…it’s called sin city. There are gambling, drinking, and possibly inappropriate themes throughout. Casinos have pathways for families but children aren’t allowed in some areas. As I said, this is doable and there are plenty of things to do for families. But it makes more sense to me to wait until they are an appropriate age and then go! 

Vegas is kind of like Disneyland…but for adults. 

I went once when I was 17, and then again at 24. And let me tell you, it is a completely different experience when you are an appropriate age and WAY more fun! I even won 20 cents at a slot machine! Woop!

A Note on Wheelchair Accessibility

As far as I am concerned, you can explore the Las Vegas Strip with a wheelchair. 

However, based on my observations, it would be very hectic. There are so many people walking about and it is crowded. Some of the vertical streets have crosswalks, but the horizontal crosswalks are all pedestrian bridges. 

And 9 times out of 10, one escalator isn’t working. The elevators seemed to have a better track record, but if it goes out, it would be very hard to cross the street in a wheelchair. You can definitely cross exploring the Las Vegas strip off of your bucket list, but it may be an adventure

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free
Enjoying the ambiance of The Grand Canal Shoppes in the Venetian.

Free Ways to Get Around the Las Vegas Strip

There are different ways to get around if you don’t want to walk. Here are your free options!

Walk

This may sound obvious since I have been talking about it throughout this entire article, but the best way to truly see everything (and its completely free!) is just to walk.

With that being said, it is a LOT of walking. The entire Strip is 4.2 miles. You may cut some of that distance off by not going completely to Sahara Ave or Russel Road, but if you are doing both sides, that is clocking in around 6-8 miles to walk the full thing. 

I love to walk! But some people don’t or are unable. That is why I would also recommend combining it with some other modes of transportation or spreading out the trip for a longer period of time to give your legs a break. 

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free
Ending our long walking day at the Bellagio Fountains.

Trams

Please keep in mind that there are paid trams on the east side that are operated by the Las Vegas Monorail system. However, this is a free guide, so let’s talk about your options that don’t involve your wallet! There are 3 free trams between Treasure Island and Montaray Bay that are paid for by the casinos themselves and work independently. 

I am not going to mention hours because they are subject to change, so please confirm the hours of operation with the tram before you start exploring.

Excalibur to Monterey Bay to Luxor

The first free tram goes to three major hotels in the south area of the strip. The trains run every five minutes or so. 

If you take the tram to the Excalibur, there is a short walkway to New York New York and then it is a quick walk to MGM. 

Park MGM to Aria to Bellagio

This tram starts at the Park MGM near the Aria and stops at the Crystals Shopping Mall near the Cosmopolitan. It ends at the south tower of the Bellagio. 

This tram is the one that I used the most because it is very central and you can get from to and from several hotels from each stop! It goes both directions and is very useful when your legs start to feel tired! 

Mirage to Treasure Island

On the north end of the strip, this tram provides a no-stop and quick access to the Mirage and Treasure Island. There are several attractions and shops on both sides that require little walking from there. 

Buses

If you are looking to explore more of Downtown Vegas past the main hotels and casinos, I would check out the free Downtown Loop buses provided by the city of Las Vegas.

If you are looking for a cheap bus option, I would see if the Las Vegas Deuce could be an option for you. 

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free
Exterior of the Forum Shops.

Final Word on The Las Vegas Strip

Walking the Las Vegas Strip is an experience that everyone should add to their bucket list. From exploring casinos and taking in views of the city skyline, to enjoying live music and checking out some of the hottest clubs or shows, there’s something for everyone along The Strip.

With so many free attractions to enjoy, walking down this iconic strip can be a unique way to experience all that Las Vegas has to offer – without breaking your budget! So next time you’re planning a trip to Sin City, make sure you take advantage of one of its most popular activities: simply Walking the Las Vegas Strip!

las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free
Enjoying the gardens in the Bellagio.

Adventure Bucket List Resources

I am here to help your travel adventures go as smoothly as possible! That way you can check off that bucket list with minimal complications and spending!

AIRFARE – It is no surprise that like many travelers, I have found that Hopper is one of the best resources to use when finding cheap flights. 

ACCOMMODATION – My two favorites are Booking.Com for hotels and VRBO for rentals. 

GUIDED TOURS –  If you are looking for quick and easy tours, check out GetYourGuide and Viator

MULTI-DAY TOURS –  For more in-depth tours that span several days, TourHub has many great options with reputable travel companies. Use my code (ALEXANDRA1GURU) for up to 5% off your next bucket list adventure. 

TRANSPORTATION –  You can either rent a car yourself with Discover Cars or do a guided bus tours like Big Bus Tours

CREDIT CARD –  I always use my Chase Freedom Unlimited card for all of my purchases. There is no annual fee and you get 1.5% cash back and 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel. 

SIM CARDS –  Avoid expensive roaming charges with an eSim card with Airalo.

TRAVELER’S INSURANCE –  Check out VisitorsCoverage for affordable insurance plans.

Who would you take to walk the Las Vegas Strip? Don’t forget to share the love and share it below!

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las vegas strip, The Las Vegas Strip: Bucket List Things to See for Free

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