Is Las Vegas expensive? How much do I need to save to be able to book a trip to Las Vegas? These are the two big questions I asked myself when we decided to add the Sin City to our USA itinerary.
The answer is simple: Yes! And no! Wait, OK so it’s not that simple. Las Vegas was much more affordable that we had thought it would be in many different ways. However, of course it is more expensive than other areas of the world. We were actually really surprised with some of the prices in Las Vegas and spent far less than we anticipated.
That being said, a couple I know (not mentioning any names but a wonderful couple that don’t listen to their travel blogging daughter) visited Las Vegas recently and spent way more than we did.
So, I decided to share some of the typical prices you will find in Las Vegas and some tips on how we saved money and how to avoid overspending.
So for many people, hotels in Las Vegas can be the major expensive! We wrote a blog post comparing the best hotels here but here are some options you can choose from.
- The Cosmopolitan – this is my favourite hotel! In all transparency, this was a splurge. It is actually where Calum proposed so he obviously planned an awesome suite with a beautiful view (we do love a view – see the Instagram shot below). We paid $1155 for 7 nights which averages around $165. We were able to get a deal (yes this was a deal!) on The Cosmopolitan website which allowed 25% off if you book in advance.
- 5 star luxury – If you are looking for that luxurious experience, book yourself in at some the best rated 5 star hotels. Mandarin Oriental, Wynn, Four Seasons and The Palazzo are all in great locations, have fantastic reviews and cost around $200 a night.
- Apartment – If you are looking to stay in Las Vegas with a large group or just want an extra bit of room, you can get some great deals on aparthotels (apartments within the major hotels). Favourites include The Signature at MGM and the Jockey Club suites; both costing under $100 a night. You could also check our apartments to rent on Owners Direct.
- Moderately priced Luxury – If you are looking for luxury but don’t want to spend a fortune, Las Vegas have some great options for all types of visitors. Vdara Hotel offers fantastic value rooms costing around $131 and The Cromwell is in the centre of the strip and rooms cost as little as $90.
- Cheap and cheerful – Because of the excessive amount of hotels in Las Vegas, even the big named hotels on the strip itself have to push their prices down in order to sell. Treasure Island, The Linq, Flamingo, Ballys, MGM and New York, New York all offer rooms for $50 a night or under.
- Super saver – For those looking to get a hotel on (or near) the strip whilst saving a lot, you can opt for one of the lesser known hotels or those that are further along the strip. The Stratosphere offers rooms for as little as $22 but is some distance from the other hotels so you will be having to rely on taxis or buses if you wish to explore the rest of the strip. Harrah’s Las Vegas is on the strip with decent rooms costing $35 a night whilst the Hooters Casino Hotel costs the same price and sits opposite MGM.
- Hostel lovers – For solo travellers or those on a very tight budget, Las Vegas of course has hostels to choose from. Hostel Cat is a top rated hotel that organises big group nights out (ideal for party goers) with dorm beds costing $22 a night.
Las Vegas has so many options for food you will want to spend extra time in Las Vegas just to work your way around the restaurants!
- Buffets – There are some awesome buffets to check out in Las Vegas! Read about the 9 best buffets here. Buffets in the popular hotels on the main strip cost around $40 for a dinner (on average) with our favourite (Wicked Spoon) costing $38 whilst the Bacchanal Buffet at Ceasar Palace’s costs nearly $60.
- Celebrity restaurants – Las Vegas homes many celebrity chef restaurants if you are looking to splash the cash. José Andrés has three restaurants with The Cosmopolitan, all with contrasting concepts. His restaurant é by José Andrés is the most unusual, requiring a reservation months in advance for small parties of guests; served a full menu of over 20 courses. Joël Robuchon has a restaurant based in MGM, the only restaurant in Las Vegas to be awarded three michelin stars. French superstar chef Monsieur Guy Savoy has a restaurant with a view at Caesar’s Palace whilst Julian Serrano has a Picasso inspired restaurant in Bellagio, complete with a romantic view of the fountains. For all these restaurants, expect to pay upwards of $100 per person.
- Gordon Ramsay – Yes so he should be in the section above but I am a totally a Ramsay fan (maybe it’s the British thing?) so he gets his own section. The newly opened Hell’s Kitchen in Ceasar’s Palace will see you back around $75 per person, his BurGR restaurant in Planet Hollywood is a more moderate $25 per person similar to his Pub and Grill restaurant in Caesar’s Palace and his STEAK restaurant in the Paris Hotel will set you back around $90.
- Top affordable picks – Regardless of your budget, it is unlikely that you will want to eat out in buffets and expensive restaurants for every meal. There are some affordable options too! For pizza, head to Hidden Pizza at The Cosmopolitan, Grimaldi’s at Palazzo or A Slice of Vegas in Mandalay Bay. Carlos ‘n Charlie’s at Flamingo Las Vegas and Tacos and Tequila at Luxor Hotel Las Vegas are great Mexican food options whilst Beijng Noodle No. 9 at Caesars Palace offers delicious Chinese food. These restaurants range between $20 -$35 per person but most offer big portions so you can always split the food with a friend.
- Breakfasts – One place and one place only; Hash a go-go! Portions are massive, the food is incredible and prices are reasonable. Head for brunch and stay full for hours!
- Cheap eats – Just like everywhere else in the world these days, Las Vegas still offers your cheap chain restaurants. Avoid eating in the hotels themselves and instead visit one of the eateries inside the shopping malls dotted around the strip to save money. We enjoyed the Nacho Daddy restraint and Chipotle chain found in the Planet Hollywood Resort; meals costing as little as $10.
TIP: We saved money by ordering two appetisers to share, saving money on expensive mains but also sell feeling very full!
If you are staying on the strip and want to spend your time predominately exploring the hotels and casinos also on the strip, then transport costs aren’t really a thing to worry about.
- Deuce Bus – This double decker bus drives visitors up and down the Boulevard 24/7; stopping at all the major casinos. Two hour passes cost $6, 24 hour passes cose $8 and 3 day passes cost $20.
- RTC Bus – Buses that don’t run up and down the main strip cost a more reasonably $1-$2 per trip.
- Free Monorail – There are two free monorails; one that runs between The Mirate and Treasure Island and the other than runs between Excalibur, Luxor and Mandalay Bay.
- Las Vegas Monorail – The Las Vegas Monorail runs along the back of the strip from MGM up to Bally’s. Tickets cost $5 one way or $12 for a day pass. Personally we didn’t use this monorail because it is so pricey for the length you travel.
- Taxis – Taxis are all over Vegas and of course the cost varies depending on traffic and distance. When you arrive in Las Vegas Airport, you will see a list of all the Vegas hotels and the taxi rate; from the airport to The Cosmopolitan is cost us $22. Meters start at $3.30 and increase by $2.60 per mile.
Note: Taxi’s will often be lined up around hotels so head to the main exit to get a taxi. They can’t babe hailed on the street in Vegas, you must be picked up from a physical address.
One of the best and worst aspects of Vegas for your budget is the casinos! If you’re sensible you’ll go with minimum stakes and take your time; we spent around $200 in casinos over the space of a week in Las Vegas but did win back around $120 on our last day. What you spend is entirely up to you but remember there is more to Las Vegas than the casinos:
|Bodies: The Exhibit||$35|
|CSI: The Experience||$32|
|Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat||$22|
|Mandalay Bay Shark Reef||$20|
|Eiffel Tower Experience||From $16|
|Marvel Avengers Station Interactive Exhibit||$29|
|AdventureDome at Circus Circus||$31.95 all day pass|
|The Aquarium at the Silverton Hotel||Free|
|The Rollercoaster at New York, New York||$15|
|Big Shot at the Stratosphere||From $25|
|Adventure Canyon at Buffalo Bills||$8|
|Wet’n’Wild Amusement Park||$34.99|
|Escape Rooms||From $32|
|Gondola rides at The Venetian||$36|
|Slotzilla Zip Line||From $20|
|Freemont Street Experience||Free|
|The Neon Museum||$19|
|KISS: By Monster Mini-Golf||$19|
|Helicopter Strip flight||From $80|
We love Vegas and I hope we have given you some insight into the prices you can expect to pay on your visit. What are your favourite things to do in Las Vegas? Do you think Las Vegas in expensive? Let us know in the comments below!