Las Vegas is famous for its casinos and over the top shows that are synonymous with high spending. But amid all the glamour and high rollers along the Las Vegas Strip, there are numerous sights, activities, and shows that won't cost you a dime.
Here are eight of the best things you can do in Vegas for free, in case you want to save your money and test your luck in the casinos.
The Fountains of Bellagio is one of the most impressive attractions on the Vegas Strip. All throughout the day, the 8.5-acre fountain performs to the tunes of famous songs, from contemporary music to classical masterpieces. It is breathtaking to see the water jump up to 460 feet in the air and move in a beautifully choreographed routine to the rhythm of over 30 songs, creating shapes that flow smoothly and only exist ephemerally.
Depending on the day, there's a one-song show every 15 or 30 minutes from early afternoon until midnight. There is ample space for tourists to see the show right by the sidewalk, but if you want a much better vantage point, you can go up the Eiffel Tower (not free) to see the show from above.
The Silverton Hotel houses a 117,000-gallon aquarium that is home to more than 5,000 exotic fish, including stingrays and sharks, as well as beautiful and vibrant coral reefs.
There are comfortable benches surrounding the aquarium for you to sit and lose track of time as you marvel at the underwater world on display. And if that's not enough, mermaids swim among the fish in the aquarium and interact with the public who watch their twirls, stunts, bubbles, and synchronized moves from outside.
In addition, during feeding time, divers interact with the public by wearing a built-in speaker and microphone to answer questions.
Circus Circus has an interesting casino floor. Beyond the slot machines and blackjack tables, there's a circus right on top of the gambling chaos. In fact, this is the World's Largest Permanent Circus and it shows death defying stunts every half hour from 11 am until midnight, every single day.
Performers include unicyclists, jugglers, acrobats, and trapeze artists, among many others.
Due to its popularity, it is recommended to arrive around 15 minutes before the show, since there are only 60 seats, but there's enough standing room for many more.
The Volcano at The Mirage ignites the Strip with a thrilling show of music, fire, water, and light. The volcano show is one of the most popular attractions on the Strip and it includes two volcano systems, a lagoon with waterfalls, and fire shooters that launch flame balls to more than 12 feet into the air following the rhythm of the music.
The volcano erupts nightly every 30 minutes from 5 pm until 11 pm.
How can we make a free things to do in Vegas list and leave the famous Las Vegas sign out? This historic sign that reads, "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada" was designed by Betty Willis and cost $4,000 to build and install. Today, it is one of the city's oldest symbols and it is even registered in the National Register of Historic Places.
Make sure to walk there or drive through to snap a few pictures standing in front of it.
This is the world's largest collection of antique, muscle, and special-interest cars,and it is attached to the Quad Resort & Casino. You can see the collection for free from 10 am to 6 pm.
If you're a car aficionado, then make sure not to miss this sight.
Every day from noon to 6 pm, the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian Hotel come alive with the Carnevale di Venezia. Located in St. Mark's Square, this elaborately costumed 15-minute performance of opera and Italian folk music is complemented with the acts of gondoliers, living statues, and jugglers on stilts.
Sit on the square with a gelato or coffee in hand to enjoy the production, interact with performers, and feel like you are in a real Italian environment; and maybe, even sing along some of the famous Italian songs.
Last but not least, if you want to take a break from the strip, there's the Ethel M Chocolate Factory, where you can satisfy your sweet tooth by taking a self guided tour of the factory (with free chocolate samples) and even wander around their botanical cactus garden. This is the only Ethel M factory in the world, and still to this day they produce their famous chocolate using the original recipe Ethel used in her kitchen to make chocolate from scratch.
The store opens daily from 8:30 am to 6 pm, but tours are only available from Monday through Thursday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. The factory is located in Henderson, Nevada, which is about a 15-minute drive from the strip.
See, there's much more to Las Vegas than playing in casinos. And even better, there's a lot to do for free!
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Norbert Figueroa is an architect who hit the pause button on his career in 2011 to do a round the world trip. He's been blogging for over three years at globotreks.com, where he shares his travel experiences, budget travel tips, and a good dose of world architecture. From hiking Mount Kilimanjaro to diving with great white sharks, he is always on the search of adrenaline and adventure. Norbert is originally from Puerto Rico and he is currently based in Milan, Italy... when not roaming around the world, that is. He has traveled to more than 80 countries in 5 continents and his goal is to travel to all 193 U.N. recognized countries. Follow Norbert on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus.
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