Las Vegas Strip VS Downtown: Which One Is Better?

A street sign and palm trees.

I was able to check out both the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown for a few days in order to spot the differences. Here’s what I learned, the Strip is buzzing with endless entertainment choices, while Downtown has that historical charm where it all started.

If you’re thinking about which spot is worth your time, where to stay, and what to get up to, I’ll go over it all. The neon lights and flashy casinos of the Las Vegas strip vs Downtown’s old-school vibe and revamped spots bring a different kind of charm.

My first trip to “Old Vegas” was a pleasant mix of old-school charm and modern flair, which surprised me since I didn’t know about all the renovations that had been done. Let’s uncover the best of both worlds for your ultimate Vegas adventure.

Here is a quick breakdown, but you’ll want to read on for more details!

DowntownThe Strip
Things To DoFremont Street ExperienceWorld-Class Shows
Where To StayThe Golden NuggetThe Bellagio
ProsWalkable, Budget-friendlyEndless Entertainment
ConsLimited LuxuriesPricey, Overwhelming

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Why Visit Downtown Vegas

Downtown Las Vegas, also known as “Old Vegas,” is where the city’s fascinating history all began. It’s the original gambling district, filled with classic casinos, neon signs, and vintage charm. This spot has seen Las Vegas transform from a simple railroad stop to the globally famous entertainment hub it is today, giving visitors a peek into the city’s past while highlighting its ongoing reinvention.

Things To Do In Downtown Las Vegas

Downtown Las Vegas has a bucket list of activities that cater to every interest. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or just in it for the vibes, Downtown has something special for you. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Fremont Street Experience: Immerse yourself in the ultimate street party. With free live music, a vast array of street performers, and the world-famous Viva Vision light show, it’s non-stop entertainment.
  • Visit the Mob Museum: Get a gripping, real-life view into the history of organized crime in America. It’s not only educational but incredibly engaging.
  • Explore Container Park: A unique shopping and dining experience where everything is built from shipping containers. With an open play area for kids and live music for adults, it’s a win-win for families.
  • Neon Museum: Wander through the colorful history of Las Vegas signages in this outdoor museum—perfect for those Instagram-worthy shots.
  • Taste the Local Food Scene: Downtown Las Vegas is overflowing with eclectic eateries that serve up delicious dishes. Don’t miss the chance to savor some local flavors.

Where To Stay In Downtown Las Vegas

Downtown Las Vegas offers a distinct vibe from the Strip, blending vintage charm with modern luxury. It’s a haven for those looking to experience the heart and history of Vegas without sacrificing comfort. Here’s where to stay for the full Downtown experience:

  • For the History Buffs: The Golden Nugget. This classic hotel not only has the world’s largest gold nugget on display but also boasts modern rooms, a shark tank, and one of the most famous pools in Vegas.
  • Hip and Trendy: The Downtown Grand. Offering a more contemporary feel, this hotel is perfect for travelers looking for stylish accommodations, a rooftop pool scene, and proximity to arts and culture.
  • Budget-Friendly with a Twist: The D Las Vegas. This spot combines affordability with excitement, featuring a two-story casino, lively entertainment, and access to Fremont Street’s nightlife right at your doorstep.

Staying in Downtown Vegas allows you to explore a side of the city that’s rich in history and culture, all while being surrounded by the neon glow and nostalgia that made Vegas famous. Remember, Downtown is where the story of Las Vegas began, and it might just be where your unforgettable Vegas adventure starts.

Check Out Affordable Places To Stay In Downtown Las Vegas!

Pros and Cons of Downtown Vegas

Visiting Downtown Las Vegas is like taking a walk through a vibrant canvas painted with history, excitement, and innovation. Yet, like any masterpiece, it has its shadows and highlights. Here’s a quick look at what you can expect:


  • Rich History and Culture: Downtown Las Vegas is where the city’s story began, offering a deeper, more textured experience than just casino lights and late-night shows.
  • More Bang for Your Buck: Generally, you’ll find that your dollar stretches further downtown, from hotel stays to meals and entertainment.
  • Walkability: With attractions closer together, you can easily explore the area on foot, soaking in the atmosphere without the hassle of taxis or rideshares.


  • Crowded Spaces: Popular spots can get pretty packed, especially during peak hours or special events, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
  • Noise Levels: The excitement never sleeps, and neither does the noise. If you’re a light sleeper, this could be a bit of a challenge.
  • Comparatively Fewer Luxury Options: While there are some luxury spots, the Strip has a wider selection of high-end accommodations and experiences.

Why Visit The Las Vegas Strip

The Las Vegas Strip, a stretch just over 4 miles long, is almost synonymous with the city. A global icon for entertainment, it has an astonishing array of mega-casino hotels, fine dining experiences, and world-class entertainment options that draw millions of visitors from all corners of the globe each year.

Things To Do on The Las Vegas Strip

The Las Vegas Strip is an adult playground with countless ways to fill your day (and night) with excitement. Here are some must-dos:

  • Experience World-Class Shows: From Cirque du Soleil to the best magic shows and live concerts, the Strip is packed with performances that dazzle and amaze. Make sure to book tickets in advance!
  • Explore the Unique Hotels Architecture: It’s almost mandatory. From the grandeur of Caesar’s Palace to the luxury of the Bellagio, each hotel on the Strip is like a mini-city with its own theme and attractions. Don’t miss out on taking some pics in front of these iconic buildings.
  • Feast on Global Cuisine: The Strip is home to an extensive variety of dining options. From celebrity chef restaurants to delightful buffets, your taste buds are in for a treat.
  • Go to the top of the STRAT: Formerly known as the Stratosphere, this iconic hotel boasts a thrilling observation deck with three exhilarating rides at over 1,000 feet above the ground.
  • Take a Gondola Ride at The Venetian: For a slice of Venice in Vegas, float beneath bridges and beside cafes in this romantic and picturesque experience.

These activities are just the beginning of what the Las Vegas Strip has to offer. Whether you’re seeking thrills, relaxation, or a bit of both, there’s something here for everyone.

Where To Stay on The Vegas Strip

Finding the perfect place to stay on the Las Vegas Strip isn’t just about crashing after a day of exploring, it’s about picking your adventure. Whether you’re into luxury, budget-friendly spots, or something uniquely Vegas, the Strip has everything you need. Here’s a quick guide to help you out:

  • For Luxury Seekers: The Bellagio and The Venetian offer opulence and comfort with stunning room views, world-class spas, and gourmet dining experiences.
  • On a Budget: The Flamingo and Circus Circus provide affordable options without skimping on the fun. They’re perfect for those who want to save their pennies for the slots and shopping.
  • Unique Vegas Charm: For a taste of classic Vegas, consider staying at Caesar’s Palace or the MGM Grand. These iconic hotels offer a mix of history, luxury, and entertainment, making your stay unforgettable.

Regardless of where you stay, you’re never far from the heart-thumping excitement and unparalleled attractions that make the Strip famous worldwide.

Check Out These Cool Hotels On the Las Vegas Strip!

Pros and Cons of The Vegas Strip

Exploring the Las Vegas Strip is similar to stepping into a world where the extraordinary becomes the norm, but like any adventure, it has its highs and lows. Here’s a quick rundown to help you weigh your options:


  • Endless Entertainment: The Strip is a hub for world-class shows, casinos, and attractions, offering non-stop amusement. Seeing the world-class shows make a stop on the Strip worth a visit.
  • Dining Delights: From gourmet restaurants to unique local eateries, the culinary options are vast and varied.
  • Convenience at Every Corner: With everything within walking distance or a short ride away, exploring is a breeze.


  • Crowds and Noise: Popular for a reason, the Strip can get overwhelmingly crowded, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
  • Pricey Pleasures: While there are budget-friendly finds, many experiences and accommodations come with a hefty price tag.
  • Overwhelming Choices: With so much to see and do, it can be hard to decide how to spend your time (and money!).

What makes the Strip shine is its ability to cater to a wide range of preferences, making your visit what you make of it, thrilling, luxurious, or a little bit of everything in between.

How To Get To Downtown Vegas From The Strip

Visiting both the Las Vegas strip vs Downtown can easily be done on a short Vegas trip. Venturing from the flashy enticement of the Strip to the charismatic charm of Downtown Vegas is easier than you might think. Here’s a straightforward guide on making that commute, ensuring your Vegas adventure doesn’t skip a beat:

  • The Deuce Bus: For a cost-effective and authentic Vegas experience, hop on the Deuce. This double-decker bus runs 24/7 and offers a straight route from the Strip to Downtown.
  • Ride-Sharing Services: Uber and Lyft are readily available and provide a quick, hassle-free ride directly to your Downtown destination. It’s the perfect choice for those looking to save time.
  • Monorail and Free Trams: Combine the Las Vegas Monorail with free trams operating between select hotels for an efficient and budget-friendly option. Remember to check the latest schedules and stops.
  • Self-Drive: If you’ve rented a car, driving to Downtown Vegas comes with the perk of exploring at your own pace. Numerous parking options are available, with many casinos offering free parking for patrons.

Explore Outside the City of Las Vegas

While the neon lights of Vegas offer endless entertainment, the surrounding area holds its own natural wonders and historic landmarks. Make sure to pack a day bag and carve out some time for these must-see attractions just outside the city limits:

  • Seven Magic Mountains: A vibrant art installation located in the desert, featuring seven towers of colorful, stacked boulders. It’s a perfect spot for unique photos and a breath of fresh air.
  • Hoover Dam: An engineering marvel, the Hoover Dam offers tours that allow you to learn about its history and get an up-close look at its massive structure. Plus, the views of the Colorado River are unmatched.
  • Red Rock Canyon: For outdoor enthusiasts, Red Rock Canyon provides scenic trails for hiking, biking, and rock climbing. The mesmerizing red sandstone formations against the backdrop of blue skies are truly a sight to behold.

These excursions offer a refreshing counterpoint to the bustling city, showcasing the diverse beauty and history within easy reach of Las Vegas.


Can you walk from downtown Las Vegas to the Strip?

Yes, technically, you can walk from Downtown Las Vegas to the Strip, but it’s a bit of a trek—about 2 to 3 miles depending on your starting and ending points. The walk can take over an hour, and in the Vegas heat, it might not be the most comfortable venture. However, for the adventurous souls who don’t mind stretching their legs, walking could offer a unique perspective of Vegas.

Is downtown Las Vegas walkable?

Absolutely! Downtown Las Vegas is designed with pedestrians in mind, offering an engaging and practical walking experience. Here’s why walking downtown is a great choice:

Compact Layout: The core attractions like Fremont Street Experience are grouped closely together, making walks short and sweet.
Pedestrian-Friendly Streets: Wide sidewalks and pedestrian zones ensure you can stroll comfortably.
Attractions: Walking allows you to fully absorb the vibrant atmosphere, dazzling lights, and street performances up close.

Whether you’re exploring the neon lights of Fremont Street or hopping between casinos and museums, Downtown Las Vegas is delightfully navigable on foot. A travel tip is to remember to wear comfortable shoes!

What is the difference between the Strip and Downtown Vegas?

The Las Vegas Strip vs Downtown offers distinct flavors of the Sin City experience!

The Strip: Known for its glittering mega-casinos, luxury resorts, and world-class entertainment. It’s the iconic image of Vegas that dazzles visitors with its elaborate theme hotels and non-stop nightlife.
Downtown Vegas: The historic heart of Las Vegas, offers a more laid-back and nostalgic vibe. Here, you’ll find the famous Fremont Street Experience, classic casinos, and a burgeoning art scene.

Both areas promise a unique adventure, if you want to learn more check out my Las Vegas for first-timers guide here!

Final Thoughts-

The Las Vegas strip vs Downtown area offers unique adventures, whether you’re into top-notch shows or want to explore Vegas’s rich history and culture. After checking out both places, I found the best of what each has to offer. They truly showcase the diverse charm of these vibrant Vegas neighborhoods.

Happy exploring!

Kaylee Janell's signature

Read More on Las Vegas!

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How to Get to Seven Magic Mountains from Las Vegas!

Your Affordable 4 Days In Las Vegas Itinerary

Is Las Vegas Expensive? My Affordable Budget Breakdown

20 Las Vegas Tricks And Tips You Need To Know!

The Ultimate Las Vegas For First Timers Guide!

Is Las Vegas Worth Visiting? The Truth About Vegas

What To Pack For Las Vegas With Limited Space!

Las Vegas Strip VS Downtown: Which One Is Better?

The Best 11 Things To Do At Hoover Dam!

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Find Your Next Vacation Destination Here!

Downtown Las Vegas is comparable to the Strip.

What Are My Recommended Resources For Planning A Trip?

When planning my trip, I use my trusted trio of CheapOair, Viator, and to provide a comprehensive solution for everything I need.

CheapOair is a go-to resource for affordable flight tickets. With its extensive network of over 600 airlines, it offers a wide array of choices, enabling you to easily compare prices and select the best deal that suits your budget and travel schedule.

Viator on the other hand, is an excellent platform for booking tours and activities. It provides access to thousands of sightseeing tours, attractions, and events in over 1,500 locations worldwide. It ensures you don’t miss out on the unique experiences each destination has to offer. is your reliable partner for accommodations. With over 28 million listings including hotels, apartments, and hostels, you can find the perfect place to stay that fits your budget and preference.

Together, these platforms make trip planning convenient, cost-effective, and fun. They ensure you have everything you need, from flights and accommodations to activities – at your fingertips.

Check Out My Resources Page For All My Recommended Travel Tools!


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