Make this your Downtown Las Vegas guide for where to stay, what to do and how to party! Downtown is a great place to stay when you are on a budget, want a change of pace or just want to have a blast. There are lots of fun things to see and do and so many bars, pubs and lounges you won’t want to miss. Most are within walking distance or a short ride away. The hotels and surrounding areas are much easier to navigate Downtown than they are on the Strip and your dollars will last a lot longer.
Our Top Downtown Pick - Golden Nugget
Take our advice. The small difference in price over the other hotels Downtown is truly worth it if you want a room comparable to what’s offered on the Strip with excellent amenities.
- California: Not bad, not as good a location as others, older hotel/casino.
- The D Las Vegas: Recently renovated, great location on Fremont Street, very high energy casino.
- El Cortez : Older hotel/casino that still keeps it fun, inexpensive and although not on Fremont Street, is right in the heart of the Fremont East District which is THE hot spot for bars & pubs. Rooms are old, cheap and clean. (some newer ones available)
- Four Queens: Older hotel/casino with great central location on Fremont Street, always busy, decent rooms.
- Fremont: Older hotel/casino with great central location on Fremont Street, always busy, decent rooms.
- Golden Gate: Recently renovated, good place to gamble, high energy, don’t recommend it as a place to stay. Read why here.
- Golden Nugget: Classy, elegant, outstanding pool, great lounges, excellent rooms and amenities, very reasonable rates.
- Main Street Station: Very nice rooms, location is the farthest from the action on Fremont Street, but very walkable.
- Plaza: Recently renovated, at the far end of Fremont Street, and has a weird mix of classy and cheesy.
- Vegas Club: Don’t do it. It’s barely hanging on. This one’s on life-support.
Downtown Las Vegas in the Fremont East District is the perfect starting point for a do-it-yourself pub crawl. We’ve put an * to indicate the best ones to include on your crawl to alcoholic oblivion. These bars are all cool as hell, each with it’s own personality and within a few feet of each other. Bottoms up! Take a short ride to the Arts District and do a mini pub crawl that would include Artifice, Bar & Bistro and the Velveteen Rabbit.
The Artifice is a little off the beaten path of Downtown and not in walking distance according to American standards, but definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re dining at Bar & Bistro (next door) and are into goth. It’s in the heart of the Arts District.
For “Old School” classic Rock n’ Roll and a couple of games of pool, BBB is the place to be. You won’t believe the decor. It’s sooo cool. Classic rock posters and a collection of record players are a blast from the past. Leather Soul Sundays ROCK!! Read more here.
Love, love, love this cool and quirky artsy little bistro and bar. It’s a true original located next to Artifice also in the heart of the Arts District. Not located on Fremont but certainly worth the short trip. Plan right and you’ll get to see the fire dancers! Check the review here .
This bar and music venue has a retro 50′s salon of beauty motif that is something to be seen, from its lanoliem tile floors to it’s old school hair drying chairs. Music by resident DJ’s playing punk rock, gangsta rap, and anything to make your ass jump! Get your hair did and come on down.
It’s got class and an intriguing style that should include a Stephen King novel on every table. Mesmerizing oversized portraits adorn the walls with eyes that seem to follow your every move. The cocktail list is impressive and so are the mixologists. Upstairs outdoor patio is also the place for musical guests. Get more details here.
Almost every bar listed here are the new kids on the block. For a taste of genuine old school Vegas you’ve got to go to Dino’s. “Getting Vegas drunk since 1962.” The place is a trip. Lots of local talent stop in to pick up the mic, play a tune or just toss back a cold one. Drop in. Who knows, maybe you’ll win “Drunk of the Month”!
It’s all about singing at Don’t Tell Mama. Make no mistake. This is not a karaoke bar. It’s an amazing little place with one grand piano, a piano player and barmaids who serve up songs as well as drinks. Man, can they sing! Read about it here and watch the videos!!
Enjoy the darkness at the Downtown Cocktail Room. The blood suckers from Twilight would totally hang here with their sharp toothed friends. Select a drink from Downtown’s trendy cocktail list featuring Absinthe in three different styles and classics that date back to the 30′s like Blood & Sand named after the Rudolf Valentino movie of 1922. Music provided by resident DJ’s Wed – Sat after 9pm.
Drag Queens and bowling go together like peas and carrots! Well, they do here. All the bartenders are Drag Queens. There’s a bowling alley, gayme room (that’s not a typo). Check out all the unconventional fun and visit Drink & Drag on Match Game Mondays, or get your country on with the Hoes Down on Friday or Superheros and Villains night or just drop in for the drag show. Check the site for events.
A locals favorite for reasonably priced drinks and chill atmosphere with fireplace. Check link for music performances.
This is the closest thing to a nightclub Downtown. Located in the Golden Nugget upstairs you’ve got a great view of Fremont Street with a bar outdoors and another inside. DJ’s are spinning top-40 dance tunes from the 70′s, 80′s, 90′s and today. Just dance! Closed Mon & Tues.
Honestly…..not my favorite place. The food is decent they’ve got some cool things like flights of whiskey or tequila and live music after 9pm, but the service kinda sucks. You never feel like they appreciate your business. It’s one big yawn.
If you like your bars to be a little rude, crude and loud with women a little on the trashy side and the sound of a big ass Harley revving it’s engine is music to your ears….. you’re gonna love Hogs & Heifers.
Another in the mix of unique bars that are unlike anything else is Insert Coin. It’s a game geek bar where you can play “old school” video games like Pacman or get down to business with Call of Duty Black Ops while you sit in ultra comfy lounges. Games, tournaments, booze, music and dance; hell yeah!
Chic and sophisticated old world charm describe The Lady Silvia with it’s checkered black and white tile floors and bookcase walls. Music sets the mood for a social experience you won’t want to miss.
This is a more touristy spot, but has some kick ass specials like Friday Night Pizza & Pitcher of (PBR) Beer for $20!!
This is a perfect place to drop in for a drink after a visit to the Mob Museum. It’s just a short walk away. Have a cocktail and an appetizer from their sister restaurant Triple George. But stop there. Don’t take it any farther than the appetizers. If they served the entrees at the Triple George to any wise guys they’d have their kneecaps broken. You know what I’m sayin? Capiese?
This newly opened sister property of the Commonwealth wins the prize for world’s worst website and dumbest signage. They do have some delicious cocktails, beer and an awesome patio out back. As of now I can’t recommend the food. Read our review here. Let’s hope that gets better.
A trip to Vegas isn’t complete without at least one Elvis siting and a little karaoke. At the Parlour Bar inside the El Cortez you will find both! Elvis tribute artist John Brooks sings every Fri & Sat from 6pm – 10pm. karaoke Fri & Sat 10pm – 2am.
Located inside the always beautiful Golden Nugget the Rush Lounge is a classy little lounge with some of the best live entertainment Downtown and there is NO COVER. Most hotels Downtown have a lounge of some sort but nothing like this.
Have you got a little super sleuth in you? Dust off your magnifying glass, put your Sherlock Holmes hat and coat on and see if you can locate Downtown’s secret speakeasy. Yep it’s there, but I can’t tell you where. As a local I’m sworn to secrecy. Besides it’s much more fun to find it on your own. It’s a bar within a bar behind a wall with a hidden door. Here’s a hint: It’s in the Fremont East District and on the side of the building (bar) it’s hidden in is a bronze plaque that says “Laundry Room”. Once you find it, you need to get the cell number, send a text to get a reservation and then it’s “Open sesame!” you’re in. Happy hunting!!
The cocktail list refreshingly fun and creative, (try the Wob Woy) the vibe is sophisticated casual and it’s right in the heart of the Fremont East District. Nice selection of craft beers and boutique wines at reasonable prices. Music 9pm – 2am Monday through Saturday.
This cool little place is in the Arts District on Main St. and is newly opened. Stop by and show some love for the new neighbors. The cocktails, like the surroundings are just awesome!
Things to See & Do Downtown:
The average stay in Las Vegas (3 days) doesn’t allow enough time to cover everything there is to do. Here’s our must do list for Downtown: Fremont Street Experience, Mob Museum, a show at the Smith Center, a visit to the Toy Shack and a ride on the zip-line. Of course you need to do a pub crawl too. Scroll down for that info.
During baseball season you can catch a AAA Minor League Baseball game featuring our very own Area 51′s. At other times you may catch events like Bike Fest or the Gun Show here at Cashman.
Although it’s a museum that’s designed to engage and intrigue children with the wonders of science, you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy it. It’s located in the Smith Center.
If you’re into art and music and want a glimpse of non-tourist Vegas, plan your visit to include the first Friday of any month. Thousands of locals turn out for this cultural extravaganza. For more details read here.
Downtowns biggest attraction is fun, FREE and is a must see. All you have to do is look up. The Fremont Street Experience is on the canopy that covers Fremont Street and is made of thousands of small lights. The show starts on the hour after dusk and lasts about 10 minutes. Another show (each one is different) starts each hour with the final one at 1am. There are also 3 stages along Fremont Street that have terrific cover bands performing classic rock n’ roll nightly. No cost or cover to you! Lots of kiosks along the way selling everything from crazy foot long cocktails made by Go-Go dancing barmaids to personalized poker chips. Street performers are everywhere you look, magicians, saxaphonist (he’s amazing), hip-hop dancers and even a balding fat guy dressed like cupid. Ouch.
Full of the wonders of earth’s history including dinosaurs that were discovered right here in Las Vegas. Lots of educational exhibits.
If you want to do a little power shopping during your stay the Premium Outlets Downtown is where you need to go. You’ll find designer names such as Bebe, AIX Armani Exchange, Calvin Klein, Coach and more.
Mob Museum A.K.A. The Museum of Law Enforcement and Organized Crime
If you want to know how Vegas got to be one of the most iconic cities in the world, you’ve got to see the Mob Museum. It’s the history of Vegas, which happens to go hand in hand with the history of the mob. Not a thing boring about this place. Read about our visit here.
Also know as the Neon Boneyard. When old hotels get imploded this is where there old neon signs are put to rest. It’s a great photo opportunity (personal use only, arrangements can be made for professional shoots) and a cool walk down memory lane.
Everybody’s seen “the old man”, Chumly, Big Hoss and Rick on TV at least once. Their pawn shop is practically a Downtown landmark and like Rick says, “you never know what’s going to walk through that door.” The Gold & Silver Pawn Shop is located at 713 S Las Vegas Blvd. These guys are on fire! They’ve even got their own Pawn Stars slot machine in the casinos.
Downtown is fast becoming the cultural center of Las Vegas and The Smith Center for the Performing Arts is a main contributor to it’s growth. This incredibly beautiful venue has a grand theatre that features touring Broadway musicals, a jazz venue that’ll wow you with talented musicians and singers and is also home to the Discovery Museum. Best of all, these wonderful options are a fraction of what you’d pay on the Strip. Read more about it here.
Kids will find this fascinating but not half as much as the grown-ups. The Toy Shack features all kinds of vintage and collectable toys and has been featured on Pawn Stars many times as there go to toy experts. Walking through the store is a trip through time. My very first Barbie was there dating back to the early sixties! I hate that bee-atch. This is a must see.
Harness up and glide down the cable under the Fremont Street Experience. Weeeeeeeeeee!
Got a hangover after the Pub Crawl? No worries! We’ve got the cure. Read here.