Guide to Visiting Downtown Las Vegas
Downtown Las Vegas Las Vegas was founded as a city in 1905.
Downtown Las Vegas is the heart of the city, the central business district, the edgy cousin of the corporate Las Vegas strip. It is the urban core of this great entertainment city and is rapidly evolving into the place for the best artistic, culinary, and music experiences in the city.
Downtown Las Vegas also contains the Fremont Street Experience, the Arts District, Downtown Container Park, Symphony Park, Smith Center for Performing Arts, Mob Museum, Neon Museum, Las Vegas Natural History Museum, among many other attractions.
In this guide we’ll cover the top things to do on your next visit to Downtown Las Vegas, including the best casinos, nightlife, restaurants, attractions, museums, and much more!
Fremont Street Experience In Downtown Las Vegas
The most famous part of downtown Las Vegas is Fremont Street Experience. It is an incredible entertainment and gaming destination in the heart of the world’s most exciting city.
In 1995, the Fremont Street Experience was opened. This canopied, five-block area features 24 million LED lights and 550,000 watts of sound from dusk until midnight during shows held on the top of each hour. Fremont Street is home to most of downtown's hotels and casinos. These are the original casinos of Las Vegas, from the wild west days of the original Las Vegas.
Downtown Las Vegas Arts District
Officially called 18b, The Las Vegas Arts District – named after the 18 blocks the district originally encompassed this area – is another thriving portion of Downtown Las Vegas. It is home to the city's arts scene with its mix of art galleries, studios and stores.
Downtown Las Vegas Arts District has evolved into the artistic and cultural core of Las Vegas.Many arts district stores offer antiques, vintage clothing, high fashion, and mid-20th century furniture/furnishings and other collectible items.
Downtown Las Vegas Map
Downtown Las Vegas is a very walkable destination.
There are more than 10 casinos within close proximity to Fremont Street, and even the newest casino in Downtown Las Vegas, Circa Resort, is only a few hundred feet from this attraction. The Mob Museum, Container Park and many other spots are less than a half mile walk. The furthest major attraction from the hub of Downtown Las Vegas, Fremont Street Experience, is the Neon Museum. However, this spot is still less than a mile away.
Top Things to Do In Downtown Las Vegas
With no shortage of unique attractions, you’ll have your pick of excitement on your visits. Here are few of the top things to do in Downtown Las Vegas:
Visit A Classic Downtown Las Vegas Casino
The most colorful and historic gambling properties in Sin City are located in downtown Las Vegas.
Visit iconic Binion’s Gambling Hall, the iconic gambling house founded in 1951 and original home of the World Series of Poker. Or travel even further back in time with the 1906 Golden Gate Hotel & Casino which still retains the Roaring ‘20s vibes. All throughout Downtown, on and off Fremont Street, you’ll find casinos, from modern, posh digs to historic gambling dens listed on the National Register of Historic Placessuch as the El Cortez Hotel and Casino.
Tour the Neon Museum
Revel in the iconic neon-lit night skies of historical Las Vegas when you tour the Neon Museum in Las Vegas. This is one of Downtown’s most famous attractions. If you are looking to experience a taste of the Las Vegas glitz and glamor past then this non-profit organization, dedicated to preserving and exhibiting neon Las Vegas signs, is a must on your next trip to Las Vegas.
Las Vegas vintage neon signs and other architecture is on display at this beautiful outdoor museum. The Neon Museum Las Vegas offers a 45-minute guided tour of its main boneyard which showcases more than 250 Vegas signs spanning prior decades. More than two dozen have been restored and re illuminated. The guided tour gives guests insights into the artistic technology behind neon sign design and how the signs chronicle the fascinating and unique history of Las Vegas – its people, properties, and communities – from the 1930s to the present day. The museum also features interactive exhibits at the museum’s North Gallery, offering a 360-degree audiovisual spectacular show, Brilliant! Jackpot!
Papillon’s Neon Night Flight Spectacular package lets you discover the neon lights of Las Vegas from above and below. It includes an evening helicopter flight over the Las Vegas Strip followed by The Neon Museum experience.
Tour Downtown Las Vegas Container Park
This open-air shopping center is filled with boutique retail shops, unique restaurants, and live entertainment.
From dinning, cocktails to an awesome kids playground, Downtown Container Park has it all. Entrance is free and there is fun for the entire family. It even includes a fire breathing praying mantis!
Visit the Mob Museum
One of the most unique museums in all of America chronicles organized crime and is located in the heart of Downtown Las Vegas. The Mob Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to advance the public understanding of organized crime’s history and its impact on American society.
The Museum offers a provocative, contemporary look at these topics through hundreds of artifacts and immersive exhibits. The museum also offers interactive experiences such as a crime lab, distillery tour and tasting, and a firearms training simulator. It is a great place to spend an afternoon with your family on your next visit to Las Vegas.
Ride the SlotZilla Zipline
Soar above the Fremont Street Experience on this heart-pounding thrill ride! This slot machine-inspired zipline attraction is 11-stories tall and one of the most exciting things to do in all of Las Vegas!
Guests have two options when they visit the SlotZilla Zipline; the Zip-Zilla lets guests fly half way (850 feet) down Fremont Street 77 feet above the ground. Or go big on the Super-Hero Zoomline which is 114 feet off the ground and shoots guests “superhero-style” all the way down the Fremont Street Experience canopy (1,700 feet).
Take a Downtown Las Vegas Food Tour
The restaurants in Downtown Las Vegas are some of the very best in the city. New spots open up in the Fremont East neighborhood regularly.
If you are looking to escape the lights and glamor of the Strip, get off the usual tourist path, and experience neighborhood vibes in Las Vegas, then head Downtown or the Las Vegas Arts District to have an authentic dining experience.
Here you’ll find everything from food trucks to famous chefs serving up tasty dishes amid a quirky and artistic neighborhood. The Arts District is an up-and-coming neighborhood still unknown to many tourists. Be one of the first to discover one of the hottest art cities in the USA today.
Tours usually range about 2-3 hours, stop at multiple restaurants, and your guide will clue you into local art, history, and other hidden gems in Las Vegas' most eclectic neighborhoods.
The top Downtown Las Vegas food tour guides you as you eat your way through Fremont Street and beyond! This unique downtown Las Vegas food tour combines delicious food, an expert tour guide, hidden gems, and an evening helicopter adventure!
Your tasting experience includes a range of different types of establishments such as a street cart, a mom-and-pop shop, a hole-in-the-wall, a trendy restaurant, or a food truck and a wide variety of cuisines.
Gouge Yourself at the Heart Attack Grill
In a city of famous and unique culinary experiences, this legendary American restaurant, which promotes the tag line “fighting anorexia since 2005,” is one wild place to eat! This downtown Las Vegas hospital themed restaurant is famous for the incredibly large portion that "patients'' order from waitresses "nurses." Guests that weigh more than 350 pounds get unlimited free food after weighing themselves on a cattle scale in front of cheering Fremont Street Experience guests. God Bless America!
Party At the Las Vegas Downtown Rocks Free Concert Series
This free concert series at Fremont Street Experience is a great way to soak up the downtown party vibes. The people watching does not get any better anywhere in Las Vegas when you post up with a cold drink for some casino-sponsored rock-n-roll. The Free Concert Series at Fremont Street Experience host its upcoming show schedule here.
Fly To the Grand Canyon?
If you’ve been pounding the pavement for a few days and have had your fix of famous Downtown attractions, how about boarding a helicopter and saying sayonara to Sin City? You can fly direct from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon aboard Papillon’s Grand Celebration Tour and land at the bottom of America’s most famous natural wonder.