Should You Stay on The Las Vegas Strip or Downtown?

Every trip to Las Vegas comes with one question – Where do you stay?

We know the quandary of finding suitable accommodations for your Vegas vacation and would like to simplify it. There are two primary areas in Vegas that offer similar (but not identical) experiences: The Strip and Downtown. 

You can stay Downtown, where Old Vegas lives and breathes, or stick to the Strip, a mini-metropolis of glitz and glam.

While there’s really no right or wrong answer, and you could easily enjoy yourself regardless of which part of town you stay in, there are pros and cons to each.

Keep reading as we compare The Strip vs. Downtown

The Las Vegas Strip vs. Downtown

The Strip – Is it better to stay here?

The Strip Las Vegas - Is it better to stay here?

Pros of Staying on The Strip

Staying on The Strip puts you central to the bulk of the action, but there are other reasons you’ll want to choose a hotel along the five-mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard.

No Shortage of Fine Dining

When you stay on The Strip, you get a real taste of opulence.

Each resort hotel has a decent selection of high-end eateries, whether it’s a celebrity chef’s flagship location or an exotic take on a common cuisine.

Best of all, you’re not stuck with the choices at your selected hotel, should you not like the options. Staying at the MGM but want to taste the Italian delights of the Venetian? It’s just a quick cab or rideshare ride away

Restaurants in the resorts rotate pretty frequently, so be sure to check yours to see what’s available during your stay.

A Better Selection of Live Entertainment

From Cirque de Soleil productions to a pop culture icon’s residency, The Strip far surpasses Downtown’s selection of live entertainment and concerts. It helps that the resorts on The Strip are large enough for sizable theaters and arenas, such as The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, which showcased Celine Dion’s unforgettable eight-year residency.

The Strip also offers some of the best magic shows and comedy headliners!

Like restaurants, shows rotate often, so check your resort’s event calendar for upcoming performances.

Related: What are Best things to do on the Vegas Strip

Cosmopolitan las vegas - top luxury hotel in Las Vegas

More Luxurious Accommodations

It’s tough to deny the unbeatable comfort of some of The Strip’s best hotels.

The Wynn and the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas are just two of the city’s most extravagant establishments, offering up rooms full of comfortable furnishings, plush linens, smart home integration, and spacious layouts.

Tip: What are the most luxurious hotels in Las Vegas?

The extravagance of The Strip translates to a more comfortable stay.

View of the fountains
View of the Bellagio Fountains

The Views are To Die For

What if you could wake up, roll out of bed, and find yourself staring out at the Eiffel Tower set in front of the dancing waters of the Fountains of Bellagio?

Whether your room is facing The Strip or the red-rocked valley beyond, the views in a hotel along Las Vegas Boulevard are unmatched.  

Cons of Staying on The Strip

As lavished as a Strip vacation can be, there are a few pitfalls you need to be mindful of as they can really impact the quality of your stay.

Expensive dining options on the strip

Casual Dining is Harder to Find

There is a very clear focus on fine dining along The Strip, so much so that the concept of casual dining is really reserved for food courts.

Related: Check out cheap breakfast options on the strip

Either expect to have a very high dining budget, even if you’re just grabbing burgers and fries, or reserve yourself to fast food and chain restaurants for more affordable dining. 

Everything Tends to Be More Expensive

From parking to libations, The Strip knows how to mark up pricing.

Even table game minimums are on the higher side at a Strip resort. The one thing mitigating this is you can stay in the extravagance of the Strip and spend more time Downtown to save money throughout the day, but that is a hassle.  

More Difficult to Walk in the Summer Months

Dry heat or not, 100 degrees is difficult to walk in.

Related: Best month to visit Vegas

The Strip has more stretches of open concrete than Downtown, making it more uncomfortable to walk during the summer (or during any of the rare inclement weather events). Downtown is also more condensed, so traversing by foot is much quicker. 

It’s Surprisingly Child Friendly

The moniker “Sin City” is just a formality at this point.

With attractions like Marvel’s AVENGERS STATION and a planned Disney immersive experience in the works, The Strip has become more welcoming to children.

Strollers aren’t a rarity anymore along Las Vegas Boulevard, which can quickly crowd up the walkways.

High Roller vegas
View of the High Roller Observation Wheel at Night

Top Attractions on The Strip

Staying on The Strip? You’ll want to make time for these attractions:

  • Fountains of Bellagio
  • High Roller Observation Wheel
  • Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck
  • Gondola rides at Venetian
  • The Big Apple Coaster rollercoaster
  • Shark Reef Aquarium
  • FlyLINQ Zipline
  • Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition
Caesars palace vegas

Top Hotels on The Strip

There are many resorts to choose from on The Strip, but for the best experience, consider:

  • Wynn Las Vegas
  • The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
  • Paris Las Vegas
  • The Venetian Resort
  • ARIA Resort & Casino
  • Caesars Palace

If you are having trouble deciding, check out some of our hotel comparisons:

Downtown Las Vegas – Is it better to stay here?

Stay in downtown vegas or the Strip?

Pros of Staying Downtown

Downtown Las Vegas may appear very separate from the action and entertainment of the city, but that division between The Strip and Fremont Street comes with a few merits that may warrant a Downtown vacation.

Your Dollar Goes Further

Lower table minutes, more casual dining, cheaper drinks—it all adds up to you keeping more money in your wallet during your Downtown stay.

You can find more costly options Downtown if you want that opulence, but it’s not the standard.  

Fremont Street Experience
Fremont Street Experience – Downtown Las Vegas

It’s Much More Walkable

The casinos Downtown are much closer together than on The Strip, making it more walkable should you need to dip into air conditioning.

There’s also the cover of the overhead screen that serves as the focus of the Fremont Street Experience. Even beyond Fremont, the streets of Downtown are lined with shops, eateries, and casinos to duck into. 

Hole-in-the-Wall Dining is Unbeatable

The search for casual dining in Downtown Las Vegas is far less labor-intensive than on The Strip. The hotels along Fremont typically offer one or two simple eateries to grab a quick bite.

One favorite along Fremont is American Coney Island, which serves up a classic menu of hot dogs and hamburgers.

The History is Better Preserved

The Strip is an ever-changing landscape, with new hotels being erected where the classics of old Sin City once stood.

Walk through Downtown Las Vegas, and you can see that much of the city’s history is still intact, including many of the original hotels. Some may have undergone renovations, of course, but their exteriors are as classic Vegas as it gets.

Cons of Staying Downtown

Anything carrying the “Downtown” label is typically regarded as seedy or undesirable. While general Downtown Vegas is anything but seedy, there are still a few cons you need to be mindful of when considering a stay.

Some of the Hotels Are Run Down

While it’s true that the charm of classic Vegas is alive and well Downtown, that also means some of the hotels haven’t been updated in quite a while. This can always change as time passes, but places like Binions show their age. 

Bringing Kids is a Gamble

Unlike The Strip, Downtown Las Vegas has remained very child unfriendly. You may get the occasional Mickey Mouse on The Strip.

Related: Attractions for kids in Las Vegas

On Fremont, you can expect more risque characters and a generally more adult vibe. There is also nothing specifically catered to children, though more adventure-seeking kids may love the Slotzilla zipline. 

Can Feel Less Safe Than The Strip

While Fremont Street is littered with people and the signature glitz and glam of Old Vegas, the outskirts of Downtown Vegas may feel less safe.

It’s important to remember that it’s still a city, and you’re sure to find rundown motels and dark alleyways. However, there’s little reason to go beyond Fremont and the nearby Arts District, where the bulk of the action is. 

Zipline in Vegas - downtown
SlotZilla Zip Line

Top Attractions in Downtown Las Vegas

If you’re staying Downtown, be sure to make time for these attractions:

  • Viva Vision Light Shows
  • SlotZilla Zip Line
  • The Mob Museum
  • Neon Museum
  • Container Park
  • Shark Tank at Golden Nugget
Circa Vegas - top hotel in downtown las vegas

Top Hotels in Downtown Las Vegas

Hotels in Downtown Las Vegas vary in quality quite a bit, but if you stick to these options, you’ll be sure to enjoy your stay: 

  • Circa Resort & Casino
  • Golden Nugget Las Vegas Hotel & Casino
  • The D Casino & Hotel

Explore the best hotels in Downtown Las Vegas

Verdict – Downtown vs. The Strip

So which should you pick, Downtown Las Vegas or The Strip?

For a first-time visitor, the Strip is the better option, which more things to do and see, relatively close together.

For a more luxurious trip, the Strip is preferred as well.

If you are on a budget or don’t plan on visiting the strip often, you may prefer Downtown.

Downtown also offers cheap gambling if that is your main activity in Vegas.

Either location is great and it is just a short ride between each.

Editor at Vegas Q&A

Tom Hamiliton - Author/Editor Vegas Q&A

Hey there! I'm Tom, and Las Vegas holds a special place in my heart. Whether I'm lounging by the pool, getting lost in captivating shows, or taking a chance at craps, I'm all about embracing the thrilling vibes of Sin City.

Through this website, I aim to be your trusted companion, answering common Vegas Questions and sharing money-saving hacks to ensure you have an unforgettable and wallet-friendly vacation in the dazzling world of Las Vegas.

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