Of all the museums in Las Vegas, the Mob Museum is probably the best known. Not located in one of the city’s casinos, it attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. We visited it.
Discover our tips for seeing the Mob Museum, our feedback and some photos taken on site.
What is The Mob Museum?
In English, “Mob” means “Mafia.” The Mob Museum is a museum of the Mafia.
Located in a large building, the museum is spread over 3 floors and 1 basement, and deals exclusively with organized crime.
Most of the museum is dedicated to the Italian mafia that operated in the United States. But you’ll also find a wealth of information on the city of Las Vegas, the law enforcement agencies working to catch the criminals, and the more recent mafias of South America…
Where is The Mob Museum located?
The Mob Museum isn’t housed in just any building, but in a 1933 structure. Previously, this lovely building was the Las Vegas Post Office and Courthouse.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it became the home of the Mafia Museum in 2012.
The Mob Museum is located at 300 E Stewart Avenue – Las Vegas, NV 89101.
More concretely, it’s in Downtown Las Vegas, very close to Freemont Street. From our hotel on the Strip, we took an Uber that dropped us right in front of the museum, then after the tour, we discovered the famous “Freemont Street Experience”. It’s always nice to be able to take one tour after another without having to use transportation again.
Paid parking is available at the rear of the museum, and it is also possible to take the bus to get there.
What are The Mob Museum opening times?
The Mob Museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Part of the museum, The Underground Speakeasy and Distillery, is open from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Monday to Wednesday) or 12 a.m. to 12 a.m. (Thursday to Sunday).
Schedule changes are possible on public holidays and other events.
The hours with the most visitors are between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. So, for the best view of the artifacts, I recommend opening or closing.
How long does a visit to the Mafia Museum last?
We took the simple tour at no extra charge. It lasted about 2 hours. We took our time, reading most of the panels and watching the videos.
With supplements, you can expect to spend at least an hour more on the tour.
How much does it cost to enter the Mob Museum?
At the time of writing, available prices are :
- 29.95 for a standard entry
- 44.95 for an entry with 1 interactive experience
- 48.95 for an entry with 2 interactive experiences.
Various offers and discounts are available, such as an annual membership, an audio tour, a group visit, a guided tour, reduced rates… Don’t hesitate to visit the museum website for more information.
A good idea is to book online. If you buy your tickets online for weekday tours at less busy times, you’ll receive a discount (currently $7).
What can you see at the Mob Museum?
The eras visible in the Mob Museum
The museum begins with an explanation of the arrival of the Mafia in the United States. Most of the museum is devoted to Prohibition and the activities of the Italian and Jewish Mafia.
The museum is not just about criminals, but also about the work of the police and the justice system.
As the museum is located in Las Vegas, a city created by mobsters, an entire room is dedicated to Sin City.
At the end of the museum, an overture is made to more recent drug traffickers. The Colombian and Mexican mafia are the most prominent. Pablo Escobar and El Chapo have their own information panel.
There is also a brief presentation of all the other major mafias and law enforcement agencies specializing in organized crime.
Finally, the very last room is dedicated to Mafia films and series. You’ll find costumes (Walter White in Breaking Bad, Nucky Thompson in Boardwalk Empire), the script for The Godfather and other artifacts. The film “Casino,” starring Robert De Niro, is the best represented.
Famous people featured in the Mob Museum
Even without being a Mafia expert, you will recognize some of the famous names in the museum, such as :
- Al Capone
- Lucky Luciano
- Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel
- Meyer Lansky
- Albert Anastasia
- Arnold Rothstein
- Mickey Cohen
- Frank Costello
- John Gotti…
Having read many books and seen many films and series on the Mafia, it was a pleasure to find these names and part of their biography in The Mob Museum.
Objects in the Mob Museum
The Mob Museum has a wide variety of exhibits. It’s impossible to be exhaustive using only my memory.
So I’m going to tell you about the highlights.
The firearms on display are numerous. Some of the weapons on display belonged to some of the most prominent figures in organized crime. I also enjoyed the artifacts explaining how bootleggers moved liquor during Prohibition, and the section on incorruptible police officers.
Among the highlights is a real electric chair. Some visitors have their photo taken on the chair for an original souvenir.
The wall of the St Valentine’s Day Massacre is also very special. It still contains bullet holes. On that day, during a shoot-out, mobsters shot several opponents against the wall. When you stand in front of the wall, you can listen to a soundtrack explaining the event.
Another interesting feature is a room listing all the famous murders carried out by the Mafia. Complete with photos, it explains the methodology used by hitmen.
Most of the rooms contain small objects, but there are some larger animations. On one floor, for example, you’re in a reproduction of a courtroom, listening to the soundtracks of a trial from the period.
Interactive experiences in the Mob Museum
To attend an interactive experience, you must pay a supplement. We have not done so, and therefore cannot comment on this service.
Here are the interactive experiences offered by The Mob Museum:
- Crime Lab: become a police expert. Learn to analyze fingerprints, profile DNA and examine crime scenes.
- Firearm Training Simulator: a simulator that teaches you to become an excellent police officer capable of defending the innocent and punishing the guilty. In other words, you shoot mobsters without hitting civilians during role-playing games.
- Distillery Tour and Tasting: the most popular attraction. You enter “The Underground,” a distillery dating back to Prohibition, where you learn about the era and taste some of the products. This interactive experience is forbidden to under-21s.
Opinion: did we enjoy our visit to the Mob Museum?
Yes, it’s a good visit, but I still expected better. Let me explain.
First of all, the museum is a very pretty building. It’s big enough for a long visit.
In October, mid-morning traffic was already high. In summer, some hours must be very complicated. Once again, I’d advise you to avoid the middle of the day, as well as weekends.
The quantity of artifacts and collectibles is sufficient. The few extras, such as the St Valentine’s Day Massacre Wall or the reproduction of a trial, are an excellent idea.
I loved the information on famous mobsters, but I regret the sensationalist side. It sometimes feels more like tabloid news than a history lesson. I would have been more interested in additional sections of initiation into the mafia, the different levels, and more details on trafficking than the list of murders. But I’m aware that my point of view is certainly not the majority one!
Another drawback is that the museum is a bit messy. At times, you navigate from one era to another without understanding it. Likewise, you have to go all the way to the top, then downstairs, ending up with a section of the modern mafia that’s a bit of a mishmash.
But, I admit, I’m a stickler. The two-hour visit went by very quickly. I learned a lot and saw some rare objects. I left the museum less stupid than when I came in. So, informative and entertaining, this is still a very good museum.
If you’re in Las Vegas and want to get away from the casino scene without making a long journey, The Mob Museum is a visit I absolutely recommend.