Las Vegas: you either love it or you hate it.
Whatever you feel about the place, though, there’s really no denying that you will never run out of things to see and do there. From zip lining, to Britney Spears shows, from gambling in a world famous hotel to watching nearly naked street performers on Fremont Street, there really is something for everyone in Vegas.
Where to stay:
The Golden Nugget, Fremont Street:
Yes, the Golden Nugget as seen on James Bond, Diamonds Are Forever. Obviously the famous hotels on the main strip are the places everyone really wants to stay but, if you’re not drowning in money, The Golden Nugget is a pretty sweet alternative. It’s in Downtown Las Vegas which means you’ll have to get a cab to the strip (around a 15 minute drive and costs about $20), but it also means that you get to see more of Vegas- and a pretty awesome part at that- than you would have done otherwise. It has a casino like the others on the strip, a wedding chapel (because Vegas), and a pool with a flume that passes through a shark tank. Woah.
Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely! I didn’t stay here but we visited most of the main hotels and this was by far my favourite. I think it would be great to stay here. You could never get bored even if you never left the hotel; had enough of the casinos or designer shopping? Not a problem. Head on down to the courtyard and be instantly transported to Italy. Watch a live show featuring women with long hair and medieval dresses, or have dinner on a gondola.
Hostels: Vegas isn’t really a hostel kind of place but, according to Hostelworld, there’s a few, including Hostel Cat and Sin City Hostel. These would be a good option if you’re on a budget or solo travelling.
What do to in the day:
In my opinion, Las Vegas is way more of a night time place and a lot of the attractions are better experienced at night. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to do in the daytime. Just be prepared to do some major walking and keep well hydrated- you are in the middle of a desert after all.
Explore the hotels/the main strip: I’m guessing this isn’t new information to many of you but each main hotel is in a different area which represents a different city: Ceasars Palace (the one Joey from F.R.I.E.N.D.S worked at in The One In Vegas) is in ‘Rome’, the Venetian is in ‘Venice’, the MGM Grand New York New York hotel is in, yep you guessed it, ‘New York’ and so on. Don’t forget to ride the New York, New York rollercoaster.
Many of the hotels on the strip are connected to each other and all have sweet, sweet air conditioning, which I was very grateful for as, to us Brits, temperatures of over 40 degrees C are usually nothing more than a myth! If the heat gets too much outside head into a hotel and walk through to the others.
Take a helicopter ride: You can ride in a helicopter over Vegas itself or you can explore a little further and do a helicopter tour that carries on to the Grand Canyon. If you’ve never been to the Grand Canyon then this is a must do. Expensive (like just about everything in Vegas) but worth it.
Lose some money in a casino: Or, better yet, win some. Every hotel in Vegas has a casino or two and they all have that sweet, sweet air conditioning that I mentioned earlier. Besides that, it’s pretty much a rite of passage to do a little bit of gambling when in Vegas. As an added bonus, most of them hand out free drinks as a little thank you for putting lots of $$ in their pockets.
Cool off in your hotel pool (if it has one): A great idea is to spend the day wandering around the strip before heading back to the pool late in the afternoon. The great thing about Vegas is that it’s always warm enough (in the summer anyway) to cool off in a pool. A swim also does wonders for a hangover!
What to do at night:
Night time is when this city really comes alive.
See a show: The Cirque du Soleil in The Bellagio is supposed to be fantastic. Britney Spears does regular shows in Vegas if that’s your kind of thing. Vegas is also well known for its magic shows with magicians such as Penn & Teller working regularly there. On a short trip you may have to pick one (and you may also be limited by what time of year you go) but I’m sure you won’t be disappointed by whatever you choose.
Eat at a buffet: I didn’t know this before I went but apparently Vegas is also well known for it’s buffets. We went to one in Laughlin, which is hailed as a mini Vegas, and it had pretty much everything you could possibly want and the price was very reasonable, so I could only imagine how good a buffet in real Vegas is. Why not head to a buffet in the early evening before seeing a show?
Visit Downtown Vegas/Fremont Street: It’s not all about the main strip you know! Container park is full of great places to eat as well as free music and a giant fire breathing praying mantis (I guarantee it will make you jump every time). Fremont street is also an experience in itself, from the zip wire, to street entertainers, to the famous music/light show, it isn’t a place that should be ignored. In fact, like I said here, Fremont Street is that awesome that I think I preferred it to the strip.
Take a party bus/limo around the strip: Get your evening started by hiring a two hour party bus or limo which takes you to all the main attractions such as the chapel, the Vegas sign, the main areas of the strip and the Bellagio fountain show. You can also take your own alcohol on board.
See the sights at night: The Vegas sign is much better at night when it’s all lit up, and it isn’t so hot. The Bellagio fountain show is also a must; situated in front of ‘the Eiffel Tower’ and played to a back drop of classical music. It’s something I had always wanted to see and something I’ll never forget.
Go celeb spotting at a club: There’s a club for every day of the week in Vegas: Omnia, Hakkasan, Tao, Hyde, Marquee… I guarantee if clubbing is your thing then you will not be bored. What’s more is, if you walk around in the day you will have approximately 5001 people asking to put you on the guest list for their club. It’s worth putting yourselves on a few as you usually get free entry until a certain time (usually about 1am) and a couple of free/discounted drinks. If you’re on a few guest lists you’ve got the opportunity to choose where you want to go that night.
Some useful tips:
Keep well hydrated: As I said before you are in the middle of the desert so make sure you always have plenty of water on you, especially if you’re hungover and/or walking down the main strip.
Walk on the side nearest the buildings: Most have mist spray coming out from the sides and being sprayed by them is like heaven when you feel like you’re melting.
Plan accordingly: Especially in the summer as Vegas is a popular place. You may have to book tickets to certain shows in advance (and they might be cheaper than if you wait until you’re there to get them. Win.), and you may have to reserve tables in some of the more popular restaurants.
Don’t spend a bucket load of money on alcohol: Free(ish) alcohol is abundant in Vegas- you get it free in casinos and when you’re on guestlists at a club. Also, alcohol is very cheap from liquor stores. There’s no reason to bankrupt yourself for booze in Vegas!
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas: 😉
So there you have it, my ultimate guide to Las Vegas! Is there anything that you think I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments!