“Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas”
18th to 19th of September, 2012
[flickr size=”medium” float=”left”]7657313@N08/8591990129[/flickr]
Although when we landed in Las Vegas we drove directly to the Grand Canyon, we only started to enjoy this city in the evening when we returned and saw all the lights from far and near, until we reached the spectacular Strip, Las Vegas Boulevard. From here the movie started. Beginning with the world famous neon sign of “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” and up to The Stratosphere, the hotel we stayed, all the casinos passed one after another.
Lights, music, sounds, effects, the people, the cars, the wedding chapels, just everything is like a Deja-Vu. You already know those places, you’ve seen them so many times that you recognise them straight away, either by name, silhouette or look. But this time the movie is real, you are the actor.
This is the city that never sleeps, 24h crowded, whole year round. Very hot during the day, perfect temperature in the evenings and nights. Tastes, likes, flavours, desires for everyone. Anything you want, anything you wish, you have it there. You can do it. Unfortunately yes, money matters. I Vegas money can get you whatever you desire.
How you move in Las Vegas does not really matter. Everything is located along the Strip, and even old Las Vegas (Downtown), where the historical casinos and neons are, is just next to the Strip but on the northernmost part, after the Stratosphere Tower and Casino.
If you have a rental car, this will save you a lot of time than needing to wait for buses or the monorail. And car park is for free! Yes, every casino has a super car park at the back, so the best you can do is to park at any of the casinos located more central to the Strip, like the Paris, Bellagio or Monte Carlo for example. From those you can first walk the Strip in one direction and then back on the opposite direction. But I totally advice you not to walk too far, just keep moving the car nearer. Distances are really big, and you will end up very tired of walking the never ending corridors of those massive casinos.
What to see and do in Las Vegas:
Apart of entering the casinos one after another, each with a different thematic, there are some shows which are totally for free and can add a great experience to your visit.
- Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. The sign is about 0.4 miles south of the southernmost entrance to Mandalay Bay (the southernmost casino). You can definitely not miss the picture here.
- Fremont Street A pedestrian mall just outside the downtown casinos. There are multimedia shows displayed on a giant canopy over the street nightly. And it’s here where you will find the historical casinos and neon lights, including: Binion’s Horseshoe Casino, Golden Nugget, 4 Queens, THe Mint, Pioneer
- World Class Circus Acts at Circus Circus, 2880 S Las Vegas Blvd, From 11.00 am, every half-hour. Aerialists, jugglers, acrobats and trapeze artists take the stage at the world’s largest permanent circus daily. Free.
- Sirens of TI at Treasure Island, 3300 S Las Vegas Blvd. Shows are in the evening. Plan to arrive early as it is difficult to get a good viewing spot. Free.
- Bellagio Fountains Every 15min at night, hourly in the afternoon on Saturday and Sundays. Also, inside the casino is a wintergarden and a ceiling made of Bohemian glass.
- Volcano show At the Mirage. Eruptions begin at 18.00 pm. and run every hour on the hour until 23.00 pm.
- Flamingo Garden At the Flamingo. Flamingos and exotic birds.
- General Casinos: Treasure Island, MGM, Paris, New York New York, Mirage, Venetian, Luxor, Riviera, Flamingo, Caesars Palace.
From the airport, taxis cost $10-$20 to a Strip location if you ask to avoid the tunnel, as this will save you some money. The farther you need to go to the north of the airport, this is the Strip north, the more expensive, unless you get off by one of the first Casinos you will find near the airport and change for the bus.
Another hassle free option and one of the cheapest, is to take the Shuttle Buses which will take you to any hotel on the Strip or Downtown for $6.
There are many options for public transportation covering every area you will ever need if you don’t have a rental car. But beware, the monorail is really expensive. No wonder why it’s been a totally fiasco since the very first day of operation.
-Monorail. $5 one way, $9 return and $15 for a one day pass.
-Citizens Area Transit bus line , $2 per ride.
-The tourist trolley service up and down the Strip and stops at various hotels, along with a stop at the Fashion Show Mall. The fare is $3 or $7 for a 24 hour pass. Exact change is required in order to buy the tickets.
-Mandalay Bay Tram connects the Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and Excalibur for free.
-City Center Tram connects the Monte Carlo, Crystals, and Bellagio for free.
Well, I think thee is no need to write anything in here. Basically, whatever you want you have it. From super posh to super basic, from one of the most luxurious and expensive room in the world, to couple of dollars.
Surprisingly, hotels are really cheap! You can stay at the Paris for example, which is one the most notorious, for really low money. Hotels works this way, accommodation is cheap, because they know they will get your money by other ways, like using their casino, restaurants, shops, entertainments…
On our case we were at the Stratosphere. What is good in this hotel is that when you stay with them, you can go up the Tower as many times as you wish, hence saving you some $12. The views from the top are the best ones you will get of the whole Strip so maybe it’s wise to think that you can even further save more money by staying with them. As for the rides on top, you need to pay them separately. It is, in any case, pretty simple hotel, don’t expect luxes but the casino is nice and quiet, perfect for a first timer person to learn how to play some games.