Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas
Finally another dream accomplished, Las Vegas. And although when we landed at the airport 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 away and near, until we reached the spectacular Strip, Las Vegas Boulevard. From here, we started to live a movie. Beginning with the world famous neon sign of “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” and up to The Stratosphere, the hotel we stayed along the immense Boulevard, all the casinos, hotels and resorts passing one after another.
Lights, music, sounds, effects, the people, the cars, the wedding chapels, just everything is like a Deja-Vu. You already know these places, you’ve seen them so many times that you recognise them straight away, either by name, silhouette or look. The main difference is that this time the movie is real, and you are the actor.
This is the city that never sleeps, 24 hours 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. In Vegas money can get you whatever you desire, and while to some it might bring riches and fortunes, to others it means bankruptcy, ruin and abuse of alcohol and drugs.
How you move in Las Vegas does not really matter. Everything is located along the Strip, and even old Las Vegas, the Downtown, where the historical casinos and neon signs are, is just next to the Strip but on the northernmost part, right 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 absolutely everywhere. 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 then 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 to other casinos. Distances are really big, and you will end up very tired of walking the never ending corridors of those massive casinos and gigantic facilities and shopping arcades.
What to eat cannot even be questioned here. Name it and you have it. This is perhaps one of the most unique cities in the world where any world cuisine and hotel choice is so tight together in such a “small” area. No matter what’s your budget, you have it all, whenever you like 24 hours a day. And so the same situation with the nightlife and party. Basically you can party 24 hours a day, there is always something open. And we are not talking about small places, here size is the matter and the difference, the bigger the better, and with every new complex being built, it becomes more obvious. The party city of the world has it all.
For more information about Las Vegas check Wikipedia and Wikitravel sites. The United States of America currency is the Dollar (USD, $). Please note that any price reference is true as from when this guide was created, therefore check prices in advance as with the time they change.
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 is here where you will find the historical casinos and neon lights, including: Binion’s Horseshoe Casino, Golden Nugget, 4 Queens, The Mint and the Pioneer.
- World Class Circus Acts at Circus Circus Hotel and Casino, 2880 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Daily from 11.00 am, every half-hour. Aerialists, jugglers, acrobats and trapeze artists take the stage at the world’s largest permanent circus. Free.
- Sirens of TI at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino, 3300 South Las Vegas Boulevard. Shows are in the evening. Plan to arrive early as it is difficult to get a good viewing spot. Free.
- Bellagio Fountains At the front of one of the most beloved casinos in Vegas. Every 15 minutes 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 Hotel and Casino. Eruptions begin at 18.00 pm and run every hour on the hour until 23.00 pm.
- Flamingo Garden At the Flamingo Hotel and Casino. Flamingos and exotic birds.
- World Renown Casinos Such as the Treasure Island, MGM, Paris Paris, New York New York, Mirage, Venetian, Luxor, Riviera, Flamingo, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, Stratosphere. All of which unique and thematic, but one has to decide how many to come and see unless you are spending a good amount of days here. Unmissable for sure, the Paris, New York New York, Venetian, Luxor, Caesars Palace and the Stratosphere.
- Hoover Dam Merely 30 minutes away from downtown Las Vegas you have this engineering masterpiece. Worth to spend half a day on a tour after crazy Vegas. For more information here you have a nice guide with all the information needed.
From the airport, taxis cost between $10 to $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 find near the airport, and then change for the buses elsewhere in the city. This works great if you have no luggage, but certainly not recommended with luggage considering how hot can also be. In the other hand, a 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 quite 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 stopping 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.
-The Mandalay Bay Tram connects the Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and the Excalibur Hotel and Casino for free.
-The City Center Tram connects the Monte Carlo, Crystals, and Bellagio hotels and casinos for free.
Well, I think thee is no need to really write much in here. Basically, whatever you want you have it. From super high class to super basic, from one of the most luxurious and expensive room in the world, to simply couple of dollars. The choice is there for everyone and surprisingly, hotels are quite cheap considering the magnificent properties we are talking. 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…
The usual note in here, a good and reasonable point to start your search is by checking some of our preferred affiliate hotel search engine such as Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia, Otel.com, Agoda, Opodo, LateRooms or Ebookers.
In our case we stayed 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 by staying with them at the same time than enjoying magnificent views. As for the rides located at the top, you need to pay them separately. It is, in any case, pretty simple hotel, don’t expect too high class but the casino is nice and quiet, perfect for a first timer person to learn how to play some games.