LAS VEGAS travel guide 2021 | Experience Las Vegas

Travel Tips
Nov 18, 2021

"Viva, Las Vegas!", as a certain pop icon sang in 1964. And with its wealth of entertainment options and dedication to all things fun, that appraisal still very much stands decades later.

Contents

1. First time to Las Vegas
2. Best way to get to Las Vegas
Las Vegas's Airports
Entry notes
3. Getting Around Las Vegas (Transportation to downtown)
4. Best time to visit Las Vegas
5. Top Tourist Attractions in Las Vegas
6. Eating in Las Vegas
7. Best Places To Go Shopping In Las Vegas
8. Las Vegas Culture
9. Popular Hotels in Las Vegas
Best Romantic Hotels in Las Vegas
1. Wynn Las Vegas
2. The Venetian Resort Las Vegas
3. Encore at Wynn Las Vegas
4. Trump International Hotel Las Vegas
5. The Palazzo at The Venetian

LAS VEGAS travel guide 2021 | Experience Las Vegas

Las Vegas is one of the most popular and - let's be honest - notorious tourist cities in the world. Vegas is a metropolis, located in the vast Nevada desert with huge hotels and casinos lining the 4.2 miles (6.8 km) Strip. Circus Circus, The Venetian, Mandalay Bay - all those iconic names you’ve seen in countless Hollywood movies lie within Sin City’s borders. If you’ve seen ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’, ‘Casino’ or ‘The Hangover’, you’ll know what we’re talking about.

Despite its fame - and unique, extraordinary tourist experience - Las Vegas only really came into existence in the early 1930s when architectural marvel the Hoover Dam was built, bringing in workers and their families. Of course, the fact that the state of Nevada legalized gambling around that time didn’t hurt either.

The shows and parties in Las Vegas are some of the most well-known and extravagant in the world - particularly along the Strip. Huge name stars perform regularly at the famous venues here, whether it’s live music, comedy or magic. Pool parties and other club nights are legendary - should that be your kind of thing...

However, there’s a lot more to the city than its party reputation - the entertainment in Las Vegas is as varied as you could wish. However other areas - such as the old, glittery Fremont Street in the historic, cultured Downtown area - have their own offerings for tourists.

For example, food options are in abundance in Las Vegas. As well as the staple ‘burgers and fries’-style options you’d expect from the good old US of A, there are gastronomical choices from around the globe. Whether you’re into fine dining or want to simply take in all the glamor walking around with some street food, you won’t be disappointed.

Shopping aficionados will be very happy visiting Vegas. Home to no less than 7 malls, you can buy your jealous friends any number of souvenirs, as well as treating yourself to pretty much any designer brands you have your heart set on.

If it’s natural beauty you’re after, you can visit the Grand Canyon in neighboring Arizona with relative ease - it’s 4 or 5 hours by car (roughly 300 miles or 500 km), you can get on a tour bus or - for the really decadent - you can fly over the vast wonder by helicopter. Hey, anything is possible in Vegas...

1. First time to Las Vegas

• It goes without saying - during the spring and summer months, this city is very hot. Be careful if you’re visiting between April and October, and pack plenty of sunscreen. Naturally, you’ll be spending some of your time inside a casino, bar or restaurant, but be wary if you intend on chilling at the hotel pool.

• Speaking of casinos - if you intend on visiting one, which we’re sure you are, familiarize yourself with how it works. Do your research on blackjack and poker and how the slot machines work so you can enjoy your time there.

• Also, research where you plan to go ahead of time. The Las Vegas Strip is long, so your destination may be further than you think, and a long walk in the heat could prove exhausting. Make sure you know where you’re headed, and how to get there.

• Sticking with the planning theme, be sure to book those ‘bucket list’ adventures in advance. The Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon trip, bus tours - all will prove more costly and time-consuming if you don’t get online and book them before you get to Vegas.

• The Strip may be iconic, but travelers who want to get more bang for buck and a ‘local’ experience should visit Downtown Las Vegas. Cocktails are cheaper - indeed, free in some casinos (just don’t forget to tip) - and there are dazzling light shows and epic street murals that you can experience without spending a cent.

2. Best way to get to Las Vegas

Las Vegas's Airports

Las Vegas is served by Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) - formerly McCarran International Airport. The airport is located in Paradise, Nevada and is about 5 miles (8 km) south of Downtown Las Vegas.

Many major airlines - including American Airlines, Delta, British Airways, KLM and Korean Air - fly to and from Harry Reid International Airport. Direct international flights are most popular from Toronto, Calgary, Mexico City Vancouver and London.

The most convenient way of getting to the Las Vegas Strip from the Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) are the shuttle buses, taking you to the various hotels and casinos from terminals 1 and 3. Shuttle buses cost around US$9.50 One-Way or $17.50 round-trip per person, and take between 30 and 50 mins on average. Alternatively, you could take the Showtime Tours or Best Airline Shuttles towards the city. There are also public buses at terminal 1 that will bring you to the Vegas Strip, which typically costs around US$18.

Other convenient ways of getting to the city from Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) are taxis, rental cars and ride shares available outside. Taxis from the airport to the Las Vegas Strip are around US$20.

The other airport in Las Vegas is North Las Vegas Airport (VGT). This is primarily used for domestic tours and helicopter rides rather than domestic or international travel.

Entry notes

Las Vegas is located in Nevada in the USA. The population of Las Vegas City is around 650,000, with around 2.2m in the metro area. It is the largest city in Nevada, a state which borders California to the west and has a population of around 3.1m. The USA is currently the third most visited country in the world by number of tourists. Some countries require a VISA upon entry, while many other nationalities receive up to 90-day VISA free visits.

Language: The most common language spoken in Las Vegas is English, followed by Spanish.

Time Zone: Pacific (PDT) GMT -8

3. Getting Around Las Vegas (Transportation to downtown)

Unlike many other major cities, the airport in Las Vegas is located centrally, ensuring easy travel to wherever you’re likely to stay. Harry Reid International Airport (formerly McCarran International Airport) is located 5 miles (8 km) south of Downtown Las Vegas, and a stone’s throw from the famous ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign.

The Las Vegas Monorail is a great way to get around the city hassle-free. A 3.9 mile (6.3 km) automated monorail, it’s located adjacent to the Las Vegas Strip, meaning easy access to several of the large casinos in the area. A one ride ticket costs US$5 and unlimited ride tickets for 1 and 3 days can be purchased with cash or credit card at the ticket booths. QR-coded tickets may be purchased online and scanned at the gates. Passengers aged 5 and under ride free.

RTC buses run a route along Las Vegas Boulevard 24/7, and roughly 5.30am–1.30am elsewhere. The RTC bus costs US$2 per route, and you can also purchase 2-hour and 24-hour passes. For US$20 you get a 3-day All Access Pass. Tickets and passes can be purchased on-board Deuce Vehicles, at select ticket vending machines or on the rideRTC app.

Throughout Las Vegas there are also other shuttle buses between hotels and casinos, as well as numerous taxis. You can hail taxis on the street throughout the city, but there are pre-booked and ride-share services available too.

If you want to travel in style, limousines are a popular choice. The ride options vary from the basic black stretch limo to huge SUVs with hot tubs and disco balls if you really want to get the party started.

4. Best time to visit Las Vegas

As it’s located in the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas is classified as having a hot desert subtropical climate. Night-time temperatures tend to be significantly lower.

Due to the climate, the best time to visit Las Vegas is between February and April (spring), and from September to November (autumn). The weather will be more manageable, and you will avoid summer tourist peak season. Just keep an eye on the calendar for that year’s US Spring Break - taking place around Easter - if you want to avoid a mini spike in tourism.

During the summer months between June and August, the temperature in Las Vegas regularly exceeds 100°F (38°C), and can do so in May and September too. If you are planning to visit during these months, we recommend packing sunscreen and walking around with plenty of water.

Rainfall is especially minimal between April and June, with precipitation most likely occur during winter (December to February) and July, which tends to be the hottest and most humid month. With an average of 4 in (10 cm) of rain per year, however, there tends to be little in the way of a ‘wet’ season in Las Vegas.

Sin City tends to be busiest between April and August, and tourists flock during New Year’s Eve too. If you are looking to come on a short break, it is cheaper to visit mid-week to avoid the weekend price increase for hotels and flights.

5. Top Tourist Attractions in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is known primarily for its party scene - but there’s a lot more to it than its famous ‘Sin City’ moniker. Although we’ll get to that later...

First up, if you’ve got the stomach for heights, be sure to head to SlotZilla on Downtown’s Fremont Street. There are two options, but we recommend strapping yourself into the Super-Hero Zoomline, where you can ‘fly’ 114 feet (35m) over the whole of the street, totaling a length of 1,700 feet (518m). If you're a thrill-seeker, how can you not love zooming over the twinkling lights of Fremont in a slot machine-themed zipline?

While we’re on the subject of ‘twinkling lights’, the Neon Museum on Las Vegas Boulevard is a must for Sin City-themed nostalgia. Opened in 1996, the non-profit museum houses some of Vegas’s historic signs. Experience the history of Las Vegas via neon icons such as the guitar-shaped Hard Rock Café and the Hacienda Horse and Rider signs.

There are plenty of day-trip options outside of the city proper as well - a day trip to the modern wonder that is the Hoover Dam, a flight over the incredible Grand Canyon or a Black Canyon kayaking tour is all on offer to the adventurous traveler. Be sure to book in advance for the best deals and times.

However, the most famous aspect of Las Vegas is unquestionably its dedication to adult entertainment, namely live shows, casinos and the vast, extravagant hotels. The amazing water centerpiece outside of the Bellagio gives a hint to the entertainment within - "O" by Cirque du Soleil, multiple pools, shopping center numerous high-end restaurants, and of course the enormous casino are all here.

The MGM Grand is another world-famous name, housing a casino and hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. Built in 1993, David Copperfield hosts his nightly illusion shows here, epitomizing all the glamor you can expect from an evening in one of the world’s greatest entertainment hubs.

We’re merely scratching the surface of course - be sure to research and explore all of the things to do in Las Vegas before coming to visit.

6. Eating in Las Vegas

As you’d expect from a city that specializes in decadence, there’s a wealth of food options in Las Vegas, from tasty fried street food to high-end fine dining. It’s difficult to specify a specialty such is the choice you can expect in the Entertainment Capital of the World.

If the former takes your fancy, be sure to grab a loaded hot dog, perfect for fueling your tour around the city. Numerous take-out restaurants around the city provide these all-American staples. If cheese and carbs are more your area, then there are mac and cheese options too.

Sticking with the street food theme, "First Friday" is a celebration that includes numerous vendors - as well as arts, music and more - just south of the city's downtown area. If you’re in Vegas during the first Friday of the month, be sure to head to 1st Street in the Arts District for an array of gastronomical treats.

But of course, there are high-end restaurants a-plenty in Vegas - everything from US-style calorific treats and Latin American comida, to the variety of Europe to spicy Asian cuisine. If you want incredible oysters, chicken and waffles, vegan treats or fluffy pastries, there really isn’t anything you’ll miss out on.

7. Best Places To Go Shopping In Las Vegas

As you would expect from a city that prides itself on offering everything to its tourists, the shopping in Las Vegas is as varied and abundant as is possible. From pawn shops to vast outlet stores to high-end luxury - not to mention the 7 malls - Vegas will certainly offer you all your shopping desires.

Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian Resort is an extraordinary experience, whether you are typically a fan of shopping or not. A huge variety of famous shops line indoor canals in the style of the canals of Venice, offering everything, whether it be books or designer suits.

For an entirely different shopping experience, head to the eye-catching Downtown Container Park on Fremont Street. Housing 43 repurposed shipping containers and 41 locally manufactured ‘Xtreme cubes’, here you can visit 38 unique shops selling niche items such as cigars, homemade jewelry, makeup and candy.

Of course, we couldn’t mention shopping in Las Vegas without mentioning the Fashion Show Mall, located on the iconic Strip. Home to a quite staggering 249 stores and services, here is the place to visit for high fashion, electronics - and even entertainment in the form of (no surprises) fashion shows to accompany your purchasing.

Public Security: Generally, Las Vegas is very safe for tourists. However, as with many major cities in the USA, have your guard up. Don’t venture off well-lit areas at night - robberies are not unheard of.

Water Safety: The tap water in Las Vegas is safe to drink and generally of a good standard. However, many people prefer to drink filtered or bottled water. Make sure you stay hydrated, particularly during the hot summer months.

Currency: US Dollar (US$).

Tipping culture: There is a strong tipping culture in Las Vegas. Expect to tip for food, drinks and any other services. This can work strongly in your favor if you want to get free cocktails in casinos...

Religion: Religion is not widely practiced in Las Vegas - there are several churches in the city, however. After Christianity, the largest religion in Nevada is Buddhism.

Sustainability: Las Vegas is one of the USA’s pioneers in sustainable energy - the entire city is powered by renewable energy, largely due to the city’s solar capabilities. In terms of water consumption, Vegas has significantly increased the efficiency of its supply, which comes predominantly from the Colorado River.

Best Romantic Hotels in Las Vegas

1. Wynn Las Vegas

Opened: 2005

Renovated: 2015

Number of Rooms: 2716

Wynn Las Vegas on the Las Vegas Strip offers modern and exotic experiences with a full-service spa, oasis style pools and a variety of exclusive brand name shops. The Wynn Las Vegas is less than 5 miles from McCarran International Airport.

The Las Vegas Wynn features a full casino with more than 1,800 slots and 26 poker tables. A wide selection of table games is also offered, including poolside blackjack. A unique shopping experience is available at the Wynn’s many boutiques, including Chanel and Louis Vuitton, and more than 10 fine restaurants, cafes are open for dining.

The spa includes women’s and men’s facilities offering a broad range of treatments. A fitness center with a full gym and exercise classes is also provided. Outdoor activity is available on Wynn’s 18-hole professional golf course or within one of the four designer pools.

The upscale rooms of the Wynn feature spacious windows with views over Las Vegas. Exclusive beds, flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi are available in each room. The hotel’s dedicated concierge service can help arrange area tours, reservations and other items.

2. The Venetian Resort Las Vegas

Opened: 1999

Renovated: 2016

Number of Rooms: 4027

The Venetian Resort Las Vegas is located on the Strip, around 15 minutes by car from McCarran International Airport. Modeled after the city in Italy, the Venetian offers both indoor and outdoor gondola rides, and guests can even admire Renaissance architecture and frescos throughout the resort. Also featured are recreations of St. Mark’s Square and Rialto Bridge. When heading out from the hotel, the other attractions on the Las Vegas strip are just minutes away.

There are over 7000 guest rooms in the resort, ensuring the needs of all types of guests are met. Rooms are equipped with desks, irons and ironing boards, air conditioning, minibars, and more. The soft, comfortable beds ensure guests sleep well each night.

Home to seemingly endless dining options, one of the highlights at The Venetian is LAVO Italian Restaurant, which serves Italian classics and has terrace seating. CUT by Wolfgang Puck, an American steakhouse, is another favorite among guests. Grand Lux Café serves American favorites and is open 24 hours, ensuring utmost levels of convenience no matter what time it is. There are multiple options for nightlife within the resort as well, including bars and lounges.

During their downtime, guests have the option of heading to the pool, casino, or even sauna. The resort is home to Madame Tussauds and the Grand Canal Shoppes, both of which are excellent places to spend a fun afternoon. The resort is known for hosting romantic destination weddings, and full wedding planning services are available. At The Venetian, the options are endless.

3. Encore at Wynn Las Vegas

Opened: 2008

Renovated: 2016

Number of Rooms: 2034

Encore at Wynn Las Vegas is situated right on the Las Vegas Strip. This 5-star hotel and casino is adjacent to Fashion Show Mall. It offers luxury accommodation, 5 on-site restaurants and an award-winning spa.

The spacious suites of the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas feature modern décor with floor-to-ceiling windows. Each suite is equipped with at least 2 flat-screen TVs, an iPod docking station and a living room with a minibar. A work area with state-of-the-art office equipment is included.

The restaurants of Encore feature a variety of cuisines, ranging from premium steaks to classic Italian. The hotel also has 3 on-site nightclubs, including XS Nightclub, which offers a full bar and entertainment by the outdoor pools and cabanas.

The hotel's fitness centre offers daily classes. Personal trainers are available.

This hotel is within walking distance of all restaurants and attractions on Las Vegas Boulevard.Please do not splitting reservation in a consecutive stay for this hotel.

Wynn and Encore will be removing mandatory parking fees for hotel guests beginning of July 1st.

• Non-hotel guests and local residents will be validated once per day, per vehicle upon receipt of a $50 spend within Wynn or Encore, inclusive of all retail stores, restaurants, entertainment theaters, nightclubs and lounges, and all game play.

4. Trump International Hotel Las Vegas

Located in Las Vegas, this all-suite hotel offers luxury spa services, an outdoor pool and suites with kitchenette facilities and free Wi-Fi. The hotel is adjacent to the Fashion Show Mall. Every suite at Trump International Hotel Las Vegas is furnished with an iPod docking station and seating area. Las Vegas Trump International Hotel features an on-site spa with 9 treatment rooms and a full-service hair and nail salon. Guests can also use the state-of-the-art gym. Trump Hotel’s signature restaurant, DJT, offers casual American cuisine. H2(eau) also offers casual American favorites in a vibrant, poolside atmosphere. Private gourmet meals are available through the hotel’s convenient in-suite dining. Las Vegas Boulevard is within a 5-minute walk from the hotel.

5. The Palazzo at The Venetian

This 5-star eco-friendly Las Vegas hotel is on the Vegas Strip. The luxury hotel features a full-service spa and health club, pool deck overlooking the Strip, and a state-of-the-art casino.

Refinement doesn’t mean having less, it means having more of the things you want. The Palazzo tower at The Venetian Resort is classic Italian luxury, refined for your modern tastes. All suites, all newly redesigned. Unique culinary and cocktail destinations, including the inventive Electra Cocktail Club and romantic Rosina. Every experience created to shake up your soul and your martini. We invite you to open your mind to what luxury can mean.

The Palazzo boasts over 80 restaurants and bars, serving a variety of food from around the world. At the Grand Canal Shoppes, guests will find more than 50 international boutique shops. The on-site Canyon Ranch spa + fitness offers fitness classes, massage services, facial and skin treatments, water therapy circuit, acupuncture, and a full menu of salon services. Guests can meet with a nutritionist or personal trainer.

The Las Vegas Strip is a great choice for travelers interested in shopping, nightlife, and entertainment. This is our guests’ favorite part of Las Vegas, according to independent reviews. Couples in particular like the location – they rated it 9.4 for a two-person trip.