Why Las Vegas?
 
Vegas_Night2_en

Las Vegas is one of a kind. Many famous - and infamous - folks have set foot on its dry soil. Thousands of people visit yearly for a very diversified number of reasons.

Las Vegas offers diversions for everyone: attractions and shows ranging from kitschy to grand - but all are worthwhile a look.

Even if you are not gambling, there is little chance that you will get bored in Las Vegas. This city thrives on entertaining visitors: with light and sound shows, world-class performers, unique restaurants, and a tendency to show off the latest gadgets: giant TV screens, sleek trains, special effects.

Las Vegas is a MUST in the been-there, done-that category.

 

Photo: What Las Vegas does best: turning the night into day (by TravelAdmin).


 

 

 

The Vibe
 
Las Vegas is whatever you want it to be. It has glitz and pomp and very expensive haunts, if you like that kind of stuff. Or it is easy-going and down to earth, overlooking your little faults as long as you keep playing and pay your bills.

Las Vegas can be active or lazy. You never feel pressure to explore here: take the bus or the super-modern train. Walk a few feet and stop by a watering hole along the way. There are so many choices. Have a cheap beer in an out-of-the way bar, or sip a colorful Mai Tai in the Rainforest Restaurant at MGM.

Las Vegas is a Mecca for food lovers. The all-you-can eat buffets are legendary, the choices of food and eateries mind-boggling. Another specialty is a serving of entertainment with your meal: experience a diner from the 50ies with talented performers at the Stratosphere hotel, or a first-class string quartet at the Belagio.

No other city in North America has so many establishments competing for your business.

You will feel very important in Las Vegas.


 

The Night Vibe
 
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Do you like to make the night into daytime? Then Las Vegas is your place.

The casinos are open 24/7 and don't announce nightfall or daybreak. There is no curfew in this city and nobody telling you it's your bedtime. Walk the strip at night and watch the light shows at the Bellagio's fountains or the Freeman mall.

Take in a pirate battle at Treasure island. Step into any of the bars or clubs, and see Las Vegas hopping when other cities roll up the sidewalks.

Las Vegas is permissive. Have another helping at the buffet, or indulge like a celebrity. Las Vegas is all about hedonism, albeit in a controlled and non-threatening way.

Welcome to Las Vegas - a city that keeps reinventing itself like no other.

 

Photo: Night view at the strip, by TravelAdmin.


 

Where to hang out and/or book Accommodation
 
Vegas_Strip_enLas Vegas has a huge selection of hotels to choose from. Most of them are located at or near the strip, and that's where most of the attractions are located. If you have come to gamble, you will never be far from a casino.

There is no bad location in Las Vegas.

South end of the strip:

Home of the Mega hotels like MGM, (pharao hotel), and …

This location is an excellent choice for families because attractions like the Mirage hotel and Treasure island with its pirate theme are close by. Children will like the white lions at MGM or the exhibits at the fairy-tale hotel Excalibur.

North end of the strip:

This is more of a traditional area. Many of the older (and cheaper) stores, bars and restaurants are located here. Hotels worth mentioning are the legendary Golden Nugget with the Freeman mall and its fantastic light show, and he Stratosphere whose tower is dominating the city's skyline.

The Stratosphere's rides high above the city are unique and worth trying.

In-between:

A great choice of both modern and traditional hotels. The older haunts like the Stardust or the Riviera are brimming with history that you can feel. The newer hotels try hard to be unique: they are Bonsai versions of New York City or a European metropolis like Paris or Venice. You have to give them a lot of points for trying very hard to imitate the original.


Photo: Overlooking the Strip from the Stratosphere, north to south (by TravelAdmin).


 

Las Vegas in a day or longer...
 
Vegas_Canyon_enDay visit:

- If you have just one day, an organized city tour is the best way to see the most important sights. Even if you are not gambling, try to spend time at a casino, just to catch the typical Las Vegas vibe.

3 to 4 days (long weekend or convention):

This is the time-frame for many tourists who attend a convention here. To "do" Las Vegas in a few days and catch its essence, we recommend:

- Go to one of the shows. Las Vegas productions are grander and glitzier than anywhere else, and they are well worth the price of the ticket. Also, this may be your only chance to experience a world-class performer in person.

- Visit a casino. Even if you are not into gambling, you cannot go to Las Vegas and miss the sideshow in the city's gambling establishments. Set aside a small amount of money to play with, and don't worry if the slot machine eats it up: consider it an entrance fee to a Las Vegas attraction.

- Set aside one day for a daytrip. Highly recommended is the Grand Canyon. You can visit it either by bus (a long day with a 5-hour ride each way), or by plane. Other option is the Hoover dam.

- Explore the strip at your own pace, either during the day or at night (or both). Walking part of the strip and stepping into some of the hotels will provide you with a rough picture of Las Vegas and enough stories to tell at home.

- Set aside a few hours for shopping.


Photo: If you do only one tour from Vegas, make it the Grand Canyon (by TravelAdmin).


 

Recommended Travel Guides:
 

Frommer's is good - but Las Vegas tourist information centers do a great job handing out useful information for free.


 

The Underbelly
 
Las Vegas is generally safe for visitors. Take the usual precautions you would in any strange city. Don't venture into neighborhoods and don't visit places that are declared off-limits by travel-guides and hotel concierges.

Pretty ladies: Despite the city's fight to attract the average American family, it has never lost its reputation as Sin City, and you will see why. Flyers with bare-butt beauties can be found in numerous locations where the kids can pick them up.

The big danger in Las Vegas for you is to overstep your limits.

a) If you have a gambling problem, vacation elsewhere. There is no way to escape the lure of the crap tables and slot machines in Las Vegas: you can't even check into your hotel without passing through a huge casino.

b) And once we mentioned the pretty ladies… paid companionship is a demi-monde activity even if it's offered in a first-class club. If you are not prepared to deal with the consequences of hiring a lady (or gentleman) of the night, just skip this kind of amusement - Las Vegas has so many other goodies for you to indulge.

Sob stories: Some folks who didn't heed the above advice and gambled away the farm may approach you for money for bus fare, a meal, or even to buy underwear because their luggage got lost. Yeah right.

We all like to think of ourselves as good Samaritans, and most of us would like to help, but remember that in Las Vegas, nothing is what it seems.

Give something if it makes you feel better, but don't make friendships with strangers.


 

Special Tips
 
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Las Vegas is so popular with many folks because it offers so many attractions at no extra cost to you: exhibits in hotels you can admire for free, street performers playing for tips, and many seasonal or temporary stunts put on by hotels or restaurants just to lure in visitors.

Take the time and visit a good website prior to visiting Las Vegas to find out what's being offered, or stop by one of the tourist info points or offices. You may get lucky and they're handing out free tickets to the train, to a show, or a museum that day!

Free casino chips, buffet invitations, etc.: You know there is no free lunch in this world, and Vegas is no exception. If they give you something for free in Las Vegas, they expect to win it back ten-fold or more when you start playing the slots and the tables.

However, there are true sponging artists who have found out ways to take advantage of all those freebies without losing a dime at poker... Why not follow their cue?

 

Photo: Fountains at the Bellagio Hotel, by TravelAdmin.


 

Las Vegas Hotels: Quicklist
 

TravelAdmin's note about Hotel Quicklists:
At present, only a small selection of hotels is featured here - we are working on a system where hotels will be listed in columns you can sort by name, star rating, and location. Coming later this year!


Stratosphere

Active hotel at the end of the strip, with main attraction of rides high above the city (the high tower in the city's skyline is the Stratosphere hotel). Eat in a diner from the fifties, with live entertainment beside your Naugahyde booth!

Pros/Cons:
For what it offers, prices at the Stratosphere are hard to beat. However, you may want to get a room in the new section - the old section needs urgent refurbishment.

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MGM Grand

Family-friendly hotel on the South end of the strip. Huge, classy, and kitsch-laden at the same time. But then again, it's Vegas…

Pros/Cons:
Offers some of Las Vegas' most amazing attractions such as the white lions and the Rainforest restaurant. Line-ups (including for checkin and checkout) can be humongous.

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The Golden Nugget

Traditional hotel at the north end of the strip, at the Freeman mall. It’s old Vegas without being long in the tooth. Excellent service.

Pros/Cons:
Location may not be the most family-friendly, but the attraction of the Freeman mall with its light and sound show makes up for it.