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Short Travel Guide to Las Vegas 

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North Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Las Vegas; the famous Sin City, the City that Never Sleeps, the City of Lights… Las Vegas is literally an oasis of art, partying, gambling, and the forbidden, in the middle of the desert. The extent of what you can do in this city is so endless and vast that it is almost easier to tell you what you can’t do here; which is almost nothing. Whether you’re here for a bachelor/bachelorette party, a family vacation, a relaxed weekend of shopping, or some gambling, your options are endless. How much time you spend here is completely up to you: I’d argue you can see pretty much all there is to see in one night, but you will definitely also find enough to entertain you for a full week. Most people that come here tend to spend an average of 3 nights in one of Vegas many hotels. This city has been kindly described to me by a local taxi driver as being “on drugs.” This is due to the fact that every light here shines super bright, super fast, and at the same time, time seems to not exist here at all, to be infinite. The most undervalued feature of Las Vegas is probably the quality of the shows and performances you can find here. I say this because most people come to Las Vegas to gamble and party and end up attending shows because they see advertisements on the sides of buildings and billboards, and I am arguing it is worth coming to Las Vegas just for the quality of their shows. Take Cirque du Soleil for example; their best artists only perform in Las Vegas and their most expensive and technologically advanced stages and costumes can be found here. While I have only been to Las Vegas once, I hope that the insights I obtained during my visit help you plan out yours.

Enjoy your trip!
Little Paris, Las Vegas

Little Paris, Las Vegas

Fun Facts about Las Vegas

1) Las Vegas has been the set of countless very famous Hollywood movies and shows:
if you are a Friends fan you probably remember the several nights the cast spent in Las Vegas when they came to support Joey during his “movie filming” days. This took place in the famous Ceasars Palace. You will probably also recognize the hotel from one of the Ocean’s movies such as Ocean’s Eleven, or even The Hangover. These are just some, to name a few. Do you remember any movies that took place or had scenes in Las Vegas? Leave a comment down below with any you can remember!
The Hangover (Photo Credits:

The Hangover
(Photo Credits:

2) A lot of people know about the Bellagio Fountain Show, but not that many people know about the Mirage Volcano: The Mirage Volcano is a little less famous but in my humble opinion a lot cooler than the Bellagio Fountain Show. Located in front of the Mirage Hotel, as the title suggests, it may seem like a simple but big rock decoration surrounded by water. However, this is, in fact, a (fake) volcano that erupts at set times producing an incredible (-ly hot) fire and water show. A lot of people fight for the front row view, but I actually recommend standing back behind the crowd for two reasons: 1) it actually gets very hot up front, the fire gets very close (even though it is totally safe) and 2) the show happens mostly in the air. People crowd up at the rails of the fountain thinking it is going to take place in the water and while some of it does, it mostly takes place on top of the volcano which can even be seen from the other side of the road. Just stand back and enjoy! For more information about the different “show times” just google either of the venues and the next show should pop up. The Fountain tends to go off every 15 minutes until midnight at night, and the Volcano is usually every 30 minutes.
Mirage Volcano (Sofia Abrantes)

Mirage Volcano (Sofia Abrantes)

3) It is a lot cheaper to gamble at smaller hotels, but you can get free drinks if you gamble in the bigger ones: This one was for me one of the most fun tips seeing as I am a college student and am not swimming in money. Walking into gigantic maze casinos such as the one at the Bellagio Hotel was definitely fun, and I felt underdressed there for sure, but my wallet cannot afford the buy-in prices for these games if I want to play more than one round without going broke. So, I enjoyed people-watching at these famous casinos, but I gambled at the casino of my hotel. I stayed at Circus Circus Hotel and it is a great hotel with a great casino, it is just that the prices are a little more affordable. I ended up making 45$ from a game of Roullete that I only put 3$ into. Not a lot of money I know, but for a noob like me cashing out a check for 45$ in Vegas felt badass, to say the least.
Circus Circus Hotel Casino

Circus Circus Hotel Casino

4) You can get free entrances to clubs and free drinks if your Instagram profile is in public and you post pictures of Las Vegas while you’re there (with the geotag): if clubbing is your thing, and you enjoy free entrances and drinks (because let’s get real, these get pricey in Las Vegas), then this tip is for you. This one is one I found out on the spot, so I thought I’d share it with you. While in Las Vegas I took some pictures and posted them with the location tag on Instagram. Some moments later, club promoters were leaving their numbers on my photo comments to try to get me on their guest lists, offering free entrances and free drinks if I refer their name. No, I am not Instagram famous even though it definitely felt like I was those days. They get a commission per person they bring into their clubs, so they are constantly looking for people who are around, and what better way than tracking the up-to-date geolocations on Instagram? Enjoy!
5) You can go in any hotel you want to and explore, regardless of whether or not you’re a guest here: in most places around the world you are only free to look through a hotels’ facilities and use them if you are a guest or intend on eating at their restaurant, etc. In Las Vegas, this rule does not exist. You are invited to enter and explore any of the fancy hotels seeing as they all have shopping areas, casinos, theaters, etc. Depending on how fancy the hotel is, the types of stores found within it will vary. For example, the Bellagio Gallery as you can see above features very high-end stores such as Tiffany & Co, Gucci, Giorgio Armani, Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton and many others.
You can check out more tips and fun facts about Las Vegas here
Shopping Gallery at the Bellagio Hotel

Shopping Gallery at the Bellagio Hotel

Top Attractions in Las Vegas

1) Bellagio Water Fountain Show: this beautiful fountain show has been featured in several movies and commercials worldwide, so it is definitely worth the visit. It has been designed so that the water is perfectly in sync with the music, and with the added light effects, you are in for an incredible show. Fun fact: if you watch the last show of the day, which happens just before midnight, it features the USA’s national anthem.
View from Bellagio Fountain Show Location

View from Bellagio Fountain Show Location

2) Volcano Mirage: You have also heard us mention this one before and that is because, unlike the Bellagio Water Fountain Show, the Mirage Volcano isn’t as popular. However, in my opinion, the volcano show is much more impressive seeing as it features a mixture of water and fire in its show, synchronized to music. As mentioned before, a lot of people fight for the front row view, but I actually recommend standing back behind the crowd for two reasons: 1) it actually gets very hot up front, the fire gets very close (even though it is totally safe) and 2) the show happens mostly in the air. People crowd up at the rails of the fountain thinking it is going to take place in the water and while some of it does, it mostly takes place on top of the volcano which can even be seen from the other side of the road. Just stand back and enjoy!
Mirage Volcano

Mirage Volcano

3) Little Paris: You’ve definitely heard about or seen Little Paris in movies. It is essentially a small portion of the Strip dedicated to the city of Paris, France. It features a very cool miniature Eiffel Tower as well as a hot air balloon. You’ll find themed restaurants and stores nearby too. It is an excellent picture location and you will definitely pass by it during your stay in Las Vegas seeing as it is so central to the Strip.
Little Paris, Las Vegas

Little Paris, Las Vegas

4) Bellagio Entrance Glass Decoration: it might strike you as odd that we are recommending you visit a hotel entrance, but you really have to see it in order to understand. The Bellagio entrance features a beautiful glass artwork piece on the ceiling of the main lobby. Each and every flower you see was hand-made, and the color combinations make this lobby look even grander than it already is. My favorite thing about the hotels in Las Vegas is that they let you walk in and out, even if you are not a guest there, and see the different exhibitions, store galleries, and casinos that they feature. While at some hotels you will definitely feel underdressed, they will let you in the hotel with casual clothes as well.
Glass Ceiling Decoration at the Bellagio

Glass Ceiling Decoration at the Bellagio

5) Little Venice: Much like Little Paris, Little Venice is a miniature replica of the city of Venice, Italy. The most distinctive feature of this area and its little canals, that is overshadowed by beautiful little bridges. On these canals, you’ll see the typical boats that you can find in Italy. Here, you and your significant other can go on a romantic boat ride and admire the view. Be aware that it is not too private; the canal passes right by the Strip’s main road. It is also a little overpriced so unless you are really a fan, we just recommend admiring it from above.
Little Venice, Las Vegas

Little Venice, Las Vegas

6) Caesar’s Palace: Ceasar’s Palace is actually a hotel, but it is the architecture and the decorations outside surrounding it that made us add this to our list. Much like (you guessed it) Little Paris and Little Venice, Ceasar’s Palace takes you right back to Roman times. With beautiful Roman-style statues and a huge fountain very similar to the one you can find in Rome, this will take you once again on a small trip to Italy. A lot of people actually throw coins in this fountain to make a wish as well. It is an area that is very central to everything else and therefore very worth visiting. It is also a great picture location, especially during the day.

Outside Ceasar's Palace

7) Bellagio Art Forrest: Once again, the Hotel Bellagio has plenty to offer. The Art Forrest inside the Bellagio is essentially an art gallery that is “forest” themed. It features an incredibly realistic talking tree, a gigantic and beautiful peacock, and a little lake with a small bridge running over it. It is a beautiful picture location (and as a result tends to always be a little crowded). If you find yourself inside the Bellagio, you cannot miss this attraction.
Hotel Bellagio Art Gallery

Hotel Bellagio Art Gallery

8) Stratosphere Amusement Park: Last but not least, so that we appeal to the travelers, the art lovers, and the thrill seekers with this list, you will find the Stratosphere Hotel Amusement Park. Located at the very top of the tall Stratosphere Hotel, the Stratosphere Amusement Park features what were named some of the world’s scariest rides. Fit for the bravest adrenaline cravers, this amusement park features a rollercoaster that projects the cart off the top of the building and swings that get swung out over the edge and spin around, making you face your worst fear of heights. To go on these rides you must pay per ride, but you get free rides if you stay at the hotel as a guest. So, if you’re looking for a hotel in Vegas and you happen to be a thrill seeker, this hotel is the one for you!

Things Not to Miss in Las Vegas

1)  Taking a picture at the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign: Not taking a picture at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign is like going to New York City and not taking a picture in times square; were you really there? Located on a very easy to reach and central part of the strip, this sign is a must-see for any first-time tourists. It will be a little crowded on most days but if you are patient enough you will get your picture, and we promise it’ll make all your friends very jealous!
Welcome to Las Vegas Sign Photo credits:

Welcome to Las Vegas Sign 
Photo credits:

2)  Trying a slot machine/ any gambling game at a Casino: When in Vegas, you must gamble! Even if you have never done so before, going into one of the hundreds of Casinos and at least throwing some coins into a slot machine is a must! Once again, like every other addictive activity, please do so in moderation and be responsible. However, when done responsibly, this could provide you with some of your most fond memories of Vegas and who knows? Maybe you’ll get lucky! This one was for me one of the nicest tips seeing as I am a college student and am not swimming in money. Walking into gigantic maze casinos such as the one at the Bellagio Hotel was definitely fun, and I felt underdressed there for sure, but my wallet cannot afford the buy-in prices for these games if I want to play more than one round without going broke. So, I enjoyed people-watching at these famous casinos, but I gambled at the casino of my hotel. I stayed at Circus Circus Hotel and it is a great hotel with a great casino, it is just that the prices are a little more affordable. I ended up making 45$ from a game of Roullete that I only put 3$ into. Not a lot of money I know, but for a noob like me cashing out a check for 45$ in Vegas felt badass, to say the least. 
Circus Circus Hotel Casino

Circus Circus Hotel Casino

3)  Getting a view of Vegas from above at night (Stratosphere): You’ve heard us talk of the Stratosphere Hotel above when referring to the amusement park, but if you’re not a fan of amusement parks (or heights in particular) this is still a must-see. Going to the top of this hotel will provide you with one of the most breathtaking views of the city, especially at night with the millions of lights shining and colorfully glowing below you. It will also make for fantastic photos, so don’t forget your camera! We would argue that the only view better than this is if you’re lucky enough to land or take off in an airplane in Las Vegas at night. I got a chance to fly out of Las Vegas at night and boy was it a dazzling view!
4) Going to a show (Cirque du Soleil, Chris Angel, etc.): Last but not least on this must-do list is to attend some kind of show at night in Las Vegas. No matter what you are most into be it showgirls, performing arts like a circus, or magic acts, Las Vegas has a bit of everything. To make it better, only the best of the best get to perform in Las Vegas so no matter which one you go to you’re in for a treat. Good tip: only buy last-minute show tickets. This one may definitely sound counter-intuitive because usually, you would buy tickets ahead of time to save yourself some money, but when you understand the logic behind it suddenly makes a lot of sense. While the number of nights you spend in Vegas may be short, Las Vegas never sleeps and you should always remember that. All year long, almost every night, Las Vegas has dozens of shows happening. Always. All year. They make money because you book ahead of time. Think about it: how hard must it be to fill up a theater every single night, for dozens of different would class shows? Short answer: pretty challenging. So, these companies will always prefer to have their cheaters filled up for cheaper as opposed to not at all. Have an idea of the types of shows you would like to watch, and buy your ticket the same night of the show. The closer to the starting time, the cheaper the ticket will be. Personal example: I am a huge fan of Cirque du Soleil and I heard their best productions happen in Las Vegas (each of their stages is said to have cost around $165 million dollars). They have about four different shows happening almost every night, at different locations, at two different times a night (usually 7 pm and 9:30 pm). At 6:30 pm, my friend and I went on the website and searched up that night’s shows. We found tickets for one of the four Cirque Du Soleil shows for 9:30 pm with 60% discount. That's 80$ each we saved (yes, these tickets get very very pricey). This is just one of the several ways you can score yourself discounted tickets for shows so keep your eyes peeled, but this one is a tried and tested method. I also saw tickets for Chris Angel’s Magic Show, for example.
Tickets to Cirque du Soleil, price: 64$

Tickets to Cirque du Soleil, price: 64$

What to Eat in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is famous for a lot of things but unfortunately not for its distinctive cuisine. Most of the food you can find here is a little from everywhere in the world to try to accommodate the hundreds of different nationalities that pass by each year. If you are interested in reading about specific dishes at specific restaurants, you should check out this article HERE

When it comes to drinks, however, Las Vegas does have a few specials. Here are a few famous drinks you can get at the Strip and where to find them:
1)  Frozen Bailey’s Drink @ O’Sheas: known for its miracle work on a hot day, this drink has been raved about all over travel forums online. With the characteristical taste of Bailey’s, this drink will give you that alcohol fixes you are craving while making you feel nice and fresh on a hot day. Bonus points if you drink it in the sun by a pool.
Frozen Bailey's, photo credit: THIS

Frozen Bailey's, photo credit: THIS

2)  Chocolate Espresso Martini @ Bellagio: a combination of chocolate and Martini, need we say more? 
Chocolate Espresso Martini, photo credits:

Chocolate Espresso Martini, photo credits:

3) A traditional Strawberry Margarita @ Margaritaville: if you are a fan of Margaritas, Margaritaville is definitely the place to go for you. However, if you are not yet a fan, this Strawberry Margarita may very well convert you. 
Strawberry Margarita, photo credits:

Strawberry Margarita, photo credits:

Itineraries in Las Vegas

You can find the Las Vegas Strip route below and here
If you are interested in a 1-day itinerary, you should check out this one.
If you are interested in a 2-day itinerary, you should check out this one.
If you are interested in a 3-day itinerary, you should check out this one.

Getting Around and About in Las Vegas

Everything in the Las Vegas Strip is very condensed, meaning that no one place is too far away from another. You’ll notice that the majority of the people choose to walk from place to place as opposed to taking any other form of transportation.

Local bus services let you purchase two-hour tickets for 6$ or day passes for 8$ but if you’re like most people and are only out and about at night, subjecting yourself to these prices and their restrictive drop off points and schedules may not be the best option. Instead, order yourself an Uber Pool or Lyft Line and enjoy sharing a ride with your friend for about 4$ a ride. That’s only 2$ each! Bonus: it drops you off at the exact point you want to be. Keep in mind: you cannot put your pickup pin anywhere you like, Las Vegas has strict rules about where cars can stop. Thus, either of these apps will give you drop down menus with the areas you can be picked up at, which usually consist of the nearest hotel’s entrance. You get to enjoy getting picked up at a fancy hotel entrance by a private car, what a life!
The Mirage Hotel

The Mirage Hotel

Getting to Las Vegas

There are essentially three ways you can reach Las Vegas: by own transportation, by ground public transportation, or by airplane. The Las Vegas airport is a huge airport which accommodates hundreds of flights each day from, and to everywhere, in the world. Personally, I got to Las Vegas on a bus from Los Angeles. It took about three hours and we got to see some beautiful parts of the Mojave Desert on our way there. If you are in a nearby state or city and do not have your own car, it will definitely be easy to book a bus tour to Las Vegas for pretty cheap, and you can many times combine this with a hotel and get very good offers and discounts.
Mojave Desert

Mojave Desert

Where to Stay in Las Vegas

If we were to write down every single hotel in Las Vegas and the nearby area we would be here for weeks, so let’s keep this very simple: it depends on your budget, but even the best hotels offer discount prices at certain times of the year. If you have a bigger budget you may consider one of the big MGM players, the Bellagio, Ceasar’s Palace, amongst many others. If you are on a tighter budget a hotel like Circus Circus will still offer you great quality (this is where I stayed, and I loved it!) for an accessible (not cheap) price. My best advice here is to look for discounts online and read up on what each individual hotel has to offer. Circus Circus has a pool with very cool water slides, for example, so it is great for families with children and people who love water slides (me). It also has it's own amusement park. As mentioned above, Stratosphere has a very cool amusement park, perfect for thrill seekers. Each hotel in Las Vegas follows a different theme so you really have to look into them and choose the best fit for you and whoever you are traveling with.
Circus Circus Hotel Waterpark

Circus Circus Hotel Waterpark

What to Bring from Las Vegas

There aren’t any particular local souvenirs that are every special to Las Vegas, so we recommend getting creative with the thousands of souvenir options the hundreds of souvenir stores in and around Las Vegas have to offer. From Welcome to Las Vegas keychains to license plates, to very inappropriate souvenirs, the sky is the limit to your imagination here.

Low-cost Las Vegas

The words “low-cost” and “Las Vegas” are not often found together and for a good reason: Las Vegas was built with the sole intention of being a money machine. The casinos here make billions in profit and Las Vegas is constructed in a way that encourages you to spend, spend, spend! However, here are some ways we found to save some money in Las Vegas:
  • We chose a hotel with cool free things to do during the day, so that we double-dipped our accommodation money with our entertainment money. For being guests at the Circus Circus hotel we got free entrances to their water park, free rides at their amusement park, free tokens to use at the casino to gamble for free, and free meals. Check what you hotel offers it’s guests before you book so that you get the best value for your money.
  • If you are coming for a few days only, bring bottles of water or buy some on your ride here! Bottled water in Las Vegas is extremely overpriced! Thankfully our tour guide told us this in the bus and when we stopped before Las Vegas we bought a gallon of bottled water to bring with us because lets face it; Las Vegas means hangovers, hangovers means you need to drink a lot of water, and no one likes drinking tapped water in the middle of the desert (some hotels actually encourage you not to).
  • You can save some money on shows if you follow the tip above to buy tickets last minute (scroll up to read more)
Other than this, we’re afraid that if you chose to go to Las Vegas, you better be willing to leave some greens behind!
Cashout voucher after gambling at Circus Circus

Cashout voucher after gambling at Circus Circus

Day Trips from Las Vegas

A very popular day tour from Las Vegas is the Grand Canyon Tour or a tour of the Antelope Canyon. Both of these are absolutely breathtaking locations and worth the visit. A bus ride there with a tour guide will cost you something between 30-60$ depending on the type of package you choose. The bus ride to Grand Canyon South Rim is approximately 5 hours each way, so it is doable to go and return the same day. Although it is a little tiring, it is definitely worth it.
You can check out the Grand Canyon Route here and below.
You can read more about the Grand Canyon here.

Grand Canyon Route

Grand Canyon National Park Sign

Grand Canyon National Park Sign

Understand Las Vegas

Las Vegas is a place where adults can let go and have fun, but like any playground it has rules that have been put in place to insure everyone’s safety. If there is anything in particular you are planning in doing in Las Vegas you think may be illegal, please read up on the laws and the consequences before you decide to do so. You can find a lot about legal substances here (INSERT LINK Here is an overview of some things you should remember:
  • The drinking age is strictly implemented in Las Vegas (21) as well as the legal age to gamble (also 21) and the legal age to go into strip clubs (21 at some, 18 at others). Please make sure you respect this as disrespecting it can land you in jail for the night. Be aware that any money you gamble while under 21 and any potential profit you make will be withheld from you by the casino and you have no legal entitlements to it.
  • Do not forget that Las Vegas is in a desert. This means it can get extremely hot during the day in the summer months (and at night as well) but also extremely cold at night. Make sure to look up weather forecasts and pack accordingly.
  • A lot of people will try to sell drugs to you on the street. Remember that these are illegal and can be very dangerous for you (and even potentially kill you). Party responsibly.
  • As in any other place where people tend to be under the influence there are quite a lot of robberies (mostly pick-pocketers) but more serious crimes such as rape occur as well. Please take care of yourself and your friends.
  • While even the most prestigious casinos will let you in regardless of what you are wearing (you will feel out of place in shorts and flipflops at Bellagio though), many clubs have strict formal dress codes. Read up on the club you are planning on going to before you choose your clothes.
  • There are designated pick-up areas for Ubers, Taxis, and Lyfts in Las Vegas. You will not be able to flag them off the road. Almost all hotels have these zones, so if you need a ride you should head to the closest hotel.
  • Las Vegas has designated bridges to cross the roads and designated cross roads. Please respect these as a lot of cars speed through these roads disregarding pedestrians. For your own safety, avoid jaywalking.
In this picture, you can see one of the

In this picture, you can see one of the "bridges" that allows people to cross the road safely.

Useful Links

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority operates the official website for Las Vegas tourism:
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority  3150 Paradise Road  Las Vegas, NV 89109 
For information and ideas on things to do:

We hope you enjoy your trip to Las Vegas and that this article was helpful to you!

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