If you like gambling, Las Vegas is the Holy Grail. Rising like a mirage out of the scorching Mojave Desert, the city and its casinos, swanky bars and legendary hotels make the perfect setting for a debauched night or weekend of hedonism. With so much in the way of lavishness on show at any hour of the day or night, you will quickly become aware of just how Vegas came to be given the nickname of Sin City. All told, there is so much to keep you occupied when you visit that you may not know what has hit you!
But before you get too carried away by the prospect of mixing it with the high-rollers, make sure to sort out your ESTA visa before you get on the plane. EU citizens do not qualify for entry on arrival without one – check out this informative ESTA guide to see what you have to do. However, once you have your paperwork in place, it is time to get planning your itinerary for your trip. To help you cram everything in, we have put together this list of essential things to do and see – read on to find out more!
- Hit the Strip
Known as the Strip, the 3.2-miles central section of Las Vegas Boulevard is where most of the action happens. The Strip is lined with massive entertainment palaces and hotels, many of which you will probably recognise from some of the most iconic Hollywood movies. The neon signs and the enthralling atmosphere make it the definitive first stop on any trip to Vegas.
- Immerse Yourself in Freemont Street
Right in the middle of old downtown Las Vegas, Freemont Street is cordoned off especially for pedestrians. The whole area is covered with a canopy of LED likes that are so bright that they may be visible from outer space. The Freemont Street Experience is a show that includes visuals and live music from street performers and special entertainment acts – it is not to be missed!
- Take a Gondola Ride at the Venetian Hotel
Why visit Venice when you can have the same experience in Vegas? If you fancy a cruise on a gondola, head on down to the magnificently opulent Venetian Hotel. Here you will find a system of convincing mock canals complete with bridges that look like they have been lifted directly from Venice itself!
- Enjoy a Helicopter Ride
The is no better way to take in the sights of Las Vegas than from the air. Book yourself onto one of the helicopter tours that take off every day. Not only will you get to see the city up in lights, but you can also choose to be taken over the marvellous Grand Canyon, which is one of the most spectacular sights you will see anywhere in the world.
- Take in the Bellagio Fountain Show
The Bellagio Resort is a huge luxury hotel complex which houses a number of other high-end attractions as well as rooms. However, most people visit Bellagio for its famous dancing fountains. Every day at a scheduled time, the fountains start their elegant show, moving in unison to the music for the congregation of views that have gathered along the Strip.
- Ride the High Roller Ferris Wheel
If your budget does not stretch to a helicopter ride but you really want to get up high to see the sights, there may be another option. Check out the High Roller Ferris Wheel at the end of Linq Promenade. Standing at 550 feet high, the view from the top is outstanding, and you can make out all of the main hotels and casinos from on high.
- Hit Up the Mob Museum
Where there is gambling, it is inevitable that the mob will be lurking somewhere in the underworld pulling all the strings. If you are interested in the history of organised crime in Las Vegas, pay a visit to the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement on Stewart Avenue. Here, you can learn about the history of the mob in Las Vegas and the US as a whole through interactive displays and video clips.
The list of things to see and do presented above is designed to give you a chance to breathe in the true spirit of Sin City. Make sure you get through as many of them before you say goodbye to one of the enduring jewels of American culture.