Las Vegas Travel Guide

USA  #1 in Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA
Credit

Courtesy of RebeccaAng/Getty Images/RooM RF

2-day Itinerary in Las Vegas

Explore the best things to do in Paris in 2 days based on recommendations from local experts.

Day 1

  • 1
    #1
    The Strip
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    #1 in Las Vegas
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Once you pass the famous "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign along Las Vegas Boulevard South, it won't be too long until you're cruising the Strip. Sin City's notorious artery acts as the epicenter of any Vegas getaway. Here you'll find Las Vegas' most iconic landmarks, including the Bellagio Fountains, the Eiffel Tower at Paris, Las Vegas, the pyramid and sphinx belonging to The Luxor and The Venetian's Grand Canal

    The "Strip" technically runs from Mandalay Bay on the south end (home to an aquarium and a man-made beach) to the Stratosphere casino on the north end, where you'll find the tallest free-standing observation tower in the country (this is where you'll go for the perfect Vegas photo). 

    If you have the stamina, you can explore the Strip on foot – just make sure to wear comfortable shoes. Alternatively, the Deuce bus offers rides 24/7 from the  Fremont Street Experience in downtown Vegas all the way to the southern end of Las Vegas Boulevard. The Monorail is another option, which travels from the MGM Grand and Sahara Avenue. You can also book a variety of guided tours, from helicopter rides to bar crawls. Prices vary by tour type, so visit the Las Vegas Tourism Board's website for more information.

    Travelers say it's best to visit the Strip at night to see all the casinos and attractions light up in the desert. You can wander the Strip any time of day or night, but note that individual businesses feature their own operating hours. Be mindful of your surroundings (and your wallet) after dark – the last thing you want is to lose your winnings to a pickpocket. For recommendations on where to stay along the Strip, check out our list of the Best Hotels in Las Vegas.

    ...Read More »
    5-25 minute walk; 5-10 minutes by car
  • 2
    #3
    Bellagio Casino and Fountains
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    #3 in Las Vegas
    Casinos, Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Casinos, Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    This Strip staple offers plenty of ways to lay your money on the line, from table games and slot machines to a race and sports book. This is also the choice casino among many high-rollers due to its high-stakes tables. What's more, this casino hosts the World Poker Tour, among other tournaments. 

    But there's more to the Bellagio than the casino floor. Even those who don't gamble praise the Bellagio for its upscale atmosphere and variety of amenities and attractions. 

    Anyone who's seen a movie set in Vegas will recognize the Bellagio's massive fountains: Every 15 to 30 minutes, those walking past the Bellagio are treated to a complimentary light and water show with the fountain's jets shooting water into the air during intricately choreographed "dances."

    You'll also find a fine art gallery as well as botanical gardens within the Bellagio – not to mention a luxury hotel, several restaurants, Cirque du Soleil's "O" show, a spa and numerous nightlife venues.

    You don't have to pay to walk around the Bellagio or to enjoy its fountain show, but you'll need some cash for the restaurants, bars and shops. The Bellagio is open to visitors 24 hours a day. To learn more, visit the Bellagio's website.

    ...Read More »
    5-10 minute walk
  • 3
    #8
    Caesars Palace Casino and The Forum Shops
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    #8 in Las Vegas
    Casinos, Entertainment and Nightlife, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Casinos, Entertainment and Nightlife, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    A staple of the Vegas Strip, Caesars Palace has been welcoming visitors to Sin City since the 1960s. Since then, it has made an appearance in such popular films as "Rain Man," "Showgirls," "Iron Man" and "The Hangover." Those who choose to gamble at Caesars will find themselves in ancient Rome, with massive columns and frescoes paying tribute to the casino's namesake. Those who prefer to use their money in other ways can make their way to The Forum Shops - home to about 160 specialty stores, the newly revamped Fall of Atlantis animatronic show and a 50,000-gallon aquarium. 

    You'll also find one of Sin City's most famous nightclubs. Formerly PURE, Omnia nightclub underwent extensive renovations before debuting in 2015. The club houses multiple dance floors and lounges with frequent celebrity hosts and popular DJs throughout the year. Plus, the venue's rooftop offers unparalleled views of the Strip. Recent travelers noted that it's one of the most upscale clubs on the Strip, so expect to pay steep cover and drink prices. 

    You can explore Caesars Palace and The Forum Shops for free, but other attractions within the complex may charge admission. To learn more about entertainment and activities here, visit the Caesars Palace website; to learn more about staying here, check out our Caesars Palace Hotel review.

    ...Read More »
    15 minute walk; 5 minutes by car
  • 4
    #2
    The Venetian Casino and Grand Canal
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    #2 in Las Vegas
    Casinos, Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Casinos, Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Why spend the money to cross the Atlantic when you can get a decent taste of Italy right in Vegas? Nestled along the Strip, The Venetian replicates the highlights of Venice, complete with gondola rides along the Grand Canal. Visitors can get a taste of what life is like in the Queen of the Adriatic thanks to The Venetian's Streetmosphere program: singers, stilt walkers and "living statues" recreate the typical scene you'd likely encounter in the real Venice for those who opt to spend the day perusing the wares in the Grand Canal Shoppes.

    For $29 per person, you can take a gondola ride along the Grand Canal anytime between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; on Friday and Saturday, gondola rides are offered until midnight. Some recent visitors said they found the rides to be overpriced, but said the atmosphere was romantic. 

    If you'd rather spend your money on chance, recent visitors said that The Venetian's casino is one of the best on the Strip thanks to its size, decor and its variety of games (including poker, slots and blackjack). You'll also find a brand of Madame Tussauds wax museum, a Canyon Ranch Spa, 10 pools, the TAO nightclub and several shows ranging from comedy and theater. 

    As far as dining goes, you shouldn't be surprised to know that you'll have access to gourmet Italian eats here, not to mention a long list of restaurants serving everything from burgers to noodles. 

    The Venetian sits across the street from The Mirage in the central of the Strip. You won't have to pay to go in and walk around, but the on-site attractions will cost you. To learn more about The Venetian and the Grand Canal, visit the hotel and casino's website. If you're thinking of staying in The Venetian's hotel, you can learn about that experience here.

    ...Read More »
    10-15 minutes by car
  • 5
    #14
    The Mob Museum
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    #14 in Las Vegas
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Back in the day, not even Vegas' neon lights could distract Americans from Sin City's darker side; today, The Mob Museum sheds light on the city's pervasiveness in the 20th century gangster era. Las Vegas' former federal courthouse – located in the downtown area a few blocks northeast of the Fremont Street Experience – now houses distinct interactive exhibits devoted to exposing America's mob history.

    Visitors to the museum will learn about such notorious gangsters as Al Capone, Bugsy Siegel and John Gotti and the dedicated G-men and FBI agents, like J. Edgar Hoover, Eliot Ness and Harry Anslinger, who worked to quell crime across the country. The Mob Museum walks travelers through a detailed history of mob activity in the U.S. and around the world, from the rise of organized crime families to the intricate gambling scams still perpetrated today. Recent visitors said they found the staff to be extremely knowledgeable and the exhibits to be in-depth and well curated.  

    The Mob Museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas). General admission is $23.95 for adults (save a few bucks by buying online in advance), $13.95 for children ages 11 to 17 and children 10 and younger can enter free of charge. Guided tours are available for an additional $10 and last about 90 minutes; audio tours are also for an additional $4. Combine a trip to the Mob Museum with a visit to the Neon Museum for $32.00. To learn more, check out the Mob Museum's website.

    ...Read More »
    5 minute walk
  • 6
    #10
    Fremont Street
    View all Photos
    #10 in Las Vegas
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Fremont Street used to be dominated by classic but less-frequented casinos that seemed past their prime. But now, this section of downtown Las Vegas is once again ready to compete with the Strip for visitors' attention.

    Occupying several blocks of Fremont Street near the Mob Museum, the Fremont Street Experience includes the immense Viva Vision light show with 12.5 million LED lamps and a 550,000-watt sound system. The area also has several other distractions, such as food stands, souvenir shops and the SlotZilla zip line that sits 10 stories above the pedestrian walkway.

    Most travelers were very impressed by the overhead light show, though some say the overall atmosphere here can be a bit unnerving, especially at night. 

    The six-minute light show occurs every hour between 6 p.m. and 1 a.m. while the zip line operates from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday (open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday). You can visit the Fremont Street experience at any time of day or night, although be sure to keep your wits about you after dark. Admission to the area is free, though some of the attractions located under the Viva Vision canopy will cost extra. To learn more, visit the Fremont Street Experience's website.

    ...Read More »
    10-20 minutes by car
  • 7
    #11
    Cirque du Soleil
    View all Photos
    #11 in Las Vegas
    Entertainment and Nightlife
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Entertainment and Nightlife
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Las Vegas knows how to go big – especially when it comes to entertainment. So it should come as no surprise that a performance company like Cirque du Soleil thrives here. Translating to "Circus of the Sun," Cirque du Soleil is known for its incredible acrobatic feats, which are performed with an unrivaled level of artistry.

    Cirque du Soleil's performances are inspired by a variety of natural and cultural elements. For example, the "LOVE" show (performed at The Mirage) pays tribute to the legendary rock band, the Beatles; meanwhile "O" (which can be seen at the Bellagio) has water playing a crucial role in the performance. Other Cirque du Soleil performances around town include "Michael Jackson ONE" at Mandalay Bay, "Mystère" at Treasure Island, "Zumanity" at New York-New York, "Criss Angel MINDFREAK LIVE!" at the Luxor and "KÀ" at the MGM Grand.

    A Cirque du Soleil performance is something that can be enjoyed by viewers of all ages. Tickets can be pretty expensive, but travelers say a good seat is worth the price. Prices and showtimes vary by date, performance and venue. To learn more about the shows in Las Vegas, visit the Cirque du Soleil website.

    ...Read More »

Day 2

  • 1
    #6
    Mandalay Bay Casino, Aquarium and Beach
    View all Photos
    #6 in Las Vegas
    Beaches, Casinos, Entertainment and Nightlife, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Casinos, Entertainment and Nightlife, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Sure, this towering gold building at the southern end of the Strip boasts all the slots, poker and game tables you want in a Sin City venue, not to mention a variety of restaurants and nightlife venues. (Plus, it's home to the House of Blues Music Hall and plays host to "Michael Jackson ONE," Cirque du Soleil's tribute to the 80s pop icon.) But Mandalay Bay doesn't exude the same level of kitsch found at other casinos along Las Vegas Boulevard – a major selling point for more laid-back travelers. In fact, this is the place you go if you're looking for an escape.

    One of the major highlights of Mandalay Bay is its man-made beach: 2,700 tons of sand and a 1.6 million gallon wave pool create an oceanside atmosphere in the middle of the Nevada desert. You can kick off your shoes and work on your tan in one of the rentable cabanas; those looking to avoid bikini tan lines can ditch the top at the Moorea Beach Club.

    Meanwhile, a variety of pools and a lazy river are appropriate cooling-off venues for the kiddos, while the summertime Beach Concert Series is fun for the whole family. Unless you're a guest at the Mandalay Bay or THEHotel at Mandalay Bay, you will have to rent a cabana in order to access the pool and beach areas – prices vary by day and occupancy levels.

    Speaking of families, no trip to Mandalay Bay is complete without a trip to the Shark Reef. The massive aquarium houses more than 2,000 animals, including stingrays, sea turtles, crocodiles and, of course, sharks. General admission is $25 for adults and $19 for children ages 4 to 12 (children ages 3 and younger can enter for free). Discounts are available for senior citizens and Nevada residents. To learn more about what to see and do, visit the Mandalay Bay website.

    ...Read More »
    20 minute walk; 5-10 minutes by car
  • 2
    #7
    New York-New York and the Big Apple Rollercoaster
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    #7 in Las Vegas
    Casinos, Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Casinos, Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    You won't have any trouble finding New York-New York: Its faux-Manhattan skyline – complete with scale models of famous Big Apple attractions like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge – occupies almost a full block of the Strip. Sitting across the street from the MGM Grand, New York-New York recreates the Gotham experience in true Vegas fashion, boasting a New York-style pizzeria, several bars and a variety of shops.

    As for the casino, it's stocked with plenty of slot machines and table games, but some travelers note that the gaming floor isn't as spacious as those in other Strip venues. 

    You'll also find plenty of other entertainment options, including a variety of shows such as "Zumanity" by Cirque du Soleil. New York-New York is also home to the Hershey's Chocolate World which offers more than 800 kinds of Hershey's chocolates and candies. 

    For most visitors, the highlight of a visit to New York-New York is a ride on the Big Apple Rollercoaster. For $15 (or $26 for an all-day "Scream Pass"), travelers can wind and weave through the faux Manhattan skyline and benefit from excellent views of the southern Strip – if they can keep their eyes open.

    But a word of caution to those staying at the New York-New York Hotel: some recent guests note that the screams from the coaster can make for a noisy stay (the coaster welcomes riders until 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Sunday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday). To learn more about what to see and do at New York-New York, visit the website. Remember: You can walk around the "city" for free, but individual attractions within the complex may charge admission. 

    ...Read More »
    20 minute walk; 5-10 minutes by car
  • 3
    #9
    Paris, Las Vegas and the Eiffel Tower Experience
    View all Photos
    #9 in Las Vegas
    Casinos, Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Casinos, Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Though it may not be quite as timeless as the actual City of Lights, Sin City's (rather kitschy) take on Paris is one of the Strip's most popular occupants. The property offers a whirlwind tour of the French capital's most iconic sights: You'll find a replica of the Arc de Triomphe, decor reminiscent of the Paris Opera and the Louvre, and the pièce de résistance – a 46 story, half-size replica of the Eiffel Tower. For $16 or $22 (depending on whether you visit during the day or at night), you can take in the 360-degree views from the tower's observation deck. 

    As far as the casino goes, you'll find slots, table games, horse racing and Keno – with which travelers were more than satisfied. However, some recent visitors mentioned that Paris, Las Vegas isn't the best hotel for families. Still, Paris, Las Vegas boasts several French-themed restaurants and bars, plus a variety of shows, not to mention a variety of shops and the swanky Chateau rooftop nightclub. 

    If you're in the mood for something more interactive, you can listen (and sing along) to Napoleon's Dueling Pianos for free. You also won't have to pay to walk around the complex (which can be found opposite the Bellagio along the Strip), but certain in-house attractions and activities will cost you. You can learn more about how to spend your time at Paris, Las Vegas website; or, if you're interested in using Paris as your Sin City home base, you can learn about the hotel here.

    ...Read More »
    15 minute walk; 5-10 minutes by car
  • 4
    #18
    High Roller Observation Wheel
    View all Photos
    #18 in Las Vegas
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    For a unique, bird's-eye view of the Strip, take a ride on the High Roller at The LINQ. Standing 550 feet tall and 520 feet in diameter, the observation wheel is the tallest in the world (beating out the London Eye and the Singapore Flyer). The massive Ferris wheel features 28 handcrafted pods made out of Italian glass that can hold up to 40 people each. A trip around the observation wheel takes about 30 minutes, and recent guests say it's a great place for a photo op of the nearby casinos and attractions.

    Adults can also opt for a ride within the Happy Half Hour pod that includes a complimentary open bar during your trip around the wheel. Recent visitors said the High Roller is also suitable for families with little ones, but concede that the Ferris wheel might be a bit boring when compared to the other amusement rides and roller coasters found on the Strip.

    Prices vary depending on the time of day (night rides cost about $10 more) but you can save by buying your ticket online beforehand. Day tickets start at $25 for adults and $10 for kids; night rides cost $37 for adults and $19 for kids. Rides are available from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day, with happy hour pods starting at noon and running until 1 a.m. Adults will have to pay extra for a ride in the Happy Half Hour pod. You'll find the High Roller observation wheel located at the LINQ Hotel & Casino across the street from Caesars Palace. For more information on prices visit the High Roller’s website

    ...Read More »
    10 minute walk
  • 5
    #4
    The Mirage Casino and Volcano
    View all Photos
    #4 in Las Vegas
    Casinos, Entertainment and Nightlife, Zoos and Aquariums, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Casinos, Entertainment and Nightlife, Zoos and Aquariums, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    You may recognize this Polynesian-themed casino hotel as one of the three establishments robbed by Danny Ocean and his crew in the 2001 remake of the film "Ocean's Eleven." In addition to its Hollywood credits, The Mirage has earned a reputation among frequent Vegas visitors as one of the best places to gamble along the Strip for high rollers and thrifty betters alike. 

    If you aren't a gambler or you've got kids in tow, the main reason to visit The Mirage is its massive volcano. Every night at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. (and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday), the ground rumbles and the man-made mountain spews fireballs sky-high to the sounds of The Grateful Dead. Recent travelers said it's an impressive show, and best of all, it's free to enjoy. 

    In addition to the volcano, The Mirage boasts a number of family-friendly attractions. The hotel houses a 20,000-gallon saltwater aquarium (located behind the check-in desk at the hotel), as well as Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. Here, you can come face to face with a variety of big cats and watch several friendly bottlenose dolphins put on a show. General admission is around $22 for adults and $17 for kids ages 4 to 12 (children ages 3 and younger can get in for free). If you're feeling more adventurous and have some extra cash to spare, you can participate in a "Yoga with the Dolphins" session or try your hand at being a dolphin trainer.

    The Mirage also features a number of shops, restaurants, nightlife venues and shows, including "LOVE," the Cirque du Soleil performance inspired by the Beatles. Though you don't have to pay to explore The Mirage, the on-site shows and attractions may charge separate entrance fees. You'll find The Mirage centrally located across the street from The Venetian and next door to Caesars Palace. To learn more about what to see and do here, visit The Mirage's website

    ...Read More »

Explore More of Las Vegas

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