A dazzling sight by night, the lights of Las Vegas sprawl for hundreds of miles across the Nevada desert, illuminating this giant adult playground. The casinos are often the main draw for visitors, from slots to roulette and blackjack, Las Vegas has them all, but there are many other sights to see in Sin City.
Experience some of Europe’s most beautiful cities without ever leaving town. In the themed resorts of Paris Las Vegas, the Venetian and New York New York, it is possible to see the Eiffel Tower, St Mark’s and the Statue of Liberty in one afternoon. Those on a budget can take a ten dollar bus tour of the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas, taking in its most famous sights. Anyone after a little Vegas history should head to the Atomic Testing and the ‘Mob’ Museums to see how Las Vegas rose from the sands of the Nevada desert to become what is now the largest gambling Mecca of them all.
One must-see is the dancing fountain at the world famous Bellagio Hotel. A spectacular sight in itself, the hotel transforms at night to become the hottest ticket in town. With more than 70 swimmers, divers and aerial acrobats and over 1.5 million gallons of water, the Bellagio Fountain should be the eighth wonder of the world!
Caesars Palace is shopping heaven in reproduction Roman surroundings. With hundreds of high end designer boutiques open until midnight; this is shopping Las Vegas style! It’s also the perfect place to find a wedding dress for those who’ve come to Vegas to get hitched. Whether it’s a ‘traditional’ Little White Wedding Chapel ceremony, an Elvis inspired extravaganza at the Viva Las Vegas Chapel or perhaps a Scottish elopement at the Wee Kirk o’the Heather, a Las Vegas wedding is one to remember – as is a trip to Las Vegas itself!
The nearest major airport to Las Vegas is McCarran International Airport, situated just 12 miles from the centre of Las Vegas. It is well served by taxis and buses, while some hotels offer free transfers, included in the price of their bookings. Regular shuttle buses transport visitors to their hotel to the Strip for around $7 one way. For those feeling flush, a limousine can be hired for approximately $35 from the airport to the Strip. Most major UK airport offer flights to Las Vegas with airlines like Air France, KLM, British Airways, Air Canada and more.
What you need to know
Currency: The US Dollar (USD) $
Visas: If travelling to the United States as a tourist it is necessary to acquire a valid B-2 visa, unless eligible to travel under the Visa Waiver Program. To meet the criteria for the Visa Waiver Program, visitors must be from the following countries; United Kingdom, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium Brunei, Denmark, Finland, Chile, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, or Switzerland.
They must be travelling on a valid, full validity, machine readable or e-passport with an electronic chip. The date on which the passport was issued is an important factor in determining whether the passport will be acceptable for visa-free travel. Travel must be for business or pleasure for less than 90 days. Travellers must also be in possession of a valid return ticket and able to produce this on request.
Laws: The legal drinking age in Las Vegas is 21. It is illegal to drink drive or have an open container of alcohol in ones car. When driving, visitors should note that there are hefty fines for not giving right of way to pedestrians on a crossing.
Las Vegas has a curfew. Anyone under the age of 18 is not allowed to be on the Strip after 9pm unless accompanied by an adult. Off the Strip it is 10pm on weeknights and midnight at weekends. The minimum age for gambling in Nevada is 21. This is strictly enforced by all casinos who face heavy fines if found to be allowing underage gambling.
Best times to Visit
There isn’t really an ‘off’ season in Las Vegas, being a popular tourist destination all year round. Valentine’s Day can see flocks of brides and grooms descending on the Strip while New Year’s Eve is also a hectic time of year.
The weather is dry and sunny for much of the year. May to September are the ideal months for those wanting to sunbathe on the beach, but Spring is particularly lovely for taking in the delights of the surrounding desert or the lush and beautiful Las Vegas Springs Nature Reserve. November to December can be a little quieter, just be sure to leave before the Christmas countdown begins. While winter days can be scorching, Las Vegas is in the desert where temperatures can plummet by night to almost freezing, so be sure to bring warm jumpers for these months.
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