Why Las Vegas?
Las Vegas is a city which is truly unique in the USA and the world. This is sin city – a Disneyland for adults.
When to go?
We travelled to Las Vegas in May, which is a really nice season. It’s warm most of the time but not too hot. Also, you can get reasonably priced flights as there are no school holidays. I booked a direct flight from Frankfurt to Las Vegas with Condor, which was surprisingly good. Always look for offers, they sometimes have reduced rates.
Where to stay?
In Vegas you are spoilt with choice. I don’t think you can really go wrong as long as you book a hotel that is on the strip. I know the hotels off the strip are cheaper and you might go for them because they are still close. Just keep in mind that the atmosphere changes abruptly as soon as you leave the strip. Honestly, I would recommend to stay on the strip – its worth the money and probably it’s a once in a lifetime experience for most of us.
We stayed in two different hotels: The Venetian and the Wynn. I can recommend both (the Wynn is a bit pricier).
The fun thing about the Venetian was that I was actually in Venice three weeks before we flew to Vegas. So ultimately, I had the direct comparison between the real town and a fantastic imitation. You can’t really compare the two but I find it simply incredible how they managed to incorporate all the major elements you also find in Venice into a hotel.
The hotel rooms are probably some of the best you will find in Vegas. The smallest room you can book is the luxury suite which is just huge. I loved the sunken living room and the super comfy king size bed.
On our last night in Vegas we stayed at the Wynn. This is one of the newest and most luxurious hotels on the strip. It’s worth joining the Wynn Insider Program to get special deals when you book. Here you get the best rates. We stayed in a Wynn Deluxe Resort King Room. The king bed faces towards the panoramic window – you can lie in bed and see the strip and the mountains. This view is simply beautiful, which made it extremely hard for me to get out of that bed. When we checked in we asked for a room on one of the higher floors facing the strip. We had to pay an extra $30 but it was totally worth it. Our room was on the 60th floor (the highest floor) with magnificent views. Also perfect for asking THE question.
I must say that I liked the Wynn pool area more than at the Venetian. It seemed to be newer and had a more relaxing atmosphere.
My tip at check-in: Always ask for a room on one of the higher floors facing toward the strip. You just don’t want a room on the 4th floor looking at the wall or the delivery entrance.
How do I travel in town?
You can simply walk. Walking in Vegas is easy, super straightforward and safe. If you don’t want to walk take Uber. We had loads of fun Uber drivers in Vegas.
What to do? 10 things to do in Vegas
1. Go to a beach club
We went to Encore Beach Club and booked our tickets a few weeks in advance. David Guetta was performing that day. The day at the beach club was one of the most insane experiences I had in Vegas. I felt like being part of a movie – it was so unreal.
The only thing you actually need is your credit card. I didn’t even have my phone with me because obviously my bikini doesn’t have any pockets and you don’t want to wear much more. Just don’t forget to put on some sunscreen – otherwise it can get pretty ugly. There was also loads of sunscreen brands in the bathroom. Just take some dollar notes with you or catch those that are flying around the pool. No joke. It is really hard to describe the “party-pool-champagne-money-the world is ours-atmosphere”. Just go there and enjoy the party. It is just completely out of the normal world.
2. Go to night clubs
I have seen many clubs in many major cities but the clubs in Vegas are in a different league. Get your ticket in advance to ensure admission and enjoy.
3. Go for a morning run on the strip
This is actually something I really wanted to do. Wake up at 6 am and go running when the streets are empty and the air is still cool. The problem is when you do the other things on the list (especially night clubs) it gets really hard. So, I must confess I failed here. Maybe the next time …
4. Go shopping
You have the choice. I can recommend the malls in the Venetian and Caesars Palace because you have the great atmosphere of Rome and Venice. I enjoyed the shops in Ceasars Palace more though. Another great mall is the Fashion Mall across the street from Wynn. Or if you have more time take a Uber to Las Vegas North Premium Outlets.
5. Go and see a show
I have never heard of anyone who didn’t enjoy a show at Vegas. The quality of shows and acts is amazing. If you have a specific show in mind then be sure to book your tickets in advance. If you don’t have anything specific in mind you can just book tickets when you get there. If are flexible time-, show- and moneywise then you will easily get tickets. I really wanted to go and see Cirque du Soleil’s “O” and bought the tickets one month in advance online. We had tickets in category B (Section 202, Row P) and they were perfect. I loved the show and can highly recommend it.
6. See the Fountains of Bellagio
When I think of Vegas, a picture that always comes to my mind is the Bellagio Fountain. Therefore, I couldn’t wait to see it in person. You can go and see the fountain show many times as each performance is unique. The shows in the evenings (when it is dark) are even more spectacular.
7. Do a helicopter tour to the Grand Canyon
This was a pre-birthday present from my father-in-law (to be): The Wind Dancer Tour with Maverick Helicopters. We were picked up at 5 am in the morning (it’s worth it!) and taken to the airport where the tours leave. Our flight departed at 7 am in Las Vegas and took us over Lake Mead, Hoover Dam to the Grand Canyon where we descended to have a small breakfast. The Grand Canyon was set in a beautiful light in those morning hours, which was great for pictures. I loved the tour, especially as we got to sit in the front for the whole flight. Lucky us. For me, this was the best way to experience the Grand Canyon. I know this is a pricey thing to do but it is soooo worth it.
8. Go fine dining
There is an abundance of restaurants in Vegas, which makes it really hard to pick. In the end we asked for a personal recommendation and were very happy with the choice. On our last evening we wanted to treat ourselves and decided on the restaurant “Le Cirque” at Bellagio offering french cuisine. The food was special, the atmosphere intimate and the service super attentive and sweet. Afterwards you can get a drink at the Skyfall Lounge in the Delano Hotel or at the Ghostbar on the 55th floor of the Palms. Both bars offer spectacular views of the strip at night.
9. Visit Old Las Vegas
Welcome to a different world. Still crazy, but different crazy. We went there in the evening to soak up the special atmosphere. Dinner at Heart Attack Grill was really weird and Fremont Street even more. It is loud, flashy and you really don’t know where to put your eyes as so much is happening around you: Ziplining above your head, roaming street performers with crazy outfits and an impressive light show on the world’s biggest LED screen right above your head. Plus the music, sounds and noise from everything around you. You just have to experience this colorful and eclectic place in Vegas and then decide if you like it or not. I was quite happy to be back our my dark and quiet hotel room that night.
10. Play in a casino
You can’t go to Vegas without going to a casino. And I don’t mean walking through a casino but actually sitting down and gambling. Even if you don’t win, you at least get cheap drinks.
Things not to do
1. Forget your credit card: I think then things would get pretty lame. Without money Vegas is really no fun.
2. Go with children. Honestly, you are not doing yourself or your kids a favour. There are so many things in this city that children shouldn’t see and if you are under 21 you are missing out on most of the fun stuff.
3. Actually, I can’t think of a third “Not to”. Vegas is a city where you can practically do everything as long as it fits in with your own morals, values and your budget.