The idea of a weekend in Las Vegas may summon up images of decadent debauchery and blowing your life savings on a casino wheel. And whilst there is some truth in that, there is a whole lot more to the so-called Sin City!
Las Vegas is a vibrant metropolis that pulses with fun entertainment for everyone! While the spot is notoriously known as a gambler’s paradise and a party-goers’ heaven, it has a lot more to offer! The following guide will give you all of the best tips on where to go and what to do to make sure that you have a top-notch Las Vegas weekend!
Right, so lets what Vegas has to offer aside from the neon lights and slot machines! Viva Las Vegas!
Insider Tips for an AMAZING Weekend in Las Vegas
In order to fully prepare for your Las Vegas weekend getaway, there are a few details that you need to work out. Deciding in advance where to stay, how to get around, and what you want to do, will allow you to fully let your hair down and enjoy yourself once you arrive in Sin City.
Deciding where to stay in Las Vegas shouldn’t be tough as there are only a few main areas to choose from. One of the best parts about spending a weekend in Vegas is that there is always something happening everywhere and you’ll always have something fun and wild to do on your doorstep.
Nevertheless, there are a few spots that are home to more of the attractions and offer better entertainment than others.
“The Strip” is definitely the most iconic area in Las Vegas. This part of the city is the tourist mecca lined with casinos and hotels and dazzling with bright lights. This area is slightly more expensive than the rest of the city, but what it costs you financially, it will give back in wild memories!
Another popular area is Downtown Las Vegas which is the central business district of the city. Here you can also find Fremont Street – the second most famous spot in Vegas after the strip and the area where the locals prefer to hang out.
There are some great Airbnbs in Las Vegas if you want more privacy or a personal touch to your trip.
There is Las Vegas accommodation to suit all budgets and desires. The below suggestions are our top picks
Our Favorite Hostel – Sin City Hostel
- Prime location on Las Vegas Boulevard right on the Strip
- A comfy Vegas Hostel just around the corner from The Main Streets Arts district
- Staff can help arrange nightclubs, walking tours, Grand Canyon tours and more!
Located in the thick of the action and surrounded by hot-spot attractions, the hostel offers a simple, cozy space to stay. All the basic amenities are included and the hostel goes above and beyond to connect guests with unforgettable activities and excursions.
Our Favorite Airbnb – Brand New Apartment in the Center of Vegas
Just 2 minutes from the strip is this swanky apartment on the 9th floor. Features the view of the world-famous Bellagio Fountain: must-see for the first time in Vegas. With 24-hr check-in, your on your own time here. Or should we say time doesn’t exactly exist on this vacation?
Our Favorite Budget Hotel – Downtown Grand, an Ascend Hotel
- Epic value for money, with an on-site fitness center
- Centrally located in Downtown Las Vegas, 200 meters from the Mob Museum
- Incredible views offered from visually stimulating and comfortable rooms
The Downtown Grand offers guests all of the perks that can be found in Las Vegas, without the excessive expense of the Strip. The hotel has a swimming pool, fitness center and bars on-site to make your stay in comfortable rooms even more inclusive. As a bonus, the hotel is a stone’s throw away from Fremont strip!
Our Favorite Splurge Hotel – Bellagio
- Set behind the famous Fountains along the Las Vegas Strip
- Insanely luxurious perks such as a day spa, elegant rooms, a swimming pool, and fitness center
- A variety of scrumptiously decadent dining options are available!
Bellagio Hotel places guests in the middle of the action on the Las Vegas Strip. The hotel also offers a variety of spa treatments, dining experiences, courtyard pools, a botanical garden, and even a fine art gallery. The best part about the spot though? It is pet-friendly!
Know How to Get Around in Las Vegas
You won’t struggle to get around Las Vegas as the city offers a reliable public transport system. Whilst most of the action happens around the Strip, there will be instances where you want to travel around the surrounding areas.
If you want to travel in style along the Strip, you can hop onto the Monorail which is an efficient way to move around. The system relies on e-ticketing; you can get your ticket for the train on the Monorail website and download it onto your phone.
If you are looking to tap into the extravagant, luxurious Vegas vibe, then you should treat yourself to a limousine ride. You’ll be sure to see countless elongated vehicles cruising the streets – maybe if you stick your thumb out they’ll give you a ride?!
Many people choose to rent cars when visiting Vegas as it gives them the freedom to venture outside the city’s boundaries and visit some of the nearby Utah national parks. If you fancy traveling by car but don’t want to rent one yourself, there are loads of ride-sharing and taxi opportunities.
Both Uber and Lyft are readily available for visitors to the city. If you are traveling after a few drinks, it is always better to use these services – Nevada Police take driving under the influence extremely seriously.
There’s no arguing that Las Vegas really comes to life once the sun goes down. This means you’ll never be short of things to do in Las Vegas at night.
- The most notorious area in Las Vegas, the Strip is filled with millions of restaurants, bars, clubs, stores, entertainment, and gaming areas
- Start the night off with a drink at The Cosmopolitan Hotel bar, a venue that offers every luxury imaginable!
- The Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub is one of the hottest nightclubs in the Strip – and hosts the most epic pool parties!
The Strip is by far the most popular area in Las Vegas whether day or night and the partying and mayhem is 24/7. Furthermore, none of the hotels have windows or clocks so you can easily lose your concept of time – not to mention your concept of money…
Before you know it, the sun will be rising and you’ll be wondering where the night disappeared to.
Downtown i.e. Fremont Street
- The ‘Fremont Experience’ is a pedestrian mall in downtown Vegas. The mall’s domed canopy is covered in a 1,500 foot-long LED making it the world’s largest video screen.
- An interesting counterpoint to the Strip, Downtown is often referred to as the ‘real’ Las Vegas
- For the ultimate American dining experience, make sure you call for a reservation at Oscar’s Steakhouse!
- Full of Indie art galleries and performances in converted warehouses
- Home to the Arts Factory and countless other iconic galleries and theater groups
- Feeling hungry? Pop into Esther’s Kitchen for a scrumptious fill
Another incredibly popular area to visit in Vegas at night is the Arts District. While the area offers a multitude of bars, restaurants and entertainment venues, it also boasts an incredibly vibrant cultural atmosphere. This is the spot to visit in Vegas at night if you are looking for an experience that is artistically enriching!
In Vegas you will probably be burning the candle at both ends, and you’ll be in desperate need of some refueling. The good news is that Vegas is full of amazing culinary experiences to explore.
Here is our summary of some of the best places to eat in Las Vegas.
- The casinos in Las Vegas are more than gambloing dens and house some of the most incredible restaurants in the city
- Make sure that you visit Bellagio’s Lago on the Strip, a bright space overlooking the Bellagio fountains
- Refuel your body before heading back to the slot machines at some of Vegas’ finest restaurants
Vegas visitors spend a lot of time and energy in the casinos so it’s no wonder that they have some of the best restaurants in the city! If you find yourself exploring the Vegas Strip – which you definitely should – then make sure you take the time to explore the world-class culinary hot spots.
- The most important meal of the day, Vegas has a breakfast spot on every corner
- For the most incredible buttermilk pancakes, make sure you grab a brekkie at the Pantry
- Breakfast on the Patio at Morels serves the ultimate Bloody Mary alongside your meal
- Las Vegas boasts some of the most insane markets in the state!
- Downtown 3rd Farmers Market is a hip market that sells fresh produce and quirky products
- If you are around the Boulevard Mall, pop into Nkem African Market for super tasty African meals
The desire for locally made (and locally grown) food products has made the market scene in Las Vegas really popular. If you are not tickling your taste buds at one of the amazing restaurants, then you need to make time to stroll through one of the many markets and sample the local cuisine.
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While Las Vegas is very much glitz and glam, it is also an epic spot for sports fans to revel in the excitement. Your Vegas itinerary should leave room for at least a little sweat, blood or tears!
- A fully-kitted outdoor workout area in Las Vegas to let off some steam in a healthy way
- Get some sun, meet some people and burn some calories during a cheap weekend in Vegas
- A great spot for training alone or as a group of friends while on vacation
Prosperity Park in Las Vegas is the perfect spot to enjoy a free, calisthenics or street workout. Fully kitted with pull up bars, balance beams, and other exercise equipment, you can enjoy an epic bodyweight workout in between the madness that the city offers.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)
- Vegas has become a hot spot to watch the increasingly popular UFC
- T-Mobile Arena has been the hosting venue of countless professional fighting events
- Get up close and personal with some of the biggest stars in the UFC fighting scene
UFC is fast becoming one of the top entertainment sports in the world. T-Mobile Arena is a multi-sport indoor arena that has been the home venue for some of the world’s most infamous fights, along with other sporting events.
Whether or not you are a UFC fan, Las Vegas is a playground for professional fighting, and watching a fight is an unforgettable experience.
- Las Vegas is home to multiple professional leagues of Rock-Paper-Scissor events
- The professional league of the game has become so popular that global events are now being held all over the world
- Fun fact: some Rock-Paper-Scissors events have prize funds of up to USD $50,000
Remember playing the childhood game of Rock-Paper-Scissors to decide who will clean the dishes after dinner? Well, the popular children’s game is now a professional ‘sport’ played across the world. With the opportunity to win massive amounts of prize money, Las Vegas has become home to several global tournaments of the league.
Only in Vegas eh?
When you think of Vegas, you most likely think of parties, but the city is surprisingly cultured and has a few popular spots to visit if music and theatre interests you.
Las Vegas Philharmonic
- Proudly known as Las Vegas’s resident orchestra since 1998
- Boasting a repertoire that is known to be largely highbrow with occasional new works commissioned from contemporary composers
- Annual recitals coincide with national holidays such as Independence Day
The Las Vegas Philharmonic is located in the Smith Center for the Performing Arts and promises a memorable experience for all travelers with musical bones. Tickets range from USD $25 to USD $94 depending on what is on the venue’s calendar.
Cockroach Theatre Company
- The nomadic theatrical group that has been putting on offbeat productions for nearly two decades
- They have recently settled in Downtown, an art district of Vegas
- You can expect productions based on popular screenplays such as Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
- An 18-block zone set aside by the city to encourage the art scene
- Home to some of the best dining, cultural and nightlife venues in Las Vegas
- The Velveteen Rabbit is one of the funkiest craft cocktail culture joints in the city
Art lovers and cultural enthusiasts are known to fall in love with the Arts District of Vegas. The area is buzzing with fun, artistic experiences and is home to some of the city’s best craft drinks venues and should be on your list of places to go in Vegas.
Insider tip: If you find yourself in Vegas on the first Friday of the month, you simply have to visit the Arts District for their monthly First Friday event.
You should always have emergency cash hidden on you – pick up this awesome security belt with its hidden pocket before you travel, it’s perfect for hiding money, a passport photocopy.
10 Other Awesome Things to do in Las Vegas This Weekend
While the above list of Vegas weekend getaway tips should do the trick, there is a lot more to explore. So, if your Vegas weekend trip gets extended, you can browse the following epic things to do in Sin City!
#1 – Gamble at a Casino
You simply can’t visit Las Vegas and not visit a casino. Visit the notorious Bellagio where some of the world’s top Poker players keep a straight face or place your bets at the legendary Golden Nugget.
If you want a real treat, make sure that you visit the world-famous Caesars Palace which has earned an iconic reputation in Vegas. If you want a cheap weekend in Vegas, then set a small budget aside and visit one of the more relaxed casinos.
Who knows – you may even make a profit!
(Editor’s note – Remember that “The House Always Wins” and the odds are massively stacked against you. Gamble Responsibly)
#2 – Visit a Themed Hotel
In so many ways, Las Vegas is a living city of theatrical performances. There are countless themed hotels in Vegas that replicate various countries from around the world. From the gondolas’ at the Venetian to the replica of Lake Como in the Bellagio, you can travel the world without leaving Vegas!
Many of these hotels are open for guests to visit and grab a drink or bit to eat. What this means is that you can see the ‘Eiffel Tower’ at Paris Las Vegas without ever booking a room!
#3 – Marvel At An Outdoor Art Gallery
There are several areas in Vegas that are known for their artistic flair such as Downtown Vegas and the Arts District.
Downtown, in particular, is loved for its outdoor art galleries and beautiful murals. These local artworks add a great variation to the indoors of casino walls! Keep your eyes open for any ‘Life is Beautiful Festival’ events which showcase some of the most incredible colors, shapes, and interpretations!
#4 – Take A Trip To Hoover Dam
The giant curving face of the great physical form makes for an epic view as it reaches an impressive height of 726 feet! The dam itself took 21,000 men five years to build on the Colorado River.
Vegas weekends would be incomplete without stopping to absorb the sight of the huge man-made construct. Make sure that your camera is fully charged, it is quite a sight to behold!
There are regular day tours to Hoover Dam which you can arrange at your hostel or by booking online. The Hoover Dam is a modern marvel and a highlight of the USA
Hoover Dam Tours are likely to sell out so book ahead, here.
#5 – Explore The Mob Museum
The Mob Museum in Vegas should without a doubt be added to your list of things to do in Vegas for the weekend! The Mafia museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the public’s understanding of the history and impact of organized crime in America. For example, did you know the Mafia built the modern Las Vegas?
This is an unbelievable experience. If you find yourself in Downtown Vegas, make sure you make a stop here!
#6 – Ascend (And Descend) The Stratosphere
The tallest building in Nevada, the Stratosphere attracts countless adrenaline-junkies who ascend to the top of the building, only to hurl themselves down again. The SkyJump is a controlled free-fall that attracts travelers from around the world to throw themselves from a height of 829 feet!
If jumping from a building isn’t your thing, you can still visit the iconic attraction and even book a room in the tower! The hotel tower offers an impressive 13 different room types to cater to different experiences!
#7 – Go to the Circus
Las Vegas is the defacto stateside home of the legendary Cirque du Soleil. The Vegas performances typically take place at the Bellagio.
For a naughtier interpretation of the circus, you can also book a spot at Absinthe’s Spiegeltent outside the Caesars Palace. However, be warned, these performances promise a night of deep blushing and are not for the prude or prope
#8 – Get Married
No, we are not kidding! There are countless licensed chapels scattered throughout the city.
Vegas has earned a fairly amusing reputation for performing super quick and significantly non-traditional wedding ceremonies. From planned-themed weddings to drunk weddings at 2 am, you can look for any of the quaint little chapels where many, many people have declared their love.
Bear in mind that however novel or Kitch, a Vegas wedding is legally binding. Therefore I would advise leaving this one as a spectator sport.
Fun fact: Frank Sinatra married Mia Farrow at the Little White Wedding Chapel!
#9 – Bellagio Fountains
In the center of the action is the Bellagio. You’ll know you’ve arrived because of the spectacular fountain and light display that welcomes you! Located on the Strip, the eye-catching attraction encapsulates the true American ‘supersize’ way of doing things.
The fountain and lights are sequences to erupt every 15 minutes starting after dark until midnight. This is an awesome free thing to do in Las Vegas
#10 – Drive Through The Valley Of Fire
A short hour from Las Vegas, a drive through the Valley of Fire makes for an incredible day trip and change of scenery. The Valley of Fire State Park is Nevada’s oldest state park and is filled with incredible sights of bold red rock formations.
The 10-mile road will introduce you to the beautiful sights of various rock shapes and offers an epic scenic experience!
Remember to bring lots of water as it gets hot out in the desert. This is our favourite place in Las Vegas.
Insider tip: make sure that you visit the park on a super sunny day as the red rocks catch the light and look like they are really on fire!
Don’t forget to pack a good book! When the Mob Ran Vegas: Stories of Money, Mayhem and Murder is our top recommendation for an awesome and inspiring read on this magical city.
Las Vegas is an incredibly stimulating city to visit. To help you settle quicker and tick more off of your list, we’ve answered a few of the frequently asked questions.
#1. What should I pack for a weekend in Las Vegas?
- Identification. This may seem obvious but you do not want to be stuck in Sin City without proof of age. The legal age for drinking alcohol and gambling in Las Vegas is 21, and you will be asked to prove your age by showing ID. With the majority of Las Vegas activities being adult-focused, you will want to kick yourself for forgetting the most basic packing essential!
- Smart outfits. Vegas is full of amazing clubs and fancy restaurants. To avoid standing out like a sore thumb in a shabby road-trip outfit, make sure that you pack one or two smart items that can be dressed up with a pair of heels or a smooth comb-over.
- A light jacket. Vegas can get sweltering hot – especially in summer – but the casinos are fully kitted with air conditioners. This means that it can be quite chilly at times so a light jacket can make a world of difference when trying to stay comfortable!
#2. Can I get an apartment in Las Vegas for the weekend?
Regardless of your budget, group size or time spent in Las Vegas – the city will without a doubt have accommodation to suit your needs! You will have a variety of choices available to select your apartment or lodge in Las Vegas for the weekend.
We’ve put together a list of the best hostels in Las Vegas to get you started, but this really is the tip of the iceberg. From fancy hotels that accept a minimum of a one-night stay to Airbnb and Booking.com boasting a long list of choices – all you have to do is pick your home for the weekend!
Top tip: Take the opportunity to stay in one of the quirky local accommodation choices in Sin City. Vegas is notorious for its various themed hostels, hotels, and homes, so try to choose one that adds a unique flavor to your Las Vegas weekend trip.
#3. Is Las Vegas safe for a weekend trip?
Las Vegas is considered very safe for travelers. The casinos house a significant amount of money and so security is super tight. In recent years, the crime rate in Vegas has even been lower than that of some other big American cities (such as Los Angeles).
That said, the city is also known to be full of people with lowered inhibitions which makes it the perfect target destination for petty criminals. So, while the city encourages you to party and have a good time, it is important to keep your wits about you! Don’t carry excess cash, use a money belt and be wary of beautiful strangers.
Another thing to keep in mind is the high number of scammers offering exclusive VIP passes to various clubs and events – always go through a certified agency!
If you venture outside of the city, remember Nevada is a hot desert so bring plenty of water and sunscreen.
And have you thought about getting Travel Insurance for your trip? We’ve put together a roundup of Travel Insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.
Final Thoughts on a Great Weekend in Las Vegas
The city is pulsing with excitement, and the above guide is only the tip of the iceberg. If you want to delve deeper into what Las Vegas has to offer, have a look at our ultimate Las Vegas travel guide.
Make sure that you keep your wits about you – especially after reveling in one of the many parties – and familiarize yourself with your route and transport options before arriving.
Don’t be afraid to push your boundaries and explore what the lively city has to offer outside of the gambling scene! Weekends in Las Vegas promise to remain deeply ingrained in your memory, so make the most of your time!
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