Before Vegas: Your ultimate guide to prepare

Going for the first time to Las Vegas is exciting. Probably you have seen the city, or the famous Strip in many movies, pictures.
When planning your first trip, what pops up in your mind?
Questions like:
Which hotel to choose?
What to visit?
How to get around?
What to see?
In this post I will help you to answer these questions 🙂

So let’s go step by step.

How and when to get there?

Vegas is cool for friends trip, girlfriend trip, couple trip…. 
If you live in the US or nearby then traveling to Vegas is much easier for you. Just take a budget flight, or drive. Although if you live a bit further off, like me, then visiting Vegas is not just a weekend getaway. It is better to connect your trip with other destinations around like the Grand Canyon or LA.

The best time to visit the city is during spring or fall, while summers are really hot. The desert climate produces temperatures like 40.1 °C daytime, and 27-29 °C overnight. I visited Vegas during October and the temperature was around 28-30 °C.

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Where to stay?

Today, there are about 150.000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas, which is a lot! So not easy to choose where to stay.
If you are visiting Vegas for the first time, definitely book a “Strip view” room in one of the giant hotels on the Strip.
The hotels are quite similar to each other. Almost all of them offers casinos, bars, clubs, shops, restaurants, spas…..
The price/night for 2 person on the Strip vary between 300-600 dollar. We stayed at hotel Mirage, which is not the most expensive one but gives the Vegas feeling (for review click here). If you would like to stay in more fancy ones, check Belaggio, Wynn, or MGM Grand.

What to expect from the hotels?

These hotels are just so huge that you actually live in a unique world. You will get mostly everything inside without stepping out of the building. It is like living in a huge shopping mall.
There are restaurants, shops, night bars, clubs, and giant casino areas. For daytime programs they offer spa area, pool, gym, or theater plays.
The hotels are equipped with parking garage so don’t worry about your car.
I suggest you to visit more of these hotels, cause all of them have their own architecture, atmosphere. Don’t miss the Venetian, or the Belaggio.

Whats included in the price?

Usually nothing!
You will have to pay for everything, expect using the pool side. But breakfast, lunch and dinner, the parking, clubbing will cost you extra fees so count with that. And Vegas is not cheap.

Daytime programs

Of course many of us will visit Vegas to attend some cool parties, but you should not stay in your room during daytime neither. Walking down the strip is nice in daylight too, but be prepared, it is quite long, 6-7 km. Therefore it may take you an hour or two. To make it easier, you can choose to hop on a Big Bus- Open Top Sightseeing Day Tour.

Top points to visit are:
– Welcome to the Fabulous Las Vegas Sign
– The Neon Museum
– Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat (inside hotel Mirage)
– New York hotel Roller Coaster
– CSI: The Experience (inside hotel MGM)
– Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition
– Vegas Eye, the ferries wheel (it is also cool during night time)

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Night Out

Where to party, which clubs to visit, what to drink, which hotels are the best to spend a night……
It is not easy, Vegas offers a lot.
My personal suggestion for the night: don’t become a “hotelhopper”. It is not worth to visit 5-6 hotels in one night. Choose one or maybe two hotels what are not that far away from each other.
The cocktails inside the hotels are really tasty, but not that cheap. On-street cocktails are less expensive. The prices in a hotel are:
Beer: $7 – $10
Mixed Drinks or Shots: $10 -$12
Cognacs: $12 – $15
Cocktails: $14 – $20
Bottled Water: $8 – $10

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The best clubs to visit are:
The Hakkasan in MGM Grand. This club lists the world’s biggest DJs (Tiesto, Calvin Harris, Steve Aoki) and called the place that all of the other clubs want to be like.
1 OAK in The Mirage. The club is designed around the dance floor, making the place a true dancer’s paradise.
Omnia in Caesars Palace.
Tao in the Venetian. Tao offers a Buddhist themed ambiance. Gives eastern styling with modern accents and girls in bathtubs.

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Gambling?

Sure!
If you are in Vegas don’t miss it. But be careful, it can cost a lot.
Entering a huge casino may be scary for the first time. But don’t be afraid, it is not that fancy stuff like in the movies. In the casino area you can participate poker tournaments, try one of the thousand slot machines, play black jack, roulette or many more games. Entering a poker tournament varies between 60-120 dollar, playing blackjack or roulette has a minimum bet/round from 10-15 dollar.

Around Vegas

If you visit Vegas for more than a few days, there are many attractions nearby:
– Don’t miss the Grand Canyon, it is unbelievable. You can book a helicopter tour, or visit the skywalk by car.
– The Hoover Dam manmade monument, is just 40 minute’s drive away. The visitor center costs $10 per person.
– Seven Magic mountain is situated just outside of the city, about 25 mins drive from The Strip. It is a collection of giant, painted rocks.
– Valley of Fire State Park is a public recreation and nature area and located 80 km northeast of Vegas.
– Zion NP is about 2.5h drive from the city but definitely worth a day trip.

10 Instagrammable spots in and around Vegas

1: Fabulous Las Vegas Sign
2: Belaggio Fountain
3: Strip view room or terrace
4: Seven Magic Mountains
5: Neon Museum
6: Valley of Fire
7: Grand Canyon
9: The Ctrip during day and night time
10: Inside a casino

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