All about Las Vegas
Sitting at the basin of the Mojave Desert, at the heart of Clark County and in the state of Nevada, Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world. Surrounded by mountain ranges, the most populous Nevada city encompasses everything around it.
Flights to Las Vegas land you in Paradise. Well, Paradise the unincorporated town south of Las Vegas. The sprawling 11km2 Las Vegas McCarran International airport awaits, LAS for short. Cheap flights to Las Vegas will make you one of the airports fifty million passengers a year. Close to the action, the airport is 8 km from downtown Las Vegas but at the start of the famous Las Vegas Strip. Terminal 3 handles all the international arrivals and departures; Terminal 1 is domestic travel. The terminals are not physically connected so make sure you arrive at the correct one. Terminal 2 was demolished in 2016.
Hotels are everywhere in the city, but the two main areas are the Las Vegas Strip, (part of Las Vegas Boulevard) and the area of Downtown Las Vegas. Vegas's public transit system is not as sophisticated as other resorts as hotels and casinos are self-contained. The usual buses, taxis and shuttles will take you from the airport to both areas. Depending on the type of transport you choose journeys to the Strip will take between 10 - 30 minutes and downtown just under an hour.
Pre-bookable shuttles are the most comfortable option, to the Strip and downtown. Multi-stop services that are shared with other passengers will be around 10€ to 15€ and take ten minutes to the Strip and under 20 minutes to downtown. A non-stop shuttle will cost around 40€ to 70€.
Travelling by bus is the cheapest, most fun, and a great way to see the sights. Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) buses are frequent, cheap and fast. The WAX (Westcliff Airport Express) gets you to the downtown area. If you are heading to the Strip get off the WAX at Tropicana @ Koval (W) and hop on the DUCE, which travels up and down the Strip 24 hours a day. To catch the bus head up to level 2 from baggage reclaim and the bus stop is located across from door 44. Tickets are available through an app, ticket machines or onboard. Passes can be bought for two hours to three days, from 7€ to 20€.
Taxis are always fun in the states. Find the taxi rank on level 0 at terminal 3. Fares to downtown are between 15€ and 20€; the journey usually takes around 20 - 30 minutes. Trips to the Strip are a little less between 10€ - 15€ and take about 10 - 20 minutes. It's illegal to hail a cab on the street in Las Vegas so head to the nearest taxi rank instead. Top Tip, nearly every hotel will have a taxi rank. Uber, only recently arrived in Las Vegas, is another option. Order as usual and head down the elevator to the Valet Level (V). Prices are around the same as regular taxis.
Tickets for bus travel are available through the RTC: app, ticket machines or onboard the bus. Passes can be bought for two hours, 24 hours and three days, from 7€ to 20€, and used as many times as you like.
Las Vegas has a subtropical hot desert climate. The Mojave Desert in which it lies is the driest and hottest in Northern America. The summer months of June - September are the most tropical with temperatures regularly reaching 40 °C. Winters are very short, usually December and January, temperatures have reached 0 °C, but they often stay around 13 °C. The sun shines for over 300 days per year, perfect for those cheap flights anytime you want.
Hotels are more like cities within cities. Every conceivable hotel type is available in Las Vegas. At the last count, there were around 150,000 hotel rooms. From motels to the most decadent suites can be located either on the Strip or downtown area. Average room rates are around 130€, with the most expensive a reported 35,000€ per night.
Known to the world as Vegas, the former fort town on the road to LA, is where the world comes to play.
The world's famous chefs have made Vegas their own. The 00s saw a rise in the celebrity chef and Vegas opened its arms and restaurants to make way for a new kind of entertainment, the theatre of food.
There is more to do than party in Vegas, but you may as well indulge when you are there. The whole city is a party, but the real magic happens high up in the sky. Rooftop bars are the place to party in the City of Sin.
Las Vegas is relatively middle-aged in city years. The area dates back over 10,000 years, but it wasn't till 1911 that Vegas was incorporated into a city. The twentieth century saw a new kind of city emerge, a city indoors. The dry arid climate is best left to those who enjoy it. The cool air-conditioned hotels can be navigated from one to another without venturing out into the open.
The mainstream culture is centered around the entertainment industry. The bright lights of every facet of stage and screen can be seen in mega-hotel complexes that sprawl around the clubs and bars on and off the famous Strip. Quirky Twentieth-century culture embodies Las Vegas, seek out homages to film and pop culture.
The Strip can be a tiring place. Get out of the city for a day and explore Nevada. Natural wonders, abstract art and a graveyard of twentieth-century culture are a short trip past the hotels, casinos and bars. The most taxing sport you will find is golf which has seen a resurgence in the last few years with courses popping up all over the city.
When the money arrives, glamour is never far behind. The finest of European fashion has made its presence known in the city. As the world becomes more casual in its relationship with attire, Vegas remains fixed on looking fly. Leave your smarts at home and buy them here.