Las VegasTravel Guide

It’s over-the-top, but that’s what’s so great about Las Vegas. Everything is bigger, bolder and brighter and here, with world-class entertainment, dining (and of course, gaming) on tap. Once you’ve had about as much fun as you ever thought possible, you can easily leave the neon behind and discover the surrounding natural wonders, like Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area or Valley of Fire State Park. But hey, you might just want to chill out at a Day Spa instead. We hear you.If you’re planning to visit, explore our Las Vegas travel guide and find out how to make the most of your time in the world’s biggest party town. We’ve collected the best tips from our travel experts, and have all sorts of suggestions for things to do, the best time to travel, where to stay in Las Vegas, getting around and more.

Explore Las Vegas

Where to stay in Las Vegas?

Deciding where to stay in Las Vegas is, in some ways, unimportant. No matter where you base yourself, there’s always something happening in every nook, cranny, and nearby casino. There’s entertainment and excitement galore within walking distance from just about anywhere. With Vegas public transportation running the length of The Strip and into the downtown area, you’re never far away from wherever you want to be. The surrounding streets and suburbs all offer excellent accommodation options, along with plenty more to see. Outside of the bustling Las Vegas Boulevard you’ll discover that the city has much more to offer than flash and glamour too. Experience the Vegas that locals call home.

Las Vegas Boulevard beckons you in with its outrageous neon charm. The Strip is lined on both sides with everything that's quintessentially Vegas. Casinos, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, theatres, entertainment, and so much more bring the desert city to life. This is the Vegas that is known around the world.

Downtown and Fremont Street are north of The Strip in Vegas' central business district. This area is home to the vintage casinos and hotels of Vegas' golden era. Downtown is also home to the city's burgeoning arts district. Galleries and museums dot the popular area, introducing you to a more refined part of the city.

If you're after convenience and lower prices, a hotel just to the east or west of The Strip is your best bet. To the east is the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), large golf courses, and shopping malls. The western side is home to what locals call “the real Las Vegas” with regular supermarkets, bakeries, and town living. Here you can take a break from the casino lifestyle.

Believe us when we say, this is just the start. Book your accommodation today!

  • Vintage pink car in front of the Stratosphere
    • Las Vegas Strip lite up at night with water blasting up from fountain
    • Distant view of Hoover Dam
    • Oh Ah Point signage in Grand Canyon
  • Vintage pink car in front of the Stratosphere
    Vintage pink car in front of the Stratosphere
    Vintage pink car in front of the Stratosphere
  • Las Vegas Strip lite up at night with water blasting up from fountain
    Las Vegas Strip lite up at night with water blasting up from fountain
    Las Vegas Strip lite up at night with water blasting up from fountain
  • Distant view of Hoover Dam
    Distant view of Hoover Dam
    Distant view of Hoover Dam
  • Oh Ah Point signage in Grand Canyon
    Oh Ah Point signage in Grand Canyon
    Oh Ah Point signage in Grand Canyon

Things to do in Las Vegas

As the entertainment capital of the world, there are perhaps more things to do in Las Vegas than any destination you’ve visited before. Take your chances on the blackjack tables, or soak in the atmosphere of The Strip with a martini in hand. Shop to your heart’s content, and then be entertained by some of the biggest names in the business at Caesars Palace and the MGM Grand. Experience pure culinary indulgence, from steak houses to tea lounges and everything in between.

Las Vegas Boulevard, more widely known as Vegas' world-famous ‘The Strip', is a sensory overload of neon lights, restaurants, designer shopping, extravagant hotels, and cash-splashing casinos. Stretching along 6.7km, a walk down the strip can be enough entertainment in itself! But why walk when you could see it all in true Vegas style from the backseat of a limo?

Less than an hour from Vegas through the famous Joshua Tree region, you'll discover the magnificent Hoover Dam. Opened in 1936 and standing at 221m, the great concrete structure is a monument to the dizzying heights of pre-war American engineering. Take the pedestrian walk over the dam to witness a phenomenal view of the desert waters below.

Everything's bigger in Vegas! Standing at an impressive 350m, Stratosphere is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States. Unlike other observation towers, however, Stratosphere is also a fully equipped hotel and casino. You can dine in absolute indulgence in the Top of the World restaurant, or get your heart racing with a scream-inducing SkyJump.

The ARIA is the place to play it big in Vegas. The dark timber interior of the hotel and the magnificent water features that grace the casino make ARIA the centrepiece of the CityCenter precinct. ARIA also boasts 4,004 guest rooms, 16 restaurants, and industry-level theatres. Beautiful art and sculptures add an extra touch of sophistication to the experience of spending time here.

From Vegas to Venice! Venetian canals and a replica of St Mark's Square greet visitors to the Venetian-Palazzo. Home to some of the finest fashion at the Grand Canal Shops and best restaurants in the city, the Palazzo will not disappoint. Take a lazy gondola ride through the blue waters of the canals and explore one of the most fantastical spots in all of Vegas.

Several kilometres off The Strip near Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area lies Red Rock Resort. Its red ochre interior and exquisite chain of more than 3.1-million Swarovski and Preciosa crystals make Red Rock the jewel of the Mojave Desert. The resort's 7,000-seat outdoor amphitheatre and its pool concert series are huge drawcards year-round.

On the sands of the Mojave Desert sits the ultimate monument to Vegas' most famous calling cards. When you think Vegas, you think neon: beautiful, bright, and alluring. The Neon Museum has reclaimed and restored a huge collection of Vegas' disused neon signs in a boneyard of sorts that you can take a leisurely stroll through. Get up close and personal with Vegas history.

Sophistication and class, the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art is Las Vegas' premier exhibition space. Works by such compelling artists as Picasso and Warhol have graced the gallery's walls at one time or another. The gallery itself is located inside the famous Bellagio hotel and casino. The gallery's quaint interior is the perfect platform for some of the world's most stunning pieces of art.

Drive about four hours from the city into the neighbouring state of Colorado and you'll get to see the mighty Grand Canyon. Not for the faint of heart, you can take a thrilling walk on the glass-bottomed Grand Canyon Skywalk, and marvel at the ancient 1,857m chasm below. Or, if you're short on time, why not splash out on a helicopter day trip and take it all in from the air before landing in the heart of the canyon itself. As one of the seven natural wonders of world, a trip to the Grand Canyon is a true bucket-list item.

The city of Las Vegas is a sight to behold, and the best place to see it all is from the top of the High Roller Wheel. Soaring 168m above The Strip, the wheel is an impressive way of taking in 360-degree views of the neon madness below. Located in The LINQ shopping promenade, there's even a few open-bar cabins for the thirsty sightseer!

Broadway shows, platinum-selling recording artists, circuses, cabaret, magicians… your ticket to world-class entertainment is in Vegas. Over the years, some of the biggest names in entertainment have made Vegas home for spectacular seasons and residencies, and every year the shows get better and better! No matter when you're travelling to Las Vegas, you're assured to be entertained by the best.

The majestic fountains that precede the grand entrance are enough to stop Vegas traffic. Inside, The Bellagio Conservatory and Botanic Gardens change with the seasons, and the hotel's very own Gallery of Fine Art hosts an impressive collection of contemporary works. Even the registration desk is made from sculptured glass, commissioned by the casino's eccentric proprietor, Steve Wynn.

Caesars Palace opened in 1966 and is one of the last bastions of Vegas' golden age. Caesars has been the haunting ground for countless famous faces throughout its illustrious history. The Rat Pack once called it home, and some of the world's greatest performers still regularly grace the stage of the casino's 4,100-seat Colosseum.

The history of Las Vegas is steeped in back-room deals and shady underground syndicates. A culture of crime and corruption once ruled over the city and the mob reigned supreme. These days, the mob is all part of the Vegas mythos, and The Mob Museum in downtown Las Vegas is the place to educate yourself on everything in the golden era of organised crime.

Nothing but pinball for 10,000 square feet! Whether you consider yourself a pinball wizard or a relative novice behind the switches, make sure to bring a bag of change with you to play some of the most iconic (and some of the most bizarre) pinball machines to ever grace gaming arcades the world over.

Madame Tussauds is the world's greatest celebrity hang-out – except all the celebs are made of wax! Anybody who is anybody, past and present, is immortalised in plastic inside the walls of the Madame Tussauds wax museum. Actors, musicians, sports stars, TV personalities, and – of course – Elvis are on display so you can snap a selfie with them. Who said you should never meet your heroes?

Looking for an immersive experience? Then a tour is the way to go.

Las Vegas travel tips

With so much to see in this neon paradise, perhaps the best Las Vegas travel tip is this: Create a vague itinerary, yes, but leave the details up to a bit of spontaneity! However, when travelling to the United States in general, always make sure to leave plenty of time to plan ahead. Sufficient preparation will ensure you get the maximum amount of enjoyment out of your travels. Travelling conditions to the United States may change at any time, so always keep yourself well-informed.

If you're visiting the United States for pleasure, and depending on your situation, you may be eligible to be admitted for up to 90 days on an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). If you're planning to stay for longer than 90 days, you will need to obtain a visa before travelling.

Las Vegas food is a hearty mix of Mexican, Italian, Asian, and modern American. Seafood is especially a popular delicacy, most notably when it comes to mountains of shrimp! If you have special dietary requirements, it's always best to ask your waiter or member of staff for required amendments to the menu. In a city that's as eager to please as Vegas, you'll always find something to suit you cravings.

Electrical outlets in the United States usually supply electricity at 110 volts, compared to Australia's standard of 240 volts. They also have a different design (2 parallel prongs). So to enable the use of Australian standard electrical products, you will need to purchase an appropriate adapter prior to your trip.

McCarran International Airport is the primary commercial airport servicing Las Vegas, located about 8km south of the downtown area. McCarran also services flights to major metropolitan areas across the Unites States. Homeland security is paramount to American air travel. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that has authority over the safety of travellers inside the United States. McCarran International Airport features five security checkpoints and screening areas, operated under the jurisdiction of the TSA.

The United States uses the US Dollar (USD), the most widely used currency in the world. The dollar system differs slightly from the Australian Dollar (AUD), with the United States employing the penny, nickel, dime, quarter, and half-dollar as coins. For current exchange rates, make sure to check online.

Tipping is a widely expected custom across the United States. The award wage for people working within the hospitality and service industries can be substantially lower than in Australia. Workers often rely on tips to compensate for low hourly rates. Generally, a tip may vary between 15-20% of your pre-tax bill. In Las Vegas, it's customary to also tip taxi drivers and tour guides.

The official language in Las Vegas and throughout the United States is English. Vegas is also home to a diverse mix of secondary dialects, prominently Spanish. Vegas has a long list of ‘gambling lingo' that you might like to research if you're serious about hitting the casinos. You don't want to get yourself 86'd! (That means getting ejected from a casino or hotel.)

Flights to Las Vegas

Las Vegas food and drink

Opulence and luxury are the starring roles of the show that is Las Vegas food and drink. A wealth of world-class chefs have made Vegas home, and their restaurants are serving some of the most intriguing and delectable dishes in the United States. If your appetite yearns for something more, or you just can’t seem to decide what to put on your plate, sprawling buffets are the solution. Dream up your perfect cocktail or stick to the classics. Where else is it more suitable to order a dry martini with an olive? Eat, drink, and win big!

Las Vegas is a city with an insatiable appetite. Discover cultures colliding, with fine-dining from Asia and Europe standing alongside the best in modern American cuisine on the menu. Exquisite locales ensure your dining experience is far removed from the ordinary. Las Vegas restaurants are a testament to the truly magnificent and mad creations of the city.

No holiday here is complete without eating at a Las Vegas buffet. You'll quickly discover that under the neon lights of the city, everything is in plentiful supply. Kilos upon kilos of shrimp, prime rib, crab, and so much more is on offer to you. So make sure to add eating at Las Vegas' best buffets to your itinerary.

Your secrets are safe within the walls of a Las Vegas bar. Much more than just places selling liquor, Las Vegas bars, lounges, and clubs are the centre of the city's nightlife. Music, dancing and cabaret are best enjoyed with a great cocktail, specially brewed beer, or something on the rocks. Whether you're after an upbeat atmosphere or something more low-key, you won't be short of choices.

In a city of glitz, glamour and excess, the best coffee in Las Vegas can be found in the most surprising locations. Artisan baristas and brewers are making a name for themselves as more and more ‘mom and pop' style cafes begin to pop up around the city. Enjoy homemade treats and hot coffee in one of Vegas' many hidden gems.

Get a real taste for the local cuisine by booking a tour.

Las Vegas through your eyes

Where to shop in Las Vegas?

Spoil yourself in a shopping destination unlike any other. From the most sought-after and luxurious brands in high-end fashion to the best in charmingly tacky souvenirs, anything Las Vegas shops don’t have isn’t worth having. Immense shopping centres stocked with hundreds of world-famous brands are good for more than just shopping. Much like The Strip itself, there’s always something to see and do in the city’s mega-malls. You may not even have to leave your accommodation to enjoy some retail therapy. Some of the most magnificent shopping precincts and centres are located inside Vegas’ biggest casinos and hotels.

Las Vegas markets are teeming with treasures just waiting to be unearthed! In a city filled with almost as many pawn shops as casinos, Vegas flea markets are a haven for collectors. You never know what you'll find buried beneath the contents of the stalls' tables. Let your inner bargain hunter loose! Our pick...

Las Vegas' biggest casinos are also the home to the city's tremendous shopping centres. From the most expensive items to grace the wardrobes of royalty and celebrity to the kitschiest knick-knacks, your wallet won't stay in your pocket for very long. For the ultimate in Vegas shopping and fashion, make sure to visit The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian, and the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.

In a city where almost everything revolves around casinos, the best Las Vegas shopping precincts are close at hand. The most famous stretch of road in Vegas, Las Vegas Boulevard (or The Strip), is the home of shopping in Las Vegas. Stroll along 6.7km of fashion with plenty to happily distract you along the way

Looking for a safe and simple way to bring your money when you travel? Our Travel Money Card has you covered!

When is the best time to travel to Las Vegas?

The weather in Las Vegas varies quite wildly across the months, so you’ll want to consider how many indoor vs. outdoor activities you’d like to pursue while choosing your holiday dates. When planning your travels, keep in mind that the seasons in the Northern Hemisphere are opposite to Australia’s. If you’re planning a summer getaway to Vegas for December, you may be in for a bit of a surprise! Regardless, whatever the season or climate, Vegas is alive and pulsing with neon year-round. Temperatures in the United States are also measured using Fahrenheit, not Centigrade. Rainfall can be as little as 10 centimetres a year, and temperatures can drop from extreme highs to chilly lows in a matter of hours. Don’t sweat it!

Summer in Las Vegas occurs in the months of July through September. Temperatures average between the hottest days of 110°F (43°C) and the coolest of 95°F (35°C), with an average of 20% humidity. The desert climate produces a dry heat. At night, temperatures often drop by 20 degrees, making for comfortably cool evenings. Appropriate clothing: Shorts, t-shirt, sunglasses. Don't forget: Grab some sunscreen and a shady hat for when you're out and about.

Winter occurs in the months of January through March and it's a chilly affair. Nights can drop below freezing, and it has even been known to snow on rare occasions. Most hotels will close their outdoor pools, and wind gusts can reach up to 40 miles per hour (64km/h). Appropriate clothing: Your warmest attire – coat, scarf, gloves. Don't forget: Swimmers, because heated indoor pools and spas are still open.

Autumn (or ‘fall' as it's known in the States) occurs in the months of October through December. Temperatures during this season can fall quickly, especially towards the end of December leading into winter. Temperatures average between highs of 82°F (29°C) in October and lows of 34°F (1°C) in December. If you're travelling in autumn, make sure to pack for a range of climates. Appropriate clothing: Long pants, light jacket, warm coat and thermal socks. Don't forget: Pack for all seasons.

Spring occurs in the months of April through June. Coming out of winter and leading into summer, the climate during the spring months can fluctuate substantially. Spring is also a major American sporting season. All the better to enjoy the entertainment from indoors in the cooler months, with NASCAR, Major League Baseball, and the NBA in full swing. Appropriate clothing: Light jacket and t-shirt. Don't forget: Your team's jersey!

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How to get around Las Vegas

Navigating the city is easy with so many Las Vegas transport options available. While stretch limousines and helicopters are all viable options for those who’ve found success inside the casinos, public transport in Vegas can prove much more practical. Las Vegas is also a very walkable city. With so much to see, sometimes the best place to be is street level. If walking, just make sure to plan for the weather. The Mojave Desert can get quite warm!

Taxis in Vegas are quite affordable in comparison to Australia. However, it's good to know in advance that many Vegas taxis won't accept credit card payment. Always ask before entering the cab whether the driver will accept card, and make sure to carry some extra cash on you in the event that they don't. It's also custom in the United States to tip taxi drivers, so use the 15-20% rule at your own discretion.

If your plans revolve primarily around The Strip, walking is ideal. The entire length of The Strip is pedestrian-friendly, with marked crossings at all major intersections. There's always a lot to see and do along the 6.7km Vegas Boulevard. With this length in mind, make sure to plan accordingly – walking from end to end might be challenging or even impossible, especially since there are so many things to stop and look at along the way!

Public transport is your cheapest method of transportation around Las Vegas. For a sightseeing adventure along The Strip, try the Las Vegas Monorail. The basic rail system stops at many major locations along Las Vegas Boulevard. The RTC bus service also travels through The Strip and has an alternative route that leads downtown. Most major hotels and casinos have a bus stop located conveniently outside.

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Las Vegas Frequently asked questions

It depends, do you enjoy sleep? Las Vegas – aka Sin City – has a way of blurring days into nights and nights into days. Many hit Vegas for a wild weekend, while some prefer to spend three or four days exploring the strip. The restaurants alone are reason enough to linger a little longer.

Vegas is all about the glitz and glamour, so dress to impress. After all, if you can’t wear sequins and heels at 9am in Vegas, where can you? 

The Main Strip of Las Vegas is where you want to be. Most of the things you want to see will be within walking distance.

Life happens - we get it! Read more here.

Whoa, easy tiger. Don’t go too hard on your first night, unless of course you want to waste the next day sleeping. Ease into your Vegas vacay by enjoying a nice meal, snapping a pic at the famous ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign, watch the Bellagio Fountains or ride the High Roller Las Vegas Ferris Wheel. Or, you could do none of those things, because Vegas, baby!

Vegas is a year-round party destination. If you’re dreaming of rooftop pool parties and day clubs, summer sizzles in more ways than one. Spring and fall are generally the most popular times to visit as the temperature is a little more bearable. Naturally, holidays are big in Vegas, with Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day weekend, Christmas and New Years drawing big crowds.

Practise your poker face for a game or ten, hit the slot machines, wander from casino to casino getting wonderfully lost, take a culinary tour of the high-end steakhouses, catch a show, take a chopper out to the desert to see the sites, head to ‘Old Vegas’ to learn about the Mob’s greatest hits (and no, we’re not talking about music), dance until the wee hours, ride the Ferris Wheel, watch the dancing fountain at the Bellagio, take a limo out to the Vegas sign – Vegas is anything you want it to be and so much more!

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