There’s literally nowhere else like Vegas. A place where fortunes are won and lost, where the champagne flows like water, and where the parties are taken up a level. Is it any wonder this unique city has been described as an “adult Disneyland”?
Over 42 million people visited Las Vegas in 2018. While its casinos attract players – amateur and professional – from all over the world, there are hundreds of other activities that tourists can enjoy.
For years, Sin City has been a hub for tourists – hosting everyone from bachelorette parties and shotgun weddings to music fans (who come for Vegas’s famous residencies) as well as gamblers. There’s a million and one things to do here – and for the first-timer, all the choice can be a little daunting.
But fear not – we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the top things to do if you’re new to Vegas.
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1. Try your hand at gambling
Despite all the other things there are to do, a trip to Las Vegas would not be complete without visiting some of the world’s best casinos. With iconic gambling spots like Caesars Palace, The Venetian and MGM Grand, there’s an array of options if you’re first-time gambling in Vegas.
To really make the most of your Vegas experience, try your hand at a game like roulette. It’s the casino game which makes Vegas what it is – where everything can be won and lost on the spin of a wheel. While roulette’s purely a game of chance, certain strategies and approaches to the game can increase the likelihood of you going home a winner. In his comprehensive guide, gambling expert Frank Scoblete has a few suggestions about how to improve your roulette odds and put yourself in contention for the jackpot.
If we were you, we’d pay attention. After all, going in with a plan is pretty key to your success in any casino game, such as poker, slots and baccarat, so reading up on playing guides before heading to the tables is a good idea.
And don’t worry, you don’t have to be a high roller or professional to get involved in Las Vegas’s gambling scene. There’s a casino table for every budget and experience level. Know what you’re willing to risk and you’ll be able to enjoy your time at a Las Vegas casino, no matter how much luck you have on your side.
2. Take a walk down the Strip
Located along Las Vegas Boulevard South, just past the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign is the historical heart of Sin City – the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. Running for approximately 6.8km, the Strip is a tourist hotspot, jam packed with casinos, hotels, restaurants and other attractions to enjoy. It is also home to some of the city’s most acclaimed landmarks, including the sphinx at The Luxor, The Venetian’s Grand Canal and Vegas’s own version of the Eiffel Tower.
For first timers, the Strip is definitely the place to start a Vegas adventure. It’s a great place to take photographs, absorb some of the city’s best sights and scout out activities for the rest of your trip. There’s no cost to have a wander down, but make sure to bring a wallet — you’re likely to want to make a few stops along the way.
3. Enjoy a few cocktails at The High Roller
What better place to view Vegas than from 550 feet above it? Las Vegas’s High Roller, the tallest observation tower in the world, is a great way to experience the city from above — and a perfect photo opportunity. Trips in one of the High Roller’s 28 pods take 30 minutes; and at 520 feet in diameter, it’s a perfect way to see the city from all angles.
If you’re looking to get the best out of the experience, try out the Happy Hour pod, complete with an open bar cabin and bartender. Available from 12pm to 1am, it’s a not-to-be-missed activity; and the ideal end (or beginning!) of an evening to remember. Tickets will set you back $40 dollars in the day, and $55 at night.
4. Enjoy a gondola ride
The iconic image of Las Vegas are the casinos, the big lights of the Strip — and strangely, gondolas. The Grand Canal at The Venetian Hotel and Casino has become one of the city’s most famous landmarks. And a leisurely trip through a Venetian-themed hotel in a gondola is definitely the best way to experience the best of what Vegas has to offer.
A shared gondola (seating four) is $29 per person; for a more romantic trip with a loved one or friend, try a private gondola for two at $116. At the end of your voyage, try out some of The Venetians several Italian restaurants, and enjoy the live entertainment that’s offered throughout the year.
5. Visit the Grand Canyon
If you’re the outdoorsy type, one of the world’s natural wonders isn’t far away. Take a day trip to the Grand Canyon, and take in nearly two billion years of the Earth’s geological history. A four-hour drive from central Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon is a great way to take a break from the busyness of the city, and definitely worth a visit for first timers.
Upgrade your experience and get to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas by helicopter – there’s really no better way to take in the awe-inspiring view. It’s definitely one way to feel like one of Sin City’s high rollers.
6. Watch the Fountains of Bellagio
Something everyone needs to see while in Las Vegas is the Fountains of Bellagio show. One of the most ambitious water features in the world, here you’ll get to witness more than a thousand fountains choreographed to music and light in a display that spans more than 1,000 ft. The musical selection ranges from Broadway songs, to operatic pieces and all the classics, with the watering soaring more than 460 feet in the air to some of the world’s greatest tunes.
The Fountains of Bellagio show is on daily; every 30 minutes from 3pm to 8pm Monday through Friday (and every 15 minutes from 8pm to 12am). Sunday shows have an early start at 11am, with 15 minute intervals beginning at 7pm and lasting until 12am.
The best part? It’s absolutely free for everyone who visits to be enthralled by.
There are so many exciting attractions and activities in Las Vegas. For first timers, the experience can be a bit overwhelming at first. But with a game plan in place, and a few of the best spots chosen in advance, you can spend your time in Sin City doing what you’re there to do – which is to enjoy it.