Las Vegas, or some may refer to it as Sin City, is a large city in the middle of the Nevada Desert. Many tourists who visit come for the gambling, Cirque Du Soleil shows, night life and entertainment. Whilst these might be the highlights, there are so many other things to see and do, and all within a budget.


The meaning of Las Vegas in Spanish is meadow. It wasn’t until 1931 that Las Vegas legalised gambling, and it is the only airport in the USA that you’ll find slot machines, and gambling machines.

Things to do in Las Vegas

Last Vegas is not all about gambling, and entertainment, this is only part of it, here are just some other things to do in Vegas which doesn’t include gambling:


Cost: Free to explore the hotel, prices are applicable for staying in the rooms, restaurants, bars, and casino

Bellagio hotel was opened on 15th October 1998. The highlight at Bellagio, is the lake that’s between the hotel and the strip, with the fountain show that’s synchronized with music. The fountain show is only between certain times during the afternoon and into the evening.The great fountain show, is a very popular attraction, with throngs of passersby watching from any possible spot. Inside the beautiful hotel lobby, are stunning glass blown flowers hanging from the ceiling, but it doesn’t end there! Further inside, Bellagio has a botanical garden, featuring five different themes throughout the year. These themes are Chinese New Year, Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.

The fountain show as Bellagio

The casino has many slot machines, gambling tables, and a poker room. If you are lucky, you may see some famous poker players, playing at one of the tables in the poker room, but it’s not for the fainthearted. The minimum bet at one of these tables are $4000.00. For non-professional poker players without that sort of funds, can play at the other tables in the casino.If gambling is not how you would like to spend your money, how about a Cirque du soleil show, Bellagio hosts the aquatic show ‘O’.

Interior design at Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas, USA

There are some facilities that are only available to the guests, such as the large pool, and sun bed/loungers, and the pool bar.

The botanical gardens at Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas, USA

Looking for day trips out of Las Vegas, well the Grand Canyon is an obvious option, but there are other lesser known places to explore such as visiting Alabama Hills.

Caesars Palace

Cost: Free to walk around the hotel, but fees do apply for rooms, food and drink, and the casino

Caesars Palace opened on 5th August 1966, with many popular entertainers performing here over the years, such as Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Bette Midler, Cher, Elton John, Liza Minnelli, and Maria Carey just to name a few. The first performer was Frank Sinatra back in 1967, but it wasn’t to be for long, he had a falling out with the owners over gambling. Following the argument, Frank Sinatra refused to play, it wasn’t until after his retirement, that he performed more frequently. The hotel has been designed to represent Rome, with the main entertainment venue being the Coliseum, the pool area has been modelled as Roman baths, and many of the statues in the hotel have been imported from Italy. The main statue in the hotel, is the one of Julius Caesar, but many more statues of Roman emperors are visible. The casino has 30 gambling tables, 250 slot machines, and a shopping mall.

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, USA


Cost: Free to walk around, but fees will apply for accommodation, food, drinks, and the casino

The Venetian opened on 3rd May 1999, with the inspiration for its name and design from Venice, Italy. There are replicas of many Venice Landmarks, and gondola rides.On entering the hotel, look up, and you’ll see the bright blue sky and white clouds, this however is not the Las Vegas sky above, but a picture, and lit in such a way, that it looks real.

Casino in the hotels in Las Vegas, USA

Paris Las Vegas

Cost: Free to walk around, but fees will apply for accommodation, food, drinks, and the casino

Paris Las Vegas was open on the 1st September 1999, and located on the strip. As in the name, the theme of the hotel and casino is of Paris France. On the exterior is the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc de Triomphe on a smaller scale. The hotel is promoted towards gay and lesbian travellers.

The Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas, USA

Exploring the hotel has that real Paris feel, you wouldn’t think that you are in Las Vegas.

New York New York

Cost: Free to walk around, but fees will apply for accommodation, food, drinks, and the casino

New York New York opened on the 3rd January 1997, and located on the strip. The architecture represents the New York sky line, with a replica of the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building and the Statue of Liberty. Inside the hotel the theme continues with many of the gambling rooms, meeting rooms, lounges and restaurants all named after locations in New York, such as Times Square. The difference with this hotel to some others on the strip is the roller coaster, thrill seekers will love this ride.

Welcome to Las Vegas sign

Cost: Free

This famous sign was built in about 1959, and considered the most southern point on the Las Vegas Strip. The white circles that surround the letters of the word ‘Welcome’, were designed to represent the silver dollars, whilst the opposite side of the sign, isn’t as famous which reads, ‘Drive Carefully Come Back Soon’. In recent years, a small car park and pedestrian crossing has been built, for easy access to the sign.

Bev & Shams Adventures, at the Las Vegas Sign, in Las Vegas, USA

No trip to Las Vegas, can miss the iconic, ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign. It is about a 10-minute walk from Mandalay Bay hotel, and it’s so popular, that many people queue just to have their picture taken in front of the sign, however you can still get a great selfie without the need to queue.

Mandalay Bay

Cost: Free to walk around, but fees will apply for accommodation, food, drinks, and the casino

Mandalay Bay was opened on 2nd March 1999, and is famous for the Broadway show Chicargo which played here in 1999, followed by Mama Mia stage show between 2003-2009, which was then replaced with the Lion King from May 2009 until 2011, when the Michael Jackson: One took over. There are a number of swimming pools, one containing a wave machine. The wave machine that’s installed can produce large waves which can be surfed. Although the large waves will only be set for special events, the wave machine, can be set for smaller waves for nonevent days. There is a further nudist pool, which is protected by smoke screen glass, and only over 21s can enter.

Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, USA

Many of the hotels on the strip have some form of entertainment, Mandalay Bay has the Shark reef exhibit here. All Michael Jackson fans will also love to see Michael Jackson: One that’s performed here. Tickets for many of the shows and exhibits throughout the hotels, can be purchased online, or at the hotel.


Cost: Free to walk around, but fees will apply for accommodation, food, drinks, and the casino

The Luxor hotel and casino opened in 1993, and have over 2000 slot machines and 87 gambling tables. The hotel has taken its name after the city of Luxor in Egypt, and designed as a pyramid. The pyramid was once the tallest building on the strip, and to a similar size to the Red and Bent Pyramid of Egypt. At the top of the pyramid is the sky beam, which is the strongest beam of light in the world, it can be seen 275 miles away by aircraft at cruising altitude.

Inside the hotel, are the different Egyptian statues to admire, and the ever so popular exhibits, that are fascinating and educational. The two exhibits that Luxor have, are the Human Body, and The Titanic Artifacts.  The Titanic exhibit, displays real artifacts from the Titanic ship, whilst the vastly different Human body exhibit is a real education.

Is visiting Las Vegas expensive? NO! There’s many ways to save money in Las Vegas, but still have a memorable holiday that will last for a lifetime.

What to do outside of Las Vegas

There are a number of day trips from Las Vegas, to the Hoover Dam, and the Grand Canyon. A tour will often take you out to one of the rims, and return you back to your hotel. Some tour companies will provide you with food, for the journey.

After a hectic few days in Las Vegas, why not take a trip out of sin city and relax back with a retreat in Sedona.


Las Vegas doesn’t have to be expensive, as many people may think, you can still have an amazing experience but on a budget. To enjoy Las Vegas just as we did, here are some tips to consider:

  • Family friendly – We wouldn’t suggest this to be a family friendly location, but more so for adult entertainment. Las Vegas is mostly about, gambling, drinking, partying, etc, which children are unable to partake in. We also didn’t see any form of entertainment being provided by the hotels, that was children appropriate. As a family, it wouldn’t be worth spending money to visit Las Vegas.
  • The strip – Many of the large hotels, and attractions are on the strip, allowing only for a short distance, before you’ll be at your next destination. Many of the hotels are also linked by a passage or bridge, making it easy to explore the hotel next door.
  • Tram/Monorail – There are a few free tram services between selected hotels on the strip, one such tram is between Mandalay Bay and Luxor. These trams are a convenient way to visit other hotels. A monorail service is also available on the Las Vegas Strip, again to aid with travel, but these are not free.
  • Budgeting – Before you travel, make sure you have a plan, and budget your trip. If you have an idea of how many shows you may like to see, then make sure you have enough money to cover these shows, or even purchase the tickets on line in advance. Make sure you have a set budget inside the casino. It is quite easy to spend more than you initially intend too, therefore do not be encouraged to go over this limit, and if need be cut your losses while you can.
  • Hotel facilities – Many of the hotel’s facilities on the strip, such as the pool, will be available to the room guests only.
  • Entertainment – There are so many shows and exhibits to choose from in Las Vegas, many of these shows and exhibitions will be expensive. Consider what shows or exhibitions you want to see, and budget this into your expenses. Do your research on the best shows to see whilst you are there.
  • Maps – On check in, many hotels will offer maps of Las Vegas and the strip, if not ask where you might obtain a map. The map will aid you in navigating your way around, but it will also help you to plan where you might want to go.
  • Casino – This is an interesting one, but one that can play on your mind. Once inside the hotel and casino, there are no windows. This can make your mind boggle, when you don’t know what time it is outside, or what the weather conditions are. This will often mean that you will lose track of time, you may not know how long you have been gambling for, or how much money you have spent. As mentioned above, be mindful of how long you have been gambling for, and how much you have spent. Many of the hotels will have different tables to play on, but if tables don’t take your fancy, then slots are a plenty.

Places to stay

There are a large number of hotels to stay, from budget, to luxury, in Las Vegas. This is often, for many, a once in a life time opportunity, so why not spend a bit more money on a luxury hotel. Well you don’t have to spend that much, especially if you can pick up a good and reasonably priced package deal, which include flights, and a hotel. We did just that, we purchased a package deal which included our flights, hotel transfers and the hotel stay. If the package deals turn out to be too expensive for you, then there are plenty of budget friendly hotels and motels which are close to the Las Vegas strip. If you stay in a smaller hotel or motel on a budget, you can still wander around in the larger hotels, eat in their restaurants, or play in their casinos.

Places to eat

The hotels on the strip are the obvious choice on places to eat, we ate at Bellagio a couple of times, twice at Jasmines which is a Chinese, and The Buffett. The food at the restaurants is exceptional but as you can imagine, these are very expensive. But it doesn’t have to be expensive, there are many street food stalls outside the hotels, or fast food restaurants to eat from, such as shake shack.

Wendy’s, in Las Vegas, USA

We love to eat healthy, but stay on a budget, whilst travelling. This can be very difficult in a place such as Las Vegas, especially with fast food restaurants on most corners, or luxury restaurants with their menu prices through the roof. We looked around, and found a little food court just across the road from Bellagio, and outside Bally’s Hotel, which serves a variety of different foods, and drinks, and at a more reasonable price. 

Street Food in Las Vegas, USA

Getting around

Most places in Las Vegas are on the strip, so it means you don’t need to go far before you are at the next hotel, therefore walking will be the best way to get around. Although, if you are looking to go further afield, there are other means of transport.

From the airport to the hotel
The airport is such a short distance from the strip, but the best method to get to your hotel, is via the hotel transfer, or by taxi. When booking your reservation or package deal, look to ensure the hotel transfers are included, this make things easier and more convenient.


Roads can get busy with cars and pedestrians, it can also be expensive to hire a vehicle, however most hotels will have car parking facilities. Our advice would be to ditch the car, and consider public transport, or even walking. As the hotels are so close to each other, the best way to get around Las Vegas is to walk between each of them.

The fountain show at night, the view from our room window in Bellagio

Public transport

There are buses, that service Las Vegas, however there is a free tram, between certain hotels that run regularly. This will be quicker and can save you money in the long run. Las Vegas also has a monorail service that runs alongside many of the hotels in Las Vegas allowing for ease and convenience.

Public transport will cover Las Vegas and other areas around the country including Los Angeles. Check out this complete guide to traveling by bus from Las Vegas to Los Angeles.


We love walking when travelling, and this is the best option in our opinion to explore everything Las Vegas has to offer. It is free to walk along the strip and inside the many hotels, for us it is the easiest, cheapest and most convenient way of travelling. Once you have planned where you are going, take a map, and off you go.

What about visiting Las Vegas during the festive period. You could have an amazing Christmas Vacation with the family in Las Vegas with this itinerary.

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