In 2018, Las Vegas welcomed 42 million tourists to its glamorous strip. Of this impressive number of visitors, around one million came from the UK – more than any other country. This proves that Sin City is still a hit with Brits.
And why wouldn’t it be? This place has a distinct identity, owing to its unique history and charms. Vegas was where casinos first sprung up in the 1950s, ushering in an era with more glitz and glam than any before or since. There’s even a great online casino which have themed their branding on the Vegas heyday – with the chequered flooring and Wurlitzer soundtrack to boot. In fact, this exceptional casino is a good starting point for getting your head around what Vegas is all about.
If you haven’t partied in Las Vegas yet, what are you waiting for? Below is a guide to this one-of-a-kind city, from an American girl living in London who has been to Vegas a few times! Here’s a photo from last visit, which was pre-Instagram days!
A Brit’s Guide to Vegas: Getting There
A direct flight to Las Vegas from any London airport will take around 10 and a half hours and be quite expensive. Finnair and British Airways are the two major airlines offering direct flights to Sin City. A return trip in economy, planned a year in advance will cost around £800.
If that sounds like too much money to spend on flights, you’ll have to consider choosing a flight with one or more stops. Flights from Belfast International can be purchased for as little as £518. You can avail of cheap Ryanair flights to Belfast from London for as little as £9.99.
If you’d like to save yourself a huge amount of money you could even embark on this convoluted journey:
- London Heathrow => Belfast International £9.99 Ryanair
- Belfast International => New York Stewart £64.99 Norwegian Airlines
- New York Stewart => Las Vegas £265 Interjet
Although be warned, an eight-hour flight on a budget airline is not something to take lightly. My guide to The Best London Airport to Choose features information about London’s six airports if you want more information about flying internationally from London. Or, you can watch this Sunny News YouTube video.
There are several different options available to the discerning traveller when it comes to accommodation in Las Vegas. Unsurprisingly, most of the city’s hotels cater for tourists with above average budgets, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t cheaper options available.
Shoestring Budget Style– If you don’t care too much about where you stay and are only heading to Las Vegas for the experience, then take a look at Sin City Hostel. Situated just two kilometres away from the main strip, this hostel would work for the solo traveller. Dorms are available for as little as £23 a night with breakfast included. Sin City Hostel also offers guests exclusive access to some of the best tours and guides in the city.
Mid Budget Style– Las Vegas is all about excess, but you wouldn’t expect to get a slice of that excess for just £60 a night. In the quirkily named Circus Circus Hotel, you can experience what Vegas is all about for a great price. When my family visited Las Vegas, my little sister fell in love with Circus Circus. It’s always been a top pick for families. The hotel is home to an indoor theme park, an outdoor waterpark, a casino and two hot tubs. As you can imagine it’s somewhere kids can relax and enjoy themselves all within a five minute drive of the main strip.
Luxury and Celebrity Style– For the price of £280 per night, you can stay in a suite at the world-famous Bellagio Hotel and Casino. This price gets you 1,020 square feet of luxury space. Their suite comes with a living room bedecked with soft furnishings and a 42 inch plasma screen TV. There are two rooms in the suite – his and hers, both kitted out with en-suite bathrooms with whirlpools and a king size cashmere bed. And, you will have front row views to those famous fountains that have been featured in countless films!
A Brit’s Guide to Vegas: What about Gambling?
No tourism guide to Las Vegas is complete without a look at what makes the city famous: gambling. In fact, it’s intentionally impossible to get anywhere in a Vegas hotel without walking through a casino. And here’s the one casino in Vegas that you absolutely have to visit.
The Venetian is a great casino, thanks to the enormous selection of gaming tables, slot machines and tournaments. However, many tourists feel the main appeal of the casino is the recreation of Venice’s waterways, it really is just like being in the Italian city. Well, as a Florida girl who has stayed at The Venetian, I would say it feels more like a Walt Disney World version of an Italian city!
Compared to Europe, the US is fairly short on history and identity. In the Venetian, the casino moguls of Vegas have sought to bridge this gap is through imitation – which, after all, is the greatest form of flattery, right paisonos?
A Brit’s Guide to Vegas: Eating There
Tao- Not only is the Venetian hotel iconic for all those reasons, but it’s also the location for an award-winning nightclub, beachclub and restaurant. You know that’s the same place that Kim Kardashian celebrated her 30th birthday, right? Actually, she has had several birthday bashes at this legendary nightclub. The restaurant is the infamous location where Scott Disick tried to shove money down a waiter’s mouth. My experience at the restaurant and club when I was in Vegas was phenomenal! The meal was exquisite and the VIP lounge at Tao was incredible. Aside from possible celebrity sightings, Tao is definitely worth your time while in Vegas.
This opulent three Michelin star restaurant is just off from the MGM Grand Casino floor, and you may have had to win big in order to afford the food here. The French cuisine comes as 12 decadent courses that will leave your taste buds tingling. If you’ve already committed to staying in a luxury suite at one of the hotels above, you may as well stretch the budget a little farther for this sumptuous restaurant. Having eaten at the Bellagio before, I can say that there is no room for second class. Everything, including my experience at The Bank Nightclub, is first class and fab!
Wahlburgers– If you haven’t had a chance to visit the recently opened Wahlburgers in Covent Garden, then you can grab a ‘gourmet’ fast food burger at their Las Vegas location. Seriously, if you’re in Sin City and want to have a great American burger, Mac ‘n cheese or onion rings, this celebrity owned spot is the place to be seen. However, be prepared for those glitzy and glam prices when you’re acting like a high roller here.
A Brit’s Guide to Vegas: Summary
There are a million and one ways to enjoy this magical city, which is filled with crazy stories from across the decades. Ultimately, this place is what you make of it. However you get there, remember to live it to the max, because whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Actually, the truth is whatever happens in Vegas immediately goes on social media, so how about this…
Take a gamble on Las Vegas because- no one wants to suffer from FOMO!