We spent one week in Las Vegas. I must say that I didn’t want to visit Las Vegas (Basel did), but as everyone in Los Angeles kept telling us that the city was nice and worth seeing, I started to change my mind. At first we stayed 20 minutes outside of downtown, but our Couch Surfing host took us to The Strip as often as we wanted.
Free Things to Do in Las Vegas
As everyone knows by now, we don’t have money to spend on expensive tours or museums, so basically what we did was walk (a lot) along the Strip and visit the hotels (which are all very beautiful—that’s what is worth seeing in Vegas). We didn’t gamble (neither of us tried any games), so we won’t be able to write any articles about anything related to the casinos. All I can say is that the majority of the people we saw gambling were old people, and especially old women.
In each hotel there is a casino, and all the casinos look more or less similar everywhere. What is interesting is the hotel itself, and especially the architecture that represents the name of the hotel. For example, in the Paris Hotel they reconstructed the streets, shops and restaurants of Paris—even the security employees are dressed like French policemen! You will find the same concept in all the hotels.
Here is a list of the hotels we visited and things you can see in each one:
Inside the Bellagio you will find very nice floral decorations. But what we liked the most is the fountain show in front of the hotel, which is accompanied by music. You can watch the show for free every hour or so, and every time the music is different. The water flows very high, almost higher than the surrounding buildings. The show lasts for maybe 10 minutes.
We didn’t stay for too long in the Paris Hotel. There is a restaurant in the Eiffel Tower, and we just took a quick walk in the “streets of Paris.” We also found a French bakery where they sell flan and other French pastries. It was quite expensive ($6 each) and I can’t comment on the quality, as we didn’t buy anything.
Caesars Palace was definitely my favorite. The decorations are spectacular. You feel as if you have returned to the Roman times! There are huge statues everywhere, and the hotel is magnificent. Many people stay at the Caesars Palace, and many people like it.
The Venetian is also a very beautiful hotel that represent Venice during the Renaissance Era. You will find gondolas that move through the hotel. The decorations are gorgeous.
You will find also very nice shops inside the hotel.
There is not much to see inside the hotel, but we didn’t spend a long time inside. After we heard about the free show, we decided to come back another day during the evening. We were there on a Monday and arrived 40 min before the show, which starts at 7.30 pm. It was very crowded, and the show was not too bad (I mean, it was free, so it was ok). Basically the show is about a ship full of women fighting another ship full of men. Here is a photo.
We had almost the same experience with The Mirage—we spent half an hour inside, but attended the free show by chance, as it starts half an hour after the Treasure Island show, and it was on our way to the Caesars Palace hotel
New York New York
We visited this hotel at night. I really liked how it looks like from the outside. When we came in we found something like The Hotel Paris, with the streets of New York reconstructed—but I liked it more than Hotel Paris. The casino is also beautiful when compared with the casinos in other hotels.
We were very tired when we arrived at the Luxor, so we didn’t stay inside for too long. We didn’t find a lot to see, although many people recommended that we visit it.
There are a lot of other hotels that are worth a visit, such as Planet Hollywood,MGM and Wynn, but we didn’t have time to visit them all.
It was also in Vegas that we decided, after almost two months of Couchsurfing, to spend a night in a hotel. We found a very good offer online and checked in at The Imperial Hotel for only $27!
They were doing some work on the entrance to the hotel, so we presume that the was the reason for the special offer.
Apart from the Strip and the casinos, Las Vegas is also a very nice city, and the areas a little bit away from downtown are beautiful. I love the desert, so I really appreciated the landscape. The climate was very nice as well, but we were there in late October, which is probably not as hot as the middle of July!
If you don’t want to walk on the Strip, you will have to pay $6 or $8 for the bus. Elsewhere, the tickets cost $2 and $5 for a 24-hour pass.
It is very easy to do some shopping in Las Vegas, as the shops, restaurants and supermarkets are usually open 24 hours, even in the suburbs.
Locals kept telling us that the food in the restaurants is very cheap in Vegas, but it was still expensive for us. Fortunately, we managed to buy from supermarkets and cook for ourselves! As usual, Walmart was the cheapest.
Finally, there is one thing we really wanted to do, but couldn’t: The Grand Canyon. The tour costs $125 each in a bus and $350 with the helicopter option, so we had to make the difficult choice to skip it!