The Kiwi.com Top 10 – Las Vegas

Here at Kiwi.com, we love exploring new places, but we also know that sometimes you want to go back to somewhere you’ve already been. Here’s our guide to some of the most popular destinations that Kiwi.com customers fly in and out of.

Airport – McCarran International

City – Las Vegas

If you’ve never been …

… I’m sure you know what to expect, basically. One of the USA’s most famous cities. It’s a flat, gaudy temple to money, vice, excess and $6 lobster. So here, let’s look at some of the more obvious things to do in Sin City, followed by a couple of things that you might not necessarily have considered.

Hit the tables

Loosing some money to the 'Gamblor' is inevitable - Shutterstock Las Vegas
Losing some money to the “Gamblor” is an inevitable part of the vacation plan – Shutterstock

Why would you come to Vegas and not throw a bit of money away on the industry it was built on? If you haven’t incorporated that into your travel budget, that’s a very amateurish mistake. I mean, even if you’re not really a gambler, it’s just part of the experience; losing yourself for a while to the monster (“I call him Gamblor!”) and his neon claws.

Experience the Experience

Walk through the Fremont street is a unique experience -  Aneese / Shutterstock Las Vegas
A walk through the Fremont Street is an experience you couldn’t get anywhere else – Aneese / Shutterstock

Very few cities can give walking down the street the tag of an Experience, but then Fremont Street is unlike most other streets in most other cities. A 24-hour shopping and entertainment mall, partly covered by a giant LED canopy, there are also three stages for free concerts and nightly sound and light shows. It is also home to a giant, 12-storey-high slot machine, out of which customers can pay to zip-line their way (on their front, superhero-style) along the street, 115 feet in the air. It’s called Slotzilla. But of course.

Take in a show

Go big or go home. Shows in Las Vegas are quite the spectale. But it can never miss a good Elvis impersonator - Maridav / Shutterstock
Go big or go home. Shows in Las Vegas are quite the spectacle. But it can never miss a good Elvis impersonator – Maridav / Shutterstock

Obviously, Vegas does things big, and their stage shows are no different. There is a huge range to choose from, including Cirque du Soleil, the Blue Man Group and various tribute shows (ABBA, Michael Jackson, Elvis, naturally) and all those sorts of things you see in many big cities. But there’s always the option of something more *ahem* adult, as well as the roll-call of artists passing through on tour. In fact, just in the next couple of months, you can experience the varied delights (and I use the word quite wrongly) of Ricky Martin, Pitbull, Counting Crows, Ed Sheeran and a multitude of others too ghastly to contemplate.

Don’t forget your camera

Unique cityscapes and bizarre projects will make you say #WhatOnEarth constantly - littleny / Shutterstock Las Vegas
Unique cityscapes and bizarre projects will make you say #WhatOnEarth constantly – littleny / Shutterstock

No matter what your opinion of the architecture, you can’t deny it’s unlike anywhere else. From the faux-New York/Paris/Venice cityscapes to the Bellagio casino with its spectacular fountain, and the columns and plinths of Caesar’s Palace, wherever you look there’s a lot going on, design-wise. Snap away! You’ll almost certainly come across something that’ll make you say #WhatOnEarth ?!

Try some non-casino-based thrills

The High Roller Ferris Wheel is the largest observation wheel in the world Matteo Ceruti / Shutterstoc Las Vegas
The High Roller is the largest observation wheel in the world – Matteo Ceruti / Shutterstock

For a bird’s-eye view of the city, you can ride the 550-foot High Roller, the largest observation wheel in the world; or for those in need of more of an adrenalin rush, there’s always the Adventuredome. Located at the Circus Circus (yes, you read that correctly) casino and resort, it’s America’s largest indoor theme park, with over 5 acres of rides, roller-coasters and other ways to revisit that $6 lobster.

If you’ve already been and feel like going back, what about these?

Mmm … organised crime.

The Mob Museum is ironically located in the city’s former federal courthouse- kennejima / Flickr Las Vegas
The Mob Museum is ironically located in the city’s former federal courthouse – kennejima / Flickr

Not necessarily thought of as a place you’d go to wander around museums, Las Vegas nevertheless has a generous selection. The Mob Museum is, as you’d have guessed, a place to learn about such gangsters as Al Capone and John Gotti and the influence they used to hold over the city, as well as the lawmen and agents whose job it was to combat them. It’s not just Vegas though; the museum also looks at mob activity across the US and the world, including a section on gambling scams that are still used today. The museum is housed, ironically, in the city’s former federal courthouse.

Let’s ride into the sunset together …

The Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings  is the oldes saloon in Nevada and it was featured in Fallout - Luca Venturi / Flickr Las Vegas
The Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings is the oldest one in Nevada and it was featured in the Fallout game series – Luca Venturi / Flickr

… Stirrup to stirrup, side by side. Well, not quite. You’ll need to a) hire a car and b) be an unabashed gaming geek for this one. Bethesda’s seminal Fallout series includes an episode set in the ruins of Las Vegas and, because of the use of real locations in the game, it’s ripe for a themed tour. Tiny Goodsprings is home to the Pioneer Saloon, said to be the oldest in Nevada; Primm can be spotted by an incongruous rollercoaster plonked on the plains; and just outside Nelson is the Eldorado Canyon gold mine, which, if you call ahead and reserve, will give you a guided tour of the mine.

Embrace the wild beauty

Take the time to go through the majestic Valley of Fire - Shutterstock Las Vegas
Take the time to go through the majestic Valley of Fire – Shutterstock

Again, a car will be necessary here, but anyone who sees Nevada as a flat and dusty desert will be amazed by the presence of some wonderful state and national parks. The wonderfully named Valley of Fire is 40,000 acres of sandstone, as once rugged and smooth with whirling shapes caused by millennia of erosion, whereas Red Rock Canyon National Park is popular with both hikers and climbers.

See all the neon

The 'boneyard' section of The Neon Museum stocks restoration awaiting signs - EQRoy / Shutterstock Las Vegas
The ‘boneyard’ section of The Neon Museum stores restoration awaiting signs – EQRoy / Shutterstock

Las Vegas prides itself on its massive amount of lighting and signage, but what happens when signs need to be replaced, when businesses close down, or the sign just starts to look old-fashioned? The Neon Museum is an independent, non-profit organisation that was co-founded by the Arts Council of Nevada and the city of Las Vegas itself. It’s part museum, where you can see beautifully restored neon signs from now-defunct businesses, and part boneyard where signs waiting for restoration sit and swelter outside. Recommended.

Finish with excess

Guests over 160 kg get to eat for free at the Heart Attack restaurant -  Kit Leong / Shutterstock Las
Guests over 160 kg get to eat for free at the Heart Attack Grill – Kit Leong / Shutterstock

Ready for a different type of challenge? The Heart Attack Grill is ready to give it to you. Famous for its calorific menus, customers weighing over 350lb (approx. 160kg) eat for free … but only after being dressed in a surgical gown just in case they actually have a heart attack. Their Quadruple Bypass Burger held the world record for the most calories in one dish (9,983) until they created the Octuple Bypass Burger – double the size, with eight half-pound beef patties and 40 slices of bacon. Good luck.