The gambling city of Las Vegas in the USA is world-famous for neon lights, flash weddings, and an overabundance of attractions and shows. But the exciting "Sin City" also has other sides. Join us on an unforgettable journey full of surprises!
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The US city of Las Vegas is located in the state of Nevada in the West of the USA. Due to its location in the southern tip of Nevada, “Sin City” is only about a four-hour drive from Los Angeles and about a five-hour drive from Phoenix in Arizona.
When Las Vegas is referred to, it is often not just the counties within the city limits that are meant, but the entire metropolitan area (Las Vegas Valley). The Las Vegas Metropolitan Statistical Area is coterminous with Clark County and consists of a large valley basin surrounded by mountains.
Over 30% of the residents in the City of Las Vegas were born outside the United States. The largest immigrant groups are from Mexico, the Philippines, El Salvador, Cuba, China, and South Korea.
Those who take a closer look at the neighborhoods of Las Vegas are usually surprised: many well-known places are not part of the city at all but are neighboring communities. Nevertheless, the "City of Sin" is home to some legendary districts:
Surprise: The world-famous Las Vegas Strip is not in Las Vegas but in the neighboring town of Paradise! However, the gigantic party mile with its casinos, mega-hotels, and shows is almost always assigned to the city of Las Vegas. Apart from the Strip, Paradise is also home to the Las Vegas airport and the T-Mobile Arena, where the NHL games take place.
The Las Vegas Arts District is colorful with lots of graffiti and the art Square, which often hosts concerts. This cultural center of the city consists mainly of converted warehouses, in which galleries, theaters, cafes, and some stores have settled. Tip: Come here on a booked e-scooter art tour with a guide to see the best corners of the Arts District.
The outlying district of Summerlin has become an attractive residential area for more affluent Las Vegas fans. Here, you'll find plenty of parks and beautiful walking trails, various clubs, golf courses, and other amenities to relax in. Also, the many shopping opportunities make Summerlin a pleasant and convenient spot in the middle of the desert.
If you want to see Las Vegas from a businessperson's or old-time resident's point of view, pay a visit to Downtown. There are far fewer tourists, and the main entertainment area is around Fremont Street. Here, you can visit the oldest casinos in the city and be close to the legendary Neon Cemetery. Otherwise, apart from the few skyscrapers, you will find the typical flat buildings and broad, dusty streets Downtown.
When the term "Las Vegas" is used, it usually also refers to a connected area of smaller towns. These are:
Boulder City is the next major stand-alone town.
There are hot days in Las Vegas, with up to 40 °C in summer and temperatures just above freezing point in the winter months. The desert climate also makes for significant differences between day and night. So you should always take a set of clothes for the evening hours when you go on day trips in Las Vegas. When you get off the plane for the first time, get a bottle of eye drops because the air is extremely dry in Vegas. Since many visitors struggle with this problem during their first hours and days, almost every store has a large assortment of eye drops.
Non-stop flights from Europe to Las Vegas depart from Frankfurt am Main, Amsterdam, or London. You usually pay around €500 for a flight, but you can also get an amazing bargain of €400 if you're really lucky. When you are fortunate enough to get a non-stop flight, you will be on the road for between 10 and 11 hours. With stopovers, it can take between 14 and 16 hours to arrive in the City of Sin. Airlines that will take you to Las Vegas include KLM, Delta, British Airways, United, and Condor.
If you are not a US citizen or Green Card holder, then you will need a US visa or ESTA to enter the US.
Due to its strong focus on tourists, Las Vegas is very easy to explore even without a car. Given the alcohol consumption of most visitors, it's better that way. You have the following transportation options in Las Vegas:
Several bus lines run throughout Las Vegas. Sometimes you need a lot of patience because a bus tour from the Strip to Downtown can take a whole hour, while you would only need about ten minutes by car. If you just want to get from A to B on the Las Vegas Strip, you can take the convenient monorail that runs from the MGM Hotel in the far south to the SLS station in the north.
In Las Vegas, you'll find a cab on every street corner. The cab alternatives Lyft and Uber can also be with you within a few minutes and take you to all city corners.
Traffic in Las Vegas can be challenging and exhausting, but a rental car is still a good idea for longer trips to neighboring communities. There are various car rental agencies waiting at the airport for you to become a customer. Your airline may even offer a cheap "fly & ride" deal. For shorter distances within the city, we recommend the handy e-scooters, which in Vegas, however, must always be returned to the place of rental.
Within the dense city traffic, biking in Las Vegas is quite strenuous but not impossible. Some excellent bike trails are in the outer boroughs, such as Bootleg Canyon, Red Rock Canyon, or the Wetlands. We recommend you take a guided tour on an e-bike.
Walking in Las Vegas? Yes, you can! And it's fun in the hustle and bustle of the Las Vegas Strip and the Fremont Street Experience! However, you should not walk alone in the dark off the tourist areas because there is also a lot of crime in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas is world-famous for its gigantic themed hotels, each of which forms its own city within the city. However, away from the glitz and glamour, there are also completely unexciting guesthouses.
The most famous hotels in Las Vegas are all located on the bustling Las Vegas Strip, a stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard in the neighboring town of Paradise. Some of the best hotels in Vegas include:
This detailed replica of the New York skyline features its own Statue of Liberty, a shopping arcade, many New York bars, restaurants, and even a roller coaster. Pretty insane!
This copy of an Italian landscape is so magnificent that you won't be able to stop staring, and the all-evening water and light show of the "Bellagio Fountains" in front of the palace makes this dream of a hotel just perfect!
With its 165-meter replica of the Eiffel Tower, Hotel Paris is visible from afar. Inside the large resort, you'll find a complete reconstruction of a Parisian neighborhood.
The glittering blue waterways of the Hotel Venetian stretch all the way inside the hotel, where Venetian gondolas invite you to take a tour. And this magnificent hotel is truly majestic in all other respects, too.
So-called short-term rentals in Las Vegas usually start with a term of at least one month and are therefore only suitable to a limited extent.
In addition, hotel prices are so low due to the oversupply that most Las Vegas visitors prefer to book a full-service hotel rather than having to run the household themselves in an Airbnb apartment, for example.
If you are looking for a proper apartment in Las Vegas, the following platforms and providers can help you:
You can check into a more remote Las Vegas hostel, such as Bposhtels in the Arts District if you have a spirit of adventure. Shared rooms start at a reasonable $18, and you're guaranteed to meet lots of exciting people.
Las Vegas itself is one big attraction because almost everything in the city revolves around tourists. And yet, some sights stand out in particular. The top sightseeing highlights in Las Vegas are:
The Strip is the hub of Las Vegas. On a length of 6.8 km, the most spectacular hotels, the best casinos, and the most amazing show highlights are lined up next to each other. Treat yourself to a spin at the casino (drinks are free!) or stuff your belly at one of the all-you-can-eat buffets before attending one of the impressive variety or magic shows.
The shopping and entertainment mile of The LINQ can be recognized from afar by its 168 m high Ferris wheel, the "High Roller." Here, you will find heaps of restaurants, stores, casinos, and bars, and you can also try a Superman flight on the FLY LINQ Zipline!
At 350 m, the Stratosphere Tower is the tallest free-standing observation tower in the United States. Up here, daredevil rides await to shake or levitate you above the abyss. There are great bars, restaurants, and even a wedding chapel! The tower also features The Strat Hotel, with over 2,400 rooms.
The most famous photo motive of Las Vegas is not at all in Las Vegas, but in Paradise, approx. 6.5 km before the city border. The Las Vegas city sign reads "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada" and lights up at night in the typical neon style of the "City of Sin." It says "Drive Carefully" on the back, which is an important message to the many speeders in the city.
Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas is part of the historical origins of the City of Sin. Here you will find the oldest and most famous casinos, and you can walk the city in the footsteps of Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. The amusement mile "Fremont Street Experience" is full of live stages, restaurants, and stores. The infamous "Heart Attack Grill" is also located here - right at the main entrance to the Fremont Street Experience. Can you take on the "Quadruple Bypass Burger"?
As the final resting place for the famous neon signs of Las Vegas, the Neon Museum was founded in the 1990s near Downtown. Here, you can visit the city's most beautiful historic neon signs, which would have disappeared from the scene without the museum. This place is an absolute highlight both during the day and at night!
Do you want to learn more about the sightseeing highlights of Las Vegas? Then take a look at our Las Vegas top sights!
At first, no one thinks of relaxing hours in nature when hearing the name "Las Vegas," but there are quiet, green places even here:
The Las Vegas Springs Preserve is a 73-acre nature preserve surrounding the original Las Vegas water source. Here, you'll find colorful botanical desert gardens with impressive cacti and a few nature museums. Learn all about life in the desert and walk on pretty trails through the wetland. There are also concerts and other open-air events frequently.
Aliante Nature Discovery Park is a green oasis with waterfalls and many species of birds. This is a clean and peaceful place to stay. Especially children have fun here because there is a large water playground and an excavation site for (fake) dinosaur bones. Tip: Take a hat and wet wipes with you because the birds like to relieve themselves in full flight.
Head to the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip to take a break from the glittering party hustle and bustle. Flamingos, pelicans, koi carp, turtles, and even parrots live in a paradisiacal patch of green in the Flamingo Hotel garden next to The LINQ shopping mall.
In this irrigated park in East Las Vegas, you can relax in quiet nature and enjoy a touch of old Vegas from the days before mass tourism. Wildlife includes herons, rabbits, coyotes, turtles, and raccoons. Clark County Wetlands Park is perfect for biking and hiking and offers you a magical view of the mountains.
Las Vegas is so full of art, culture, and music that you'll be hard-pressed to see it all in one vacation. Check out the Las Vegas Entertainment Guide (lasvegas-entertainment-guide.com) before your trip to Sin City.
Here are our cultural highlights for Las Vegas:
Besides gambling and live shows, bargain shopping is at the top of the travel list for many Las Vegas visitors. In terms of super-cheap outlet stores, Las Vegas puts all other US cities to shame. Here are the best places for your shopping trip in Las Vegas:
Las Vegas is considered one of the biggest gourmet paradises in the USA. No wonder because anyone who dares to come to the gambling city for an adventure vacation wants only the best of everything. The high-quality all-you-can-eat buffets in the casinos are legendary.
Try the following Las Vegas classics on your trip to the City of Sin:
In Las Vegas, you usually don't go straight to a bar but first hit the casinos, where you can even drink for free while feeding quarters to the one-armed bandits.
Among the best casinos are:
If you want to enjoy a fine cocktail in one of the trendy bars of Las Vegas after your bet in the casino at a late hour, we recommend the following places:
For a long time, Las Vegas was not allowed to have its own international sports teams, as the role of the "City of Sin" as the USA's gambling and sports betting capital meant that there was always a suspicion of results manipulation. Those days are now over, and several top sports teams are romping around Las Vegas:
Las Vegas has been home to the NHL field hockey team Vegas Golden Knights since 2017. The Knights were the first major league professional team in the city.
The NLF is now also represented in Las Vegas, with the Las Vegas Raiders football team playing here since 2020. Before that, the team was called the Oakland Raiders and played in - well, did you guess? - Oakland.
Work has been underway for years to bring an NBA team to Las Vegas, but it has not been successful so far. For quite a while, the Sacramento Kings team was an option. At least Las Vegas has been allowed to host NBA games - albeit under strict conditions regarding sports betting.
Las Vegas has been trying to establish a Major League Baseball team for many years but so far has failed to find a suitable stadium. Also, the market for baseball in Nevada seems to be rather poor, and so the Montreal Expos team, idolized by Mayor Oscar Goodman, ultimately chose Washington D.C. as its new location.
Basically, all of Las Vegas is one Instagram hotspot! But if you really want only the most spectacular photo opportunities, head to these five places:
The history of Las Vegas began as a natural spring in the middle of the Nevada desert. In 1829, a settler discovered the area and christened it "The Meadows" (Spanish: Las Vegas) because of its water resources and vegetation.
A real settlement was not established until 1855 by the Mormons. But these moved on after only two years, making way for the next attempt by the US Army in the mid-1860s.
Las Vegas grew in importance as an important stopover for the Army's wagons and the railroad between San Francisco and Salt Lake City.
The economic boom came with the construction of the Hoover Dam and the atomic bomb testing in the area, which attracted many workers and curious travelers. The Golden Gate Hotel is the oldest in Las Vegas and opened in 1906 as the Hotel Nevada.
In 1931, gambling was legalized in Nevada, marking the beginning of the city's mafia history.
In 1941, the first hotel-casino, the El Rancho Vegas, opened just outside Las Vegas, followed in 1942 by the New Frontier on today's Las Vegas Strip. Soon after, the legendary Flamingo Hotel was built.
The first hotels, casinos, cinemas, and theaters were in the hands of the Cosa Nostra or at least financed by mob bosses. By the 1960s, however, Las Vegas was hardly a place for dark dealings anymore, but more and more a tourist family center.
The City of Sin, which was mainly known for nudie bars and prostitution, also became the City of Entertainment with the first big shows in the Hotel Mirage (Siegfried & Roy). Nevertheless, crime has remained high in Las Vegas, and even today, tourists are advised not to stay alone away from busy areas such as the Las Vegas Strip and Fremont Street.
We bet you haven't heard these exciting facts about Las Vegas yet:
Are you as excited about Las Vegas as we are? Then it's only logical that you'd like to stay here right away. Our tips for living and working in Las Vegas might help you.
It's easy to find work in Las Vegas if you're looking for a job in tourism, healthcare, finance, or entertainment. Since almost everything here revolves around tourism, hospitality, and administrative services are among the most important industries.
Thus, the most common occupations among Las Vegas residents are administrative occupations, building and grounds cleaning, maintenance jobs, food preparation, waitressing, and personal care and service occupations. If you want to get paid really well in Las Vegas, then you should work as a lawyer, doctor, architect, or engineer.
Compared to other places, Las Vegas has an unusually large number of businesses in the arts, entertainment, and recreation; hotel and food services; and administrative, support, and waste management.
Major employers in Las Vegas include the Clark County School District, MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, Boyd Gaming, International Game Technology, and Las Vegas Sands.
Fortunately, life in Las Vegas doesn't have to feel like Disneyland for adults every day because those who have really arrived here usually live off the Las Vegas Strip in a quiet residential area.
Over the decades, many beautiful neighborhoods have developed where you can hardly notice the hordes of tourists and enjoy the silence of the desert.
Compared to the rest of the country, the cost of living in Las Vegas is about 12% higher than the US average. The real estate market here is competitive, but you won't have a hard time in Las Vegas if you're looking for a rental property.
Our tip is to pick your new neighborhood in Las Vegas really carefully. Paradise and Spring Valley are beautiful and affordable neighborhoods, but quieter areas like Summerlin, Skye Canyon, Aliante, or the Southern Highlands are much more peaceful.
A Green Card allows you to live and work in the US permanently. The good news is that it's quite easy to get the US immigrant visa through the Green Card Lottery. Ideally, you should enter the US government's annual lottery, even if you are also trying to obtain a Green Card through a US employer in parallel. Each year, 55,000 Green Cards are raffled off to US immigrants from around the world. Sign up now - it's just a few clicks!