The ultimate Las Vegas Bucket List: 13 of the best things to do in Sin City
SIN CITY: Las Vegas is the perfect playground for adults
Guys with leather cowboy hats and burly moustaches, women with three-inch neon nails, the glitz, the glam, the tack – its all in Vegas as promised.
Surrounded by miles and miles of expansive desert, the gleaming city rises up from the dust like a mind-boggling mirage.
Driving along The Strip for the first time felt like being inside a dream or a super-sized movie set.
The famous Bellagio foundations sprang into action and danced in the lights as we cruised past in our limousine-style taxi, complete with bar and TV screens.
As holidaymakers poured pockets of cash into clanging slot machines, I whizzed past the Eiffel Tower, the Egyptian Sphinx and the Statue of Liberty.
Each famous monument is part of a giant Vegas hotel, which are comparable to mini towns, complete with shopping centres, spas, casinos and nightclubs.
VEGAS BABY: The strip is magical at night and huge hotels provide 24/7 entertainment
The four-mile strip is dominated by giant hotels, which provide 24-hour entertainment for hardcore holidaymakers.
The Venetian hotel is so large it houses a mini Venice – complete with canals and gondolas running through the foyer. While the impressive ceilings at Ceases Palace are painted to look like the sky and the streets are filled with faux Italian architecture.
Downtown at Fremont Street visitors can get a taste of old-school Vegas. Gamblers smoke cigars at roulette tables while women dance on the tables festooned with sequins
Walking through the street is like an assault on the sense, psychedelic clips play on giant screens, huge neon signs hang from dimly-lit bars and people fly on ziplines overheard, propelled from a giant 11-storey slot machine – aptly called Slotzilla.
Most most shockingly perhaps is the other side of Vegas – the view of rose-lit mountains from the 31st floor of my hotel, the Seven Magic Mountains art instillation, the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon.
I stayed at The Vdara Hotel & Spa, which is pleasantly tucked away from the strip, meaning you can get a good nights sleep before returning to the chaos.
Whether you stay for a long weekend or a two week blow-out, there is plenty to keep you entertained in Sin City.
By day you can explore the strip, shop to your hearts content and enjoy some of the fine-dinning restaurants the city has to offer.
Its worth noting that the food is a far cry from oversized, glutinous fast food that you might imagine.
Vegas is packed with world-class eateries. You can east fresh sashimi at Lago, overlooking views of Paris, watch the red team and blue team battle it out at Gordon Ramsays newly-opens Hells Kitchen or enjoy authentic Spanish food at Jaleo.
By night, the city comes alive with magic shows, circuses and music concerts. For those who like to stay out well after dark, there are a abundance of late-night clubs on the strip too.
Omnia, which stays open until 5am, often hosts famous DJs like Calvin Harris and wows revellers with its impressive light displays and scantily-clad acrobats.
During the set, half-naked women dangle precariously from ropes hanging from the ceiling and a giant robotic chandelier transforms into a space ship and plummets towards the crowd.
AMAZING: The Grand Canyon could hold all the river water in the world and still not be full
There is so much to see and do in Vegas, it can be quite overwhelming for first-time visitors. So, what are the must-do activities for your first time in Sin City?
Here we reveal the ultimate Las Vegas Bucket List:
1. Snap a selfie at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign
This is one of the classic sights of Las Vegas and its the perfect place to snap an iconic Instagram photo. If youre lucky you might even find one of the citys best Elvis impersonators at the famous spot.
2. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of The Fountains of Bellagio
The iconic fountains feature a dramatic aquatic shows choreographed with music and lights. The show is every 30 minutes from 3pm to 8pm Monday through Friday and every 15 minutes from 8pm to midnight.
If youre in Las Vegas its definitely worth taking a stroll past the monument at night.
But if you really what to get a backstage seat and do something really special, you can take a behind-the-scenes tour of The Fountains of Bellagi to find out how the spectacular show is put together.
Tours are given between 1pm and 5pm, seven days a week.
The Ultimate Travel Bucket List
Take a look at our Ultimate Travel Bucket List, it's sure to leave you inspired Getty The Ultimate Travel Bucket List
BUZZING: Downtown at Fremont Street visitors can get a taste of old-school Vegas
3. Experience The High Roller at The LINQ Promenade
The High Roller is a 550ft ferris wheel and the tallest observation wheel in the world.
Its location at the end of The LINQ Promenade means it offers breathtaking views over the Las Vegas Strip.
4. Experience Slotzilla Zip Line at Fremont Street Experience
While we were there someone described Fremont Street Experience as “where crazy meets crazy” and I feel thats an accurate description.
The street is like a buzzing adult playground littered with huge neon signs and dimly-lit bars.
At the end of the street is a giant 11-storey zipline called the Slotzilla Zip Line. If your nerves can take it, its worth a go.
5. Fly over the Grand Canyon on a West Rim Tour with Papillon Helicopters
The Grand Canyon is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world and is just a short flight from the Vegas strip.
If you choose to travel by helicopter youll soar over the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and Fortification hill, before crossing the border into Arizona to reach the main attraction.
The rush of coming over the rim of the Grand Canyon as music blasts out of the speakers is immense.
The canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and more than a mile deep and the vastness makes you feel so small and insignificant.
To put it not perspective the canyon is so big it could hold all the river water in the world and still not be full.
On the West Rim Tour, you will touch down near the Skywalk, a horseshoe-shaped glass bridge stretching out into the canyon.
If all the dizzying heights leaves you peckish, the SaNyu Wa Restaurant offers up delicious local food with breathtaking views of the canyon floor below.
Papillons Heli VIP Skywalk and Dining package starts at £347 per person. papillon.com
6. Eat lunch at Lago by Julian Serrano
Vegas has a whole host of luxury eateries but Lago was one of my favourites.
Located inside the Bellagio hotel – famous for its dramatic floral lobby – the Italian restaurant serves up everything from delicious pizzettas to fish sashimi.
Lagos terrace overlooks the gorgeous Fountains of Bellagio and you can eat your lunch overlooking mini Paris.
7. Take a paella class at Jaleo | A José Andrés Restaurant at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
This dimly-lit eatery serves up some of the most authentic paella outside Spain.
And if you really want to learn about your food before you eat it, you can even opt to do a paella making class with one of their trained chefs.
8. Treat yourself to dinner at Gordon Ramsay Hell's Kitchen at Caesars Palace Las Vegas
Based on the TV show of the same name, the Hell's Kitchen restaurant features two teams of chefs – the red team and the blue team.
Located in front of Caesars Palace, the restaurant seats more than 300 guests and has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the famous Las Vegas Strip.
The professional chefs whip up some delicious specials which feature on the hit series including beef wellington and a very impressive looking fish platter.
OFF-THE-BEATEN-TRACK: You can take a behind-the-scenes tour of The Fountains of Bellagio
9. Experience the Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil at The Mirage
If you love the Beatles and you love Cirque du Soleil, you will go crazy for this. Watching the psychedelic show makes you feel like youre inside a Beatles album.
The 2006 theatrical production features interpretive, circus-based artistic and athletic stage performance
The combination of nail-biting human feats, glorious stage direction and mind-blowing props and costumes make for an awesome show.
You can also take a behind-the-scenes tour to find out how the production is put together.
10. Sip on cocktails at Atomic Liquors in Downtown Las Vegas
Atomic – which was built 1945 and opened in 1952 – is the oldest standing bar in Las Vegas.
Its name came from the fact that people would stand on the bar and watch the atomic explosions in the distance, back when the establishment first opened.
The bar is seeped in history and its famous residents have including Barbara Streisand, who always sat in the same chair – which is still there today.
11. Play roulette and take a chance on the slot machines at one of the famous casinos
While in Las Vegas a little gambling seems like a must. If you dont know what youre doing the people manning the tables are happy to help explain the rules.
Just remember – dont bet more than you can afford to lose.
VIEWS: The High Roller is a 550ft ferris wheel and the tallest observation wheel in the world
12. Go wild at OMNIA Nightclub at Caesars Palace
If you want to have a wild night out, Vegas has something for everyone. OMNIA is open to 5am and you can rent private booths and sip on champers as you watch half-naked women dangle from the ceiling.
The club also houses a giant robotic chandelier, which transforms into a space ship and plummets towards the crowd – spraying lights and smoke into the dance floor.
Famous DJs often frequent the club and Calvin Harris is a regular attraction at weekends.
13. Indulge in a 50-min Signature Aromatherapy Massage at The Spa at ARIA inside ARIA Resort & Casino
Vegas is thrilling, but it can also be exhausting. If you want to get away from it all for a bit or refresh after a flight, I strongly recommend a massage at The Spa at ARIA.
I opted for the 50-min Signature Aromatherapy Massage and the combination of the heated, moving bed and the skilled masseuse meant it was the best massage I have ever had.
The spa facilities and outdoor pool are also worth a visit.
Netflights.com is offering three nights in Las Vegas staying at the 5* Vdara Hotel and Spa on a room only basis. Prices start from £539pp including flights from London Gatwick. Based on selected dates in November 2018. Book by the 30th July 2018. (netflights.com)
For more info on visiting Vegas, head to visitlasvegas.com