- 26 Feb 19
Las Vegas is a high-energy, neon-drenched city that offers more than meets the eye.
Where exactly is it?
Las Vegas sits in an arid desert valley surrounded by mountains in the bottom tip of Nevada. The perpetually sunny city was founded in 1905, as a stopover point on the Los Angeles-Salt Lake City railroad. Throughout the ‘30s and ‘40s, crowds of workers and tourists were drawn in by alluring, mobster-backed casinos and feather-adorned showgirls. Over the years, hotels and casinos have continued to sprout from the ground where other things couldn’t.
How do I get there?
There are no direct flights from Dublin to Las Vegas; you’ll need to get a connecting flight from England or New York. Once you land in Vegas, the Strip is only a short taxi drive away.
What languages are spoken?
The vast majority of Las Vegas natives speak either English, Spanish, or both. Visitors come from all over the world, so there’s no telling what languages you may hear on a daily basis.
What’s the transport like?
You most likely will not find the bus system useful, and will have to rely on ride-sharing apps, taxis and the trams that run up and down the Strip. To break away from the city, you’ll need to go through an excursion service or rent a car.
What’s the nightlife like?
With the city having famously embraced hedonism with open arms, pretty damn good, since you’re asking. A variety of nightclubs and lounges can be found in nearly every casino. One notable spot is the world-famous Hakkasan (3799 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109), which cost over $100 million to build. XS (3131 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109) leans into luxury with detailed and ornate decorations. If you’re feeling exhausted, you can relax in one of the lounges that overlook the Strip, like the Waldorf Astoria’s SkyBar (3752 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89158) or the Mandalay Bay’s Foundation Room (3950 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119).
Where can I get a drink?
Anywhere at any time of the day. If you’re looking for a cocktail in an upscale environment, check out the Cosmopolitan’s The Chandelier (3708 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109), a three-storey lounge housed inside a massive crystal chandelier. To see bars and lounges trending with locals, head downtown to Commonwealth (525 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101) or Atomic Liquors (917 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101, USA), where in the ’50s, customers would drink on the roof and watch atomic bombs go off in the distance.
What’s the food like?
Delicious and ethnically diverse, both on and off the Strip. Strip dining highlights include Wing Lei (3131 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109), the first Michelin star rated Chinese restaurant in North America, and Beauty & Essex (3708 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109), with its speakeasy-style entrance and eclectic, New American small-plates. Off the Strip, check out delicately prepared Japanese dishes at Raku (5030 Spring Mountain Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89146) or Tacos El Gordo (1724 E Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89104), an authentic taqueria.
What are some lesser-known attractions?
Many of Las Vegas’ tourist attractions are well-known, but there are many hidden gems. You can make a reservation to visit Akhob (3720 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109), a permanent art installation by James Turrell, a master of light and space. The Neon Museum (770 N Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89101) is where vintage neon signs from casinos of Las Vegas’ past are restored and laid to rest, allowing visitors to get a peek into the styles of bygone eras. Tucked away in a quiet neighborhood lies another curiosity – Lonnie Hammargren’s House (4300 Ridgecrest Dr. Las Vegas, NV 89121, USA). Hammargren has spent over $10 million and the past five decades filling the home and garden with Vegas memorabilia, including rollercoaster cars, the skeleton of a helicopter, and an animatronic tiger.
What should I bring home?
The remaining shreds of your money and dignity, as well as the hotel bathroom products.
When should I go?
The best times to go would be between March and June, or September and October. Avoid the hottest summer months of July and August if at all possible.