With so much glitter and gold, you'd be fooled into thinking Las Vegas was a bank loan affair. However, a trip to the neon jungle doesn't have to break the bank, unless you get carried away at the roulette table that is. In fact, compared to most other cities it's relatively inexpensive. Hotel rooms are often subsidised by big spenders at their casinos and restricted by fierce competition for business. Vegas does have over 150,000 rooms to fill, after all. Surprisingly, food is pretty affordable too. Get yourself to a 'superbuffet' for lunch – a supersize all-you-can-eat indulgence offered by many major hotels. Trust us, five plates of culinary delights will keep you feeling full for the whole day and for the price they're bloomin' good value too.
When it comes to hotels it's all about the competition to build the biggest, best, and most impressive accommodation imaginable. Indeed, Las Vegas is home to a whopping 14 of the world's 20 largest hotels, most of which are themed. And we don't just mean a few nice paintings on the wall. We mean the likes of Venetian canals amidst the Nevada desert, where gondoliers will serenade you beneath a digital sky, a 4100 seat coliseum that hosts huge performances, and a replica of downtown New York, complete with miniature Statue of Liberty and rooftop rollercoaster.
The most famous hotels, such as Caesars Palace, the Venetian and the Bellagio where blockbuster hit Ocean's Eleven was filmed, dominate the strip and it's here you'll find the biggest casinos in the world. So if chancing your luck is high on your agenda, these are the places to go. Just don't start betting your house, partner and dog on Black 32. Of course there are plenty other inexpensive options for accommodation, without having to compromise too much on glamour either.
From Broadway hits to musical legends, huge productions are central to the Las Vegas experience. With everything from magic to circus and the Can-can on the cards, shows are hilarious, breathtaking, erotic and everything in between. The likes of Elton John, Celine Dion and Cher regularly grace the stages of the town's top venues, and back in the day Las Vegas was a regular haunt for Elvis himself – although according to the Haunted Vegas Tour, it still is. Nowadays though, you're more likely to find him in a wedding chapel or dealing decks in the casino than shaking his hips on the stage. In fact, being married by Elvis is a surprisingly popular option – but that may just be all of those cocktails talking. Our top recommendation is the Blue Man Group at the Venetian. Wonderfully wacky and just a little bit odd, this fun-packed family-friendly spectacle will have you crying with laughter and gasping in awe from start to finish.
In Las Vegas you can cool off at some of the hottest pool parties in the world, whilst bobbing along to world-famous DJs that frequently grace the decks. The crowd is young, attractive and up for a day of drinking, dancing and sipping cocktails in luxury cabanas. Pool parties are generally owned by the big hotels, and Wet Republic at MGM Grand, Encore at Wynn and Rehab at Hard Rock Hotel are probably the biggest and most well-known.
Away from the hotels, shows and casinos there are plenty of other things to do in Las Vegas. You would have thought that the top attraction in Vegas would be a casino, or maybe an impressive hotel attraction but you would be wrong. It is in fact a digger driving experience. Who'd have thought? Firing ranges are pretty popular as the chance to fire a gun is a novel experience for most of us Brits. You can even keep the targets that you, probably quite poorly, shot at so you can show off to your friends back home. For adrenaline junkies, there's the chance to see Vegas from above on a hot air balloon ride, a skydive or a 'dinner in the sky' and if the thought of super cars makes you drool, you can hire that brand new Ferrari you've been dreaming of, and admire the Red Rock Canyon as you whizz past at lightning speed.
Las Vegas' close proximity to the Grand Canyon makes it a popular excursion. It's a four hour bus journey, or you can opt for a sunset helicopter tour if you happen to have just won big-time on the slots. There's also the opportunity to see Hoover Dam, a phenomenal feat of engineering and where it all began. If you want to see the real beauty of the Nevada desert, Zion National Park is close to Vegas and offers up incredible views, mountains and spectacular sunsets.
A place like nowhere on Earth, a trip to Las Vegas really is one to be experienced so pack your lucky pants and go.
Location of Las Vegas
Average monthly temperature (°C) for Las Vegas