Vegas! Sin City! Paradise for gamblers, partie folks, rich people, and persons who like to travel but cannot afford to, and, thus, find a miniature version of various countries one next to another.
It’s been about a month since I made my trip out to Las Vegas, Nevada, together with my roommate and a carry-on suitcase, ready to have a good time and regenerate my cells from the New York hectic world.
All in all, it was an eventful trip and I’m sure I will check it out again whenever I head out West. We booked our flights 3 weeks ahead of time and got what I consider a good deal for the Easter-Weekend we were planning on going. Our hotel was the Bally’s , which I would recommend to anyone traveling on a budget and still wanting a nice trade-off compared to price. We ended up getting a room for two for only $20 per person a night (hey, not even a HOSTEL can top this) and had a view on the pool of the Paris Hotel and the “Eiffeltower.” Just pretty amazing, if you ask me! I’m not sure if we were in luck or if those are their normal off-season prices.
Anyhow, the end of April is a GREAT time to make your trip out to Vegas: The weather is not as hot as it supposedly gets during summer months (our average was 80 degrees a day), and it is not as cool as the months before. You can walk around without suffering a heat stroke and during nights a pullover or jacket is more than enough to keep you warm.
What I found quite surprising was the high amount of Brits and German-speaking individuals wandering around on the Strip, most of the time aimless and intoxicated. It reminded me of the concept of Ballerman or Ibiza for you have the same target groups (Brits and Germans), only Vegas is more high-class and has the great hotel-casinos. These are, by the way, very originally made and some are surprisingly similar to what they are representing. Forget the miniature copies of Europe, e.g. Little Venice or Paris Hotel, those are not authentic at all, but the New Yorker was a great remodel of its big counterpart. It reminded me of my current city in every aspect : You went from Midtown straight to the Village straight to the Financial District. All in 2 minutes! Great job to those who invented it! Another good one from the outside is the Excalibur: A mixture between cartoon figure castle and Disneyland. Really a pleasure to look at.
So, besides a one-day-trip to the Grand Canyon, we spent most of our time wandering around the Strip. That is after we managed to roll ourselves out of bed, check out the Bally’s hotel pool, find breakfast/brunch/lunch, and then get ready to explore. It was mostly around noon when we were ready for the Strip and I do have to say that 4 days of Vegas-awesomeness are simply not enough! It takes you a lot longer than you think to walk those entire 4.2 miles down the Strip, not including many attractions and see-worthy things offered by the hotels. We should have done it like the Brits and stayed for 9 days straight… Maybe the next time!
The MGM was one of my favorites: Aside from the Lions and a bright aquarium it offered many interesting shows all around the theme “movies.” We participated in a research study about a new TV show, and I guess our votes went towards the “Yes “or “No” of it being aired. Together with the votes of a representative sample of other participants, too, of course.
From there we went straight to the “Welcome to Las Vegas”-sign. Yup, that’s right, we walked! And you can do this, contrary to many Americans telling us this is an impossible thing to do. We didn’t have a plan figured out, though, so we ended up taking the RITC bus towards the Vegas Outlet, and then walked from the Town Square to the sign. It would have been the same distance than walking straight from the Strip. The trip was well worth it, as we got to take a picture of one of Vegas’ ultimate symbols, but other than that don’t bother about trying. Really!
Use your time for something more productive, such as …shows! And, alas, another aspect of this city which makes me want to come back. You can get a hold of free tickets for some shows if you go to the box office early enough (special deals are advertised at your hotel). A great place to get tickets from are the random ticket vendors along the Strip which are advertising a big discount. We managed to grab two for the Chippendales show on Sunday for half the price we would have paid online. So, yes, it is worth checking out their deals, even though they look like huge scam boxes. Chippendales was the only show we made it to. And it was fantastic. Never been entertained better for one and a half hours of my life than in this privatized room up at the Rio’s. Girls, you SHOULD NOT miss out on them!
The Rio Hotel is not very nice, though, it is rather rundown, the waitresses are unfriendly and the clientele seems to consist of shady, seedy, broke people without manners. Which is the running gag throughout entire Vegas, of course, but to a bigger degree in the Rio.
I am not much of a gambler (I won 5 dollars in a 1ct slot machine on my third try!) but we checked out a couple of clubs not too far from our hotel. First we went to “The Bank” located inside the famous Bellagio (don’t forget to catch the fountain show, so amazing!), but we didn’t like the group of people that particular night. Marquee is a hot insider tip, once you manage to get in; it can be found inside the Cosmopolitan.
Pure nightclub was a goody for our last night out, as we went searching for a new spot. Located right next to us in the Caesar’s Palace, and playing really entertaining music which got the crowd started. Most clubs offer promotion deals for females, so it really is not hard to find something for a fair price. You mostly don’t need to pay a cover charge and sometimes they give you drinking coupons on top of this. And yes, the myth is true, drinking alcohol is allowed on the streets throughout Vegas. I know Americans are not used to this, but Europeans would only roll their eyes and continue on drinking their 20 oz beer.
Food is another issue, though. And when I mean issue, I mean PROBLEM if you’re planning on staying for longer. I suppose it is relatively cheap if you consider the fact that tons of pounds are being flown into the desert at a relative cost. But if you’re not into deep-fried meals, then you will have an incredibly hard time finding something affordable and tasty.
We tried out the French Buffet at the Paris Hotel! Go there! It is the best food we found, you get a lot of different things for your money’s value, plus it seems relatively healthy. We also tried out some Mexican places, but weren’t really impressed. Maybe it’s all my fault, though, as I am still used to quality food from Europe… O well and too bad!
Coming to a finish, it was a great trip, too short of a stay, and totally worth revisiting! Just for the shows, the fun, the weather, the people, and the one and only SIN CITY!