Las Vegas Strip: Everything visitors need to know

There is no doubt about it, if you’re a first-time visitor to sin city, the Las Vegas Strip can be an unimaginable puzzle. 

Before I visited for the first time I did loads of research about places to go and things to see. I ended up with such a long list, I didn’t know where to start.

When you add to that the immense geography of the Strip, it can be really difficult to get your bearings. You can end up over-committing to things that just aren’t doable or just find the whole thing too overwhelming.

Being completely honest, the Las Vegas Strip is somewhere you can go without planning a thing. Let’s face it, you will always find a great place to dine or a bar to party in without looking too hard.

But this can backfire and you end up coming home without ticking anything off your bucket list. To really make the most of your Vegas trip, it helps to at least have a rough plan.

That way you make sure you do what’s important to you and also leave time for Vegas distractions too. And believe me there are many.

So, whether you’re a complete Vegas virgin or someone who just wants a bit more knowledge of the Las Vegas Strip, read on.

Las Vegas Strip

The Strip is a stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard in Clark County. It incorporates the towns of Paradise and Winchester but is just more commonly known as Las Vegas.

It is officially 4.2 mile long (6.8 km), but for the purposes of our guide we are going to refer to the Strip by two landmarks. We will refer to the famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign as the very south of the Strip. And we refer to The Strat Hotel and Casino as the very north.

Within these two points, on one long stretch of road you will find over 30 almost exclusively spectacular hotels. These include some of the largest resorts and casinos you will find anywhere in the world.

Also along the Las Vegas Strip are hundreds of restaurants, bars, shows and attractions with almost every external building decked in the brightest neon. This is what gives Las Vegas its unique aesthetic and its unmistakable identity.

Some sources say that the Las Vegas Strip is the brightest place on Earth can be seen from space. This is due to its high concentration of Neon amidst the otherwise baron desert landscape. However, the jury is out over whether this can be substantiated.


The first thing you need to consider before you plan anything on the Las Vegas Strip is the sheer size.

The general rule in Las Vegas is that everything looks closer than it really is. Most hotels on the Strip are mega-resorts covering huge pieces of land.

To back this up, there are actual trams in some cases that can take you between neighbouring hotels because they are so far to walk.

Most regular visitors refer to the Las Vegas Strip in terms of centre Strip, north Strip and south Strip. A lot of people have a favourite part and often stick to that side when visiting. Or at least break it down into days – “Today is a south Strip day,” etc.

This is something to bear in mind when choosing your Las Vegas Strip hotel and your attractions. If you are staying in the south, you will have to allow plenty of time to get to the north and vice versa.

There are lots of travel options though to get you around and we’ll cover these later.

Of course, it is possible to walk the full length of the Strip, but I guarantee this is not something you want to do on a regular basis or in the desert heat.

Las Vegas Strip Hotels

Las Vegas hotels New York New York

One of the most common questions I get asked is “which hotel should I book?” And honestly, I could be there for hours answering that question.

RELATED READING: How to pick the best Las Vegas hotel for you

The Strip is crammed full of some of the most spectacular hotels you will find anywhere in the world. There is a full variety of options, whatever your budget.

Whether you want ultra-modern, classic, luxury, themed, big, small or value, you will find it here. It doesn’t matter if the location is most important, or the pool, or the casino… there is something to suit all tastes.

The truth is that there isn’t really a bad Las Vegas Strip hotel. Almost all have a casino, all have a pool, all have a variety of dining options – both restaurants and quick eats – and all have some show or attraction.

One of the things you should be aware of when choosing your Las Vegas Strip hotel is that you need to be a resident to use the pool. So, if the pool is important to your trip, pick a hotel with a good one. Our guide to the best pools might help here.

RELATED READING: The best pools in Las Vegas and where to find them

The final thing to note about Las Vegas Strip hotels is that each hotel is a resort within a resort. You can literally lose yourself in each hotel for hours if you fully explore them, and I recommend you do.

In some cases, the resort itself has so many restaurant, bar and entertainment options that you will never have to leave your hotel. But why stay inside when there’s a whole Las Vegas Strip to enjoy?

Las Vegas Strip Casinos

Wynn and Encore Casino Las Vegas

The oldest casino still operating on the Las Vegas Strip is Flamingo, which opened in 1946, while the newest is Resorts World, which opened in June 2021. So, the Strip really does encompass everything great about Vegas past and present.

Whether you’re a keen gambler or a complete novice, gambling in a Las Vegas Strip casino can be incredibly fun.

Lets make it clear, though: you don’t have to gamble in Vegas to have a great trip. There are plenty of other attractions to fulfil your vacation. I always feel there is a misconception that you should only come to Vegas if you’re a gambler and that simply isn’t true.

RELATED READING: Biggest myths and misconceptions about Las Vegas

I’ll be honest, it took me three visits to Las Vegas before I got the courage to gamble. For a beginner, the Las Vegas Strip casinos can be overwhelming.

For those who enjoy a bet, the Las Vegas Strip has everything you could ever hope for. Thousands of slot machines, hundreds of table games, Poker rooms, Keno, and a Sportsbook in every hotel too.

Las Vegas Strip casinos have something for every budget too. Some might never play more than the penny or quarter slots. Others will enjoy the adrenaline of the high-limit rooms with minimum bet of $100.

I personally usually stick to betting $1-$5 dollars at a time. I enjoy slots the most and like an occasional dabble on Roulette or Blackjack too. That’s about my limit and I have had both ‘losing’ and ‘winning’ trips doing that.

You can see this in action on my YouTube channel if you’re interested. If you are a first-time gambler, check out our guide to hitting the casino floor, too.

RELATED READING: LAS VEGAS GAMBLING: Quick start guide to hitting the casino

Las Vegas Strip Attractions

Las Vegas hotels: Bellagio

The most well known attraction on the Las Vegas Strip is probably The Bellagio Fountains.

It’s a regular free show that takes place every 30 mins in the afternoon and every 15 minutes at night, with a rotating soundtrack of around 50 songs.

The spectacular Las Vegas Strip themed hotels are an attraction within themselves. Where else would you find a replica Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower, Venetian Gondolas, a Medieval Castle, a Circus Big Top and a large Egyptian Pyramid?

Each of these properties deserves a good explore. Not only is their external architecture incredible, but their interiors are just as impressive.

Don’t forget many of them are interactive too. So you can ride the New York-New York Big Apple roller coaster. You can also elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower, take a Gondola ride and see a free circus show too.

The Las Vegas Strip has the tallest observation tower in the United States at The Strat, which also has some escalated thrill rides at its summit. The LINQ High Roller is a large ferris-wheel giving spectacular Strip views. There’s a zipline too.

The LINQ Promenade Las Vegas Hotels review

Don’t forget the endless shows and attractions that the Las Vegas Strip has to offer. As well as some big name residencies, there are a wide range of comedy and illusion shows.

You will find both adult-only and family-friendly shows as well as exhibitions and experiences. These include a Shark Reef Aquarium, Dolphin and Wildlife Park and a Titanic exhibit. There’s also a huge range of Cirque de Soleil offerings too.

Check out each resorts website for their current attractions. Make a plan of what you want to see, then plan your days around it. You can also check out our guides for some helpful hints.

Las Vegas Strip Travel

One of the best pieces of advice I give to someone exploring the Las Vegas Strip is to wear comfortable shoes.

The amount of walking, even just within your own hotel, can be immense so be warned. There are a few ways to get around which can save your feet from suffering though.

The cheapest is the Deuce Bus. This operates 24 hours a day, stopping at virtually every hotel along the Las Vegas Strip.

Buses run every 10-20 minutes and you can buy a 2-hour pass, a 24-hour pass or a 3-day pass ranging from $6-$20.

The Las Vegas Tram is a free service with three independent short routes that take you down the west of Las Vegas Strip.

This starts at Mandalay Bay and takes you to Luxor and Excalibur. The next route starts at Park MGM and takes you to Aria and Bellagio. The final route takes you from Mirage to Treasure Island.

In truth this is a piecemeal and sporadic service and still requires a lot of walking to the tram stations. However, it is free.

The Las Vegas Monorail is a paid service that takes you down the east of the Las Vegas Strip. This starts at the MGM Grand and goes to Sahara with five stops in between.

This is much more regular service operating between 7am and 2am most days. Tickets range from a single ride for $5 to a 7-day pass for $56.

If you’d prefer to taxi, then every hotel has it’s own taxi stop. Additionally, there are ride-share stops for Uber and Lyft too.

Just be aware that cars aren’t allowed to stop for pick-ups on the Las Vegas Strip. You will always have to go to a designated stop at a resort.

Food and Drink

Planet Hollywood food

Whether you’re a foodie or not, the Las Vegas Strip has just about everything you could ever want food wise.

There is an extensive range of high-end and celebrity chef restaurants for those who with a discerning pallet. Most of these are situated within the Las Vegas Strip resorts themselves.

Some of these come with spectacular views too. Bellagio has a few different restaurants positioned around the fountains. Meanwhile, The Strat has a revolving restaurant at its peak with unparalleled views over the Strip.

Every food preference is catered for – Asian, Mexican, Italian, British, American, Chinese, Seafood, Steakhouses the list goes on. There is also a good range of all-you-can-eat buffets incorporating them all.

As you can imagine, these high-end restaurants come with a price-list to match. Make sure you check out the menus before you visit so you don’t get a nasty surprise when you go.

For those who are happier with more value or quick-eat options, you are spoilt for choice. Burgers, chicken, pizzas, taco’s, nachos, hot dogs, whatever you like, you’ll find it. There are quite a few happy hours around too to make your money go further.

RELATED: Best pizza in Las Vegas – where to grab a great slice

When it comes to Bars, you really can’t walk more than a few steps on the Las Vegas Strip without finding one. Each resort has numerous bars, some quiet, some wild and a big range of nightlife too.

Two of my favourite bars on the Las Vegas Strip are Toms Urban in New York-New York and the duelling piano bar in Harrah’s. The Chandelier Bar at Cosmopolitan is also a must-see.

Rewards Clubs

If you think you might want to return to Las Vegas, then Rewards Clubs are worth knowing about.

Las Vegas is a city that rewards loyalty. The more you spend, the more they want you back.

In basic terms, Rewards Clubs reward you for spending in their resort. And by rewards, I mean free or discounted hotel stays, free slot play, free resort credit and waived resort fees.

There are two main Rewards Cards on the Las Vegas Strip. These are MGM Rewards and Caesars Rewards. All you have to do to sign up, is take some photographic ID to the rewards desk.

Then any spend you make in these resorts, you assign it to your rewards card. This means putting it into a slot machine before you gamble. Handing it to your dealer before you play. And giving it to your server when you pay your restaurant, bar or shopping bill.

With some exceptions, every dollar you spend then gets allocated to your card and you can build up your rewards to climb the Tiers.

Las Vegas rewards card MGM

The beauty of the two progammes mentioned above is that they allow you to claim in all of their properties with one card.

MGM Rewards covers Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, New York-New York, MGM Grand, Park MGM, Aria, Bellagio and at the time of writing Mirage. Cosmopolitan is currently transitioning to MGM Rewards too.

Caesars Rewards can be earned at Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Paris, Planet Hollywood, Cromwell, LINQ and Harrahs. This includes Ballys too, which is soon to be the Horseshoe.

Each independent resort has it own Rewards Club so be sure to check out whichever one you stay at.

RELATED READING: Las Vegas rewards clubs and how to use them

Las Vegas Strip Must-knows

Here are some quick-fire answers to some much asked Las Vegas Strip questions:

Taxi travel from the airport is regulated. There are set fees to drive you from the airport to each resort on the Strip so you can’t be overcharged. Price details can be found online and at the airport terminal.

If you want your photograph taken with any of the Las Vegas Strip street-side entertainers, this will cost you. Make sure you ask them how much before getting a picture.

Every hotel on the Las Vegas Strip charges resort fees. This is mostly inescapable, and you must budget for it on top of your hotel price. These are usually in the range of an additional $20-$40 per night per room. The only way to avoid paying this is if you have a terrible experience at the hotel and lodge a complaint. Or if you reach a certain Tier level of the Rewards Club that waives resort fees.

Yes, alcoholic drinks are free on the Las Vegas Strip as long as you’re gambling. But if you want to keep receiving drinks, tip well. If you don’t tip, they won’t come back to serve you.

‘The house always wins’ isn’t always true when you gamble on the Las Vegas Strip. Sure, if you return again and again and spend big, you’re bound to lose out in the end. It’s true what they say about Las Vegas not being build on winners. However, it is possible to have some really nice wins, even if you gamble small. The trick is to have a budget, stick to it, and get out while you’re winning!

RELATED READING: Las Vegas myths and misconceptions – and why to ignore them

Lynsey Thompson
Lynsey Thompson
Lynsey Thompson is a UK journalist with a passion for all things Las Vegas and one half of the popular Las Vegas YouTube channel and Podcast Begas Vaby. A regular visitor to Las Vegas for the past decade, Lynsey has written gambling and iGaming content professionally for a number of years, as well as gambling news content.

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