The Best Things to See and Do on the Las Vegas Strip

| © Amy Cicconi / Alamy Stock Photo
Rebecca Speare-Cole

When most people think of Vegas, they’re really thinking of the 4.2mi-long (6.8km) stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard known as the Strip. Packed into such a small area is an inexhaustible variety of things to do and see – from the Bellagio fountain show to Madame Tussauds. Here are our top picks.

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Paris Las Vegas

This mini version of the City of Light comes complete with a lit-up half-scale Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Hotel de Ville. You can wander through the cobbled alleyways, buying souvenirs at charming boutiques and testing your luck on authentic French roulette wheels in the opulent casinos. Top tip: Ride up the glass elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower, stopping for dinner halfway up at the mid-air French restaurant to soak up the Parisienne vistas with the Strip’s neon lights and desert mountains beyond.

The world’s biggest observation wheel sits right slap in the centre of the Las Vegas Strip. This High Roller eclipses both the London Eye and the Singapore Flyover and offers the best views in town. Take the 30-minute ride in a glass cabin to watch all the dazzling Sin City activity from on high. If you pay extra, you can ride with an open bar, sipping cocktails as you spot replicas of the Statue of Liberty and the Egyptian Pyramids.

CityCenter

Opened in 2009, this vast and beautifully sleek urban complex in the heart of the Strip stands tall across 67 acres (27ha). CityCenter’s glassy modern architecture comes as a stark contrast to the garish neighbouring resorts. The Crystals shopping centre offers a cool respite from the Nevada heat. Inside, stop by the Gallery to marvel at Dale Chihuly’s spectacular glass masterpieces at the Gallery. Next, head to the Chandelier bar and order the “We’re All Mad Here” cocktail – a drink that changes colour when stirred and is paired with an edible flower that makes your tongue tingle.

Fountains of Bellagio

A magnificent display of more than a thousand water fountains shooting 460ft (140m) into the air comes as a direct antithesis to Vegas’ desert surroundings. The Bellagio resort’s fountain show is an absolute Vegas staple. Colourful lights sync with soundtracks that can vary from Italian opera to Frank Sinatra to the current chart-toppers. Displays take place every 30 minutes from noon to 8pm, and then every 15 minutes until midnight, and they’re free of charge. Watch the fountains dance after dark when the colours glisten the brightest.

The Mob Museum

From exhibits on wire-tapping to how gangsters are portrayed by Hollywood filmmakers, the Mob Museum is an unmissable interactive experience. It’s ironically housed in a former 20th-century courthouse on Stewart Avenue off the Strip, where mobsters sat for federal hearings. Rare artefacts and riveting storylines create a fascinating journey through the historical battle between organized crime and law enforcement in America. Don’t miss the speakeasy-style distillery hidden in the basement, where you can grab an illicit drink before you leave.

Fremont Street Experience

The Fremont Street Experience is a five-block pedestrian mall in downtown Vegas covered by a 1,400ft-long (427m) steel canopy. Beneath it, crowds cruise the endless array of wacky shops, jazzy restaurants and buzzing casinos. But the experience’s centrepiece is the cheesy but delightful light-and-sound shows that are projected onto the sprawling ceiling hourly from dusk until midnight. Catch the display as you zoom over the surreal space on the exhilarating zip-line cables that are attached to the 12-story slot-machine-themed platform Slotzilla.

Park MGM Las Vegas

Park MGM Las Vegas is the newest destination resort, completed in 2019 on the southern end of the Strip. It’s void of gimmicks and flashiness, offering visitors a recess from Vegas’ sensory overload. It’s also perfect for taking a lunch break from the Strip, trying tasty pasta dishes at the popular Italian marketplace Eataly, or tucking into a succulent sirloin at Bavette’s Steakhouse. For those who fancy gambling without the thick clouds of cigarettes, Park MGM has just become the Strip’s first entirely smoke-free casino.

The Mirage

Walking into the Mirage is like entering a luscious rainforest world. Out front, the Mirage’s trademark volcano erupts with a rumble. Inside, its atrium is full of shady foliage while angelfish, pufferfish and exotic sea creatures glow in the 20,000-gallon (90,922-litre) saltwater aquarium behind the lobby desk. Despite the Mirage’s central Strip location, you can spend a tranquil afternoon at the sprawling swimming pool complex, where you’ll bask underneath tropical greenery lining the meandering lagoons and sip on fruity cocktails at the poolside bars.

M&M World

The Las Vegas M&M world is the original monument to the colourful chocolates, spread across 28,000sqft (2,601sqm) and four floors in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. Within minutes, you can create your very own M&M collection with the in-store personalised printer, dive into the sea of merchandise, watch the 3D movie or get up close to Kyle Busch’s NASCAR replica. Don’t miss the fun of mixing and matching M&Ms in every colour under the sun on the Candy Wall on the second floor.

Madame Tussauds Las Vegas

The Strip has its own version of the worldwide wax museum where the velvet ropes have been removed, so you can strike a pose next to Elvis or sit on Hugh Hefner’s lap. You can also mingle with Thor or Black Widow before you join the action – getting sprayed with water or hit by wind tremors in the Marvel Super Heroes 4D cinema experience. Top tip: Nurse your hangover at the Hangover Bar, where you can order themed drinks inspired by the Wolf Pack.

Fancy a more structured itinerary? We’ve got you covered with our guide on how to spend a weekend in Las Vegas. Alternatively, go on some day trips to explore the areas surrounding Sin City. Treat yourself to some delicious food at a fine-dining restaurant before you recharge your batteries at one of the best hotels in town. If you’re on a budget, book a room at a wallet-friendly hotel.

Sarah Lantz contributed additional reporting to this article.

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