Las Vegas in 5 Day: a guidebook for getting the most out of your visit

They say that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas but I assure you that, with this 5-day itinerary I've made for you, you'll come back from your vacation wanting to tell everyone where you've been. The city of neon is waiting for you!

Ana C.R.

Ana C.R.

14 min read

Las Vegas in 5 Day: a guidebook for getting the most out of your visit

Las Vegas postcard | ©Pixabay

Located in the middle of the Mojave Desert in Nevada, Las Vegas has become a landmark among mythical vacation destinations. Its famous casinos and resorts, its dreamlike shows, its nightlife and its unusual environment make it a unique place.

Hollywood has been portraying it for years in a multitude of movies as a city full of sin and debauchery. However, Las Vegas has a lot to see and do and is much more than a gambling city. If you want to discover it and you have 5 days, prepare your suitcase because I have prepared the best planing to discover the city.

Day 1: First contact with Las Vegas; must-sees of the Strip

Welcome to Las Vegas sign| ©Sung Shin
Welcome to Las Vegas sign| ©Sung Shin

You have just arrived in Las Vegas, you have five days ahead to devour this city full of light and entertainment, but surely the first thing you want to do is to get rid of the bug and walk the famous Strip Avenue, where are the iconic resorts and casinos that you have seen so many times on the big screen.

Don't worry, I will guide you so you can make the most of the day and see all the must-sees.

The distances in Las Vegas are deceiving and, although it seems that everything is close, the dimensions of the buildings are so large that you can lose a lot of time if you walk. That's why for this first day I suggest combining short walks with public transportation services in the area, some of them are even free!

Book a guided tour of the Las Vegas Strip

Start the trip with the Las Vegas Welcome Sign and the Mandalay Bay

There's no better way to begin this 5-day Las Vegas tour than by starting the day with the iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign. This sign starts the entire Strip Avenue and is a must-see photo op for all tourists.

To get there from wherever you are staying, the most convenient way is to take the bus to the 6532 NB Las Vegas stop, where the 104 passes. You can also book a tour bus tour to know everything in detail.

From here, and after taking the relevant photos, you should walk only about 10 minutes into the Strip until you reach the first major resort of the day; the Mandalay Bay. Before arriving, you will pass by Little Church of the West, one of the typical churches where people come to get married.

Book a Big Bus night bus tour in Las Vegas

See the Luxor and Excalibur resorts

After having seen the Mandalay Bay, the next destination is another of the emblems of the city, the Luxor Resort, crowned by a huge black pyramid.

  • Luxor: to get there, instead of walking a lot, you can choose to take a free streetcar that connects through a walkway both hotels. Upon arrival you can access inside to see inside the pyramid and the whole complex of lights that has. You can also access the casino area and, even if you do not gamble, I am sure you will love its luxurious rooms and all the Ancient Egyptian decoration.
  • Excalibur: the next stop is the Excalibur Hotel, which you can also reach by following the route of the free streetcar that brought you here. The characteristic of this place is its decoration and its medieval style construction, simulating a large castle. You can walk around inside and take the opportunity to have a drink or a mid-morning coffee.

Enjoy New York - New York

New York-New York Resort| ©Bernard Spragg. NZ
New York-New York Resort| ©Bernard Spragg. NZ

Just in front of the Excalibur Hotel is another of the great attractions and central areas of this Strip Avenue. This is the New York-New York Resort, which, as you might have guessed, is a recreation of New York City and all its charms. You can easily walk there since it is right in front of your previous stop.

If you are more daring, you can also try to get on the big roller coaster, the Big Apple Coaster, which is intertwined between all this scenery.

Ride the monorail to the City of Light

Fancy a ride in Paris? It sounds strange, but in Las Vegas anything is possible. On the Strip Avenue itself, just a few blocks from the New York-New York Hotel is another Las Vegas postcard, the Hotel Paris.

Even so, it is quite heavy to do walking, so I recommend you to take the monorail at the MGM Hotel (just in front of the New York-New York) and for about 5 € to get in less than 10 minutes to this beautiful Parisian decor. Upon arrival, surely one of the things that surprises you most is to be able to have in the same place all the great icons of Paris.

Witness the spectacle of the Bellagio Fountain from the top of the Eiffel Tower

The day is coming to an end and since you are in the city of love in miniature, what better way to climb the Eiffel Tower?

  • Eiffel Tower: No kidding, the recreation of the tower is real and has access for you to go up, where you will have one of the best views of the whole city. Tickets to climb the Eiffel Tower are around 30€ but I assure you that they are worth it.
  • Bellagio Fountain: Also, if you come at sunset, from the top you can witness one of the biggest shows in Las Vegas that takes place right in front of where you are. It is the Bellagio Fountain, a great show of lights and water that takes place for free every 15 minutes and, when it gets dark, it is filled with impressive decorative lights.

Book your ticket for the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas

Day 2: Get to know the old area of Las Vegas: Downtown

Mob Museum| ©Viator
Mob Museum| ©Viator

Today, all the glitz and glances of Las Vegas are taken by the Strip area you saw yesterday. However, the essence of this curious and entertaining city lies much further north, in the area known as Downtown, where the city's first casinos were founded in the 1940s as a result of the gambling legalization law.

Visit the Natural History Museum, the Neon Museum and the Mob Museum

  • Museum of Natural History: If you decide to buy tickets to the Museum of Natural History you should know that they cost around 10€. This space consists of a complete and careful collection of remains from various stages of history and the legacy left by the desert area where the city was built. The bus number 113 leaves you very close.
  • Neon Museum: A place that keeps all the tradition of signs and neon that has been creating the city of Las Vegas since the 30's. The entrance costs about 20 € and is a place, to say the least, curious.
  • Mob Museum: This place was inaugurated in 2012 and gives a sample of the evolution of the mafias and organized crime in the city since it was founded. If you buy tickets to the Mob in advance you will see that they cost around €30 and their access will help you understand how Las Vegas was founded, what was the role of casinos and what interests made it one of the most corrupt places years ago.

Buy your ticket for the Mob Museum

Have lunch in the vicinity of Fremont Street

Fremont Street| ©Joaquin
Fremont Street| ©Joaquin

At the exit of the Mob Museum you will find yourself in the most central area of Downtown, specifically on Fremont Street, where the oldest casinos in the city are located.

Before you start touring them, take a break and stop at one of the many restaurants in this charismatic area, such as Vic and Anthony's, an ideal restaurant if you like meat in the purest American style.

Book a gastronomic tour of Las Vegas

Tour Downtown and the oldest casino

After lunch and with the whole afternoon ahead of you, I suggest that you take a walk along Fremont Street, where you will find the oldest casino in the city; the Golden Nugget. You can go inside and see how the old machines used to be.

You don't have to gamble, but if you go in, you will get a good understanding of some of what you saw in the morning at the museum. In addition, it is usually a very busy and lively area. From here starts the second most famous street of all Las Vegas; the Fremont Street Experience, where some of the best casinos in the city are located.

Experience the Fremont Street Experience

It used to be one of the busiest streets for all the bookmakers. Now, however, it is more tourists who walk along this avenue that has been covered by a large barrel vault. It occupies a total of five blocks and is quite a sight to see.

I suggest you finish the day in style by climbing a spectacular zip line that will take you through the heights of this emblematic street. The company that carries out this activity is called SlowZilla and you can find it in the same street. For approximately 35€ you will be able to glide at a height of seven floors all along Fremont Street and see the lights on, one of the best things to do at night in Las Vegas.

Book a guided tour of Fremont Street

Day 3: Make the most of Las Vegas attractions

Neon Museum| ©Viator
Neon Museum| ©Viator

After two intense days, you've probably already got a rough idea of what Las Vegas is like, from the most classic to the most innovative places. Now all that's left is to enjoy all the attractions that this fantastic city has to offer.

Visit Venice and its gondolas and marvel at the Madame Tussauds Museum

  • The Palazzo and Venetian Resort: As a first stop for this third day, you must get to one of the largest and most spectacular resorts in Vegas; The Palazzo and Venetian Resort. This place is literally a recreation of the city of Venice, canals and all! To get there, you can take the bus to the EB Sands stop; either the 119 or the 203 will do.
  • Madame Tussauds Museum: At the exit and a few steps away from this incredible experience, I have another surprise for you. The Madame Tussauds Museum, one of the most renowned wax museums in the world is waiting for you. If you decide to visit this museum, buying tickets to Madame Tussauds will cost you around 30€ and you will surely have a great time taking pictures with your wax idols.

Lunch downtown

You are in one of the most central and busy areas of the city, so it will not be difficult to find a good restaurant where you can stop for lunch.

Even so, I recommend The Cheesecake Factory, an American-style restaurant that offers good quality food and, moreover, is within the Caesar Resort complex, the other great casino that you had to know and that inside has a recreation of a Roman coliseum.

Book a gastronomic tour of Las Vegas

Tour the more exotic side of Las Vegas

Golden Nugget Casino| ©garybembridge
Golden Nugget Casino| ©garybembridge
  • Flamingo Palace: To start, you'll just have to cross the street and go to the Flamingo Palace, a hotel with an entire decoration dedicated to these pink animals. I'm sure you will be impressed by the decoration, but the real fun is that inside you can see a whole space with real flamingos and other types of birds such as parrots and pelicans.
  • Mirage Hotel: At the exit, and walking just 5 minutes, I have prepared another wild visit, because inside the Mirage Hotel is one of the largest aquariums in Las Vegas.

Dare to take a night helicopter tour

It has been an intense day full of activities and unforgettable experiences. But, to put the finishing touch to your experience in the city, I can't think of anything better than taking one of the helicopter tours in Las Vegas.

Specifically there is a night mode that will take you for about two hours around the skyline of the city, seeing all the lights and the big resorts from above. With an experience like this you can get a definite idea of what the city is like and how this nucleus of light and exuberance in the middle of the desert looks like. These tours are usually around 80€ and I assure you that you will never forget it.

Book a night helicopter ride over Las Vegas

Day 4: Take a trip to the Hoover Dam and for an afternoon of relaxation

Exterior of Madame Tussauds Museum| ©maria1bjt
Exterior of Madame Tussauds Museum| ©maria1bjt

In these three days you have been able to get to know the city in depth and have fun with all its great offer of shows and activities. That's why for the two remaining days of your vacation, I suggest you to get to know the surroundings of the city. Do not forget that Las Vegas is built in the middle of the desert and is very close to authentic natural wonders.

Get to the Hoover Dam and enjoy the views.

As you may have noticed these days, Las Vegas is a pretty hot and dry city, due to its location. You're probably wondering how they did years ago to create all this micro civilization in the middle of nowhere.

The answer is simple, the Hoover Dam. I recommend that you book an organized tour to the Hoover Dam, as a guide will explain everything and also with the possibility of pick up at the hotel. They usually cost about 50 euros and it's great to be entertained and informed all day.

Book your tour to Hoover Dam

Take a leisurely cruise on the lake

Upon arrival at the lake, you're sure to be amazed by its vast expanse. In its day, it was one of the largest dams ever built. When you arrive, either on your own or on an organized tour, take time to take pictures and enjoy the scenery.

However, you can't leave here without taking a cruise on the waters of this man-made lake. Many excursions have this modality and I promise you that, after so many days surrounded by people, music and noise, you will be grateful for this boat ride for the tranquility of the area.

Enjoy a tasting on a gastronomic tour

Dining in Las Vegas| ©James Havard
Dining in Las Vegas| ©James Havard

These tours usually last around five hours, so if you book one that starts early, you'll be back in Las Vegas just in time for lunch. You already know the whole downtown area so, in order to avoid repeating yourself and get to know something new, you can take the opportunity to book some of the gastronomic tours around the city.

Give yourself an afternoon of spa and relaxation at the resorts

I told you that today you would have time to rest, and what is promised is debt, especially in this city. Las Vegas is known worldwide for all the luxury and excess. You may not have been able to stay at one of the exclusive resorts on the Strip during your vacation, but that doesn't mean you can't take advantage of all the luxuries.

For this penultimate afternoon, I suggest you contemplate choosing between some of the best spas in Las Vegas, such as the Nurture Spa Salon at the Luxor Resort or the Mirage Hotel Spa in which, for a price that can be around 100€ you will have an afternoon of pampering and care, accompanied by the services of your choice, such as massages or facials.

Book a couple's massage in Las Vegas

Day 5: Discover the Grand Canyon of Colorado

At the Grand Canyon| ©Pom'
At the Grand Canyon| ©Pom'

I think I've saved one of the best surprises for last. In all these days discovering Las Vegas, you have been able to live intensely the rhythm and the essence of this frenetic city. You have also been able to learn about its history and enjoy all its luxuries. However, there is still something essential to see and that is the Grand Canyon of the Colorado.

There are numerous tours around Las Vegas, but the one that takes you on a full day tour of this natural wonder is one of the most popular.

Arrival at the Grand Canyon

It is one of the most touristy destinations around and that is why you have a variety of tours to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas. I recommend you to do the most classic and suitable for the whole family such as hiring the tour to the west side of the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam from Las Vegas which combines two of the must-see places on this trip.

In it, a bus can even pick you up from your hotel and take you throughout the west side of the canyon accompanied by a guide. These buses usually take just over two hours to arrive and most leave early in the morning to make the most of the day, including breakfast for all visitors.

Book your Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam Tour

Eagle Point Overlook and Native Villages

After the pleasant drive through the rocky desert areas, you will finally arrive at one of the most incredible panoramic views in the world. From Eagle Point you can look out onto a huge glass walkway from which you will have a breathtaking view of the entire Grand Canyon.

If you suffer from vertigo you may not want to look out too much, but I assure you that you will feel like you are on another planet in such natural scenery. You can also take the opportunity to visit some native villages in the area and do some shopping for souvenirs or handicrafts.

Lunch at Guano Point and Colorado River

This type of excursion, being a full day trip, usually cost around 100 euros, but lunch is included, so when you get hungry, you can stop at Guano Point and have something to eat. This place is one of the best views of the Colorado River.

Also, if you like hiking, you can take a short hike to reach one of the highest points and get the best picture of all this picture taken from a movie.

Farewell dinner

I'm sure that the Grand Canyon has left you quite impressed, not to be outdone. Unfortunately, it's time to go back and this is your last night in Las Vegas. I'm sure you've made the most of every day and, even though it's been an intense trip, it's been worth it.

For this last night before returning to the routine, I propose you to treat yourself and celebrate a farewell dinner by going to see some of the best shows in Las Vegas.

You already know the Strip Avenue, you just have to browse the agenda of events, book the one that interests you and go to the resort where it takes place to live this last night in style or take a night tour to meet some of the most famous pubs in the city.

Best way to get around Las Vegas

Las Vegas Bus| ©R. Kurmann
Las Vegas Bus| ©R. Kurmann
  • Las Vegas is a considerably large city. Despite this, most of its attractions are condensed into two large areas, the Strip and Downtown. Even so, the infrastructure is so large that simply walking from one resort to another can take quite a while. That is why the best way to get around is to combine walking with public transportation.
  • In Las Vegas there are several useful forms of transportation. On the one hand there is the bus, which connects all parts of the city and costs 5€, on the other hand there is the monorail, which connects several Strip resorts for a similar price. Finally, there is a free streetcar system that has different sections and also connects several resorts.
  • Still, if you have little time and want to visit all the major attractions in one morning comfortably, perhaps one of the best options is to take one of the tourist buses that are around the city and that for a price around 40€ will take you to all the places.

I hope that my itinerary has helped you to better organize your trip to Las Vegas and, remember, what happens in Las Vegas...