Heading to Vegas for the first time? You better strap yourself in. If we had to describe Sin City in one word, it would simply be surreal. The Vegas bubble is a real thing, and it becomes difficult to keep track of time, not helped by the lack of windows in casinos and the 8-hour time difference from the UK. We absolutely love Vegas, and it’s one of our most frequently visited holiday destinations.
There are two main entertainment areas in Las Vegas, the iconic bright lights of the strip and the arguably lesser-known Fremont Street. Ideally, we would recommend spending time in both, but if you’re short on time and need to choose, this blog outlines the key differences between the two and identify which we think you’ll enjoy the most.
Las Vegas Strip Overview
There are fewer more famous streets in the USA than the Las Vegas Strip. From flashing lights, to Elvis, cabaret dancers and frozen cocktails, The Strip really is the party central of the world.
The Las Vegas Strip is 4.2 miles long, with hotels, casinos, clubs, shops and much more running from one end right to the other. It’s split into 3 sections, known as North, Centre and South Strip. It’s important that you consider which area you wish to stay in when booking your holiday, as you’ll want to be within comfortable walking distance of where you want to go.
At the north end of The Vegas Strip you’ll find hotels and casinos like The Venetian, The Mirage and at the very end, The Stratosphere. Centre Strip features The Bellagio and it’s fountains, Paris and the Eiffel Tower and MGM. At the south end is Mandalay Bay, The Luxor and the famous Welcome to Las Vegas Sign.
Wherever you stay on The Strip you’ll experience the glitz and glam of Vegas, but our preference is always to stay Centre Strip. As you’re in the middle, you’re never too far from the action, and the biggest attractions are located here, drawing in the bigger crowds and creating a better atmosphere. You’re within walking distance of many of the biggest clubs, bars and casinos, and you can bag yourself some pretty affordable accommodation.
All of that said, The Strip is an ideal place to stay, but it’s not necessarily number one choice for where to spend your evenings. Designed for newcomers more than anything, The Strip can be expensive, with higher buy-ins required at the casinos, particularly on weekends. It can make for a pricey night out, with fancier bars, casinos and a strict dress code in most places. We very much believe this is part of the experience, and if you’re new to Vegas you must spend an evening here.
The alternative to a night on The Strip is an evening on Fremont Street, in downtown Vegas. Keep reading to find out more about this local hotspot.
Fremont Street Overview
Popular with Vegas locals and regular visitors, Fremont Street is often referred to as ‘old town Vegas’, and we’ll explain why. Picture penny slots, cheap tables, cheap drinks and more ‘classic’ casinos. Characterful would be a great way to describe Fremont street and it’s old school and classic Vegas feel.
Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s only for the older generation though, as it’s not. You’ll see people from all walks of life on Fremont Street, and as the dress code is more more relaxed, it feels more like a casual night out than a black tie event. There are still plenty of modern casinos, and even though the older ones may look a little dated, they still feature all of the same games as the brand new casinos.
We love a gamble in Vegas, particularly at a Blackjack table, and $5 Blackjack is very common on Fremont Street, whereas it’s pretty unheard of on The Strip. Now, you’re not about to find your big break or get rich on $5 Blackjack, but it’s a great way to enjoy a cheap night out and make your money last longer. Don’t forget, drinks are free at Casinos, so you’ll still be getting your alcohol of choice even spending just $5 a hand.
As well as casinos and hotels, Fremont Street also features a superman-style zip line that is 77 feet high and 850 feet long – perfect for thrill-seekers. There’s also an outside stage where you’ll often find a DJ or band performing and some kind of street party most nights.
So, Which is Better? The Strip or Fremont Street?
If it’s your first time in Vegas, a few nights on The Strip is an absolute must. If you’ve been before and haven’t visited Fremont street, you really should. A balance of both is best, but Fremont Street will always have a little piece of our heart and fond memories of cheap Blackjack, making American friends and drinking too many free drinks.
Just remember to consider your positioning if you stay on the strip, and be sure to visit some of the amazingly themed casinos like The Luxor and The Excalibur, both of which are worth just looking around even if you don’t spend a penny.