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Everything Vancouver travellers need to know about visiting Las Vegas

Find out how to score the best deals on flights and accommodation, as well as important considerations.
Find out how to book the cheapest Vancouver flights to Las Vegas, Nevada, and what to know about booking accommodation, activities, the Sphere, and more.

Many cities around the world boast about their nightlife scene — but only one place feels like it is made for it. 

Las Vegas, known as the "City of Sin," brings together people from across the globe in the spirit of fun. It's the place where people spend their last days as singletons before a wedding, or simply the place to go when you need to dust off your dancing shoes and unwind. 

While it's most widely known as a gambling mecca, Nevada's biggest city is home to a vast array of entertainment and dining options, welcoming some of the world's biggest performers to its stages year-round. 

But it isn't just parties that make Vegas famous. 

Step into "Old Vegas" to take a tour through its iconic past. The Fremont Street Experience is considered one of the best free attractions, hearkening back to 1905 when the city was founded. 

From booking flights and securing travel documents to things to do for fun while you're there, find out everything you need to know about planning your trip to Las Vegas from Vancouver.

What airlines should I fly to Las Vegas?

From Vancouver International Airport (YVR), travellers can fly direct to Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) or via several connecting routes.

Airlines that fly to or partially to Las Vegas via one of their airline partners include:

  • Air Canada
  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Avianca
  • Delta
  • Emirates
  • Flair Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • Korean Air
  • Porter Airlines
  • Qatar Airways
  • Sun Country Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • WestJet

When should I book my ticket to Las Vegas?

People looking to travel to Las Vegas aren't limited to specific dates or even times of year. Sin City attracts tourists in droves throughout the year, which means there isn't exactly a "peak" season. That said, major holidays, sporting events, and big concerts will drive ticket prices up. 

Fly from YVR to LAS round-trip for as little $150 with Flair Airlines.

When is the best time of year to visit Las Vegas? 

March through May and September through November offer sunny days with cool evenings, which is a welcome respite from scorching hot temperatures. Many people find the summer months unbearable in the desert. 

Is it safe to visit Las Vegas? 

The Canadian government gives travellers the green light to visit the United States, advising them to take "normal security precautions" south of the border. But as with any travel advisory, there are a few caveats. 

Never leave your drink unattended and be wary of accepting food or drinks from strangers. Las Vegas is a premier party destination but many people have been unknowingly drugged in packed clubs and other entertainment venues. 

There is also an ongoing threat of terrorism in the U.S. but big cities are considered at a greater risk. Busy tourist centres, airports, and transportation networks are primarily targeted. Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. 

Many U.S. citizens possess firearms. There have been incidences of mass shootings and they often result in casualties. Familiarize yourself with how to respond to an active shooter situation.

Be on alert for "robbery ploys targeting visitors," which could include distraction tactics or getting you to pull over on the side of the road. 

Do I need to get any special travel vaccines ahead of visiting Las Vegas?

You don't need to get any special travel vaccines to visit Las Vegas. But you should visit a travel medical clinic before you book a ticket.

The health-care professionals will inform you about what vaccinations you require and what you can expect on your trip. For example, cases of West Nile virus have been identified in Nevada. There is no vaccine for this mosquito-borne illness but there are ways that you can protect yourself, such as using repellent, protective clothing, or avoiding areas where they are more prone to be. 

Cases of West Nile were identified a few times following the flooding in the state last year

What kind of activities can I enjoy in Las Vegas?

Many people are flocking to the Nevada city following the opening of the Sphere in Las Vegas. The $2.3-billion immersive venue will welcome attendees at U2 concerts until December, wowing them with awe-inspiring, floor-to-ceiling visuals and crystal-clear audio. 

Big-name artists have residencies year-round, while other performances plan a couple of shows or make a last-minute appearance. Aside from music, stand-up comedians, magicians, acrobats, and other performers have nightly gigs at several venues across the strip. 

If you don't mind sitting through a time-share discussion, some of these activities will be provided to you for free or for a discount. Many people are also given tickets to enter clubs or pool parties for free (but don't count on the drinks being cheap once you are inside the venue). 

There are also seemingly endless places to shop, dine, and explore in Vegas. Check out the popular Punk Rock Museum or visit the The Neon Museum Las Vegas which works to preserve the city's iconic glow. 

Is it worth it to see the Grand Canyon if I go on a short Las Vegas trip?

If you are going to Vegas for a party-centric, entertainment-focused trip, you might not want to visit the Grand Canyon. Far from a hop and a skip away, the attraction is a full-day commitment. 

But most travellers will say it is worth the trek out. Few places in the world command the kind of gasps afforded by this natural wonder. If you see it during a sunset, the light illuminates the rock faces with a deep orange-red glow.

Many people prefer to spend more than one day exploring the site. The Grand Canyon National Park is larger than the State of Rhode Island and offers endless things to see and do. There are options for multi-day tours that take you to the bottom of the sun-soaked canyon, allowing you to explore its magnificence from all angles. 

Do I need a visa to visit Las Vegas?

Canadian passport holders do not require a visa to visit Las Vegas. Canadian visitors can typically stay in the United States for six months without a visa.

How much money will I spend on accommodation?

Las Vegas welcomes all budgets. From penny-pinchers to high-rollers, the city offers a vast range of accommodations to suit every taste and price range. 

But don't be fooled by the pictures online. Some of the old-school Vegas hotels offer historical charm, but they aren't without issues. For one, smoking was not only allowed but quite the norm for folks staying in some of the old hotels located on the strip. It isn't uncommon to walk into one of these spots and be hit with a not-so-pleasant aroma — for smokers and non-smokers alike. 

Luckily, there are some newer but still economical options available. In some cases, resorts have built new towers onto their properties that have rooms with better amenities. Be sure to read the fine print and check out several reviews. 

Prices start from as little as $39 and go up into the several thousand range, with options for hostels to immaculate, multi-floor penthouses.

Travellers who want to spend the night dancing and clubbing will want to stay on the strip, preferably near one or more of the spots they plan to head out to. Depending on what kind of footwear you pack, the strip will feel unbearably long by the end of the evening. There are Ubers and cabs, but these fill up quickly late at night. Many hotels have a club inside of them, so you may also choose to stay in a place you plan to go out in later. 

The Vegas Monorail will also provide transportation between major casinos along the strip. If you are staying somewhere connected to it, you'll enjoy expedited service to hotspots without the struggle of hailing a cab (or the hefty price tag). The trains come quickly — every four to eight minutes — and typically run quite late. However, there isn't service past 3 a.m., even on Fridays and Saturdays, so be mindful of time or plan for an alternative way of getting home. 

Is it better to book a Las Vegas package?

Booking a package might be the smartest option for keeping costs down. And it might surprise you how affordable some fancier options are by booking them bundle-style. 

Several suppliers offer package deals but Sunwing typically offers one of the lowest-priced options out of YVR. These packages tend to cost significantly less for trips departing during the week. For example, a trip departing on Monday or Tuesday and returning on Thursday or Friday will cost hundreds of dollars less than one departing on Thursday or Friday and returning on Sunday or Monday. It is possible to score a three-night package with flights for under $500 return.

Packages to iconic resorts including Mandalay Bay and the Aria may cost under $1,000 including direct flights. Find out more information on how to book these low-cost options.

Find more information about exciting destinations in B.C. and across the globe, as well as travel deals and tips, by signing up for V.I.A.'s weekly travel newsletter The Wanderer. Since travel deals can sell out, find out the day they are posted by signing up for our daily Travel Deals newsletter.

Want to learn more about a specific destination or simply have a travel concern or idea that you would like V.I.A. to write about? Email us at [email protected]. Send us stories about recent holidays that you've been on, or if you have any tips you think our readers should know about.