Las Vegas might have self-appointed its accolade of “Entertainment Capital of the World” but its vast plethora of nightclubs, bars, lounges, live theatre, comedy, music and adult entertainment venues ensure no one disputes this title! When it comes to show business, the city is lively around the clock. However, it’s when the sun goes down and the Strip lights up that Vegas gets really wild. After a day of shopping or hitting the slots, tourists can indulge in in the following...
Las Vegas nightclubs
If you think you’ve got the stamina to party on into the early hours, you should join the thousands of other hedonistic tourists and locals for a dance in one of Vegas’ world-renowned nightclubs. Often featuring ultra-modern décor, impressive special lighting effects and state of the art sound systems, these venues see large crowds – and celebrities – passing through their doors. It is hardly surprising, then, that punters are required to pay a cover charge just to queue up outside!
While entry into any club is not guaranteed even when paying its cover charge due to strict maximum capacity regulations, it is possible to buy upgraded line pass and VIP tickets (these are quite costly for the most prevalent venues). It should be noted, however, that prices are often less for women than men since busy clubs filled with ladies attract the most business.
Since there is an excess of nightclubs in Vegas, many hold special events and/or drinks promotions in order to draw a crowd. Be sure to keep an eye out for promoters and promotional flyers to secure the best nightlife deals. Buying tickets in advance for certain nightclubs can also save you money and prevent lengthy queuing.
Recommended Las Vegas nightclubs:
- Gallery (3667 Las Vegas Boulevard): Gallery is an art-adorned, 17,500 square foot affair found inside the Planet Hollywood Hotel. Most weekends see a celebrity hosting the party – previous guest stars include Kourtney Kardashian, Nicki Minaj and Vanilla Ice. Gallery’s cover charge also grants entry into the next door Pussycat Dolls Burlesque Saloon.
- Vanity (4455 Paradise Road): With reflective walls, mirrored drink menus and beauty staff in the bathrooms, Vanity – just off the Strip in the Hard Rock Hotel – encourages its guest to think “ME, ME, ME!” With 20,000 LEDs lighting up the dance floor (the brightest in Vegas), this is not a venue for wallflowers.
- The Bank (3600 Las Vegas Boulevard): Inside the Bellagio Hotel lies The Bank, an aesthetically elegant, crystal and gold-tinged venue located to the top of a very long escalator. While the DJs most often spin an eclectic mix of rock and hip-hop, all guests are expected to ‘dress to impress’.
- Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub (3708 Las Vegas Boulevard): Located at the Cosmopolitan, Marquee boasts three separate rooms (each playing a different genre) and regularly welcomes an impressive line-up of rising DJs. The venue also has a ‘dayclub’: a rooftop area featuring swimming pools. There is also a library-meets-bar, which is filled with Las Vegas literature.
The Downtown scene
Partying into the early hours in the Vegas’ most popular clubs can be a costly affair (cover charges exceed $40 for the hottest clubs) and a little too energetic for some. Those looking for a more relaxed way to enjoy a few late night/early morning tipples should explore Downtown’s East Fremont district, littered with bars and venues that are more affordable, less strict in dress code and very welcoming of tourists.
Recommended Downtown spots:
- Beauty Bar (517 Fremont Street): Ladies will love the Las Vegas branch of the New York-founded Beauty Bar, a retro-cool beauty salon-themed nightspot. Adorned with 50s-style hairdryer seats, black linoleum flooring and gold mirrors, this venue is a refreshing, feminine contrast to the countless nearby sports bars.
- Downtown Cocktail Room (111 Las Vegas Boulevard): Just off the Strip is the Downtown Cocktail Room, a sensual, warm and inviting bar offering a seasonal menu of hand-crafted cocktails. Prominent and highly-respected, this venue also provides an intimate speakeasy for couples and groups to retreat to.
- Brass Lounge (425 Fremont Street): In the world’s largest pint glass you will find Brass Lounge, a laidback bar offering spectacular views of the district. Most nights see live entertainment going on here in the form of sets from local bands and DJs or else karaoke and open mic sessions.
- The Griffin (511 Fremont Street): Next door to Beauty Bar you’ll find The Griffin, a gentleman’s lounge of deep red hues, low lighting and leather booths. The Griffin is an alluring and cool – but unpretentious – spot, loved by locals and tourists alike.
Theatre, shows and live entertainment
Las Vegas is known for its spectacular theatrical shows, including the acrobatic Cirque do Soleil, touring Broadway groups and local performers. Catching a show is often considered essential to the Vegas experience. Watching one can be all the more enjoyable should you pay for a dinner and show package – these are limited, however, so do enquire early.
If you’re not a fan of dramatics and musicals, you might prefer to catch a more humorous performance at one of Vegas’s many comedy clubs, which feature the biggest established and rising names from the industry. Alternatively, you can choose to see one of Vegas’s many magic and/or hypnotism acts. Music legends Elton John, Aerosmith, Rod Stewart and Céline Dion also regularly performers in the city, and you’re never too far away from a tribute act – catching a phoney Elvis is obligatory!
Nearly all shows and performances across venues rotate seasonally. You should make sure to check schedules before booking your Las Vegas holiday and travelling to individual venues: booking tickets long in advance will prevent disappointment. General admission tickets see the best seats offered on a first come, first served basis, so anyone with these should be sure to arrive in good time.
Should your budget be limited, you’ll find plenty of cost-free (or nearly cost-free) entertainment to capture your imagination. Hotel lounges are common haunts for local musicians, comedians and magicians. Las Vegas bars are also good spots for catching rising new bands and musical artists.
Aside from many of its residents and visitors gambling, spending frivolously and overindulging in alcohol and delicious food, Las Vegas has also acquired the moniker of “Sin City” thanks to its various tantalising amusements for adults. You’re never too far from a gentlemen’s club, exotic show or topless bar when exploring the Strip.
Of course, not everyone feels enticed by the risqué, but those who do want to learn more about the adult entertainment options available in Nevada can click here.