Vegas is a fairly small city but It’s not so small you can just walk anywhere you want to go. So at some point, you will have to utilize some form of transport. If you are driving in then you can just use your car, as long as you aren’t drinking, Same with Hiring from the airport. But other wise you will need to embrace Las Vegas’s Transport system. So here is our Guide to getting around Las Vegas Without a car.
Las Vegas is the simplest city of them all for navigation. At least as far as Tourists are concerned. There the airport one end and Downtown at the other with all the major hotels and casinos lining a long road between the two. The Below Map shows the location of most of the hotels. Downtown is just off the top of the map.
Of course, the utter simplicity of the city masks a problem that is not inherently obvious from the map. The Hotels themselves are absolutely enormous, so simply walking past one hotel takes quite some time. That short dense cluster of hotels is actually nearly 4miles long. This means getting to and from the more distant hotels can actually involve a long hike. In summer when the temperatures in the City are close to melting steel. You are going to want to avoid hiking too far.
Hire Car and Casino Parking Charges
Hire cars were the obvious choice back in the day, as long as you were going to avoid drinking. With All casinos having Large indoor parking lots you could just hop between hotels and remain in Air conditioning all the way. Better still tip the Valet and walk right in the front door!
Unfortunately during 2016 MGM Properties decided to introduce Parking charges for their parking lots and valet Services. Closely followed by CEP ( Caesars Entertainment Properties). Thus in one foul swoop, the majority of properties on the strip now had paid parking. While MGM and CEP back balances bulged.
Of course, if you are going to hire a car anyway as you want to get out of the city you will still have to pay even though you are a guest. However, it does mean your parking is transferable between properties of the same brand. So if you are staying at an MGM Parking you can transfer between Properties for no extra charge. And the same is true at CEP. Small conciliation really!
People spending large amounts gambling will not have to worry however as you can just join the Rewards Clubs and get free parking at higher levels. But for the rest of us. It’s quite a bummer. To be honest we never used the hire car much for getting about the strip though. Drinking is always a part of our Vegas Trips so the car was often just left in the garage for the duration. Apart from trips out of Vegas or to the malls. The new charges will make us rethink the hire-car situation completely.
The first question you should ask is can we walk it. Despite the distances, we find most of the journeys we need to make we can just hoof it. Often we are there before we have really thought about it and to be honest walking the strip is always a highlight of our trips!
This is in large parts dependent on where you are staying. Central hotels offer more opportunities to just walk it than the hotels at the ends or off the strip. Mandalay Bay, for instance, is really quite far from everything but Caesar’s Palace and Bellagio, for instance, are slap bang in the middle.
Walking can still be a long arduous task but it’s pretty unavoidable. Most people find they cover quite a few miles per day on any trip to Vegas. Really it helps offset some of those All you can eat buffets and bottomless beverages.
Deuce – Bus
Your next best bet for getting about when the trip is just too far is “the Deuce”. The Deuce runs the length of the strip stopping at all the major hotels and casinos. The buses are air-conditioned and run 24hours a day, albeit on a reduced schedule overnight.
Buses should arrive around every 15mins but this can alter during heavy traffic. But they are very frequent. The service is reduced after midnight but only to 20min frequency so still only a short wait.
There is an SDX service which is an Express service. This stops at fewer casinos and should get you to where you are going faster. This route also head further out and services the fantastic Premium Outlets North. A fantastic Shopping Outlet.
The Deuce Route map – has all the information you may need. showing the routes and the stops along the way.
Fares are $6 for a 2-hour trip (unlimited rides) or $8 for a 24hr pass. a 3-day pass is only $20. 2 and 24hr passes can be purchased on the bus (exact change) or at the ticket machines at most bus stations. 3-day passes can only be purchased at select ticket machines but MOST of the stop now have these. Check the Route map for a red “tvm” symbol next to your stop for the 3-day pass vending machines, if it’s black you will only be able to get a 2/24hr pass. and if there is no symbol then you will need to pay on the bus.
They also have an APP but we have not used this yet but tech savvy people should have no issue here if you are a technophobe probably best staying old school.
The deuce can be used o access the Airport as well, more info on that below.
The downside to the Deuce
Back in the Day when Mono Rails were the future Vegas was cutting edge with this futuristic mode of transport whisking you between different hotels. However, we feel that future has been and gone. Monorails are far from the travel of the future and this one, in particular, is pretty useless. Situated at the back of the hotels It can mean quite a hike added on each end of the trip if you are going to a hotel the other side of the strip. It’s only services a select number of hotels. It’s quite fun for a novelty but we would always choose the Deuce.
- Single Ride – $5
- 1-day – $12
- 2-day – $22
- 3-day – $28
- 4-day – $36
- 5-day – $43
- 7-day – $56
As with every major City Vegas is served very well by Taxi. They will pick you up right outside your lobby and take you anywhere you instruct them. The only real issue with a taxi is the cost. While not horrendous they do add up if used a lot. We save them for important trips like dinner and a show where we just don’t want the hassle of using a bus or walking too far in high heels (Kate that is, not me).
Here are some example fares to give you an idea.
- Caesars palace – Mandalay bay – $15-20
- MGM Grand – Freemont Street Experience – $30-35
- Luxor – Stratosphere – $25 -30
- Bellagio – McCarran Airport – $15-20
Uber / Lyft
Uber and Lyft offer their ride sharing APP service in Las Vegas as well. Our standard advice applies here. If you are happy and confident using them go ahead. But a new big city is not the best place to be experimenting with new technology. However their service in Las Vegas is very good and you should save quite a bit of cash per trip, assuming there is no surge in effect.
McCarran Airport is actually very close to the Strip in Vegas. Most Cities Position their airports well away from the centre to reduce noise nuisance for residents, Well Vegas isn’t Most cities so the Airport is right at the edge of the strip. To be fair the Airport was there first and is a good 5+ miles away from the Old centre of Downtown Vegas with the strip building up afterwards.
Anyway, what this means for tourists is the airport is really close to your hotel. So options for getting to your hotel are far simpler (read that as cheaper)than most Airports.
Even just jumping into a kerbside cab will not break the bank, most hotels will only cost between $16-25. Uber and Lyft will be even less should you be up to speed with them.
There are also lots of shuttle services available which will get you straight to your hotel for a very cheap fare. Expect around $9-11 one way or $13-15 round trip. Now depending on how many are in your party or what hotel you are going to that’s not actually that cheap. A taxi could be less! So do your maths first! 4 people in Taxi might cost you $20 each way but even a return on a shuttle will be $53
Our normal reservations on Shuttles taking a long time and making many stops don’t really apply in Vegas as we are quite happy visiting all the different hotels along the Strip. As long as we are on the Strip we are happy! And even the longest shuttle rides are pretty quick!
The Deuce, unfortunately, doesn’t go as far as the Airport. So isn’t perfect. But it does go as far as the South Strip Transit Terminal where you can transfer to the 109 which takes you to the terminals. It’s all a bit of a faff when a cab is only $20, but if you have already been using the bus and have a pass it’s a good option, as its then technically free! Full info on this here.
You know, why not. You’re in Vegas! We are not ostentatious people and really couldn’t imagine getting a limo in most place but in Vegas, We think you can easily get away with it! And let’s be honest no one will bat an eyelid, but you will feel like a boss! Especially if it’s a special or important trip It’s well worth the money to be greeted at arrivals by your very own driver who will take you straight to your Hotel lobby. It’s the perfect way to start your Vegas trip!
Prices are around $70 for a round trip in a Luxury Sedan or $129 for a Stretch (6seats)
How do you get around Vegas? Have you tried the Deuce? or are you strictly a Taxi / Uber person? Let us know your thoughts and let us know if you have any questions. Or want advice on getting to and from any specific destination.