2 day Las Vegas Itinerary: Epic Weekend Trip
Are you seeking a thrilling experience that’s out of the ordinary? If so, Las Vegas is an ideal destination with its abundance of hotels and countless attractions. From taking in captivating shows to playing your cards right at the casinos – whatever activity you desire; here is the perfect 2 day Las Vegas itinerary and guide for you!
This guide takes you around Sin City for a day and ventures into the wonderful landscapes nearby. So if you only need a Las Vegas itinerary 2 days to see it all, you got it all here!
2 day Las Vegas Itinerary: Vegas Weekend Itinerary Trip Planning
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Las Vegas itinerary 2 days: At a glance
- Day 1 of 2 day Las Vegas itinerary: Breakfast, walk or bus tour of the Vegas Strip and Fremont Street Experience, Old Mormon Fort State Park, Neon Museum, Stratosphere Tower, Mermaid Show, Dinner
- Day 2 of 2 day Las Vegas itinerary: Day trip to Grand Canyon (+ other options), High Roller Ferris Wheel
Getting to Las Vegas Nevada
Las Vegas or Vegas is located in the state of Nevada in the southern United States. It is easy to get to Vegas from any part of the world by flying.
There are plenty of flights available, and without breaking the bank. The closest international airport is the McCarran International Airport (now renamed Harry Reid International Airport), and it is about 8 km (5 miles) away from downtown Vegas.
To get to the Strip or downtown, you can either
- Hop on the airport shuttle and get to the hotels located on the Strip in 10 minutes. Rates are $20 – $30 USD. Centennial Express Line takes you to downtown Vegas for $6 USD per person
- Without a shuttle, you can book a private transfer from the airport for yourself and your loved ones
Note: Before you plan your once-in-a-lifetime trip to Las Vegas, don’t forget to purchase travel insurance for the USA if you are traveling from outside the country.
When to stay in Vegas?
For a short trip to Sin City, we recommend staying at any of the hotels on the Strip as that is where all the action and entertainment are.
The downtown area is the original gambling hub and a venue for cultural events and the free Downtown Loop Shuttle.
To make the most of your visit to Las Vegas, we recommend staying in any of these hotels:
- The Bellagio (avg. $1250/night): The Bellagio is one of the well-known luxury hotels in the heart of the Strip. The rooms are beautiful and there is a pool on-site which is free for guests to use. Don’t miss the Bellagio fountain show here! Check current prices here
- The Venetian (avg. $450/night): Another European-themed hotel, the Venetian is great if you love a nice breakfast, shopping, and of course the luxury suites. Check availability for the Venetian here
- Excalibur Hotel & Casino (avg. $200/night): Excalibur is one of the affordable hotels (with a casino on site) on the Strip. Rooms are decent, with many offering views of the city and hotel surroundings with their castle-like structure. Find current prices here
Note that most hotels on the Strip will charge a resort fee which is additional to the nightly rates. Resort fees are around $30-$45 USD per night.
Las Vegas has only a couple of hostels, since most people who come here like to splurge for the moment. Still, if you want to stay in one, there are some options:
The best part about staying near the Strip is you get to see the maximum number of shows possible. Tix4 Vegas has booths at Showcase Mall, Casino Royale, and some other outlets where you can buy tickets at a 50% discount for shows on that night.
The nightlife in Sin City is incredible, so do not forget to enjoy a cocktail at any of the rooftop bars in Las Vegas.
Always keep a map of Las Vegas in your hand so you can move to the attraction you want in a planned manner, which will make your 2 day itinerary easier.
Day 1 of Las Vegas 2 day itinerary: Breakfast, walk or bus tour of the Vegas Strip and Fremont Street Experience, Old Mormon Fort State Park, Neon Museum, Stratosphere Tower, Mermaid Show, Dinner
Your two-day Vegas itinerary is going to be jam-packed, so book your hotel at the Strip rather than the city centre since you will be spending the best part of the evening here.
Going to a hotel elsewhere to freshen and coming back will result in a loss of valuable time backtracking to the Strip which is best visited at night.
An efficient route is key to the success of any itinerary so start the morning at the north part of the Strip and walk your way down south. But first, we will fuel up for your one day with a hearty breakfast at the Peppermill restaurant.
The outlet has been serving traditional dishes since 1982 and both the location and the 80s interior have remained unchanged to date, with even the waiters wearing the same long black gowns they used to don years ago.
The servings come with hash browns, muffins, and toast, and are large enough to easily feed two people. Don’t worry if you overeat, because you will need all the energy for the next couple of hours, once you set out to explore the world-famous Las Vegas Strip.
Las Vegas Strip (10:00 am to 3:00 pm)
Exploring the Vegas Strip is a top tourist activity as there are plenty of free attractions and photo opportunities.
Plus who knows if you enter a casino it may be your lucky day and you may make enough money to cover up your trip.
The strip extends from Mandalay Bay in the south to the SkyPod casino towards the northern end. Incidentally, this is where the country’s tallest observation wheel is located.
You can walk down the 8 km (5 miles) of the Strip if you are up to it or make use of the Deuce bus service which runs continually from the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas to the Las Vegas Boulevard at the southern end.
A two-hour pass is $6 while a 24-hour pass is $8. You can buy the tickets on the bus itself.
An alternate option is to book a 1 or 2 day hop on and hop off sightseeing bus tour
But before you do all this, visit the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign and then catch the hop-on/hop-off bus to the Strip to explore the entertainment area.
Some of the key crowd favorites on the Strip are:
Bellagio Fountain and Casino: Easily one of the most iconic spots in the city and for good reason too. This place is more than a casino and even people who don’t gamble, marvel at the diverse amenities and attractions available.
Once in fifteen minutes, people passing through the hotel are greeted by the iconic Bellagio fountain show with a stunning light and water display. Within the Bellagio, you will find an excellent art gallery, a 14,000-square-foot botanical garden, several restaurants, and a variety of nightlife options.
Walking the Bellagio is free, but you will need to pay plenty if you want to drink and eat. The Bellagio is open to visitors 24×7.
Grand Canal: The Venetian Casino located on the Strip has been constructed by highlighting Venice and includes its very own Grand Canal complete with gondola rides.
Those who prefer to spend time here will be rewarded with a taste of the Queen of the Adriatic with stilt walkers, and singers to recreate a scene you will find in the real Venice.
Between 10:00 am and 11:00 pm (or 12:00 on some nights), you can enjoy a gondola ride on the Grand Canal. Though a bit overpriced, you just cannot beat the romantic ambiance. Entrance is free but the on-site attractions are not.
Pro tip: Opt for a visit to Madame Tussauds with a gondola boat ride at the Venetian. At Madame Tussauds, you can check out over 80 (wax statues of) celebrities, and strike that pose for Instagram. This ticket includes a museum entry and the gondola ride!
The Mob Museum: This institution takes visitors back to the era when organized crime was rife in the United States and also provides insight into the complex gaming schemes. Here you will learn all about the gangsters who operated here and the committed GI men and FBI officers who tracked them down.
The federal courthouse features a number of interactive exhibitions about the country’s mob history. The Mob Museum is open daily from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Fremont Street: This section of downtown Vegas may seem past its prime but slowly but surely Fremont Street is vying for visitors’ attention compared to the Strip. The Fremont Street Experience spans several blocks from the Mob Museum with the “Viva Vision” a 600,000-watt sound system a key attraction here.
Apart from the food stands and gift shops, the 11 storey high SlotZilla zip line is the other attraction. Fremont Street is accessible night and day with the Deuce Bus being the most convenient mode of transport to get there.
Cirque du Soleil: When it comes to entertainment, Las Vegas shows the way, little wonder that the performing company of Cirque du Soleil occupies center stage. Literally meaning “Sun Circus”, the spectacular acrobatic feats accomplished here have to be seen to be believed.
The shows are influenced by cultural elements, like the “O” at the Bellagio uses water in the acrobatic acts, and the “Love” performance at Casino The Mirage pays homage to the Beatles. Enjoyed by all ages, tickets to the Cirque du Soleil show can be pricey, but it’s worth the money as the presentations are brilliant.
Old Mormon Fort State Park (3:00 pm to 4:00 pm)
Being the first non-native settlement in Las Vegas Valley, the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Park is full of historical attractions which are worth a visit.
Located right next to the Natural History Museum, the visitor centre at the entrance of the park displays many photos and exhibits dating back to the lives of the Mormon missionaries who built this fort in 1885.
As it is a short distance from the city centre, the fort is a good stopover on the way to see other attractions of Las Vegas.
Neon Museum (4:00 pm to 5:00 pm)
A six minute walk from the Mormon Fort will bring you to the Neon Museum where the majority of the exhibits are displayed in an open courtyard full of antiques and artwork.
A visit to the museum will provide you with a refreshing way to admire the artwork, unlike the usual ambiance of a closed-door building.
Most of the items are locally sourced and apart from history, you will discover how Las Vegas became such a popular tourist destination.
The original “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign dates back to the 1930s.
Stratosphere Tower (5:00 pm to 7:00 pm)
The Stratosphere Tower is an iconic landmark of Las Vegas towering high above the skyline of the city and visible from almost anywhere in the city.
It is touted as the largest free-standing viewing tower in the United States.
If you time it right and get there by sunset you can witness incredible views of how the city lights eventually drown out the rays of the setting sun.
The Stratosphere Observation Deck tickets are $24 per adult, and are totally worth it! Book your tickets here
Several heart-pumping rides are on offer here including Big Shot, Sky Jump, Insanity, and others all available on the rooftop at 1149′ above the city floor.
Mermaid show (7:00 pm to 8:00 pm)
The Silverton Hotel and Casino feature a free mermaid show which is well worth watching.
Though not exactly on the Strip it is only five miles away and undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Las Vegas.
After performing spectacular stunts the mermaids interact with visitors and pose for photos. Apart from the mermaid show, there are daily stingray feeding sessions, which are not only free but educational as well.
Dinner (8:00 pm to 9:00 pm)
There are scores of restaurants on the Strip to satisfy your culinary cravings. If you love steaks the Primal Steakhouse is unbeatable.
If you are a sushi fan, Chin Chin is the perfect place to head to.
Craving Italian food? Visit the Il Fornaio Las Vegas restaurant located in the New York New York hotel – we loved it here!
The area also has an abundance of Indian, Japanese, and Southeast Asian restaurants. No matter where you dine, fuel up well for the rest of the evening ahead.
That said, the Eiffel Tower restaurant, an icon of the skyline of the city, is located 34 stories up and is a replica of the world-famous monument of Paris, albeit on a half-scale.
There is no better way of enjoying views of the sparkling city from the viewing deck.
Las Vegas Night Scene (after 9:00 pm)
A great day to cap off your 24-hour visit and give a respite to your weary feet is seeing a Las Vegas night show.
While Cirque du Soleil immediately comes to one’s mind, there are many many more to keep you entertained.
The shows are held at hotels or other venues along the Strip. Check out X Burlesque at the Flamingo Hotel or X Rocks at the Bally Hotel and Casino.
If you are not very exhausted from the day’s wandering around, you can go to any of the city’s nightclubs where drinking and dancing go on till the early hours of the morning.
The Lily Bar at the Bellagio and the Hakkasn at the MGM Grand are two prominent names that come to one’s mind.
For Asian-themed fun, head to the Tao Club located near the Grand Canal. A great way to end your gondola ride.
Day 2 of Las Vegas itinerary 2 days: Day trip to Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon, High Roller Ferris Wheel at night
On day 2 of this Vegas weekend itinerary, go on a day trip to Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon National Park. Both the south and the west rim highlights are possible to see in a day.
The distance from Las Vegas varies from two hours to the West Rim and five hours to the impressive South Rim. No matter which one you choose, the views from the rim are incredible.
You can also opt for a day tour that also includes pick up/drop off and meals.
Tour options from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon:
- Hoover Dam + Grand Canyon South
- Hoover Dam + Grand Canyon West (lunch included in both, pick up and drop off from the Strip can be arranged)
Hoover Dam is an easy destination to access from Las Vegas as it is under an hour’s drive from the city. As many as 3000 people visit this curved architectural marvel each day.
Traveling by car gives you the added option to explore some memorable sights en route like the Arizona Hot Springs. Just follow I-515 out of Vegas till it merges with I-11 which will take you directly to Hoover Dam.
On a day tour, you will get to explore the dam site, and also watch a short video film about the history of the dam and some of the interactive exhibits on display.
Stunning views of the Colorado River, Black Canyon, and Lake Meads can be enjoyed from the top of the dam.
From the Hoover Dam, the tour makes its way to the Grand Canyon Village – for lunch. And after this stop, you will explore the national park.
Easily one of the greatest wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon attracts millions of visitors each year, and those who come from Las Vegas choose either to come by car, tour or helicopter.
On a guided tour, you can take in the views from various observation platforms, go on a short, but easy hike and check out the informative displays and the souvenir shops.
Because of the time and distance involved, many visitors opt to take a trip by helicopter, particularly popular for those short on time.
This tour offers unparalleled views of the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and not to forget Las Vegas from high up in the sky.
You may also like this day tour: Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, and Seven Magic Mountains
After a day full of sightseeing, return to the Strip in the evening.
Tonight, experience the High Roller Ferris Wheel with a drink in hand. The High Roller observation wheel is the tallest in North America at 550 feet high.
There are observation cabins where you can sit back, relax and soak in the views of the Vegas and nearby areas. Grab your tickets here
Alternate tour recommendations
Getting off the tourist trail in Las Vegas may take some doing, but your trip to Sin City does not have to revolve around only the Strip and gambling. On your second day, you can also avoid a day trip, and instead, stay back in Vegas for more sightseeing and shopping!
Often overlooked by tourists, the Arts District is where you will find where the locals spend their time getting creative.
Make a beeline for the Boulder Plaza to see behind-the-scenes works of artists. For another wacky activity, pop in the Pinball Hall of Fame to play on some retro pinball-playing machines.
Read: 3 days in Las Vegas itinerary
More Day trips from Las Vegas
If you can find some more free time or extra days, there are some spectacular places to explore on a day trip from Las Vegas. In fact, Sin City has the advantage of being close to a number of top cities and national parks.
Read: West coast road trip itinerary ideas
Red Rock Canyon
- Driving time: 20 minutes+ one way
Simply take the I-159 visitors bus from Las Vegas and you will reach Red Rock canyon visitor centre in just half an hour.
If you are using a car then you have the advantage of exploring all the trails at your own pace. This nature park has nineteen different hiking paths and a diverse range of flora and fauna.
The highlight for visitors is stunning rock canyon formations and the scenic A 13 mile drive.
A guided tour is the best way to see all the sights of the canyon including stops at Calico Hills and the neighboring Spring Mountain State Park.
Death Valley National Park
- Tour: Here is a 10 hour full day tour from Las Vegas
- Driving time: 2 hours one way
Despite being regarded as the driest and lowest place in North America, Death Valley offers a number of fabulous activities, including a paleontology tour to please dinosaur fans.
Death Valley is a two-hour drive through I-95 and then a stretch on route 374 after Beatty. Traveling by car gives you the flexibility to explore everything at leisure.
The visitor centre is the best place to start a tour of the valley as well as Scotty’s Castle in Grapevine Canyon, an incredible expanse of land in an oasis just ninety minutes from the Visitor Centre.
A guided tour is best if you are short on time and takes you to the main sights like Furnace Creek Ranch and Rhyolite Ghost Town.
Additional Las Vegas travel tips
Weather and sightseeing
Las Vegas is a pleasant year-round destination, but there are months when it tends to get extremely crowded as well as expensive.
If you can plan for it, travel in January as prices at a Vegas hotel drop dramatically after the holidays. Plus the weather is a lot nicer and not hot.
The weather in Las Vegas during the summer is extremely hot, so if you are visiting during this season, carry a lot of water and wear loose and light-colored clothes.
Read: Where to stay in Las Vegas for first time visitors | Romantic things to do in Las Vegas
Bookings and budget
Traveling on a budget to Las Vegas is not always straightforward as it depends on the time you go, where you stay, how you choose to move around and the activities you want to tick off from your must-see list.
Fortunately, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority conducts an annual survey to gauge the costs for a day in the city.
- If you are backpacking, expect to spend $75 per day, staying in a dorm and cooking your own meals. Add $10-20 if you plan on drinking.
- A mid-range traveler will spend $180 per day in a budget hotel and eating in cheap restaurants.
- A luxury stay will cost you $390 per day in a hotel on the Strip, eating in mid-range restaurants, and hiring a car for a day trip.
Plan ahead and reserve your rental car well in advance for the cheapest options. We suggest DiscoverCars for the best rates
Additionally, try and skip the weekends as you can enjoy significantly reduced room rates and restaurant prices on other days of the week.
Cab drivers charge a $3 card service if you pay the fare through a credit card. So avoid this charge by paying in cash.
Another tip: If you are gambling in a casino and happen to lose you can reimburse a part of your losses in the form of free meals and discounted show tickets and rooms. Make sure to ask about this beforehand.
Food and restaurants
To save on food, dine at all-you-can-eat joints where you can enjoy buffets at $20-30 per meal and really fill your tummy up.
If you want to eat at five-star restaurants, avoid the peak 8-10 times. Instead, dine between 4-7 to avail of happy hour discounts and pre-show menus to kick off the evening.
Most restaurants stop serving food after 10.30 pm, but since most of the performers finish after this time there are some outlets that stay open till 11:00 pm where you can have a round of food and drinks for as little as $5.
Whether you are a solo male or female traveler, Las Vegas is safe to visit, but like big cities caution is advised wherever you go. If you stick to the Strip and Fremont Street you will be relatively safe.
Be wary of buying tickets from street vendors, especially those for major events.
Always carry water and sunscreen and if you are traveling by car do not leave any valuables in it overnight.
Forward your Vegas weekend itinerary to your family members so that they are aware of where you are.
It’s impossible to see all of Las Vegas in one day, as a three day trip would be better. That said, since you are short on time you can opt for the hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour which will cover all the top attractions.
You can squeeze quite a bit in 2 days in Las Vegas. In terms of sightseeing in Vegas, you will be fine exploring the Strip and checking off the Fremont Street Experience on the first day.
Quick shopping city is also possible. Then head out to state parks nearby or the Seven Magic Mountains.
For a more relaxed weekend trip, 3 days will be amazing, where you can sightsee, indulge in outdoor activities, dine and shop!
For the cheapest times, the off-season is the best time to visit Las Vegas, particularly from late September to November and January to March.
Yea, absolutely. I have been to Las Vegas multiple times and it surely is more than gambling. On a 2 day trip, focus on the Strip – take in the sights and shows, and add some outdoor time.
You can also strictly stay in Vegas both days (without a day trip) and go shopping at outlet malls, or enjoy dining and museum visits – lots to do, but 2 day Las Vegas city break is worth it!
We hope you found this post on the 2 day Las Vegas Itinerary useful! Happy travels!
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