We get a lot of questions about Las Vegas attractions, and have frequently talked about the best things to do in Sin City.
It’s sometimes informative to take a look at what Las Vegas visitors say are the best attractions, as they sometimes don’t mesh with our opinions, which is fascinating because we claim to know everything.
Such lists are subjective, of course, but it can be useful (and entertaining) to compare your personal list of favorite attractions with those on review sites like TripAdvisor. Please note: This is not our personal list of best things to do in Las Vegas, because there are some glaring omissions on TripAdvisor’s list. Like everything else in life, we blame it on algorithms.
Here, then, are the top 20 Las Vegas things to do, ranked by TripAdvisor reviews, and our take on the attraction, which is the only reason this story is even remotely interesting.
1. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
(4.5 stars, 26,250 reviews)
It’s baffling people continue to insist upon going outdoors. There are no slot machines. Weird.
2. High Roller
(4.5 stars, 25,474 reviews)
The High Roller observation wheel is truly a wonder of engineering. It was, at one time, the tallest Ferris wheel in the world until Dubai ruined everything. It’s still quite tall. Everyone should ride the High Roller at least once, and by that we mean at most once.
3. The Strip
(4.5 stars, 34,782 reviews)
It’s a little unclear how The Strip qualifies as an “attraction,” but it certainly is beloved by Las Vegas visitors. It’s where most people stay and gamble and party and do things they definitely shouldn’t be sharing on social media. The Las Vegas Strip isn’t so much a place as a state of mind, and it continues to draw millions of visitors from around the world each year. No ticket required.
4. Fountains of Bellagio
(4.5 stars, 91,780 reviews)
It seems like the Bellagio fountains have been on every “best things do to in Las Vegas” list since the invention of water. As with most free attractions, the fountains don’t generate revenue for the casino, but fountain shows are now so iconic (shout-out to “Oceans Eleven”), it’s impossible to imagine Las Vegas without them.
5. The Mob Museum
(4.5 stars, 9,688 reviews)
How did a museum crack the top five best things to do in Las Vegas? It’s awesome, that’s how. The Mob Museum has been a surprise hit since it opened downtown in 2012. Law enforcement is part of the experience, but nobody’s really going to hear about probable cause or field sobriety tests. They visit for the whackings, plain and simple.
6. Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck
(4.5 stars, 6,995 reviews)
One thing’s for sure about the Eiffel Tower at Paris resort. You sort of can’t miss it. Our Eiffel Tower, despite being half scale, is the most beautiful in the world (the original is in Europe somewhere, presumably) and provides amazing views both up and down The Strip. The cost to visit the viewing deck are now an uncomfortable $24.50, so bring additional eyeballs to get the most from your experience. Watching the Eiffel Tower light show remains free, mostly because politicians haven’t figured out how to charge a blinking tax yet.
7. Stratosphere Tower
(4.5 stars, 13,150 reviews)
When it comes to stunning views of The Strip, The Strat is right up there. Back in the day, you could skirt the fee to ride up by saying you were visiting the lounge, but no longer. In true Vegas style, the ride to the observation deck has been rebranded to “SkyPod Observation Deck Experience,” and clocks in at a cost of $20.
One of the most entertaining things about the SkyPod experience is what you’re not allowed to bring. They include bows and arrows, paintball guns, brass knuckles, power tools, dry ice, drones, “infectious materials,” circuit boards, parachutes, urns or “any replicas of items listed above.” Don’t laugh, urn replicas are a serious security concern.
8. Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden
(4.5 stars, 14,522 reviews)
TripAdvisor’s crowdsourced reviews nailed it this time. The Conservatory is a must-do, and is approximately 1,000% better than Red Rock Canyon. With all the flowers and foliage, you’ll feel like you’re in nature without all the nuisances that come with actually venturing outdoors.
9. Hoover Dam Bypass
(4.5 stars, 11,490 reviews)
Hoover Dam isn’t in Las Vegas. Invalid. Our Hoover Dam recommendation is right in the name: Bypass.
10. Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign
(4.5 stars, 5,437 reviews)
Another Vegas must-do photo op, and it remains free. The Las Vegas welcome sign is as iconic as signs get, created by the incomparable Betty Willis. Willis never trademarked the sign, which is why you see it everywhere. Our top tip: Don’t want in line for your photo. You have other fish to fry during your visit.
11. Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition
(4.5 stars, 4,537 reviews)
The Titanic exhibit at Luxor ranks just outside the “top 10” bubble, possibly because it’s mostly about dead people. It’s a weird thing to do during a Las Vegas visit, but to each their own.
12. The Linq Promenade
(4.5 stars, 3,312 reviews)
Yet another entry we don’t entirely get. The Linq promenade is basically a shopping mall with some restaurants. The people-watching is fairly entertaining, but nowhere near the circus you’ll find at Fremont Street Experience. If only Fremont Street Experience were on this list. Oh, wait.
13. Fremont Street Experience
(4 stars, 44,671 reviews)
Yes, we’re biased. We used to work at Fremont Street Experience. Which isn’t the reason we’re biased. We just love Fremont Street Experience. In the vernacular of the tourism industry, it’s simply batshit nutty (in a mostly positive way) and we spend most of our free time either on Fremont Street or inside the casinos along Fremont Street. There’s a light show on a massive overhead video screen, there are three stages with free, live music and the world’s largest slot machine, SlotZilla (which is also a zipline). Fremont Street is a wild, weird version of Las Vegas, and a street party you have to see to believe. Approved, TripAdvisor reviewers. (Interestingly, this is the only attraction on TripAdvisor’s top 20 list with four stars, all the rest have 4.5. We trust that’s because it has a lot of reviews and met the algorithm’s criteria.)
14. Shelby American, Inc.
(4.5 stars, 1,502 reviews)
We have no idea what this is, but it appears to be a museum with cars. Props to the Shelby Heritage Center for getting so many people to write TripAdvisor reviews.
15. Mount Charleston
(4.5 stars, 1,471 reviews)
What the hell is wrong with people? Do they realize there’s no air conditioning outdoors? Hiking? When did people become so masochistic? You could wait two years on Mount Charleston and never once see a cocktail server. Please stop.
16. “Ka” by Cirque du Soleil
(4.5 stars, 8,435 reviews)
Yeah, so, this isn’t an attraction. It’s a thing to do, but strange item to be included on TripAdvisor’s list. “Ka” at MGM Grand is a wonderful show, and is the only Cirque show to make it onto the top 20 list. One thing that sort of makes “Ka” an attraction is its stage. The 50-foot by 25-foot stage weighs 80,000 pounds and can rotate 360 degrees. Today we learned the stage’s hydraulic cylinders use vegetable oil rather than hydraulic fluid for environmental reasons.
17. Mirage Volcano
(4.5 stars, 5,993 reviews)
Ah, the Mirage volcano. This beloved attraction is not long for this world, so see it while you can. Mirage was recently sold to Hard Rock International, and the volcano will soon be dismantled to build a guitar hotel tower. It’s sad to see this free attraction go, but there’s still plenty of cheese left in Las Vegas. It’s time, and the new guitar hotel is going to be spectacular.
Here’s what’s next for the Las Vegas Strip. Adios, propanefest.
18. Wynn Las Vegas Casino
(4.5 stars, 6,418 reviews)
Again, weird thing to have on a “best attractions” list. Not because Wynn Las Vegas isn’t amazing, because it is. It’s best to just go along with TripAdvisor’s algorithm in order to get through this article because our carpal tunnel is kicking in at this point. Wynn Las Vegas is wonderful on any number of levels, and it really is an “attraction” in its own way. Just walking through Wynn is a master class in interior design. If you haven’t visited recently, you have to visit the three new lounges: Overlook, Aft and Bar Parasol.
19. Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum
(4.5 stars, 1,030 reviews)
Full transparency: 1) We haven’t visited this place. 2) We don’t believe in ghosts, spirits, hauntings, demonic possessions or any paranormal nonsense. 3) “Ghost Adventures” is one of the most deeply stupid television programs we have ever watched, and we lost a good number of brain cells having viewed an episode or two, mostly with our eyes closed. That said, Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum seems a fun diversion for those interested in creepy artifacts. Dr. Kevorkian’s death van, check. Michael Jackson’s “Propofol chair,” we’re in. Charles Manson’s bones, cool. This place has been well-received, and while it may not be for everyone, it’s worth taking a look. If you visit, do so ironically, as there’s never been a shred of scientific proof anything paranormal has ever happened in the history of Earth.
20. Pinball Hall of Fame
(4.5 stars, 2,932)
What’s not to love about the Pinball Hall of Fame? It’s hundreds of classic pinball machines! The Pinball Hall of Fame has a cult-like following, and now its popularity is growing even more because of its fancy new digs on the Las Vegas Strip (not far from the aforementioned Las Vegas sign). The majority of the machines are playable, at the original cost, often just a quarter. It’s hours of fun and nostalgia, and let’s just say you won’t have trouble finding the place.
That’s about it for the top 20 things to do in Las Vegas according to TripAdvisor’s reviewers. Lots of hits, some misses, but overall a useful checklist in case you’ve missed anything during your Las Vegas visits.
We’d love to hear your thoughts. Did your favorite attraction get overlooked? Hate any of the ones listed? Which attractions have been added to your Las Vegas to-do list? Drop your thoughts in the comments.