Las Vegas: Things to know

All your pre-visit and on-location info, from weather and when to visit to taxis and tipping (top tip: tip big)



Time zone

Pacific Standard Time (GMT-8)


US dollars (USD$)

Country dialling code



Extremely hot in summer (often above 37C/100F in the July-August peak) and mildly cold in winter (5-10C/40-50F in December and January), temperate spring and autumn. Dry, with an average 300 days of sunshine a year, although rainstorms can happen

When to visit

A popular destination year-round, Vegas quietest in November and December – although only relatively, and those after heat may find it chilly – and less crowded mid-week. In high summer, June to August, only air conditioning makes life bearable – although festival fans come in June for the Vegas Fringe Festival. For everyone else, aim for the cooler months of March to May and September to November – the entertainment is always on here, and the weather is more pleasant then


Visitors from participating Visa Waiver Program countries will need a current ESTA, although some exceptions apply. Visitors from all other countries require a visa


None required


Type A/B


Las Vegas has a strong tipping culture, so have cash handy for bellhops, tour guides, and more. Valet parking is usually free, but tip $2-5. Add 15 to 18% at spas and restaurants (many will automatically add gratuities for large parties), about 10% on cab rides, and $2-5 a day for maid service


Dial 911 for police, fire or medical assistance, 311 for police non-emergencies

Tourist office

The visitor information centre is at the Las Vegas Convention Center at 3150 Paradise Road

Getting there

Airlines and airports: McCarran International Airport is in the middle of the city and is the main commercial hub for domestic and global air traffic, with almost every major carrier

Transfers: The only public transport serving McCarran is the RTC Transit bus system, which picks up at Ground Level Zero in terminal 1, but can involve changes, so most prefer the inexpensive cabs – however, be wary of cabs taking passengers from the airport through the tunnel to the freeway, which is a longer, more expensive distance to the Strip. Alternatively, shuttle services are commonly offered by hotels, or you can look into car hire here

Getting around

Public transport: The Las Vegas Valley is serviced by RTC Transit, which operates buses, including designated routes for the Strip, Downtown, McCarran Airport and special events. The Las Vegas Monorail runs just east of the Strip, serving the convention corridor, with seven stations

Cabs: Las Vegas cab companies cannot pick up from the Strip, but there are taxi stands at every major hotel, and a cab is just a phone call away. Fares vary, but are higher for airport ride

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