Where can you find the Eiffel Tower, a Roman palace, Venetian gondolas, a sphinx and a medieval castle in the same street? In the city that suddenly appears after hours of driving through the empty desert! It is not a mirage, but The Strip, the centre of Las Vegas with exorbitant hotel-casinos. Built by people with a lot of money and imagination who want to outdo each other.
You can use your ESTA in Las Vegas to see the architectural styles of several countries at the same time, talk about efficiency! Take a walk through some of the most striking buildings in this article.
The Las Vegas welcome sign, often seen in movies
Splendid view of the lake
In northern Italy, on Lake Como, there is a quiet village called Bellagio, which is mainly visited for its beautiful view of the water. Billionaire Steve Wynn must have thought “We can do the same”, when he built the Bellagio Hotel from 1993 to 1998. At the time, it was the most expensive hotel in the world, inspired by the northern Italian architectural style. But it was so big that the entire population of the village could easily fit into it.
Just like in the village of the same name, the lake is the main attraction of the Bellagio hotel. Here, every half hour, the sprinklers and fountains perform a water ballet to the accompaniment of lights and music. This is especially nice after sunset, when the lights have a much greater effect.
Inside, you can enjoy works of art and there is even a real conservatory with a botanic garden in the Bellagio, of which the decoration is regularly changed completely according to the season.
Further into Italy
Now that you are in the Italian mood, you might as well cross the street and walk past the Eiffel Tower to The Venetian. Here you can hop on a gondola, see which way the wind is blowing from the roof of the Campanile and walk across the Rialto Bridge to St Markʼs Square. Inside the hotel, you can admire Renaissance-style ceiling paintings.
If you look closely, you will see that the Americans have given it their own twist. Where in Italy everything is old, the buildings on The Strip look brand new. Furthermore, in the real Venice, it takes a lot longer to find a shop with Hawaiian jewellery or a bar with rock music and hamburgers.
Monorail to find the Grail
When King Arthur pulled the sword Excalibur out of the stone, he probably never imagined that the same sword would one day be the namesake of a huge gambling palace in a desert some 9,000 kilometres away. The architecture of Excalibur is based on that of the castle of Carcassonne in France, but with a high Disney content. It is located on the edge of The Strip, but the designers preferred to leave a walking tour to the real grail knights. Visitors can simply take the monorail from neighbouring Egypt or the Tropics to avoid the busy streets. Inside the casino you will find medieval markets, knights and dragons. There are even rumours of Merlin walking around somewhere.
Luxury in Luxor
From Europe, you can go on to Africa, to the Luxor hotel, which is well worth a visit in dry, sunny Las Vegas. From the street, Luxor is hard to miss because of its obelisk, pyramid and, of course, the 34-metre-high sphinx, which, by the way, is bigger than the real sphinx of Giza in Egypt. After all, we are in the USA, and the USA is known for everything being big. From the pyramid in which the hotel-casino is located, a laser beam shines upwards towards the sky, which can be seen every evening in the whole city and wide surroundings. The entrance is guarded by dozens of statues of white cats, which in Ancient Egypt were seen as holy animals that kept away evil. So you can explore the pyramid confident that your safety is secured.
Free in Fremont Street
Fremont Street is the street where anything goes. Nothing is dull and standard, the bright colours and flickering lights burst from every building. There are many casinos and bars in this street that has a roof to keep out the bright sunshine. For a considerable fee, it is even possible to ride a cable car along the entire length of the street while your face is shown on all the big screens. There are also street performers who try to imitate famous people.
Even a bite to eat is not standard in Fremont Street. There is a hamburger restaurant with a heart attack theme, where the waitresses are dressed as nurses. They claim to be at the forefront of the fight against anorexia. Trying everything in Las Vegas is bad for your wallet and your waistline, but that does not make the experience any less unforgettable.
Travel prepared with an ESTA
While Las Vegas is a place where you can be totally impulsive with the buildings that do everything to attract your attention, it is a good idea to plan certain things in advance. For example, anyone travelling to the United States by plane needs an ESTA or a visa to enter the country.
For tourists, an ESTA is the best option. An ESTA is valid for two years, and during these two years you can stay in the USA for a maximum of 90 consecutive days. When you go to Las Vegas, you will see the highlights of many places in the world in one city with just this one travel document.
Submitting an ESTA application is not complicated. The application form is quite easy to fill in. After completing the application form you can safely pay in pounds with Visa, MasterCard, American Express or PayPal, without any additional fees. You can apply for your ESTA from home. e-Visa.ie will check your application for common mistakes. Make sure you meet all the ESTA requirements before submitting your application