Did you know you can tour the world in Las Vegas? Before visiting Vegas, we already knew there were several mega hotels modeled after the likes of Rome, Venice, and other famous world destinations. What we didn’t realize was just how closely they resembled the locations they were imitating.
Dave and I have had the good fortune of traveling the globe for more than a decade. We’ve been to most of the sights replicated in Vegas, and must admit we didn’t think we would be impressed with the attractions of Sin City. Boy, were we wrong!
The hotels along the Strip will transport you to five cities on three different continents. Don’t believe me? Check out the similarities of the photos in our slide show as we reveal monuments of the world and their counterparts in Vegas.
Cairo and Vegas
The Pyramids of Giza, in Egypt, are a wonder of the world. Literally. They are the last of The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and to witness them in real life is a remarkable experience. What must have gone on within these mysterious walls that have stood the test of time? At Luxor Hotel and Casino in Vegas, one can’t help but wonder what goes on behind closed doors as well. We may never understand the history of the Pyramids of Giza and the same can be said for the goings-on in Vegas. (As they say, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”) The Luxor has done a solid job replicating the pyramids, and, at 30 stories high, the hotel is as impressive as Cheops itself. A replica of the Great Sphinx stands guard out front, just as the original does in Egypt; the one at the Luxor has more color and flare than the eroded mysterious face of the one in the Sahara.
Venice and Vegas
When visiting Venice, Italy, one can’t help but be captivated by gondoliers paddling along the busy Grand Canal. In Vegas, you can capture that same feeling at the Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino. The hotel replicates the canals of Venice in one of the most authentic experiences on the Las Vegas Strip. Even though the resort’s architecture is shiny and modern, it has perfectly replicated many sights seen in the Italian city. Plus the crowds in Venice can be just as overwhelming as the crowds in Vegas, so as you take in the view surrounded by hundreds of others, you can rest assured that experience is similar. In Vegas, people can dine on the patios of Italian eateries lining the area modeled after St. Mark’s Square. Replicas of the Basilica and its clock tower loom overhead. All that’s missing is a man singing, “That’s Amore.” Oh wait, you will get that too.
Rome and Vegas
When witnessing the Colosseum in Rome for the first time, you can’t help but stare in wonder at the nearly 2,000-year-old structure. What a history of power and bloodshed it has seen. Many emperors, Popes, and famous gladiators stood within its grounds. After the days of the gladiators, it fell into ruin. Over time it was used as a cemetery, a church, and even residences until it was eventually restored. Caesars Palace, in Las Vegas also has seen some heavy-hitters and powerful souls walk through the building in its 50-plus years. Just as masses of crowds watched gladiators fight to the death, so, too, do masses in Vegas watch divas duke it out nightly with vocal chops at the Colosseum performing arts venue. No, Vegas doesn’t have the history that Rome does, but Sin City has that feel of extravagance and excess that would make Roman emperors Caligula and Nero proud.
Viewfinder Tip: For a truly Venetian experience at the Venetian in Las Vegas, hire a gondola to float along the canal. The trip starts at a replica of the Rialto Bridge, and gondoliers actually sing.
Paris and Vegas
The Eiffel Tower stands strong over the River Seine in Paris and tourists can see it from nearly every vantage point of the city. The same can be said for the Paris of Las Vegas. When walking down the Strip, you can get your bearings by looking for the half-scale replica Eiffel Tower standing tall above the Paris Las Vegas. You’ll also spot a replica Arc de Triomphe, and a blue replica of the Montgolfier Balloon, which evokes the dome of Les Invalides, home to Napoleon’s tomb in Paris. If you never have visited Paris, this is your shot to have a French experience in the southwest United States.
New York and Vegas
New York City has to be one of the best cities on earth, and its skyline is a big part of why. The Big Apple has some of the most recognizable buildings and monuments in the world and The New York-New York Hotel & Casino in Vegas has done a great job replicating the cityscape. The skyline on the hotel has replicas of the Empire State and Chrysler buildings, as well as a copy of Grand Central Station. However, it’s the Statue of Liberty that stands apart. At 150 feet tall, it is half the size of the New York statue, but in Vegas, it feels larger than life.
The next time you go to Vegas, be sure to step out of the casinos and look up at the hotels and resorts. You’ll discover a big, big world all around you. And you don’t even need a passport to check it out.
What are your favorite themed hotels in Las Vegas?