Do You Need a Car in Las Vegas? 5 Things to Know

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Las Vegas

Are you traveling to Sin City and wondering; “do you need a car in Las Vegas?” This article will answer any questions you have about getting around Vegas! Keep reading!

With its endless activities, raucous, fun-filled nights, and thrilling shows, the Marriage Capital of the World is one of the ultimate destinations for tourists. 

Las Vegas, officially known as the City of Las Vegas, is the most populous city in Nevada and the 25th most populous city in the US.

Originally a tiny railroad station in the middle of the Nevada desert, the city became one of the country’s fastest-growing metropolises at the end of the twentieth century.

This transformation was made possible by a combination of smart entrepreneurship, canny state laws, transportation infrastructure, and brilliant engineering.

Do you need a car in Las Vegas

Today, people across the globe flock to the city to revel in its glimmering lights, fascinating attractions, and non-stop entertainment. 

For making a truly memorable visit easier, many tourists wonder:

  • Do you need a car in Las Vegas?
  • How about Las Vegas public transportation?
  • Is exploring Las Vegas without a car possible?

Read on to find out all about getting around Vegas!

Do You Need a Rental Car in Las Vegas?

Many tourists assume that Vegas is reserved for big spenders with high-end cars and a lot of money for fuel.

Well, that’s nonsense and getting around the city without a car isn’t a pipe dream. 

Neon Museum Las Vegas

So, do you need a rental car in Las Vegas for touring downtown Las Vegas? 

Yes and No. 

Yes, if you intend to visit far-flung attractions outside of the city proper, or if you have small children, exploring Las Vegas with a car might be more convenient. 

On the other hand, if you’re out with a couple of friends or a family of adults, and you’re planning of enjoying the city, living in Las Vegas without a car is possible. In fact, it’s easy.

You can use Vegas’ public transportation, rental cars, bikes, scooter, and even get around the city center on foot.

Las Vegas is definitely a city best enjoyed on foot!

So whether or not you need a car depends entirely on your preferences. Also, note that Vegas isn’t a difficult city to explore without a car. The city offers various transportation modes for you to tour around in peace.

One thing that is common here is luxury rental car companies, where you can rent a car like a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, and more so you can cruise up and down Las Vegas Blvd in style.

Is Las Vegas Public Transportation Good? 

No car? No problem! Las Vegas public transportation has you covered!

With a long history of transformation, and an economy built on tourism, how could the city compromise on its public transit? 

The city offers several modes of public transportation, including buses, trains, and taxis. Furthermore, the relatively low transportation ticket prices in Vegas dispel the myth that it is a city only for “the rich.”

Below are a few local transport options you have at your disposal in Las Vegas. 

Bus

Deuce Bus Las Vegas

Having trouble getting to your desired location? No worries! Vegas buses are a great option.

Visit a nearby bus station, purchase the fare, and get on the bus. It won’t take more than 10-15 minutes, and you’ll be on the way to your destination!

Want to know what else is good about the buses? A one-way trip will cost you no more than $2. Furthermore, you can purchase a 24-hour or a 7-day ticket pass to enjoy a hassle-free tour. 

Also, if you have children under 5, they’ll ride for free!

While Vegas has many bus companies, the Deuce is one of the most popular and widely used. It links the Strip to the South Strip Transit System (SSTT) and runs every 10-15 minutes, 24 hours a day. 

So no matter when you plan to head out, you’ll have a bus to hop on and get around. 

Taxi

Nevada Taxi Service makes it easy to get around town. There are fixed pick-up points for this cab. Simply put, you won’t find it everywhere you go. 

However, if you’ve just landed and are wondering about Las Vegas public transportation from airport, know that you can catch a Nevada Taxi Service cab from outside baggage claims. 

While Nevada Taxi Service cabs have fixed pick-up points, other taxi services roam freely around Vegas. So if you need a more flexible cab, there are options. 

For hailing a Nevada Taxi Service cab, find yourself a rank and a driver who has a free cab. Most ranks will be outside casinos, hotels and major points of interest throughout the city.

To hail a non-Nevada Taxi Service cab, all you need to do is stand on the sidewalk and as soon as you see a taxi approaching, lift your hand in the air. If the cab is available, it should stop right away.

Most taxis display lights on their roof to show their availability; if the light is on, it’s available, if it’s off, it isn’t.

Fun fact: If the taxis roof light is flashing, it is possible that the driver is requesting police assisstance!

Light Rail

monorail Las Vegas

Monorail is a Las Vegas light rail transit service that offers fast, easy, and convenient transportation. It runs every 5-10 minutes and provides services every day:

  • Monday to Thursday (7 a.m. – 2 a.m.)
  • Friday through Sunday (7 a.m. – 3 a.m.)

You can check the schedule and board accordingly. The stations include:

  • MGM Grand Station at MGM Resorts
  • Las Vegas Convention Center Station
  • SLS Hotel Las Vegas
  • Westgate Station
  • Bally’s
  • Harrah’s Caesar’s Palace

A single-pass will cost you around $6, a day pass will cost $15, a three-day ticket would be $40, and a 7-day pass can range up to $56, respectively. 

What else is good about the light rail? When traveling at night, the train guards monitor each station to ensure safety and protection to its passengers.

Day or night, it’s about the safest way to get around Vegas.

Self Driving Shuttle

If you are in town for tourism, any major hotel will likely have a free shuttle bus that can pike you up from the airport but why take one of those ordinary shuttle buses?

Las Vegas has introduced the largest self-driving vehicle project in the US! Cool, isn’t it?

Yes! Vegas is living in the future!

A self-driving shuttle can carry up to eight passengers as well as a safety driver. While it’s not a completely “driverless experience” per se, the shuttle’s software and hardware handle everything, which is still an incredible innovation. 

The shuttle is equipped with GPS, V2i (vehicle-to-infrastructure), cameras, and LIDAR, a system of lasers that help the shuttle build a map of its immediate surroundings. The V2i technology communicates with traffic signals outfitted in the city’s traffic lights to improve traffic flow. 

So, if you want to experience the latest travel technologies, you can board this futuristic shuttle to explore Las Vegas.

See Related: Do You Need a Car in Los Angeles?

Do You Need to Rent a Car in Las Vegas? 

MGM Grand Station

While the Las Vegas public transit system is pretty reliable, you can rent a car if you wish to travel with privacy.  There are several benefits of renting a car.

  1. If you have small children, they may get annoyed with public transport.
  2. Renting a car lets you move around independently.
  3. If you’re looking to do any of the wilder activities hosted outside of the city, a car is the best way to get to them.

While tourists and locals find that rental cars can get pretty expensive, particularly in Vegas (especially if you’re renting a luxury saloon or supercar from one of the many rental places that offer them) several affordable car deals are available. 

Also, renting a car is more convenient now than ever before. All you need to do is go online, find the right rental outlet for you, select the date and time of your desired rental, and (depending on the service, although it’s pretty common in Vegas) a driver can drop it off at your doorstep within minutes.

So, you won’t have trouble going out and looking for rental cars.  Given how downtown Vegas is a massive tourist destination, there is no shortage of options to find a rental car center that suits your style and preference.

Just make sure you book a car with a rental car company in advance because reservations can fill up quickly depending on if there is a conference, sporting event or any other type of festival in the area.

See Related: Do You Need a Car in San Diego?

What are the Other Options to Get Around Las Vegas Without a Car? 

If you are on a solo trip or with a few friends, you have other cool ways to reach the city sights besides public transportation.

Below, we’ve discussed a few. 

Las Vegas Night time

On Foot

Vegas on foot is a unique experience. The streets are filled with vibrant energy, and you can soak up the atmosphere all for free! 

Las Vegas is a walk-friendly city. You’ll find plenty of walkways along the road, and it’s pretty safe and easy to move around without getting stuck in traffic. 

Nevertheless, you must take a few notes before heading out for a walk! First, your shoes should be comfortable; consider buying a pair of sketchers. Second, carry a water bottle while walking around during the day. 

Also, if you plan to go out during the day, wear sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from heatstroke. Vegas is hot all year round and can be extremely hot during peak summer months – after all, it is in a desert. 

Once you’ve all your essentials, you can embark on your walking journey. Catch a glimpse of the incredible casino exteriors, exclusive shopping centers, fountains, and yes, dine in a fantastic Vegas restaurant without worrying about bus tickets or where to park!

Scooter

Scooters are the perfect way to get around Vegas in style nimbly, and it is an eco-friendly mode of transportation that encourages physical fitness.

You can rent a scooter, get a helmet and be on your way for a ride. Furthermore, if you have your scooter, bring it to Vegas to be your high-roller!

Bike

If you love hiking, know that bikes make great hiking partners! You need a helmet, a water bottle, some comfy cycling gear, and you can get on your bike for an incredible ride. Biking alone can be a good experience if you are an introvert, but if you want to socialize, you likely want to ride with friends. 

This will not only make your trip more fulfilling, but you’ll also create endless, unforgettable memories! Nevertheless, ensure you know your tracks and have an internet connection in your smartphone if you forget the route. This is especially important if you’re going on a desert biking route.

Getting lost in the desert can be fatal.

Exploring Las Vegas Without Renting a Car: Is It Possible?

Exploring Las Vegas without a car is not only possible but a unique and unforgettable experience. Below, we’ve compiled a list of fun places to explore in Las Vegas without a car. 

Fremont Street Las Vegas

Fremont East Entertainment District

Old Vegas! On the original Las Vegas Strip, entertainment awaits you down Fremont Street! You can walk straight up and down this street and catch street performers, live music, glistening light shows, portraits, gift shops, free concerts, and zip-lining, not to mention all the casinos!

More than 25,000 people visit the street daily for the right reasons. The food and drink here are cheaper than other nearby restaurants, AND it’s legal to carry an open container of booze with you as you stroll this stretch!

So, you get endless entertainment, places to shop and gamble, and good, affordable food all in one place. It’s open 24 hours a day, and the light shows happen between 6:00 p.m. to 1:00 pm.

So, make sure you know your timings to get the most out of your tour. 

City Center Fine Art Collection

It’s not all drunken parties and losing it all at blackjack. Want to experience the cultural side of Vegas? There’s no better option than the City Center Fine Art Display. 

The permanent fine art collection is incorporated into public areas at The Shops at Crystals, ARIA Resort and Casino, Veer Towers, and Vdara Hotel and Spa. 

As you walk down these sites, you’ll come across superb architecture, paintings, sculptures, photography, and stunning monumental installations, the envy of many famous galleries worldwide. 

Also, if you’re into some high-end shopping, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Prada (to name a few) all have a heavy presence in Vegas. Are you looking for 5-star dining? Vegas may be the best place on earth for that – check out any casino on the strip!

Fountains of Bellagio

Bellagio Las Vegas

Got kids? Take them to fountains outside Bellagio Hotel and watch their faces light up and this enthralling water show. The fountains shoot water up to 47ft into the air, and these displays are magical enough to rival the ballet right along Las Vegas Boulevard.

Besides, it has pulsing lights synchronized with around 35 popular songs that attract massive crowds daily. 

PRO TIP: Ensure you’re in the best spot to view the fountains. For instance, the hotel rooms in the area, the edge of the lake outside Bellagio Hotel, and the porch of Mon Ami Gabi restaurants make some of the best viewing locations!

Ethel M. Chocolate

Ethel M. Chocolate will be your heaven on earth if you’re a chocolate lover. This place offers a window into the world of chocolatiers. 

See how the chocolatiers prepare chocolates and candies with expert care, detail, and efficiency. What else is good? You can enjoy some mouthwatering light or dark chocolate for free!

Nevertheless, ensure you visit early in the morning as the chocolate production stops once the day’s orders are completed, and this place gets busy quickly.

High Roller 

With so many attractions and so little time, High Roller is a place to consider! The Las Vegas High Roller is a giant imitation of the London Eye Ferris wheel in the United Kingdom’s capital city.

A full rotation takes 30 minutes and gives you the best panoramic view of Las Vegas.

Outside of the city…where you might need a car…

Want to kayak around the Hoover Dam? Admire and make scrap metal sculptures? Shoot literal, belt-fed machine guns and .50 sniper rifles?

Drive Ferraris? Ride on horseback or ATV across the desert? Sounds fun, right? Then book your ticket to Vegas right now! Just know that a rental car might be best for these activities, even if only for a day.

Las Vegas offers some of the best day trip excursions in the world, such as Red Rock Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park, Lake Mead, and Death Valley National Park.

FAQ

Is a car necessary in Vegas?

Does your trip to Las Vegas include hiking, exploring the national parks in the area, or shooting guns? If so, renting a car might make sense. If not, getting around Las Vegas is easy without a car.

Can you get around Las Vegas without a car?

The answer is yes, but if you would like to have the convenience of driving yourself, rent one before you head out. Las Vegas has a massive and very reliable public transportation system, making it easy to do without a car.

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Kyle Kroeger
WRITTEN BY

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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