I’m currently visiting friends for three weeks and before I head back home to Switzerland, I wanted to fit in a quick and somewhat spontaneous trip to Vegas for some sightseeing and maybe win a few pennies at the slot machines. I took a friend with me for this trip, because Las Vegas is always more fun with a partner in crime. I paid for the flights and hotel expenses as a present to my friend, while said friend paid for most of the food.
As this was a rather spontaneous trip, flights and accommodations were more expensive than usually. Not only were last minute booking fees to blame, but also high inflation rates experienced in the US, which added to the cost, caused a bit of sticker shock to me. Nonetheless, making memories such as these is part of living my #richlife.
For a 3 nights stay in Las Vegas with rooms at the Park MGM, I spent:
Although this trip was meant to be a spontaneous getaway for a few days in Las Vegas, there were a few things I wanted to see and experience, in between the sleeping in, working out, eating, gambling and meeting up with other friends living nearby. Some of my choices don’t include some of the obvious things to do in Las Vegas (but were strategically around the hotel we were staying at), mainly because I had done some of experiences on previous trips already (cue the Bellagio fountain water show).
Las Vegas is one of those places where walking is really the best way to experience it, whether to people-watch or appreciate the architecture of the casinos. To get us going in the early morning (to avoid the heat), we would stop by at Eataly and partake of their delicious Italian-style coffee and croissants. Eataly is a marketplace full of Italian goods and food. Essentially, it’s a dream come true for a fan of Italian food such as myself!
Tip: If you’re staying at the Park MGM, skip Starbucks and go to the Lavazza cafe at the Eataly instead. The coffee is better, the lines are shorter and the pastries are tastier. Try the Torinese coffee and grab a simple croissant made with olive oil or the sweet burnt wheat croissant for a pick-me-up.
After coffee and pastries, it was off walking along the strip for architecture-spotting and catching glimpses of a quiet Las Vegas. Although Las Vegas truly comes alive at night, I liked walking along the strip with only few errant tourists — it made it so much easier to admire the old and new architecture of Las Vegas.
Tip: Las Vegas’ architecture can be admired at any time of the day. However, if you’re into photography, going earlier in the morning gives you the best chance to capture interesting angles at your own pace without too many other people in the way. There is an extraordinary mix of new and old architecture that should fascinate anyone with an interest in architecture.
For one of our daily afternoon snacks, I wanted to make sure that we’d stop by the Hello Kitty Cafe, just across the street from our hotel. For me, anything Hello Kitty has this sentimental effect, so it was a must to stop by there. I bought a giant cupcake with Hello Kitty on it and some souvenirs to take home (even though I usually hate buying tchotchkes like this). Luckily, my friend happily indulged me in return for a bite of said cupcake.
Tip: Avoid long lines at the Hello Kitty Cafe by going after 10am. The workers are very friendly and there’s plenty of pastries and merchandise available at that time. There’s also shaded outdoor seating available to enjoy the oversized Hello Kitty Red Velvet Cupcake. Take note that the cafe is closed on Wednesdays.
For one of our dinners, I wanted to pass by Roy Choi’s My Best Friend bodega. I know about this spot due to so e cooking show I watched on Netflix and definitely wanted to check it out. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize that this spot would be so hugely popular, so we opted to take our food for take-out. In hindsight, this wasn’t the best choice, because I think the food could have tasted much better.
Tip: Reserve online to get a seat inside of the bodega. The bodega opens later than most restaurants there and always seemed fully booked. If you didn’t manage to get a reservation, there maybe seating available at the bar or you can order for take out as well, just be sure to order a variety to take full advantage of this spot.
Tip: While you're at the Park MGM getting some of Roy Choi's food, also make a quick stop at the Haus of Lady Gaga. Displayed are some of Lady Gaga's most iconic outfits and accessories.
For all my purchases in Las Vegas, I used my gorgeous white Kaspar& pre-paid card. With Kaspar&, I get worldwide free of charge purchases at interbank exchange rates. This is much cheaper than using most other banks‘ cards, not only helping me save money but also helping me invest with Kaspar&´s round up feature. Read more about it here.