Slap-bang in the middle of the rocky, arid desert lies a city where fantasy has become reality and eccentricity is anything but remarkable. It’s impossible not be captivated by this city of extremes – the imitation landmarks, the circus spectacles, the fountain displays...

Las Vegas sign

From the bright lights of the Boulevard to the dazzling ceilings of the Bellagio, the star-studded productions to the ornate interiors of Sin City’s famous casinos, Las Vegas is a beautiful and wonderfully alluring enigma. Here are 20 reasons why you should travel to Las Vegas this year

1. Fremont Street Experience: Light shows, casinos, live music performances and the largest video screen in the world come together to create one huge, vibrant entertainment hub which will transport you to another place

2. The Bellagio Fountain show: This expertly choreographed aquatic display will mesmerise you with its explosion of colour, light and sound

3. Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare: Like the décor, the seafood at Bartolotta is amazing, and you can dine by this beautiful lagoon

4. Cirque du Soleil: Vegas shows are renowned across the world for their all-out extravagance. Expect jaw-dropping acrobatics from the ever-popular Cirque du Soleil.

5. Futuristic architecture: The Cleveland Clinic for Brain Health, designed by Frank Gehry, is an artistic masterpiece that deserves your attention for its crooked-house style modernist design.

6. Valley of Fire State Park: The Valley of Fire State Park is only an hour from Las Vegas but its marble textures, arid rocks and vivid red colouring make it look like something from another planet. 

7. Mini-Paris: Vegas’ imitation Eiffel Tower is almost as impressive as the original, offering a spectacular view over the city and its sparkling lights.

8. Volcano Show at the Mirage resort: An eruption of smoke, fire and music 100 feet above the water, this is a show not to be missed.

9. New York New York: There’s only one other place in the world where you can see the Statue of Liberty, and it’s here at the city’s very own version of the Big Apple.

10. Red Rock Canyon National Park: Drive 30 minutes from Las Vegas and you can  take in incredible views at Red Rock Canyon National Park.

11. The Stratosphere: The futuristic-looking Stratosphere is one of the tallest freestanding towers in the US, and the observation area at the top offers spectacular views over the surrounding landscapes. There’s also a thrill ride at the top, for those feeling especially brave.

12. Spa Mandalay: Las Vegas is a destination for all things indulgence, and at 30,000 square feet, the Mandalay is hard to beat for its sheer scale and the range of available treatments.

13. The Bank: If there’s one city that knows how to party, it’s Vegas, and it’s hard to beat the outstanding attention to detail you’ll find at this club in the Bellagio.

14. Vegas at night: The bright, colourful lights of Vegas make for a stunning view at night, when fountains, skyscrapers and world-class hotels illuminate its vibrant streets.

15. The Venetian Hotel and Casino: Riding a gondola along the indoor river, surrounded by towering buildings and gold-coloured statues, is the closest you can get to Venice without being in Italy. And it’s almost as magical.

16. Joel Robuchon Restaurant: Tucked within the plush MGM Grand hotel, this Art Deco style restaurant by stalwart French chef Joel Robuchon – famously named the Chef of the Century – has an impressive three Michelin stars, and a lush garden terrace to sit out on.

17. Trevi Fountain: Bringing another slice of Italy to Nevada, the city’s very own version of the Trevi fountain is the next best thing to the real one in Rome.

18. Wynn Casino: Vegas wouldn’t be Vegas without its casinos, and this one at the Wynn resort is worth a visit for its design alone.

19. XS: Hosting celebrities like David Guetta, Alesso and Kaskade, XS has been named the best club in the USA five times, and it’s easy to see why.

20. Le Cirque: Las Vegas is home to some of the world’s most innovative restaurants, and Le Cirque, located in the Bellagio, is one of the best. It serves French dishes in an elegant, colourful environment, with a tasting menu which incorporates the likes of burgundy snails, sautéed foie gras and carnarolli risotto.