When we saw that Vegas was a part of our Road trip itinerary, we weren’t exactly jumping for joy. So we were surprised to feel the excitement build as we approached Sin City from Death Valley. We didn’t go crazy like the guys from the Hangover and we didn’t party like it was 1999. But we still had a ton of fun.

travel couple dave and deb in Vegas

Stopping for the Must Have shot of entering Vegas

I can’t say that our two days in Vegas were very productive but we did notice a thing or two while we were there – Like how much of a love affair Vegas has with the rest of the world. You can take an around the world tour in just a few blocks. We’ve had the honour of visiting most of the landmarks of Vegas in real life so we thought it would be fun to do a comparison photo post on Vegas Vs the World.

Vegas Vs the World


roman forum at night

The Real Roman Forum at Night

We were just in Rome for the first time this year and it is one of the most impressive cities on the planet. It’s ancient and filled with history while it’s inhabitants are chic and progressive. The Trevi Fountain, Colosseum and the Roman Forum are intertwined throughout every day life in the city and each turn takes you to yet another historical monument.

Caesars Palace 

caesars palace vegas

The Vegas recreation of Rome

In Vegas, you will see all the monuments of Rome, but the Trevi Fountain sits in front of  a restaurant and Ricky Martin can be seen strolling through the halls of the Roman Forum while Vegas style spectacles play at the Colosseum.

colosseum las vegas vs real colosseum

The Vegas Colosseum out Front of Caesars Palace

In Vegas all the structures are almost as massive they are in Rome. I mean, Caesars Palace goes on forever and it recreates almost every major sight that you will see in the real Rome. However, I’m pretty sure that Ceasar would give Celine Dion a thumbs down for her performance at the Colosseum. I don’t think he’s the type of guy that would swoon over “My Heart will go On” and “The Power of Love”

vegas colosseum vs roman colosseum

The Real Roman Colosseum in Rome, Italy

One thing is for sure though, Caesar would definitely love the excess of Vegas. As we were walking through the city, Dave said to me “This is how the Romans would have built Vegas.” So we give Caesars Palace a thumbs up. It’s the Roman Empire of the 21st Century.

Vegas Vs the Venice

venetian bridge

The Rialto Bridge at the Venetian in Vegas

As we walked further down the strip, we came upon the Venetian. We had heard that there were gondolas in the Venetian so we had to find them. They weren’t difficult to spot, they’re right out front, just to the left the Rialto Bridge, only this Rialto Bridge has moving sidewalks!

the real venice in Italy vs vegas

Venice Grand Canal

The gondoliers had the same striped shirts as Venice and you can even eat dinner on the Grand Canal – just like Venice. There are italian restaurants and wine flowing and even a painted blue sky overhead the climate controlled environment. It’s very refreshing. And you know what else? The Venetian is almost as crowded as Venice. Verdict…The Venetian gets a thumbs up as well.

Vegas Vs Egypt

the real egypt vs the luxor in venice

The Real Pyramids of Giza from the Desert

They Pyramids of Egypt are astounding. To see them for the first time takes your breath away. The sphinx stands guard in front of the three pyramids of Giza looking over the Sahara Desert. It is a dream come true to see the great monuments of Egypt.

vegas luxor vs the real pyramids

The Sphinx in fron of the Luxor

When you see the pyramid and Sphinx in front of the Luxor it doesn’t exactly take your breath away, but their Sphinx does have a proper face and it’s very colourful and pretty. The pyramid itself is quite large too. If King Tut were alive today, he may not be proud of the recreation of his homeland. The pyramids were a sacred place of burial and worship. But I’m sure he’d be having a ball with the other high rollers in the VIP Rooms. I can just picture him and Ramses sitting at the poker table betting their fine gold and jewels.

Verdict – Thumbs up. The royals have always been over the top and if ancient Egypt rulers were alive today, they’d be playing in Vegas.

Vegas Vs New York

statue of LIberty Vegas new york vs vegas

Our first time to New York City was only three years ago and we were blown away by it. Everything about NYC lived up to the hype. It truly is one of the greatest cities in the world for these two Canadians. We loved checking out all the monumental sights that we had seen in the movies and on TV and we could go back again and again. If we had all the money in the world, we’d choose to live in New York.

the Real NYC vs Vegas New York New York

The New York City Skyline in black and White

Well, in Vegas they have their very own New York City as well. You can marvel at the replicas of the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. You can even witness the New York Skyline. The New York, New York in Vegas wasn’t as exciting as New York City itself, but it does have a roller coaster zipping through the buildings.

vegas vs new york city

The NYC Skyline in Vegas

If you want a thrill, you can take a ride on the roller coaster, go for a drink at the Bar at Times Square and then party all night long. Just like NYC only different.

Verdict – Thumbs up for a fabulous external recreation.

Vegas Vs Paris

paris in Vegas

A little bit of Paris in Sin City

The Eifell Tower stands tall over the city as lights sparkle and shine in the night. That can be said for the Eiffel Tower in both Paris and Vegas! While walking through both cities, the Eiffel Tower is the centre of attention and when lit up, they are both beautiful.

Paris at night in Vegas vegas vs paris at night

However, the one in Vegas offers a thrill ride and dinner at the top. Why go to Paris when you can do it all here?

Okay, that’s an overstatement, but you have to admit Vegas captured the look of Paris quite well.

As for the feeling of being in Paris, well that’s another story.

vegas vs paris

The Arc de Triomphe is impressive at both Vegas and Paris, except in Vegas you get to look at Gordon Ramsay’s face. I think Gordon Ramsay took things a little too far, but then again, this is coming from a guy who has an out of this world ego. He couldn’t give one hoot to my opinion.

Verdict – Sitting on the fence. I love my Paris and Gordon Ramsay should not be on the Arc.

Vegas is a spectacle.

vegas in the day time

You will get a taste of the places on display around the world in Vegas.  The architects did a wonderful job replicating all of the monuments, and you have to give them credit for putting together a city that truly amazes.

Vegas doesn’t inspire awe and wonder that one gets from visiting all of the above cities around the world, but it does excite the senses and it is worth seeing once. Just make sure you don’t lose all your hard earned money while visiting. We’ll stick to visiting the world, but it was cool to stop at this little city in the heart of the Nevada Dessert.

road trip self drive adventure with intrepid travel

Our Vegas visit was part of our Intrepid Travel Road trip through the Southern US, book your own Self Drive adventure now.

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Leave a comment


    1. debndave Post author

      I have to admit, we didn’t really cut lose. We went out with the best of intentions and then after a couple of drinks, we just started feeling sick and tired. I guess Vegas isn’t exactly for us. But we loved walking around al day and eating too much. Maybe next time we’ll just go and sit for 4 days and will have an easier time getting into the party of Vegas.

  1. Lindsay

    Cool post! Great comparison :) And you’re right – there’s something about Vegas. It’s not for everyone, but there’s so much fun to be had.

  2. Cat

    What a fun post to see someone that has actually seen and can show both sides of these famous landmarks. Well done and great idea!

    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks Cat, it was fun to take the photos and compare. As we walked around, we were amazed with how well replicated everything was, we made it our mission to start shooting away. I have a better photo of our time at the pyramids with the same angle as Vegas, but it’s on a hard drive at home. I would have loved to include that one. Oh well. I may change it once we’re back in Canada:)

  3. Edith Levy

    Love this cool post and comparison. Having just been in Italy last year and Vegas quite a few times I know Italy wins hands down but its fun to see what a playground Vegas is.

    1. debndave Post author

      Yes, it is fun to be in Vegas. You definitely go there to have fun and not worry about trying to make it something that it’s not. It’s a place to let loose and enjoy the fantasy.

  4. Priyank

    Dave and Deb, such a creative idea to compare! I have never been to Vegas… the closest I’ve been to is the cheesy commercial zone at Niagara falls… if that even counts. lol :)

    1. debndave Post author

      You know what, Vegas reminded me a bit of Niagara Falls on a way grander scale. But I think that counts. You definitely get the idea of what Vegas is about. Niagara Falls has a long way to go to catch up but I think it’s working on it:)

  5. Victoria

    What a great idea for a post! I loved seeing the photo comparisons. I went to Vegas about ten years ao, and you’re right, it definitely is a spectacle. Although I much prefer seeing the originals, it was great fun to see one of the crazier manifestations of humankind.

    1. debndave Post author

      Hi Victoria, I’m glad you had the chance to visit Vegas too. It’s something definitely worth seeing. Imagine what people will think of this place in the future. Everything is so over the top. I think they did an awesome job recreating the world in their own kitschy way.

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  7. Ali

    Great comparison! I’ve been to Vegas a few times because my best friend lives there, though it’s not one of my favorite cities. It’s kind of funny to see all the recreations of famous cities and landmarks, but the originals will always be better in my mind. Maybe seeing the replicas will encourage people to venture out and see the real thing?

    1. debndave Post author

      You said it. Not everyone is as fortunate as us to be able to see all of these places in real life, Vegas offers them the chance to get a taste of each country without the expense of flying.

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  9. Melanie@TravelsWithTwo

    Love this, you guys! Having last been in Vegas in 2005 (which should speak volumes about my attitude towards Vegas), I had no idea that Gordon Ramsay was using the local version of the Arc de Triomphe as a billboard…and can’t help but feel a little queasy about the whole concept. Glad you got to see America in all its glory!

    1. debndave Post author

      Haha, leave it to Gordon. We did enjoy seeing Vegas though. You have an amazing country that has something for everyone. That’s what we love about travel. Vegas may not be for everyone, but it is for some people. Other’s may not be into Yosemite or Zion either even though that is more our style. America has destinations to suit anyone. I love it and we’re so happy that we had the chance to end our road trip with a visit to see you!

    1. debndave Post author

      Ooh, You can tell I’m not a Vegas expert. What is Wynn/Encore? We must check it out. If it is a world unto itself above and beyond the spectacle of Vegas, well, it’s something we gotta see!

    1. debndave Post author

      I understand Jade. We avoided Vegas for years but it’s not bad at all. It’s pretty cool to see and experience and as a part of our road trip it was perfect. We were ready for a bit of excitement and fun.

    1. debndave Post author

      I think it is a good stop when on a road trip. When we had several days in National Parks and seeing the incredible American Landscape, it was a great pit stop. I’m not sure I’d go to Vegas on a full on vacation. But for a couple of days, it was fun.

    1. debndave Post author

      You said it, that is exactly what Vegas is all about. If you had a lot of money, the sky is the limit. I can’t imagine how much fun people like Chis Angel and Celine Dion have. They run that place!

    1. debndave Post author

      I think that you might be right. We were wondering as people posed in front of the Trevi Fountain and the Rialto Bridge if they knew that these actually exist in Italy or if they think they were designed for Vegas. You just never know.

  10. Abby

    LOL. I guess you knew I’d write in… I will try not to go into the fact that Celine’s voice would have packed the real Colosseum in its heyday or the fact that when the sun hits the Luxor at a certain time every afternoon, the fireball it turns into that makes my eyes water from my office 20 miles away WOULD take your breath away…. I very obviously would never consider any of this a substitute for the real places! This was hilarious. Strangely, I sort of miss the theme hotels — the new ones, Wynn, Cosmopolitan, etc are modern and fun, but they lack the sort of ridiculousness of the older hotels.

    1. debndave Post author

      You are right Abby and as proud Canadians we are proud that Celine Dion and Shania Twain now share the spotlight at the Colosseum. I do think that in Caesars time, they would be Goddesses, but I thought it was fun to say that he wouldn’t be happy with their performances. The Colosseum was more of a blood and guts sort of place:) I do agree with you, theme hotels rock, isn’t that what Vegas is all about? And how cool is it that you met Celine Dion anyway!?

  11. dtravelsround

    Vegas has always been awe-inspiring to me, but not because of its recreation of landmarks from around the world, but because it holds this “anything can happen” vibe. These pics were wonderful — made me feel like I was back home!

  12. Natasha von Geldern

    Very entertaining! The Vegas landmarks don’t compare very well to the real thing do they (at least not compared to Dave’s fab photos)? I think I would go if the opportunity came up, just out of curiousity :)

    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks Ryan. I agree, the Venetian does do an amazing job. Throughout the entire hotel, you get an Italian vibe. It was a lot of fun.

  13. Turtle

    Gee, I don’t know why you’re bothering to continue travelling the world. Surely now that you’ve seen Vegas you can tick off most of the best landmarks any country can offer! Although no Taj Mahal in Vegas yet, I notice. When will they make going to India irrelevant?

    1. debndave Post author

      Haha! I was thinking the same thing! Where is the Taj Mahal, that would be a great landmark to add to Vegas. And the Kremlin and the Forbidden City. Russia and China are huge tourist markets, they’d totally be into adding those. ;)

  14. Jeannie

    This is such a cool post! When I’ve traveled to Vegas, I’ve always just relied on my memory of Rome, Venice, Paris, and New York (where I lived for 9 years). I’m always blown away by the accuracy and scale of the Vegas resorts, but now to see a split screen comparison is fantastic! So interesting–thanks for doing this!

  15. Laurence

    My wife and I love Vegas because of all this as good as it gets. Its the vibe of this place. Pictures don’t have an vibe.
    but because it holds this “anything can happen” vibe. Winners are grinners in vegas

  16. Elle of Solo Female Nomad

    I visited Las Vegas a few years ago, and really wanted to like it – like so many others do. Whilst I enjoyed the excitment and buzz of the place, I felt I was not doing too much more than eating and drinking! Your photos do a great job in putting LV in a very good light though!

    1. debndave Post author

      I think you are right Elle. Many people tend to just walk around, look at the gigantic hotels and eat and drink too much while losing all their money.

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  18. Thomas S. Moore

    Of course when you compare the real thing to Vegas its makes Sin City seem like 2nd fiddle. Almost like comparing a Lambo to a kit Fiero, lol. But I enjoy going to Vegas with my friends when we can get out of the country it makes for a fun short trip. I guess it different for people who have actually had the chance to see the world.

  19. Mike@logcabinsinwales

    Vegas is the place of gambling and full of excitement. I was there at Vegas last 2 years ago for one week. I had sleepless nights! We walked around and explore the clubs and casinos. True enough, the place is filled with lights and vibrant!

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    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks! It dawned on us as we walked through Vegas. We noticed that you can take a tour of the world in just a few city blocks. It’s quite a cool experience.

  22. Las Vegas Hotels

    I love the comparisons of all those great landmarks and how we display them in Vegas. SO cool with your comparisons! It’s amazing how many of our Las Vegas hotels have been modeled after other world treasures.

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