What is the best way to get from McCarran International Airport to your hotel on the Strip or Fremont Street? What do the various airport transportation options cost? We wanted to summarize the most common modes of transportation from the Las Vegas airport to help visitors find a solution that best fits their budget and needs.
Note that cost estimates for getting from the airport to your hotel in Vegas using rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft may be slightly different than what you will pay while in town as pricing is based on demand. The app will always tell you what your ride will cost before you agree to book it, however.
Below are the most common ways to get from the airport to your hotel in Vegas.
CX Bus to Fremont Street from the Airport
If staying on Fremont street, the CX (Centennial Express) city bus runs from the airport, down Interstate 15 to Fremont Street, and is by FAR your cheapest option to get from the airport to downtown Las Vegas. The CX departs McCarran approximately every hour and the schedule can be viewed HERE. The CX picks up at both level 0 of terminal 1 as well as at Terminal 3 at the departures level. A one-way trip on the CX will set you back only $2.
RTC Bus From the Airport to Strip Hotels
Unfortunately, getting from the airport to your Strip hotel by bus is a little more complicated, and involves a transfer. First, you’ll hop on Route 109 which departs Terminal 1 frequently and will take you to the South Strip Transfer Terminal where you can then hop on the Deuce to complete the trip from the Airport to your Strip hotel by bus. (View Stops on the Strip for the Deuce HERE) .
Tickets for the RTC can be purchased from a machine located in Level 0 of terminal 1, on the bus, or through the phone app and cost $6 for a 2-hour “Strip and All Access Pass” – Not bad!
You can also take the RTC back to McCarran from your hotel on the Strip or Fremont. You will be dropped off at Terminal 1 and can take the inter-terminal shuttle to terminal 3 if need be.
While transferring to the Deuce usually makes the most sense, there is one notable exception. The CX Route which runs from the airport to Fremont Street makes a single stop on the Strip at the corner of Tropicana and the Las Vegas Blvd. allowing easy access to Tropicana, New York New York, Excalibur, and MGM Grand. If staying on the south end of the Strip, this route is direct and would allow you to avoid transferring.
We recommend using the RTC trip planning feature to plan your bus ride from the airport to your hotel to ensure you are utilizing the right route!
Las Vegas Airport Shuttles
Generally shared, shuttles can be a cost-effective transportation option for getting from the airport to your hotel in Vegas. The cost for an airport shuttle is generally $15-$20 per person, round trip.
Some hotels, typically off the Strip, such as Palace Station offer a free airport shuttle as a courtesy to their guests. Check out our list of resorts that offer free shuttle service to and from the airport.
Taxis From The Airport to the Strip and Downtown
You can catch a cab from McCarran to the Strip and downtown, however, it’ll be more expensive than Uber or Lyft. You can jump in the cab queue near the baggage claim in Terminal 1 and Level 0 outside Terminal 3. To prevent the all too common practice of “long hauling” (taking the scenic route to drive up fares), cabs now operate on a set flat rate from the airport depending on what hotel you are going to. Cab flat rates are $19, $23, and $27 depending on the destination. See what hotels fall into what flat rate zone here.
Although there are still folks out there fiercely loyal to cabs, I would advise using a rideshare app like Uber or Lyft instead as they are less expensive and feature transparent pricing.
If you are using a taxi in Vegas, don’t forget to tip! Check out our Las Vegas Tipping Guide here. Generally you should tip a Vegas cab driver around 15% of your fare.
Uber/Lyft From the Airport to the Strip and Downtown
You can catch Uber/Lyft rides at the designated rideshare pickup location at McCarran International Airport which is located on either the second level 2 of the Terminal 1 parking ramp or the valet level of terminal 3.
Please note that trip prices can fluctuate based on demand. The beauty of Uber and Lyft, however, is that the price is clear upfront. There will rarely be surprises. Tipping is technically optional for rideshare operators, however, a few bucks are much appreciated and you can tip after the ride from the app on your phone.
Example Fare (Tip Not Included):
Airport to Bellagio: $16 using UberX
Airport to Golden Nugget: $20 using UberX
Airport to Stratosphere: $12 using UberX
Note that it is possible for rideshare operators to long haul, or take the scenic route, to drive up your fare. The beauty of rideshare applications, however, is the ease in which you can challenge a suspicious route. Recently, I was quoted $11 for my trip from the airport to Caesars Palace. I noticed the driver deviated from Uber’s prescribed route and took the freeway tunnel (a sign you are being taken for a ride). After arriving at Caesars, my receipt from Uber was for over $20. I challenged the fare from inside the app and my charge was adjusted by Uber to reflect the quoted $11 before I made it to my hotel room.
Limo Service from the Airport
If you intend to start your Vegas trip in style, you can get from the airport to your hotel in a limo. Typically, a stretch limo or luxury vehicle costs $60 one way from the airport to the hotel. Some Limo companies charge hourly while some charge a flat round trip rate. We recommend you check out the numerous limo deals listed on Groupon, here, as they are oftentimes a better deal than booking directly with the company.
We are hopeful that our overview of options for getting to your Las Vegas hotel from the airport was helpful! Have a fantastic trip and ensure you leave your thoughts on any of the above transportation options in the comments!
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