Grand Canal Shoppes
At a Glance
What is it?
A mall, part of which is designed to look like a street scene in Venice, Italy complete with a canal running up the center of it with singing gondeliers.
Where is it?
What do they sell?
There are more than 160 stores, boutiques, and restaurants including Ann Taylor, Barney’s of New York, Banana Republic, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Coach, Diane von Furstenberg, Fendi, Jimmy Choo, bebe, Brookstone, Cache, Davidoff, Godiva, Kenneth Cole, Rockport, Sephora, and Swarovski to name a few. It’s not as high-end as some of the other big malls (What? No Tiffany’s?) on The Strip but you that can be a good thing because…
What are the prices like?
Although there are probably more affordable stores here than in the other big malls, it’s still an expensive place to visit.
What should I be sure to check out?
Why should I shop here?
Because the canal is pretty cool.
What else do I need to know?
They have “street performers” wandering the walkways who may burst into song or juggle or do other amusements at any moment.
What’s the bottom line?
A must-see Vegas experience. Not a bad place to shop, either.
If you only have time to visit one highly themed mall in Las Vegas it should probably be this one. Not necessarily because the shopping is all that exciting but becasue as an experience it can’t be beat.
The Grand Canal Shoppes is actually two malls in one these days. It used to only be the portion located in The Venetian whereas the more upscale, non-canal part (which was connected but always felt separate) in Palazzo was called, appropriately enough, The Shoppes at Palazzo. These days it’s all The Grand Canal Shoppes, further cementing the overall property’s move toward being one big hotel instead of two adjoining ones.
The best way to enter is from The Venetian casino escalators and be sure to look up while you’re doing it. The artwork on the walls and ceiling were hand-painted by craftsmen (and women) from all over the world and while they may not be actual masterworks they sure do fake it well.
Once you get into the mall itself the first thing you’re going to notice is the canal. Yep, I said canal. This being The Venetian they have created a Venice street scene with the storefronts designed to look like old Italian buildings and an actual canal with gondolas running up the center. If you are so inclined you can ride in one although be prepared to have your picture taken by a lot of tourists.
The mall ends at a recreation of St. Mark’s Square, another Venice landmark, where you’ll find lots of street performers and artists roaming the big space that is mostly surrounded by restaurants.
Oh, and you can shop, too. Here’s where you run into a bit of a split personality between the two portions of the mall. The portion with the canals has stores that aren’t quite as high-end as most of the other malls on The Strip – there is no Dolce and Gabbana, no Versace, no Tiffany’s. And in fact there are fewer familiar brand names on the storefronts than you’d expect. But that’s okay because in the end you’ll probably wind up paying less money for the stuff you buy than you will at one of other luxury malls.
The former Shoppes at Palazzo side is much more upscale with things like Fendi and Jimmy Choo. This is also where you’ll find the soaring rotunda just off the Palazzo casino that has a big waterfall and a seasonally changing display of flowers and decor. It’s no Bellagio Conservatory but it’s nice to look at as you are wandering past.
There are also tons of restaurants from upscale and expensive to moderately priced.
As mentioned, this is more about the experience, anyway. Frame your photo just right and you might be able to convince your neighbors that you were in Italy instead of in a mall in Vegas.