Los Angeles travel guide

Los Angeles Tourism | Los Angeles Guide

You're Going to Love Los Angeles

If you love sunshine, showbiz, and shopping, Los Angeles is an unbeatable destination. The City of Angels has a unique appeal thanks to its superb climate, sandy beaches, and movie-making history.

You can tour showbiz sights and hear tales about the lives of celebrities, enjoy the thrills provided by rides at Universal Studios, or treat the kids to a trip to Disneyland California.

Fashion lovers also flock to LA for its boutiques. Hit the stores on Robertson Boulevard, and discover the latest designs by Chanel, Kitson, or Tommy Hilfiger, or head to malls like the Beverly Center.

It doesn’t matter whether you are there to shop, catch a glimpse of your favorite actor or perfect your tan, Los Angeles is a year-round destination like no other.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Los Angeles

1. Hollywood

Across the world, Los Angeles is most famous for its movie industry. Check out the stars on Hollywood Boulevard, take snaps of the Hollywood Sign, watch a movie at the Chinese Theater or dive into the mall at Hollywood and Highland. You can also take guided tours of stars’ homes and the studios which launched their careers.

2. Family Attractions

LA isn’t always thought of as a family destination, but it should be. Kids will love getting to know the characters and experiencing the rides at Disneyland, while Universal Studios features attractions based on popular kids’ movies like Despicable Me and Shrek.

3. The Climate

Only Phoenix and Las Vegas can boast more sunny days a year than Los Angeles and the average temperature in the city is a comfortable 71 degrees. Rainfall is rare, storms aren’t a factor outside of the middle of winter, and the beaches of Santa Monica or Venice are almost always packed.

4. Art and Culture

It’s not all about blockbuster movies and Disney in LA. The city also has some excellent galleries. You can see Impressionist masterpieces at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, see Asian artworks at the Chinese American Museum (425 N Los Angeles St), or check out lesser known artists at contemporary galleries like Perry Rubenstein (1215 Highland Ave) or Marc Selwyn (9953 S Santa Monica Blvd).

5. Food

LA is the place to go for America’s best Mexican food, so be sure to taste the tacos at Guisados Tacos (2100 East Cesar E Chavez Avenue) or a bowl of chilli from Chili John’s (2018 W. Burbank Blvd). There’s plenty of Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, Jewish, Greek, American, and even British-style pubs to discover as well.

What to do in Los Angeles

1. Hollywood: The One and Only

Hollywood is hard to miss, what with its name plastered famously across the hillside, and missed it should be not. Hollywood Boulevard is one of the most well-known streets in the world, home to the Walk of Fame. Huge Hollywood theaters host high profile movie premieres along this stretch, and the history of movie making is referenced at every turn. Keep your eyes peeled for celebrity sightings!

2. Universal Studios Hollywood: Movie-making Madness

The greatest behind-the-scenes-look-at-Hollywood is found at Universal Studios, a theme park dedicated to movie-making magic. Besides boasting awesome thrill rides and over the top parades, the park offers views into the actual back-lots where sets are built. The Studio Tour puts visitors right in the middle of recreated movie sets from famous films like King Kong and Jaws.

3. Getty Center: The Gem of SoCal

Overlooking LA is the world renowned Getty Center, a beautiful complex for art, research and conservation. The buildings and gardens themselves are a sight to behold, with elegant architecture, water elements and landscaping. Inside the museum, there is even more to see - most notably "The Royal End" by Paul Gauguin and "Irises" by Vincent Van Gogh.

4. Griffith Park: Views of Famous Hollywood

One of the largest urban parks in America, Griffith Park is home to the LA Zoo and the Griffith Observatory. With epic views of the Hollywood sign from atop the hill of the same name, this observatory has welcomed millions of visitors over the years. Also offering scientific exhibitions and unique planetarium shows, a stop in Griffith Park is both varied and fun.

5. Beverly Hills: The 90210

Beverly Hills is a neighborhood whose reputation precedes itself. Rodeo Drive is its famous thoroughfare, known for upscale shopping and celebrity sightings. The nearby Beverly Gardens Park offers gorgeous rose gardens and recreation. For dedicated fans, the more residential streets of Beverly Hills are host to self-guided celebrity residence tours.

6. Griffith Observatory: Spot the Sign

One of the largest urban parks in America, Griffith Park is home to the LA Zoo and the Griffith Observatory. With epic views of the Hollywood sign from atop the hill of the same name, this observatory has welcomed millions of visitors. Also offering science exhibitions and unique planetarium shows, a stop in Griffith Park is both varied and fun.

7. Venice Beach: Eccentric and Cool

This popular area lives up to its citywide reputation, with laid-back boutique stores and some of the quirkiest restaurants in town. There is a surprise around every corner - and around every canal! These human-made waterways give the area its name, and they provide for scenic strolls on the way to the beach. A bike path stretches through the sand, connecting Venice to Santa Monica. Don't miss the boardwalk either!

1. Hollywood: The One and Only

Hollywood is hard to miss, what with its name plastered famously across the hillside, and missed it should be not. Hollywood Boulevard is one of the most well-known streets in the world, home to the Walk of Fame. Huge Hollywood theaters host high profile movie premieres along this stretch, and the history of movie making is referenced at every turn. Keep your eyes peeled for celebrity sightings!

2. Universal Studios Hollywood: Movie-making Madness

The greatest behind-the-scenes-look-at-Hollywood is found at Universal Studios, a theme park dedicated to movie-making magic. Besides boasting awesome thrill rides and over the top parades, the park offers views into the actual back-lots where sets are built. The Studio Tour puts visitors right in the middle of recreated movie sets from famous films like King Kong and Jaws.

3. Getty Center: The Gem of SoCal

Overlooking LA is the world renowned Getty Center, a beautiful complex for art, research and conservation. The buildings and gardens themselves are a sight to behold, with elegant architecture, water elements and landscaping. Inside the museum, there is even more to see - most notably "The Royal End" by Paul Gauguin and "Irises" by Vincent Van Gogh.

4. Griffith Park: Views of Famous Hollywood

One of the largest urban parks in America, Griffith Park is home to the LA Zoo and the Griffith Observatory. With epic views of the Hollywood sign from atop the hill of the same name, this observatory has welcomed millions of visitors over the years. Also offering scientific exhibitions and unique planetarium shows, a stop in Griffith Park is both varied and fun.

5. Beverly Hills: The 90210

Beverly Hills is a neighborhood whose reputation precedes itself. Rodeo Drive is its famous thoroughfare, known for upscale shopping and celebrity sightings. The nearby Beverly Gardens Park offers gorgeous rose gardens and recreation. For dedicated fans, the more residential streets of Beverly Hills are host to self-guided celebrity residence tours.

6. Griffith Observatory: Spot the Sign

One of the largest urban parks in America, Griffith Park is home to the LA Zoo and the Griffith Observatory. With epic views of the Hollywood sign from atop the hill of the same name, this observatory has welcomed millions of visitors. Also offering science exhibitions and unique planetarium shows, a stop in Griffith Park is both varied and fun.

7. Venice Beach: Eccentric and Cool

This popular area lives up to its citywide reputation, with laid-back boutique stores and some of the quirkiest restaurants in town. There is a surprise around every corner - and around every canal! These human-made waterways give the area its name, and they provide for scenic strolls on the way to the beach. A bike path stretches through the sand, connecting Venice to Santa Monica. Don't miss the boardwalk either!

Where to Eat in Los Angeles

Los Angeles has a constantly evolving dining scene, with superb chefs from every corner of the world. For great Thai, head to Jitlada (5233 Sunset Blvd) or Ruen Pair (5257 Hollywood Blvd). Crown of India is a fantastic Indian option near the coast (6755 Santa Monica Blvd), Sushi Komasa serves up fine Japanese cuisine (351 E 2nd St), and Angelini Osteria is an excellent Italian eatery (7313 Beverly Blvd). For an authentic American diner experience, head to Nickel Diner (524 S Main St) while for a budget meal that has gourmet appeal, try the Middle Eastern dishes available from the Halal Guys (3432 Wilshire Blvd). Foodies should also head to Grand Central Market (317 S Broadway), which hosts farmers’ markets, bars and restaurants.

When to visit Los Angeles

Los Angeles in November
Estimated hotel price
€30
1 night at 3-star hotel
Los Angeles in November
Estimated hotel price
€30
1 night at 3-star hotel

Los Angeles has a wonderfully warm, sun-drenched climate, but the mid-summer temperatures can be too much for some visitors. If you want to walk between sights without feeling too hot, visiting between March and May makes sense. The fall is almost as pleasant, with temperatures rarely going above 70 degrees and hardly ever less than 60. For budget hotel deals, consider a trip in December or January. The weather will probably still be sunny (though rain is a possibility) and there are festive markets at Grand Cental and Pasadena to explore.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Los Angeles

Plane

Los Angeles has five commercial airports within a short distance, but the major entry point for visitors is Los Angeles International (LAX). When you touch down, the best way to reach the city center is via the LAX FlyAway bus link which runs to Hollywood, Union Station, and Santa Monica and costs $8. You can also catch the LA Metro from nearby Aviation Boulevard. To get to the center take the Green Line to Willow Brook and change onto the Blue Line towards 7th Street/Metro Center. If you need to take a taxi, expect it to cost around $75 and to take half an hour outside of rush hour.

If you land at Burbank, Bob Hope Airport, LA/Ontario, or Long Beach Airport, the best option is to book a cab or rent a car at the airport as there are very few bus or Metro connections.

Train

Los Angeles’ Amtrak station is Union Station (800 N. Alameda St) and offers a wide range of connections to other U.S. cities. Services stopping at Union Station include the Coast Starlight (which runs north to Seattle and San Francisco), the Southwest Chief (to Kansas City and Chicago), and the Sunset Limited (to San Antonio and New Orleans). MetroLink also operates a commuter train service that links the city to nearby towns like San Bernardino and Oceanside.

Car

Los Angeles is famous as a city of highways, and getting there by road is easy. If you are coming from the east, take I-10, while I-5 connects LA to San Francisco to the north and San Diego to the south. I-15 links the city to Las Vegas, while Route 101 runs along the California coast.

Bus

Greyhound runs buses into the LA terminal at 1716 East 7th Street. However, the terminal is next door to Skid Row, a potentially dangerous neighborhood, so it may be wise to use Greyhound’s other bus terminals in the city. There are alternative stops in North Hollywood (11239 Magnolia Boulevard) and El Monte (3501 North Santa Anita Ave), which provide good access to city center hotels.

Other bus services include:

Bolt Bus – Stops at Union Station and link LA to Las Vegas, Bairstow, Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose.

El Paso - Los Angeles Limousine Express – stops at 260 E 6th St and connects Los Angeles to Phoenix and El Paso.

Megabus – Runs buses into Union Station from Las Vegas, Oakland, San Jose, and San Francisco, with onward connections to most American cities.

Airlines serving Los Angeles

United Airlines
Good (2,618 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (1,734 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (4,065 reviews)
KLM
Good (317 reviews)
Air France
Good (355 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,169 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (2,808 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,119 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (1,022 reviews)
SWISS
Good (407 reviews)
Iberia
Good (773 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (963 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (749 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (236 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (447 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (237 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (83 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (384 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (219 reviews)
Finnair
Good (575 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Los Angeles

Downtown Los Angeles – Home to the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Disney Concert Hall, and the Japanese-American Museum, Downtown is the place to go for cultural activities. It’s also home to Chinatown. Don’t miss the marketplace where tourists are expected to negotiate with stall holders. Other can’t-miss attractions include the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, and the Bradbury Building – a late 19th century office block whose wrought iron stairways are some of the most beautiful in the world.

Popular Districts

Hollywood – A site of pilgrimage for movie fans from across the world, Hollywood includes famous streets like Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood Boulevard, with its walk of fame. Visit Grauman's Chinese Theater, the venue for the Academy Awards, hike to the Hollywood Sign. or catch a show at the Hollywood Bowl. For a trip back in time, head to Jane's House (6541 Hollywood Boulevard), one of the rare survivals from the days before Hollywood was the world’s movie capital.

Westside – One of Los Angeles’ most affluent areas, Westside is a conveniently located, safe district for families to stay in. It also includes famous beaches like Venice, Santa Monica, and Playa del Rey, as well as the Bel Air neighborhood. Attractions include the Getty Museum with its unusual villa architecture and sculpture collection, the amusement park on Santa Monica Pier and the Strand, a promenade that stretches along the bay at Santa Monica.

Most popular hotel in Los Angeles by neighbourhood

Where to stay in popular areas of Los Angeles

Most booked hotels in Los Angeles

Casa Del Mar
Excellent (8.8, Excellent reviews)
€757+
Hampton Inn & Suites Los Angeles Burbank Airport
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
€212+
Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
€178+
Chamberlain West Hollywood
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
€334+
Hotel Erwin
Excellent (8.2, Excellent reviews)
€325+
Hyatt Place Lax El Segundo
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
€173+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Los Angeles

Public Transportation

Getting around Los Angeles by public transit is possible, but not as easy as it could be. Buses have pretty good coverage, but may only serve particular stops every 30 minutes or so, while the Metro doesn’t cover the whole of the inner city. If you do plan to get around by public transportation, get hold of a Metro Pass ($7 for a day, $25 for a week) or a TAP Card that can be recharged (only applies to rail and subway connections). However, Metro passes won’t apply for DASH or FlyAway airport buses, so you will need to buy separate tickets to use those services.

Taxis

Taxis are an excellent way to get around Los Angeles. Expect to pay $2.85 for the meter drop, then $2.70 for every additional mile, as well as $0.30 for every 37 seconds of delays. There’s also a $4 surcharge for all trips that involve the airport. For a cheaper option, you can give Uber a try. Their cheapest cars have no base fare and only charge $0.15 per minute after that, so they can be a good way to save money.

Car

Renting a car is even better than taking taxis for most visitors to LA. You can rent vehicles from major rental companies like Avis, Enterprise, and Budget at LAX and LA’s other airports and the cost can be as little as $20 per day. Gas costs around $3 per gallon in Los Angeles, so factor this into your budget as well.

If you do choose to drive, remember that seat belts are mandatory under California law, right turns on red lights are allowed unless signs indicate the contrary, but pedestrians have right of way at all intersections. Parking in central LA costs around $7 per hour, but it’s cheaper near out of town Metro stations, which may be a better place to leave your vehicle.

The Cost of Living in Los Angeles

Shopping Streets

Los Angeles tends to be cheaper than most large American cities. You’ll probably pay around $20-30 for a medium-range meal, $4.00 for a cappuccino coffee or around $50 for a pair of jeans. There are also plenty of great places to shop for souvenirs and bargains. Beverly Boulevard is packed with boutique clothing, fragrance and furniture stores, with big fashion names like Stella McCartney and Erica Courtney. For works of art and crafts, visit La Brea Avenue. The ornaments at Mortise and Tenon will excite interior design fans, and La Brea Bakery is a wonderful spot to break up your shopping with a snack. Celebrities love to hit the stores on Robertson Boulevard where you’ll find boutiques like Lisa Kline and Kitson. But for the height of LA fashion, head to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, where fans of high-end labels like Missoni, Dolce and Gabbana, and Louis Vuitton hang out.

Groceries and Other

Los Angeles has plenty of department stores like J.C. Penney, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue as well as supermarkets like Ralph’s, Wal-Mart, Albertson’s and Safeway. There are also 7-Eleven convenience stores on every street, so finding places to shop for groceries shouldn’t be hard.

Cheap meal
€15.60
A pair of jeans
€51.00
Single public transport ticket
€1.82
Cappuccino
€4.19