Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Source: ©S.Greg Panosian from Getty Images via Canva.com

Welcome to Los Angeles

We take you through a city that can be described as one of the world's most important cultural, entertainment, and economic centers. Los Angeles is a place where exceptional film and music achievements are made, and where the most modern airplanes and aircraft are created. All this shows that this city is a tourist destination, which must be on the list of places you must visit. To make it easier for you to decide on a trip, we have selected all the information about the city's facilities and attractions, tours through Los Angeles, vacation spots, restaurants, and accommodation units. Embark on a digital adventure through California and get ready for the perfect tourist experience.

Los Angeles Attractions

The most important information about Los Angeles

Los Angeles is known as the City of Angels, and it is a popular tourist destination. Here is the most important information about this glamorous city.
  • History of Los Angeles - Los Angeles was founded on September 4, 1781, but that area was home to the Chumash and Tongva, Native American people before that. It became part of the United States along with California in 1848, after the Mexican-American War ended. During the 1890s, oil was found and that’s why the city started to grow rapidly. Today, it is the largest city in California, and second-largest in the USA and the home of the entertainment industry.
  • Geography and time zone - Los Angeles covers a total area of 1,302 square kilometers and it is both flat and hilly, with the highest point being Mount Lukens at 1,547 m. The primary drainage channel is the Los Angeles River that was straightened and lined in 82 km of concrete. There is also a smaller creek, Ballona Creek, that flows into the Santa Monica Bay. The city is subject to earthquakes because of its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire. The time zone in LA is Pacific Standard Time Zone, GMT -8.
  • Climate - Los Angeles has a Mediterranean climate. The average temperature during winter is 20 °C, and the city has an average of only 35 days with measurable precipitation annually. Different parts of the city have different temperatures because of their microclimates even though they are close to each other.
  • Demography - Los Angeles is the second most populated city in the USA, with a population of 3,983,540. California is one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the USA. Over half of the population in LA is White, with 25.9% of them being Non-Hispanic White, over 11% of the habitats are Asian, and almost 9% are Black or African American. The largest ethnic group of Latinos in LA are Mexicans, followed by Salvadorans and Guatemalans. The largest Asian ethnic groups are Filipinos and Koreans.
  • Tradition and culture - What is Los Angeles unique for? - Los Angeles is known as the entertainment capital of the world. It also has more than 100 museums, and it is the only city in North America to have hosted the Summer Olympics twice. Los Angeles is the home of the rich and famous, Hollywood, major entertainment companies. This city is also renowned as ethnically diverse.

City Travel Tips for Los Angeles

If you’re traveling to LA for the first time, here are some details and tips to make your stay more enjoyable:
  • Official Language and other languages spoken - The official language in the USA is English. There are 224 other languages spoken in Los Angeles. The most common ones are Spanish, which is also a widely spoken first language in LA, Korean, Filipino, Armenian, Chinese, and Persian.
  • Entering the city: Procedures and requirements - You don’t need anything to enter LA. Still, you do need a valid passport for six months after your travel dates, a visitor visa for tourism or business, or an Electronic System for Travel Authorization to enter the United States of America.
  • Money Tips - Currency - Local currency in LA is the U.S. dollar ($). The cheapest month to fly to Los Angeles is September, and you should see the flight to other airports, not just LAX. Consider using Uber or Lyft since they are cheaper than taxis, but the most affordable option is public transport. You can save money by eating from food trucks or fast-food restaurants. Many of the museums are free or have free days. The average price of a 7-day trip to Los Angeles is $1,984 for a solo traveler.
Emergency Numbers
  • Country Dialing Code Prefix - The international country dialing code prefix for the USA is +1.
  • Police, fire or paramedic emergencies: 911.
  • Non-emergency City services: 311
Useful apps, free travel map - These apps can help you make the best out of your trip to Los Angeles:
  • Google maps - this app is the best way of navigating Los Angeles. It also contains information on public transportation, and you can download the map of the whole city and use it offline.
  • Ridesharing apps - Uber or Lyft are cheaper than taxis, and they will get you wherever you want to go.
  • Yelp - this app will help you decide where you want to eat or where you want to go based on the reviews from other customers. You can also make a reservation, see the prices and more,
  • Discover Los Angeles - this app offers curated experiences categorized by interest. You can use the app to find parks, tours, hiking tracks, or the top spots in town.

When to visit Los Angeles?

The best time to visit Los Angeles is from March to May and between September and November because it’s not as hot and there are not that many tourists. If you are a hot water lover, you need to go to LA in July. 

How to get to Los Angeles?

Getting to the city by:
  • Plane - the main airport in LA is Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Other major airports are Long Beach Airport, Hollywood Burbank Airport, John Wayne Airport and Ontario International Airport. Every major airline is flying to LA.
  • Train - the central railway station in LA is Los Angeles Union Station. It is the western terminus for four of Amtrak’s long-distance trains: Coast Starlight, to Seattle, Southwest Chief, to Chicago, Sunset Limited, to New Orleans, and Texas Eagle, to Chicago.
  • Bus - the main bus station in LA is Los Angeles Bus Station and Greyhound operates from there. You can get to many major cities in the USA, like Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego, and Phoenix.
  • Car - highways that go to LA are 5, 10, 15 and 40.

Activities for tourists in Los Angeles

Los Angeles offers plenty of things for tourists, from tours and sights to shopping and festivals. Here are some of them:
Best tours - Tours are the best way to get to know Los Angeles and its secrets. Some of the best are:
  • Full-Day Iconic Sights of LA, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Beaches, and More - on this tour, you will see LA's top attractions in just one day. You’ll hear the insider knowledge of the sights from your guide, all while being driven to those spots in an air-conditioned coach. The price of this tour is $94 and you can book your ticket on the A Day in LA Tours website.
  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood - on this tour, you’ll get to see where the movies in Hollywood are made with one of the studio’s expert Tour Guides. You can also dine in the expanded Central Perk Cafe and shop in Friends Boutique. You will also be able to see the recreated sets from the DC Universe and Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts sets. The ticket price is $69, and you can book it on the Warner Bros. Studio website.
  • Hollywood and Celebrity Homes Bus Tour - on this 2-hour tour, you’ll get to see the top attractions in Hollywood on an open-air bus. The guide will point out celebrity homes you might miss if traveling on your own. The tour has multiple start times during the day. The ticket price is $39, and you can book it on Hollywood City Tours website.
Best Shopping - Los Angeles has shopping for everyone’s pocket and style. Some of the best places to shop are:
  • Robertson Boulevard - located in West Hollywood, this neighborhood is best for a shopping spree. It has high-end stores like Chanel, Mac, and Vince and cafes and restaurants like the Newsroom and Ivy.
  • The Grove - one of the best Los Angeles shopping outlets in California where you can find clothing, cosmetics, and accessories. You can also eat or watch a movie or see an event in the complex.
  • Melrose Avenue - this neighborhood in Beverly Hills is known for its swanky and funky taste. Here you can get arts, antiques, clothing, accessories, or cosmetics. This avenue is known for its boutiques with unique clothing items and is harder to find in other stores.
Events and festivals - There are so many events and festivals happening in Los Angeles every year. Some of them are:
  • L.A. Film Festival - a festival that takes place in June at Regal Cinemas downtown and has free screenings, world premiers and panels with stars. You can see independent films, series and episodic work from different filmmakers, and it is a powerful platform for independent artists and their work.
  • Fiesta Broadway Cinco de Mayo Festival - a celebration of Latin-American culture that takes place in April on Broadway. There are a lot of performances and locally made food. You can hear mariachi bands or the hottest up-and-coming Mexican artists, and you can taste the food from the food trucks.
  • Tournament of Roses Parade - a parade featuring floral floats that takes place in January at the Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena. There are marching bands, dancers, and many floats decorated only with natural materials like flowers.
  • Hollywood Christmas Parade - a parade that is held the Sunday after Thanksgiving and that has a variety of Hollywood figures, floats and famous movie vehicles.
  • Moonlight Forest - this event is open from November to January in the Los Angeles County Arboretum. You can walk through the tunnels of lights, including under the lanterns made by artisans from China.

Tourist attractions in Los Angeles?

Los Angeles is one of the most popular US travel destinations, and it has a lot of attractions you shouldn’t miss visiting. Some of them are iconic, and some are hidden gems.
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art - a visual arts museum that has a collection of Japanese arts, modern and contemporary arts, paintings, photography, textiles, and Islamic arts. It is the largest art museum in the West and it has a collection of more than 147,000 objects that illuminate 6,000 years of artistic expression across the globe. The museum is open on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 11 am to 6 pm, on Friday from 11 am to 8 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm. It is always closed on Wednesdays, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. The ticket price for adults is $25, and for youth and teens, it’s $10.
  • Disneyland Park - an amusement park with 8 themed lands. It was the first Disney themed park that opened in 1955. In this original Theme Park you can meet various Disney Characters and enjoy rides and attractions. The park is usually open from 8 am to midnight. The ticket prices differ based on the date and how many days you want to go. You can check out the tickets on the website of Disneyland.
  • The Getty - a campus of the Getty Museum and other programs of the Getty Trust. It is well known for its architecture, gardens, and views of Los Angeles. It is located in the Brentwood neighborhood. The Center features pre-20th century European paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts, as well as photographs from the 1830s through present-day from all over the world. There is also a library and access to free research tools. The Center is open from 10 am to 5:30 pm, and it’s closed on Mondays. Admission is free.
  • Universal Studios Hollywood - a film studio and theme park. There are rides, attractions, shops, restaurants, entertainment, events and seasonal activities, and more. You can visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Super Silly Fun Land, Jurassic World, and more. Opening hours of the park differ, and you can check that on their website, as well as book tickets and passes. Prices go from $104 to $349.
  • Santa Monica Pier - a large double-jointed pier at the foot of Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica. There is a small amusement park, concession stands, and areas for views and fishing. It features the world's only solar-powered Ferris wheel, the Pacific wheel. There are a lot of food stands where you can eat Mexican food, hot dogs, Japanese-style foods, seafood, and more.
  • Griffith Observatory - an observatory that has telescopes and amazing city views of Los Angeles. It is located on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park. You can also see the Hollywood Sign closely from this observatory. Since its opening, admission has been free. You can look through telescopes, explore exhibits, and see live shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. The observatory is open on Fridays from 12 pm to 10 pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 10 pm.
  • Hollywood Sign - an American landmark and cultural icon on Mount Lee that was created in 1923. It is one of the world’s most famous monuments and it has been featured in many TV series, films and media. It is actually illegal to get close to the sign protected by gates, security cameras, and Park Rangers. You can hike to the sign or see it from Hollywood and Highland, the Griffith Observatory, and Hollywood Bowl Overlook on Mulholland Drive.
  • The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical - a cultural center that features galleries and gardens located in San Marino. It has a library, an art collection focusing on 18th and 19th-century European art and 17th to mid-20th-century American art, and 120 acres of specialized botanical landscaped gardens. The most notable gardens are the Japanese Garden, the Desert Garden, and the Chinese Garden. The center is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, except on Tuesday when it’s closed. The admission for adults is $25 on weekdays and $29 on weekends, for youth aged from 4 to 11 it’s $13, and for children under four it’s free. You can book your ticket on the Huntington website.
  • The Broad - a contemporary art museum on Grand Avenue that offers free general admissions and an active program of rotating exhibitions. It contains collections from artists like Andy Warhol, Christopher Wool, Cecily Brown, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and more. The museum is open from Wednesday to Friday from 11 am to 5 pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm. Some exhibitions and events in the museum carry a separate charge, and you can book your tickets on the Broad website.
  • Walt Disney Concert Hall - the fourth hall of the Los Angeles Music Center located on South Grand Avenue. It is home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. You can listen to classical music, contemporary music, world music, and jazz in this concert hall. You can see the calendar of events that are taking place here on the website of the LA Philharmonic orchestra, as well as buy tickets for them and for the venue tour and exhibits. The tours run daily from 10 am to 3 pm.

Accommodation in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a big city, so you need to choose carefully where you want to stay. If you’re coming to LA for the first time, Hollywood is probably the best area where you can feel the authentic vibe of the city. Venice beach is good if you want to stay in LA on a budget. Downtown L.A. is best if you’re looking for an incredible nightlife, and Santa Monica is a place if you’re traveling with a family.
  • Hotels - Los Angeles has plenty of hotels for all budgets. Luxury hotels in Hollywood go for $150 and up, while in Venice Beach and Downtown L.A. they go for $160 and up. The most expensive luxury hotels are in Santa Monica, where the prices are from $220 and up, while in West Hollywood they go even higher, from $250 and up. Some of the middle-priced hotels are Best Western Plus Hollywood Hills Hotel in Hollywood, Venice Breeze Suites in Venice Beach, and American Hotel in Downtown L.A.
  • Rooms and Apartments - L.A. has apartments and holiday homes for rent, as well as hotel or serviced apartments where they have some hotel facilities. You can check out the places on Airbnb, where you can find places like Private Studio near the Hollywood Sign and enjoy the best location for exploring Hollywood.
  • Hostels and budget accommodation - Budgeted hostels and motels can go even up to $150 depending on the location. The cheapest ones are in Hollywood and Venice Beach where the prices go only up to $50. You should check out Banana Bungalow Hollywood and USA Hostels Hollywood, and Samesun Venice Beach and the Venice Beach Hostel.

Best restaurants in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is known for its dining scene, and there are both new and decades-old food stands that you can enjoy, with cuisines from different parts of the world.
Where to eat - Plenty of restaurants have their characteristic dishes, so it would be hard just to name a few places to eat. Los Angeles also has a lot of street food stands where you can try some of the best tacos. Some of the classical LA dishes are:
  •  Strawberry donut from The Donut Man that was founded in 1972 on historic Route 66, chicken and waffles from Roscoe’s, French Dip sandwich from Philippe the Original in Chinatown, Dodger Dog from the Dodger Stadium, Original #19 from Langer’s Deli in Alvarado, and much more. 
Where to go out - Los Angeles is also known for its nightlife. If you plan on going out, take a cab, Uber or Lyft because LA is not best for walking. The neighborhoods in Los Angeles that have best nightlife are:
  • West Hollywood - a place for the young and restless that has a wild music scene and amazing cocktails. You should check out The Abbey, 1 OAK, CATCH, Skybar, or Troubadour.
  • Hermosa Beach - a neighborhood with laid back surfer bars and hangouts, hip clubs and live music venues. The most popular spots are located near the pier, and some of the best are Baja Sharkeez, Patrick Malloys Irish pub, The Lighthouse, and Sainte Rock.
  • Venice - an area that has open-air bars and characteristic SoCal lounges. At the Abbot Kinney Boulevard you can find great eclectic venues, a jazz lounge, art studios, and a wine bar.
  • Downtown L.A. - this area has every kind of nightlife: salsa dancing clubs, art gallery lounges, arcade-themed bars, and more. Visit Conga Room, L.A. Live, Exchange LA, or Crocker Club.

Public transport in Los Angeles

The main public transportation agency in LA is the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA), also known as Metro. The mass transit in Los Angeles includes buses, metro rail, and light rail. The regular fare is $1.75 and it can be paid using cash or a TAP card, a reloadable fare card that is valid for travel with 25 transit agencies across LA County. You can find the maps and schedules for every form of public transport on the Metro website.
  • Buses - Bus lines connect all the major parts of the Los Angeles area, but some run just two-three times an hour. There are also express buses that cover relatively large distances, and they are blue. Local buses are orange, while rapid buses are red.
  • Metro - The metro system in Los Angeles has two subway lines and four light rail lines. The system covers most of the main tourist hot spots, such as Hollywood, Universal Studios, Santa Monica and downtown.
  • Cycling - Even though the weather is nice most of the time and there are flat streets throughout the city, Los Angeles is not safe for cycling because of the motor vehicles and the roads that are bad. But if you want to have a bike ride, there are some tracks that are car-free or have light traffic. Some of them are Ballona Creek Bike Path, Marvin Braude/Pacific Coast Bike Path, and Griffith Park.
  • Taxi - Taxis in LA aren’t expensive and there are plenty of them. The average flag drop rate is $ 2.85. There are also shuttles and town car services. Some of the best are Go Ride, Flat Rate Car Service, LA Taxi Express, and Taxi Yellow Cab.

Frequently asked questions about Los Angeles

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The most important information before going to Los Angeles?