Los Angeles is the capital of the world film industry, the birthplace of Mickey Mouse and Barbie dolls, the City of Angels. There are few ancient monuments of architecture. The sights of Los Angeles are young, but nonetheless will be interesting. Today I’m telling you what you can see in Los Angeles both in a couple of days and in a week.
The content of the article:
Los Angeles sights on a map
What to see in Los Angeles in 1 day
There are not so many central attractions, those that tourists primarily want to see, in the city. So what to see in Los Angeles on the first day?
Hollywood and Walk of Fame
Hollywood, the most famous area of Los Angeles, is located northwest of the city center. It is very crowded. Absolutely all the objects that you see are related to the world of cinema.
The first foundation stones for building a vast empire of the film industry were laid by Colonel William N. Zeling at the beginning of the 20th century. Today, Hollywood includes 19 neighborhoods, hundreds of high-rises, thousands of cafes, souvenir shops and other tourist sites. Here, millions of dollars are earned and spent every day.
Hollywood Walk of Fame is 2,500 five-pointed copper stars mounted on asphalt slabs. This is a long row of sidewalks, occupying several areas of the city. The first slabs were laid in 1958. More than 10 million tourists visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame annually. Since 1978, it is considered a historical cultural monument. Install one star on the Alley costs $ 30 thousand.
Take a walk along the boulevard, find the prints of the hands and feet of your idols! For some reason, we were looking for the star of Bruce Willis))) And we also found the stars of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, Ozzy Osbourne, Marilyn Monroe, Quentin Tarantino, Sting …. Whose star would you like to take a picture of?
By the way, all the central attractions can be seen on the Big Bus Tour buses, they are very popular here. You can buy a ticket online.
Many travel guides include the TCL Chinese Theater, 27 meters high, in the Los Angeles Top Attractions list. It was built in 1927 on Hollywood Boulevard. In a catchy building, premieres of films are often held. The entrance is decorated with two coral red columns with masks. Above the portico you will see a giant Chinese dragon, whose height is 9 m. The building is really noticeable, you will not lose sight of it. In front of the theater is part of the famous Walk of Fame.
Kodak Theater (Dolby)
The Dolby Theater, which opened in 2001, has become a permanent venue for the prestigious Academy Award. The construction and opening of the building took $ 75 million. The Dolby Theater is not as colorful and remarkable as the Chinese Theater. It is decorated in an exquisite art deco style without elaborate decor. Clear lines, light shades, aristocracy and nobility prevail in every detail. Various cultural events, performances, theatrical performances are regularly held here. Of course, the main event of the year is the Oscar. 92 ceremony took place on February 9, 2020. 24 nominations were submitted.
On the eve of the Oscars, part of Hollywood Boulevard was blocked and it was almost impossible to photograph the theater and other attractions.
To visit the Dolby Theater outside of performances is possible only as part of an excursion group. The walk lasts no more than 30 minutes and costs from $ 22 per person.
Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive
The top attractions in Los Angeles include the well-known Beverly Hills area. The whole world learned about it after the screening of the youth television series 90s “Beverly Hills, 90210”.
If you suddenly did not know, then 90210 is not some secret numbers or the number of the house where you lived, one of the heroes is just an index 🙂
We found only one reminder of this series – a bar on Rodeo Drive Street. The menu is unremarkable, except, perhaps, at high prices.
The area is comfortably located between the coast of the ocean and the foothills. Nearby is the international airport. Very wealthy people live in Beverly Hills, a Hollywood bohemia. In fact, this is a city in the city, an ideal place for relaxation and entertainment.
Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills’ most famous shopping street, the epitome of local glamor. Its length is 2 miles (3.2 km). First-class boutiques, spa centers and restaurants are located here. Even if you do not plan to purchase clothes from Giorgio Armani or Roberto Cavalli, take a walk along this street. There is a special atmosphere!
Read also my California Travel Guide
What to see in Los Angeles in 3 days
If you are not traveling in LA, then read what to see in the city in 3 days.
Madame Tussauds museum
Madame Tussauds Los Angeles Museum is located at 6933 Hollywood Blvd. The exhibition includes thousands of life-size celebrity mannequins. Copies are called wax. In fact, this is just a tribute to the great Madame Tussauds – the founder of the first museum complex. With her, mannequins of stars were really made of wax. Modern exhibits are made from plastic polymers. Easy-to-use material helps to achieve 100% similarity with the original.
The Los Angeles Museum is divided into thematic blocks. The first is called “Hollywood Icons.” There you can see the mannequins of Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Elvis Presley and other great actors of the golden age of cinema. In the second block, “Movie Characters”, are the mannequins Whitney Houston, Hugh Jackman, Audrey Hepburn.
The most visited hall is “Cinema Celebrities”. In it, you will find copies of almost all the famous actors of our time – from Salma Hayek to Johnny Depp. Another section, which is always crowded – “Stars of the Musical Olympus”. Many want to touch Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake!
The museum is allowed to take photographs.
Opening hours: Friday to Thursday from 10:00 to 16:00, on Saturday and Sunday – from 9:00 to 22:00.
Ticket to the Tussauds Museum from $ 19.99.
The U.S. film industry brand name on the Hollywood Hills was established in 1923. Its height is 13 m. The Sign was entrusted to the architect Thomas Fisk Goff. She suffered numerous acts of vandalism, restoration, flashed in dozens of films, computer games and commercials. One of the best views of the sign opens from the observation deck of the Griffith Observatory.
One of the world’s best observatories is located on the southern slope of the Hollywood Hills. Its height is 346 m. Opening date is May 1935. The initiator of the construction was entrepreneur Jenkins Griffith. By the way, he dreamed that Cosmos would become accessible to everyone, and everyone could visit the observatory. Admission is free today.
Modern telescopes are installed around the perimeter of the building, with which you can look at celestial bodies. In a separate wing is the planetarium. Samuel Ocean. It hosts a variety of shows every day. Entrance to the planetarium through the South Gallery, in which numerous photos of cosmetic objects are hung. A ticket to the planetarium is not free, unlike the observatory building – from $ 3 to 7.
You can climb the roof. It offers a panorama of the city and a view of the inscription Hollywood. On the ground floor of the building there is a gift shop and cafeteria with a good selection of snacks and drinks. The observatory has its own small parking.
Getting to the sights is most convenient by car or bus. It takes no more than 30 minutes to drive from downtown Los Angeles. You need to take US-101 North to North Vermont Canyon Road. Do not miss the turn on West Observatory Road.
Every day, every 35 minutes, a special bus leaves from Vermont / Sunset metro station to the observatory. A ticket for it will cost you 50 cents. We lived nearby, therefore, this is exactly what we got.
Downtown or business city center.
Downtown is another Los Angeles landmark. Almost all government buildings, business centers, banking structures are located in it, about 1 million people work. You’ll find the business center of the City of Angels in the north of Los Angeles. One of downtown’s vibrant attractions is the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Walt Disney Concert Hall
A large modern concert venue opened in 2003. It was created on the initiative of Walt Disney’s widow, Lillian, who donated $ 50 million to the opening of the complex.
The building itself was built in the architectural style of expressionism. Academic music concerts are constantly held here. In 2003, the Walt Disney Concert Hall hosted the world premiere of The Matrix. Revolution”.
Walk to the concert hall if you have enough time. If time is limited, you should not spend it on this attraction.
The main railway station of the city is called Union Station. It is located in the Koreatown area. Opening date – 1939. Daily passenger traffic – 60 thousand people.
The station is built in the Spanish colonial style. In the interior you can find elements of art deco. Very beautiful marble floor of the building, reminiscent of a huge picture.
Another striking architectural detail of the station is a picturesque courtyard with ancient fountains and sculptures. In the warm season, roses bloom here in abundance.
I’m sure you saw the Union Station, too, even if you’ve never been to Los Angeles. The building became the filming location for the films Pearl Harbor, Catch Me If You Can, and other famous films.
Chinatown is also adjacent to the station. Since we were in the United States at the height of the coronavirus epidemic, we certainly did not go to Chinatown or the train station.
Ethnic neighborhoods of Los Angeles.
In Los Angeles, ethnic divisions are clearly visible. Little Armenia Quarter is located in East Hollywood. Little Tokyo is in the center of the City of Angels (they say you can try real Japanese sushi here!). You will find the Thailand Quarter in western Hollywood. Chinese – next to Union Station.
The area in which our compatriots live in large numbers is called Little Russia. It is located in East Hollywood. The first settlers were Jews who settled here in 1970-1980.
In this quarter, stores bear Russian names, and native speech is heard everywhere. By the way, finding a store in Los Angeles with your favorite products from Russians is problematic. If you suddenly want pasties or bagels for tea, you have to go to Little Russia.
Funicular Angels Flight
This is the oldest funicular and the shortest railway in the city. The name translated from English means “Flight of Angels.” The length of the funicular is 91 m. It was opened in 1901. In October 2000, the building was added to the list of US historical monuments.
The Angels Flight Funicular is located at 351 South Hill Street. It is near the Pershing Square subway station (red and purple lines), the very center of the city. You can ride it with a breeze any day from 6:45 to 22:00. Directions – $ 1.
US Bank Tower skyscraper and OUE Skyspace observation deck
The highest observation deck (300 m) not only in the city but also in the entire state of California is located on the 69th and 70th floors of the US Bank Tower. It was opened at the end of June 2016. From here, a 360-degree view of the City of Angels opens. There is a good bar. Order coffee and enjoy the views!
And it’s the “same” observation deck where you can slide down a glass slide.
OUE Skyspace address: West 5th Street, 633. You can get to the observation deck by several types of public transport:
- purple and red metro lines, 7 th Street or Pershing Square stations ;
- bus routes No. 16, 18, 55, 316, 720 (stop 5 th Grand).
For an entrance ticket to the observation deck for a visitor from 3 to 12 years, pay from $ 18. Adult ticket – from $ 21. Children under 3 years old have free admission.
Viewing + glass slide – from $ 28 for an adult and from $ 24 for a child.
Opening hours: every day from 10:00 to 22:00. The last ticket is purchased no later than 21:00.
What to see in Los Angeles in 4-5 days
Does your trip to Los Angeles last from 4 to 5 days? Then write down what other attractions are worth seeing!
Santa Monica (Los Angeles) is a coastal town located west of the center of the City of Angels. The distance between them is 14 km.
The first mention of the place dates back to the middle of the XVIII century. People come here for a couple of days for an intellectual or fun night out. Santa Monica has several good museums, movie theaters, dozens of British and Irish pubs. On the city beach, you can soak up the warm California sun. The sandy coast is perfectly equipped, clean.
Santa Monica’s business card is a wooden pier extending into the ocean. This is where the famous Route 66 ends, there is a Ferris wheel (40 meters in height) – the only solar powered car in the world, souvenir shops, cafes and the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurant (a chain of restaurants across America decorated in the style of the Forrest Gump movie) .
Popular in America, the Babba Gump chain (seafood restaurant):
Here are some pages from the menu.
Such a lunch cost us about $ 60.
Venice Beach is a picturesque (and very specific) LA area that is half an hour from the center. There you will find:
- the beach;
- the embankment;
- play and sports grounds.
The coastline stretches for 4.8 km. The beach is excellent – clean, well-equipped, with fine gray sand. The entrance to the water is smooth, no stones or debris. In summer, you can rent sunbeds and umbrellas ($ 10 per day).
Venice Ocean Front Walk is a crowded and noisy place. Fortunetellers, magicians, street artists work on it. On weekends, large-scale celebrations are held with live music and dancing. Along the promenade are dozens of souvenir shops, cafes, tattoo parlors.
And here you will see the stinky shelters of homeless people, stoned blacks, guys in fur coats and shales, strange people of different nationalities, beggars who, having washed themselves in the beach shower, dry their clothes, buried in the sand ….
At the same time, around the beach there are bicycle paths, exercise machines, tennis and volleyball courts. They say that many NBA stars began their careers at local basketball courts. And I sincerely believe in this.
In the first half of the 20th century, American businessman Abbott Kinney wanted to make his own Venice in Los Angeles. The place I chose was suitable – the swamps of Santa Monica. They dug channels 26 km long. Gondoliers floated along the canals, and an amusement park was set up nearby.
However, such a project had unpleasant consequences for the city – a decrease in the water supply. The main channels had to fall asleep. The remaining 5 canals became the basis for the construction of a prestigious expensive area. Today in the American Venice live mainly artists, poets, musicians. There are no identical houses here, everyone wants to “outdo” a neighbor.
The area is modern, clean with pedestrian paths, bridges, roads for cars. Hundreds of ducks swim in the canals. Palm trees and flowers grow everywhere. An interesting place, but, of course, he is sooooo far from Venice.
Abbott Kinney Boulevard
In the southern part of American Venice, authentic restaurants, souvenir shops, and galleries stand next to each other. They stretched more than a mile (1.6 km). The boulevard, named after the founder of the canals, attracts creative people. The architecture is noticeable. Many buildings are hand-painted by street artists. The place is really nice, the shops are interesting, but you need to know what exactly you want to buy.
Universal Studios is the oldest active film studio in the United States. In addition to the filming pavilions, there is a magnificent amusement park for adults and children.
We were already in Japan at the Universal Studios, California Park is very similar to Japanese, but Japanese seemed to me much cooler – the attractions are more modern, more interesting shops with souvenirs and food.
But in California there is something that is not in Japan – a tour of a real film studio, the very one where they shoot all the films we know with the Universal screensaver.
The tour starts every 15 minutes, takes place in English (there seems to be one session in Spanish) and lasts about an hour.
During the tour show pavilions, scenery.
And sometimes entertained with rides – then dinosaurs attack, then a shark, then a man with a knife runs after the bus)))
From the attractions I liked:
- The Simpsons (a virtual attraction where you dive into Springfield)
- The magical world of Harry Potter (this, of course, is the coolest attraction in California and Japan)
- Transformers (similar to the Spider-Man ride in a Japanese park).
Minions here disappointed. Apparently, the old attraction: as in a movie theater in the hall there are about 50 people and chairs simply move, and you don’t plunge into the picture, but you see all the visitors.
I still didn’t like the mummy, it pulled very hard there, my head ached a lot after it.
The amusement park is open for visitors daily from 9:00 to 22:00 in the summer, in winter – until 18: 0 (sometimes until 19 or 20). Full-Day Ticket – From $ 139. When buying online, the discount is $ 30. Official Website: universalstudioshollywood.com
In season, it might be worth taking Universal Express to avoid standing in line for 2-3 hours. But in February we stood in line – a maximum of 30 minutes and managed to ride all the rides several times and left even before the park closed.
We traveled along the red metro line to Universal City station, then across the bridge and to the free shuttle stop. The park is about 1.5 km, you can walk, but the road goes uphill. Transfers go often (like every 15 minutes), there are a lot of places.
It was in California that the first amusement park of The Walt Disney Company was opened. This significant event happened in July 1955. Disneyland is located not in Los Angeles itself, but in Anaheim, 35 km from the City of Angels.
The complex includes 8 thematic areas, 60 attractions, dozens of cafes, bars and gift shops. Daily ticket for one person – $ 117.
Warner Brothers Studio
Another iconic Hollywood movie studio and the next attraction that I want to talk about. It was founded in 1918 by four brothers named Warner. Over the years of its existence, the studio has presented the world with hundreds of world cinema masterpieces: Devil’s Advocate, Troy, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and other paintings. The Warner Bros. territory hosts interesting excursions in Los Angeles, lasting from 2 to 5 hours. They include a visit to the scenery museum, the most famous film pavilions. During the walk you will learn about the process of making films. You can’t make videos here, take pictures only in specially designated places. You can buy tickets online. The cost of the tour is from $ 69.
If you are in the city for 3-5 days, then be sure to choose one of the three studios to visit!
One of the main streets of the city with a length of 36 km. It originates from Figueroa Street, goes through the areas of Hollywood, Brentwood, Holby Hills and ends near the Pacific Highway. Here there is an abundance of music salons, nightclubs, restaurants, where the local elite gathers. Especially beautiful is the boulevard at sunset. Many guidebooks recommend driving along it in a gig at sunset – very romantic! Ironically, taking a rental car, we drove to the apartments along Sunset Boulevard and at sunset time. Only now not on a convertible, but on a huge American van))) It was funny.
Reed also “My US West Coast Road trip”
What to see in Los Angeles in a week
If you decide to stay in the city for a week, the list of attractions that are required to visit is greatly expanded.
Mile of Wonders
It is part of Wilshire City Boulevard in downtown Los Angeles. The length of Miles of Miracles is 2.4 km. It is filled with boutiques, entertainment complexes, theaters. There are also paleontological and art museums.
The scenic Westwood area is located in the northwest of the city. It began to be built in 1919. Here is the prestigious University of California Los Angeles, excellent movie theaters and restaurants. Suitable area for an interesting evening! Stayed here for one night at the Hotel Plaza La Reina ($ 300 a night) on the night before flying home. Indeed a very pleasant area. There is also a cinema where they shot the scene of the movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, where the heroine Margot Robbie came to the film premiere of her film.
La Brea Ranch
La Brea Ranch is another answer to the question “What to see in Los Angeles in a week”. Numerous remains of animals and birds of the Late Pleistocene period were found here. There is a museum in the ranch territory where you can see the main finds. The adult admission ticket is $ 12.
Los Angeles Zoo
Be sure to visit the local zoo if you relax in the city with the children! It was opened in 1912. It covers an area of 54 hectares. The zoo is divided into zones. Thousands of animals and birds live here. The territory is very beautiful, well-groomed, with exotic plants and gazebos for relaxation.
The zoo is open every day from 10:00 to 17:00. For an adult admission ticket pay $ 21, children – $ 16.
Petersen Automobile Museum
On Wilshire Boulevard there is an interesting museum that motorists will definitely like. It occupies 4 floors. On the ground floor there is a collection telling about the history of the automotive industry. On the second – an exhibition of cars from famous films. The third floor is dedicated to vehicles invented for children. Fourth floor – office space.
A souvenir shop and cafe are located at the exit of the museum. A ticket for an adult – $ 16, a child (4-17 years old) – $ 11, a visitor to the older generation (from 62 years old) – $ 14.
Museum of Natural History
Museums in Los Angeles are numerous and loved by travelers. The museum’s collection of natural history includes 35 million exhibits telling about the history of our planet. Of particular interest to visitors are the hall with magical items found around the world, and the hall with dinosaurs. The museum has seasonal exhibits – Pavilions of butterflies and spiders.
Opening hours: from 9:30 to 17:00. Ticket – $ 14.
Museum of Art
In this museum of Los Angeles you will find 15 thousand paintings, sculptures, photographs and prints from ancient times to the present day. They were distributed across dozens of buildings. Come on weekdays from 11:00 to 17:00 (Friday to 20:00), on weekends – from 10:00 to 19:00. Wednesday is a day off. Ticket – $ 20.
This is a huge museum complex created with the help of the trust fund of industrialist Paul Getty. There are two institutes in the territory, a shop, a cafeteria, a museum of European and Western art. Between the buildings there are beautiful gardens and recreation areas. The Getty Museum in Los Angeles will appeal to lovers of painting and simply curious tourists who want to broaden their horizons. Free admission.
California Science Center
This is wonderful and free to visit the science center, which studies space, aviation, modern technology, organizes summer camps and extracurricular activities for students. Opening date – 1951. In 1998, a large-scale reconstruction was carried out. The collection has a unique shuttle Endeavor, which flew into space 25 times. It is exhibited in a separate pavilion.
The building of the California Science Center itself looks unusual. It includes two structures: one is round, and the second is rectangular with a glass roof in the shape of a triangle. In the courtyard there are original stone structures in the form of different animals and planets.
On the territory of the complex there is a cinema with a screen as a three-story building, where short scientific paintings are shown. If you want to watch a movie, get ready to pay $ 8 per session. For a bite to eat, guests can check out a good restaurant located here.
As you can see, most of the attractions of the City of Angels are concentrated in the world of cinema. I do not even mean the Hollywood area, the inscription on the hills or the Walk of Fame. They didn’t forget to add cars from famous films to the Petersen Automobile Museum in Los Angeles, and they turned Universal Studio into a luxury amusement park. Los Angeles is an interesting city, but I personally liked San Francisco much more!