This list of the best places to visit in Los Angeles will help you plan a trip to the city of dreams , making the most of your time.
Known for being the second largest city in the United States, Los Angeles also stands out for being the mecca of the Hollywood film industry, and although it is not exactly a city that catches you at first sight like New York or San Francisco, we believe it deserves It is worth spending a few days on a trip to the West Coast of the United States to at least get closer to it and discover the reasons why some travelers get stuck.
And we cannot forget that in addition to its endless offer of leisure, culture and restaurants, it has extensive beaches bathed by the Pacific, ideal for spending a few days relaxing and having fun.
Although if you visit it within a route along the West Coast, it is best to continue moving with a rental car, in case you only visit the city, you can also use public transport such as the bus or the subway, which reach all points of interest.
Best places for Tourists in Los Angeles
Walk of Fame
Looking for the star of your favorite actor or artist on the floor of the Hollywood Walk of Fame or Walk of Fame is one of the best things to do in Los Angeles.
One of the most popular places on this walk is in front of the Grauman Chinese Theatre, where you can place your hands or feet in the footprints of many of Hollywood’s biggest stars and feel like one of them for a few moments.
Even if you are lucky on the day chosen for your visit, you may coincide with a Hollywood star since in this theater with a facade that represents a Chinese pagoda, movie premieres are held, which are attended on many occasions by its protagonists.
This promenade, located on a part of the popular Hollywood Boulevard, is one of the liveliest areas of the city throughout the day, where it will not be unusual to come across people dressed as superheroes or imitators of some famous character.
Other places that you cannot miss is the Kodak Theatre, famous throughout the world for being the place where the Oscar Awards are presented every year, and the Hollywood History Museum, full of objects from movies and mythical settings such as Hannibal Lecter’s jail cell.
If you are a lover of shopping, you can also go to Hollywood and Highland, an entertainment area with many shops and a vantage point with good views of the Hollywood sign.
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Santa Monica, one of the places to visit in Los Angeles
Santa Monica is one of our favorite areas and another of the most essential places to visit in Los Angeles . This neighborhood stands out for its large promenade facing the Pacific Ocean, its beaches and its sports and multicultural atmosphere.
Also, located next to the Santa Monica Pier, is one of the amusement parks that has appeared in more movies, the old Pacific Park.
The best time to approach the pier is at sunset, the perfect time to watch the sunset or ride the park’s big Ferris wheel for one of the best views in Los Angeles.
You can walk and enjoy the atmosphere of the boardwalk (Ocean Drive), starting with Santa Monica Beach, famous for appearing in the legendary television series Baywatch , to finish in Venice Beach, full of surfers, original shops and street artists.
In Venice Beach, in addition to a nice area of canals, there is Muscle Beach , which has an open-air gym where you can see bodybuilders train and where Arnold Schwarzenegger was a regular. Also don’t forget to take a photo in front of the sign that marks the end of the iconic Route 66.
If you want to go shopping or have a drink, you can go to the Third Street Promenade pedestrian street, with a multitude of clothing stores from brands from all over the world.
This area also has an extensive restaurant offer with some of the best restaurants to eat in Los Angeles at a good price, such as the True Food Kitchen, the Big Deans Oceanfront Cafe and the Pier Burguer.
A good option to reach places further from the center such as Santa Monica is to book the Los Angeles tourist bus that stops at all the points of interest in the city or take this tour of the best beaches in California.
Downtown Los Angeles
Downtown, the financial area of the city in which skyscrapers and activity during weekdays are the order of the day, is another of the most essential places to see in Los Angeles .
Its most emblematic building is the City Hall, which has appeared in several films such as Spiderman and was the first skyscraper in the city, in addition to which it can be visited for free and has an incredible viewpoint on the 29th floor.
Other places that are worth visiting Downtown are the spectacular building of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, the Music Center or the Plaza Olvera, of Spanish heritage.
After these visits you can walk the Gran Avenue, inspired by the Champs Elysées in Paris, passing by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (MOCA), the beautiful bookstore The Last Bookstores and the US Bank Tower, the cover of the movie Independence Day. , until you reach the Staples Center.
The Los Angeles Lakers play in this stadium and for us being able to see NBA stars play like the ill-fated Kobe Bryant was one of the best experiences of the entire trip. We recommend you book tickets well in advance from this page.
If you arrive early, you can go to the Santee Alley area, known as the Fashion District, made up of a labyrinth of streets full of clothing stores and all kinds of items where you can find real bargains.
If this is your first visit to the city, a highly recommended option to learn about the history of this neighborhood and all the most outstanding places in Los Angeles is to book this tour with a guide in Spanish.
City Hall visiting hours: Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.
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Going up to the Griffith Observatory at sunset, located on top of a hill in South Hollywood, to see the sun set and the city illuminated at night is another of the best things to do in Los Angeles.
In addition to the best views of Los Angeles, this observatory is next to a large park perfect for walking, hiking and, above all, disconnecting from the hustle and bustle of the city.
At the observatory you can also visit the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, one of the most advanced in the world where you can observe stars and constellations.
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Beverly Hills, one of the places to see in Los Angeles
Beverly Hills, famous for its large mansions where movie stars, music stars and millionaires live, is another place to visit in Los Angeles.
This district located at the foot of the Santa Monica Mountains, has become an exclusive area in which one of its attractions is to take this tour of the homes of movie stars and music that passes through the hills of Hollywood and Mulholland Drive. During the excursion you can see the mansions of stars such as Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage, David and Victoria Beckham or the former homes of Michael Jackson, Richard Gere, Madonna, Frank Sinatra or Elvis Presley.
Another of the most famous places in Beverly Hills and what to see in Los Angeles is Rodeo Drive, an avenue full of luxury shops where the rich and famous go to buy and where you can walk, feeling like a real star. Remember that if you see a luxury car or a limousine parked in front of a store, a celebrity may come out in a few minutes. We warned you!
After so much glamour, we advise you to eat on Cañón Drive and take a photo in front of the Beverly Hills sign.
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The Chinatown neighborhood, located near Downtown, is another of the liveliest and most interesting places in Los Angeles.
The Chinese community settled in Los Angeles in the 19th century, first in the Union Station area and later moving to its current location next to the historic district.
The best way to discover the neighborhood is to start in the central square, with great activity throughout the day, and walk along Chung King Street, full of art galleries and a hippie atmosphere. The visit to the Thien Hau temple, the most famous in the city, and the Chinese-American museum, will help you better understand the religion, history and culture of this community.
No one leaves Los Angeles without taking a picture of the legendary Hollywood Sign, located on Mount Lee Hill. This huge sign with the white letters of the word Hollywood , which has appeared in many movies, we could say without fear of being wrong, that it is the great icon of Los Angeles.
Created in 1923 as part of a publicity campaign, it has suffered several damages due to acts of vandalism, for which access is restricted and it is protected by a fence that surrounds it. In addition, several residents, tired of tourists, have put up false signs indicating that their street does not lead to the Hollywood cartel.
Despite all these inconveniences, you can take good photos from a distance from the intersection of Franklin Street and N Beachwood Drive, although if you want to get closer you can go up Beachwood Drive to a sign advertising horseback riding tours in the Hollywood Hills . In one hour you will be behind the letters with incredible views of Los Angeles.
Other easy options to see the sign are the points Lake Hollywood Park and the Deronda Gate.
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This neighborhood from the beginning of the 20th century is a small paradise for fans of the culture and gastronomy of the country of the rising sun.
During a walk through Little Tokyo you can find shops with original articles from Japan, open-air karaoke bars, Buddhist temples such as Koyasan, the James Irvine garden with the typical beauty of Japanese gardens and, above all, restaurants to try its delicious cuisine. As an anecdote we will tell you that they say that it is here, in this neighborhood, where the famous California Rolls were created.
To learn more about the history of this community and its mark on the city, we recommend you visit the Japanese American Museum, which remembers how the Japanese were transferred to confined areas during World War II.
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La Brea Tar Pits
La Brea Tar Pits, a group of tar pits that have become one of the most important fossil beds in the world, is one of the most curious places to see in Los Angeles.
For thousands of years the tar or pitch has been filtering from the ground trapping animals and perfectly preserving their bones such as those of mammoths, American lions, ground sloths, short-faced bears and even a saber-toothed cat.
A few meters from the La Brea Tar Pits is the Petersen Museum which has a collection of 250 vehicles ranging from the early 20th century to the latest sports cars.
After both visits you can go to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), one of the most important art museums in the city that has a collection of paintings by great masters such as Picasso and has some photogenic street lamps outside.
Although if you are a big fan of art, we advise you to drive to the Getty Center, a huge complex located in the middle of the Santa Monica mountains and with some of the best works in art history.
Visiting hours: Wednesday to Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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Another of the best things to do in Los Angeles is to take the car and drive along the coastal road that leads to Malibu, a perfect area to spend a relaxing morning or have fun surfing.
In addition to enjoying its kilometer-long beaches surrounded by a fantastic natural environment, you can see its wooden houses on the seafront where the rich and famous of Los Angeles take refuge.
Among its most popular beaches is Zuma Beach and if you prefer tranquility, you have Point Dume State, more difficult to access and with a more beautiful natural environment.
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Sunset Strip, with a dangerous past related to the mafia and gangsters, is today a place with a great leisure offer full of nightclubs, restaurants, malls, shops and our latest proposal of places to visit in Los Angeles.
Located on a 2-mile stretch of Sunset Boulevard, it has several mythical places such as The Roxy and Wiskie a Go Go concert halls, where Guns N’ Roses, Led Zeppelin and The Doors played, as well as famous clubs frequented by stars. as The Viper Room , in which actor River Phoenix died.
You can also have fun with stand-up comedy at The Comedy Store or head to the Hollywood Bowl for an outdoor concert.
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Where to sleep in Los Angeles
During our days in Los Angeles we stayed at the Motel 6 Hollywood , located 2 minutes walk from the Walk of Fame. In addition to its excellent location, which will allow you to enjoy many of the places to visit in Los Angeles, the motel has parking, spacious and clean rooms, free coffee and tea service at the reception.
Two other magnificent accommodations located in the Hollywood area and with excellent value for money are the Hotel Hwood Near the Sunset Strip and the Sunset West Hotel, SureStay Collection By Best Western.
For more information on the best hotels and neighborhoods, you can consult this post on where to stay in Los Angeles.
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Tours in Los Angeles
If you have more days, you can complete this list of places to visit in Los Angeles by doing some of the best excursions in Los Angeles to get to know some of the most beautiful places to visit in the United States.
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