Your Foolproof Guide To Visiting Los Angeles

A complete travel guide for Los Angeles, California

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Los Angeles, California, otherwise known as the City of Angels, is a sprawling city with many sights worth seeing. Being a popular tourist destination, it can be intimidating trying to plan a visit. This guide will help you navigate the city with less stress and more enjoyment!

 

Top 3 Neighborhoods/Districts

1. Venice
Venice is a lively and exciting beach town located in West LA. If you’re looking for a free-spirited day spent among picturesque spots, Venice is the place to be. The area comes to life with its street performers, colorful murals, and many shops and restaurants along the famous Abbot Kinney Blvd.

 

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2. West Hollywood
Being near the center of the city but far from the freeways, West Hollywood is a great neighborhood of Los Angeles. It’s known for its live music venues and restaurants, but most notably the energetic nightlife. Along Santa Monica Blvd., you can find a number of gay bars, making it LA’s largest district of gay nightlife. For a dynamic and vibrant evening, you can definitely count on West Hollywood!

3. Echo Park
Want a break from the hustle and bustle of the city? Head to Echo Park, a neighborhood in central LA. It encompasses trails, and parks and is home to the famous Dodger’s Stadium. There are also great spots like Angels Point which overlooks the city and the beautiful lakefront itself, Echo Park Lake.

 

Top 3 Attractions

1. Getty Center
The Getty Center is a must-see attraction in LA. It is an art museum located in Brentwood with beautiful American and European art, architecture, gardens, and courtyards. If breathtaking art isn’t already convincing of a visit, the Getty Center has free admission! You can also find a restaurant and coffee shop at the venue.

 

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2. Grand Central Market
In this historic landmark building in the heart of Los Angeles, you can find the Grand Central Market. Opening in 1917, it is the city’s oldest and largest public market. Here, you can soak up the aromas and enjoy a variety of food and drink stalls.

3. Hollywood Walk Of Fame
It isn’t a true visit to LA without stopping by one of their most well-known landmarks! The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a world-famous sidewalk along Hollywood Blvd. Since 1960, the sidewalk has been adorned with stars honoring celebrities and noteworthy individuals. Walk along the street to find some of your favorite public figures!

READ MORE: Three Bizarre Los Angeles Museums You’ll Never Forget

Top 3 Restaurants

1. Good Clean Fun

Price Range: $

What better way to celebrate the diversity of the city than by enjoying dishes that are designed to do just that. Good Clean Fun takes inspiration from Mexican, Mediterranean, and East Asian cuisines to create a fresh “Southern Californian fusion”. Located in the center of LA, they are committed to using local ingredients that care for both their customers and the environment.

 

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2. Bowery Bungalow

Price Range: $$

Right along Santa Monica Blvd., is this cottage restaurant and bar with inviting, cozy interiors. The Bowery Bungalow serves Mediterranean and African fusion dishes. The restaurant, with its modern take on Middle Eastern cuisine, is the first of its kind in LA!

3. Parks BBQ

Price Range: $$$

Take a stroll in Koreatown for Parks BBQ, the finest authentic Korean BBQ restaurant in Southern California. From the Seoul Women’s College, Chef Jenee Kim brought her culinary expertise to add new and inventive avenues to traditional Korean cuisine. Parks BBQ certainly attracts locals and visitors alike!

 

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Best Way To Get Around

Rent a Car

As a large, spread-out city, it’s difficult to get anywhere without a vehicle. Renting a car is one way you can explore the city. This does require a valid driver’s license and the added effort of finding parking spots. However, it is a great method of seeing anything and everything the city has to offer without having to worry about a bus schedule. Generally, it costs $40-$60 USD per day, from car rental agencies like Enterprise, Alamo, Avis, and Hertz.

Metro

If driving isn’t for you, take advantage of LA’s convenient public transportation system. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority runs 6 color-coded train lines and many bus routes that are sure to get you to your destination. Visit their website for a guide to their metro system and to plan your trip in advance!

Taxis & Rideshares

You’ll be able to find taxis all throughout the city. But because of LA’s lively and busy atmosphere, you’ll have better luck ordering ahead of time than hailing a taxi on the streets. They also have quite steep fares, with the meter starting at $3 USD and an additional $2.70 USD per mile. Rideshares, like Uber and Lyft, are also good alternatives for their convenience and more affordable prices.

 

Best Time Of The Year To Visit & Weather

To get the most out of Los Angeles, March to May are the best months to visit the city. Airfare and hotel rates are generally lower, you’ll avoid the peak travel times of the summer, and the weather is much more comfortable. The spring season in LA reaches temperatures of 50-75°F (10-24°C), which will surely make for a pleasant trip.

Although September through February is the city’s rainy season, you may find some use in visiting during this time. These months are the least populated by tourists and have the lowest prices throughout the whole year.

READ MORE: Where to Go for Winter Holiday Fun in Los Angeles

Language

The state of California’s official language is English. This means that almost everyone you encounter will be speaking English. Los Angeles is also a melting pot of many cultures so you may hear the occasional Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Tagalog, Korean, and more.

Currency & Tipping Customs

The currency in LA is USD (United States Dollar).

Knowing the tipping customs is useful when traveling to a new country or city. Generally, 15-20 percent is a good rule of thumb when it comes to tipping. This is usually done for services like restaurants (servers and bartenders), valet parking attendants, taxis and rideshares, hotel maids/caretakers, etc. It’s a token of gratitude and shows appreciation for their service. But at the end of the day, tipping is not obligatory. It is up to your discretion if you would like to tip or not and the amount.

Emergency Numbers & Most Popular Pharmacies

For immediate emergencies and assistance, call 911. Los Angeles also has an emergency response page that shows announcements and updates regarding emergencies in the county. Taking note of local pharmacies is also important to have. Being such a large city, there are a number of pharmacies in and around Downtown LA, with CVS and Walgreens being the most common.

 

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