You’ve finally got the opportunity to visit Los Angeles soon or you are planning to do it in the future? Then read this small guide of 10 Useful Tips to make your vacation in California an unforgettable one.
Travel and accommodation
1. Prepare in advance
The first thing to do is, of course, prepare for your travel and make sure you have everything you need by the time of your departure. Make sure to book your plane tickets a lot in advance – this could also allow you to save some money! Whether you come from the USA or not, it’s very important to check your travel documentation, especially your ID and Visa. You should always make sure that you will be allowed in the country before you leave, in order to avoid to be stopped at the border or even before the departure!
2. Check your health and equipment
Moving on, you shouldn’t forget to check both your health conditions and the ones of the country you’re travelling to. Also make sure that you have all the medication you need for your trip. We think that the ideal duration of your trip when you visit Los Angeles should be of a minimum of 10-14 days for you to properly be able to enjoy what the city can offer you, so make sure to have everything you need for that amount of time!
3. Where To Stay
Of course it is essential that you find an accommodation before you visit Los Angeles. Booking a hotel room would be a more convenient choice for a business travel or a quick trip, but if your stay is longer than one week then this option could become a little too expensive. We definitely recommend you to book a hostel in the central areas of the city, especially if you’re travelling alone. Not only you will save money, but you will also be able to access the main sites and nightlife locations more easily. Additionally, you could also share an Airbnb apartment with your travel buddies, in order to have a place all for yourselves. If you’re visiting for the first time, the best area where to stay is Hollywood – this will definitely grant you the best LA experience. You should also check Downtown LA, Beverly Hills and, if you’re on a budget, also Venice Beach and Santa Monica.
What To See
Downtown Los Angeles is the central district of the city. The majority of workplaces are here, and it’s also the most active area in terms of nightlife and entertainment. All the buildings you’ll find here are also the ones that make up the famous LA skyline. Here’s some places that you definitely should visit here:
When you visit Los Angeles you can’t miss the Hollywood experience. This is the city where the most famous movies and TV shows were born, and also home to the most famous celebrities in the world. If you’re lucky, you could even meet some of them!
When you’ll see the world-famous Hollywood Sign you’ll know you’re in the right place. Don’t forget to take pictures! And of course an unmissable stop is the Warner Bros Studio Tour, where great classics as well as very popular modern productions were filmed. The fountain and Central Perk set from the sitcom Friends, The Big Bang Theory ‘s set, the official store and so much more await you in this incredible experience. And if you haven’t had enough when you’re done, also check the Universal Studios.
After diving into the place where your favourite movies and TV shows were born, you should proceed with the iconic Walk of Fame and look for the stars with the name of your favourite celebrities. You’ll find this site in Highland Center, a great area where you’ll also be able to do some shopping, visit the Madame Tussauds Museum, find good restaurants and more.
Shopping in LA is one of the most popular activities many people talk about in movies, interviews or travel blogs. If you’re interested in this experience you should definitely check the most known places such as Melrose Avenue, Hollywood & Highland, the Fashion District in DTLA, and the famous Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
8. The Beaches
LA is well-known for it’s sunny and warm weather and its wonderful beaches. If you visit Los Angeles you have to see at least one of them, at any time of the year! Here are 3 popular beaches that we definitely recommend to you.
Home to art and creativity, it’s one of the most popular sites in the city. Lots of celebrities have stayed here as well, for longer or shorter periods. There are lots of shops and stalls along the beachside, and also a beautiful residential area that a lot of people choose as their accommodation or even home. Enjoy the soft sand, the sunlight and the sea and explore the cultural features of this lovely area.
Santa Monica State Beach
How not to mention stunning Santa Monica. You can reach this iconic place if you take the metro from Downtown LA, take a bus or go there by car. It features the beautiful Santa Monica Pier, where you will find lots of attractions, including the fair and The Playland Arcade. You definitely should check the Annenberg Community Beach House, do some exercise at the Original Muscle Beach, go surfing and of course eat and drink at lots of cafes and restaurants. Finally, Santa Monica is also the official location where the famous Route 66 reaches its end.
El Matador Beach
This beach is one of the most special in all Malibu and Los Angeles area. You can’t miss watching sunset at this stunning site. The high cliffs, the clear sand and water will give you a breathtaking view you won’t easily forget. It’s located at west of Los Angeles and you can reach it by metro, taxi, car or bus.
Los Angeles is indeed huge, so it’s important to know how to move around the city and avoid getting lost as much as possible. You can benefit of the local public transport or choose taxis or car rental instead.
9. Public Transport
Los Angeles is provided with a metropolitan service. LA’s metro consists in 6 lines and 93 stops, which cover some areas in Downtown LA, Santa Monica, East LA and North Hollywood. The trains pass every 5-10 minutes and almost at all times, with variations according to the weekdays, weekends and special occasions. To take the metro you’ll need the TAP card, which you can recharge whenever you need it at the metro stations. If the metro doesn’t cover an area you’re interested into, you could also check the autobus service, which have several lines in Downtown LA, Hollywood, Vermont, Koreatown, Chinatown and other areas. But pay attention to the timetable and the routes, because it’s very easy to take the wrong line and get lost!
10. Taxi and car rental
An alternative to public transport are the taxi and car rental services. Taxi fares in LA are not too high, especially if you share it with your travel friends. One service that we recommend is Uber.
If you have a driving license and the authorisation to drive in California then renting a car can be a great idea to explore the city while saving money and time. It can also give you the chance to visit more places just outside LA. However, you should pay attention to the parking services: some of them are very expensive and have precise timetables and strict rules which you should always follow in order to avoid unpleasant parking tickets.