Los Angeles attractions

Movie stars, surfers, and palm trees - this is what USA travelers expect from Los Angeles. But the "City of Angels" has much more to offer. Here are our ten best tips for your vacation in L.A.

Preparing your L.A. trip

Are you planning your first trip to Los Angeles? If so, you will not only be planning your flight and accommodation but also your activities in L.A. California's largest city is full of surprises, so good preparation will pay off.

Save time and money with online tickets

You will save precious vacation time if you buy tickets online before you travel. Daily discounts on Los Angeles attractions and events often give you a better deal. Just compare the prices briefly and then make your purchase. Popular online ticket providers are, for example, GetYourGuide and Viator.

Save even more money with city passes

If you want to visit three or more sights, you can save a lot of money using special combined tickets. You can buy a sightseeing pass like the Los Angeles Pass, the Los Angeles Go City Explorer Pass, or the Southern California City Pass on the Internet.

With some of these economy tickets, you also get discounts and special offers in stores or restaurants and save yourself the waiting time at the ticket counter.

Cheaper vacations thanks to coupons

If you prefer to buy tickets on-site, check out the visitor centers in Los Angeles. They frequently offer discount coupons for local attractions. You will find visitor centers all over the city, especially in busy areas like Downtown L.A., Hollywood, and the coastal regions.

Secure Routing in L.A.

There are cities in the USA where you shouldn't be driving around without orientation. Los Angeles is, unfortunately, one of them.

To avoid waiting at the traffic light in the wrong neighborhood, you should plan every trip in L.A. in advance - for your safety. The routing memory functions of Google Maps or MapQuest can make planning your driving routes much more comfortable.

The Top 10 Sights in L.A.

Now you are perfectly prepared and ready to go. So lower your car window, put your sunglasses on and turn on the music! Have lots of fun on your trip through Los Angeles!

1. The Hollywood Sign

The most famous symbol of Los Angeles is the gigantic white Hollywood lettering in the Hollywood Hills. The letters made of steel, standing on scaffolding about 14 meters high, can be easily seen from many places in L.A.

In any case, it is better to look at the letters from a distance because the area around the sign is fenced, and access is prohibited. You can easily guess why: the popular photo motive had already had one or the other streak of bad luck in its life.

The Hollywood sign in the Hollywood Hills

Since their creation in 1923, the Hollywood letters have often been renovated or completely renewed. Once the H tipped over, later the top of the D broke off, then an O crashed into the valley, and at some point, a madman even tried to set fire to one of the Ls. Let's not even start with the countless climbing accidents and other dramas.

By the way, the Hollywood lettering initially said "Hollywoodland." That’s because the letters had been placed in the Hollywood Hills by a local entrepreneur to advertise the residential area.

Our tip
Contrary to popular belief, the Hollywood sign is not illuminated at night. So you should take a look at it in daylight.

  • Address: Los Angeles, CA 90068, United States
  • Opening hours: The view on the Hollywood Sign is - of course - available around the clock
  • Price: free of charge

Our recommendation: Find the best tours to the Hollywood Sign here!

2. Universal Studios Hollywood

At the legendary Universal Studios Hollywood, you will get a look behind the scenes at the greatest movies in history. The sheer breathtaking experience includes studio tours, rides, amazingly real settings to walk through and try out, and spectacular live shows.

Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles

People burst into tears by the dozen when they visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for the first time. With its replicated Diagon Alley, including stores and restaurants, the Hogwarts Express, the castle, and many little adventurous corners, this place feels so real that you might completely lose yourself in it.

The Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tour, with its special effects like earthquakes, floods, plane crashes, out-of-control dinosaurs, and the rather hungry Great White Shark, will shock you and give you goosebumps at the same time.

It's best to have plenty of time for Universal Studios because the list of shows, film sets, and walkthrough attractions is quite long. Our must-sees:

  • the Simpsons in Springfield
  • the Jurassic Park Ride
  • the Wisteria Lane from “Desperate Housewives”
  • the cool and funny special effect shows
  • the “The Walking Dead” Walkthrough Attraction
  • the Waterworld Show
  • the “The Fast & Furious” Show
  • King Kong 360 in 3-D
  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  • the DreamWorks Theatre

Our tip
With the Express Pass, you can skip the queues!

  • Address: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608, USA
  • Opening hours: daily 10am – 6pm
  • Price: Standard: $ 109 - $ 189 (as of October 2022)

The opening hours and prices may vary and are subject to change without notice.

Our recommendation: Find the best tours for the Universal Studios Hollywood here!

3. Walk of Fame

The Walk of Fame in Hollywood is the most famous stretch of sidewalk in the world. You will feel like a movie star walking down the 0.6 miles of Hollywood Boulevard, where the world's greatest superstars are lined up.

The names of actors, musicians, dancers, and other world-famous stars are displayed in golden letters on almost 2,700 pink stars. The shiny sidewalk of the stars extends from La Brea Avenue in the west to Gower Street in the east.

The Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California

At the western end of the Walk Of Fame, you can even hold hands with Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and many other celebrities. On the square in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre, their original handprints are immortalized in concrete, along with their shoe soles and autographs.

By the way: You may not have to settle for concrete at this corner: sometimes, real movie stars appear in front of the Dolby Theatre - for example, at one of the many movie premieres.

Our tip
If you don't like the hustle and bustle, visit the Walk of Fame in December. The weather is still good, but only half of the tourists are there.

  • Address: Hollywood Boulevard, Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028, USA
  • Opening hours: The Walk of Fame is open around the clock.
  • Price: Access to the Walk of Fame is free of charge.

The opening hours and prices may vary and are subject to change without notice.

Our recommendation: Find the best tours around the Walk of Fame here!

4. The Griffith Observatory

The Griffith Observatory is a majestic dome-shaped building on Mount Hollywood on the southern edge of Griffith Park. It offers a breathtaking view over downtown L.A. up to the bay of Santa Monica. It also gives you a crash course in science and astronomy.

The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles

Among the main attractions of the observatory is the Hall of Science with its regular exhibitions and the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, which is known for its thrilling show program.

After enjoying the truly touching sunset from the observatory's viewing platform, you can take a trip through our galaxy at one of the free public telescopes.

Our tip
Fresh-air enthusiasts are happy about the "Sunset Walk & Talk" events and the "Star Parties," which regularly take place outdoors. In any case, you should schedule at least two hours for your visit to the Griffith Observatory.

  • Address: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA
  • Opening hours: Monday to Friday noon - 10pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am - 10pm
  • Price: Free entrance to the observatory Samuel Oschin Planetarium: adults and children 13 years and older: $ 10, seniors and students: $ 8, and children from 5 - 12 years: $ 6 (As of October 2022)

The opening hours and prices may vary and are subject to change without notice.

Our recommendation: Find the best tours around the Griffith Observatory here!

5. Disneyland Park

The magical Disneyland Park in Anaheim is part of the Disneyland Resort just outside Los Angeles. In this colossal theme park, you will find endless Disney fantasy worlds and rides, as well as a lot of live-show action.

Disneyland Park in Los Angeles

Walking down the legendary "Main Street" into the resort, you are already in the middle of a Disney movie. You can always expect a spectacular parade, sassy walking characters, or spontaneous vocal interludes by the numerous actors hanging out on Main Street.

Currently, the most popular attraction at Disneyland California is the new "Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge," where you can experience the world of the Jedi and Stormtroopers up close. And by up close, we mean: beware of lightsabers!

The enchanting "Sleeping Beauty Castle" is, as in every Disneyland, the beloved center of the park. From there, you can stroll in all directions through the different "countries." of Disneyland. These are, for example:

  • Adventureland
  • Critter Country
  • Frontierland
  • Tomorrowland
  • Fantasyland

If you want to experience every attraction, you should allow yourself more than one day at Disneyland. Check into one of the great Disney theme hotels located right in the park.

When staying in one of the Disney Hotels, you might even be overrun by an army of cartoon characters in the lobby now and then. In any case, you will experience the spectacular fireworks with background music, even if you are already lying in bed at closing time.

Our tip
Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is truly in the middle of it all and saves you a lot of walking distance.

  • Address: 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802, USA
  • Opening hours: depending on the season and day of the week
  • Price: admission prices vary depending on the validity of the tickets. Day passes usually start at around $ 100. (as of October 2022)

The opening hours and prices may vary and are subject to change without notice.

Our recommendation: Find the best tour for the Disneyland Park here!

6. OUE SkySpace has been closed

This could be our enthusiastic text about the spectacular OUE SkySpace observation deck. Unfortunately, the popular attraction at the height of 300 meters on the 70th floor of the U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles was closed after a change of ownership of the building.

OUE SkySpace Los Angeles

The incredible SkySlide has thrilled millions of visitors since 2016. On the all-transparent glass slide, the bravest of SkySpace tourists were allowed to glide down to the 69th floor on a soft mat.

So far, there are no plans to reopen the platform with its breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view from the San Gabriel Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.

  • Address 633 W 5th St #840, Los Angeles, CA 90071, USA

The opening hours and prices may vary and are subject to change without notice.

Our recommendation: Find more exciting tours in Downtown LA here!

7. Santa Monica Pier & Beach

The Santa Monica Pier is a wooden platform that stretches from Santa Monica State Beach into the Pacific Ocean. With its "Pacific Park," an amusement park on the water, the pier is one of the most remarkable places in Los Angeles County.

Santa Monica Pier & Beach in Los Angeles

The view of the illuminated "Pacific Wheel" on the beach is an unforgettable experience, especially in the dark. It's also one reason why the Santa Monica Pier has been used as a setting for numerous film and television scenes.

If you ever get tired of the bustle of the rides and the delicious carnival food, you can relax at the golden Santa Monica State Beach. The beach is so vast and long that you won't get in the way of the beach volleyball players or other swimmers. It's also within walking distance to Venice Beach.

Our tip
Pay attention to the opening hours of the parking lots. If you're even 10 minutes late getting back to your car, you're sure to get a ticket.

  • Address: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA
  • Opening hours: The Santa Monica Pier is accessible throughout the day. Pacific Park’s opening hours vary depending on the season and weather conditions.
  • Price: Pier access is free of charge. The rides require admission at different levels.

The opening hours and prices may vary and are subject to change without notice.

Our recommendation: Find exciting activities around the Santa Monica Pier here!

8. Venice Beach

The beautiful white Venice Beach in Los Angeles County is located near Santa Monica Beach. If you stroll along the "Ocean Front Walk" in the warm Southern Californian wind, you'll encounter skateboarders, beach cruisers, street performers, souvenir vendors, and many other creatives and party people.

Venice Beach in Los Angeles

Especially the "Muscle Beach," the legendary open-air gym of Venice, is a real surprise for tourists. It was here where Arnold Schwarzenegger pumped up his muscle packs in the 1970s. Since then, the look of the weightlifters and bodybuilders hasn't changed much, and for the cameras, they are happy to put on an extra muscle show on the field.

The beach itself is so wide, and the sea is so calm that Venice Beach is an absolute paradise. You will share the fine, clean sand with seagulls, swimmers, beach campers, and lifeguards, who will take care of you while you are swimming.

Our tip
If you come to Venice Beach in the winter months, it's best to take some warm clothes with you because a chilly wind tends to come up spontaneously.

  • Address: Venice Beach, Los Angeles, Kalifornien, USA
  • Opening hours: Venice Beach and the Ocean Front Walk (also called Boardwalk) can be entered day and night.
  • Price: Access is free of charge.

The opening hours and prices may vary and are subject to change without notice.

Our recommendation: Find exciting activities around Venice Beach here!

9. Beverly Hills

The small town of Beverly Hills is – after Bel-Air – the most spectacular oasis of wealth in Los Angeles County. Here you see nothing but swanky villas, big luxury cars, and marble-smooth designer facades.

Beverly Hills in Los Angeles

The estates of the super-rich throne on the hills, or are hidden behind protective walls of trees, stone, and steel. The best way to find out which celebrity is living at which address is on one of the guided "Star Tours". The celebrity experts know all the estates and their famous residents inside out.

Once you've stalked Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé long enough, why not pay a visit to the legendary Beverly Hills Hotel or take a stroll down the luxurious shopping streets.

Our tip
Be sure to visit the Spadena House on Walden Drive. Also known as "The Witch's House," this fairy-tale-designed cottage is especially great for spooky Halloween photo sessions!

  • Address: Beverly Hills, Kalifornien, USA
  • Opening hours: You can drive to Beverly Hills around the clock.
  • Price: Star Tours: between $ 25 and $ 60, depending on the provider.

The opening hours and prices may vary and are subject to change without notice.

Our recommendation: Find exciting activities around Beverly Hills here!

10. Rodeo Drive

The luxurious Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is one of the finest retail areas in the USA and is home to exclusive boutiques as well as the most expensive shopping malls in the world.

With the densely packed stores of international top designers, the famous shopping street attracts the superstars resident in Beverly Hills. It is also a famous meeting ground for beautiful, rich, and influential people from all over the world.

Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles

If you ever want to feel like a star and enter one of the exclusive stores, the sales staff will make sure you get everything you wish for. But be careful: you can get rid of thousands of dollars in seconds.

Because of its total length of only 1.9 miles, you can easily explore Rodeo Drive on foot. From there, you can also walk comfortably to the famous "Beverly Hills" sign in Beverly Gardens Park. Unlike many other areas in Los Angeles, Rodeo Drive even has a decent sidewalk.

Our tip
After your walk along Rodeo Drive, treat yourself to a drink at the Beverly Wilshire! The luxury hotel also has a spectacular roof terrace.

  • Address: Rodeo Drive, Los Angeles, Kalifornien, USA
  • Opening hours: Rodeo Drive is always accessible. The opening hours of the boutiques and shopping malls differ.
  • Price: You should only go shopping here if money doesn't matter to you.

The opening hours and prices may vary and are subject to change without notice.

Our recommendation: Find exciting activities around Rodeo Drive here

We don't know about you, but we'd love to fly back to Los Angeles right now. Or would you rather go to New York City? Or Las Vegas? Wherever it takes you: we wish you a wonderful vacation in the USA!

ESTA – visa-free to the USA

With an ESTA, you can stay 90 days visa-free in the USA. Apply online now!