Los Angeles is definitely a city you must visit at least once in your life. While some people absolutely love it, I don’t like it as much. I have no problem to spend a couple of days in LA but I definitely don’t see myself staying here more long-term.

But after visiting LA for a couple of times here is my tour guide of places to visit, must do’s and muse sees as well as where to eat and some tips along the way.

To begin with LA is HUGE, so be prepared form 20-30 minutes commute, unlike NYC parking is not that big of a nightmare, probably since everyone drives around. It does give glamorous vibes especially if you are around Beverly Hills and Hollywood, you’ll find yourself looking around and trying to spot a celebrity.

Getting around:

As I said above LA is huge, it’s not walkable at all and public transport is not existing lol. So your best means of transportation is a car. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to find parking and most of the street parking is free over the weekends. If you are flying out to LA, my recommendation is to rent a car, and if you want to go to all the tourist sights a hop on and off bus tour is a good option.

Must see:

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)- is the largest museum in Western United States, it holds a vast collection of paintings and sculptures most of which are contemporary. You can find works of Pablo Picasso, Vasily Kandinsky, Andy Warhol, Yoshimoto Nara and many more. They currently have the Obama portraits exhibition. Apart from the 4 floors of artwork, you can also check out some of the sculptures in the lawn such as the famous “Urban Lights” exhibition.

Griffith Park and Observatory- another must visit place in LA, the perfect time to visit will be on sunset or in the evening for the best view of LA, you literally can see the whole of LA. Don’t forget to look at the space museum inside and if you have time catch some of their planetary shows (you can’t book tickets for this online, you have to buy them on the spot). Often times they have telescopes outside that you can view stars and planets that can be seen on that particular evening. Try visiting it during the week since it has way less people than on weekdays. Also beware of coyotes when visiting the park

Getty Villa- located in Malibu, is Getty Villa built by Paul J. Getty, oil business mogul and named by Guinness Book of Records richest private citizen of the USA. The Villa today is a museum of the art and sculpture collection Getty has acquired in his life, mainly from ancient roman and greek times. Apart from the museum you can enjoy a nice view of the ocean and the beautiful gardens of Getty villa. Entrance is free, you need to reserve a ticket tho and the parking is paid (20$), there is no public parking nearby so you will have to use the Getty Villa parking.

Universal Studios- first time visiting Universal studios and I loved it. It’s definitely a great way to spend a day. I absolutely loved the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it’s so well done, you can get butter beer and all the candy from the Harry Potter series. Make sure you do the studios tour, gives great insight to how movies are made and they show you some of the sets from movies such as “Jurassic Park”, “Psycho”, “Once upon a time in Hollywood” and many more. There are a few fun rides to take, but queues are usually mad so spend a bit extra $ and get the express pass so you skip the line.

Disneyland Park- no matter how old or young you are, Disneyland is a must visit. Disneyland in LA is the first Disney theme park built in 1955. It’s truly a magical place. I’ve been to this Disneyland multiple times, so I skipped it this trip. But I definitely recommend visiting, make sure to watch the parade and stay till the evening for the fireworks show.

Santa Monica- situated in Santa Monica Bay is Santa Monica city part of LA county. Santa Monica has a few things to do: a beach is a great place to go, you have the Santa Monica pier that has restaurants, souvenir shops, rollercoasters and arcade. Santa Monica promenade has lots of shops, restaurants and cafes. You can also take a walk or a bike ride by the beach. Santa Monica beach is most known in pop culture from the TV Show “Baywatch” which was filmed here.

Must do’s:

Melrose Avenue stroll- out of all of LA I loved Melrose Avenue the most. It has cute coffee and food stops, from high end designer stores to concept stores to local designer stores. Every Sunday they close down Melrose Avenue to cars and have a farmers market.

Celebrity house lookout at Beverly Hills- there are a lot of celebrities that own houses in Beverly Hills and the famous 90210 zip code. You can’t really see much of the houses except the roof or the garden door, but if you really want to see celebrity houses I would suggest booking a tour specifically for this.

Chinese Theater- Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is a movie palace on the historic Hollywood Walk of Fame. The TLC Chinese Theater has the biggest IMAX auditorium in the world. In front of the theater you can find hand and footprints from celebrities such as Marylin Monroe, Michael Jackson, George Clooney and many more.

Find you favorite celebrity on the walk of fame- right by the Chinese Theater is Hollywood walk of Fame, which contains more than 2700 stars bearing famous names from actors to singers to movie producers to cartoon characters.

Hit the beach- if you feel like hitting the beach Santa Monica and Malibu beach are the perfect choice. If you want to go in the water I would suggest Malibu since the water is cleaner.

Walk around Venice Canals- another famous spot in LA county. These man made canals are worth the visit. The canals of Venice are filled with shops, restaurants and bars as well as colorful murals on buildings.

Drive Millholland Drive- for a scenic drive take a ride on Millholland Drive, there are various stopping points where you can enjoy the view over LA. We went at night and the views were magical

Where to eat & must try’s:

Quick bites and late night snacks

In-n-out Burger

what to try: Cheeseburger with animal style fries

Coffee and tea shops

Alfred Coffee

what to try: coffee/chai/matcha

Brunch/Lunch spots

Blue Plate Taco

what to try: fish tacos and nachos

Duke’s Malibu

what to try: fish tacos and Hula Pie