Los Angeles. |The Ultimate Travel Guide
When to go, where to stay and what to do in the land of palm-fringed beaches and Hollywood A-listers
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Known as the City of Angels, Los Angeles is the second largest city in the US and is the hub for all things Hollywood.
Under the watchful eye of the famous Hollywood sign lies Sunset Strip and its world-famous landmarks and bars, Rodeo Drive and its rich clientele, Universal and Paramount Studios and their studio backlot tours and Santa Monica Pier and its bevy of sun-kissed bodies and palm tree lined boulevards. And not far from reach are hotspots like Disneyland, San Diego and Las Vegas.
Los Angeles Airport (LAX) is one of the country's largest and busiest airports, welcoming flights from Australia daily.
Ready to rub shoulders with the A-listers? Here's what you need to get started.
There are multiple airports servicing Los Angeles. If you're looking for the most direct route from Australia, search for flights to Los Angeles (LAX) airport.
Los Angeles travel deals
Extra 5% off all-inclusive passes
Sign up and save an extra 5% on Go Los Angeles All-Inclusive and Explorer passes. Discount will be sent through email upon signing up.
Up to 50% off Los Angeles attractions
Get a Go Los Angeles pass and receive up to 50% off attractions. Includes bus tours, sightseeing and more. T&Cs apply.
USA flights from $962 return
Available on select dates from February - June 2021 to San Francisco, New York, Las Vegas and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Los Angeles with Philippine Airlines. T&Cs apply.
Up to USD$1,000 OBC with Carnival Cruises
Available on select dates in 2021. Destinations include Los Angeles, Mexico, London, Canada and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 20% off USA and Canada tours
Available on selected trips departing from 1 February 2021 - 30 April 2022. Destinations include Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Vancouver and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 28% off North America tours
Available on select dates in 2021. Destinations include New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Montreal, Quebec and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to USD$1,000 OBC with Princess Cruises
Available on select dates in 2021. Destinations include Los Angeles, Australia, Canada, Spain, London and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 15% off North America tours
Available on select tours in 2021 to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, New York, Canada, Alaska and more.
Up to 20% off Los Angeles Big Bus tours + Kids go free
Available on select dates. T&Cs apply.
Up to 20% off top attractions
Available on select dates in 2020 and 2021 in Sydney, Los Angeles, Singapore, Tokyo, Paris, London, Athens and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to $264 off worldwide tours
Available on select dates when you book 2 trips of 7 days or more. Destinations include Croatia, Iceland, Los Angeles, Canada and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 10% off young travellers
Available on select dates to young travellers aged 5-17. Destinations include Croatia, Iceland, Los Angeles, Canada and more. T&Cs apply.
California stays from USD$105/night
Available on select dates in 2020. Sample rate is for a stay in a home in Los Angeles. T&Cs apply.
Los Angeles stays from USD$100/night
Available on select dates in 2020. Sample rate is for a stay in a centrally located modern condo. T&Cs apply.
USA stays from USD$35/night
Available on select 2020 stay dates on houses, cabins, cottages, apartments and more. Destinations include Las Vegas, Hawaii, California, Texas, Washington and more. Sample rate is at a condo at Phoenix T&Cs apply.
Up to 15% off USA stays
Available on stays until 31 March 2021 in Los Angeles, New York, Boston and more. Plus get $25 F&B credit. Discount is exclusive for My Millennium Members. T&Cs apply.
Los Angeles stays from $33 per room
Valid for travel on select dates. Sample price is a private room in Pico Rivera. T&Cs apply.
Getting around in Los Angeles
Certain areas of LA are walkable but often people want to explore more territory. We recommend that you rent a car if you want to see more than just the downtown core. If you just want to see the major attractions, you can use public transportation as there is a stop for each famous hot spot.
Los Angeles public transport
- Types of transport. Buses and trains are serviced by Metro.
- Paying for transport. You can pay for transportation in cash or with the electronic Metro Tap card. You can purchase Tap cards at Tap vending machines at Metro rail stations for $1 or at authorised vendors for $2. If you use cash, you must pay in exact change.
- Getting to and from the airport. Free shuttle buses provide transport to the Metro Green Line Aviation station which connects to the city and other Metro lines. The G shuttles pick passengers up on the lower/arrivals level in each terminal. The Lot C shuttles bring passengers to the Metro Bus Centre, which has routes throughout LA. Alternatively, FlyAway buses depart from the lower/arrivals level in front of each terminal under the green FlyAway bus sign. They go to locations across LA for US$8-$10.
- Best apps for getting around. The LA Metro and Bus app provides real-time predictions of when the next train or bus will arrive, locates your nearest stop and gives you access to the Metro rail map.
Los Angeles metro map
This detailed Metro map shows you which lines are best to take to your destination.
Los Angeles car hire rental companies
It is fairly common for tourists to rent a car in LA since many tourist destinations, like the Hollywood sign, are not within walking distance. LA also has beautiful scenic drives you can take if you rent a car.
All car rental companies are located off of airport property but there are shuttles provided by the rental companies. The pick-up point is on the lower/arrivals level outside of baggage claim.
Avis, Budget, Hertz, Enterprise, Advantage, Alamo, Dollar, Fox, Midway, National, Payless, Sixt and Thrifty all service the Los Angeles airport. Use DriveNow to compare car companies and find the best deal.
Taxis and rideshare
- Taxi. You should book or call a taxi in advance as hailing one from the side of the road is extremely difficult and is even illegal in some areas of LA, such as in the downtown core. You can also find taxis at designated taxi ranks in busy areas.
- Rideshare. You can book a ride with Uber or Lyft in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles airport transfers
Budget-friendly transfers that can be booked in advance with Viator and Jayride that will surely get you from LAX to downtown LA in no time.
Shared Airport Arrival Transfer: LAX International Airport to Los Angeles Hotels
Private Arrival Transfer: Los Angeles International Airport to Hotel
Los Angeles Arrival Transfer: to Los Angeles Hotels
Frequently asked questions about Los Angeles
Los Angeles is home to the Santa Monica Pier, Sunset Strip and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It's a buzzing city full of celebrity and film culture, adventurous activities and culinary delights.
Whether you're planning on seeing the sights, shopping in style or nurturing your spirit of eccentricity, Los Angeles offers all this and more.
It's easy to see why so many Aussies flock to Los Angeles each and every year, so what's holding you back?
Is Los Angeles hot?
Los Angeles tends to experience year-round mild-to-warm weather. Its climate is classified as Mediterranean, which is a type of dry subtropical climate, identified by seasonal changes in rainfall. LA usually experiences a dry summer and a rainy season during winter.
It's seasonable temperatures are comparable to Sydney, however the summers are often a bit warmer. Expect dry, 30-degree days if travelling in summer.
Does Los Angeles have mountains?
Los Angeles is home (in part) to the San Gabriel Mountains, a mountain range located in northern Los Angeles County, which also crosses over to western San Bernardino County, California.
How far is it from Los Angeles to San Francisco?
The distance between Los Angeles and San Francisco is approximately 614 km. This equates to a drive that is just over six hours on the main roads, or longer on the scenic coastal route.
Does Los Angeles have a beach?
Yes, it has many. Los Angeles county has almost two dozen beaches to choose from. These include Paradise Cove, where many films and TV shows have been partially set, and Zuma Beach where, if you're lucky, you may spot dolphins in the surf.
Is Los Angeles safe?
Los Angeles is relatively safe for travellers who are safety savvy. We've outlined the important things that an Aussie travelling to LA should be aware of:
- Driving. If you're planning on renting a car in Los Angeles, avoid rush hour wherever possible. It's manic, and drivers native to the large and widespread city can be pushy. Remember that Americans drive on the opposite side of the road to Australians,
- Know where to avoid. LA's safer neighbourhoods generally lie to the north and west of the city centre. Most of the areas with high crime rates are south and east of the city.
- Crime. While there are some more dangerous spots within the city, if you practice good judgment, you'll be fine. Exercise the same level of sensibility with your personal safety and possessions, as you would in any other city. Avoid dark alleyways and walking the streets alone at night.
More guides on Finder
Los Angeles accommodation in the most popular areas 2020
Stay close to the action with our guide to the best hotels in Hollywood, Santa Monica, near Los Angeles Airport and more.
Los Angeles attractions: The 6 best things to do in LA
You’ve booked your flights and sorted your accommodation, all you need now are things to do. Discover the best things to do in Los Angeles with this guide.
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