Choosing the best area to stay in Los Angeles is not easy. The city is huge and has all kinds of areas and neighborhoods, from the most glamorous to very depressed and dangerous. Make no mistake about your choice, and you’ll enjoy a great stay.
Los Angeles is the most important city in the State of California, the second most populated city in the United States with almost 20 million citizens in its vast metropolitan area.
Los Angeles is a city that has a special appeal. It shares very different environments with each other. Arid and desert areas like those of its periphery, mountainous areas open to leisure activities, coastal enclaves with beaches on the Pacific coast and undiscovered nature recreated in its urban parks.
Its exclusive neighborhoods, its cosmopolitan and markedly Latin culture and the footprint of the film industry make any visit a bet of discovery that always surprises.
The best areas and neighborhoods to stay in Los Angeles
The best sleeping areas in Los Angeles for weekend or four or five-day stays are Hollywood and Beverly Hills, especially because they are close to major attractions and are well connected by road and public transportation systems.
For longer stays, longer than a week, other interesting options can be Santa Monica, to enjoy the sea and the beach, or the Dowtown, in the center of the city, close to everything.
If what you want is to enjoy nightlife, without a doubt, the best options to stay in Los Angeles are Venice Beach and, the same, Santa Monica. To sleep in Los Angeles with tranquility, Westwood Village and Pasadena.
Hollywood is the most famous district in Los Angeles and is famous for housing the old headquarters of America’s best-known film studios. But also because it hosts unique sets related to that industry.
In Hollywood you have to walk along the Avenue of Fame, Sunset Boulevard and see up close the national monument of the letters that form Hollywood’s name (1923) on a mountainside.
To get close to the letters of the Hollywood sign, you have to climb the marked path of Mt Lee Dr. You will eventually reach a point located above the letters. At that vantage point, you can get a superb 360º view of Los Angeles.
If you want to see the Walk of Fame, you must approach the Broadway Walk that starts at the La Brea Gateway and goes to the W Hotel. On the ground, there are two hundred stars representing as many artists from the history of American cinema. Take your time to find the stars of your favorite actors. Taking pictures with them is a must.
The also famous Chinese Theatre is another of the most sought-after attractions on the avenue. At the nearby Dolby Theater, the Hollywood Academy Awards are presented. This theater offers interesting film screenings throughout the year, as well as premieres and unique events that are worth coordinating with a visit to Los Angeles.
Hollywood is one of the best places to sleep in Los Angeles. It is very safe both during the day and at night, it is perfectly connected by public transportation with good subway connections, it has a lot of life at all hours, its nightlife is one of the best in the city, and there is always something to do.
The downside is that its hotels are expensive compared to other areas. Even so, if your budget can afford it, you won’t go wrong with staying in this area.
Accommodations in Hollywood
West Hollywood is a district of the city of Los Angeles that has its own identity. It is famous for its unique one-storey homes, original bar aesthetics, music venues and parks and gardens.
Gardens such as the impressive Greystone Mansion, a French-style mansion that is the setting for events. It is also advisable to visit the West Hollywood Park, at 647 North San Vicente Boulevard, especially if you want to enjoy a picnic with family or friends in a green and quiet environment.
In West Hollywood, it’s also worth seeing the Pacific Design Center, an art center dependent on MOCA, and the Schlinder House, a house designed by the Austrian architect of the same name and a landmark of minor architecture of the 1920s and 30s.
For music lovers, Club Trobadour is a landmark of the 1970s. It was here that Elton John made his debut in the United States. The nearby Roxy Theatre is a more ‘indie’ musical alternative.
For those who enjoy books in bookstores with a magic touch, in West Hollywood, you can find the Book Soup, a genuinely vintage book store that offers more than 60,000 titles.
The nearby West Hollywood Public Library and its cultural activities program can be a perfect complement for book lovers who come to Los Angeles with the intention of enlivening the intellect.
West Hollywood is a safe neighborhood (always taking due precautions), it is well connected, especially with Hollywood and Santa Monica, and its hotels are somewhat more affordable than those in Hollywood or Beverlyhills. In short, it is a good option to stay in Los Angeles.
West Hollywood Accommodations
Beverly Hills is one of the most chic and exclusive areas of Los Angeles. The district is located in the west of the city. It is famous for its Rodeo Drive, for its exclusive shops, but also for its luxurious garden mansions that are on another level, monetary and aesthetic.
If you want to enjoy gardens at no cost, nothing better than approaching a public green area. The most recommended is Beverly Hills Gardens. The place extends along 3.5 kilometers. In the park you have to go and see the majestic Doheney fountain and the Beverly Hills Sign, a sign with the name of the place where everybody takes pictures.
And something else. Every third weekend from May to October, the park hosts the Beverly Hills Art Show, a popular outdoor art exhibition.
About Rodeo Drive, say that it is the avenue where Julia Roberts does her shopping in the movie ‘Pretty Wooman’. It is an exclusive place with top brand shops and restaurants that are at the same level.
In the area, you must see the Anderson Court, the only shopping center designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The nearby Paley Center Media offers more than 140,000 radio and television programs in what is a museum of both media. The Spadena House, known as ‘The House of Witches’, is a single-family home built in 1924 that looks like something out of a horror story.
If you are looking for an exclusive and elegant place, where security is not a problem, well located and from where you can move with public transport with relative ease this neighborhood is an excellent option to stay in Los Angeles. The downside: the price of its hotels.
Hotels in Beverly Hills
Downtown Los Angeles is a well-kept space in the city with many options for enjoying culture and leisure. It is a business area, once somewhat boring but in recent times has appeared a very interesting gastronomic scene as well as new options for nightlife.
In Downtown, you should not miss the Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Broad, the Bradbury Building and the Los Angeles City Hall.
The Los Angeles Concert Hall is an emblematic building very similar to the Guggenheim in Bilbao, and that is because its architect, Frank Ghery, is the father of both sets.
The Walt Disney Concert Hall is the headquarters of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. You must see the garden on the upper terrace. The Broad is a museum of modern art in which the building itself is a piece of art. It’s simply incredible.
The Broadbury Building is the oldest complex in downtown Los Angeles. It was erected in 1893 and its interiors are shocking in the 21st century. The Los Angeles City Hall is one of the most iconic buildings in the city. It was built in 1928 and is famous for its central tower.
And, if you’re looking to go off-plan and find alternative options in downtown Los Angeles, you’ll want to check out Olvera Street, The Original Philippe, The Original Pantry Cafe, Rooftop Bar, Grand Market Central and, of course, MOCA. Let’s take it one step at a time.
Olvera Street is the coolest area to enjoy Mexican American culture in Los Angeles. The Olvera Street area is full of taquerias, shops where you can buy authentic Mexican candy.
The surroundings are very well cared for in the Mexican style, the colorful ceramics decorate the windows and the floor is tiled with bricks with a rustic touch of the south.
The Original Philippe is a classic to enjoy the taste of authentic sandwiches. The place started selling French sandwiches in 1918 and still continues. The store is located at 1001 N Alameda Street.
The Original Pantry Café is another of Los Angeles’ iconic hospitality institutions. It has only closed once since it opened in 1924. That was when President Kennedy died.
The Pantry is a vintage restaurant on the corner of Figueroa and 9th Street. It serves American food in unmanageable portions. If you go to dinner you must have fasted before.
The Rooftop Bar is located on the rooftop of the Standard Hotel. The highlight of the restaurant is its heated pool that allows you to see the city of Los Angeles at your feet. Something memorable.
The Grand Central Market is close to the Standard Hotel. It has more than thirty stands inside. It serves craft beer, oysters, ramen, pupas… It is famous for its musical events. The atmosphere is incredible and you have to discover and enjoy it to understand why it is unique. The Grand Central Market is located at 317 S of Broadway. Finally, the MOCA.
MOCA is the Los Angeles Museum of Modern Art. The museum is subdivided into four buildings located in different parts of Los Angeles. The main complex is located downtown. It is the MOCA Grand Avenue. Its exhibitions and educational program events are truly unique and amazing. Admission is free until 5 p.m. In the store, they sell art and different amazing pieces. MOCA Grand Avenue is located at 250 S Grand Avenue.
The Downtown is perfect to stay in Los Angeles if you are looking to be close to the main attractions of the city and well connected. In downtown Los Angeles, the 7th Street Bus Station is located, which allows connections to subway and local and interstate bus lines (1716 E 7th Street).
It should also be noted that accommodation is much more affordable than in other areas such as Beverly Hills or Hollywood.
Accommodations in Downtown Los Angeles
Westwood Village is a residential and commercial area located in West Los Angeles and between Santa Monica and downtown. Westwood is known for being the home of the University of Los Angeles (UCLA).
Places to recommend in the area? The Hammer Museum, for example, houses the art collections that belonged to industrialist Armand Hammer and are now owned by the University of Los Angeles.
There are also charming green areas, such as the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden. It is an open-air exhibition of works of art by authors such as Miró, Matisse and Rodin. A total of 70 pieces are on display on the University campus.
Another green space in the area is the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden. It is located in the southeast corner of the same campus. You must see the impressive Canarian dragon tree.
A more recommendable park is the Pierce Brothers Westwood Memorial Park where famous people such as Truman Capote, Marilyn Monroe, Roy Orbison or Jack Lemmon are buried.
For lovers of good music, the nearby Royce Hall is also highly recommended. A historic theater in Westwood Village that was famous in the 1930s for hosting bands of the time like those of George Gershwin or Jimmy Dorsey. Today it is a place of worship to listen to good jazz.
The Fox Village Theater, an art deco building from the 1930s, is the setting for many movie premieres. The tower that tops the building’s façade, seen at dusk, has some light and glitter effects that must be seen. Live.
Hotels in Westwood
Santa Monica is a coastal district of Los Angeles and, in fact, a city on the Pacific coast that has its own identity and a very different leisure offer from that of downtown Los Angeles. It is also one of the favorites of many people to stay in Los Angeles.
For nature lovers, Palisades Park offers seaside walks with the Santa Monica Mountains on the other side. For those who like to swim at the beach, of course we recommend taking a dip at Santa Monica State Beach. It usually has a festive atmosphere and its summers are ideal for a seaside vacation.
The Santa Monica Pier is a key place in any visit to the area. It is something like the kilometer zero of any excursion. Here, you must see the Santa Monica Pier with its waterwheel. There is also an aquarium, a carousel in the old Loof Hippodrome and places to watch movies at specific events.
The sunsets over the sea from the pier are part of the iconographic heritage of this place. On the avenue, there is the Original Muscle Beach. An area where professional and amateur gymnasts exercise outdoors and for the enjoyment of an audience gathered there spontaneously.
For a stroll between shops and with options to enjoy themed restaurants, the best thing to do is to drop by the Third Street Promenade. A walk from Wilshire Boulevard to Colorado Avenue. Ideal for summer evenings.
Santa Monica Place is a shopping center that is at one end of this walk and can be an alternative for lunch, snacks or dinner. To enjoy something more authentic and the land, nothing better than going to the Santa Monica Farmers Market.
And, if you are looking for some exercise, the famous Santa Monica Stairs are in the area, forming 199 cement steps and another 170 wooden ones. They lead up to Mesa Road.
Needless to say, you can also take the descent route. The Expo Line connects Santa Monica to the Metro Center Station by light rail, and from there, the entire city is accessible by subway.
If you’re looking for a more beach oriented vacation and at the same time be within a reasonable distance of the city’s tourist attractions Santa Monica is a very good option to sleep in Los Angeles.
Santa Monica Accommodations
LAX is the acronym for Los Angeles International Airport. A facility located 18 kilometers southwest of downtown. The airport is itself a city with its nine terminals.
And as incredible as it may seem, the airport has original places to visit that are ideal for long waits between trans-oceanic flights. For example, there is the Flight Path Museum & Learning Center where you can see models of historic aircraft and pieces related to aviation magnate and lover Howard Hughes.
The Space Exploration Gallery details the milestones of space exploration. It is a free museum. Another museum in the area is the Automobile Driving Museum. An impressive collection of 130 classic cars.
A picturesque place within the airport facilities is the Inn-N-Out Hamburger. This is an open-air fast food restaurant where you can get a first-hand look at the movements of planes on the airport runways.
Los Angeles Airport is connected to the rest of the city by the Metro Green Line.
Accommodations in LAX
Chinatown is a historic Los Angeles neighborhood right in the middle of town. The place is the site of the Chinese community that came to the United States during the 19th century to work as domestic servants.
The neighborhood, now called Union Station, covers an area of 24 blocks. And, to start seeing the area, you have to start at its center, the Central Plaza of Chinatown.
It is an environment that recreates the style of traditional Chinese houses, with their typical decoration and color. It is a perfect place to do original shopping to take back with you on your trip.
The nearby Chunking Street, which was once full of shops and small stores, is now a space for art galleries and rooms. Here, you can clearly see the hippie and alternative taste that is so Californian.
Thien Hau Temple. This is a religious building that is dedicated to Mazu, the goddess of the Chinese sea. And if you want to understand the traditions of the Chinese living in Chinatown throughout history, nothing better than going to the Chinese-American Museum. It is located at 425 N at the intersection with Arcadia Street.
It is easily recognizable as a two-story red brick building. Los Angeles Union Station is the main train station in the city and is in the area. It is located at 800 N Alameda Street. Something that guarantees good communications with different cities in California and with other states.
Hotels in Chinatown LA
Another option to stay in Los Angeles is Venice Beach. It is a residential area located west of the city on the coast and 28 kilometers from downtown and south of Santa Monica. Ocean Front Walk is the name of its long and famous four kilometer long promenade.
Venice Beach has its origins in the creation of a spa town along the coast of Los Angeles. It was in 1905, when tobacco entrepreneur Abbot Kinney founded what he called the ‘Venice of America’ in the area.
The district is surrounded by a series of navigable canals, the Venice Canals, which are themselves a tourist attraction. On both sides of the canals, there are beautiful beach houses and you can go on boat or kayak trips.
Another leisure option is to walk around the area on the marked trails and cross from stretch to stretch on the arched bridges. Another charming place to enjoy outdoor activities is the Venice Boardwalk, a walk that comes from the southern end of Santa Monica Beach and has along its route areas limited to the transit of bicycles, space where to skate and courts in which to play volleyball or basketball.
One attraction that cannot be classified in the area is the Mosaic Tile House. A house that belongs to two artists and that is a real aesthetic riot. It must be seen.
And finally, an area to shop in, in one of the most expensive spaces in Venice Beach, is Abbot Kinney Boulevard. The best boutiques, bars, restaurants and art galleries in Venice Beach.
Venice Beach Hotels
Pasadena is a district located northeast of downtown Los Angeles and 10 miles from Downtown. Pasadena is a commercial and residential town that is in the San Gabriel Valley and at the foot of the mountains of the same name.
Any route that you want to know Pasadena has to start in the Old Pasadena, the old part of town. In the area, Colorado Boulevard is the One Colorado, a house with a patio where movies are regularly screened according to a calendar of events, a great place for a drink or dinner outdoors on summer nights.
Another Pasadena attraction is the monumental City Hall building built in 1927. Its impressive central section, in neo-Renaissance style, is 65 metres high.
The Pasadena Playhouse is a small theater with a colonial patio and a capacity for 675 spectators that also has its own calendar of events. During every Thursday night in the summer, there are musical performances.
A huge green setting to enjoy in the shade is the Broadside Park which occupies an area of 250,000 square meters. Pasadena is home to some of the leading technology companies and institutions in the United States. This is the case of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory or the California Institute of Technology. Visits are also recommended, especially for those who like innovation.
And if you want to enjoy some glamour, in Pasadena you can see local samples for that level of charm. There’s the Castle Green, a 1930s hotel with a very peculiar architectural style, or the Gamble House, which has an exhibition of glass objects. The woodwork in the house is equally peculiar. Halfway between a wooden house on a ranch and the cabins of an old wooden boat.
Accommodations in Pasadena