Some of the best things to do in Los Angeles are often associated with the city's glamour, fame, and fortune. The city has plenty of Hollywood studios that are open for tours, designer brands lining upscale shopping streets, and large mansions in Beverly Hills. If you’re lucky, you may even spot Hollywood’s A-listers going about their day on the city’s many tree-lined boulevards.

    Families can enjoy hours of fun at elaborate theme parks, Santa Monica Pier, and Griffith Park, while music lovers can enjoy classical and contemporary music at numerous concert halls within Los Angeles. The city features a seemingly endless list of attractions and activities to suit just about any traveller, so we've compiled a handy guide of spots Los Angeles is most famous for. 

    What are the best things to do in Los Angeles?


    Hollywood Sign

    Head to Lake Hollywood Park for the best view

    • Photo
    • Budget

    The iconic Hollywood Sign, standing at 44 feet, can be spotted from just about anywhere in downtown Los Angeles. Erected on Mount Lee in 1923, there are 3 hiking trails leading to the sign, with the shortest one spanning 3 miles and starting at the Griffith Observatory parking lot. 

    If hiking to the summit sounds too strenuous, make your way to Lake Hollywood Park, which has a great viewpoint of the landmark. Taking a photo of yourself with the sign in the background is one of the best things to do in Los Angeles. 

    Read more

    Location: Los Angeles, CA 90068, USA

    Phone: +1 323-258-4338


    Paramount Pictures Studios

    Join the 2-hour tour to see studio sets of your favourite TV shows

    Paramount Pictures Studios offer daily tours of its many movie sets and sound stages. The 2-hour studio tour takes place in the morning and afternoon, with a guide sharing interesting facts about this renowned film studio. 

    You may even catch some of your favourite TV shows being filmed during your tour. If you’re a fan of ghost stories, Paramount Pictures Studios’ After Dark tour is a 2.5-hour-long walking tour that includes a visit to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

    Read more

    Location: 5515 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 8.30 pm

    Phone: +1 323-956-1777


    photo by Coolcaesar (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Venice Beach

    The most famous beach in Los Angeles

    Venice Beach is where all of LA comes to show off, shop, work out, swim and catch some sun. It is a melting pot of visitors and locals, and it’s widely known as the heart of LA’s bohemian culture. The large beach area has both sandy and grassy areas, making it an ideal picnic spot. Swimmers and surfers enjoy the cool waves while skaters and joggers buzz along the paths and skate parks. The beach is also a famous spot for bodybuilders, especially at the famed Muscle Beach.

    It’s easy to spend a day at Venice Beach as it’s flanked by shops and restaurants. The Venice Beach boardwalk is also home to eclectic artisan shops and funky street performances.

    Read more

    Location: Venice, Los Angeles, CA, USA


    Hollywood Walk of Fame

    Pose for a photo in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre

    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget

    The Hollywood Walk of Fame commemorates notable actors and filmmakers by memorialising their handprints, signatures, and nameplates with a large golden star. Located on Hollywood Boulevard, this area is often packed with camera-toting tourists looking to spot their favourites along the sidewalk. 

    Another common thing to do in Los Angeles is catching a movie premiere at the historical TCL Chinese Theatre, which has been showcasing the latest Hollywood films since 1927.

    Read more

    Location: N Highland Ave & Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028, USA

    Phone: +1 323-469-8311


    Rodeo Drive

    Look out for celebrities at this upscale shopping street

    Rodeo Drive is where you may spot Hollywood’s rich and famous going about their day in Los Angeles. This 2-mile-long shopping street has over 100 designer boutiques and jewellery stores, such as Gucci, Dior, Harry Winston, and Giorgio Armani. 

    There are plenty of 5-star hotel spas and beauty salons that offers nail services, body massages, and facials –  enjoying a spa day is a popular thing to do in Los Angeles if you want to experience life as a Hollywood celeb. 

    Read more

    Location: 328 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, USA


    Griffith Park

    Enjoy views of LA at the Griffith Observatory

    Griffith Park, located 2.5 miles east of the Hollywood Bowl, is one of the largest municipal parks in the USA. It offers a variety of things to do in Los Angeles for visitors of all ages, including hiking, golfing, cycling, and horseback riding. There are over 50 miles of trails, many of which are set close to waterfalls and lagoons within the park. 

    You can also visit catch a concert at the Greek Theatre and enjoy panoramic views of Los Angeles at the Griffith Observatory.

    Location: 4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA

    Phone: +1 323-913-4688


    Sunset Boulevard

    Go for a drive along the palm-lined Sunset Strip

    Sunset Boulevard and the streets around it are lined with palm trees and neon-lit billboards, resulting in beautiful snapshots. The most popular street is called Sunset Strip, which runs through Hollywood and Beverly Hills. 

    Here, you can enjoy live music and stand-up comedy at legendary spots such as The Roxy Theatre and The Laugh Factory. There are also plenty of excellent clubs and bars to hit up in the evenings. 

    Read more

    Location: Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069, USA


    photo by MikeJiroch (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Universal CityWalk Hollywood

    Walking street full of food, pubs and entertainment

    Universal CityWalk Hollywood is a large outdoor shopping and entertainment complex in Hollywood. CityWalk is managed by Universal Studios but is not part of the park, so visitors can come to shop, dine, catch a film and enjoy entertainment without the need for a ticket.

    CityWalk includes dozens of shops like Fossil, Abercrombie & Fitch and Billabong. Enjoy dining and entertainment at bars and restaurants like Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. The main attraction is the ultra-modern Universal Cinema, which houses a 7-storey IMAX theatre that’s a one-of-a-kind experience for film buffs. 

    Read more

    Location: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608, USA

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from 11 am to 9 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 11 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 818-622-9841


    Original Farmers Market

    Grab a California roll at this foodie market

    The Original Farmers Market attracts foodies with its extensive range of fresh produce and food vendors. The marketplace dates back to 1934, and has since attracted many Hollywood icons over the years, including Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe, and Shirley Temple. 

    Today, you can find a variety of cuisine and sweet treats, from Texan barbeque, burgers, and pizzas, to sushi, Chinese stir-fries, and paella. There are also plenty of things to do in Los Angeles' famous marketplace – on Friday nights, you can enjoy live music for free, as well as annual celebrations such as Christmas, Hanukkah, and St Patrick's Day. 

    Read more

    Location: 6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA

    Open: Monday–Friday from 9 am to 9 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 8 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +1 323-933-9211


    photo by Infernalfox (CC BY-SA 2.5) modified


    Universal Studio Tour

    Tram tour of the studios where TV and movies come to life

    The Universal Studio Tour is a tram tour of among the largest movie and TV studios on the planet. The 60-minute tour will take you through 13 city blocks of movie studios on the Universal lot, allowing you to see where some iconic films have been produced. As the lots are in use daily, you’ll often come face-to-face with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

    More than just a tour, the Universal Studio Tour features entertainment by Jimmy Fallon on the trams’ HD screens as well as close encounters with action-packed sets and stunts. There’s no better way to step through the silver screen and into your favourite films.

    Read more

    Location: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608, USA

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 10 am to 6 pm, Friday from 9 am to 6 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +1 800-864-8377


    Santa Monica Pier

    Ride the Ferris wheel for views of the Pacific Ocean

    Santa Monica Pier attracts families with its beachfront promenade and fair-like atmosphere. Its impressive carnival rides and kid-friendly games are some of the most exciting things to do in Los Angeles. Founded in 1909, this traditional amusement park is where you can ride the iconic Santa Monica Pier Carousel, which dates back to the late 1930s. 

    Fairground rides typically cost between $5 and $10 each. Cycling is a popular activity as the pier features a 26-mile-long pathway that runs parallel to the Pacific Ocean. Fitness enthusiasts can work out at an outdoor body-building gym located south of the pier.

    Read more

    Location: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA

    Phone: +1 310-458-8901


    Hollywood Bowl

    Catch classical music by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra

    The Hollywood Bowl has been hosting some of the world’s biggest concerts since 1922. Located 1 mile north of the TCL Chinese Theatre, the open-air amphitheatre can accommodate over 17,000 people at a time. Among the many music legends who have performed here are Elton John, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones. 

    Fans of classical music can catch the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, which comprises 80 musicians performing film scores, Broadway tunes, and jazz music.

    Read more

    Location: 2301 North Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068, USA

    Open: Box office: daily from noon to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 323-850-2000


    photo by Eric Chan (CC BY 2.0) modified

    Penny Wong | Compulsive Traveller

    Start planning your trip

    Keep exploring


    United States of America

    Back to top