Guide to Los Angeles: the best flights, accommodation and tips to experience the real California
El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles sobre El Río Porciúncula. This is the original name of the city we know today as Los Angeles. Literally, we could translate it as the Village of Our Queen of Angels on the Porciúncula River. Initially, only the land around the river was set aside for religious purposes – to spread the faith. In 1781, settlers from the Philippines, America, Africa and Spain arrived here. For many years the place bore the appearance of a farm rather than a real town. Los Angeles is now the largest city in the state of California and the second largest in the entire United States. It is located on one of the most extensive oil fields in America.
Los Angeles is home not only to film and TV shows, but also to the world’s diverse cultures – you can distinguish up to two hundred and twenty-four languages here. It also boasts more than three hundred museums and some ninety theatres. Soak up the atmosphere of this metropolis with our great flights and choose your ideal accommodation from our offer. Here are some tips for activities to fully enjoy LA.
From where? With whom? When? Tips from Pelicaners on flights to Los Angeles
- From where? Some of the biggest international airports in Europe offer direct flights to Los Angeles include London Heathrow (LHR), Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Frankfurt Airport (FRA), Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS), and Madrid Barajas (MAD). You can also get to Los Angeles from Vienna, with several airlines.
- With whom? Some of the major airlines that operate flights between Europe and Los Angeles include British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa, KLM, and American Airlines and there is a flight operated by Scandinavian Airlines direct from Vienna.
- When? You can travel to Los Angeles pretty much any time. Los Angeles alternates between dry, warm summers and mild winters. With an average of 284 days of sunshine a year, this city offers a fantastic climate. The hottest month is August, with a maximum temperature of around 28°C. On the other hand, the coldest month is December with an average temperature of 9°C .
- What’s included? Round trip flight, all hand luggage and hold baggage fees (depending on the airline).
Accommodation in Los Angeles: find a hotel or Airbnb on the beach
If you are looking for accommodation in Los Angeles, we recommend you to check the location and quality of the accommodation beforehand. LA offers a wide range of accommodation types and prices, which vary depending on the location.
Check prices and book your hotel through Pelican. Find accommodation tips on this smart map:
What you need to enter Los Angeles
- When travelling to the US, you no longer need to apply for a visa at a US embassy, you just need a biometric passport and an ESTA. Only those travelling to the US for more than 90 days or going to the US for work, study or exchange need to apply for a visa. Also, all those who have not been approved for ESTA.
- Valid passport for at least 6 months after your return
- Only fully vaccinated persons (applies to everyone over 18 years of age) with vaccinations more than 14 days old may enter the US. The US accepts all vaccines except the Sputnik vaccine.
What to see and experience in the City of Angels (Los Angeles)?
1. Be part of the film industry at Universal Studios Hollywood
At Universal Studios Hollywood, all movie lovers have the opportunity to experience the magic of cinema firsthand. You’d better make a whole day of it. One of the tour alternatives is the legendary Studio Tour, which gives you a behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood movies. Peer into the wizarding world and discover Hogwarts Castle, visit Springfield, come face-to-face with King Kong or strap yourself in for a Fast and Furious experience. The park opens its doors to visitors every day.
You’d better check the official website for opening times before you visit, but it usually comes alive at 9am and closes at 10pm. Of course, the most practical thing to do is to buy a ticket in advance and arrive at the place before it opens. If you go to the film studios back in July, you’ll pay $110 for an admission for adults, $104 for a child. However, prices vary from month to month.
2. Extraordinary Griffith Observatory and Griffith Park
It is located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood, overlooking Los Angeles itself and the surrounding countryside. But it’s not just the photogenic view from this spot that makes it special. The observatory regularly hosts fascinating exhibitions and offers a top-notch planetarium experience. Admission to the observatory is free, but you’ll pay between three and seven dollars for special shows. It’s open Tuesday through Friday in the afternoon, until 10 p.m. On weekends, the hours are extended.
You’ll also find a gift shop and café on site. If you’re looking for a place where you can spend some time outdoors (while avoiding the complicated traffic on the way to one of the beaches), head to Griffith Park. The largest urban park in the country totals 4,210 acres in size, which includes over eighty miles of hiking trails, bike paths, numerous waterfalls, and lagoons. You’ll also find a variety of attractions, including the city’s Zoo and Botanical Gardens and the Museum of the American West. Griffith Park is open to the public seven days a week from five in the morning until half past eleven in the evening. Admission is free, but you’ll have to pay for some attractions like the sports fields and museums.
3. A breathtaking collection of art at The Getty Center
One of the most impressive architectural feats in the United States houses some of the most fundamental works of art inside. You’ll recognize paintings by Renoir, Cézanne, Monet, Rubens and Van Gogh. The circular structure of concrete and steel was designed by renowned architect Richard Meier. The complexity of the exhibition offers art from different periods and cultures. Renaissance paintings, an interpretation of 20th century American photography, Baroque sculptures, historical manuscripts and much more can be found inside a sprawling modern complex amidst the Santa Monica Mountains.
On clear days, you’ll also discover a spectacular view of Los Angeles. Admission is free, and you can join a group of fifteen to thirty people for a free 45-minute tour from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from ten in the morning until half past six in the evening (until nine on Saturdays).
4. Rodeo Drive fro m the movie Pretty Woman
Forever living thanks to the picture of Julia Roberts in the movie Pretty Woman. Rodeo Drive is an upscale shopping street in Beverly Hills that includes high-end designer shops and small private boutiques. This area is popular with all the financially comfortable shoppers, celebrities, with permanently fitted glasses, and tourists, eager to catch a glimpse of fashion icons. Most shopkeepers are already used to walking tours in this zone, with no intention of actually shopping. The alley is worth a visit not only for clothing lovers, but also for car lovers. Along the curb of Rodeo Drive, you’re guaranteed to spot not only rare, but some seriously expensive pieces.
5. Antique cars in The Nethercutt Collection
Speaking of cars, there’s a place in Los Angeles where the sight of these well-preserved, meticulously detailed structures is sure to tickle your fancy. J.B. Nethercutt began his car collection in 1956, when he acquired two automotive antiques. He was so caught up that he continued collecting and restoring old cars for the rest of his life. In 1971, he and his wife decided to open this growing collection to the public for free.
The collection is housed in two voluminous exhibition halls. The cars themselves are classified by era: Antique (1890-1915), Vintage (1916-1924), Classic (1925-1948), and Post-War (1945-1970s). As the collection grew over time, it was enriched with antique musical instruments, including phonographs and music boxes, as well as other relics from bygone eras.
In addition, you shouldn’t miss the museum’s state-of-the-art automotive research facility, as well as its library and archives. Just a few steps from the museum building, you’ll discover a beautifully restored steam locomotive and railroad car from 1912. The museum regularly hosts musical events, concerts, and silent film screenings that are free to the public. The Nethercutt Collection can be found at Bledsoe St, Sylmar, Los Angeles.
6. Experience the mysterious atmosphere in the underground tunnels of Los Angeles
During Prohibition, corrupt local political leaders decided to use seventeen kilometres of underground tunnels as passageways to basement liquor stores. Visitors thus moved around under the city, getting drunk without a clue about the world, while the mayor maintained a regular supply of moonshine. The King Eddy Saloon, a business that has remained alive since 1900, is still part of the tunnel system, scattered with crumbling bricks and dotted with graffiti paintings. In addition to working tunnels, abandoned subway and equestrian tunnels from before the days when passenger vehicles overwhelmed the streets of Los Angeles survive here. There are stories of police transporting prisoners through them or bank security guards moving large sums of cash safely through them.
Many of them are now closed, but some remain accessible and serve as production cinema locations, easy shortcuts for employees between buildings, or even as running routes on rare occasions or in the event of rain. To explore LA’s ancient underground transportation routes, head to Temple Street, behind the Hall of Records, and look for the somewhat hidden elevator. This will transport you to an underground passageway full of mysterious street art, rusty machinery and iron gates that will restrict your explorations for safety’s sake.
7. For fragrance at The Original Farmers Market and The Grove
Located just south of the West Hollywood area, the popular farmers’ markets are open daily, but the hours change with almost daily regularity. Established in 1934, the cream-colored buildings promise their visitors access to fresh fruit and the smell of ready-to-eat snacks. It’s possible that you may have to enjoy your meal outside of the market area, or wait for your table, due to high interest.
If you’re in the mood for a slightly more commercial and fun-filled experience, head to neighbouring The Grove. In addition to places to shop, you’ll find a number of restaurants, a cinema and a variation of regular special events. The Grove opens its doors daily from ten to eight, nine or ten in the evening, depending on the day. It is located on W. Third Street.
8. The somewhat bizarre beach of Venice
Venice Beach has been known for some time as the eccentric epicenter of California, and it is constantly developing its distinctive spirit. It began to take its own shape in the image of Venice – including the canals – in the 20th century. Admittedly, the experiment did not completely burn into the Italian image, but it has become an indispensable place in California.
Today, it embodies a combination of a bit luxurious, yet alternative, and above all, quirky place. Expect a collection of funky boutiques and restaurants rather than towering church steeples and pizzerias with an intimate feel. Visit Venice Beach, or Venice, daily for free. You’ll find it about twenty-eight miles southwest of central LA. The address is 1800 Ocean Front Walk.
9. Hollywood Walk of Fame and Chinese Theatre
One of Hollywood’s most iconic landmarks is undoubtedly the TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly Grauman’s Chinese Theatre) on the historic Hollywood Walk of Fame, which remains something of a symbol of Hollywood’s golden age. Due to its popularity, we recommend you book your seat ahead online.
A tour of the theater costs $16 ($8 for children and $13.50 for a senior ticket). You can attend every day except Monday. Right outside the theater, you’ll discover another attraction – the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which is adorned with hundreds of handprints and signatures of movie stars. You’ll find the most recognizable names, especially between the 6 800 and 6 900 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard.
10. A great piece of history and nature at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
The largest natural history museum in the western United States. This description speaks for itself. It is actually a complex of three Los Angeles area museums; The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, The La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, and the William S. Hart Museum. These three museums work together with a common idea: “to inspire wonder, discovery, and responsibility to our natural and cultural worlds.” The institution houses over thirty-five million specimens, some of which date back as far as 4.5 trillion years ago. For this cultural experience, head to Exposition Boulevard.
Weather in Los Angeles
You can travel to Los Angeles pretty much anytime. Los Angeles alternates between dry, warm summers and mild winters. With an average of 284 days of sunshine a year, this city offers a fantastic climate. The hottest month is August, with a maximum temperature of around 28°C. On the other hand, the coldest month is December with an average temperature of 9°C .
Transportation in Los Angeles
Getting around the city by car is relatively easy, but it’s still a good idea to consult a map of the main motorways. It’s important to keep an eye on the current road situation, as at peak times (07:00-09:00 and 16:00-19:00) the roads are quite congested and you’ll be stuck for a good 4 hours.
Los Angeles, Sequoia, Yosemite and San Francisco. Is it possible to do all this in less than a week? Most of you will say no, and that California should be enjoyed in at least two weeks. We agree. But still, what if you’re only going for a week? We’ll show you how you can squeeze the most out of your trip. Why? Because renting a car in California and being the master of your time is priceless in this state.
If you only want to get around Los Angeles, we definitely recommend public transportation, which is fast. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority MTA, currently manages bus and subway operations. Because the city is quite large, bus travel can be quite lengthy with frequent transfers, so the subway is the best option.
Taxis are quite expensive in L.A., so we recommend using them only for overnight trips within the same area. We recommend that you use only licensed taxis (Los Angeles Taxicab Seal). The fare is the same for official taxis.Photo source: Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Unsplash.com