Los Angeles in southern California is the home of the stars and the icon of the west coast of America. Is this the place to visit on a budget or is it better to come when you have a little more money to spend while you’re here? This iconic city is definitely one to tick off the bucket list. There is so much to do but there is also a lot you should be aware of. Here is out short guide to the city.
Outside of the mainstream areas the major transport system in LA is by car. Visiting in 2012 pre-UBER era, the first trip from the airport was by shuttle bus. This took a long time because LA covers over 60 square miles! One side of the city to another in a car can take a long time especially when you have to visit a lot of places. There is a bus network around the city which have clever bike carriers on the front and a trip across town can cost as little as 75p. But it takes a very long time to get across town as they do not have bus lanes so if you are going from the station to the beach it can take a couple of hours. LA has a tube system but it is not the safest and doesn’t cover a lot of the city. There are trains out of the city which are faster than driving but they are not very well known. I got the train to San Diego; my friend didn’t even know where to pick me up because she had never used it.
I would recommend using uber to get around which is cheaper than taxis and a lot safer. Outside of the tourist areas no one really walks along the streets and as a young girl on her own I did not always feel safe. A lot of the crazies can appear from nowhere. I was recommended getting a taxi down the street on sunset boulevard between the clubs because if you walk past one corner you would get robbed. Uber needs more of a budget but it makes life easier. Be safe and aware.
LA is expensive but if you book in advanced you can get a very good deal. I would recommend staying at Santa Monica as there is a lot to do, right next to the beach and easy to get to. Also, there is a very reasonable hostel next to a British shop which helped me when I was a bit homesick after three months away.
This is a must see. The street has the Chinese theatre, iconic stars on the street and lots of different places to see. The street does suddenly end so be careful where you stray. But you can get a distant view of the Hollywood sign and take a picture with a look alike. Be warned the get you to take a pic then ask for money. You can also get a bus up to view the Hollywood sign and pose in front of it.
So many celebrities live in the hills of Bel Air. It is kind of cheesy but you have to go and stalk the stars. You never know who you might see. We had Dr dre and Jennifer Aniston on ours. Also, Courtney Cox has the best house on the hills. It’s a bit of a silly industry but pretty entertaining trip.
LA has the original Disney land with the original castle and rides. This is worth a visit but I feel like Florida and Paris have better parks with space and general atmosphere.
This is a must do but you either have to get an uber or day trip as it is not easily accessed via public transport. This should be a day trip as the tour of the studios is incredible and the rides even better. My favourite was the Simpsons ride. This is a great park even if you don’t like rides. At Halloween they do their famous Hollywood horror nights. There are several different mazes on the sets of the studios where you get terrified by actors. Its so much fun. I got chased into a harry potter shop by a zombie with a chainsaw. Also harry potter land just opened!
This is the iconic image of LA. The beach stretches out for over a mile with little Venice stretching out behind it. It has outdoor work out areas as well as an aquarium and the pleasure beach. This is a large fair ground on Santa Monica pier which splits the two neighbour hoods up and is a lot of fun. Santa Monica is a nice area with a lot of resorts and bars. Lots of celebrities frequent this area and it also a good area for shopping.
This is just a fraction of what LA has to offer. If you want to make the most of the city it is best to have a little bit of extra money. This will keep you safer when going between different locations. You are able to visit on a budget but you would be more limited with your activities but if you just want to walk round and hang out on the beach then this might be the place for you. Go check it out!