As the largest city on the West Coast and home to Hollywood, the City of Angels can seem like a playground for the wealthy. Appearances, however, can be deceptive. As many tourists and visitors to the city discover, Los Angeles has a ton of activities in store for you that won’t put a dent in your wallet. In the curated list below, you’ll discover the 12 best things to do for free in Los Angeles.
1. Rodeo Drive
This is an exclusive shopping district with exotic brands and exclusive privately run boutiques. Rodeo Drive was made memorable by the venerable Julia Roberts in the movie Pretty Woman. Since then, crowds of visitors visit the place to catch a glimpse of their favorite celebrities and browse the shops. There is no obligation to buy and most shop owners are used to tourists.
2. Griffith Observatory
Perched high on the south side of Mount Hollywood, the Griffith Observatory offers a breathtaking view of the city and adjacent areas. While the planetarium shows cost money, visitors can enjoy the spectacular hiking and biking trails and make use of some of the best photography in this massive urban park. Other attractions include the Zoo and Botanical Gardens, the iconic Hollywood Sign, and an impressive museum of curated exhibits.
3. Venice Beach
When it comes to free activities in Los Angeles, a trip to iconic Venice Beach ranks among the top attractions. While Venice the city is inspired by Venice, Italy, the beach has now taken on a distinct Californian identity. Dozens of tourists come to the beach to enjoy the sun baths, the famous promenade and the opportunity to see all the original and eclectic characters that surround them.
4. Santa Monica
It is no exaggeration to say that Santa Monica Beach is among the most iconic in the United States. Visitors to Santa Monica are rarely short of activities and things to see with some of the most striking street performers, spectacular nightlife, and soft sand beaches on offer. The famous pier and the Ferris wheel are also worth mentioning.
5. Getty Center
Top 12 Free Things to Do in Los Angeles-5 Designed by the legendary Richard Meier, the Getty Center is arguably one of America’s most famous architectural landmarks. The center houses some of the most sublime works of art from around the world. Whether it’s Baroque sculpture or Renaissance artwork, visitors can expect some of the most charming and intriguing masterpieces at the Getty Center. The magnificent views of the city are an added bonus.
6. Hollywood Walk of Fame
Visitors to Los Angeles will miss out if they don’t take the opportunity to soak up the atmosphere on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Consistently ranked among the funniest things to do in Los Angeles for free, Walk is the who’s who of Hollywood. As a bonus, you can also visit the TCL Chinese Theater, where you can find some of the most iconic Hollywood movie star handprints and signatures.
7. Walt Disney Concert Hall
This is another architectural masterpiece in the center of downtown Los Angeles. This Frank Gehry masterpiece is credited with transforming the cultural landscape of boring downtown Los Angeles. Visitors can choose to listen to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra or simply take a free guided tour of this venue.
8. Sunset Boulevard
This magnificent location has been immortalized in various Hollywood movies. Clearly one of the most recognizable thoroughfares in the US, Sunset Boulevard offers visitors a glimpse into the glitzy lifestyle of Hollywood’s who’s who. This charming palm fringed strip has now been transformed into a lively nightlife hub with several restaurants and live entertainment venues.
9. Hollywood Bowl
The Hollywood Bowl is a beautiful outdoor amphitheater that has been honored by some of the biggest names in the music world, including the Beatles and Madonna. Visitors can expect an exceptional musical experience in this surreal setting. Additionally, the on-site museum has impressive artwork and memorabilia that showcase its history.
10. Runyon Canyon Park
For those who can’t have enough trails and views to die for, there is no better place than Runyon Park. Located minutes from Hollywood Boulevard, park visitors can seek expansive, panoramic views of the Pacific and the San Fernando Valley.
11. Great Central Market
This is a food lover’s paradise in downtown Los Angeles with over 30 vendors serving food from tacos to ramen noodles. Plus, it’s open every night until 10pm, so there are plenty of places to enjoy a late dinner or have a craft beer.
12. Bradbury Building
It is the oldest remaining commercial building in Los Angeles, but that is not why this building is a tourist attraction. With its beautiful light-filled central atrium towering nearly 50 feet tall, marble staircases, and ornate iron railings, the Bradbury Building has been featured in many movies, most notably Bladerunner and (500) Days of Summer.