Which highlights and attractions are not to be missed on a holiday in Los Angeles? Here you will find a list of the top 10 attractions in Los Angeles!
City of angels, city of stars and starlets, city of dreams - glamorous Los Angeles has many names and many facets. Most people already know Los Angeles from films and television, where an image is drawn that only marginally corresponds to reality. Many a person who comes to the City of Dreams on the Pacific with high expectations has already been disappointed.
The sunny city on the west coast of the USA has the most celebrities and the highest air pollution in the country. The immense wealth in the mansions of Beverly Hills is contrasted by abject poverty and tons of rubbish in the back streets of the south.
If you are only in the city for a few days, you will usually only see the most beautiful of L.A.'s countless faces and can enjoy the California lifestyle to the fullest. All the better: you shouldn't miss our top 10 sights of Los Angeles!
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The nine striking letters in the Hollywood Hills designate what is probably the most famous district of Los Angeles: Hollywood. The 15-metre-high lettering can of course be visited and offers a stunning view of Los Angeles.
You can't get there directly by car, but Beachwood Drive is the closest you can get to the Hollywood sign. It is a little further down from the letters and has only a limited number of parking spaces, which are quickly filled.
If you're not afraid of a four-kilometre hike, start at Mulholland Drive and march along the Wonder View Drive Trail to the top of the Hollywood Logo. And then the city of dreams is truly at your feet!
Another sight in the Hollywood Hills is the Griffith Observatory in the nature reserve of the same name about 350 metres above Los Angeles. The Art Deco observ atory with its three distinctive domes is beautiful to look at from the outside and was built in 1935. Its elaborately decorated rooms bring visitors closer to the world of stars and planets.
The planetarium uses laser light to conjure up a magnificent starry sky above visitors' heads, huge telescopes allow live observations in space and interesting exhibitions reveal the mysterious fascination of our universe. Also worth a visit is the restaurant at the End of the Universe - how appropriate with a star chef (and yet surprisingly affordable)!
From here, too, there is a sensational view over the City of Dreams, which is one of the best in the city. On a clear day, the view even reaches as far as the crashing waves of the Pacific, and at night a gigantic sea of lights glitters. Both the view and the entrance to the observatory are free.
Tip: This wonderful vantage point is busiest before dusk, so parking spaces (for which a fee must be paid) can become scarce!
If the Hollywood Sign is the crown of Hollywood, Hollywood Boulevard is its main artery. This is where the Kodak Theatre is located, where the Oscar ceremony, popular all over the world, takes place once a year. The countless souvenir shops are also all about film: even autograph cards and screenplay manuscripts are available and some shops even sell souvenirs of just one film.
In between are restaurants, boutiques, museums (including the extremely interesting Hollywood Museum), theatres, bed & breakfasts and office buildings. If you simply stroll along here, you will discover L.A.'s sights non-stop.
Also on Hollywood Boulevard is Mann's Chinese Theatre, on whose forecourt thehand and footprints of some 200 Hollywood celebrities are immortalised. Sound familiar? That's right: most tourists come to Hollywood Boulevard to admire its greatest landmark: the Walk of Fame!
Walk of Fame in Hollywood
Often copied around the world, its place of origin is nevertheless the most famous: the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard. There is hardly an actor, musician or producer who does not dream of being immortalised here as a star in the truest sense of the word.
Thefamous "street of fame" stretches over 15 blocks and now occupies both pavements. More than 2,500 names can already be found here, whose owners all have one thing in common: They have achieved special renown in the five categories of film, television, theatre, music or radio.
To list the famous personalities on the Walk of Fame, for example, would go beyond the scope of this article - you have to discover it a bit yourself...
Universal Studios in Hollywood
To call Universal Studios in Hollywood a movie studio would be the understatement of the century. Rather, it is a theme park full of excitement, action and adventure.
Various film sets are waiting to be explored (Desparate Housewives, King Kong, The Mummy, Spiderman, CSI or Jurassic Park to name but a few) and spectacular shows and tours put you right in the middle of the action of Hogwarts, Terminator or Back to the Future.
Breathtaking stunt shows with special effects (some of which are very wet and require a second set of clothes), animal demonstrations and studio tours provide interesting background knowledge for the next visit to the cinema.
Just west of Hollywood is the district of Beverly Hills - also well known from films and television, because the rich and beautiful of the entertainment industry reside here. Here, almost only luxury cars are parked in front of the shops and small parks invite you to relax.
The villas of the celebrities are often hidden behind high walls and park-like gardens with pompous driveways. Nevertheless, a stroll through the streets decorated with flowers and palm trees is worthwhile, where the peace and quiet is only interrupted now and then by a roaring Ferrari engine.
By the way, if you have some money left in your holiday budget, you can easily spend it on palm-fringed Rodeo Drive - chic and trendy flair included. The 3.2-kilometre-long street enjoys the reputation of being the most expensive shopping street in the world. And indeed, especially from Wilshire Boulevard to South Santa Monica Boulevard, one million-dollar luxury label follows the next.
Santa Monica Beach and Pier
At the end of the infamous Route 66 through the Wild West lies Santa Monica Boulevard, which leads directly to Santa Monica Beach on the west coast of the USA. The city, which strictly speaking is no longer part of L.A., attracts visitors with its wonderful beach atmosphere on the Pacific Ocean and the secluded green Palisades Park - the perfect place to relax for a day and experience an impressive sunset during your Los Angeles city trip!
The idyllic Ocean Front Road and Pacific Park, a small amusement park with roller coaster and Ferris wheel, are located at the Santa Monica Pier, built in 1909. If you want to shop, the best place is Santa Monica Place. Incidentally, the shopping mall is located at the end of the Third Street Promenade, one of the few pedestrian zones established in the USA on the European model.
The 5-kilometre-long Venice Beach, which rightly bears its name "Muscle Beach", borders directly on Santa Monica Beach. Similar to the equally famous Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, countless ladies and gentlemen of L.A. flaunt their luxurious bodies here.
The ladies loll in the sand, lightly dressed, and the men (at least most of them) flex their muscles at various workout stations or surf skillfully over the waves. Street artists and musicians also show off their skills and give Venice Beach the lively atmosphere of a fair.
Apart from that, the restaurants, cafés and shops (for fortune-telling and medicinal herbs, among others) on the waterfront are popular meeting places for tourists and locals. Especially in the evening, a visit to a bar is a good way to enjoy the sunset with live music and cocktails.
Tip: Let yourself be inspired by the countless sportsmen and sportswomen on Venice Beach and go for a run in running shoes or on your bike! If you need some peace and quiet in between, you'll find it in the secluded canals behind Venice Beach.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA for short) is located in beautiful Hancock Park on Wilshire Boulevard. Founded in 1961 west of Chicago, the museum can claim the title of the largest art museum in the USA.
The installation of 202 old street lamps at the forecourt of the modernly designed museum is an absolute eye-catcher and one of the most photographed places in Los Angeles. The "Levitated Mass", a passageway under a 340-tonne boulder, is also one of the most impressive outdoor exhibits.
Behind the walls of the seven museum buildings are some 130,000 works ranging in origin from antiquity to the present. American, Korean and Islamic art in particular is represented here in a comprehensive collection.
Tip: Also in Hancock Park and thus in the middle of the big city are the fascinating La Brea tar pits, which gave La Brea Avenue its name.
The Getty Center, a few kilometres from Venice Beach, is also one of the top 10 sights in Los Angeles - one of the few highlights in the City of Angels with free admission! However, tickets must be reserved online in advance and parking is charged.
The Getty Center is located in the west of Bel-Air and was created by the oil billionaire and art collector J. Paul Getty. The snow-white building impresses with its elegant architecture and a picturesque garden of flowerbeds and fountains.
Inside, constantly changing exhibitions with a focus on American and European art await visitors, from Baroque sculptures to Renaissance paintings and 20th-century photographs. Its highlights include Vincent van Gogh's "Irises", one of the most expensive works in art history.
Tip: The Getty Villa is also worth a visit! It is reminiscent of a magnificent Roman mansion from the ancient city of Herculaneum and, in keeping with the building style, houses art from Roman and Greek antiquity.
PICTURES: The Top 10 Sights of Los Angeles