Los Angeles has loads to keep you entertained! Besides Hollywood, the city has many famous beaches and thrilling theme parks to boot. Our 3-Day Los Angeles Travel Guide suggests three ways to explore the city, and 21 things to see-do-eat too!
There’s something about Los Angeles (LA) that sparks excitement. It’s glitzy, glamourous, the birthplace of Hollywood… it’s the Entertainment Capital of the World for good reason! So despite the severe jet lag, I was wildly excited when I stumbled off the plane at LAX airport, feverishly fantasising: Will I meet a celebrity? Will I get discovered by Hollywood? Will I become famous?
The short answer is no. None of those dreams came true. Yet, I wasn’t too disappointed. I became too busy enjoying LA’s incredible attractions to chase after stardom. After all, LA is packed with many sun-kissed beaches, fascinating museums, and (of course!) the star-studded Hollywood industry (close enough).
But with so much to see in LA, it can get daunting when you have limited time. Fret not! Our Los Angeles Travel Guide provides three sample itineraries based on your interests. We’ve also included 21 things to eat, see and do so you’d never get bored in LA!
Connectivity: Stay connected with a 4G pocket WiFi. The WiFi can be used instantly once you arrive in LA, and connect up to five devices — perfect for sharing.
Getting around LA: Purchase a TAP card from any Metro station for US$2 (~S$2.70). Thereafter, you can add a 1-Day Pass for US$7 (~S$9.50), which can be used on all Metro services.
GO LA Card: This nifty all-inclusive card grants you admission to over 30 LA attractions for one low price, with one to seven-day flexi options. The GO LA Card can only be used from 9:30AM – 5:30PM, but you can stay at the attraction past that timing. All you need to do is scan the card on your phone, and you’re in!
3-Day Los Angeles Itineraries
The GO LA Card includes entry to a diverse range of attractions from theme parks to museums, guided tours around film studios, and even celebrity homes. We’ve drawn up 3-Day Los Angeles itineraries for three categories: Hollywood fans, thrill-seekers, and avid sightseers. Attractions listed with asterisks (*) are covered by the GO LA Card.
1) Hollywood Fans
Highlights: Sony Pictures Studio Tour — Universal Studios Hollywood — Warner Bros. Studio Tour — Griffith Observatory
Highlights: Six Flags Magic Mountain — Universal Studios Hollywood — Pacific Park
3) Avid Sightseers
Highlights: Whale Watching Cruise at San Pedro — OUE Skyspace — Warner Bros. Studio Tour — Madame Tussauds
21 Things to See, Do, Eat in LA
If you’re staying in the city for longer, or want a greater variety of activities, we’ve provided more exciting places, fun activities and lip-smacking eats to spruce up your LA adventure.
What to See in LA
1) Hollywood Boulevard
One of LA’s most popular sites, Hollywood Boulevard features dazzling attractions lining the short road like the iconic Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and cement hand and footprints of famous celebrities.
How to get there: Take the Metro Red Line to Hollywood / Vine Station.
*Pro-tip: Avoid taking photos with costumed people who roam around Hollywood Boulevard. They’ll “ask” for a tip afterwards, sometimes starting from US$10 (~S$13.60).
2) Venice Beach
Venice Beach is the perfect place to get that golden tan and soak in the chill vibes. There’s plenty to explore along the gorgeous stretch, from the famous Muscle Beach where bodybuilders work out, to quirky shops along the Broadwalk, and Santa Monica Beach nearby.
How to get there: Take bus 33 from Spring/7th bus stop in Downtown LA, to Main/Grand bus stop.
3) OUE Skyspace LA
The OUE Skyspace is the tallest observation deck in LA, and is hands-down a must-go to capture beautiful panoramic views of the city.
Entrance Fee: US$25 (~S$33.80, free with GO LA Card)
Opening Hours: 10AM – 10PM
How to get there: Take the Metro Line to 7th St/Metro Center station, then walk 500m.
4) LA County Museum of Art
The huge and world-class LA County Museum of Art houses thousands of art pieces from around the world, including brilliant works from Picasso and Andy Warhol.
Entrance Fee: US$25 (~S$33.80)
Opening Hours: 11AM – 5PM (Mon – Thu), closes 8PM (Fri), 10AM – 7PM (Sat – Sun)
How to get there: Take the Metro Red Line to Hollywood/Highland station, then take bus 217 to Fairfax/Wilshire, and walk 320m.
5) Griffith Observatory
Seeing stars doesn’t just refer to celebrities. Actual stars count too! Located on Mount Hollywood, the Griffith Observatory is a massive observatory that provides telescopes for public use, an impressive planetarium, and surrounding views of the city and the Hollywood sign.
Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 12PM – 10PM (Tue – Fri), opens 10AM (Sat – Sun), closed on Mondays
How to get there: Take the Metro Red Line to Vermont/Sunset station, then take the DASH Observatory bus.
6) Natural History Museum of LA
Showcasing dinosaurs, mammals, and even human and Neanderthal skeletons, nature lovers are in for a fun time at LA’s Natural History Museum.
Entrance Fee: US$15 (~S$20.30, free with GO LA Card)
Opening Hours: 9:30AM – 5PM
How to get there: Take the Metro Expo Line to Expo Park / USC station, then walk 160m.
7) Battleship IOWA Museum
Ever wondered how the inside of a naval warship looks like, or what the naval flags mean? The Battleship IOWA Museum answers your curiosity! You’ll embark on a fascinating self-guided tour around the historical battleship that was used in WWII, the Korean War, and Cold War.
Entrance Fee: US$19.95 (~S$27, free with GO LA Card)
Opening Hours: 10AM – 5PM (last entry at 4PM)
How to get there: Take the Metro Silver Line to Beacon/1st station, then walk 320m.
Things to Do in LA
If you’re a big fan of anything Disney from beloved Princesses to fantastical parades, Disneyland (and its “big sister” Disney California Adventure) cannot be missed! Leave reality behind and immerse yourself in elaborate themed worlds, exciting rides, and have your happy ending with a wonderful fireworks show.
9) Cruise Around in San Pedro
Sail out to open waters with LA Waterfront Cruises on an enjoyable harbour cruise (daily) or whale watching tour (weekends only). We went on the whale watching tour, hoping to spot grey whales migrating. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to see any, but we had a great time watching many playful dolphins porpoising near our boat.
We recommend calling in advance to make a reservation as walk-ins are based on availability.
Cost: From US$30 (~S$40.60, free with GO LA Card)
Cruise Timings: Harbour cruise (hourly from 11:30AM on weekdays, every 45 minutes from 11AM on weekends), whale watching tour (10AM, 12:30PM, 3PM)
How to get there: Take the Metro Silver Line to Beacon/1st station, then walk 1.1km to the ticketing office.
10) Warner Bros. Studio Tour
One of my personal favourites — this is a must-do for anyone enamoured with Hollywood! The Warner Bros. Studio Tour brings you behind the silver screen to discover over 90 years of movie magic. Wicked highlights include touring working sets and soundstages, learning interesting facts about the Hollywood industry, and even holding a real Oscar trophy!
11) Madame Tussauds Hollywood
If you’re determined to meet celebrities, Madame Tussauds is the next best (legal) option. You can take fun photos with many wax figures of celebrities and musicians from different eras like Charlie Chaplin, Elvis Presley and Lady Gaga.
12) Hike to the Hollywood Sign
It’s easy to admire the iconic Hollywood Sign from afar, but hiking to it is a whole new experience that you won’t soon forget (or regret!). Once you’ve reached the top, you’ll be rewarded with a vast, panoramic view of LA — well worth the time and effort.
There are three routes of varying difficulties to the sign. For us, we went on the shortest but hardest route: the Wonder View Trail. It was a challenging uphill hike, but doable with the right gear.
13) Universal Studios Hollywood
A magical must-do for movie fans and theme park lovers alike! Universal Studios Hollywood dunks you into the worlds of Harry Potter and Despicable Me (to name a few), where you can pick out your wands or dance with Minions. There’s also the world-famous studio tour that brings you on an interactive, behind-the-scenes journey of live studios and hair-raising simulations.
Cost: US$129 (~S$175, free with the 3, 5 and 7-day GO LA Card)
Opening Hours: Varies
How to get there: Take the Metro Red Line to Universal City station, then cross the street and take a shuttle bus that runs every 10–15 minutes.
Read also: Insider’s Guide to LA Theme Parks
14) Pacific Park
Located on Santa Monica pier, the carnival-like Pacific Park offers many fun rides and game booths that will thrill all ages. While you’re here, we recommend getting an unlimited ride wristband. It’s much more worthwhile than buying individual ride tickets, so go forth and ride on!
Do note that some rides may be closed during low season (November – February).
Places to Eat in LA
15) Hard Rock Cafe
You don’t have to be a rock ‘n roll fan to enjoy classic American grub at Hard Rock Cafe! We got a meal voucher that includes a burger/sandwich, drink, dessert as well as tips and gratuities. We got the Atomic Burger and Guinness Cheeseburger, both of which were incredibly juicy, tender, and huge.
Opening Hours: 11AM – 11PM, closes 12AM on Fridays and Saturdays.
How to get there: Take the Metro Red Line to Hollywood/Highland station, then walk 140m.
16) Grand Central Market
A historical landmark in Downtown LA, the Grand Central Market parallels a buffet that will leave you spoilt for choice with its myriad of international cuisines. We recommend having Salvadoran pupusas, a thick tortilla stuffed with delicious toppings like beans and cheese (US$3.65, ~S$5).
Opening Hours: 8AM – 10PM
How to get there: Take the Metro to Pershing Square station, then walk 100m.
17) San Pedro Fish Market
The San Pedro Fish Market is well-known for its world-famous shrimp tray (starts from US$39, ~S$53). No lies here — it’s a literal tray stacked with freshly-cooked shrimps and vegetables in butter and herbs. If that isn’t enough, you can add a huge slab of garlic bread to soak up the leftover sauces.
Opening Hours: 8AM – 8PM
How to get there: Take the Metro Silver Line to Beacon/1st station, then walk 1.3km.
18) In-N-Out Burgers
When in America, you’ve just got to eat at In-N-Out Burgers. No questions asked. This Californian fast food chain is renowned for its inexpensive burgers, and animal-style sauce (a savoury concoction of secret sauce, cheese, onions and grilled pickles). If you’re feeling adventurous, order the interesting stuff from their not-so-secret menu!
Cost: Mains from US$2.10 (~S$2.85)
Opening Hours: 10:30AM – 1AM, closes 1:30AM on Fridays and Saturdays.
How to get there: Take the Metro Red Line to Hollywood / Highland station, then walk 650m (and other locations).
19) La Isla Bonita
Nearby Venice Beach sits La Isla Bonita, a famous taco truck that serves cheap eats like tacos and burritos. Their ceviche tostadas (US$3, ~S$4.10) is said to be the best in LA, and was refreshingly delicious on a warm day. You probably won’t catch Madonna flamenco dancing here, though.
Cost: Mains from US$2 – US$8 (~S$2.70 – ~S$10.90)
Opening Hours: 11:30AM – 6PM, closed on Thursdays
How to get there: Take bus 33 from Spring/7th bus stop in Downtown LA to Main NB & Sunset FS bus stop, then walk 500m.
Nothing screams soul food louder than some good ol’ fried chicken and waffles! Bruxie serves up a crispy Original Chicken Waffle Sandwich (US$10.50, ~S$14.30) that’s both heavenly and sinful.
Cost: Mains from US$8.45 – US$21.95 (~S$11.50 – ~S$29.80)
Opening Hours: 10AM – 9PM (Mon – Thu), 10AM – 10PM (Fri – Sat), 9AM – 9PM (Sun)
How to get there: Take the Metro Expo Line to Downtown Santa Monica station, then walk 650m.
21) Dirt Dog
Imagine a jacked-up version of the American hot dog — that’s what Dirt Dog dishes out! The small eatery turns the simple street fare into a flavourful medley of soft breads, freshly-grilled sausages, and generous toppings like fries and chili.
Cost: Mains from US$6.50 – US$8.50 (~S$8.80 – ~S$11.50)
Opening Hours: 10:30AM – 10PM, closes 11PM from Thu – Sat.
How to get there: Take the Metro Expo Line to LATTC/Ortho Institute station, then walk 320m.
The Best Way to Experience Los Angeles
LA is packed with beautiful scenery and fun activities like Universal Studios Hollywood and OUE Skyspace, but you don’t need to blow a hole in your wallet to experience the glitz and glamour of the city. We got a GO LA Card, which included access to many of LA’s attractions, and visited eight attractions in three days. Compared to paying at the gate, we saved a total of ~US$40 with this card.
We got even more bang for our buck when we purchased our cards via Klook, which saved us an extra ~10%! On top of the huge discounts the card already has, it’s pretty worthwhile if you ask us.
The GO LA Card helped us save time as it allowed priority access to some attractions. We skipped queues and headed straight into the attraction after scanning the cards on our phones. The card also offers users flexibility like open-dated theme park tickets. Perfect for those who want some spunk and spontaneity on their trip!
Do note that some attractions like the Warner Bros. Studio Tour require prior reservation, so we recommend booking these activities in advance. In the meantime, you can visit other attractions that don’t require them.
As we packed up and readied to leave LA for our road trip to San Francisco, I felt a twinge of sadness. Not only were we leaving one of the world’s most prominent cities that gave us such fond memories, I was leaving without being discovered by Hollywood and becoming famous. Such a waste. 😢 I’ll just have to continue writing for The Travel Intern instead of signing autographs (I’m kidding, please don’t fire me).
We hope our travel guide is helpful in planning your LA trip. Maybe your luck will be better than mine, and that you’ll spot a celebrity or two!
What’s your favourite activity in LA? Got something to recommend that we missed out on? Tell us in the comments below!
This post was brought to you by Klook.