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From surfing in Topanga and hobnobbing in Hollywood, to retail therapy in Rodeo Drive and beauty treatments in Beverley Hills we adore the glitz and glamour of the US’s celebrity city.
Catch up on the latest movies (there are over 100 to choose from) inflight to make sure you’re Hollywood-ready when you land.
Must do recommendations
The Hollywood sign
You can see it from far and wide, but the Hollywood Sign is best experienced up close.
Universal Studio Tour
Explore the famous backlots of the world’s biggest movie studio – and prepare for some action.
From vintage shops and indie boutiques in Highland park to sand and surf in Malibu, get creative and discover another side to LA.
Live music venues
LA is showbiz central, and you can expect performances and events every day, all over town.
Los Angeles is not without its green spaces – head to the hills for relaxation and killer views.
Learn to hang ten during your next trip to LA, thanks to the city’s surfing schools.
Food and drink
Los Angeles is home to one of the country’s most diverse, experimental, and destination-worthy dining scenes, and nowhere encapsulates that better than the city’s neighbourhood restaurants.
Did you know?
Given Los Angeles’s size, diversity, and colourful history, you can bet that this city has accumulated some fascinating stories over the years. From Disney trivia and Hollywood facts to the story behind one of LA’s most iconic dishes, read on for some surprising facts about Los Angeles that you probably never knew.
- Walt Disney arrived in Los Angeles in 1923 with $40 in his pocket. Today, Disneyland is the third most visited theme park in the world after Orlando’s Magic Kingdom (Disney World) and Tokyo Disneyland.
- When the budget for the 1963 film Cleopatra got out of hand, 20th Century Fox sold off close to 300 acres of its backlot to fund it. That area has since been transformed into the modern-day Century City.
- Founded by Spanish settlers in 1781, Los Angeles was originally called “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles sobre del Río Porciúncula”. It’s not hard to see why that name was eventually shortened.
- Two downtown Los Angeles restaurants claim to be the birthplace of the French dip sandwich: Cole’s and Philippe the Original. Many Angelenos have a favourite; we recommend sampling both and deciding for yourself.
- Adjacent to the city’s famous La Brea Tar Pits, an almost-complete woolly mammoth fossil was accidently discovered by construction crews in 2006. It was named “Zed.”
Given that the American film industry is headquartered in Hollywood, it’s hardly a surprise that Los Angeles is a movie lover’s dream town. Get your imagination stirring with these iconic Los Angeles-based films… and don’t forget about the literature and the music that this most colourful of cities has also inspired.
Books, 1 of 3
Films, 2 of 3
Music, 3 of 3
The Rose Parade: Follow the marching bands at this famous float-filled parade in downtown Pasadena, which precedes the Rose Bowl college football game.
dineLA: This two-week event offers foodies the chance to sample great value set-price menus in almost 350 of the city’s top venues. Also held in June or July.
Academy Awards: There’s a palpable buzz in the city when the Oscars take place, with the annual extravaganza beamed to 200 countries around the world.
Golden Dragon Parade: Join thousands of revellers and celebrate Chinese New Year at this colourful parade along Chinatown’s North Broadway.
L.A Marathon: This 20,000-strong event snakes its way through 26.2 miles of the city from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica Beach.
Festival of the Kite: Held each year on Redondo Beach, this family-friendly event is one of southern California’s longest-running kite festivals.
The Original Renaissance Pleasure Fair: Stretching into May, this recreation of an Elizabethan fair takes place in the San Gabriel Valley city of Irwindale.
Fiesta Broadway: This carnival-style event happens every year on the last Sunday in April, and is said to be the largest ‘Cinco de Mayo’ celebration in the world.
The Big Parade: A great way to meet locals, the Big Parade is a sponsor- free, community-driven walking tour of L.A, from Downtown to the Griffith Observatory.
Battleship USS Iowa Memorial Day: Catch some musical performances, movie screenings, or a battleship tour as part of these annual Memorial Day weekend festivities.
LA! Pride: Expect superstar headliners and a rocking good time at this annual LGBT event held at West Hollywood Park.
LA Film Fest: Showcasing more than 100 feature films, this downtown Los Angeles event includes film industry panels and open-air screenings.
Hollywood Bowl July 4th Fireworks: Celebrate the USA’s Independence Day with legendary music artists and a dazzling display of pyrotechnics.
Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival: Witness one of California’s largest dragon boat competitions, along with Chinese acrobats, martial arts performances and traditional Chinese dance.
Nisei Week Japanese Festival: This long-running festival in L.A’s Little Tokyo celebrates Japanese American culture with entertainment and activities.
Echo Park Rising: Get under the skin of L.A’s local music and creative scenes at this free music festival in the historic neighbourhood of Echo Park.
L.A County Fair: Opening every Labor Day weekend and continuing for four weeks, the fair brings together rides and entertainment with the food and heritage of California’s agricultural industry.
L.A Shorts Fest: A qualifying event for the Academy Awards and the BAFTAs, this is one of the most prestigious short film festivals in the world.
Halloween Carnival: Find your way to the streets of West Hollywood and join crowds of elaborately costumed locals parading along Santa Monica Boulevard.
Día de los Muertos: Alternatively, take part in L.A’s Day of the Dead celebrations at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery and enjoy excellent Mexican food, dance and crafts.
L.A Auto Show: No city loves its cars more than Los Angeles. This influential auto show gathers together the latest and greatest in the industry for petrolheads to swoon over.
Hollywood Christmas Parade: Grab curbside or grandstand seats for this annual festive extravaganza, featuring floats, musicians, inflatable cartoon characters and Santa Claus himself.
Holiday Sing-Along: Dubbed the jolliest sing-along in town, this seasonal Christmas knees-up takes place at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown L.A.
Newport Beach Boat Parade: Make your way down to Newport Beach for a glittering display of lit-up boats, festive characters and waterside homes.
What will the weather be like?
Before you set off, take a look at our Los Angeles International Airport guide.
The electricity supply is 120 volts in Los Angeles. Standard British plugs will need an adapter.
Visit our dedicated US visa page, where you'll find lots of useful information on the travel documents you'll need.
The currency in Los Angeles is the US Dollar (USD).
For information on bus and rail services in Los Angeles including schedules and pricing, visit metro.net. Taxi services are available in LA but will be more expensive than public transport.
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