Los Angeles’ Best Free Attractions – Entertainment in LA for Less

in Trip Locations

No one would pretend that Los Angeles is a budget vacation destination. Consumerism reigns supreme in the City of Lights, and you don’t need to shop on Rodeo Drive or Melrose Avenue to spend big. However by following our budget entertainment tips, you can ensure your LA getaway doesn’t cost you a packet.

You probably won’t find yourself at a celebrity party or an A-list event, but a stroll around Grauman’s Chinese Theatre can make you feel a little closer to your acting idols. You can spend hours admiring the handprints and footprints of the stars of yesteryear and modern icons. And if you’re lucky, you might even score a free ticket to a movie premiere!

If those free tickets sound appealing, a trip to Westwood Village is a must. It’s packed with theaters that regularly host premieres, and no PR firm wants empty seats. Many television shows are also filmed here. Scoring tickets requires a bit of a forward planning, but you can request some through the websites of several live shows and TV networks.

Los Angeles’ museums and galleries allow visitors to while away the hours without spending a cent. Iconic works from masters like Claes Oldenbury and Mark Rothko sit alongside pieces by the next generation of art pioneers at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Admission is reasonable at $12 for adults, but if you want to save money you can visit between 5 pm and 8 pm on Thursdays for free.

The California Science Center is great fun for the whole family. It’s regarded as one of the best science museums in the United States for its range of interactive exhibits about the human body, aerospace, and inventions. Special exhibitions and IMAX films attract a fee, but the permanent display is always free to see.

There are more than modern finances at the Wells Fargo Center. The museum at its base celebrates the bank’s story through the Californian gold rush and other key historical periods. The authentic Concord Stagecoach and real gold, including the famous 26-ounch Challenge Nugget, make it worth a look. It’s open on weekdays, and entry is free.

Don’t let the modest exterior of the Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church fool you. Its art deco styled interior is breathtaking, and you can stroll through the plaza at any time without attending mass. If you’d prefer a closer look, join one of the free tours which leave from the Temple Street entrance every weekday at 1 pm.

These days though, you don’t need a tour guide to enjoy a walking tour. Simply head to the Downtown LA Walks website and download one of their free podcasts. Each one comes with a free PDF map which will help you navigate around LA’s cultural hotspots, shopping districts, or historic sites.

The world’s weirdest and most wonderful characters converge in Los Angeles with stars in their eyes and big dreams. That makes people watching a fabulous pastime, especially at the busy Santa Monica Pier and colourful Venice Beach. Sitting on a bench and watching the world go by can look a little creepy after a while though, so why not grab a drink or two during Happy Hour? Los Angeles’ bars have some great deals on booze and small snack plates.

If the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles’ city streets is grating, then grab some sensible shoes and set off for a hike through the Hollywood Hills. The leafy trails from Runyon Canyon to Bronson Canyon aren’t too challenging for anyone of moderate fitness. And if you’re lucky, you might spot a health-conscious celebrity enjoying their daily workout!

Santa Monica Beach

Los Angeles’ famous Santa Monica Beach

Of course, entertainment is just one getaway consideration in Los Angeles. You can only enjoy so many free samples at the city’s farmers markets before you’ll need to spend money on an overpriced meal. And while avoiding the most popular areas can shave your accommodation costs, the tariffs are still likely to bite. But by spending your days enjoying the city’s free or close to free attractions, you can enjoy a Los Angeles vacation for less than you’d expect.

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