• Skip to primary navigation
  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to primary sidebar
  • Skip to footer

Travel Notes & Beyond logo

The Opinionated Travelogue of a Photo Maniac

  • Middle East
  • North America
  • South America
  • Pacific Islands
  • Rants & Raves
  • Travel Blogger Interviews
  • Contact Form
  • Privacy Policy
  • Featured Elsewhere

downtown los angeles walking tour

How to Explore Downtown Los Angeles on a Self-Guided Walking Tour

Last Modified: July 12, 2023 //  by  Anda //   16 Comments

Nobody walks in LA, right? Well, that’s mostly true when you need to get from one place to another, since distances are quite big here. However, there are many walking opportunities in this city and quite a few places worth exploring on foot. So if this your first time in Los Angeles and you want to take a walking tour of the downtown area, here are the best places to visit.

Downtown area, one of the best places to stay in Los Angeles

Table of Contents

Historic Center & Olvera Street

Union station, downtown (bunker hill), bunker hill steps, l.a. public library, angels flight railway, bradbury building, grand central market, broadway historic theater district, getting around downtown los angeles, is downtown los angeles safe for walking, a self guided walking tour of downtown los angeles.

I have to confess that although we lived in Los Angeles area for over 30 years, it took me a while to discover how attractive this city really is. Despite being such a big urban sprawl, Downtown L.A. has all manner of walks. From shopping, to ethnic and architecturally themed choices, you can actually use your feet quite a lot in Los Angeles.

So here is a suggested self-guided walking tour that will take you through the most representative neighborhoods in Downtown Los Angeles.

tour of downtown los angeles

Begin your walk in the Historic Center, the oldest area in LA. The Historic Center is concentrated around Olvera Street , a colonial-era alley lined with shops, popular restaurants and stalls selling everything from folk art to silver jewelry.

Start at Union Station (800 N. Alameda St.), turn left on W. Cesar Chavez Ave., then turn left again on Olvera St. and continue till you reach El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument.

Olvera Street, one of the best walks in LA

Olvera Street is the oldest part of the Downtown, so it’s for a good reason called “the birthplace of Los Angeles.”

Old structure on Olvera Street in Los Angeles

Some of the city’s oldest structures are in this area. Among them is “ La Placita ” the first church built in L.A. (1822), which still remains a focal point for the Latino community.

"La Placita" the first church built in Los Angeles

Also in the Historic Center is Union Station , the main railway station in Los Angeles and the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States.

Union Station in L.A.

Since you are so close to it, I suggest taking a short tour. Union Station is more than just a bustling transportation hub. It’s a true cultural center and one of Los Angeles’ most important landmarks, so you won’t regret visiting it.

Head next to Chinatown , one of LA’s oldest neighborhoods, just a 10 minutes walk from Union Station via N Alameda St.

tour of downtown los angeles

The original Chinatown, which developed in the mid-1800s, was demolished in 1930s, to make room for Union Station.

A walk through this neighborhood will take you past neon-embellished pagodas, funky shops filled with Chines herbs, goods, and lucky bamboo, and many Chinese eateries and businesses. 

Start at the East Gate (930 N. Broadway) leading into Chinatown’s Central Plaza, where tourists mingle with Westside families and Chinese seniors playing xiangqi (Chinese chess).

Chinatown neighborhood in Los Angeles

Head west across Gin Ling Way to the shops that sell an eclectic array of Asian-influenced collectibles, art and books. The area bustles with life, energy and color. Throw a coin for good luck into the wishing wells here, then cross Hill St. and turn south Chung King Rd. lined with art galleries.

Chinatown Gateway Monument (The Dragon Gate)

Although much smaller than the Chinese neighborhoods of New York, or San Francisco, you’ll still find great food and numerous Chinese specialty stores in Chinatown L.A.

Continue your Downtown LA tour with a walk on Bunker Hill . Back in the 19th century, Bunker Hill was an exclusive suburb filled with filled with Victorian-style homes for the upper-class residents of Los Angeles.

But in the 1920s, the wealthy residents of Bunker Hill began leaving for more affluent enclaves, such as Beverly Hills and Pasadena . As a result, Bunker Hilled turned into a rundown working class neighborhood.

tour of downtown los angeles

In the late 20th century, the hill was lowered in elevation, and the entire area was redeveloped with modern structures for residences, commerce, and entertainment. Today’s Bunker Hill is a mixture of commercial high rises and arts venues.

There are quite a few places worth visiting in this area of the city, like the L.A. Central Library, Angels Flight Railway, Bunker Hill Steps, and Central Market.

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in the Music Center Plaza

Start your walk at the Music Center Plaza , home to LA’s most famous cultural venues: Walt Disney Hall, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion , and Ahmanson Theater .

This area of the Downtown is also home to some of the most amazing rooftop bars in Los Angeles, so if you have time you should drop by and admire the beautiful view of the city from high above.

Self guided walking tour map of Downtown Los Angeles

From the Music Center head southwest on N Grand Ave. then turn right unto W 5th Street to reach the Bunker Hill Steps. This is a 15 minute walk.

The elegant steps provide a shortcut between Bunker Hill and the Los Angeles Public Library. There is a beautiful water fountain that cascades down to the bottom of the steps. 

Bunker Hill Steps

There are 294 steps, but luckily you’ll be climbing down. This is a wonderful place to take a walk through, so don’t forget to bring your camera.

Right across from the Bunker Hill Steps, at 630 W 5th Street, is the Los Angeles Public Library , which has been designated a Historic Cultural Monument.

L.A. Public Library

The building itself is an architectural gem, featuring a tiled pyramid roof and a beautiful garden. Inside the library there are many beautiful spaces, like the Atrium of the Tom Bradley wing, or the stairway outside the Getty Gallery.

The Atrium of the Tom Bradley Wing at the L.A. Public Library

But the focal point of the library is the Rotunda, a huge hall covered with elaborate paintings and a gigantic dome ceiling.

Visiting the L.A. Public Library on a self guided walking tour of Downtown Los Angeles

After visiting the L.A. Public Library, head southeast on W 5th St then turn left onto S Grand Ave then turn right to take the stairs towards Angels Flight Railway . This is a short 8 minute walk.

Just a short 8 minute walk from the LA Central Library will take you to one of Los Angeles’ oldest landmarks : Angels Flight Railway . This 120 years old cable car that takes passengers up to the top of Bunker Hill from the Pershing Square Metro station, is the world’s shortest ride. It takes only 50 seconds!

Downtown Los Angeles walking tour map

To get there, head southeast on W 5th St toward S Grand Ave., turn left onto S Grand Ave. then turn right and take the stairs.

If you ever wanted to ride the funicular from the movie La-La Land , here is your chance. The funicular appeared in movies ever since 1918, but more recently it was used to film Ryan Gosling’s and Emma Stone’s characters riding it in the 2016 film  La La Land .

Visiting Angels Flight in Downtown Los Angeles on a self guided walking tour

Angels Flight has two funicular cars –  Olivet  and  Sinai – running in opposite directions on a shared cable. The cost is only $1 each way and the experience is really fun!

The Bradbury is one of the oldest commercial buildings in downtown L.A., just a short 4 minute walk from Angels Flight Railway. Head northeast on S Hill St toward W 3rd St., then turn right on 3rd Street. Bradbury Building is at the corner of Broadway and 3rd Street, at 304 S Broadway.

map of a self guided tour in Downtown Los Angeles

From the outside you may not think much of this structure, but when you step inside you’ll be fairly impressed.

Self guided walking tour of the Bradbury Building in Downtown Los Angeles

The interior is nothing short of spectacular, with marble stairwells, ornate iron railings and Mexican tile. There is also a set of bird-cage style elevators which I’ve only seen in the Art Deco buildings in Europe.

Bird-cage style elevator at Bradbury Building

The great thing about getting inside Bradbury Building is that it’s free. However, you can only go up to the first stair landing since there are working business there. Even so, it’s still worth visiting this historic landmark.

Right half a block away from Bradbury Building, at 317 Broadway, you can visit the busy scene of the Grand Central Market . This iconic food hall is home to an array of multicultural stands and food stops.

Visiting Grand Central Market in Los Angeles on a self guided walking tour

There are butchers, fishmongers, spice sellers, and dozens of cafés and food stands, each with their own unique history. But there are also long lines at Grand Central Market, so if you plan to eat here be prepared to stand in line. However, the food is awesome!

From the Grand Central Market continue on South Broadway for two more blocks, till you reach 6th Street. Here you’ll find yourself in the middle of the historic Broadway Theater District , that stretches for six blocks from 3rd to 9th Streets along South Broadway.

Los Angeles Broadway Historic Theater District Map.

The Theatre District  is home to a beautiful collection of grandiose old movie palaces built between 1910s and 1930’s. Many of these theaters began as vaudeville stages and later transformed into movie theaters.

Los Angeles Theater

We didn’t discover these historic buildings till recently, when we decided to take a tour of the Theater District. Walking into these theaters felt like looking through a window into the entertainment industry’s heyday. What surprised us is that some of these historic buildings seem much bigger on the inside than on the outside.

Interior of the Million Dollar Theater in Los Angeles Theater District

The tour takes you inside some of this ornate movie palaces, like Los Angeles Theater, Million Dollar Theater, Orpheum Theater, or the Theater at Ace Hotel.

READ NEXT : How to Spend 3 Days in Los Angeles – the Perfect Itinerary

Los Angeles is a collection of neighborhoods with distinct personalities, connected by streets that can stretch for miles. The points of interest may be very far apart from each other and some walks may include loops, slopes, or stair climbing.

So how are you going to manage if you have problems walking? Just do what the locals do: drive or take the bus to your favorite walk. Public transportation works pretty well in Los Angeles, although it’s not always time efficient.

If you decide to drive, there are plenty of parking structures all around the city, but the fees may be quite steep. Another option is Uber or Lyft. However, I believe that taking a walking tour is the best way to explore Downtown Los Angeles.

Like all large US metropolitan cities, Downtown Los Angeles consists of safe and quite unsafe areas for walking, especially after dark. There are some nice sections, and some very run down sections where you are likely to feel uncomfortable. For this reason, I recommend choosing very carefully where you want to stay in L.A ., in case you decide to book a hotel in the Downtown area.

Overall, Downtown Los Angeles is not a dangerous place to walk during the daytime, or even early evening. But the scenery can change abruptly: now you are in a very populated place, with lots of activities around and then, a couple of blocks away, you find yourself in a poor and deserted and area with no people around. So have to know where you’re going before starting your walk.

The walking tour suggested in this post however, will only take you through the safest areas in Downtown Los Angeles, where I myself feel pretty safe walking.

RELATED ARTICLES : • Best Things to Do in Los Angeles in December • Fun Things About Los Angeles That Not Even Angelenos May Know • How to See the Best of L.A. in One Day • Guide to the Best National Parks Near Los Angeles

Did you find this information useful? Please pin it for later:

Downtown Los Angeles walking tour

Anda is an award winning travel writer, avid globetrotter and passionate photographer. She is the voice behind "Travel Notes & Beyond," a collection of stories and travel impressions from her wanderings around the world. When she is not busy writing, traveling, or editing photographs, you can find her hiking in the foothills behind her house together with her husband and their dog.

Sedona hikes

Reader Interactions

January 20, 2022 at 5:07 am

I was so thrilled to see this article before coming to L.A. because I was totally lost on what I could in the downtown area. Thank you so much for very detailed and accurate information on locations and cross streets. The self guided tour was easy to follow and such a beautiful sight to see. Once again thanks so much. I had a fantastic time!!

January 20, 2022 at 11:23 am

I’m really glad my article was of help to you. Hope you’ll return to Los Angeles in the future.

Bhushavali N

January 11, 2021 at 2:05 pm

Self guided walking tour is something I always prefer to do in any city that I visit, but I never thought walking around LA is even possible. Good to know that its not only possible but also a good way to explore certain areas of the city. Olvera street looks gorgeous. If you had only shown me a pic, I wouldn’t even have guessed it is LA. The architecture of LA Public Library is definitely interesting. Angel’s Flight? That’s quite intriguing. I really wouldn’t miss the funicular ride!

January 11, 2021 at 11:39 am

We enjoyed your walking tour of LA! We’ve been to LA and your post brings back so much memories of the last time we’ve been there. We actually have not been able to visit the spots you mention here as we went from one destination to another when we were there. So next time, we’ll definitely check these spots out. Thanks a lot!

January 10, 2021 at 4:00 am

haha that’s so true. When I visited downtown LA and I walked everywhere alone, I found it strange that there were not many people walking. Even when I inquired at the hostel I stayed, they said the same. But honestly, I loved exploring the city by walk and I saw more things than I could have if I had taken a cab or a car.

January 9, 2021 at 5:44 pm

The elevator area in Bradbury Building reminded me of a building in Denver, but the name of the building is not in my head now. I didn’t know that LA also has funicular cars. That’s cool! This walking tour give me ideas on what to do if I stop in LA.

Debra Schroeder

January 8, 2021 at 10:12 pm

ROFL, you’re so right. No one walks in LA. Loved the idea of this tour. The map will make it easy to follow if I decide to try it. Union Station is a definite must for the architecture alone. Wow, the LA Public Library mural!. Okay, you’ve convinced me and I must try this but will wait until things open up so I don’t miss out. 

January 9, 2021 at 10:52 am

Hahaha, glad I convinced you, Debra.

Linda (LD Holland)

January 8, 2021 at 1:16 pm

I must admit we went from sight to sight when we visited LA and did not spend much time walking. This path looks like a great route to try. I love the variety in neighborhoods and architecture you passed by. We would definitely head inside the Public Library!

January 8, 2021 at 1:58 pm

It’s definitely worth doing at least once.

January 7, 2021 at 8:17 am

I enjoyed following you on this walking tour of LA. I visited about 20 years ago but stuck to all the tourist sites and so didn’t see much of the real LA. I like your use of maps to show the walking route – really helpful for people to be able to follow easily. It’s nice to explore your own city, I often go to London and just wander around, it’s amazing what you can discover!

January 7, 2021 at 11:07 am

Thank you, Angela. Glad you found the maps useful.

October 9, 2021 at 11:41 pm

Unfortunately most of these places are closed due to CV19. Bradbury has been closed to the public for some time now. Most of the theaters are closed too. Million Dollar theater is in the middle of construction. If you Google these places, most won’t tell you correct info of hours or if it’s even open, due to lack of update. However, this article and this tour guide are spot on, so worth bookmarking and visiting once the mandated and CV19 is clear.

October 10, 2021 at 11:59 pm

Thanks for bringing that to my attention. Unfortunately we live such unusual times, that you don’t know what’s open and what’s not. This summer most of these places were open. At any rate, hope you’ll get to visit downtown Los Angeles once we get a break from Covid. ”

Ambica gulati

January 7, 2021 at 12:01 am

I would love to write about my city like this. Angels Flight station looks like a must-do. You make LA sound so much fun.

January 7, 2021 at 12:11 am

Glad you liked it.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.


All rights reserved © Travel Notes & Beyond. The material on this website is protected by copyright law. Republishing the content on this blog (including text, photography, etc.) is strictly prohibited.

Gold Award Winner


Some of the pages and posts of this blog contain links to products and services that may be useful for my readers. When clicking on these links you will have the option to purchase or register for a service at no extra cost to you, but doing so can help me offset the costs associated with running this blog. Thank you for your support!

tour of downtown los angeles

Every Steph

The Perfect Self-Guided Downtown LA Walking Tour

By: Author Stefania Guglielmi

Posted on Last updated: January 1, 2023

Categories North America , USA

Planning to go on a Downtown LA walking tour? There’s no better way to discover the city! Check out this guide to make your self-guided walking tour a total success! 

Who says nobody walks in LA? Definitely not me! Walking around is one of the best things to do in Downtown Los Angeles, and in this post, I want to show you how to explore the area on foot with no other guide other than your GPS. Not bad, eh?

tour of downtown los angeles

In other blog posts, I talked about the perfect 2 days in Los Angeles itinerary for first timers . I also offered tips on how to navigate Los Angeles without a car of your own, and how to explore Venice Beach and Santa Monica .

Now it’s time to tackle Downtown, a diverse LA neighborhood with so much to offer, no matter who you are. I’ve got great tips for foodies, architecture lovers, experienced joggers, first-time urban tourists, professional Instagrammers, you name it! This Downtown LA walking tour is definitely for you. 

Table of Contents


If the self-guided Downtown LA walking tour sounds a bit daunting, you can always join a guided tour! Here are the best options to suit all tastes and help you make the most of this vibrant city. 

➤ The 2-hour Old and New Downtown Los Angeles Tour takes you through the historic part of Downtown LA like no other tour, and the small size of the group allows you to enjoy the guide’s insights in a personalized way. You’ll visit the finest sites from the city’s golden era and even get a Bradbury Building tour that will amaze architecture buffs. This is one of the best DTLA walking tours for first-time visitors and families. ➥ BOOK IT HERE 

➤ For the foodies out there, this Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour is calling your name. In this walking tour you’ll not only taste the best food in LA from six different eateries, bakeries and ethnic food shops, you’ll also learn about the dynamic food culture that’s emerging in Downtown LA. The small group will make the experience more intimate, and there are vegetarian options in all of the stops. You won’t be needing lunch after this 3-hour tour! ➥ BOOK IT HERE 

➤ Choose the Downtown Los Angeles Architecture Tour to marvel at LA’s magnificent buildings and monuments while you hear the history, architecture and symbolism of the city. LA’s tallest building, the Broadway Theatre District and Central Library are among the many places you’ll visit, and it’s definitely a must for architects, students and enthusiasts. ➥ BOOK IT HERE


If you’re up to the challenge of doing the Los Angeles Downtown walking tour on your own, let’s begin!  

Union Station & Olvera Street

I recommend starting your DTLA walking tour from its northeastern corner, where famed Union Station sits since 1939 (address: 800 N Alameda St).

You can get here easily with a rideshare app, by train or metro (the Gold, Purple, and Red lines all stop here) or by bus. If you ride your own car, this is the moment to leave it behind (parking is available in the El Pueblo parking lots between Alameda St and Los Angeles St).

tour of downtown los angeles

Once you’re here, make your way into the train station’s iconic interior, wander around, and sit on those comfy chairs. Remember the first Blade Runner ? The film’s police station is, in reality, Union Station’s waiting room. Yes, you read my mind, Los Angeles never fails to be an open-air film set.

Your next stop is right across the street from Union station: El Pueblo de Los Angeles . Established by a handful of European families in 1781 on the land originally occupied by the Gabrieleño/Kizh/Tongva native people, El Pueblo is the oldest part of LA and one of the top Downtown Los Angeles places to visit. 

🚶 The best way to get here from Union Station is to exit the transportation hub on Alameda St and take a right. Once Alameda St meets Caesar Chavez Ave, stop and turn to your left. You have arrived at Olvera St , namely, the entrance to this 9.5-acre historic district.

tour of downtown los angeles

But don’t let history haunt you and dig in! While walking through Olvera St, you’ll have the chance to shop in the Mexican market for colorful clothing and leather goods as well as have your first snacks of the day (I don’t know about you, but I can rarely deny myself a steaming churro or an iced orchada ).

In between eating and browsing for souvenirs, take a peek into the Avila Adobe , family dwelling of LA mayor, Francisco José Avila between 1818 and 1868. It’s the oldest standing building in the whole city!

➤ Entrance is free, and you’ll be able to see how nineteenth-century rancheros cooked, shared living spaces, and entertained guests (opening hours: 9 AM to 4 PM). 

🚶 Now leave the shopping crowd and merchants of Olvera St behind you, pass through the circular square with the elegant, white Pico House on the left and the Our Lady Queen of Angels church on the right, and take Main St towards downtown (look at those skyscrapers!). When Main St crosses Arcadia St, take a left and start walking south.

A piece of advice: hop on the sidewalk closer to the highway, because a surprise is in store for you on the other side of that traffic artery! The street art piece entitled LA Freeway Kids will be visible on the opposite wall of the 101 Highway, eyeing at the ever-present cars as well as the youngest city dwellers. It’s one of the prettiest attractions in downtown LA!

tour of downtown los angeles

🚶 When you have enough pics and selfies, take your Downtown Los Angeles sightseeing to Arcadia St and take a right on Los Angeles St. Walk on the bridge above the highway and go straight ahead for a few minutes. 

Reminder: For this Downtown LA walking tour, a map or GPS might come in handy, so don’t forget to use it to avoid getting lost! 

Little Tokyo

🚶 Once you’re in Temple St, say hello to the City Hall white tower to your right and take a left turn. Go straight until you glimpse on your left Molecule Man , a tall metal sculpture of four men walking into each other. Here, turn right on Aiso St and keep walking. You are in Little Tokyo ! From El Pueblo de Los Angeles, it shouldn’t take you more than 20 minutes. 

tour of downtown los angeles

In Little Tokyo , one of the best places to walk in Los Angeles, my absolute favorite spot is the Japanese Village Plaza , encased between 1st St and 2nd St, Central Ave and San Pedro St. It’s rich with shops for all tastes. On your way, make sure to stop by Fugetsu-Do (address: 315 E 1st St). This tiny, sweet shop sells hand-made mochi to die for; perks of doing this Downtown LA tour on your feet!

After exploring around the Plaza, if you’re ready to have a sit-down lunch, I cannot recommend enough the legendary sushi restaurant, Sushi Gen (oh, yes! There’s great food in store for you in this walking tour of Los Angeles). Despite being slightly out of the way, Sushi Gen is especially worth the stop at midday for their extra-tasty sushi and great lunch specials.

🚶 To get there, exit the Japanese Village Plaza on 2 nd St and take a left until the unassuming Honda Plaza will show up on your right. Sushi Gen is right there, at 422 E 2 nd St.

If, instead, you’re still full of energy from Japanese and Mexican snacks, continue this Los Angeles Downtown tour to see what’s in store next!

🚶 Exit the Japanese Village Plaza on 2nd St, take a selfie in front of the pink-pink-pink wall belonging to the Japanese Swordsmanship shop, Shinkendo on the other side of the street, and take a right. Walk on 2th St for a few minutes until you reach Spring St, then turn right. From Shinkendo, it’s approximately a 15-minute walk until the next destination on your LA walking tour: Grand Park .

This beautiful city park stretches through 3 full city blocks and is literally a breath of clean air in the midst of all the Downtown LA sites. I also love the pink chairs all over the place.

The benefit of starting your stroll on Grand Park coming from Little Tokyo and Spring St (with City Hall behind your back) is that what is coming next will slowly reveal itself in front of you. Grand Park indeed sits directly south of the LA center for live performances and the arts on Grand Ave, featuring concert halls, theaters, and museums. Architecture aficionados come along!

Walt Disney Concert Hall and Broad Museum

The Walt Disney Concert Hall , designed by Frank Gehry, and the Broad Museum , designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, are an especially striking view, and one of the highlights of your Downtown Los Angeles walking tour. They are also next to each other (at 111 and 221 S Grand Ave, respectively) and a glance from outside is already worth it.

tour of downtown los angeles

If you want to dedicate these architectural masterpieces more than a few minutes on the outside, you’re in luck, since The Broad Museum is free for all and the Disney Concert Hall offers self-guided tours at no charge . Definitely one of the best places to visit in Downtown LA, so don’t miss it!

🚶 Continue your walking tour on Grand Ave towards 3rd St, keeping The Broad Museum and the Disney Concert Hall to your right. Now it’s definitely past lunch time and your next stop is a real treat for foodies. In order to get there, here’s a great shortcut: as soon as you cross 3rd St, enter California Plaza to your left (address: 350 S Grand Ave), keep going until you see an orange, old-looking structure.

Angels Flight Railway & Grand Central Market

You’ve found the Angels Flight Railway , the shortest railway in the world, in operation since 1901 (opening hours: 6:30am-10pm). This quick ride is just $1, and it’ll bring you down the hill to your destination. While you’re at it, however, look at the green area to your right.

This hilly park is called Angel Knoll and is where the two characters in 500 Days of Summer meet up! There’s even a bench to commemorate the reference.

tour of downtown los angeles

But enough with the distractions. The Angels Flight Railway will drop you off directly in front of the Grand Central Market , aka a food paradise! This centenary food market hosts at least 38 different vendors, where you can choose your food, have it cooked before you, and eat it on the spot (address: 317 S Broadway, with a side entrance on Hill St).

tour of downtown los angeles

I always make sure to stop by Sarita’s Pupuseria for Salvadorian cuisine or by Eggslut for egg-based sandwiches. Spice lovers anybody? La Huerta and Chiles Secos will amaze you with their spice, dried fruit, mole, nut, and grain display. In the likely case that it’s a sunny day, I advise to take advantage of the open-air sitting areas either on Hill street or on Broadway. 

If you enjoy your meal sitting on Broadway, not only will you have the chance to do some good old people watching (Downtown LA is such a melting pot that you can never get bored), but you’ll also be positioned right in front of the Bradbury Building (address: 304 S Broadway).

This historical landmark is the oldest commercial building in the area and is yet again a treat for the eye, both outside and inside (fans of Blade Runner , don’t waste your opportunity here!)

tour of downtown los angeles

If you feel that you have completed your share of architectural gems for the day, and perhaps have a shopping bug, look to the right. Ross Cutlery is the most complete cutlery store in the western United States and it’s been selling knives since 1930 (address: 324 S Broadway). Who wouldn’t want to see that?!

The Last Bookstore

🚶 Alternatively, take a right on Broadway and keep walking until 4 th St, where you’ll take a left turn. Once 4 th St meets Spring St, take another right. At the end of the block, two shops are worth your attention.

First is The Last Bookstore , which has become a top destination for LA tourists of all kinds. I can indeed testify to this bookstore’s incredible stock, since it carries a wide variety of both new additions and very old, used books. Do get lost in here (and make sure to check out the second floor, with book-made constructions that are perfect for an Insta post).

tour of downtown los angeles

Gather DTLA is the second store I recommend. It’s situated at the back of The Last Bookstore and, quite surprisingly, is supply shop for knitting enthusiasts that also offers lessons. The address of this all-inclusive small shopping universe is 453 S Spring St, just 5 minutes away from Ross Cutlery. 

🚶You’ll probably find yourself on Spring and 5th St on an early evening. It’s happy hour time! Turn right on 5th Street and walk for two blocks, take a left turn on S Broadway till you see Mezcalero DTLA.

Happy Hour at Mezcalero DTLA

My advice is to spend the next hour (and a few bucks) at Mezcalero DTLA. I love this small and laid-back joint that offers chips and guacamole, tacos, and of course, specialty cocktails made with mezcal. Happy hour is daily from 4 to 7 PM.

How to perfectly end this self-guided tour of Downtown Los Angeles? I know the perfect place!

🚶From Mezcalero DTLA, keep walking down on S Broadway until you cross 7th St. Take a left on 7th St and keep walking for two blocks. The darkest ice cream shop sits right there, at the corner of 7ths St with Spring St.

End Your Tour with a Little Damage

tour of downtown los angeles

Little Damage offers soft-serve ice cream in rotating flavors and unforgettable black cones, which are colored with activated charcoal (address: 700 S Spring St). It’s the gothic (Insta-perfect) dream you were looking for to conclude your Downtown LA wanderings!

🚶Lick along while you make your way back to your car by Union Station (ca. 30-minute walk) or hop on a metro train at the Pershing Square stop on 5 th and Hill St (serving both Red and Purple lines), just 8 minutes away from Little Damage. Otherwise, order another of those stunning black cones while you wait for your rideshare app of choice to drive you home. 


Yes! Downtown LA is walking-friendly; in fact, it’s likely one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

The Grand City Tour of Los Angeles is the best tour for exploring LA’s main neighborhoods and landmarks, and it’s ideal for first-time visitors or those with limited time in the city. Among the places you’ll visit are Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Griffith Park, from where you’ll get incredible views! The downtown historic center is one of the highlights of this tour, that will give you more than a glimpse of this magnificent city. Pickup and drop-off at your hotel are included! 

The touristy areas of Los Angeles are generally safe, and so is Downtown LA during the day – at night you have to be a little more careful. That said, LA struggles with homelessness, and certain areas of the city, like Skid Row or Hyde Park, are worth avoiding. You’d want to avoid visiting China Town at night time as well.

There are countless fantastic things to do and see in Downtown LA. While this post covers all the best landmarks in the area, there’s always something else to do, like having a picnic at Grand Park, visiting the Grammy museum for some music history, or having your own La La Land moment at the Angels Flight Railway.

Stefania Guglielmi

Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.

Sign me up for the monthly newsletter!

Wander With Wonder

Historic Downtown Los Angeles Walking Tour

Written by mimi slawoff, travel | california | north america.

Take a free guided or self-guided walking tour of historic downtown Los Angeles to learn about the city’s birthplace.

El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument marks the birthplace of Los Angeles, California. It’s a fun place to explore on a free historic downtown Los Angeles walking tour.

Editor’s Note: For more on historic Los Angeles, check out  Oldest Los Angeles , newly released by author Mimi Slawoff from Reedy Press.

What's in This Article:

About El Pueblo de Los Angeles

Situated in the heart of Downtown L.A., El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument is probably best known for Olvera Street, an open-air Mexican marketplace. But there’s much more to El Pueblo. The 44-acre district comprises 27 buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries. These historic sites reflect the history and heritage of the early pioneers who established a pueblo in 1781. As more settlers arrived, the pueblo evolved into a thriving community, and the incorporation of Los Angeles as a city in 1850.

El Pueblo, designated a state historical park in 1953, is a City of Los Angeles department. Of the 27 historic buildings, 11 are restored and open as businesses. These include seven free museums. The best way to explore El Pueblo is on foot. If you start at the main entrance, the Plaza is the first thing you’ll see on your historic downtown Los Angeles walking tour.

historic downtown Los Angeles walking tour

Explore historic buildings and enjoy festivals in historic Downtown Los Angeles. Photo by Mimi Slawoff

tour of downtown los angeles

  • Used Book in Good Condition

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Built in the 1820s as a gathering place for the growing community, the Plaza is still the hub of El Pueblo. It also serves as a monument to L.A.’s original 44 settlers. A plaque of each name is on the ground encircling the gazebo at the plaza’s center. If you visit on the weekend, you may catch a festival or performance. For example, the Plaza is especially festive during Cinco de Mayo, when El Pueblo comes alive with traditional Mexican music and dance performances.

Los Angeles Walking Tour

The Plaza has been El Pueblo’s gathering place since it was built in the 1820s. Photo by Mimi Slawoff

Plaza Firehouse

From the Plaza, it’s just a few steps to the Plaza Firehouse, one of El Pueblo’s seven free museums. Plaza Firehouse, built in 1884, housed firefighting crews and their equipment until 1897. It has been used for various purposes after it closed down—as a saloon, Chinese vegetable market, and drugstore until the State of California purchased the facility in 1954. Today, the Plaza Firehouse contains firefighting equipment from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These include helmets, historical photos, and firefighting equipment. Often, docents are on hand to share local history and fun facts.

Los Angeles Walking Tour

The Plaza Firehouse contains firefighting photos and equipment from the 19th century. Photo by Mimi Slawoff

Next to the Firehouse is the Pico House. It was L.A’.s first three-story building and luxury hotel. Pio Pico, the last governor of California under Mexican rule, built the large hotel between 1869 and 1870. At the time, it was dubbed “the finest hotel in Southern California.” And no wonder. The hotel had 80 bedrooms, 21 parlors, and bathrooms/water closets. The Pico House is not always open to the public. However, you can admire its impressive exterior.

Historic Downtown Los Angeles

The Pico House was L.A.’s first three-story hotel. Photo by Mimi Slawoff

Merced Theatre

From the Pico House, the walking tour of historic downtown Los Angeles continues to the Merced Theatre , which has a fascinating history. Built in 1870, the Merced Theatre was the first building dedicated to theater arts in Los Angeles, known for its satirical presentations, fashionable burlesque, minstrel performances, and professional acting ensembles. But success was short-lived. After just five years, competition and a local smallpox outbreak led to its closure. But the theatre took on a new role.

Around 1897, the theater offered rental housing to gay men. Shortly after, the theater began hosting masked balls where LGBTQ individuals could cross-gender dress and hide their identities behind masks. This led to drag balls and helped establish cross-gender costuming as a valid social subculture and an expression of art.

tour of downtown los angeles

The Merced Theatre is currently a warehouse. Photo by Mimi Slawoff

Garnier Building

Walk around the corner to your next stop, the Garnier Building. It is open to the public during operating hours for the Chinese American Museum (CAM) , situated inside this historic structure. But first, a bit about the historic Garnier building, constructed in 1890 by French settler and businessman Philippe Garnier.

tour of downtown los angeles

  • Add custom text here

For many years, the building was the hub of Chinese cultural life. It’s where the local Chinese would shop, attend temple, and send their kids to school. But beginning in 1933, the City of Los Angeles forced the Chinese community to move so it could build the Union Station Passenger Terminal and freeways systems. The buildings were demolished—except for the Garnier Building. It’s the last surviving structure of the original L.A. Chinatown.

The Chinese American Museum opened in 2003. The museum features exhibits, programs, and events that share the experiences and contributions of Chinese Americans in the US.

Los Angeles Walking Tour

The historic Garnier building houses the Chinese American Museum. Photo courtesy of Chinese American Museum

La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Ángeles

Depending on the day you visit, there may be services and special events at this historic church. The church is also known as Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church and La Placita . Built between 1818 and 1822, the Catholic church is the only building at El Pueblo still used for its original purpose. It also serves as an active parish for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  

Historic Downtown Los Angeles

Our Lady Queen of Angels Church is an active parish. Photo by Mimi Slawoff

América Tropical Interpretive Center

Next on your walking tour of historic downtown Los Angeles, cross the street to reach the América Tropical Interpretive Center . The focus here is on a once-controversial mural. You can view it from an outdoor platform accessible from the center. But first, take a few minutes to peruse the center’s exhibits to learn about the mural—and why it was controversial. The center also contains a replica of the mural.

In 1932, artist David Alfaro Siqueiros was commissioned by the La Plaza Art Center to paint an idealized tropical scene on a second-story exterior wall. Instead, he painted an 80- by 18-foot mural depicting Maya ruins, armed revolutionary soldiers, a crucified Indian figure, and an American eagle looming overhead.  

When the mural was unveiled, it was immediately controversial. By 1938, the entire mural was whitewashed and remained under layers of white paint for the next 30 years. The Getty Conservation Institute collaborated with the City of Los Angeles to conserve América Tropical in 1988 .

Sepulveda House

The América Tropical Interpretive Center is located inside the Eastlake Victorian-style Sepulveda House. It was built by Señora Eloisa Martinez de Sepulveda in 1887. The original structure included two commercial businesses and three residences. It’s currently a preserved museum.  

Los Angeles Walking Tour

The faded América Tropical mural can be seen from a viewing platform. Photo by Mimi Slawoff

Italian American Museum of Los Angeles

Next door, walk up the stairs to the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles (IAMLA) to see El Pueblo’s original Italian Hall. The hall began in 1908 as a gathering place for the growing Italian community. The museum’s exhibits depict the stories of the first Italian settlers in 1827 and the role Italians played in L.A.’s development. Notice the Italian Hall’s original stage and wood floors, which have been well maintained. Friendly staff members are happy to share information about the hall and exhibits.

Los Angeles Walking Tour

The Italian American Museum of Los Angeles houses L.A’.s original Italian Hall. Photo by Mimi Slawoff

Olvera Street

Although it’s a bit touristy, the lively, pedestrian-only Olvera Street is fun to visit and have lunch (and a margarita!). Merchant stalls overflow with imported goods and trinkets. Cafés and restaurants serve authentic tacos, taquitos, and other tasty Mexican dishes. Olvera Street is also home to several historic buildings. In addition, seasonal events include the Blessing of the Animals, Dia De Los Muertos, and Las Posadas.

Los Angeles Walking Tour

Olvera Street is a popular Mexican marketplace. Photo by Mimi Slawoff

Pelanconi House

As you walk along Olvera Street, notice a brick building and a sign for the Pelanconi House. The brick house (the oldest in L.A.) was built between 1855-57 by Italian vintner Giuseppi Covaccichi. It had living quarters on the second floor and a wine cellar below. It’s believed that the wine was produced from locally grown grapes across the street at the historic Avila Adobe.

In 1924, the house was converted into a restaurant—Casa de La Golondrina. The Mexican restaurant opened its doors on April 30, 1930, for the opening-night party of Olvera Street. Recently, it seems to have changed ownership. Check if it might be reopened for business, but it’s worth walking past even if it remains closed.

Historic Downtown Los Angeles

The Pelanconi House is the oldest still-standing brick structure in L.A. Photo by Mimi Slawoff

Avila Adobe

Situated in the center of Olvera Street, Avila Adobe is L.A.’s oldest standing house. Built in 1818, the Avila Adobe, the house is open to the public for free self-guided tours. The rooms—a family room, kitchen, office, master bedroom, parlor, and children’s room—are furnished circa the late 1840s. Some of the furnishings are original.

Historic Downtown Los Angeles

Backyard view of the Avila Adobe. Photo by Mimi Slawoff

More Places to see on a Los Angeles Walking Tour

Although the 44-acre El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, with its 27 buildings and museums, is the best place to explore historic downtown Los Angeles, other places downtown can help you explore the history and culture.

La Plaza de Cultura y Artes

The Mexican-American museum and cultural center features exhibits and special events.

Historic Downtown Los Angeles

Cinco de Mayo performances are among the special events at the museum. Photo by Mimi Slawoff

Little Tokyo

Include Little Tokyo on your Historic Los Angeles Walking Tour if you have time. It’s a short walk to this Japanese American district, home to restaurants, shops, and the Japanese American Museum. One of my favorite places is Fugestu-Do , a family-run confectionery with house-made Manju and mochi. These traditional Japanese sweets come in several flavors.

tour of downtown los angeles

Fugestu-Do is a historic confectionary in Little Tokyo. Photo by Mimi Slawoff

Getting Around Los Angeles

While it’s true you will probably need a car to get around L.A. County, the city does have a public transportation system. It’s handy for exploring Downtown L.A. Once you’re downtown, several walking tours include city highlights, like El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument.

Los Angeles Union Station

Located across the street from El Pueblo, Los Angeles Union Station is the city’s central transit hub. Built in 1939, Union Station offers train, regional bus, light rail, and subway services to get around L.A.

Insider Tip : If you decide to use the local railway service, consider buying a TAP card available in Union Station. You can save a few dollars on public transportation throughout Los Angeles County with the card.

Sometimes my friends and I take the Metrolink train to Union Station. From there, we walk across the street to El Pueblo for lunch. Or, we catch the Red Line to Pershing Square in downtown. We can avoid driving around L.A., which has many one-way streets and expensive parking lots.

Articles Related to Historic Downtown Los Angeles

  • 2 Days in Los Angeles
  • Virtual Visits to Los Angeles Museums
  • Power Breakfast in Hollywood at 101 Coffee Shop
  • Westin Rancho Mirage: A Coachella Valley Oasis
  • Sightseeing in the Flower Fields of Carlsbad

Exploring Historic Downtown Los Angeles

Los Angeles is about so much more than the top tourist sites—although I encourage you to check out those not-to-miss places to explore . We encourage you to walk around and discover historic downtown Los Angeles. Check out Wander for more places to explore when visiting Southern California or throughout in The Golden State .

tour of downtown los angeles

Historic Towns | Los Angeles | Southern California

You may also like….

Tasting Donnafugata Wines: An Excursion Off the Coast of Sicily

Tasting Donnafugata Wines: An Excursion Off the Coast of Sicily

by Allison Levine | May 10, 2024 | Wines and Spirits , Destinations , Eat & Drink , Europe , Italy , Travel

Situated in the Mediterranean off the coast of Sicily, Pantelleria Island is a popular vacation spot for Italians and...

Best Times to Redeem Airline Miles for Seasonal Travel

Best Times to Redeem Airline Miles for Seasonal Travel

by EJ Ray | May 9, 2024 | Travel Tips , Travel

Discovering the best times to redeem airline miles for seasonal travel can transform your trips into more rewarding...

Uncover the Charm of Maryland’s Historic Hotels

Uncover the Charm of Maryland’s Historic Hotels

by Kurt Jacobson | May 7, 2024 | Hotels and Resorts , Maryland , Travel , United States

Step back in time and experience the timeless allure of Maryland's historic hotels. Discover the perfect blend of...

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest food, wine & travel updates! We look forward to having you Wander with us.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

A Globe Well Travelled

A self-guided walking tour of Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA)

' src=

This post was originally published on A Globe Well Travelled in 2017. The content has been revised and updated with fresh information.

I’ve visited Los Angeles a total of 4 times, and only in my most recent visit did I finally explore downtown (DTLA).

I purchased tickets for the Museum of Ice Cream – a pop up museum in the LA Arts District which was showing for the summer of 2017. The museum was near to the downtown area, so I considered this the perfect opportunity to venture into the city center.

Most visitors will skip Downtown LA in favour of Hollywood, Santa Monica, or the theme parks. It’s understandable – LA’s inner city district isn’t really known for having tourist hot spots, but I believe that it’s worth putting aside a morning or an afternoon to explore.

I did some research before my visit, scouring various internet articles on the best things to see in DTLA. Here’s my self-guided walking tour of Downtown Los Angeles, plus a map I made for your reference!

Self-guided walking tour map DTLA

DTLA map guide:

P – Parking 1 – The Last Bookstore 2 – Angels Flight Railway 3 – Grand Central Market 4 – Bradbury Building 5 – City Hall 6 – Walt Disney Concert Hall 7 – Los Angeles Public Library 8 – Bar with a view

Note: Los Angeles is a driving city. There are some trains and buses, but generally people drive everywhere. We spent at least 20 minutes driving around DTLA trying to find cheap street parking before we gave up and went into one of the paid car parks. I’m fairly sure we ended up parking in Joe’s Garage on the corner of 3rd St and Spring St, which cost us about $11 to park there for a few hours.

Hollywood Hotel, Los Angeles

Where we stayed:

Rob and I based our stay in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Hotel . This hotel is not actually in the heart of Hollywood as its name might suggest, but on the far east end – much closer to DTLA (which is one of the reasons I wanted to stay there). The location was within 15 minutes drive of Downtown, Griffith Observatory, and Hollywood.

The hotel has a bunch of recently updated rooms, one of which we were lucky enough to get for our booking. If you decide to stay at the Hollywood Hotel, you should definitely ask for one of these rooms if you have the option to choose!

The rooms at The Hollywood Hotel were tastefully decorated with local art, including canvases and framed pictures of Hollywood and Los Angeles, which really got us into the LA vibe.

The hotel also had a truly adorbs inner courtyard with a private bar that was open for 2 hours each evening, and the rates also included a full breakfast with an omelette + pancake bar (booyah!). This was honestly an amazing place to stay in Los Angeles.

The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles

1. The Last Bookstore

We started our walking tour at The Last Bookstore , a highly Instagrammable book shop in DTLA. This place might seem like a regular bookstore on first glance, but when you look a little closer, you’ll find that it has a wonderous collection of book themed art hidden throughout the shelves.

Upstairs, there are book sculptures like the above magical warped bookshelves, or regular bookshelves with circular holes in the middle, or books ordered not by any particular genre but by the rainbow colours of their covers. It’s what I imagine the mind of Matilda looks like on the inside.

Angels Flight Railway, Los Angeles

2. Angels Flight Railway

Angels Flight Railway is a funicular that opened in 1901. It was originally used to take passengers between Olive St and Hill St to shop in the markets at the bottom of the hill. You can still ride these adorable railway cars for just $1.00.

Unfortunately the railway was closed for maintenance when Rob and I visited, but it was still interesting to see this historic piece of Los Angeles juxtaposed with all the new skyscrapers surrounding it.

Grand Central Market, Los Angeles

3. Grand Central Market

Grand Central Market is another historic point in DTLA. This market has been operating since 1917 (100 years!) and was once the go-to place for LA’s stylish residents to buy their produce, baked goods, flowers, and coffee.

The current market is full of everything you would imagine fancy LA people to be craving, like organic kale salads and freshly pressed fruit juices. If you’re interested in discovering all the best foods in downtown, try this DTLA food tour .

The Bradbury Building, Los Angeles

4. Bradbury Building

I only knew about the Bradbury Building as an architecturally beautiful landmark from a list of things to see in DTLA, but Rob got pretty excited when he realised that this building was a major part of the set of Blade Runner (the old movie, not the new one!).

The building is mostly closed to the public except for the lobby area. If you enter from 3rd street, you’ll step right up to the most photogenic spot on the first set of stairs. The interior has a huge skylight ceiling, which lights up the wrought-iron balustrades and Victorian-style architecture. You can see this building (along with a few of the others on this list) through an Old and New Downtown Los Angeles Walking Tour .

View from City Hall, Los Angeles

5. City Hall

I was desperate to find a place to see views of downtown, so when I discovered that City Hall has a free observation deck, I quickly added it to my tour of DTLA.

It was a little confusing to get up the tower as there is no signage for it. What you have to do is this: Go in the visitors entrance off Main Street, then tell the security guard that you want to go up to the observation deck. They’ll give you some instructions, which is to go up 20 or so floors in one elevator, then switch to another elevator to go up another few floors, then once you have gone as far up as possible you take the stairs the rest of the way.

On a clear day, you’ll get a fabulous view of Los Angeles from this viewpoint! When you’re ready to leave, exit onto Spring Street then walk through the lovely Grand Park.

Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles

6. Walt Disney Concert Hall

The Walt Disney Concert Hall is known for its unique appearance. Designed by the famous architect Frank Gehry, the concert hall opened in 2003 and has been a center of musical culture in Los Angeles ever since.

While Rob and I just admired the building from the outside, you can actually explore the inside as well. Self-guided tours are available on most days between 10AM – 2PM or guided tours are offered twice daily on most Thursdays to Sundays. Both tour options take 60 minutes and are 100% free!

Los Angeles Public Library

7. LA Public Library

I have a thing about photographing libraries. I just love the towering bookcases, and the architecture of a library is often grand and interesting. The Los Angeles Public Library was no exception.

We initially took the escalators up to the top level for views of the atrium, which was mildly impressive, but the real wow-factor was found in the rotunda. This space has a gigantic dome ceiling, and every surface except the floor has been covered with elaborate paintings, some of which have been there since the library opened in the 1920s.

I really can’t describe how beautiful this room was, you have to see it for yourself! If you want to learn more about the architecture of the Los Angeles Public Library, the building is included as a stop on this DTLA architecture tour .

Los Angeles Revolving Restaurant

8. Bar with a view

In true Rob-and-Ash-style, we wanted to end our afternoon tour at a rooftop bar. Originally my plan was to go to  The Standard Hotel  for their rooftop bar, but as we exited the elevators, a security guard promptly told me that there were no cameras allowed and that I would have to check it in downstairs before coming back up to enjoy the bar minus my camera.

Now I have no idea why the hotel thinks that banning cameras at the rooftop bar is a good idea. What good is a view without a way to capture it? And wouldn’t people just use the cameras built into their smartphones to take photos instead? Fuming, I left the hotel and looked up another bar which would give us views of the city and allow me to take my camera with me.

We settled on the BonaVista Lounge, located in the  The Westin Bonaventure Hotel . From the outside, the hotel appears as a set of golden glass towers. The lounge on the 34th floor is actually a revolving restaurant. The dream of the 70s is alive in Los Angeles.

While this kind of venue isn’t usually one that I would choose to visit on my travels, I have to admit it was satisfying to sit on the puffy armchairs and drink wine while the lounge did a full rotation over 1.5 hours. The view was pretty great – we could even see as far as Venice Beach right as the sun was setting over the ocean!

*I was a guest of  Hollywood Hotel during my stay in Los Angeles. I’m proud to be an honest and transparent blogger, so every opinion expressed on AGWT is a true review of my experience!

Related posts

5 fun and cheap things to do in Vegas besides casinos

5 fun and cheap things to do in Vegas (besides casinos!)

10 essential activities for a weekend in Portland, Oregon

The best activities for a weekend in Portland, OR

12 essential activities for a weekend in Boston

12 essential activities for a weekend in Boston

Leave a reply cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of follow-up comments by email.

Notify me of new posts by email.


How I’d love to visit LA one day. When I do, I’ll make sure to check this blog post again!

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog http://charmainenyw.com

I think LA is actually an underrated city – the first few times that I visited I didn’t really enjoy it, but once I got past the generic tourist stuff and started digging deeper into the city’s attractions, I began to love LA! I hope you get to visit the city sometime soon, Charmaine!

Ashlea, I can’t believe you stole my tour. That will be $25. You hit the nail on the head when it comes to seeing downtown. This is the exact tour I give people all the time when I get people that want to see downtown. I know your article is a couple of years old, but it is still a good one. If you want a different tour next time, I would recommend the Watts towers, Korean friendship Bell, and the Observatory. I’m always open to show off my City and invite you on your next tour.

Just wanted to say, I’ve been researching online for self walking tours of DTLA and this is by far the best. I’ll take it with me when I visit next week. Thank you!

That’s so wonderful to hear, Victoria! I actually wrote this post as I couldn’t find much info online for my own visit to DTLA, so I figured it would be useful for other people. I hope you enjoy your time in Los Angeles 🙂

Very helpful itinerary! Thank you!

I’m so glad that you found it useful, Paula! 🙂

Hi Ashlea: Is this recommended as a walking tour? I’m not familiar with the distances between each spot, so am wondering if you access each spot on foot, or by auto? Please let me know. Also, if it is a walking tour, is it appropriate even for Seniors? I would like to come, and bring some friends. Thanks, Christy

Yes, it’s easy to get between each place on foot 🙂 It would be ok for reasonably fit seniors. I wouldn’t recommend driving around downtown as there isn’t much parking.

Extremely helpful. Friends are visiting from New Mexico today and I needed to organize a little day adventure for their spur of the moment trip and this just seems perfect. Plus, I live in Koreatown, which is a 20 minute bus ride from downtown. Totally perfect. Thank you!

Oh that’s perfect! Koreatown is definitely a place that I want to check out next time I’m in LA 😉 I hope your friends enjoyed the downtown walking tour!

This tour made our day, Ashlea. Thanks for such a carefully curated itinerary of the five blocks around our hotel. We’re writing this comment from the lobby bar of the Intercontinental (the lobby is on the 70th floor, so the view is epic). We discovered that both the Standard and the Bonaventure (where we stayed) don’t open the rooftop lounges until 4pm.

Happy trails! Blair & Clayton.

That is great news, Blair! I’m so glad you enjoyed the DTLA walking tour. Good to know about the opening hours of the rooftop bars and the lobby of the Intercontinental – I’m always on the lookout for a nice free view 😉

I have about 2/3 of a day here- Sat arrival, 230pm at The LA Downtown Hotel on Figueroa. I’m free til 4pm Sun. Plan to go to 8 am Sun Mass at Cathedral. Need ideas for a drink spot and a dinner spot on Sat eve. Ideas? Can a single woman walk safely in this area on Sat nite? Of course, I’d plan to return to my hotel before 10pm. A lot of ques, I know. Any thoughts? Thanks so much, Kirby

Thanks for this rundown of DTLA. We ares trying here currently and found there’s actually a lot to do round here. I like the same things as you, book stores, libraries, city views. I actually think we will spend all our time here in this area. Many thanks once again. Ps I’m staying at Level Living apartments which is great and near a whole foods store. Regards a New Zealand traveller

Thanks for this post, it was really help full to organize my visit and make out the most of it. I only missed the City Hall, because I visited only for the weekend.

I’m glad you enjoyed your time in DTLA, Elizabeth! You can check out City Hall next time you’re in the area 🙂

I’m in LA 4 a few days and this was great. The map was most helpful and we did almost all of it except LA Library and hotel with a view. We braved it after The Last Bookstore and caught the 720 bus to La Brea Park and caught the last hour of the tar pit. We are staying near there. Cool museums to see as well.

Oh wow, I’ve never heard of the La Brea tar pits – looks like a fun activity 😀 I’m so glad you enjoyed my suggestions for DTLA!

A really excellent little walking tour, thank you so much for sharing it. As you can see, it is still being used – we followed it only yesterday!

That is fantastic news, thanks Michele! This is surprisingly one of my more popular posts – it seems there are many people like you who are looking for things to do in DTLA!

We will be doing a lot of our exploring on foot so this is great . Thank you for sharing.

No problem, Belinda! Enjoy your time in DTLA 🙂

I used your tour route to do a little DTLA walk about with out of town relatives. It was just perfect and I would recommend that anyone take advantage of this post. All I would suggest is reminders that the Disney Concert Hall has free tours, so check their site to be on time (we missed it) and maybe not hit the Central Market at noon. It was great food but super packed. Thank you!

I’m so glad you enjoyed DTLA, Queenie! That’s a good point about the free tours of the concert hall – it’s always worth checking those times before you arrive. And yes the market can get super busy… I think that visiting on a weekday will be a little quieter than a weekend day.

What a great little walking guide. I hope you enjoyed your time in my city.

It’s very weird about The Standard. You’ll be happy to know they’ve since closed down. If you find yourself in LA again I recommend The Ace Hotel, Perch, or Oue Skyspace for places with amazing views and fabulous drinks.

This must be downtown L.A.

  • Show more sharing options
  • Copy Link URL Copied!


If Los Angeles is a city in flux — a place with an ever-shifting center that’s home to many a transplant and is sometimes too eager to favor the new — then perhaps no neighborhood better embodies our town than downtown. Once the beating heart of the region, downtown has survived multiple eras of ups and downs, and remains a place in constant transformation.

To live in downtown — I have been a resident of the area for nearly 15 years — is not only to confront the fantasy of Los Angeles but also to come face to face with the city at its most dystopian. It’s a neighborhood of clashes, home to the grandeur of Walt Disney Concert Hall , the romance of rooftop eateries, the idealized history of Olvera Street and, of course, the harsh realities of class inequity and unrealized dreams, as downtown and Skid Row remain the epicenter of our homeless crisis.

And yet, downtown is history.

handwritten text title: This must be the place

Get to know Los Angeles through the places that bring it to life. From restaurants to shops to outdoor spaces, here’s what to discover now.

The Angels Flight Railway today is a charmer, a short theme-park like journey connecting the heights of Bunker Hill with the Historic Core and Grand Central Market . But the Bunker Hill of today , with its skyscrapers and art museums, is a long way removed from its turn-of-the-century Victorian homes — or the so-called blight that the area was in the 1940s and ’50s when the rich jettisoned downtown. Displacement and leveling occurred.

Downtown is contradictions. Until 1957, downtown buildings were capped to a height of 150 feet. A building boom followed, and downtown won its reputation as a place occupied by 9-to-5 office workers by day, deserted by night. Today, unfinished skyscrapers have become canvases for graffiti artists , and a post-pandemic work-from-home lifestyle has pinned the hopes for downtown’s future on its potential as a residential area.

Downtown is the center of our city — where settlers and indigenous people before them found freshwater — but emblematic of a region where its people refused to agree upon a center for any length of time. Or weren’t always given a choice. Our magnificent Union Station , today a burgeoning public transit hub, was built on ground that was the original Chinatown. To fully embrace downtown is to be forced to reconcile our city’s sometimes messy past.

And yet downtown is home. The ornate movie palaces of Broadway still stand, though are used more often as concert venues today. One is an Apple Store, the arrival of which in 2021 was itself seen as something of a pivotal moment, heralded, much as was the return of Ralphs to the area in 2007, as a sign that downtown was once again a livable destination.

But it always was. To try to capture downtown in a neighborhood guide is nearly impossible: The Historic Core is as different from Bunker Hill as South Park is from the Fashion District. We’ve splintered off the Arts District , which is equally unwieldy, and have defined downtown as a place stretching from around Union Station to the mecca of activity near Crypto.com Arena. Look for the neighborhoods-within-a-neighborhood that are Little Toyko and Chinatown to receive a similar treatment soon.

What you’ll find here is a look at a heavily walkable slice of Los Angeles, a place where gourmet food resides in the 100-plus-year-old food hall of Grand Central Market , where cocktail bars such as the Wolves attempt to whisk us to a yesteryear that never existed, and a bookstore has become a tourist destination that serves as a living art gallery. There’s more to the region than is captured here, of course — the details of our city’s founding, for instance, or the battle over the creation of a French dip sandwich . But what is here is comfortable and communal, be it the gloriousness of a flour tortilla or the coziness of a neighborhood bar.

Downtown, finally, is a mystery. Venture into an alley, for example, to find the Smell , still the best all-ages location for underground and experimental music. Turn into a somewhat abandoned courtyard and stumble into a nearly forgotten slice of Old World kitsch . Nestled near the heart of Skid Row lies Mignon , one of the quietest, most intimate wine bars in the city. And hiding in the Central Library just happens to be one of the city’s niftiest little gift shops .

That it can hold all this and more, that it can be the birthplace of our city yet also one of our most malleable neighborhoods, is key to downtown’s allure. It can be grimy and unvarnished, sure, but it’s also never stopped dreaming. Is it the city core that it was envisioned as more than a couple of centuries ago? For many, it was never anything but.

What's included in this guide

Anyone who’s lived in a major metropolis can tell you that neighborhoods are a tricky thing. They’re eternally malleable and evoke sociological questions around how we place our homes, our neighbors and our communities within a wider tapestry. In the name of neighborly generosity, we included gems that may linger outside of technical parameters. Instead of leaning into stark definitions, we hope to celebrate all of the places that make us love where we live.

tour of downtown los angeles

Get to know the locals at Kippered

A laughing woman prepares to pour from a bottle into two glasses in front of her at a bar

Be transported by Joyce's Southern, seafood-inspired menu

People walk in an open food market building under hanging signs

Food is communal at Grand Central Market

Looking up into a glass-roofed atrium with large hanging chandeliers

Visit one of downtown's best gift shops at the Central Library

A movie theater's seats face the screen, on which is projected the logo for Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

Attend a movie party at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

A person walks among shelves of books at a bookstore

Get lost in the labyrinth of the Last Bookstore

A woman in black and white houndstooth takes a selfie in front of a black-and-white photo grid hanging on the wall

Enter a box of contemporary art at the Broad

People stand at the glass door of a hotel under ornate windows, with a view out toward the street

Have a cocktail surrounded by angels at the Biltmore

The orange car of Angels Flight funicular railway in downtown Los Angeles

Treat downtown like a theme park at Angels Flight Railway

A sign hanging over a walkway on the Grammy Museum building

Interact with music history at the Grammy Museum

Plates of Mexican food on a wooden counter next to a white tiled wall

Sample Sonoratown's glorious handmade flour tortillas

A brownish-red cocktail in a glass goblet, with leaves' shadows on the wall next to it

Dine in a former rectory at Redbird

A marble table nestled in a red diner booth

Marvel at the Midwest-influenced comfort food of Moonlark's Dinette

A young girl strikes a ballet pose in a fountain at a park

Do some yoga at Gloria Molina Grand Park

Vendor stalls filled with colorful goods at Olvera Street.

Dive into L.A. history at Olvera Street

An overhead view of a person with a bike on an ornate tiled floor.

Explore the transitways — or have a pint — at Union Station

The front of the Bradbury Building.

Relax with a coffee at the Bradbury Building

A woman in a green dress onstage with several other people behind her

Enjoy the buzz of live theater at the Ahmanson Theatre

A view of Chinatown from the Observation Deck at City Hall.

Skip the fancy rooftop brunch and see Los Angeles via City Hall

A couple sit in a wood-paneled restaurant booth

Explore the fantasy of another era at the Wolves

A chef in a top hat flames a dish at a restaurant.

Explore the variety of French wine at Garçons de Cafe

Walt Disney Concert Hall's silvery structures illuminated at twilight, with skyscrapers and hills in the distance

Visit a rooftop garden before the symphony at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Subscriber Exclusive Alert

If you're an L.A. Times subscriber, you can sign up to get alerts about early or entirely exclusive content.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.

More From the Los Angeles Times

An actor caught mid-pose in a starry landscape with a heart at its center.

Las Vegas’ new must-see show plays with animation, dance and what it means to be human

Photo of Michaela Jae Rodriguez with vibrant illustrations surrounding her: a mic, a record, hands, face cream and tea.

How to have the best Sunday in L.A., according to Michaela Jaé Rodriguez

Steve Carell and Alison Pill in Lincoln Center Theatre's production of "Uncle Vanya."

Commentary: What’s missing in two starry new productions of Ibsen and Chekhov on Broadway

Ryan Gosling surprises guests at "The Fall Guy Stuntacular Pre-Show" at Universal Studios Hollywood on April 27.

How ‘The Fall Guy’ became a live show at Universal Studios Hollywood, complete with Ryan Gosling cameo

Search the Site

Popular pages.

  • Historic Places of Los Angeles
  • Important Issues
  • Events Calendar

tour of downtown los angeles

Walking Tour | Weekly

Historic Downtown

Saturday, May 18, 2024

About This Tour

Never taken one of our tours? Our Historic Downtown walking tour offers a great overview of downtown L.A. history and architecture, from the eighteenth century to the present. Learn about the founding of this great city, and the story of its growth, as told through its magnificent architecture.

Explore some of L.A.’s most beloved landmarks, such as the Central Library , the  U.S. Bank Tower , and the  Bradbury Building. Discover—or rediscover—the area’s unique character as you visit the areas surrounding  Pershing Square , the heart of downtown.

See below for more information about our COVID-19 safety policies.

Registration required

Approx. 2 hrs., 30 mins.

Route covers approximately 12 blocks; includes stairs and hills

Strollers not recommended

Ticket Information

Youth (ages 17 and under)

General Public

tour of downtown los angeles

Upcoming Historic Downtown Walking Tours

Details & getting there.

Meeting Location

We will start our tour at Maguire Gardens at the Central Library.  Additional location information will be sent upon registration.

Important Policies and Covid-19 Safety

  • Tour will run rain or shine.
  • Masks are not required while outside on the tour.
  • You can change your reservation date if you contact us at  [email protected]  at least 24 hours before your original reservation date.
  • If a member of your party is in a wheelchair, please let us know in advance by emailing  [email protected] .

For additional details, see below.

All participants in the Los Angeles Conservancy-sponsored Walking Tours knowingly and freely accept and assume all risks, both known and unknown ,  including contracting and/or transmitting COVID-19 and any other communicable diseases ,  and AGREE TO RELEASE, DEFEND, INDEMNIFY, NOT SUE, AND HOLD HARMLESS the Los Angeles Conservancy, its principals, officers, employees, volunteers, sponsors, agents and other participants from any and all claims, damages (including medical expenses and attorneys’ fees), injuries and expenses arising out of, or resulting from your voluntary attendance/participation in Walking Tours, including contracting and/or transmitting COVID-19 and any other communicable diseases and any and all other injury, illness, disability, death, or loss or damage to person or property.  All participants expressly waive the benefits of California Civil Code 1542 , which provides that: “A general release does not extend to claims that the creditor or releasing party does not know or suspect to exist in his or her favor at the time of executing the release and that, if known by him or her, would have materially affected his or her settlement with the debtor or released party.

Historic Places on This Tour

Grand Central Market

Grand Central Market

tour of downtown los angeles

Bradbury Building

Title Guarantee and Trust Building

Title Guarantee & Trust Building

U.S. Bank Tower

U.S. Bank Tower

Metro 417

Los Angeles Central Library

Pershing Square

Pershing Square


Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles

Orange Angels Flight ascends, with downtown skyline in the background.

Angels Flight

Bunker Hill Steps

Bunker Hill Steps

One Bunker Hill

The CalEdison

Biddy Mason Memorial; images and text on a bronze wall

Biddy Mason Memorial Park

Million Dollar Theatre

Million Dollar Theatre

Check out what people are saying about our tours.

tour of downtown los angeles

Other Walking Tours We Recommend

Click on the links for additional dates for these tours.

Facade of Union Station in Los Angeles.

Union Station

Eastern Columbia

Broadway Historic Theatre and Commercial District Walking Tour

Major funding for the Los Angeles Conservancy’s educational programs is provided by the LaFetra Foundation and the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation.

Los Angeles, California/Canva

Help Preserve Historic Places in Los Angeles

Real experiences of the real Los Angeles

What are real los angeles tours.

Our guests are interested, curious people who want an authentic experience of Los Angeles. That’s why we do walking tours and cycling tours and use the Metro, because it’s the best way to see and learn about LA – and the most eco-friendly too. Since we began our Los Angeles tours in 2013 over 20,000 guests have joined us on more than 2,000 tours and we’ve been awarded TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence every year. This is what we do:

LA in a Day Tour : We’re pioneers of the all day Metro and walking tour of Los Angeles. We start the day in Hollywood, then we jump on the B Line to DTLA (for lunch at Grand Central Market), before ending the tour in downtown Santa Monica in time for sunset (10am daily).

The Real Hollywood Tour : On our tour of Hollywood you’ll learn the neighborhood’s fascinating history and see its hidden corners, so you truly discover the myth and the place (10am daily).

Santa Monica & Venice Bike Tour : Just a fantastic Los Angeles experience – cycling the beautiful beach neighborhoods, visiting hidden spots and learning all of the area’s history (10am daily).

LA: Food + History + Design Tour : Experience the best of Los Angeles – the great food we have here in SoCal, the fascinating history and the beautiful architecture and design (midday Sunday).

Central Downtown LA Tour : We were the first company to offer daily tours of historic downtown, where Los Angeles was founded in 1781. Join us and discover the vibrant heart of LA (1pm daily).

Mount Hollywood Hike : Griffith Park is home to the Hollywood Sign and is an LA gem. Take a hike with us to the top of Mount Hollywood, see the sign and visit Griffith Observatory (3/4pm daily).

Hollywood Speakeasy Bar Tour : Join us on a journey back to Golden Age Hollywood. You enjoy era-appropriate cocktails in some of the area’s best bars as we tell you stories from its past (6pm Friday).

DTLA Murder Mystery Ghost Tour : From infamous unsolved murders to being home to several serial killers, downtown has some incredibly horrible history. We go on a noir investigation (6pm Saturday).

All of our experiences can be booked as private tours.


To open in Google Maps, click the icon in the top right corner.


The Real Los Angeles Tours has over 1,000 reviews on different platforms, over 90% of which are five stars.

Los Angeles Tours

Our expert guides create entertaining & enlightening tours, which will transform your understanding & appreciation of LA & California

Los Angeles Tours

We have Los Angeles tours for all budgets: free self guided tours, group tours from just $40 pp & private tours from just $275 for a group of up to 10.

Los Angeles Tours

We get off the beaten track to reveal the hidden beauty & history of Los Angeles, meaning you have a truly memorable & enjoyable experience.

The real los angeles tours calendar.

I love travel. In the past there was nothing I enjoyed more than visiting a city and getting lost wandering its streets. However, during a trip to Europe in 2012, I discovered a guided walking tour and realized that it’s a much better way get to know a city. I got a quick history lesson, saw most of the best sights and was able to ask all the vital questions I had (like where to have lunch) from a local expert. It was the highlight of my trip and I began doing walking tours in every city I visited.

When I returned to Los Angeles I looked for a walking tour, but all I found were bus tours of Beverly Hills, which isn’t where the “stars” live nowadays, and Rodeo Drive, where locals like me never go. So, as a historian, traveler and lover of LA, I decided to start a new company, offering totally different tours, that would allow both visitors AND Angelenos to properly experience this amazing city and learn its fascinating history. I was also passionate about creating eco-friendly tours, to raise money for environmental causes.

The Real Los Angeles Tours launched in 2013 with one tour and I was the only guide. Since then we’ve grown a lot – we now have eight tours and ten guides and in 2020 we launched  Real San Francisco Tours . However, one thing has never changed and that’s our mission, which is to give our guests a genuine and entertaining experience of the real Los Angeles. Join us on a tour and we promise you'll have an amazing time and really get to know the city.

– Damien, founder of The Real Los Angeles Tours

Morning & all-day tours

Los Angeles Tours


10am daily, Pantages Theatre

$110 pp (inc Metro travel)

Los Angeles Tours


$40 pp, under 12 y.o. free

Los Angeles tour


10am daily, Santa Monica

$70 pp (inc bike rental)

Los Angeles Tours


12 midday Sunday, Union Station

$85 pp (inc food)

Afternoon & evening tours

Los Angeles Tours


1pm daily, Grand Park

$50 pp, under 12 y.o. free

Mount Hollywood Hike and Hollywood Sign


3pm Winter/4pm Summer daily, Greek Theatre

$50 pp (inc bottle), 7-12 y.o. free

Los Angeles tours


6pm Friday, Pantages Theatre

Los Angeles Tours


6pm Saturday, Historic Broadway

tour of downtown los angeles

In addition to being a guide I’m an internationally recognized clown performer and director, and Associate Artistic Director of the Clown School in LA. I’m originally from Atlanta, Georgia, but I’ve mostly been based here for the last two decades. I’ve had a number of different careers (and still do – sailing is my latest), but one of the most fun was doing sets at the Comedy Store. I’ve been a tour guide in several cities around the world, but being able to take guests to my old haunts on the Sunset Strip easily makes LA my favorite.

tour of downtown los angeles

After a career as an actress in regional theater, film and TV, I was looking for a new direction when I met a lady who told me of her job as a tour director. I immediately asked, “how do I get that job?” She told me and I got certified as an international tour director, leading tours of the Grand Canyon, Washington DC, the Pacific Northwest and Canada, just to name a few. But when I’m back in my hometown, I love working with The Real Los Angeles Tours. These are the kind of experiences that I look for when I’m traveling, so get ready for a fabulous tour!

tour of downtown los angeles

As someone who’s lived in five US states, and spent a couple of years in France, I’m more than just an international fugitive. It was living in Europe that provided me with the opportunity to travel to unique locales and appreciate the history, architecture, food and cultures of the world. I jumped into the travel and tourism industry in 2015, going on to lead tours throughout the western and northeastern United States, in addition to showcasing Southern California. I look forward to sharing the many highlights of Los Angeles with you.

tour of downtown los angeles

Hi there! Maybe it’s the German in me, but I love the idea of experiencing a city through walking, cycling and taking public transport. Los Angeles feels like it’s a treasure chest filled with lots of hidden gems and fascinating stories. When I came here in 2013 I fell in love with LA’s rough beauty, its history and architecture, and the intensity of the light here, so I find it hugely exciting to share my passion for this amazing city. It would be my pleasure to be your host on a tour. Come join us on a special journey through Los Angeles!

tour of downtown los angeles

Hi! Like many people you meet here I’m a transplant, moving to L.A. from the great state of Iowa in 2015. I got the travel bug when I was 19 years old, traveling to Italy with my best friend. Since that first excursion I’ve returned to Europe twice and backpacked around most of the continent, in addition to traveling extensively around the United States, Central and South America. Recently I visited Australia and New Zealand. I enjoy sharing my passion for travel and my love for Los Angeles with all who come on my tours.

tour of downtown los angeles

I’m originally from the UK and majored in history at the University of London. Travel has always been one of my greatest passions and I lived in Germany, Spain and Australia, before moving to L.A. in 2008. Since then Los Angeles has become my home. I love its dynamism and multiculturalism, the many opportunities it offers, the friendly nature of most people here and, of course, the beautiful weather. In many ways the reason for starting The Real Los Angeles Tours was to give visitors the chance to fall in love with LA like I did.

tour of downtown los angeles

I was raised trilingual (English, Danish and German) in Denmark, leaving when I was 19 years old, curious to discover the world and wanting to cross multicultural bridges. My first destination was Los Angeles and I spent five super fun years here, before leaving on more globetrotting adventures. I lived in Australia, Singapore and several European countries, but the lure of L.A. drew me back in 2011, by which time I was ready to hang up my boots. I’m always eager to share my passion for the secret spots of the city I love and call home.

tour of downtown los angeles

Hello there! I may look like a 14 year old, but I’ve been working in tourism for over a decade. I studied acting in Chicago and after college I needed a job, so I became a tour guide. I led deep dish pizza and cupcake tours, but before long I was writing and leading architecture, history and food tours of the windy city. Then, like many actors, I moved to L.A. When I got here I was blown away by the city. I walked the streets and read a ton of books and now I’d love to share the incredible history and architecture of Los Angeles with you!

Got Questions about Los Angeles or California?

If you’re a visitor looking for specific information related to your trip here, such as  where to stay ,  where to eat ,  a list of the best family activities in Los Angeles  or  how to navigate the city using public transport , be sure to check LA Info . We also have general information about the U.S., including answering that most vital of all questions for foreign visitors: when and how much should I tip?

The Los Angeles Lowdown is designed by us to take you inside LA, whether you’re visiting or you live here. From current-affairs inspired articles on Southern California’s history (such as the LA Chinatown Massacre ), to our suggestions on the best events being held in Los Angeles every month , via inside information on authentic and fun LA experiences , we give you the essential lowdown on the city of Angels.

Whatever your questions about LA, we have the answers.

Our Gallery

tour of downtown los angeles

KTLA's Olivia Bartoli and Holly Madison take the DTLA Murder Mystery Ghost tour with Chris, in this LA Unscripted Halloween episode.


Cronkite News reporter Emilee Miranda interviews The Real Los Angeles Tours owner Damien about eco-tourism in Los Angeles.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Awesome, you're subscribed!

Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!

The best of Los Angeles for free.

Sign up for our email to enjoy Los Angeles without spending a thing (as well as some options when you’re feeling flush).

Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

By entering your email address you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and consent to receive emails from Time Out about news, events, offers and partner promotions.

Love the mag?

Our newsletter hand-delivers the best bits to your inbox. Sign up to unlock our digital magazines and also receive the latest news, events, offers and partner promotions.

  • Things to Do
  • Food & Drink
  • Coca-Cola Foodmarks
  • Attractions
  • Los Angeles

Get us in your inbox

🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

Bradbury Building

21 of the best things to do in Downtown Los Angeles

Get to know L.A.’s resurgent city center with these quintessential things to do in Downtown Los Angeles

Michael Juliano

A few decades ago, DTLA never would’ve landed on any out-of-towner itineraries: There simply were’t enough things to do in Downtown Los Angeles, aside from witnessing a once-buzzing city center slump into a mix of stoic postmodern high-rises and vacant storefronts.

These days, it’s a mostly different story—though one that’s been unquestionably impacted by the uncertainties of the past few years. While Downtown still has some growing up to do, it’s in the midst of a (somewhat slowed down) retail, institutional and architectural resurgence that’s turning the area into a more walkable, Metro -friendly destination dotted with museums , superlative restaurants and beautiful buildings . Get to know Bunker Hill, the Historic Core and beyond with these things to do in Downtown Los Angeles.

Just a heads up: Though it’s home to L.A.’s biggest cluster of tall buildings, DTLA feels pretty different from most other cities’ downtown areas. For starters, L.A.’s cultural destinations are spread all over the city and not just in Downtown. And as for the neighborhood itself, it likely won’t have the sheen you’d expect from a major American downtown; most blocks aren’t really conducive to family-friendly touristy activities, and some simply don’t feel safe. But we think there are plenty of incredible finds for visitors who arrive with an open mind and a bit of street smarts.

Looking for things to do in the Arts District, Little Tokyo and Chinatown? We’ve included separate guides to those Downtown districts at the bottom of this story.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Downtown Los Angeles

An email you’ll actually love

Things to do in Downtown Los Angeles

See the twisted architecture of the Walt Disney Concert Hall

1.  See the twisted architecture of the Walt Disney Concert Hall

  • Music venues
  • price 3 of 4

As the crown jewel of the Music Center, Disney Hall opened in 2003 to rave reviews. The novelty hasn’t yet worn off: Both inside and out, this is a terrific venue. Designed by Frank Gehry, the hall is the home of the LA Philharmonic and the LA Master Chorale, but the schedule is surprisingly varied throughout the year. Take advantage of the free audio tour, or get lost among the many hidden nooks around the hall, including a hidden garden . It’s also suddenly become a bit of a dining destination, with Ray Garcia’s on-site restaurant Asterid  as well as a bunch of José Andrés spots across the street at the Grand LA .

Eat tacos and egg sandwiches at Grand Central Market

2.  Eat tacos and egg sandwiches at Grand Central Market

  • Restaurants
  • Downtown Historic Core
  • price 2 of 4

Even if you’re not there for the food, this century-old spot is worth a trip; people from all corners of L.A. mix and mingle among rows of spices, produce and vintage neon signage. Of course, if you’re hungry it’s a great place to get cheap pupusas from Sarita’s Pupuseria, carnitas from Tacos Tumbras a Tomas and chow mein from China Cafe, as well as food from handsome, trendy eateries like Shiku ,  Sticky Rice , Sari Sari ,  Broad Street Oyster Company ,  Eggslut  and  G&B Coffee .

Gaze into infinity at the Broad

3.  Gaze into infinity at the Broad

  • Art and design

Three words: Infinity Mirror Rooms. Downtown’s persistently popular contemporary art museum has  two of Yayoi Kusama’s mirror-laden rooms (and, thankfully, a new reservation system to secure a spot in the most immersive one). Elsewhere in the free museum, Eli and Edythe Broad’s collection of 2,000 post-war works includes artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha, Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger and Jeff Koons. Find out more in our complete guide to the Broad .

Channel ‘Blade Runner’ at the Bradbury Building

4.  Channel ‘Blade Runner’ at the Bradbury Building

  • Things to do

Walk through the archway entrance of this otherwise nondescript brick building and you're greeted with a stunning, light-flooded alley of wood, iron and brick. You’ll have to most of your gawking from the ground floor (and half a flight of stairs) as the rest of the building is private office space. History buffs will appreciate its place as Downtown’s oldest commercial building (1893); movie buffs will recognize the zigzagging staircases from the climax of Blade Runner .

Catch classical performances and Broadway musicals at the Music Center

5.  Catch classical performances and Broadway musicals at the Music Center

The Center Theatre Group programs two of the halls that make up DTLA’s original cultural complex. At the north end, the Ahmanson Theatre  largely presents touring Broadway fare, while the smaller Mark Taper Forum stages a wide range of new dramas. Also part of the Music Center, the grand Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is the home base for LA Opera, as well as occasional concerts and dance events. Last, but certainly not least, the Center also includes its neighbor across the street, the previously mentioned Disney Concert Hall.

Give in to your wanderlust at Union Station

6.  Give in to your wanderlust at Union Station

Train travel has gone in and out of fashion, but the last of the great American rail stations is just as handsome as the day it opened: Union Station’s Mission-style exterior opens up into a grand waiting area with marble tiles, faux-wood beamed ceilings and Art Deco touches. Wander through its halls and courtyards and you’ll find a building rich with history, locomotion and—with the eventual arrival of high-speed rail and a new concourse—progress.

Explore by foot with the Los Angeles Conservancy Walking Tours

7.  Explore by foot with the Los Angeles Conservancy Walking Tours

  • Walks and tours
  • Downtown Financial District
  • price 1 of 4

We could fill an entire list with nothing but Downtown’s stunning architecture (unsurprisingly, quite a few of our picks for the most beautiful buildings are in DTLA). Instead, we’ll point you in the direction of the Los Angeles Conservancy’s acclaimed walking tours. Choose between tours of modern skyscrapers or the Historic Core, Art Deco  towers or Broadway’s colorful marquees.

Pack a picnic at Grand Park

8.  Pack a picnic at Grand Park

The slow, lumbering mission to turn Downtown L.A. into a vibrant cultural hub got a lift when a portion of Grand Park’s 12 acres officially opened to the public in July 2012. Dotted with fountains, picnic lawns, bright pink benches and plenty of nooks from which to sit and people-watch, Grand Park is a bright urban oasis that proves the city has a sense of romance. The park plays host to performances, gatherings and other community events.

Get lost in a labyrinth of tomes at the Last Bookstore

9.  Get lost in a labyrinth of tomes at the Last Bookstore

If the Last Bookstore Downtown were really our last bookstore, we’d be in good shape. Currently housed in what used to be an old bank building (complete with marble columns and giant doors), this store is as popular for its stellar book selection as it is for its labyrinth of literary photo ops.

See contemporary masterpieces at MOCA Grand Avenue

10.  See contemporary masterpieces at MOCA Grand Avenue

The main branch of L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) houses thousands of artworks crafted from 1940 until now. Spend half an hour or an entire afternoon absorbing contemporary pieces from lesser-known artists, punctuated by sightings of Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock works. And maybe best of all: Since early 2020, admission is totally free.

Looking for things to do in other parts of Downtown?

Downtown Arts District

Downtown Arts District


Little Tokyo

[image] [title]

Discover Time Out original video

  • Press office
  • Investor relations
  • Work for Time Out
  • Editorial guidelines
  • Privacy notice
  • Do not sell my information
  • Cookie policy
  • Accessibility statement
  • Terms of use
  • Copyright agent
  • Modern slavery statement
  • Manage cookies
  • Advertising
  • Time Out Market

Time Out products

  • Time Out Worldwide

Time Out magazine

This website uses cookies to improve your browsing experience and analyze the use of the website. Learn More

Company Logo - Home Link

Los Angeles Walking Tours

tour of downtown los angeles

See our Calendar Below for All Tours, as well as Things to Do & Travel Tips

Featured tours.

tour of downtown los angeles

Downtown LA

Downtown la highlights.

tour of downtown los angeles

Hidden Gems in LA

Hidden gems in la highlights.

tour of downtown los angeles

Hike to the Hollywood Sign

Hike to the hollywood sign highlights.

tour of downtown los angeles

Hollywood Highlights

tour of downtown los angeles

Scandals and Crimes of Old Hollywood 

Scandals and crimes of old hollywood  highlights.

Free Tours by Foot is happy to offer free and name-your-own-price Los Angeles walking tours.

On our guided tours, you choose how much the tour was worth after your tour is over, encouraging your guide to provide a memorable experience. We offer sightseeing tours of L.A. that will give you a fuller appreciation of this great city. 

Be sure to check out our tour calendar to see which tours are offered while you are in town.

  • Walking Tours
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Deals and Discounts
  • Private Tours

Tour Calendar

If a tour is not listed at the date and time, that means we are not running a tour then. Private tours are always available!

Our Los Angeles walking tours are also a great way to meet fellow travelers and make new friends.

Our guests come from all over the world, and this means that many different perspectives are reflected in the questions asked of our tour guides and contribute to more enriching experiences for our guests. 

gemma F.


We offer guided walking tours throughout Los Angeles - and beyond!

You could browse the tours that we have by clicking the links below the image or by viewing our tour calendar  or go straight to our booking page to see what we have available.

Don't see a tour that fits your schedule?

We also offer GPS-enabled audio tours as well as several self-guided tours . These audio and self-guided tours allow you to take the tour whenever you want, though you won't have a live guide to answer questions!

Likewise, any of our tours can be booked as a private tour option , which can be customized.

L.A. tours are operated by our Yonzon LLC.

Searching Availability...

Downtown LA Walking Tours

With a name like theirs, it shouldn’t be surprising that this company offers a plethora of walking tours in Downtown Los Angeles.

As a matter of fact, they offer a total of six different tour options with vastly different themes.

Each tour lasts for approximately 2 hours and provides a completely different look at the City of Angels. All of their services have the same reasonable price of $22 for adults and $6 for kids.

  • Los Angeles Beginnings | Available Daily @ 11 AM
  • Art District | Available Wed-Sat @ 2 PM
  • Old and New Downtown | Daily @ 1:30 PM
  • Filming Locations | Available Tu, Thu, Sat @ 4 PM
  • Architecture | Available Daily @ 10:30 AM
  • Haunted Tales | Tu, Thu, Sat @ 6:30 PM

Ratings for each of these walking tours are very good, with most customers giving the service either 4 or 5 out of 5 stars ( read reviews here ). 

Guests typically sing the praises of their tour guides, suggesting that they provide a very interesting and informative look at Los Angeles.

Reviewers were also pleased with the price, noting that this service is very affordable.

The Real Los Angeles Tours

Since launching in 2013, this company has hosted tens of thousands of guests from hundreds of different countries.

They are very focused on being eco-friendly as well and donate 5% of all of their revenue to Climate Cents, a local climate change organization. 

Striving to provide a real understanding of LA and a genuine experience, The Real Los Angeles Tours has a variety of tours to choose from.

  • LA in a Day : $95 per person | 10 am - 6 pm daily
  • Central Downtown LA Tour : $40 per person | 1 pm - 4 pm daily
  • DTLA Murder Mystery Tour : $35 per person | 6 pm - 8:30 pm Sat
  • From Wild West to Now : $180 per group | 2-3 hours long | Private
  • LAX Layover Tour : $250 per group | 2-3 hours long | Private

Tour dates can vary based on the time of year, so be sure to check the calendar on the website to see when each tour is offered. Additional private tours and self-guided tours are also available.

The Real Los Angeles Tours has a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence after receiving 325 5 out of 5-star reviews. Guests have called their tour a “highlight of their time in LA” and “the best way to start their LA vacation.”

LA  Tour 1

This company is currently offering a combo tour in downtown Los Angeles which includes food, arts and culture. 

In addition to learning about the history of the city, you’ll also have the opportunity to visit sites such as the Bradbury Building, Grand Central Market and the Walt Disney Concert Hall.


Your guide will also show you some of the best places to grab a bite, although there is no food included on the tour.

  • $35/Adults | $30/Youth
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Availability: Daily
  • Hours: 1 pm
  • Purchase tickets or learn more .

TIP: This tour is included with the Los Angeles Sightseeing Pass .

This tour has received an overall rating of about 4 ½ out of 5 stars ( read reviews here ). Most visitors really enjoyed this outing, but some took issue with the fact that there was no food included. 

Many guests report that their tour guides are very friendly and knowledgeable, indicating they provided a lot of useful information about the city.


From bus tours to food tours, there are a lot of ways to explore Los Angeles...

  • Should I Take a Beverly Hills Celebrity Homes Tour?
  • 5 Hollywood Tours You Should Take
  • Which Hollywood City Tour is Best?
  • Which Hollywood Studio Tours Are the Best?


Our pay-what-you-wish walking tours will show you LA  in detail, but some places are not easily accessible for walking tours.

Sightseeing tours by bus can help fill the gap and are also a great option for those who have mobility issues or would just like to have a mode of transportation to get to different attractions. 

There are hop-on-hop-off buses that have daily and multi-day passes as well as premium bus services that offer full day/night bus shuttle and guide options.  We have reviewed the most popular bus tours in the city that offer a great compliment to our walking tours.


The City of Angels is home to some of the best food in the country, and you can find a lot of great examples in the downtown area.

These tours cover some of the best restaurants and places to eat in downtown Los Angeles.

Secret Food Tours

There are a variety of restaurants in downtown Los Angeles representing several different cultures and flavors.

This tour will take you to some of the best eateries in the city, providing a unique taste of LA.

While on this tour, you’ll experience Mexican, French, and Eastern dishes while walking through one of the most interesting neighborhoods in the downtown area.

If you’re interested, you can also upgrade your tour to include drinks. This service is only available for guests 21 and older.

  • $79/Adults | $74/Teens | $69/Children
  • Drink Package Upgrade: $19 per person
  • Duration: 3 ½ hours
  • Hours: 2:45 pm

Secret Food Tours has an excellent rating of 5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and most customers agree that their outings are very enjoyable.

Guests report that this tour includes a lot of delicious food and plenty of information about the history of downtown Los Angeles.

Sidewalk Food Tours

Over the course of 3 hours, you’ll visit no fewer than 6 unique establishments in the area.

As you travel from one restaurant to the next, you’ll learn about the history of Los Angeles and its food culture.

This company allows a maximum of 12 people on each outing to ensure a more personal experience. Considering the length of this tour, we recommend wearing comfortable shoes.

  • $75 per person
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Availability: Thur - Mon
  • Hours: 11 am
  • Includes food tastings.

Sidewalk Food Tours of Los Angeles currently has a 5-star rating on TripAdvisor. Needless to say, most of their customers have enjoyed their experience on this tour. 

Guests typically appreciate the opportunity to learn about both the food and the history of Downtown Los Angeles.

Urban Adventures

If you’re a fan of tacos, this is one tour you’ll definitely want to consider. Discover some of the best authentic Mexican food in downtown Los Angeles on this food tour.

In addition to visiting several notable locations such as Olvera Street and Grand Central Market, you’ll also have an opportunity to taste 2 tacos and 1 taquito, with one of those being a mole taco.

This is a great way to not only learn about the history of Los Angeles, but also find some of the best places in the city to find Mexican food!

  • $55/Adults | $45/Children
  • Duration: 2 ½ hours
  • Availability: Daily at 11 am
  • Includes 2 free tacos and 1 free taquito.

This company currently has a fantastic score of 5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor ( read reviews here ). 

Many guests report that the tacos on this tour are delicious, and others felt that this tour allowed them to experience LA in a “unique and fun way.”


In this section, we will cover scavenger hunts available in downtown Los Angeles.

These outings are a great way to discover some of the most historic sites while learning about the city.

Urban Adventure Quest

What better way to learn about a city than by taking a more hands-on approach? On this scavenger hunt, you’ll compete with another team using clues to discover some of the most significant sites in Downtown Los Angeles.

This urban adventure will require a smartphone to find the information necessary to progress. Groups have the option to either take on various challenges or stop and go at their own pace.

  • $27 per person
  • Duration: 1 ½ hours
  • Hours: 9 am - 5 pm

This company has received excellent ratings for this service ( read reviews here ). Customers report that the clues aren’t too difficult to solve, but they represent enough of a challenge that the overall experience is very entertaining. 

Some visitors appreciated the fact that clues were designed for people of all ages, making it a fun trip for both young and old alike.

Puzzling Adventures

If you’re looking for a slightly more extensive scavenger hunt, this option is 2-3 hours and open to groups of up to 12 people, creating a greater sense of competition.

Visitors will be asked to answer brain teasers, complete interesting challenges and gather clues to find each item on the hunt.

  • $49.99 per person
  • Duration: 2-3 hours

This is a fairly new company and they don’t have many reviews yet, but some customers have reported that they had a blast exploring and looking for each item on the scavenger hunt.


Check out our Top Things To do in LA for advice on things to do in LA, places to visit, and tourist attractions to do.

While most things are free in LA, there are some great museums and attractions that do have ticketed prices.

To help you find the best option for your wallet, read about the deals and discounts you can find through booking attraction passes.

  • Read more about Deals & Discounts in DC

And much, much more

North america, united kingdom & ireland, middle east & india, asia & oceania.

The 18 Best Things to Do in Downtown Los Angeles

tour of downtown los angeles

TripSavvy / Amanda Blackard

Unlike other large cities, many people visit Los Angeles without ever setting foot downtown, preferring to spend their time at the beach near Santa Monica or strolling around Hollywood . And while the downtown area may lack the most iconic attractions that people come to see in Los Angeles, those who venture into this underrated neighborhood know that it's rich with historic  architecture , cultural attractions, and some of the best foodie hotspots in the city.

Here are the 18 best things to do downtown, from visiting historic sites, museums, and watching live theater performances, to strolling around the many iconic districts that help shape downtown into what it is.

Eat Sushi in Little Tokyo

There are only three official Japantowns in the United States, and all three of them are in California. The one in Los Angeles, known as Little Tokyo, is the largest of the three and also a National Historic Landmark. Apart from actually going to Japan, it's one of the most authentic Japanese experiences you can have and the perfect place to pick up some typical snacks, flip through some manga comics, or enjoy a cup of matcha tea.

Perhaps the best time of the day to explore Little Tokyo is around lunch, dinner, or anytime you're hungry. Several local eateries offer traditional Japanese and Japanese-American cuisine, from hot bowls of ramen to the fun-to-eat (and say) shabu-shabu . Also, don't miss out on trying a California roll from any one of the sushi restaurants in the area ⎯ it was invented right in the neighborhood.

Take a Ride on the Tram

It may not have the same global recognition as the San Francisco cable car or the Lisbon tram , but the Angels Flight Railway is still one of the most iconic landmarks in downtown L.A. (and even more so since it appeared in the Oscar-winning Best Picture, "La La Land"). The funicular train has been shuttling passengers one block—albeit one very steep block—since 1901, from Hill Street to Olive Street.

The cost is $1 to ride it one-way, or 50 cents if you have an L.A. Metro pass. You can ride the tram in either direction but enter at Hill Street to ride it uphill and avoid making the steep climb on foot.

Check Out Contemporary Art for Free

If you're into contemporary art, two of Southern California's preeminent museums are not just in downtown Los Angeles, but they're across the street from each other and both are free to enter.

The Broad —pronounced like "brode"—is the newer contemporary art museum that opened in 2015 on Grand Avenue, next to the Walt Disney Disney Concert Hall . Built by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, the 120,000-square-foot museum houses their personal and their foundation's art collection of more than 2,000 works by over 200 different artists, including the museum's most Instagrammable exhibit, the Infinity Mirrored Room by Yayoi Kusama.

Walk out of the Broad and cross the street to enter the Museum of Contemporary Art , which locals just call the "MOCA." The MOCA doesn't have any permanent exhibits, so check ahead to see what's on display at the time of your trip.

Visit El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument at Olvera Street

TripSavvy / Christian Hundley 

El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, more commonly known simply as Olvera Street, is the location of the oldest remaining structure in Los Angeles, the Avila Adobe. However, it's the Mexican Marketplace running up and down the pedestrian street that primarily draws visitors. The Marketplace started in 1930 and was originally conceived as a way to rejuvenate the dilapidated neighborhood by bringing in the charm of old-world Mexico with locals selling their crafts and hosting vivacious fiestas. Nearly a century later, Olvera Street is still one of the most popular attractions in downtown Los Angeles.

It is also the home of the LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes , a museum that charts Latino history from the arrival of the first 11 Mexican families who were among the earliest settlers in Los Angeles.

Olvera Street is a one-block pedestrian zone across from Union Station, which is served by the red and gold lines of the  Metro .

See a Show at the Disney Concert Hall

TripSavvy / Christian Hundley

The Los Angeles Music Center consists of a group of original theaters that are home to the city's drama, dance, and opera companies, the most famous of which is the architecturally stunning Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank Gehry. It's home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, one of the most celebrated orchestras in the country. The "winter season" of the LA Phil at the Disney Concert Hall typically runs from October to June (in the summer, they play at the Hollywood Bowl ).

Even if you can't make it to a concert or tickets are outside of your budget, it's worth visiting the Disney Concert Hall just to appreciate the building itself. Guided tours of the inside are available for free (or you can choose to wander around yourself) but don't forget about the outside of the building. Gehry designed the hall to be explored from all sides and angles, including the exterior staircases that take visitors right up to the roof.

Feast at the Grand Central Market

Grand Central Market is an indoor public market on Broadway between Third and Fourth streets in downtown. The market has been open continuously since 1917 and has always housed a mix of greengrocers, butchers, delis, bakers, and prepared food vendors. The culinary offerings in the market have always been fresh and local, although they have become more "artisanal and gourmet" compared to its early days. The options today also represent the diversity of the local area, including Thai street food, Salvadoran pupusas, and several flavors from Mexico.

The market is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., but individual vendors may set their own hours. If you're arriving by public transportation, take the red or purple line of the metro to Pershing Square.

Explore the Fashion District in Los Angeles

The Fashion District is a great place to shop for bargain clothes, textiles, and accessories. Previously known as the Garment District, this expansive neighborhood sits in the southern part of downtown L.A. and specializes in retail and wholesale for all types of clothing. One of the most popular areas is a street of outdoor shopping called Santee Alley, where you can find great deals and cheap knock-off brands.

Many businesses are closed on Sundays, so it's not as busy if you want to roam but there's not nearly as much selection. Aspiring designers will also love  The Fashion Institute for Design and Merchandising  (FIDM) at Ninth Street and Grand, just outside the Fashion District, which has a gallery that features costume exhibits from movies and television.

Get Lost in the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District

Even though there's an endless option of art museums and galleries to visit around Los Angeles, none of them offer what you can find in the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District . It's nestled between Alameda Street and the L.A. River on the east side of downtown, and this industrial area has been a flourishing artist community since the 1970s. Most notable are the larger-than-life murals that dominate the walls and are constantly changing. In fact, it's one of the best places to see street art in all of California.

Apart from the murals, the neighborhood also has a high density of studios and galleries that are free to enter. For an immersive experience and a comprehensive history of the Arts District, several companies offer guided tours of the area, such as L.A. Art Tours .

Take a Tour of Los Angeles City Hall

Completed in 1928, the 32-story Los Angeles City Hall was the tallest building in the city until modern building methods allowed taller, high-rise buildings to appear in the 1960s. The building is a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument and is still home to the mayor and city council office chambers. It is part of the Civic Center district, which also includes county, state, and federal buildings, and has appeared in dozens of TV shows, movies, and video games. You can walk in and explore on your own with the self-guided tour materials available at the information desk on the third floor, but whatever you do, be sure to take the elevator up to the free observation deck on the 27th floor.

Enjoy the Sun at Grand Park

It isn't easy finding refuge in all of the commotion of downtown L.A., but Grand Park is a 12-acre oasis nuzzled in between the skyscrapers. It stretches for over three blocks of tranquil green space, making it the perfect location to escape from a day of trekking around the concrete jungle. At the west end of the park, the restored Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain includes a spouted wading area that is a favorite place to cool off on hot summer days. At night, a light show draws romantic strolling couples and photo enthusiasts. The park also includes 24 botanic gardens inspired by the six floristic kingdoms of the world and plenty of green lawn for playing and relaxing.

Browse Around at The Last Bookstore

The Last Bookstore, at the corner of Fifth and Spring streets in Downtown Los Angeles, has become an international tourist draw. They don't just sell, buy, and trade second-hand books and records at The Last Bookstore. They've created an intriguing combination of quirky art and wide-ranging literature in a really unique space. The bones of the original architecture are allowed to shine through with a painted beamed ceiling supported by classic columns. The second floor wraps around the open first floor with a balcony walkway, keeping your eyes busy with everything going on above and below. Upstairs houses unique art studios and galleries, a knitting shop, and a labyrinth of more books, including the dollar room with over 100,000 books for $1.

There are some overstuffed sofas and chairs around for reading, but you're just as likely to see people pull up a spot on the floor wherever they've discovered treasure among the stacks. The Last Bookstore hosts a variety of events from book signings, author talks, and art openings to comedy shows, music performances, and open mic nights.

Visit Union Station Los Angeles

Museimage / Getty Images

Union Station is still the hub of long-distance and commuter rail transportation in Los Angeles, serving Amtrak, MetroLink, and MTA Metro trains. It's also worth visiting as an architectural landmark, with a gorgeous waiting hall and public areas. The historic station was built in 1939 and is a mix of Spanish Colonial, Mission Revival, Art Deco, and modern architectural styles.

Enjoy a Meal at Engine Co. No. 28

Courtesy of Engine Co. No. 28

Housed in an old fire station, Engine Co. No. 28 serves delicious American-styled dishes inspired by old recipes from firehouses throughout the nation. The building was originally built in 1912 and operated as a full-fledged fire station until its closure in 1967. A little more than 20 years later, the station was renovated and opened as a restaurant.

Their specialties include New York steak, meatloaf, a firehouse chili, and a few other American and Southern staples. You can make reservations for indoor or heated outdoor seating through their website, where they guarantee they can put out your "appetite fire."

Catch a Fly Ball at Dodger Stadium

John Liu / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

If you're itching to catch a baseball game while you're visiting L.A., why not stop in at Dodger Stadium? The stadium itself is iconic, it's the third-oldest continually used stadium in the MLB, and even if you aren't a baseball fan, you've probably caught a glimpse of it in one of its many movie appearances. ("Benny The Jet" Rodriguez became a Dodger and played here at the end of "The Sandlot.")

If you're interested in seeing more of the iconic stadium itself, they offer 90-minute tours that cost just $25 for adults.

Pick Up a Book at the Los Angeles Central Library

Jim Winstead / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

Considered an architectural landmark, the Los Angeles Central Library (also known as the Richard J. Riordan Central Library) is one of the leading public research libraries located in downtown L.A. Not only is it listed as a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument, but it's also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The main building was built during the mid-1920s and is a beautiful example of the art deco architecture of that period.

Besides the stunning architecture and the flood of knowledge in the building, visitors can also explore the Maguire Gardens on the library's west side.

Visit the California Science Center

ray_explores / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

If you're looking for hands-on fun for the entire family, what better place to visit than the California Science Center? Open seven days a week with free general admission to four of its main exhibit areas, this is an easy stop on any itinerary.

Become fire safety experts at the "Fire! Science & Safety" exhibit, study where life began and how it changes in the "Life! Beginnings"  exhibit, and live out your astronaut dreams in the "Humans in Space" exhibit.

Their mission is to promote learning and wonder through fun and entertaining experiences, as they believe science is the future.

Explore Music History at the GRAMMY Museum L.A. Live

Mario RM / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr

The GRAMMY Museum L.A. Live is dedicated to its mission—cultivating interest and appreciation for music history. Their exhibits range from appreciating what artists wear on the red carpet with their "On the Red Carpet" exhibit to an immersive experience of their "Mono to Immersive" exhibition, where visitors can experience their favorite artists' sound on the classic gramophone.

Adult tickets are $18, and the museum is open every day except Tuesday.

Admire the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Clinton Steeds / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

Some of the most impressive pieces of architecture are buildings of worship, and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels is no exception. The building was finished in the spring of 2002 and is said to feature virtually no right angles, as the "geometry contributes to the Cathedral's feeling of mystery and its aura of majesty," they state on their website .

Inside, visitors will find stunning stained glass windows in the mausoleum, tall bronze doors, and beautifully done hanging tapestry, the largest amount in a Catholic church in the United States.

National Park Service. "Little Tokyo Historic District." Retrieved April 2, 2021

Britannica. "California Roll." Retrieved April 2, 2021

County of LA. "History." Retrieved April 2, 2021

Arts District LA. "Arts District History." Retrieved April 2, 2021

Our Favorite 15 Rainy Day Activities in Los Angeles

25 Best Free Things to Do in Los Angeles

How to Visit Los Angeles Without a Car

19 Fun Things to Do in Los Angeles, California at Night

Top 15 Selfie-Worthy Sights in LA

Exploring the Downtown L.A. Arts District

Driving in Los Angeles

Sightseeing via Metro: Take the Red Line Tour of Los Angeles

Day of the Dead in Los Angeles 2016

Top Architectural Sights to See in Los Angeles

Olvera Street Mexican Marketplace at El Pueblo de Los Angeles

Why Frank Gehry's New LA Hotel Will Change the City Forever

The 20 Best Things to Do Near Disneyland in California

The Best Time to Visit Los Angeles

Top 18 Myths and Misconceptions About Los Angeles

The 25 Best Things to Do in Los Angeles

THE 10 BEST Tours & Activities in Downtown (Los Angeles)

Tours & activities in downtown.

  • Sightseeing Tours
  • Movie & TV Tours
  • Up to 1 hour
  • 1 to 4 hours
  • 4 hours to 1 day
  • 5.0 of 5 bubbles
  • 4.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 3.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 2.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Chinese (Traditional)
  • Likely to Sell Out
  • Special Offers
  • The ranking of tours, activities, and experiences available on Tripadvisor is determined by several factors including the revenue generated by Tripadvisor from these bookings, the frequency of user clicks, and the volume and quality of customer reviews. Occasionally, newly listed offerings may be prioritized and appear higher in the list. The specific placement of these new listings may vary.

tour of downtown los angeles

1. Full-Day Iconic Sights of LA, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Beaches and More

tour of downtown los angeles

2. Hollywood Sightseeing and Celebrity Homes Tour by Open Air Bus

tour of downtown los angeles

3. Half-Day Sightseeing Tour of the Best of Los Angeles

tour of downtown los angeles

4. Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

tour of downtown los angeles

5. Perfect 5 ½ Hour LA & Hollywood Tour from Santa Monica

tour of downtown los angeles

6. Shared 3 Hour Los Angeles Tour

tour of downtown los angeles

7. Skip the Ticketing Line: Aquarium of the Pacific General Admission Ticket

tour of downtown los angeles

8. Hollywood and Celebrity Homes Bus Tour

tour of downtown los angeles

9. 2 Hours Self Guided E-Bike Tour in Hermosa Beach

tour of downtown los angeles

10. The Best of LA Tour: Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Griffith Park +More

tour of downtown los angeles

11. Universal Studios Hollywood General Admission Ticket

tour of downtown los angeles

12. Griffith Observatory Guided Tour and Planetarium Ticket Option

tour of downtown los angeles

13. Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour

tour of downtown los angeles

14. Mulholland Trail Horseback Tour

tour of downtown los angeles

15. Small-Group Hollywood, LA Beaches & Filming Location Tour from Anaheim

tour of downtown los angeles

16. 2-Hour Hollywood Bus Tour

tour of downtown los angeles

17. Authentic 3-Hour Hollywood to Beverly Hills Tour

tour of downtown los angeles

18. Big Bus Los Angeles: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour & TMZ Celebrity Tour

tour of downtown los angeles

19. The Official Hollywood Sign Walking Tour in Los Angeles

tour of downtown los angeles

20. Private Therapy Sailing Adventure

tour of downtown los angeles

21. Best of LA, Hollywood, Griffith Park, Santa Monica & Venice Tour from Anaheim

tour of downtown los angeles

22. Celebrity and Lifestyle Hollywood Bus Tour

tour of downtown los angeles

23. 2 Hour Griffith Park Observatory Tour

tour of downtown los angeles

24. Big Bus Los Angeles: Hop-on Hop-off Tour by Open-top Bus

tour of downtown los angeles

25. Big Bus Los Angeles: Guided Celebrity Homes & Lifestyle Tour

tour of downtown los angeles

26. Shared 8-Hour Los Angeles City Sightseeing Tour from Long Beach

tour of downtown los angeles

27. Haunted Hollywood Walking Tour: True Crime & Creepy Tales

tour of downtown los angeles

28. LA Venice Beach Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours

tour of downtown los angeles

29. Small-Group Day Tour of Hollywood, Los Angeles and Beaches from Anaheim

tour of downtown los angeles

30. Private Tour of Los Angeles

What travelers are saying.

Julie F

The Creative Adventurer

Free Downtown Los Angeles Walking Tour of the Amazing Art Deco Streets

tour of downtown los angeles

So many people only think of California as a state of beautiful beaches and equally as beautiful people. People rarely associate architecture with Los Angeles, but L.A.’s historic downtown district is full of some of the most incredible buildings in the U.S. Compared to cities like Rome or even New York, L.A.’s historic core is one of the least frequented parts of the city. And perhaps that is because so few people even know it is here. After the economic decline in the 1960s, downtown suffered a sizeable financial recession that lasted for decades, and it is now seeing a new cultural renaissance.

tour of downtown los angeles

Angel’s Flight

Start your walking tour at the  ‘Angel’s Flight’  steps on Bunker Hill. This funicular railway brings travellers up the hill to one of the most iconic landmarks in L.A., Most notable for the many scenes filmed for the movie  500 Days of Summer .

tour of downtown los angeles

The funicular was nicknamed “the shortest railway in the world” when it was built in 1901, and ever since, it has brought passengers a mere few meters up the steep hill from Pershing Square Metro Station to the top of Bunker Hill. From there, you have the perfect vantage point to see the tops of all the famous buildings that decorate the Los Angeles skyline.

tour of downtown los angeles

Grand Central Market

After a short walk down from the top of Bunker Hill, stop at the  Grand Central Market.  The original building was a Beaux Arts beauty, but over the years, modern renovations have since changed its appearance. When you visit the market, make a point to study the 1960s tile façade and the original large, rounded archways at the entrance.

tour of downtown los angeles

This little market, full of smells, sights and sounds, has been open since 1917. The market was once a meeting place for the city’s rich and the poor, and you could find everything from clothes to cabbage to goods for the home. Today, it is filled with delicious food for the everyman. As you step down the stairs in the thick of things, your senses are engulfed in the smell of slow-roasting pork, crispy tortillas and hot spices. Stop in at  G&B Coffee  for a dark brew, or try one of their fizzy hoppy teas for something different. Chow down on gorditas and drool-worthy tacos at  Ana Maria’s . And if you’re looking for a trendy Sunday morning brunch spot, try  Eggslut  for their signature Eggslut sandwich, a jar-poached “coddled” egg atop potato purée.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Gigi | Socal foodie (@munchieswgigi)

Bradbury Building

The Bradbury Building  is one of the most important architectural landmarks of the city. And while its exterior is gorgeous, it’s the interior you’ll want to ensure you see! Built in 1893, this office building is best known for the incredible skylit atrium, surrounded by gilded, ornate ironwork walkways, stairs and elevators. The building was made for gold-mining millionaire Lewis L. Bradbury and, as such, feels like it has been kissed by King Midas himself.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Merch Motel (@merchmotel)

Alexandria Hotel

Wind your way toward the famous  Alexandria Hotel .  In the heyday of cinema-making of the 1900s, this monolith of Beaux-Arts architecture and glamour was built. It cost $2 million to bring the lavish designs and finishing that the New York elite was used to across the country to sunny L.A. The building’s signature griffins still stand today, looming over the street, watching passersby going about their business.

tour of downtown los angeles

Over the years, it saw visitors from all walks of fame. From  President Theodore Roosevelt  to  Charlie Chaplin  and even  Mary Pickford . But as the celebs moved out of the downtown core, the hotel lost its lustre and soon was nothing more than squatting quarters for vagrants. Now, it has a new owner, and with fresh businesses coming back downtown, it might even see a new renaissance. Its illustrious Palm Court, built in the 1960s, is still one of the most awe-inspiring interiors in L.A. The ceiling is an enormous mass of intricately designed stained glass and walking in the room, you completely feel embraced by the beautiful coloured scene painted with glass above you.

Broadway-Spring Arcade Building

As you walk down South Spring Street, you come upon a giant slate-coloured building with tiny, uniform windows that cover its facade. Looking like a massive brick honeycomb. This is, of course, the  Broadway-Spring Arcade Building . The building is connected by a stunning skylit and a three-storey arcade.

tour of downtown los angeles

Walking through the arches, you’re met with a splendid gallery of little, independent shops gathered below retro lights that line the gallery like little soldiers. Later on, after its initial construction, two Venetian-style bridges were added to connect the lower levels of the two buildings, creating a very European feel to space.

tour of downtown los angeles

Ninth and Broadway Building

Just down the street, you find the  Ninth and Broadway Building . Built in the 1930s, this sturdy building is a dramatic design and architecture. The most iconic detail is the two-storey tall terra cotta grapevine filigree that crawls up the front of the building. The art deco lettering that addresses the building is a charming nod to a time gone by.

tour of downtown los angeles

But the ornamentation doesn’t stop at the front of the building. As you look up at the myriad of floors above, you’ll notice the filigree grapevine designs continuing between all the perfectly placed windows, each stamped with an abstract art deco geometric design.

tour of downtown los angeles

The Jewelry District

The Jewelry District  is a section of downtown Los Angeles where gold, diamonds and anything sparkly can be seen on display in highly curated window boxes. As you walk down the street, it seems like every other shop is a jewelry store with identical window displays and signage. Annually this district brings in just under $3 billion in jewelry alone!

tour of downtown los angeles

The most famous of these Jewellery retail outlets is the  International Jewelry Centre . This building reminds me of the train station in Melbourne, with its enormous domed roof and French Renaissance-inspired ornamentation that climbs along the columns and frames the windows.

tour of downtown los angeles

Head over to the financial district and visit the  PacMutual  building. A set of three different buildings have been connected over the years and now make up the place we call the PacMutual building. Each structure represents a different period of architecture, yet they all seem to flow together cohesively. The first building erected in 1906 was on the corner of Sixth and Olive Street. It was designed in the Beaux Arts style with decorative arches and flowery details.

In 1921, a taller building was constructed the same way as the previous one. With more money in their pockets this time, they added Italian marble throughout the lobby and more terra cotta embellishments. The final building in this triad is a seemingly simple two-story parking garage. Where the addition of a parking lot might have been an eye sore, this architect took it upon himself to disguise it in Beaux Arts flourishes and a glamorous tiled roof.

tour of downtown los angeles

Los Angeles Library

The last stop on tour was at the impressive  Los Angeles Library . A stop-off at the library might seem like an anti-climactic visit, but it is not the case here in L.A. The library was officially named a Historic-Cultural Monument, and its importance as a place for the community is firmly evident as you walk around and watch people interact with the public space. People wander the gardens and sit quietly reading or talking on the phone on all the different benches and seating areas in the courtyard. It seems almost like a modern-day town square.

tour of downtown los angeles

The library’s design is not of the Art Deco period or the Beaux Arts. This time, the architect went far back to get his inspiration. All the way to ancient Egypt. Egyptians were some of the finest architects. But they were a culture that respected and sought to preserve their language and historical stories.

Although not in a typical “library”, they preserved their stores right in the walls of their home in hieroglyphs. So it is no surprise that this is where the architect drew his inspiration for the library. The central part of the library looks like a squared-off pyramid with brightly coloured tiled mosaics on the roof. The suns on either side of the roof reference the “light of learning.” Along the facade are carved notable men of history. We have represented men from the arts, Science, Philosophy and more here.

tour of downtown los angeles

Fine Arts Building

The Fine Arts Building on West 7th Street was built in 1926 and is a love story of architecture. The Romanesque Revival face featured a two-storey arch over the main entrance, intricately decorated with griffons, gargoyles and birds. The entire building is replete with ornamentation and carved figures, to the point where it feels almost more like a church than an office building. On either side of the entry arch are two reclining figures, representing Architecture and Sculpture as human beings. Be sure to step inside and admire the two-storey terracotta and tile-tiered ceiling.

Theatre District

As you finish with the business district, you turn a corner, and suddenly every other building you come across is an opulent theatre. This, of course, is the  Theatre District . These gaudy and gorgeous edifices are aged to pure perfection. Their slightly tarnished and dirty facade only adds to the magical historical quality they preserve within their bones.

tour of downtown los angeles

The Los Angeles Theatre

The Los Angeles Theatre  is no doubt the most extravagant of them all. Designed by legendary theatre architect  S. Charles Lee  in 1931, this building stretches into the skies with European-inspired designs that make you feel like you have been transported into Paris, France. The baroque columns and sculptures that pour off the building reek of French finery. Even a sunburst motif is used throughout, inspired by Louis XIV’s castle of Versailles.

tour of downtown los angeles

The Palace Theatre

The  Palace Theatre  is one of the oldest on the strip. It opened in 1911 and is one of the remaining original  Orpheum theatres  in the U.S. This building seems as though any minute, swarms of youthful flappers in sequined gowns might emerge from its doors. Perfectly preserved in time, you can even read the old painted advertisements still etched onto the side of the building. One can imagine that these ads would entice customers to attend the shows featuring such acts as  Harry Houdini,   Fred Astaire , and a young  Rita Hayworth .

tour of downtown los angeles

The mixture of Florentine architecture and retro 70’s typography, and colourful flare are wonderfully combined on the front of this theatre. Multicoloured terracotta flowers are stamped on the sides of the window frames, while gothic fairy sculptures hang off the building like whimsical gargoyles. Even the old lamps still glow and are reflected on the wet streets.

tour of downtown los angeles

Tower Theatre

Built in 1927, the  Tower Theatre  is a testament to the evocative Baroque Revival style. The theatre’s exterior was even modelled after the famed Paris Opera House. Tiny star-shaped geometric designs are carved into the building’s walls, making the whole thing seem like it is floating in space. One of the Tower Theatre’s most iconic features is its giant Art Nouveau clock tower that reaches into the sky, flanked by gilded columns and framing the neon sign that flashes its name to curious passersby.

tour of downtown los angeles

Eastern Columbia Lofts

Probably the piece-de-resistance of the entirety of downtown L.A. is the  Eastern Columbia Lofts.  From all the way down the street, you can see the bright, turquoise copper gleaming in the distance. On top, a giant clock and the word ‘EASTERN’ all in neon beacons you towards it. The Eastern Columbia Lofts is one of the best examples of true Art Deco architecture in the United States. Featuring all the keystones of Art Deco design, this building seems cohesive while incorporating various elements from that period. From sunburst patterns to zigzags and chevrons to simple geometric shapes and turquoise copper panels flanked in gold, every piece feels like it complements the other.

tour of downtown los angeles

Although the building has been standing for years, its appeal is timeless. The developer,  Kor Realty Group,  optioned this property for condo development in 2006 and has since turned empty retail and business spaces into chic, modern condos while retaining their original appearance. One of the more curious features is the four modernized flying buttresses that flank the clock tower on the top of the building. This style, once only found in gothic architecture, was appropriated to great effect.

tour of downtown los angeles

If you’re looking for true gothic architecture, go beyond the  Ace Hotel . Originally known as the  United Artists building , at 13 stories tall, it was the tallest building in Los Angeles after its completion in 1927. The building houses residential apartments and a theatre on the first floor. The terra cotta and plaster-fronted structure were dripping with Gothic influences from Spain and were inspired by the  Segovia Cathedral . Its delicate tracery windows pointed arches, and highly detailed carved capitals make this building look more like a church than a commercial space. The stone spandrels that line the facade give the building the appearance of being taller than it really is, lifting its grandeur right up into the sky.

tour of downtown los angeles

Taking a free walking tour of the Art Deco streets of downtown Los Angeles is a must-do experience for anyone who loves architecture and history. From the stunning facades to the intricate details, these buildings are a testament to the city’s rich cultural heritage.

tour of downtown los angeles

« Ultimate Guide to the Secrets inside the stunning Strahov Monastery Library, Prague

The best self guided tour of enoshima island; amazing day trip from tokyo », you may also like.

tour of downtown los angeles

The Ultimate Lisbon Photography Guide Incredible Instagrammable Places You Must-See

tour of downtown los angeles

The Ultimate Self-Guided Tour of Les Baux-de-Provence

tour of downtown los angeles

Navigating Tokyo Like a Pro: A Guide to What Not to Do and What to Do Instead

Leave a comment cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright @ 2023 The Creative Adventurer | All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy

Check out videos on hundreds of California adventures

California Through My Lens

24 Things to Do in Downtown Los Angeles

In this post, we are heading the Los Angeles, and I’m going to show you 24 of my favorite spots to explore in Downtown LA. Check it out and let me know what I left off in the comments. Click on the images to read more about the recommendation.

1. Broad Museum

tour of downtown los angeles

Stop number one, takes us to The Broad Museum, which is one of the most popular new museums in Los Angeles. This gallery became popular because of its “Instagram-able” attractions like the mirror rooms, the big tulips, the America sign. It even has a larger than life size table you can walk right underneath. It’s a free museum, but you do need tickets in advance, and be prepared to wait for about an hour if you don’t get a ticket in advance to get in.

  • Read more about the Broad .

2. Walt Disney Concert Hall

tour of downtown los angeles

Across the street from The Broad, we have the Walt Disney Concert Hall. You’ve probably seen this awesome architectural feat right in the heart of downtown Los Angeles multiple times while driving by. Still, I would recommend getting out of the car, walking around, taking a tour of the concert hall, and walking through the gardens. It’s a beautiful area and every time you go, you see something new. Of course, if you get a chance, see a show there as well. It’s supposed to have the best acoustics in all of Los Angeles.

3. OUE SkySpace LA (This location has been closed)

tour of downtown los angeles

Recommendation number three is OUE SkySpace, which is in the US Bank Tower. This unique Los Angeles attraction has a glass slide, where you slide from the 70th floor to the 69th floor, all completely in glass. The slide goes fast, so you don’t have a ton of time to look around, but it’s a fun experience that gets the adrenaline going. Also, they have two open-air observation decks that are amazing spots for sunset.

  • Read more about OUE Skyspace .

4. Union Station

tour of downtown los angeles

Union Station is the Los Angeles train station, and it’s been featured in movies like Blade Runner. It’s many decades old and is an excellent place to walk around and explore the unique architecture or take the train somewhere outside of Los Angeles.

  • Read more about Union Station .

5. Olvera St

tour of downtown los angeles

From Union Station, head over to Olvera Street, which is right across the street from the train station and is a fun cultural heritage site in the middle of Los Angeles. Here, you can visit the center pavilion, go to some of the museums, see one of the oldest houses in Los Angeles and have taquitos at Cielito Lindo. Olvera Street is also impressive during the Day of the Dead Festival, which happens right around Halloween every single year.

  • Read more about Olvera Street .

6. Chinatown

tour of downtown los angeles

For a different cultural experience, head over to Chinatown, which is a few blocks up from Olvera Street. This small area has food, shopping, and lots of unique architecture. It also has the traditional Chinese lanterns that go across many of the streets, and it has a wishing fountain that you can throw coins into.

tour of downtown los angeles

My next recommendation is MOCA, which is a contemporary art museum in the heart of downtown LA. While this doesn’t have as many of the crazy exhibits like The Broad does, it’s still a great place to see some unique art and walk around the two to three floors they have. The giant metal piece in the outdoor lobby is worth visiting just to see that.

8. Grand Central Market

tour of downtown los angeles

Next stop, we have Grand Central Market, which is Downtown LA’s food court. It’s been there for decades, with lots of unique restaurants coming in and out over the years. Now, it’s part of the foodie revival in LA with places like Eggslut, PBJ.LA, Wexler’s Deli, and many others bringing people from all over Southern California to try a unique dish.

9. Bradbury Building

tour of downtown los angeles

From there, head across the street to the Bradbury Building, which was also featured in Blade Runner, and is a super cool piece of architecture that you can explore during business hours. You can’t ride the old elevators, but you can walk up some of the staircases and see the building from many different angles.

10. Angels Flight

tour of downtown los angeles

After that, head over to Angels Flight, a fun little train that you can ride. It takes you about a block up, and it only costs 50 cents to a dollar, depending on whether you have a metro pass or not. No doubt you’ve seen this fun attraction in some recent movies like La La Land. It was actually closed for about five years, so it’s great to have it back open again.

  • Read more about Angels Flight .

11. The Last Bookstore

tour of downtown los angeles

My next recommendation is The Last Bookstore. This old bank building was turned into a two-story bookstore that has an insane amount of books but has a lot of other cool things to see as well. Some of those are the book tunnel that you can walk through and the old bank vault, which houses crime novels. It’s a good place just to walk around and take it all in.

  • Read more about The Last Bookstore .

12. Clifton’s Cafeteria

tour of downtown los angeles

Close by The Last Bookstore is Clifton’s Cafeteria, which is a famous Los Angeles spot that has been around for over 50 years. This unique cafeteria has all sorts of absurd things for you to see, such as tigers that you can sit next to, a giant three-story tree, and all kinds of weird oddities around the restaurant. It just reopened a year or two ago, and it’s a great place to go with your family.  This location is not always open, check the website before you go. 

13. Art’s District

tour of downtown los angeles

Next, I recommend heading over to the Art District. The Art’s District is the up and coming downtown neighborhood that everybody wants to live at, and everyone else comes to eat at. The Art’s District has lots of artistic murals on all of the buildings, a bunch of crazy places to eat like Wurstkuche, which has rattlesnake and rabbit sausages, breweries, ice cream, you name it they have it in the Art’s District. It’s an excellent place to just park, walk around and explore. Naturally, bring your appetite because there are lots you’re going to want to eat.

14. Spire 73 Bar at the InterContinental Hotel

tour of downtown los angeles

If you are in LA at night, head over to the InterContinental hotel, the tallest building on the West Coast. From there, you can take the elevator to the 70th floor and then another elevator to the 73rd floor to go to the tallest open-air bar in the entire country. This is a great place to grab a drink or snack and look out over the city lights.

15. LA Live and the Grammy Museum

tour of downtown los angeles

My next recommendation is to head down to LA Live, which is right across from the Staple Center and has lots of restaurants as well as the Grammy Museum. If you’re a fan of music, then the Grammy Museum is a great place to explore. It talks about past winners, has instruments that you can play, microphones you can sing into, and revolving exhibits on things like punk rock and famous guitars. Also, along the sidewalk, outside of the museum, there are big records in the ground, much like the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, that talk about the different artists that won categories during each year of the Grammy’s.

  • Read more about The Grammy Museum .

16. Smorgasborg LA

tour of downtown los angeles

If you’re in Los Angeles on a Sunday, the only day of the week that this happens, head over to Smorgasburg. Smorgasburg is much like a food truck event where 30 or so restaurants all have little pop-up shops in this one big industrial area. You can walk all around and try things ranging from fried chicken in a waffle cone, shrimp in a pineapple boat, acai bowls, tea, all sorts of crazy stuff. I recommend bringing your appetite and some money so that you can try a few different things. There’s also a shopping area down the middle that you can check out in between eating.

  • Read more about Smorgasborg

17. Little Tokyo

tour of downtown los angeles

Little Tokyo is in the heart of downtown LA where Chinatown is a little bit north of the city center. This area has a unique mall full of all sorts of Japanese-related items, has different restaurants that you can try, and it has one of my favorite places in all of downtown Los Angeles which is Daikokuya, a ramen restaurant. Be sure to get there really early, though, as Diakokuya is always busy, super small, and you normally have to wait at least an hour.

18. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

tour of downtown los angeles

Next stop, we have a Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, a beautiful church that you can check out while you are in the city. This church is stunning with a contemporary design and a large open floor plan. You can walk through the entire area or go down to the mausoleum below the church. Obviously, be respectful if you visit here.

19. LA City Hall

tour of downtown los angeles

If you’re in Los Angeles during a weekday, from 9 AM to 5 PM, go to LA City Hall. You can get a visitor’s pass and take the elevator to the top of the city hall. From there, you can walk around in an open-air observation deck completely free. This is a great place to explore as it gives you impressive views of downtown LA and all the surrounding areas. You can even see the Hollywood Sign if there’s not any smog.

  • Read more about LA City Hall .

20. Grand Park

tour of downtown los angeles

From City Hall, you can head up to Grand Park, another fun place to relax in downtown. This long narrow park goes up about three city blocks, and it gains elevation as you’re walking up to the top. Each area has grass with tables and chairs that you can relax at and look out over City Hall. Also, at the top, there is a fountain that kids often play in.

21. Pershing Square

tour of downtown los angeles

From here, you can head to Pershing Square, which is one of the other popular city parks in Los Angeles. There’s not a lot to do in Pershing Square daily, but there is a park for kids to play at, and during Christmas, they have an ice rink here so you can ice skate in the heart of Downtown LA.

22. LA Library

tour of downtown los angeles

Pershing Square is about a block from the LA Library, another excellent place to explore for a few hours during the day. They have a cool atrium with lots of unique art, and, on the second floor, they have rotunda that you have to see to believe.

23. Bob Baker Marionette Theater (the theater has moved to a new location)

tour of downtown los angeles

My last two recommendations are a little bit outside the downtown area, but they’re both fun to visit. First, head over to Bob Baker Marionette Theater. This theater on the west side of downtown has been running for over 50 years, and it has an impressive marionette puppet show the whole family will enjoy. It’s a lot of fun during the holidays as well as they often have holiday-themed shows with their different puppets.

  • Read more about Bob Baker Theater .

24. Dodger’s Stadium

tour of downtown los angeles

My last recommendation is a visit to Dodger’s Stadium. You may have been to Dodger’s Stadium during a game day, but I recommend you visit it when there’s no game in town. During normal business hours, most days of the week, you can drive into Dodger’s Stadium, and you can visit the company store. From there, you can actually walk out into the upper deck, eat lunch, and look out over the beautiful stadium. I’m not a huge baseball fan myself, but there’s just something cool about being in Dodger’s Stadium with no one else around.

  • Read more about Dodger’s Stadium .

If you want to see clips of all these spots, check out this video I made talking through them.

So, that’s it, 24 spots in downtown Los Angeles for you to check out. Hopefully, there are some new ones on there that you hadn’t heard of before and be sure to let me know where I left off that you love in the comments. Also, if you want to visit Hollywood, check out this guide .

Similar Posts

16 Things to do in San Jose

16 Things to do in San Jose

A Weekend Guide to Eating & Exploring North Park, San Diego

A Weekend Guide to Eating & Exploring North Park, San Diego

Descanso Gardens: Enchanted Forest of Lights Christmas Lights Display

Descanso Gardens: Enchanted Forest of Lights Christmas Lights Display

Malibu’s Ten Best Secret Beaches

Malibu’s Ten Best Secret Beaches

King’s Hawaiian Bakery & Restaurant in Torrance

King’s Hawaiian Bakery & Restaurant in Torrance

San Francisco Guide: Food, Hiking, Hotels & Free Activities

San Francisco Guide: Food, Hiking, Hotels & Free Activities

Nav Menu Icon

  • Public Tours
  • Private Tours

Gift Certificates

Welcome to LA Walking Tours!

  • Downtown LA
  • 10:30 AM - Chinatown & Little Tokyo 10:30 AM - Chinatown & Olvera Street 10:30 AM - Downtown Architecture 11:00 AM - LA's Beginnings 12:30 PM - Filming Locations 1:00 PM - Arts District 1:30 PM - Old & New Downtown LA 6:00 PM - Haunted Tales
  • 10:00 AM - Hollywood History
  • Santa Monica
  • 1:00 PM - Santa Monica Downtown
  • Venice Beach
  • 10:00 AM - Venice Boardwalk & Canals
  • Koreatown Little Tokyo

5-Star Rated on Trip Advisor & Yelp San Diego • Las Vegas • Maui

tour of downtown los angeles

  • Private Tours
  • Segway Tours
  • E-Bike Tours
  • Team Building
  • Tours On Sale
  • Combo Deals
  • Beverly Hills Tours
  • Celebrity Homes Tours
  • Haunted Hollywood Tours
  • Hiking Tours
  • Hollywood Tours
  • LA to San Diego Tours
  • Malibu Wine Tours
  • San Diego Tours
  • Step-On-Tour Guide Services
  • Walking Tours
  • Wine Tasting Tours
  • Private Tours from Anaheim
  • Private Tours from Long Beach
  • Custom Tours


  • Downtown Los Angeles Segway Tour

Explore the vibrant history and culture of Downtown Los Angeles on our captivating Segway tour, tracing the city's evolution from its founding in 1781 to its status as a bustling global metropolis. Glide through the iconic skyline, marveling at architectural marvels from the roaring 20s to early Spanish Colonial buildings, each corner revealing a new chapter in the city's narrative. With over twelve million residents, Los Angeles thrives as a melting pot of cultures sustained by innovative water management and year-round mild weather. Delve into its rich history and vibrant present, uncovering iconic landmarks and hidden gems along the way. Book your adventure today and let us guide you through the heart and soul of Los Angeles, ensuring a seamless and unforgettable experience.

Approx. 2 Hours.

tour of downtown los angeles

Tour Description

\Experience the dynamic energy and rich history of the iconic metropolis that is Downtown Los Angeles with our captivating Downtown Los Angeles Segway tour. Delve into the city's fascinating evolution from its humble beginnings in 1781 to its present status as one of the world's largest mega-cities, shaped by a remarkable tapestry of cultures and influences. As you embark on this delightful journey, you'll traverse a circuitous route through Downtown Los Angeles, immersing yourself in its magnificent skyline adorned with soaring edifices and historic landmarks. Marvel at the architectural wonders of the roaring 20s and the enduring charm of early Spanish Colonial buildings, each turn of your Segway revealing a new layer of the city's storied past. Los Angeles, with its twelve million residents, pulsates with vibrant energy, a vibrant melting pot of cultures thriving in a quasi-desert landscape, sustained by innovative water management systems and mild year-round weather. Glide through its bustling streets, where urban sophistication harmonizes with natural beauty, creating an enchanting atmosphere unlike any other. Yet, beneath its modern façade, Los Angeles is steeped in history and tradition, offering a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be uncovered. From its legendary past to its vibrant present, the city beckons visitors with iconic landmarks and hidden gems, promising something extraordinary for every explorer. Join us on the Downtown Los Angeles Segway tour and unlock the secrets of this captivating city. Book your adventure today, and allow us to guide you on a journey through the heart and soul of Los Angeles. Seamlessly delivered details await in your inbox after booking, ensuring a hassle-free and unforgettable experience from start to finish. For further inquiries or to accommodate any group size, please feel free to contact us at 1-323-475-7821.


Tour Details

$ 189.00 per guest.


Downtown Los Angeles, California.

Offered Hourly and Daily, Upon Request.

Takes place in most weather conditions.


The Lobby entrance of The JW Marriott @ LA Live 900 W Olympic Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90015

Please contact us for any additional information at 1-323-968-6651 .


This is a semi-private tour with the option to upgrade to a private experience when booking.


Any group size can be accommodated. Solo travelers are welcome to join us. To confirm the tour, we need 4 guests signed up.


Comfortable clothing and shoes. Warm layers are suggested for the fall and winter months. Light gloves and a winter cap are also recommended when it is cold outside.


Please bring yourself ready for an awesome time!


No cancellations or refunds within 7 days of your tour date.

Downtown Los Angeles Segway Tour Includes:

  • A safety briefing and segway training
  • Guided tour through Downtown Los Angeles
  • Circuitous route showcasing historic landmarks and modern architecture
  • Insightful commentary on the city's history and culture
  • Opportunity to marvel at the magnificent skyline and soaring edifices
  • Exploration of distinctive architectural styles, including buildings from the roaring 20's and early Spanish Colonial era
  • Introduction to the diverse cultural tapestry of Los Angeles
  • Awe-inspiring views of the natural scenery and urban landscape
  • Crypto Arena
  • Grand Central Market
  • Million Dollar Theatre
  • Olvera Street
  • Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • The Broad Museum
  • Union Station
  • Pershing Square
  • The Bradbury Building
  • Exhilarating Segway ride, providing a unique and immersive way to experience the city

tour of downtown los angeles

Share This Tour

tour of downtown los angeles

Purchase A Gift Certificate

Give The Gift Of Our World Famous Tours Emailed Instantly and They Never Expire

Questions About This Tour? Speak to a specialist or Book Your Los Angeles Tour

Why book your tour with another side tours, award-winning.

1,000's and 1,000's of 5-star reviews on Yelp, Trip Advisor and Google.

Over 1 million happy tour guests on over 100,000 successful tours and counting!

Group, private, corporate and custom tours available in all markets!

Create the perfect tour with the help of our specialists

Iconic experiences

Our tours are handcrafted so you'll pass through unique locations and have iconic experiences only we can deliver

The best bikes, segways, vans and equipment is used on all of our tours.

Make the most of your time and budget

The best guides

All of our tour guides are local experts, professionally trained and certified by us

Our custom tours are designed so you'll have an insider's view on every tour, no cookie cutter tours with us!

Our tours will be the most memorable part of your vacation with our premium equipment, customized tours and certified guides

Fully protected

Fully licensed tour operator

Continually awarded as the top tour provider for Viator and Trip Advisor

Certified IATA Tour Agency

Session expired

Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.


Tours Into The Secret Heart of Los Angeles

« All Events


August 25 @ 10:30 am - 1:30 pm.

tour of downtown los angeles

Join Esotouric on a stroll through the National Register Broadway Theatre District, the largest collection of historic motion picture palaces in the country, on an architectural, cultural and public policy history tour of a great street that needs a lot of help. How did Broadway take shape in the early 20th Century, why did the entertainment and retail district decline, and who are the personalities who have sought to preserve, reactivate and profit from it—not always successfully?

Starting from Grand Central Market, we’ll honor the visionary developer Ira Yellin, who believed that there was a second life possible for empty early 20th century office buildings, and changed city law so that Angelenos could live in them.

Across Broadway at the Bradbury Building, Terry McKelvey turned his dad’s dull commercial real estate business into an incubator for creativity, and dreamed of a Victorian-themed Downtown Los Angeles Gaslight District, until his personal demons pulled that dream out from under him.

Down at the United Artists, obtained through a sweetheart deal involving suitcases full of cash and convenient earthquakes, offbeat preacher Dr. Gene Scott raised millions through bizarre televised sermons, for theater restoration, rare books and preservation of the iconic Jesus Saves neon sign.

And up in City Hall, ambitious councilman Jose Huizar saw Broadway as a political branding opportunity, expending civic resources to organize massive street parties with his name on every marquee, while pushing policies that encouraged speculation at the expense of Broadway’s small businesses—until the FBI came calling.

Along the way, we’ll talk about what it means to be National Register District, how the Jewelry District used old buildings in fresh new ways and how the lessons of Wilshire’s Wiltern Theatre could be used to reactivate downtown’s dark venues, while pointing out the sites of lost landmarks, hidden details, ghost signs and magic carpets of terrazzo that make up this beautiful, magical mess at the heart of the city.

On our return to Grand Central Market at the end of the walk, we’ll have a rare opportunity to explore the interior of Sid Grauman’s Million Dollar Theater (1918), the city’s first purpose-built motion picture palace.

This walking tour is illustrated with rare photos you can view on your smartphone.


Tour begins at 10:30am sharp, with check-in time 10am at the patio outside Grand Central Market in front of Maple Block BBQ at 324 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90013. Please arrive on time and proceed to the check in table to get signed in and logged in to the smartphone slideshow. Scroll down for tour rules and recommendations.


BE PREPARED: This is a walking hour lasting 3 hours, over a mix of level ground and occasional hills and stairs moving at a casual pace. Wear comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat. Bring your smartphone so you can view the tour slide show. We will have a cooler with cold water, and you’re encouraged to bring a full water bottle. A restroom will be available at the start and end of the tour. If you need more information about what to expect, please email us.

COVID SAFETY: At this time, we no longer require that masks be worn on walking tours.

CAMERA POLICY: No video- or audio-taping unless it has been pre-cleared with us, please. Still cameras and sketchbooks are fine.

Parking & Public Transit:

There are numerous paid public parking lots around Grand Central Market, including GCM’s multi-level lot at 308 South Hill Street Los Angeles, California 90013 .  The nearest Metro stations are Civic Center/Grand Park and Pershing Square. If using public transit, this link can help you plan your trip:


If you feel like you’re getting sick, if you test positive for Covid-19, or if you have knowingly been in contact with a positive case of Covid-19 in the last 7 days, please do not attend the tour. Let us know not to expect you. If notified at least 72 hours before tour departure, we can refund or reschedule your booking. If notified at least 24 hours before departure, we can honor the booking on a future date. You may also gift your ticket to someone else—we will need their name, email address and phone number to make this switch.


Emailing is the best way to communicate with us, but after 8am on tour day you can call or text Richard on his mobile phone, 213-915-8687.

  • Google Calendar
  • Outlook 365
  • Outlook Live

Related Events

tour of downtown los angeles


tour of downtown los angeles


tour of downtown los angeles


tour of downtown los angeles

LA’s $1.2 Billion Graffiti Towers Put on Sale After Bankruptcy

(Bloomberg) -- For sale: Steel skeletons of three towers in downtown Los Angeles, erected by a Chinese developer that spent $1.2 billion before running into financial troubles.

The site, called Oceanwide Plaza, became famous this year when graffiti artists covered the 49-floor-tall structures. Now, the property is going on the market, with lenders and other creditors needing about $400 million to recoup their money.

The brokerage Colliers and advisory firm Hilco Real Estate have been hired to market and handle a sale of the property, subject to bankruptcy court approval, according to a statement. 

“We are determined to run a disciplined and orderly process to identify the right developer to finish the project in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics,” said Mark Tarczynski, an executive vice president at Colliers.

The project got off the ground in 2014 as Chinese investors were in the midst of a US buying spree, scooping up properties from trophy hotels to Hollywood studios. By 2018, that boom went bust when Beijing tightened capital policies and cut off financing for international ventures. China’s domestic property market bubble later burst as developers struggled with overbuilding and high leverage.

China Oceanwide spent about $3.5 billion on projects in San Francisco, New York, Hawaii and LA, none of which were completed. Construction in LA, the biggest project, ground to a halt in 2019. China Oceanwide reported efforts to find a buyer or new financial partners for the LA project, deals that never came to fruition.

Commercial-property values in downtown Los Angeles spiraled downward after the pandemic emptied offices. The distress has only increased in recent years as borrowing costs rose. LA’s third tallest office tower sold in December for 45% below its 2014 price.

Earlier this year, daredevil graffiti artists began sneaking onto the China Oceanwide property, scaling its towers and tagging its windows. Even bolder intruders parachuted off a tower. The invasions and graffiti prompted outrage from officials, including City Councilman Kevin de Leon, who demanded that the city enact measures to safeguard the property to prevent people from getting hurt or killed.

“We’ve obviously ignited a fire under Oceanwide to begin to take action — and the debtors as well,” Peter Brown, a spokesman for de Leon, said in an interview. 

Contractors on the project, led by Lendlease Corp., filed an involuntary bankruptcy petition against the limited liability company for Oceanwide Plaza in February. The project now has debtor-in-possession financing for payroll, security, repairs to comply with the city order and to assist in a sale process, according to Sharon Weiss, lead counsel for the debtor with Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner.

“I think this is a good opportunity for this building to come back alive, and to show how a bankruptcy case can fix a lot of problems,” Weiss said. 

The owners owe almost $400 million to creditors, including about $180 million to EB-5 visa investors, $175 million to construction contractors, $18 million for back taxes to LA County and money to repay the city for security, Weiss said.

An April appraisal by Colliers that was submitted in the bankruptcy case estimated the as-is market value at nearly $434 million. The brokerage also projected a cost of $865 million to complete the project, which is currently 60% finished.

The appraisal report also said there are “two serious buyers with pricing negotiated at $850,000,000” in its current condition, numbers attributed to Ken Choi, an attorney for Oceanwide. The names of the buyers are confidential, the appraisal said. Choi didn’t respond to requests for comment.

“We did not place any weight on these offers,” the appraisers, Jay Kwong and Brian Tankersley, wrote in their report.

While the market will set a price for the project, any new development on the site will face some hurdles, according to Alexander Shing, chief executive officer of real estate investment firm Cottonwood Group. The project has faced vandalism and sat around unoccupied for years, and the market has changed in the intervening time.

Apartments in downtown Los Angeles have a 9.8% vacancy rate, the highest of any submarket in the region, according to CoStar Group Inc. Asking rents fell 1.5% in the 12 months through March, and the average sale price per unit dropped to $520,000, down about 20% from a recent peak in early 2022.

More than 500 “outsized condos is no longer the right product for this market cycle,” Shing said in an email. “It would be challenging for someone to get the necessary financing, in this environment, to complete the construction and project in a profitable manner.”

Weiss was working in LA Live, an entertainment complex near the Oceanwide site, when the project started a decade ago. She was excited to see something that showed downtown’s growth. Instead, the project became a symbol of that neighborhood’s post-pandemic decline.

“It was supposed to be the building,” she recalled. “To me, it’s heartbreaking.”

Most Read from Bloomberg

  • Israel Says a Cease-Fire Plan Backed by Hamas Falls Short
  • High-Tech Trading Firms Race to Grab Bond Market Turf
  • Russians Are Coming to Terms With Putin’s War in Ukraine
  • Apple Revamps iPads With AI-Focused Pro Model, Bigger Air

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

27 Floors Of Unfinished L.A. Luxury Skyscraper Tagged With Graffiti


  1. Walking Tour of Downtown Pasadena in Los Angeles County, California USA

    tour of downtown los angeles

  2. Downtown Los Angeles self-guided walking tour & scavenger hunt, May

    tour of downtown los angeles

  3. Downtown Los Angeles self-guided walking tour & scavenger hunt, May

    tour of downtown los angeles

  4. The History And Architecture Of Downtown Los Angeles

    tour of downtown los angeles

  5. Los Angeles: Food, Arts, Culture Tour of Downtown LA with Angels Flight

    tour of downtown los angeles

  6. Downtown Los Angeles self-guided walking tour & scavenger hunt, May

    tour of downtown los angeles


  1. A Look Downtown LA 2024

  2. Tour Downtown Los Angeles

  3. Street vendor stabbed in downtown Los Angeles

  4. Downtown Los Angeles Virtual Walking Tour

  5. Downtown L.A. skyscrapers tagged floor-by-floor



  1. How to Explore Downtown Los Angeles on a Self-Guided Walking Tour

    Bradbury Building. The Bradbury is one of the oldest commercial buildings in downtown L.A., just a short 4 minute walk from Angels Flight Railway. Head northeast on S Hill St toward W 3rd St., then turn right on 3rd Street. Bradbury Building is at the corner of Broadway and 3rd Street, at 304 S Broadway.

  2. The Perfect Self-Guided Downtown LA Walking Tour

    The 2-hour Old and New Downtown Los Angeles Tour takes you through the historic part of Downtown LA like no other tour, and the small size of the group allows you to enjoy the guide's insights in a personalized way.You'll visit the finest sites from the city's golden era and even get a Bradbury Building tour that will amaze architecture buffs.

  3. Walking Tours

    Experience L.A. architecture, art, and history with the Conservancy's award-winning walking tours! The L.A. Conservancy is excited to welcome our new walking tour sponsor, Don Francisco's Coffee. To celebrate, from April 27 to May 25, they're giving our downtown L.A. walking tours a Don Francisco's swag bag while supplies last.

  4. Historic Downtown Los Angeles Walking Tour

    Situated in the heart of Downtown L.A., El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument is probably best known for Olvera Street, an open-air Mexican marketplace. But there's much more to El Pueblo. The 44-acre district comprises 27 buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries. These historic sites reflect the history and heritage of the early ...

  5. A self-guided walking tour of Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA)

    Self-guided tours are available on most days between 10AM - 2PM or guided tours are offered twice daily on most Thursdays to Sundays. Both tour options take 60 minutes and are 100% free! 7. LA Public Library. I have a thing about photographing libraries.

  6. A guide to downtown Los Angeles

    Grand Park focuses on events for the local community, or those who want to make a day of it in downtown. Be on the lookout for yoga classes and weekend music sessions. Read All. 200 N. Grand Ave ...

  7. Central Downtown LA tour

    Combine this tour with The Real Hollywood Tour by booking both tours for the same day. Then the guide will take you from Hollywood to downtown, with travel on the Los Angeles Metro included, so you can experience and learn about the two most historic parts of the city on one easy six hour tour. Our tours can sell out.

  8. Historic Downtown

    Our Historic Downtown walking tour offers a great overview of downtown L.A. history and architecture, from the eighteenth century to the present. Learn about the founding of this great city, and the story of its growth, as told through its magnificent architecture. ... All participants in the Los Angeles Conservancy-sponsored Walking Tours ...

  9. The BEST Downtown Los Angeles Tours and Things to Do in 2024

    8. San Diego: Night Date Glow Pedal Boat with Downtown Views. Go for a ride in San Diego Bay in an illuminated pedal boat. Take in views of the city skyline, listen to music, and relax on the water. Meet the crew down at the docks, check in, and go through a basic safety orientation before going out on the water.

  10. Los Angeles Tours

    The Real Los Angeles Tours has over 1,000 reviews on different platforms, over 90% of which are five stars. Our expert guides create entertaining & enlightening tours, which will transform your understanding & appreciation of LA & California. We have Los Angeles tours for all budgets: free self guided tours, group tours from just $40 pp ...

  11. Downtown Los Angeles Architecture Walking Tour

    630 W 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90071, USA. Open in Google Maps. We meet at the Flower street entrance of the LA Central Library (630 W. 5th Street 90071) within the Maguire Gardens courtyard. Nearest Metro Rail station - 7th Street / Metro Center. Nearest Parking - There are private garages between 4th and 8th on Flower Street.

  12. 21 Best Things to Do in Downtown Los Angeles Right Now

    7. Explore by foot with the Los Angeles Conservancy Walking Tours. Things to do. Walks and tours. Downtown Financial District. We could fill an entire list with nothing but Downtown's stunning ...

  13. Los Angeles Walking Tours

    Striving to provide a real understanding of LA and a genuine experience, The Real Los Angeles Tours has a variety of tours to choose from. LA in a Day: $95 per person | 10 am - 6 pm daily. Central Downtown LA Tour: $40 per person | 1 pm - 4 pm daily. DTLA Murder Mystery Tour: $35 per person | 6 pm - 8:30 pm Sat.

  14. The 18 Best Things to Do in Downtown Los Angeles

    Phone +1 213-359-6007. Web Visit website. Grand Central Market is an indoor public market on Broadway between Third and Fourth streets in downtown. The market has been open continuously since 1917 and has always housed a mix of greengrocers, butchers, delis, bakers, and prepared food vendors.

  15. Downtown Los Angeles: Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour

    Make memories for a lifetime on a self-guided audio walking tour of Los Angeles. Explore the city at your own pace with an audio feature as your personal guide. Marvel at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Bradbury Building, and more. Visit the Grand Central Market and enjoy some delicious local dishes. Discover hidden gems and interesting facts ...

  16. THE 10 BEST Tours & Activities in Downtown (Los Angeles)

    Hollywood Sightseeing and Celebrity Homes Tour by Open Air Bus. Get the most out of your time in Los Angeles with this comprehensive tour that passes LA hot spots, famous landmarks, celebrity…. 3. Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood. HOLLYWOOD MADE HERE Go behind the lens and discover the secrets of movie-making magic.

  17. Downtown Los Angeles California Tour

    Today we do a walking tour of downtown Los Angeles from Figueroa street and 5th around the central downtown LA area. We check out Staples Center where the L...

  18. Free Downtown Los Angeles Walking Tour of the Amazing Art Deco Streets

    Taking a free walking tour of the Art Deco streets of downtown Los Angeles is a must-do experience for anyone who loves architecture and history. From the stunning facades to the intricate details, these buildings are a testament to the city's rich cultural heritage. TAGS: American Architecture, Architecture, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Downtown ...

  19. 61 Self-Guided Tours for Exploring L.A. on Your Own

    Los Angeles Explorers Club, Downtown L.A. Fletcher Bowron Square | Sandi Hemmerlein. ... Pico-Union and downtown L.A., with additional tours themed around feature films shot in the city ("City Lights,","Safety Last!"), specific artists and architects (like Millard Sheets) and the lesser-known but significant era of the 1970s and '80s ...

  20. 24 Things to Do in Downtown Los Angeles

    4. Union Station. Union Station is the Los Angeles train station, and it's been featured in movies like Blade Runner. It's many decades old and is an excellent place to walk around and explore the unique architecture or take the train somewhere outside of Los Angeles. Read more about Union Station.

  21. Downtown LA Walking Tours

    Downtown LA Walking Tours. Providing daily guided walking tours of Downtown Los Angeles for tourists and locals who want to explore one of the worlds greatest cities. Tours are at 11:00 am, 1:30 pm and 4:00 pm each day. We walk the City, go inside world-class monuments, learn the history and experience the architecture of the City of Angels!

  22. LA Walking Tours

    10:30 AM - Chinatown & Little Tokyo 10:30 AM - Chinatown & Olvera Street 10:30 AM - Downtown Architecture 11:00 AM - LA's Beginnings 12:30 PM - Filming Locations 1:00 PM - Arts District 1:30 PM - Old & New Downtown LA 6: ... Leading guided walking tours of Los Angeles, Hollywood and Pasadena. Calendar. Public Tours. Private Tours. Stories ...

  23. Downtown Los Angeles Segway Tour

    Takes place in most weather conditions. MEETING LOCATION: The Lobby entrance of The JW Marriott @ LA Live. 900 W Olympic Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90015. MORE INFO: Please contact us for any additional information at 1-323-968-6651. TOUR DURATION: Approx. 2 Hours.

  24. Broadway: Downtown Los Angeles' Beautiful, Magical Mess Walking Tour

    Tour begins at 10:30am sharp, with check-in time 10am at the patio outside Grand Central Market in front of Maple Block BBQ at 324 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90013. Please arrive on time and proceed to the check in table to get signed in and logged in to the smartphone slideshow. Scroll down for tour rules and recommendations.

  25. LA's $1.2 Billion Graffiti Towers Put on Sale After Bankruptcy

    Apartments in downtown Los Angeles have a 9.8% vacancy rate, the highest of any submarket in the region, according to CoStar Group Inc. Asking rents fell 1.5% in the 12 months through March, and ...

  26. 2024 VIVIZ WORLD TOUR [V.hind : Love and Tears] in Los Angeles

    LOS ANGELES! K-pop girl group VIVIZ are coming to the USA for the first time ever on their 2024 VIVIZ WORLD TOUR [V.hind : Love and Tears]. The girls are ready to meet and perform for their fans on August 12, 2024 at the Palace Theatre . VIVIZ are prepared to do a full musical takeover of your city.

  27. Apartments For Rent in Downtown Los Angeles

    Tours. Must have 3D Tour ... Downtown Los Angeles Apartments For Rent. 192 results. Sort: Default. The Emerson | 225 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA. $2,475+ Studio. 3D Tour Special Offer. $2,475+ Studio. $2,945+ 1 bd. $3,505+ 2 bd. The Brockman Lofts, 530 W 7th St APT 203, Los Angeles, CA 90014.

  28. Luke Milano Setlist at The Basement, Los Angeles Downtown

    Get the Luke Milano Setlist of the concert at The Basement, Los Angeles Downtown, CA, USA on May 11, 2024 and other Luke Milano Setlists for free on setlist.fm!