Los Angeles is a mecca of arts, creativity, fashion and entertainment. With so much to choose from, here’s our 5 day Los Angeles itinerary.
How To Get Around Los Angeles
Getting around Los Angeles couldn’t be easier. There are generally 4 options:
Aside from downtown LA, the majority of tourist spots are a little spread out in the Los Angeles area.
So hiring a car and exploring is certainly the most convenient way to get around!
We recommend booking one in advance, and fortunately car rentals are relatively cheap in Los Angeles. Plus all major car rental companies have offices at the airports.
We always go through rentalcars.com to compare prices before locking something in prior to our trip.
There is public street parking available in most places around Los Angeles, just be sure to have a card ready to pay for the hourly parking meters.
The Los Angeles Metro is affordable, relatively easy to use, and services most of Los Angeles County and its top attractions.
The public transit system consists of Metro Buses, DASH Buses, and Metro Rail Trains.
To ride these buses, trains, and subways, we recommend purchasing a reusable TAP Card. These are available at TAP machines located within most bus or subway stations.
You CAN pay cash when you board, but you’ll need the exact fare as bus operators don’t carry change.
Otherwise Uber is a super easy and very popular way of getting from one place to another quickly in Los Angeles!
Hop On Hop Off Bus
Standard buses are available around Los Angeles, if you can figure out the bus routes.
However, there is also of course the famous Los Angeles Sightseeing Hop-on-Hop-off Bus.
The bus lets you explore Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica Pier and Beaches. With options of a 24, 48 or 72 hour pass.
This is always popular among tourists, and a is great way to see many famous landmarks around the City of Angels at ease.
Some of the best days out we’ve had in Los Angeles have been on private tours.
For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.
From food tours, to movie studios and pub crawls, there’s plenty to keep you busy in LA!
Best Time To Visit Los Angeles
Los Angeles is a year round destination, however, if you love the sun and heat the best time to visit is between June and September. You are sure of some good beach weather, with generally highs of 28°C.
If you like it a little cooler the spring/autumn temperatures are still very pleasant, ranging from 14°C to 22°C. It is also less crowded at these times of year so perfect for sight seeing.
Remember, this is just a guide, so you may want to mix it up and add/subtract different attractions.
What To Pack
5 Days In Los Angeles Itinerary
So you’ve just arrived in LA, and the first thing you’re probably going to want to do is visit Hollywood!
One of the most famous photo locations in the world! Of course the Hollywood Sign is top of the 5 day Los Angeles itinerary list!
There are so many options when visiting the Hollywood Sign, such as the Hollywood Sign Hike which is easy enough to do on your own.
However, we chose to visit Canyon Lake Drive first.
Here you can park and walk around/up the hill towards Mulholland Highway for a closer shot and probably the most popular of the Hollywood Sign Viewpoints.
With the Hollywood sign been based high up on a hill, the surrounding views are incredible.
It’s a great way to start your Los Angeles bucket list, and if you head up early you’ll beat the midday sun and crowds!
Hollywood Boulevard (Walk Of Fame)
Naturally, the next stop on the 5 day Los Angeles itinerary is the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.
Just a short drive from the Hollywood Sign, there’s plenty of on street parking available down the Hollywood Boulevard side streets.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame comprises more than 2,600 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks.
They cover fifteen blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California.
If you take the Los Angeles Sightseeing Hop-on-Hop-off Bus this will be one of your stops.
One spot not to miss though, is the Chinese Theatre, where nearly 200 Hollywood celebrity handprints, footprints, and autographs are in the concrete of the theatre’s forecourt.
If you’re looking to take a tour inside the Chinese Theatre, there’s a handy Chinese Theater VIP Tour + 24-hour Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus option available.
LACMA Urban Light
Just around the corner from Hollywood is the famous ‘Los Angeles County Museum of Art’ or LACMA.
LACMA is where you can find the famous ‘Urban Light’ sculpture, as well as more than 150,000 works of art from ancient times to the present.
LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States, and attracts nearly a million visitors annually.
So it should probably be on your 5 day Los Angeles itinerary.
Drive-In Movie Theatre
To end your first night in LA, how about trying something really American!
From growing up in a small town in England, visiting a drive-in movie theatre was something we’d never had the opportunity to experience.
So after watching too many high school films, it was a dream come true to go on a date in the back of a Dodge pick up truck.
We highly recommend Paramount Drive-In Theatres, where you can literally pull up in your vehicle, tune in the stereo and watch a movie on the big screen for only $10 per person.
Day 2 of our 5 day Los Angeles itinerary, we went browsing and wall art hunting.
Melrose Avenue is one of LA’s most famous shopping, dining and entertainment destinations.
The most vibrant, artistic community we’ve visited, it’s easy to find incredible pieces of art work when exploring the city. You don’t have to search far and wide to find the stunning colourful backdrops of LA.
A lot of the popular wall murals can be found on Melrose Avenue, where there’s even a Melrose Instagram Tour!
Starting at Santa Monica Boulevard, at the border between Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, it ends at Lucile Avenue in Silver Lake.
Full of a variety of shops, restaurants, tattoo studios and lots of cool vintage shops, this is an exciting and very ‘hipster’ place to walk, shop and dine.
Beverly Hills & Rodeo Drive
From Melrose, it leads perfectly onto Beverly Hills. A county home to many Hollywood stars.
Within the county, there is also Beverly Gardens Park which has beautiful fountains and rose gardens. Plus an illuminated Beverly Hills sign that you can get a postcard photo in front of, as a token of your visit.
You can also visit The Beverly Hills Hotel, set amongst beautiful tropical gardens, with it’s famous ‘The Beverly Hills’ sign embedded across one of the walls.
Beverly Hills has to be on your Los Angeles bucket list. Even if you choose to just take a drive through the district, and gaze up at the famous palm trees!
Following on from Beverly Hills is one of the most famous streets in LA.
Rodeo Drive covers a two mile area in Beverly Hills and is packed full of luxury stores.
It’s home to more than one hundred of the world’s leading international brands including Dior, Gucci, Tiffany & Co etc, all housed in the most ornate buildings.
With security guards on the doors of the bigger names, this is definitely shopping for people with serious money! You will also see lots of very flashy and expensive motor vehicles slowly cruising around this area.
Any 5 day Los Angeles itinerary is not complete without driving through Beverly Hills & Rodeo Drive
Santa Monica & Venice Beach
After cruising through Beverly Hills, the next stop leads you out West to Santa Monica & Venice Beach.
Ideal locations for sunset, we recommend parking up close to Santa Monica pier and taking a walk along the boardwalk to Venice.
Santa Monica is a coastal city west of downtown Los Angeles and is most recognised as being home of the famous Santa Monica Pier.
Not only was the pier the ending point of the famous old Route 66, it’s home to the Pacific Park amusement park and has incredible views of the Pacific Ocean.
This is another stop on the Los Angeles Sightseeing Hop-on-Hop-off Bus.
Venice, however, is a buzzing beach town known for its bohemian spirit. The free-spirited Venice Boardwalk has numerous funky shops, street performers and colourful murals.
There are so many things to do in Venice Beach, such as the famous skate park and Muscle Beach outdoor gym.
All cultures, genders and backgrounds are welcome, with no judgement whatsoever.
A must on your visit for sunset on your 5 day Los Angeles itinerary.
If you have time you could even jump on the Santa Monica and Venice 3-Hour Electric Bike Tour which could be pretty fun!
So if, like us, you’re big kids, we then dedicated the whole of our 3rd day in LA to Disneyland!
With two parks now to choose from (Disneyland and California Adventure), Disneyland was the first of two theme parks built at the resort in Anaheim, California.
Opened on July 17, 1955, it is the only theme park designed and built to completion under the direct supervision of Walt Disney himself!
If you’re in need of transportation to Disneyland, there’s a Round-Trip Daily Transportation to Disneyland California available to book in advance.
With so many great hiking trails in Los Angeles you have to fit one into your itinerary if possible.
With so many to choose from, we headed for Runyon Canyon at the beginning of our 4th day in Los Angeles.
Runyon Canyon is one of the most popular hiking destinations and is frequently named on lists of best hikes in LA.
Covering 160 acres at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains in LA, it gives hikers amazing views over Hollywood.
The highest point in the park, at an elevation of 1320 ft (402 m), is known as Indian Rock.
From here you get sweeping views from Catalina Island to the Santa Monica Mountains, as well as great views of the iconic Hollywood Sign.
With Runyon Canyon’s proximity to residential areas of Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills, celebrity sightings are also quite common – if you like a bit of celebrity spotting!
Located on the south slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, the Griffith Observatory is literally in the centre of the city of Los Angeles.
The crown jewel of Griffith Park, this 1930’s Art Deco structure is popular with tourists and locals alike. Housing an extensive array of space and science related displays this had to be on the Los Angeles itinerary.
Griffith Observatory is the perfect place for anyone who’s interested in science and the solar system. As well as anyone who loves Art Deco buildings or just wants spectacular views over Los Angeles.
I would recommend the popular Griffith Observatory Guided Tour for those of you that want to know more about this amazing building.
Tom LaBonge Panorama For Sunset
If you’ve got any energy left and love a good sunset then this is the perfect end of day 4 activity.
Definitely one of the most enjoyable hikes I did was the one up to the Tom LaBonge Panorama (Formerly known as Mount Hollywood) for sunset.
As you climb, you get great views of Griffith Park and many famous points of interest such as the Griffith’s Observatory and the Hollywood Sign.
On arriving at the Tom LaBonge Panorama, along with the breathtaking 360 degree views, you will find plenty of picnic benches to sit and relax before catching sunset and then the hike back down.
This moderately challenging hike is worth every single step for the most amazing, far reaching views. You can even see the ocean on a clear day and sunsets really are incredible!
On your last day in Los Angeles you have to make sure to visit the vibrant Downtown LA area.
Downtown is the city centre of Los Angeles and covers nearly 6 square miles. It includes areas such as Chinatown, Little Tokyo, the Arts District, the Jewellery District, Fashion etc.
It also has many well known art museums, theatres, trendy restaurants and hip bars. Most areas are named for the activities that take place there now, or historically.
New definitely meets old here, with modern high rise buildings alongside historical landmarks such as the El Pueblo de Los Angeles monument – the city’s 1781 birthplace.
Grand Central Market
Also in Downtown LA, if you’re looking for somewhere to eat, I can recommend a stop-off at Grand Central Market.
This fantastic emporium has an incredible choice of dishes from all over the world and a really cool vibe. You are definitely going to find something that tickles your tastebuds here!
A Downtown landmark since 1917, it’s an amazing reflection of all the different immigrant communities that call Los Angeles home and not to be missed.
The Downtown Food Tour visits Grand Central Market, along with some other great eating spots.
So, with plenty to see and do and some great places to eat, a visit to Downtown LA has to make the 5 days in Los Angeles itinerary.
Ride The Swan Pedalos At Echo Park
If you are looking for a fun activity on your last day, I recommend hiring a Swan Pedalo on Echo Park Lake. This is located in the centre of the hip and trendy Echo Park neighbourhood.
This beautiful Park has recently been renovated in this increasingly popular artistic area and the Swan Pedalos are proving to be a very popular attraction.
To book your swan pedalo visit Echo Park Lake: Swan Pedal Boat Rental.
Rated one of the best activities in Los Angeles, Echo Park Lake’s swan shaped pedalos are are a great way to enjoy the outdoors. Also a nice way to relax after visiting busy Downtown LA!
Visit A Rooftop Bar
What better way to spend your last evening in Los Angeles than to visit one of the many beautiful rooftop bars.
Located in Downtown LA, I can highly recommend Cara Cara. This roof top dining area boasts a seasonal menu that says it ‘showcases California’s best produce’ and it certainly does that.
This is a great place to eat really good food or just grab a delicious cocktail and enjoying the stunning views. With a cosy fire pit adding to the ambience and relaxed evening vibe.
The perfect end to your 5 days in Los Angeles itinerary.
Where To Stay In Los Angeles
Known as ‘The Pink Palace’, this luxury hotel on Sunset Boulevard features the full-service La Prairie Spa and a beautiful outdoor pool.
Downtown Beverly Hills is just 1 mile away.
The bright and elegant rooms of The Beverly Hills Hotel feature marble bathrooms and 2 TVs.
There is also a minibar, coffee maker and ironing facilities included.
The Polo Lounge at the hotel is a popular dining place for celebrities.
Clean Modern Room features accommodation with a shared lounge, free WiFi and a shared kitchen.
The air-conditioned homestay also offers a flat-screen TV, a seating area, washing machine and a bathroom with a bath and a shower.
Beverly Hills is a great choice for travelers interested in food, shopping and restaurants.
Empire Inn is located in Los Angeles, just 5 miles from the centre.
It provides air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi and all rooms include a wardrobe and a flat-screen TV.
South Los Angeles is a great choice for travellers interested in tourist attractions, sunshineand beach walks.
For other places to stay in Los Angeles, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.