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Budget Travel in Los Angeles

Destination(s): Los Angeles

Los Angeles can be experienced on the cheap: there is memorable sight-seeing here and great affordable ethnic food. Generally speaking, prices rise as you head west in the city. (Don't let this keep you away from the ocean; the Pacific is a must see and no one can charge admission.) The Getty Center is included here as it's affordable–you just pay for parking–and it is a whole lotta museum!

My other guides (especially L.A. Beaches, Walks, and Affordable Restaurants) supplement the selection here.

The days of this list are organized with this content:

Day 1 --- Downtown Sites
Day 2 --- Hollywood/Westside Sites
Day 3 --- Lodging read more about Budget Travel in Los Angeles

Angels Flight Railway

Angels Flight Railway

  • 351 South Hill Street
  • tel:(213) 626-1901
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90013

The Angels Flight funicular is piece of historic Los Angeles that dates from 1901 when Bunker Hill was an upscale neighborhood. Since that time the Bunker Hill neighborhood first lost its luster and then was completely razed (the area at the top of the hill is now the site of MOCA and a number of concert halls, including the Gehry Disney landmark). In the 1990's the Angels Flight railway was moved half a block south and became more of a historic landmark ride than a day-to-day transportation solution. Recently the track has been rebuilt yet again (it is a state of the art funicular system with computer monitoring and redundant braking systems). The original cars, named Olivet and Sinai, still ferry people up the steep incline for the super affordable fee of a quarter. This is definitely a great way to both navigate downtown Los Angeles and experience a bit of the city as it once was.
read more about Angels Flight Railway

Griffith Park

Griffith Park

  • 4730 Crystal Springs Drive
  • Hollywood; entrances are along Los Feliz Blvd., at Riverside Dr., Vermont Ave., and Western Ave
  • tel:323/913-4688
  • Visit website
  • Hollywood, 90028
Saga Motor Hotel

Saga Motor Hotel

  • 1633 E. Colorado Blvd
  • Between Allen and Sierra Bonita Aves
  • tel:800/793-7242
  • Visit website
  • Pasadena, 91106
Grand Central Market

Grand Central Market

  • 317 S Broadway
  • tel:213-624-2378
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90013

Opened in 1917, this is market has rolled with times and remains an attractive and fun destination. The space is enclosed but has an open air feel to it, complete with sawdust on the floor. Inside are many prepared food vendors (Mexican, Middle-Eastern, Hawaiian, Japanese. . . .) as well as stalls selling groceries.  There is also coffee and frozen yogurt available. . . and everything is priced affordablely. With a $10 purchase here you can get validation for 1 hour parking at the DOT lot located at 308 South Hill Street. The Grand Central Market is located downtown right between the (now re-opened) Angels Flight funicular and the Bradbury Building. Overall this is a great spot to get lunch while you are exploring downtown.
read more about Grand Central Market

Royal Pagoda Motel

Royal Pagoda Motel

  • 995 N Broadway
  • tel:(213)617-3077
  • Los Angeles, 90012
L.A. Central Library

L.A. Central Library

  • 630 W. 5th St
  • Between Flower St. and Grand Ave
  • tel:213/228-7168
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90071
Miyako Hotel Los Angeles

Miyako Hotel Los Angeles

  • 328 E 1st St
  • tel:+1 213 617-2000 / 1-800-228-6596
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90012
Clifton's Brookdale Cafeteria

Clifton's Brookdale Cafeteria

  • 648 South Broadway Seventh Street
  • tel:1 213 627 1673
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90014
The HOLLYWOOD Sign

The HOLLYWOOD Sign

  • 6342 Mulholland Highway
  • Griffith Park
  • tel:+1 323 258 4338
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90013
Best Western Dragon Gate Inn

Best Western Dragon Gate Inn

  • 818 N Hill St
  • tel:+1 213 617 3077 / +1 800 282 9999
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90012
Historic Theater District

Historic Theater District

  • Along Broadway between 3rd and 9th streets
  • tel:+1 213 623 2489 (Los Angeles Conservancy)
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90014
Hollywood Farmers' Market

Hollywood Farmers' Market

  • Corner of Ivar and Selma Avenues
  • tel:+1 323 463 3171
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90028
Hollywood Historic Hotel

Hollywood Historic Hotel

  • 5162 Melrose Avenue
  • tel:(323) 378-6312
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90038
City Hall

City Hall

  • 200 N. Spring St
  • Between 1st and Temple Sts
  • tel:213/485-2121
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90012
Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood Walk of Fame

  • 6801 Hollywood Boulevard
  • Hollywood Blvd., between Gower St. and La Brea Ave.; and Vine St., between Yucca St. and Sunset Blvd
  • tel:323/469-8311
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90028
Days Inn Hollywood/ Near Universal Studios

Days Inn Hollywood/ Near Universal Studios

  • 7023 W Sunset Blvd
  • tel:+1 323 464-8344
  • Visit website
  • Hollywood, 90028
Union Station

Union Station

  • 800 N. Alameda St
  • At Cesar E. Chavez Ave
  • tel:+1 800 266 6883
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90012
Runyon Canyon

Runyon Canyon

  • 2000 North Fuller
  • tel:+1 323 666 5046
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90046

Runyon Canyon, nestled in the heart of Hollywood, gives any visitor to Los Angeles the power to enjoy nature and work up a sweat. Situated on 130 acres of protected recreation park land, Runyon Canyon is primarily known for its off-leash hiking, but a secluded children's park also allows families and yoga groups to enjoy the Canyon's natural beauty. Upon entering, visitors can choose three different trails that loop around each other, differing in their intensity and physical impact. Runyon Canyon is essentially off-leash, so dogs and their owners run gleefully and unimpaired. There are no services, so visitors should be prepared to take their own food and equipment. With its proximity to Hollywood, celebrities from across the gamut are seen frequenting the park and exercising to keep their celebrity figures. The Hollywood Sign, Griffith Observatory and Downtown are viewed brilliantly from the Canyon's summit. read more about Runyon Canyon

Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles

Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles

  • 6101 West Century Boulevard
  • tel:+1 310 642 1111
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90045
Olvera Street

Olvera Street

  • 845 North Alameda Street
  • El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historic Park
  • tel:+1 213 628 2525
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90012

Olvera Street is, like most of Los Angeles, a combination of authentic history, reconstructed fantasy and pure fun. Situated in the middle of Downtown, Olvera Street has been turned into a lively market place reminiscent of Old Mexico. It was here that Los Angeles was founded in the late 1700s as El Pueblo de Nuesta Señora Reina de los Ángeles. In the 1930s, it was turned into a Mexican oasis in the middle of a burgeoning and thriving Downtown. Olvera Street continues to attract locals and visitors alike with an assortment of Mexican restaurants, small curios shops and historical markers. read more about Olvera Street

Chinatown

Chinatown

  • North Main Street
  • Downtown; bounded by N. Broadway, N. Hill St., Bernard St., and Sunset Blvd
  • tel:+1 213 680 0243
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90012
The Getty Center Los Angeles

The Getty Center Los Angeles

  • 1200 Getty Center Dr
  • tel:310/440-7300
  • Visit website
  • Los Angeles, 90049
Farmer John Mural

Farmer John Mural

  • 3049 East Vernon Avenue
  • tel:(323) 583-4621
  • Visit website
  • Vernon, 90058

Started in 1931, the Clougherty Packing company adopted the Farmer John brand name in 1953. Several years later, in 1957, work began on the audacious and now historic mural project around their slaughterhouse and meat packing plant just south of downtown. The first painter was Leslie Allen Grimes, who worked on site for 11 years until falling to his death from the scaffolding. Arno Jordan took over maintaining and adding to the murals until 1998. The current painters are Philip Slagter, A.J. Slagter, and Eddi Milan (a.k.a. Ed1).  Hormel acquired this slaughterhouse in 2004 for 186 million dollars. The Hormel company continues to both use the Farmer John brand name and maintain this historic public artwork.
read more about Farmer John Mural