Los Angeles Hostels
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El Monte Airport
Fullerton Municipal Airport
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Los Angeles International Airport
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Disneyland Monorail - Disneyland
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About Los Angeles
Los Angeles is the second largest city in the USA. While the central city area is home to about 4 million people, the metropolitan area is vast and holds over 18 million people in total.
Los Angeles is served by LAX airport as well as a variety of different transport methods. The public transport system inside the city, however, is inefficient and inconvenient. As such, having your own car or a rental is a huge advantage in terms of mobility and sightseeing. Or instead you could ask at your hostel about group tours and outings that are available. Cabs in LA are also an option, but are expensive.
Los Angeles hostels are scattered throughout the area, with the highest concentration along the coastal areas (such as Santa Monica and Venice Beach).
There are loads of things to do in LA. Being the definitive home of movies in the USA, Hollywood is maybe the biggest attraction. You can easily spend a few days in Hollywood, walking the Walk of Fame and seeing all the sights which are all a walking distance away. Venice Beach is a more bohemian experience, with a nice beach and lots of small stores and plenty of travelers to meet. There are also plenty of other suburbs to visit and see, LA is truly a city of diversity.
Los Angeles is a paradise for the party people. Almost everything you can imagine regarding clubs, bars, pubs and nightlife in general, you will find in LA.
This is a complete list of all hostels in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, there are quite a few, so no matter what kind of hostel you're looking for, you should be able to find it here.
Suggestions for Los Angeles:
Los Angeles Fun Pass
- Get into multiple Los Angeles attractions (Universal, Six Flags, star tours, etc.) for one discounted price.
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USA Hostels Hollywood
"USA Hostels Hollywood is highly recommended thanks to its immense activity schedule, location, and cleanliness. The Location The hostel is located just off of Hollywood Boulevard and within easy walking distance of several famous Hollywood sites, including the Kodak Theatre and the Chinese Theatre. The closest subway stop is at most a ten-minute walk and the hostel is easy to locate and provides great directions on its website....
Venice Beach Hostel - Pacific Avenue
"Venice Beach Hostel - Pacific Avenue is literally two minutes from the golden sands of Venice Beach! But overall, the cost of the hostel is only barely justified by the location; it is very disappointing that the cost rapidly rises from the online quote on check in once tax, deposits, credit card fees (per person, not per transaction) have been added on, making it cheaper for two travelers together to stay in a motel. The Location It is...
Orange Drive Hostel
"Fabulously Unique! - The location is Fantastic! Close to all that's important to see in Los Angeles. You can walk almost everywhere. The only things that are a forty-five-minute bus ride away is the Beaches, and Disneyland is far too, but there is a variety of transportation available to get you there. The staff are great! They are friendly and very helpful. The hostel is a old Mansion. It is bigger than it looks from the front of the house....
LA Backpackers Paradise / Tradewinds Hostel
"LA Backpackers Paradise / Tradewinds Hostel is a large hostel and hotel within close proximity of LAX airport; the free shuttle bus makes it an ideal stop for people departing and arriving. The hostel also provides a free shuttle service to Manhattan Beach and the bus station, from which you can travel all over Los Angeles. The Location The location in Inglewood is ok but not great -- there is access to take-aways and necessities....
Hollywood International Hostel
"The Hollywood International Hostel is in a great location. That is the most it has going for it. It's directly across the street from the subway that unfortunately is almost useless to most, and in the heart of the media district. Walk up a flight of stairs to the second floor of a brick building that has businesses beneath, and you'll be facing a very long hallway that runs the length of the building. We noticed right away when we went to...
Venice Beach Hostel - Washington Blvd
"We have stayed at hostels all over the world, and this may be one of the scariest one we have been to. The hostel is in a decent neighborhood and from the outside looks nice, but inside it is very run down. There is no lock on the front door, so anyone (even people who are not guests) can enter at any time. We were promised a certain type of room, but when we arrived, this type of room was full and only available if we slept on a...
SameSun Venice Beach
"The Venice Beach Cotel is the perfect location to stay on the beach in L.A.. Venice Beach is a very hippie place with lots of boutiques, artists, musicians, and craftsmen selling stuff. If you like the bohemian ambiance, you will be served The Location The Venice Beach Cotel is quite far from the Greyhound bus station. You will have to take two different buses to get there. It is easier to access if you are coming from the airport....
HI - Los Angeles - South Bay Hostel
"Gracious staff, spectacular view, close to all of the sights and the ocean. I'm goin back!" … "Pretty cool Place Recommend to every one - I had good experience at this place, Met nice people from europe. The staff was very helpful. Lots of free stuff. Pool was great. Good food. Relaxed atmosphere. I had a great time. Must visit." … "This hostel was great for evything except for location. If you have a car it isn't bad...
HI - Los Angeles - Santa Monica Hostel
"HI - Los Angeles - Santa Monica Hostel is a very large, typical Hostelling International hostel, for better or for worse, depending on your tastes -- we had a very similar experience to many other of our HI stays. For some people this is good, because there is a certain predictability on which you can count (such as cleanliness, services offered, and prices). To others, it is not very appealing because the HI hostels tend to be too large and...
Surf City Hostel
"Great location, friendly people, and clean - The staf were friendly and helpful. The hostel was clean and was in a great location. I met a lot of really nice people and would definitely go back again." … "This place holds a special place in my heart. Every time I go to Hermosa this is where I go. The people are so fun, and so are the staff. :-)" … "Hey if u love parties mad people come to Surf City. It's the best laugh u will...
Banana Bungalow Hollywood
"Banana Bungalow Hollywood (also known as the Vibe Hotel & Hostel) is a privately run hostel that offers the best value spot in Hollywood, and arguably Los Angeles. We say value not only because the price is pretty reasonable, but primarily because of the quality of the establishment. This hostel is well-located -- close to supermarkets, underground stations, local buses, and Hollywood attractions. We didn't hear any negative comments in...
Banana Bungalow West Hollywood
"The Location The Fairfax District/Fairfax Village is an unbeatable location. The area has clubs, bookstores, shops and restaurants to discover, and all within walking distance of the hostel. Farmers Market/The Grove, CBS Network Studios, Melrose, Beverly and 3rd Street, the trendy shop filled streets. Whole Foods grocery store and a pharmacy are also within walking distance for cooking on your own of if you need personal items or...
Hollywood & Highland Hostel & Hotel
"We love it! - We had a really great time in this this hostel! It is in quite poor conditions but on the other hand the staff is really helpful friendly & It's is a great experience. The hostel is in the middle of Hollywood blvd & great value." … "This hostel is located directly opposite Mann's Chinese Theatre so it's great for sightseeing. The train station is nearby too but it's a long way from LAX airport and about an hour away from...
"Adventurer Hostel (also known as LA Backpackers Paradise Hostel, although it is not often clearly stated) is very spacious with its rooms or dormitories on two levels located along open-air pathways, separate from the lounges and the pool area. It has an overall tropical feel with lots of trees around. The twenty-four-hour, free pick-up from the airport (or bus and train station) is great especially if you are traveling alone and arriving in...
"Not so bad - It is not so bad place to spent one or two nights! no more! It is hostel. Pretty good price, TV, and free internet. If you have a min budget trip this place is for you." … "I slept in the Kitchen on a futon - I arrived there and the first thing that happened is i was led into a room that had four bed and a TV. i thought ok this is pretty good. then i was led around the corner and there was two beds in the Kitchen and guess...
"PodShare is the best hostel! It is very small, so it is very easy to meet everybody staying there. It is also the most modern hostel we know (except for the fact that it is cash only). The Location The hostel is very conveniently located in Hollywood, on a small, quiet street perpendicular to Hollywood Boulevard. It is close to the Hollywood/Vine subway station and it is cheaply accessible by public transport from both LAX and the...
"… of California, The Hollywood: 6.69 miles, 11 minutes Art Institute, The Los Angeles: 5.00 miles, 11 minutes American Academy Of Dramatic Arts: 5.02 miles, 12 minutes Beverly Hills: 4.38 miles, 12 minutes (CSLA) California State University, Los Angeles: 12.97 miles, 17 minutes Downtown Los Angeles: 8.05 miles, 12 minutes (ELAC) East Los Angeles College: 13.31 miles, 18 minutes Hollywood: 5.90 miles, 14 minutes (LAX) Los...
The Anderson Estates
"… legacy. With an arresting façade of grandeur along with its epic proportions that will stop you in your tracks, the elegantly furnished estate boasts seven bedrooms (with three master suites) and 4.5 bathrooms. Even in the dark hours of night, this estate slumbers in radiance while its grandiose chandeliers adorn its ceilings creating exorbitantly lit rooms which include a living room as sumptuous as a king’s throne room, a...
The Mansion Hostel
"… you need from our comfortable two-person bunks to our illustriously furnished private rooms where you can rest assured you will leave our lodgings for a day on the town with nights to remember! Be dazzled by our most peculiar of our pleasantries. Be grounded by the hard-wood floors of our historical Los Angeles mansion, where we offer you complementary Wi-Fi access and complimentary cable TV on the spot. Towels and extra linens...
"… Just call or email our reservations office for more information). Come experience everything Los Angeles has to offer! PLEASE NOTE THAT WE DO NOT ACCEPT CASH PAYMENTS. We offer: - Complementary Wi-Fi & Cable Televison - Fresh linens are provided - Towels are available upon request - Air Conditioning - Full access to the house kitchen and other common areas - 24 hour access to all common areas - 24 hour access to...
"… minimum stay) or weekly and monthly accommodations. Come experience everything Los Angeles has to offer! PLEASE BE AWARE THAT WE DO NOT TAKE CASH PAYMENTS! We offer: - Complementary Wi-Fi & Cable Televison - Fresh linens are provided - Towels are available upon request - Air Conditioning - Full access to the house kitchen and other common areas - 24 hour access to all common areas - 24 hour access to bathroom in...
The MoonPad LA Hostel
"Enjoyed my stay - I spent 3 nights at the Moon Pod LA on Boyle Avenue. At first when I arrived, the outside looked apprehensive, but it was a work in progress. Very roomy inside. 2 full baths downstairs. I think 2 bathrooms + another full bath upstairs. I slept in a 6 person mixed dorm which was ok. Bunk beds are fine as long as I could snag a bottom bunk. The metro (mariachi plaza -- gold line) was 1/2 a block away, across the street. Very,...
"Originally a guest house for the historical mansion it sits next to, the Cimarron House now stands as it's own entity. Renovated and reopened in mid-2012, the house boasts roomy dorms, an open concept living/dining room and a large kitchen." … "… signed lodging agreement; call reservations office for more information). The same awesome benefits are open to both Long–term and short–term guest. Cimarron House has two dorm types...
"… experience is exponentially more than expected, because ShareSpace guests embrace the collaborative spirit concept. In addition, we have a huge kitchen, on site parking, and close proximity to all things LA. Guests have access to entire house. However, Guests in room 2 and 3 share a full bathroom, exclusively. Rooms one, two, and three are female shares. As our hostel continues to grow, we will coordinate and host events; on and...
Venice Beach Cotel
"We ARE Venice Beach! Inside the famous "Botticelli on Roller Skates" building at the heart of Venice Beach. Enjoy amazing sunsets & Muscle Beach from our ocean front lounge/bar and feel at home with our charming international staff. Minutes from LAX, steps from the beach. Lots of FREE stuff too!" … "… Bus: We have a great deal with a local shuttle service called "Coast Shuttle", who will bring you to us for only...
MoonPad LA Arts District
"… americana style BBQ night. While providing a variety of culinary taste at the hostel, you may use our Free Wi-Fi to find something new and appealing to do while your stay. Please note: Cancellation policy: 72h before arrival. In case of a late cancellation or No Show, you will be charged the first night of your stay. Check in from 17:00 to 23:00 . Check out before 11:00 . Payment upon arrival by cash, credit cards,...
Orbit Hotel & Hostel
"Orbit Hotel & Hostel has changed its location -- previously situated on Melrose and Hayworth Avenues, this venue has since closed down and the hostel has merged with Banana Bungalow at 603 Fairfax. The Location When you arrive, there will be no sign anywhere that says Orbit Hostel & Hotel -- there will only be a 603 on the front door and a small sign out the front that says Banana Bungalow. If you find this, you are in the right place....
Monterrey Inn Hotel Hostel
"The hotel is in an industrial area, not particularly fancy outside, lobby sparsely dressed, but the rooms are really nice. Typical hotel rooms at great hostel prices and rates 100 percent private. Regular large units with private kitchenettes, refrigerator and stove, color TV, laundry room on property, and a small rec room." … "… a left at the light go down 2 lights and make a left on Avalon blvdLong beach:Pacific coast...
"Not many places like this in la that i know of - I need a place to stay when I'm in LA for work. I hate to intrude on family or friends, as well as the fact that many have moved or, for the same reason, do not have the room for me. This place was fabulous, especially if you're in to hostels, or the commune experience. One of the best. People are cool, cooking your own meals is always better than commercial fare, even most fine dining, not to...
"Clean and Warm - It is a nice place to stay, MTR only two blocks away. The people there are very kind and helpful. The room there are neat and clean." … "It was good - The people who work here are very nice and helpful. The room I stayed at was clean and nice. the hostel is located just one block away from the Metro rail station and a bus station is just some footsteps away from the hostel. If you stay at this hostel you don't need a...
"15 Rose is the bomb - I came to 15 Rose for a little vacation time to relax. Having never been to Venice Beach I was amazed by the huge second story deck overlooking the beautiful beach and always entertaining boardwalk. The hardest part really is leaving, I turned two weeks into a month easily. I highly recommend 15 Rose!" … "Perfect! - We were nervous about trying out the so-cal hostels, a few other reviews from the LA area have been...
"Got Amenities? We do! At Arlington, we provide our guests with amenities like free cable & WiFi, free washer and dryer, and a helpful staff. Stay in our beautifully furnished rooms. Be our guest and have a restful sleep and a pleasant stay!At Arlington, we strive to provide our tenants with:- Complementary Wifi/Cable- Full use of the kitchen- Access to common areas- 24 hour hot showers- No curfew- ParkingPLEASE NOTE THAT WE DO NOT ACCEPT...
"… a historic home in the West Adams District. Our guest can look forward to relaxation in beautifully furnished rooms and enjoy the peace of mind of the surrounding neighborhood. Book your clean comfortable beds and beautifully furnished room, now. Enjoy your stay. If you book with us at least 5 nights, we will take you to your next destination, whether it’s LAX, the Greyhound Bus Station, or the Union Station. *Includes pick-up...
LOFTSTEL Los Angeles
851 S. Cloverdale Avenue
Normandie Midtown Hostel
"Horrible - Horrible. Good for bringing hookers I guess." … "… clean comfortable rooms with private bathrooms. Centrally located in the center of Los Angeles with convenient access to all of Southern Californias major attractions including Hollywood, Universal Studios, Beverly Hills, downtown Los Angeles, Staples Center, L.A. Live, USC, Koreatown and the Wiltern and Nokia Theaters. One block form a subway stop and on...
L.A. Venice Hostel
"Welcome to Venice Hostel! We are located in the center of Los Angeles between Beverly Hills and Downtown- Perfect for your visit to Downtown LA, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica Beach, and Long Beach etc." … "… Stop ID: 30006 Bus No: 111/311 Bus towards 111 Norwalk Station (22 mins, 28 stops) Florence / Western Stop ID: 7648 Walk to Western / Florence About 1 min (6 mins to make transfer) Western / Florence Stop ID:...
London Family Home
"Beautiful upscale 2 story 5 bedroom/3 bath residence on private beautifully landscaped property. Great location! Minutes to Los Angeles buses, shopping, restaurants, theater. Fully air conditioned and heated. Very comfortable/quiet rooms. Twin bed, desk with chair, lots of closet and drawer space. Choice of room with sofa and cathedral ceilings. Lots of natural light. Use our kitchen and laundry. Extra refrigerator just for guests."...
The Cadillac Hotel
"The hotel is much better. The new management is making the needed changes. FINALLY!" … "Absolutely great." … "My room had bedbugs, too. The desk guy who looks like Dave Mathews is very rude, but the one who is English is very nice. There was a skanky used condom in front of the sauna, which stayed there the whole time I was there. I left three days early and was not given a refund. The lobby and lounge is very nice. The beach is...
AAE Los Angeles Economy Hotel
"Located only minutes from the Airport, we provide Large Rooms, FREE Continental Breakfast, FREE Wifi throughout the facility, $5 Airport Shuttle all inclusive when you book one of our recently renovated deluxe rooms. Rooms start as low as $42.00 a night, only when you book here at AAE. No walk ins please. Just call our reservation desk. One of the best things about the LAX Econo, is that VIP Tours picks you up here at our door and WE sell...
Saharan Motor Hotel
"This hostel is disgusting and overrun with bugs! My fiance has huge welts, which are from bedbugs! There were roaches, bedbugs, and God only knows what that thing crawling across the pillows was! Do not stay at this hotel. They are ungodly rude! They charged us a full night even though we fled after only three hours! What an absolutely horrifying place!" … "… and attached bathtub and shower. Within a block internet cafè (...
And 32 more listings...
Los Angeles Travel Tips & Suggestions
I first spent two months here in the summer on 1975, due to the last depression oil dependent crisis in Michigan, and couldn't get a summer job. Thought I would hate it but I loved it. I got a great evening waitress job in Mar Vista, lived in Santa Monica, and could explore or play at the beach during the day, and only used my bike for transport (not nearly as much traffic as now) -- except when I borrowed a car to visit Grand Central market and Bradbury Building downtown and Watts Towers. Finally, I moved here in 1985 and love it still. Of course, the traffic, smog, potential crime issues suck, but the unknowability and amazing diversity of the city is what I love. LA generally is not beautiful overall, but there are those days when you can be swimming at the beach and see snow on the distant San Bernardino mountains and hiking in Temescal Canyon cannot be beat for a city walk. It's pretty amazing!
L.A. is a great place.
I was a gangster here for five years. L.A. is the bomb!
— David Hedberg
I went to Los Angeles. The beach is ok and the people are nice. When I went to Compton, I was greeted by some homeboys who seemed very friendly in their white t-shirts and box-fresh sneakers. I think Los Angeles is a great place as weed is cheap and plentiful and the weather is hot. Venice Beach is interesting and Americans as a whole are some of the nicest people that you could meet.
I've lived in Southern California my whole life (twenty-five years). When I was younger I would always say I'd move to New York or somewhere else aside from "the mecca of vanity." With that said, I have traveled to many places around the world and my heart stays in California. We have it all, from the weather down to the beaches and up into the mountains. The people here are friendly and we're good looking! We love fashion -- we're education and cultured! There's many different races of people here and there's always something to do. Its a bit fast paced, overcrowded, and expensive but I would never leave Southern California! It's huge here, so if visiting you must rent a car and places to go are endless. So be sure to stay for at least two weeks.
— Lisa Nieto
I went to Los Angeles for a few wrestling shows on Burbank (which is a pretty nice place). I stayed on Hollywood. Seriously, get a car! Los Angeles offers tons of activities -- shopping, concerts, museums and a lot of stuff but going by public transportation is really dangerous, even in daylight (not to mention that you have to wait almost an hour to get anywhere).
As a native from Los Angeles who has lived in New York City, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Miami, and currently in the Washington D.C. metro area, I can proudly say that L.A. has the friendliest people in the U.S. I haven't lived in L.A. in over twenty-one years but I do visit often being my family is still there. As far as the so called bad areas, I found that they aren't that bad, especially not compared to New York. Point blank, people of any culture will embrace you if you're willing to experience what they have to show you (great food, culture, partying). Not to say to just venture out into the unknown, but for instance, Crenshaw Boulevard (a very busy street) stretches from Hancock Park to Long Beach and you have BarBQue joints, restaurants and shopping centers, musical venues -- stuff that is known to people all over the world. Hollywood (to me) is nothing but a money-hungry ghetto (try to get a free cup of ice water). All the other places are cool, but don't be shallow and miss an experience of a lifetime. You know, I was once in Haifa, Israel and I warned not to go into Arab-occupied territory because it was considered deadly but I went in anyway and met nothing but the friendliest, kindest, loving people that would show me warmth and laughter that I'll always remember. That made my vacation and if I had stayed out of the "hood" I wouldn't have had such a good time.
L.A. is a overflowing toilet that just won't quit. It's just one big ghetto.
Orange County is nice, but stay clear of Santa Ana. Let's just say it's the East L.A. of Orange County.
I live in L.A., a.k.a. Calabasas, a small bubble in the L.A. county area. Let me tell you something about this city -- it's boring. I'm eighteen years old and there's never a thing to do if you're underage. And if you aren't, all people care about is money, money, money. But the weather over here is another story -- I wouldn't have it any other way, for as we tend to say, we have no season. But travelers beware. L.A. is only a place I think I would visit. Never move here, you will hate it (especially for people coming from the east).
I love all of L.A. Areas get rough, but that is L.A. Don't start trouble and you will be fine. The South Bay is the best, Hermosa Beach, Torrance, and Manhattan Beach are all great areas with beautiful people. Just bring your credit card and you will be fine. Just remember, don't use your blinker or you will never get over.
— Craig - LA Rocks
Los Angeles rules. It's the best city in the world, although there are bad parts. You are not going to get shot if you go here and most people are nice but just stay out of the ghettos. But just be careful around these places.
I came to L.A. on holiday. I must say I felt safer on the underground trains than in London. People were friendly and although we did see a few strange characters, it all added to the excitement. It's fantastic and I am planning a family holiday so that I can take my children. As long as you are sensible, you are no more at risk there than in any other city.
— kim cook
I was in L.A. and hung out the most of the time in Inglewood, South Central, Watts, Compton, and Long Beach. There isn't an unsafe area. People only have love for you all. And these ghettoes are very beautiful.
Well, personally I've been in L.A. more times than I can think, being as I stay just outside of L.A. city. But I have family and friends that stay in L.A. from East L.A. to Inglewood to Santa Monica. And I have to say that it's what you're comfortable wth. But to me all areas are fun to visit and have different things to offer.
— kenny johnson
I have lived near L.A. most of my life and visited often. I have to say it can be a fun place to visit the sights like Hollywood, but the rule of thumb is do not go to certain places at night. For instance, stay away from South Central, East L.A., Echo Park, Boyle Heights, Compton, and Watts at night. If you wander there at night you'll know why. It might be safe for some, but not for most. If you want to visit a place, like Echo Park, go in the daytime. Parts of L.A. can be a shady place once night falls. So just be safe and smart and you'll be fine. Remember there are other beautiful places here in California to visit as well -- San Diego, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Francisco.
"The City Of Angels" -- wow, I love this city. I was born and raised in Compton! I love this place, not to lie that we have a crime rate, but Compton's just where is at! Stay out of here unless you have the street credibility to walk around! However, L.A. is the most beautiful city in the U.S., don't be scared of L.A., at least till someone comes up threatening to lean yo' ass! But stay close to the beaches at daytime!
— Compton's Right Wing
I have just gotten back from L.A. and I must say that L.A. is a brilliant hybrid of cultures, creative expression, and diversity. It has crime? So what! So does London.Yet, unlike London, it doesnt have astronomical prices, a disgustingly overcrowded public transport system, and rain every five minutes. Furthermore, the people are superb. Incredibly friendly. Especially if you're British!
— Danny Kelly
I've lived in L.A. for twenty-five years and I have to say that it has been the greatest time ever. I live in Silver Lake which I love and enjoy -- five minutes away from downtown and bars, clubs, theaters, museums, and Hollywood. And everyone is friedly with each other. Check out the art over in Silver Lake. If you come out to L.A., it's not scary unless you are looking for trouble. Just don't come with fear -- come with happiness and sunscreen. You only live once.
I am a white boy who was born and raised in Nickerson Gardens, California, which is a very bad neighborhood in South Central L.A. Los Angeles has a lot of nice areas and ghettos -- Inglewood, Compton, Watts, East L.A. all have crime problems but L.A. is the best city in the nation. So go to Santa Monica, Hollywood -- even downtown L.A. isn't bad. Explore the City Of Angels.
If you stick to Santa Monica, you will miss out on a lot, like the Standard Hotel rooftop bar or the gorgeous Disney symphony hall. Don't forget the Verranda bar at the Hotel Figueroa. If you project fear, of course, danger will find you. Walk the streets of L.A. with confidence and no one will bother you. It's as safe as anywhere else. Most of the killings are just gangs killing other gangs. The crackheads are like children. They couldn't hurt a fly.
I've stayed in LA twice, both times just off Hollywood Boulevard at a hostel and it was great. Yeah, its not the safest area at night, but its reality.
I have visited Los Angeles many times on my own and prefer to stay in Santa Monica because the bus system is good (Big Blue Bus) and the streets are clean and safe at night. It's a good base for exploring all parts of this great city. You have to exercise caution and discretion but hey it's a big city and be careful. Los Angeles is the most ethnically and diverse city I've ever visited in my life. I recommend the light rail system too for sightseeing and getting around. Would never dream of driving. The MTA isn't bad either and publishes sightseeing tips on line. Enjoy!
Look people... I've lived in L.A. for 17 years. I know this city better than I know myself. It has it's ups and it's downs. For tourists go to West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, 6 Flags, and Disneyland. If u don't wanna look at reality stay away from South Central, east LA, Echo Park, Boyle Heights, Compton, Watts, and East Santa Monica. We're a city too. We're not all glamour. But we still got pleanty of attractions to see.
— My name is Lucy and I know what's up!
I visit LA at least 2x a year. You need a car to get around. Get a couple of good maps because you will get lost. Plan your drive - I always write out directions before I go out the door. Give yourself an extra 60 minutes to get where you are going (for traffic jams, getting lost, getting coffee - West Hollywood near UCLA has the best mochas I've ever tasted .) Watch out - there are tons of terrible drivers - they are almost as bad as Northern California drivers. Be aware of your surroundings! Be patient and keep your sense of humor. Most Native Californians are friendly but there aren't many of us left. Still I love LA - my mom was born there and there are tons of things to do if you are not afraid of people of color - there's Olvera Street (Mexican arts, crafts, food) Japantown, Koreatown, and Chinatown. If you want to eat the world's biggest burrito, get a Hollenbeck burrito in East LA. Fresh cracked crab - Redondo Beach is where it's at. I personally love visiting the LaBrea tar pits museum and the nearby Modern Art Museum. Check out the LA Weekly newspaper to see what's happening (festivals, concerts, movies, art exhibits - there is always something going on). You can also get a LA for Dummies or Let's Go LA book. I just came back from NYC and the New York for Dummies book was excellent! Have fun! P.S. I lost 5 pounds in 4 days walking around/traveling on the subways in NY - you'll gain weight in LA if you're not careful. - Central Valley Chicana living in The Bay Area :(
— California Native
Although Los Angeles is full of interesting venues for the traveler, it also hosts many dangerous ghettos and barrios. If you are unfamilair with the city, do not venture about independently...enlist the services of a guide service.
Seems like a lot of the hostels here require you to either be international or a student. I haven't run into that elsewhere. Just beware if you're visiting from the US that your choices are somewhat limited here.
Downtown L.A is a very weird place to be if your not completely insane. I have no idea how some one could even step foot in that dump. The place is filled with trash and scum, every where I turned my head I was hoping I would see a sign of sanity, but no sign. The streets of Downtown LA have wandered into a shadowy mist that I call Hell...
Hollywood is a horrible place (especially to go out at night). Stick to places like Santa Monica and Beach cities like Venice and Hermosa!
Downtown L.A., even in the day, can be risky. I'm talking the area around 7th/Main. I was there at 2 PM on a Sunday and got hasseled by a hooker for taking a photo of a building. She happened to be in the photo (unaware by me) and threw a plastic bottle at me, shoved me around. I got out of the situation by not esclating anything....she cleary did not believe I was shooting the building. She demanded my film and wanted money. I gave her neither. Extremely scary area...garbage strewn streets, drug addicts staggering down the street...it was like a scene from a movie. If you stay up by the Walt Disney Concert Hall and MOCA, you're fine...but once you get down near 7th/main....it's a completeley different story.
Telling people to stay in Santa Monica is totally ridiculous. Santa Monica is not all LA, in fact, technically it isn't even a part of the city of Los Angeles. If you want to experience the city of Los Angeles, go around the entire city. What the hell is the point of flying all the way out to Los Angeles and being too scared to leave your Santa Monica hostel. Hollywood and West Hollywood are nice areas. There may be some lower income areas nearby, but they are not ghettoes and they are not unsafe. I'm speaking as someone who has lived in LA. Sounds like some of you were expecting all LA to be mansions. Of course that's isn't true. It's a big city, like any other.
I live in LA. And I'd say that if you want to visit LA, stick to Santa Monica. Stay clear of the ghettos Because LA is a very dangerous city. Even places like Hollywood Blvd. have gone downill. Stay clear of places like Compton, Paramount, Boyle heghts, Echo Park, Pico Union, East LA, Ingle Wood, Whittier etc. Best to stay in a place like Santa Monica. There are very few places where you can experience the "Hollywood" glamour and glitz you see in movies and on TV.
If your coming to LA may I recommend that you head straight for Orange County and look for a place to stay. I stayed at Huntington Beach which is far more pleasant than LA itself. The car is king here, so get yourself some wheels and you'll be ok.
I have been to Los Angeles twice and it was the best holiday I have ever been on. I visited Hollywood, Six Flags, and Disney Land. They were all great. I would love to visit again soon.
— Karys Hawkins
I've been to Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco. Los Angeles is good if you want to experience "Hollywood". Other than that, if you want to experience social beaches I would head to San Diego. If you want a really great city experience, nothing beats San Francisco. There is a lot to do in Los Angeles but be careful because places like ritzy Beverly Hills will very quickly go into some of LA's very ghetto destricts. Same with Hollywood -- past the main touristy area, the town becomes very ghetto. My experience is nothing feels quite as scary as downtown Los Angles at night. By all costs, stay clear of South Central. Venice is an interesting place and so is Santa Monica for some classic social, if not eclectic, culture. Traffic's horrible. Air is terrible. Hey, it's Los Angeles.
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