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A Visitor’s Guide to Getting Around Los Angeles

A Visitor’s Guide to Getting Around Los Angeles Posted By: Tomis tech , Date: Jun 2, 2021

Read below to learn everything you need to know about getting around Los Angeles! To book an LA tour, visit our LA City Tour page. To learn more about our private tour options, visit our private LA tours page!


Welcome to Los Angeles, a nice small town on the coast of southern California.  Ok, maybe it’s not so small.  

Metro Los Angeles spans 4,850 square miles along the LA-Long Beach-Anaheim corridor and if you’re planning to do some sightseeing during your visit, you’re likely going to cover a lot of it as you venture from one destination to the next. Figuring out how to navigate the biggest metro area in the United States might seem like a daunting task at first but don’t worry—we’ve got plenty of insider tips to make getting around LA easier and a lot more fun. 

Getting Around Los Angeles:

  • Public Transportation
  • Bicycles & E-Scooters
  • Rideshares, Taxis, and Rental Cars
  • Walking
  • A Day in LA Tours

Public Transportation

A public transit bus driving down a street in Los Angeles
Photo by Olenka Kotyk on Unsplash

For a long time, LA’s public transit system suffered a less-than-stellar reputation for being an inefficient way of getting around Los Angeles. In recent years, however, LA’s mass transit has finally started catching up with the needs of the people. The LA Metro system now operates bus, light rail, subway, and bike-share services that, together, reach just about every corner of the county 

If you’re traveling between distant neighborhoods, the Metro Rail can help you avoid congested freeways and get directly from Point A to Point B. Thanks to the recent expansion of the Expo  Line, you can hop on a train in Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) and ride it all the way to Santa  Monica Pier. You can also catch some great views of the city while traveling on elevated sections of the track.  

Even for just a short trip, riding the train around DTLA is a great way to see the area as each stop lets you off near a unique point of interest to explore. Union Station, Pershing Square,  Chinatown, Little Tokyo, and the Arts District are all stops along the route.

Bicycles & E-Scooters

Bicyclist bike down a sidewalk near venice beach
Photo by Lukas Geck on Unsplash

Getting around Los Angeles on a bicycle is a fun and healthy way to experience LA – you can explore the area while enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. The Marvin Braude Bike Trail is arguably the best place to go for a bike ride in LA The 22-mile paved bicycle path runs along the Santa Monica Bay coastline from Pacific Palisades to Torrance. Many local bicycle shops offer city bike and beach cruiser rentals by the hour, day or week, so you can check one out for a quick spin or use one to get around throughout your visit.  

As an alternative, bike share stations around the city offer self-service bikes that you can rent any time using your credit card. 

While the merits and pitfalls of electric scooters have been widely debated since they started appearing on streets and sidewalks a few years ago, there’s no denying their popularity. E scooters managed by companies like Bird and Lyft have descended on urban metropolises and become a convenient “last mile solution” for commuters to get from the nearest train stop to their final destination. The scooters are left at high-traffic locations around town; you can locate and rent one by the minute via an app on your smartphone.

Rideshares, Taxis, and Rental Cars

A photo of traffic on the 101 North Highway in LA

Transit in LA was designed around the automobile (cue Clueless line: “Everywhere in LA takes 20 minutes!”) and it’s arguably still the best way for getting around Los Angeles. As such, a rental car might be a good idea if you’re planning to be on the go a lot during your visit. Trying to navigate the freeways, side streets, and traffic, however, can be stressful even for seasoned Angelenos.  

Not to mention parking. There’s almost never enough of it and it’s often expensive, with many parking lots charging flat fees of $20 or more, and some places offering valet-only parking.  Hiring an experienced driver can not only save you the headache of sorting out navigation and parking kiosks — it might even save you some money, depending on how far your trip is.  Rideshare apps like Lyft and Uber can connect you with drivers all over the city, and taxi stands can be found at busy hubs like the airport, theme parks, and sports venues, or you can call one to pick you up.

Walking

Many places in LA were designed with pedestrians in mind: shopping centers like The Grove and Third Street Promenade, urban hiking trails in Runyon Canyon, and Griffith Park. Not to mention the temperate weather makes it pleasant to be outside almost year-round. 

Admittedly, places in LA are often spaced far apart from each other, so walking isn’t always the most efficient or appealing option for getting around Los Angeles if your destination is more than a few blocks away. That being said, sometimes the best way to get to know a city is to walk along its streets, and LA has plenty of good ones to take a stroll on. 

LA Tours by A Day in LA Tours!

Even with all of your options for getting around Los Angeles, you might still be wishing there was an easier solution to getting around town and seeing the sights. Here’s where we come in. Spend the day with A Day in LA and leave all of the driving, mapping, parking and hassle up to us while you sit back and relax in one of our upscale, climate-controlled coaches. 

Our expert local guides know the city inside and out and are some of the nicest people you’ll meet. Day in LA tours stop at iconic sights, historical landmarks, and hidden gems throughout the city, and you’ll be able to explore each location for about 45 minutes before getting back in the coach to be entertained by your guide on the way to the next stop.  

We offer best-in-class LA tours and we have more than 4,000 5-star reviews on TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google. We make it easy, fun, and affordable to get the most out of your visit to LA and make some great memories along the way.