Whether you’re travelling to LA on a budget or simply prefer spending your dollars on food and drink, we’ve rounded up some of the most impressive free things to do in LA. From private concerts in an iconic amphitheatre to cultural street parties, make the most of the city without breaking the bank with our top picks for what to do in LA for free…
Stargaze at Griffith Observatory
Whilst guests have to pay to access the planetarium or exhibitions, admission to the building, grounds and telescopes at Griffith Observatory are completely free, making this one of our favourite places to go in LA when we want to discover a constellation. During the day this is the best place for impressive views of Los Angeles, providing an excellent vantage point for the Hollywood Sign, whilst you’re free to explore the limitless cosmos at night.
Wander around the Downtown Art Walk
This free year-round activity is a must-visit for anyone wondering what to do in Los Angeles. Located along Spring and Main, between 3rd and 9th streets, Downtown Art Walk is a self-guided public art event that takes place on the second Thursday of every month. Thousands of art lovers come together to explore the galleries, artist studios, and cultural institutions that form the basis of the art walk. Go during the day for a leisurely cultural stroll or visit at night when the event erupts into a party complete with music, food and entertainment.
Go to a free comedy night
Probably one of the funniest events in Los Angeles, savvy travellers should save money and spend an evening laughing at UCB’s Inner Sanctum, a café in LA that hosts free experimental shows, jams and open mic nights. With a different variety of scheduled events every night of the week no two visits here are the same, so we won’t be surprised if you end up going more than once. And if you do happen to get peckish everything on the menu is under $10 – a real bargain when the evening’s entertainment is completely free.
Explore Santa Monica Pier
Offering free hour-long historical walking tours, you can learn all about how the Los Angeles landmark, Santa Monica Pier, has changed and evolved over the last century. When you’ve given your brain a workout, head to Muscle Beach to watch bodybuilders flex their muscles at the outdoor gym on the beach – if you ask nicely they’ll even pose for a photo with you. Once the sun sets make a beeline for Rusty’s, the best spot on the pier for free live-music guaranteed to get you up and dancing.
Beach Loop, Stop Santa Monica Pier
Party at Chinatown Summer Nights
Held on the last Saturday of the summer months, those visiting LA during June – August should make it a priority to attend this free event. Firmly establishing itself as one of the places to go in LA with locals and tourists, those in attendance can look forward to top Chinese chefs performing cooking demonstrations, large-scale, outdoor video projections and the option to take part in hands-on Chinese cultural activities. If you fancy dancing there are also various DJ sets that take place at Central Plaza, designed to get you on your feet until the clock strikes midnight.
Hear the LA Philharmonic rehearse
Finally, a special treat for early risers. Anyone not having a lie in should make the most out of their time in LA by going to the Hollywood Bowl to watch the LA Philharmonic rehearse their heart-warming melodies. Usually running at 9am until noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays between June – September, morning rehearsals are free, open to the public and will definitely make you feel like you’re attending your own private concert in the iconic amphitheatre. Pack a picnic if you’re attending with your little ones, we think this is the perfect activity for anyone searching for things to do in LA with kids.
Add just one of these to your list of Los Angeles activities and you’ll not only be experiencing some of the best attractions the city has to offer, you’ll also be saving a small fortune on entertainment. Once you’re done enjoying all the fun free things to do in LA, be sure to stop for a bite to eat at one of the Best Restaurants in LA…