The Best Neighborhoods In Los Angeles: Where To Stay During Your Visit
Posted: 9/2/21 | September 2nd, 2021
Los Angeles conjures up a lot of images and feelings. Its a sprawling metropolis made up of dozens of eclectic neighborhoods. You have the coastal towns of Santa Monica and Venice, Hollywood, West Hollywood, posh Beverley Hills, hipster Silver Lake, and the revitalized downtown area.
Which makes planning a trip to LA a bit complicated.
In this sprawling city, where traffic is king, it can be hard to figure out where to stay so you arent always stuck in traffic and are near the major sights.
Usually, when I am in LA, for an extended period of time, Ill bounce around a little but, when youre on a short trip, thats not always possible.
So let me break down some neighborhoods to help you plan your next trip to the City of Angels and offer some suggestions on where to stay in each spot.
But, before I get into the specific neighborhoods and recommended places to stay while there, let me answer some of the most common questions I get asked:
What is the best neighborhood in Los Angeles for budget travelers? Venice Beach. Its attractive, fun, and affordable.
What is the best neighborhood for to spot celebrities?Beverly Hills, the original home of the rich and the famous is your best bet to get a selfie with an A-lister.
So, with those questions answered, heres a breakdown of each neighborhood with suggested accommodation for each:
Los Angeles Neighborhood Overview
Where To Stay In Hollywood
Ever since movies and their stars became international symbols of the good life, HollywoodDropdown content has been a magnet to millions of tourists and an equal number of hopefuls drawn by the prospect of riches and glory.
In reality, this was a densely populated, low-income residential neighbourhood, and movie stars actually spent little time here leaving as soon as they could afford to for the privacy of the hills or coast.
Things have brightened up in the past few years, with the construction of new tourist plazas and shopping malls. The contrasting qualities of freshly polished nostalgia, corporate hype and deep-set seediness today make Hollywood one of LAs most diverse areas and one of its best spots for bar-hopping and clubbing.
Best for a quirky stay: Hollywood Bed & BreakfastThis B& B is set in a 1912 home that looks a little like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. It’s close to all the action with four cosy rooms and a small pool.
Best for modern simplicity:Magic Castle Hotel
Justly popular hotel boasting rooms and suites in a neat, modern style with heated pool and free soda, candy and cookies 24 hours a day.
Where To Stay In Los Angeles In The Heart Of Tinseltown
Visitors wanting to be in the heart of Hollywood will find an abundance of places to stay along Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, many of which cater to children and families, including the famed Beverly Hills Hotel. The location is ideal for sightseeing. It’s near many of the most famed locations in Los Angeles, including Melrose Boulevard and Rodeo Drive, and the nearby Hollywood Walk of Fame. West Hollywood is also convenient to Universal Studios Hollywood in nearby Universal City.
You can still access the beach from these areas. The Big Bus Los Angeles tour has a Beach Loop from Beverly Gardens Park that drops you off at the Santa Monica Pier. Plus, you can use the bus to see other iconic sights around Los Angeles.
There are closer accommodations to Universal Studios, including two mid-priced hotels on property that offer shuttle service: the Hilton Universal City and the Sheraton Universal Hotel. Both are a short walk to the entrance of Universal Studios and CityWalk. The Sheraton is a little further away and down a steep hill, but you can take the shuttle.
Here are more helpful resources on where to stay in Los Angeles if you’re visiting Disneyland:
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Downtown Los Angeles: Best Area For City Lovers
If you love the feeling of being in an actual city, Downtown LA is one of the best places to stay in LA. Downtown LA boasts great restaurants, bars , galleries, and interesting sights. Little Tokyo, Chinatown, and Olvera Street are also all located downtown.
The 101, the 10, and the 5 highways all connect through the neighborhood, so it makes it fairly easy to access other parts of Los Angeles .
Pros and Cons of Staying in Downtown LA
- Tons of Excellent Eateries, Bars, and Cafes: Theres really no shortage of places to eat and drink in DTLA, whether you want something casual or more upscale. Youll see a few recommendations below, but you really can find whatever youre in the mood for downtown!
- Walkable: While you may still need to take a rideshare from one side of Downtown LA to the other, a lot of the main sights in the city are pretty contained. You can see a lot without having to jump in a car or public transit.
- Not the Most Central Option: Downtown LA isnt way far out, but it is fairly far east. This means that, if youre planning on spending more time further west or along the coast, youll spend a good amount of time in the car.
- Coming and Leaving Can Be Difficult: Unsurprisingly, this area can get very busy, and traffic can be a pain. You may find that driving in and out of Downtown LA to be cumbersome, especially during rush hour.
Downtown L.A. Highlights
Best Places to Stay in Downtown Los Angeles
Image courtesy of the ACE Hotel DTLA
Silver Lake: Best For Feeling Like A Local
Silver Lake and Echo Park are adjacent neighborhoods that are close to Chinatown and Downtown LA. Since these areas cater mostly to locals, there are amazing cafes, quirky boutiques, and hidden gems to explore. Theres really only one place to stay here thats not a vacation rental, and we think you should avoid vacation rentals in Los Angeles.
You should know before you choose to stay here that this is the epicenter of gentrification in Los Angeles. Its a desirable neighborhood, which has brought more demand and caused rising rent prices that have forced out communities that have lived here for decades in order to renovate their apartments and turn them into vacation rentals, or open a new hip clothing boutique.
Were not going to fix gentrification here, but you should go into staying in these two areas knowing the impact that your visit have had on this community. We definitely recommend staying in a hotel rather than a vacation rental, which takes much-needed long term housing units off the market in service of making landlords more money.
With all that being said, we really liked this area of the city, and its nicely located for visiting the adjacent neighborhoods like Downtown LA and Los Feliz .
Pros and Cons of Staying in Silver Lake
Pros: Theres a ton of great restaurants, bars, and more in the neighborhood. Plus, its surrounded by other cool areas to explore, and close to Dodger Stadium, Elysian Park, and Griffith Park.
Silver Lake Highlights
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The Godfrey Hotel Hollywood
Last on my list of Affordable Hotels in Los Angeles is The Godfrey Hotel Hollywood.
Set a block from glitzy Sunset Boulevard, this polished hotel is a 9-minute walk from the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a 6-minute drive from the hiking trails at Runyon Canyon.
Chic rooms feature Wi-Fi, flat-screens and espresso machines. Upgraded rooms come with Juliet balconies or furnished patios.
Theres a 24-hour fitness room, and a rooftop terrace with a pool and a bar.
to check the latest rates and book your stay at The Godfrey Hotel Hollywood.
Where To Stay In Los Angeles As A Tourist
Figuring out the best place to stay in Los Angeles for tourists is not very hard if you know exactly what type of experience you are looking for.
Do you want to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and hit all the typical tourist hot spots?
Or do you want to experience authentic Los Angeles culture and explore its hidden gems?
Having figured your priorities out, here are the 2 best options you have.
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Where To Stay For Arts And Culture: Downtown
A couple of decades ago, Downtown Los Angeles or DTLA, in the local parlance was a no-go zone. For starters, there wasnt much to see and do. Secondly, it was home of the citys skid row. In the last ten years or so, though, DTLA has experienced a renaissance. There are now cool cocktail bars, swanky hotels, and trendy restaurants.
And yes, in the last few years, the homeless population has grown there too. But if you love art, its a prime place to plant yourself while in LA: The Museum of Contemporary Art, or MoCA, and the new-ish Broad Museum are in neighborhood. So is architect Frank Gehrys dynamic concert venue Disney Hall.
Best Places to Stay in Downtown Los Angeles
- BUDGET: Little Tokyo Hotel This DTLA hotel is a barebones option, offering a shared lounge and shared bathrooms. Its a no-frills choice, but the price is right and there are lots of great places to eat nearby. Theres a shared kitchen too.
- MID-RANGE: Freehand Los Angeles Set in a building from the 1920s, this funky and hip hotel has great rooftop pool. The Roman & Williams-designed rooms have plus-sized plasma TVs, free WiFi, and work from local artists. Some rooms have bunk beds, so the whole family can stay in one room.
- LUXURY: Level Downtown South Olive This luxury condo hotel is great for longer stays, offering suites with full kitchens. Theres also a fitness center with a sauna and hot tubs, outdoor swimming pools, and even an NBA regulation basketball court inside.
Where To Stay In Los Angeles: Best Areas And Hotels For Every Budget
As you grow up, there are certain cities and countries you come across more than others. But even those places dont exist in pop culture and on our TVs like LA. Its part of what makes traveling to Los Angeles so exciting, as its an opportunity to connect what we see in our minds with reality.
Youll find that Los Angeles has everything you thought, from theme parks on piers and golden beaches to celebrities in Beverly Hills. But as the second biggest city in a country as populated as the United States, Los Angeles is far more than just Hollywood. Its a city of diverse cultures that influence LAs rich culinary and art scenes.
Choosing where to stay in Los Angeles can be tricky, but it is possible to see it all wherever you choose to base yourself. With that in mind, our guide to the best areas to stay in Los Angeles is designed to make your next trip to the City of Angels a lot easier.
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Pasadena: A Good Balance Of Art And Fun
Pasadena is an interesting city where you can stay and feel safe and at ease. It is not a neighborhood but an actual city in Los Angeles County and there are very picturesque, artistic, and cultural areas, with many spaces suitable to host events as well as boutiques for shopping and leisure .
People often overlook Pasadena when they look for accommodations, because they think that it is a little far from the main attractions of L.A., but in reality, the area is on the outskirts of the city and the attractions in L.A. are easily accessible by metro. If you are traveling by car, then Hollywood and Universal Studios will only be a short drive away . I recommend:
- Hotel Constance Pasadena: The style of this attractive hotel harmoniously mixes ancient and modern influences. Equipped with every imaginable comfort, dusitD2 boasts a quiet location far from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles.
- Rose & Crown Hotel: simple but very good 3-star hotel with spacious and well-kept rooms. Here you can save money which would be impossible elsewhere in Los Angeles and have the opportunity to take a stroll to the historic district of Pasadena.
Find accommodations in Pasadena
Downtown La: Best For Short Trips + City Lovers
Downtown Los Angeles is a popular area to stay because its packed full of interesting attractions from Grand Central Market to Staples Center and bars, restaurants, and clubs. For that reason, it is one of the best places to stay in LA if you do not have a car.
While it is the historic heart of the city, the grand bank buildings have been turned into quirky shops and world-class restaurants. The number of skyscrapers in this neighborhood means that Downtown LA is the commercial hub of Los Angeles. This is the best place to visit if you want cool nightlife and some of the best eateries in town.
Pros and Cons of Staying in Downtown Los Angeles
Pros: If youre here for a short trip, then Downtown LA is a great home base because theres a ton to do and see in the area, and you can hop over to Hollywood, the Arts District, Chinatown, and Silver Lake pretty easily. Its also relatively cheap, with a huge selection of great hotels. If youre into art and culture, this is the place to be the Broad, Staples Center, and a lot of the music venues like the Philharmonic are here.
Cons: Its very much a concrete jungle, though there are a few green spaces. Its also adjacent to Skid Row, which is infamous and not the best place to be. Parking is hard, so if you have a car youll have to pay for parking.
Downtown LA Highlights
Where to Stay in Downtown LA
If you have a car, be prepared to pay a little extra for parking every day.
The Freehand Hotel
Ace Hotel LA
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Bonus 1 Best Apartments In Los Angeles
Apartments are a great choice for all those of you seeking some comfort and a homey feeling. Theyre a great choice for people who want to save some money during their stay or for those traveling in a big group that wants to stick together, for example, a family.
As I mentioned before, Los Angeles has something for everyone so, naturally, it doesnt lack tons of incredible Airbnb options either. I have selected the best apartments I could find for you down below, all sorted by price and with great reviews and all of them in Hollywood or West Hollywood:
Our Favorite Area: West Hollywood
West Hollywood is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city of Los Angeles, thanks to the entertainment options it offers to travelers and locals.
Within the area are attractions such as the Walk of Fame, the Grauman Chinese Theater and Robertson Boulevard, one of the epicenters of fashion and home to a vibrant gay community.
Moving from West Hollywood to other areas of Los Angeles is possible via the metro, taxis or the numerous bus stops along Santa Monica Boulevard.
Another site of interest within this district is the Highland shopping complex, on Highland Avenue, with its more than 65 shops, restaurants, cinemas and nightclubs that make it a must-see when visiting West Hollywood.
Some of the best hotels in Los Angeles are located in West Hollywood, so it is safe to say that this is one of the best areas to stay in Los Angeles, California.
Why is this a recommended area to stay in LA:
- Walk of Fame
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Where To Stay In Los Angeles On A Budget
Cheap hotels in LA are hard to find, but if you’re traveling with a car, you can stay just outside the prime sightseeing areas and drive to the top sites. This is how you find the cheapest rates for Los Angeles hotels.
A 10-minute drive todowntownattractions like the Staples Center and LA Live, Friendship Motor Inn offers comfortable, colorful rooms for travelers on a budget. The spacious guest rooms come with flat-screen TVs, fridges, and microwaves, and you can park right outside your door for free. Breakfast is also included in the rates.
About a 10-minute drive from Venice Beach, Super 8 by Wyndham-Los Angeles-Culver City Area offers easy access to the freeways, including the Pacific Coast Highway and I 405, so you can zip to other LA hot spots. The sparkling clean rooms come with comfy beds, microwaves, fridges, and safes. Other perks here include an outdoor swimming pool and free breakfast, Wi-Fi, and parking. If you’re looking for Los Angeles hotels near the airport, this one is relatively close â it’s only about six miles away.
Where To Stay In Los Angeles First Time
Where to Stay in LA?
Welcome to LA! You are finally going to this glitzy and modern Southern California city that youve seen so many times on TV and in the movies. Hollywood, Santa Monica Pier, Manhattan Beach, and Griffith Park are all places you cant wait to visit. But first, you need to find yourself somewhere to stay.
If you are looking for where to stay in LA, you must book somewhere fabulous with easy access to the sights and entertainment you will be discovering. LA has an excellent transportation system and you can easily rent a car, but it is a huge city so getting from A to B can take time. It will be perfect if your accommodation is in an area you plan to spend a lot of time in.
Here is a handy guide on LA accommodation to get you started.
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