8 Things Not to Do in Los Angeles

Everyone thinks about celebrities and Hollywood when they think of Los Angeles. It’s a popular travel destination for both domestic and international tourists. The city is full of wonderful things to do and amazing experiences to have. You can stay in luxury vacation rentals in Los Angeles and eat at the top end restaurants. Any trip to LA promises to be unforgettable.

Photo credit: LA Times
However, at the same time, it’s full of more than a few traps that unsuspecting tourists fall into. Here are eight things that you shouldn’t do in Los Angeles.

1# Book the Cheapest Accommodation Possible

LA is a big city and it gets lots of tourists. A large part of these are budget travellers who are looking for the cheapest possible bed.
This isn’t a good idea. Some of the hostels and hotels are appalling. Trust me, I know from experience and actually got my body and clothes covered in bed bugs from one of them. Not a pleasant experience when I’m living out of my backpack.
Airbnb isn’t so great here too. Any city that gets a lot of tourists allows the quality of their accommodation to fall. Don’t find yourself paying a high price for a low-quality room.

2# Don’t Fly to LAX Airport:

If you’re taking a domestic flight in the US, you should try to avoid LAX. This is a large and very busy airport at all times of the day and night. It’s easy to get lost and finding transport to downtown can be tricky. Taxis are super expensive.
An alternative is to fly into Bob Hope Airport. This is smaller, has fewer people, and has a direct train that links it to the city. Both domestic and international flights come here. It’s much easier and takes less time to get to the city. 

3# Don’t Try to See Celebrities in Their Homes:

A lot of rich and famous people have homes in Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Some tours capitalize on this and for a large fee will take you to see their houses. Not only is this expensive, but most of the celebs don’t even live here. You’re just going to see a house and garden. It’s a waste of money.

4# Don’t Jaywalk:

Jaywalking may be familiar or something completely new to you depending on what country you’re from. This means that you can’t cross the road until the green man says that you can. In the UK, it’s OK and we won’t get into trouble. But, in LA it’s a different story. Officers roam the street like traffic wardens to issue you a jaywalking fine. This happens more often than you think. Be patient and wait for the green man.  

5# Don’t Climb Up to the Hollywood Sign:

This is one of the most famous icons in LA and most people want to see it. If you try to walk up to it, you’re going to be disappointed. A security fence stops people from getting too close and the view is blocked by several surveillance cameras. Save yourself the time and energy and just enjoy the view from a distance.

6# Avoid Pink’s Hot Dogs:

Some people line up and wait for a hot dog at Pink’s along the side of the road. This gives you a false impression that it’s a speciality or something delicious. If you think this, you’re wrong. There’s nothing special about the hot dog from this outlet and to make things worse, you may have to wait half an hour to get it. Take my advice and avoid it. You can just as easily get better food elsewhere in less time.

7# Don’t Go Hiking at Runyon Canyon:

Just because the trail is easy to reach from Hollywood Boulevard, it doesn’t mean that it’s a good thing to do. So many others have the same idea and will be on the trail too. This means it gets busy and loses its appeal. A quieter option is to head to Griffith Park instead.

8# Don’t Rely on Public Transport:

Buses aren’t reliable in LA. Some arrive late and others take the most convoluted route imaginable to get to your destination. You may end up waiting an hour for a bus to come and then be sat on it for another hour to get to where you want to go.
Taxis aren’t great too. It’s difficult to hail one from the street and some will just ignore you. They’re a rip off too.
A better option to get around would be to use Uber. It’s active in LA and will save you time and money compared to the other two options. Or, you can just hire a car and drive yourself.

The Takeaway Message:

LA is a great city and very popular with tourists. There are lots of things to do and see here. However, always be vigilant to avoid the common mistakes that a lot of tourists make and you’ll have a much better time.