Skip to Navigation

Travel guideLos Angeles

See Los Angeles like a local

Population

4 million

Currency

US Dollar

Time in LAX

Your essential guide to Los Angeles

When’s the best time to visit Los Angeles?

Average
23°C
73°F
Spring
Average
27°C
81°F
Summer
Average
19°C
66°F
Autumn
Average
13°C
55°F
Winter

Spring in Los Angeles

Spring is a very attractive time to visit Los Angeles with average temperatures hovering around 75°F (23°C). The annual Spring Blossom festival in Huntington Beach takes place every year to celebrate LA’s sister status with the Japanese city of Anjo. LA’s beaches and beachside hotels start to fill up around this time with ‘spring break’ visitors, but it’s still a great time to visit attractions that will be less busy in the weekdays than during the summer.

What's on

Flights in economy

From
return

from Larnaca, March 2019

Summer in Los Angeles

Los Angeles can be swelteringly hot during the summer months, with temperatures regularly hitting highs of 83°F (29°C) – and often higher. It’s also the time when the city streets come to life with the food trucks out in full force. Enjoy the balmy evenings by taking in a film outdoors (check out Rooftop Cinema or Cinespia). The beaches come into their own with the water temperature finally warm enough to enjoy (if you’re on the brave side).

Flights in economy

From
return

from Larnaca, June 2019

Autumn in Los Angeles

As the schools welcome back their incumbents, LA becomes a little quieter making it a great time to take in some cultural hotspots. The Broad has seasonal exhibitions and a great permanent collection including pieces by Jeff Koons and Alexander Calder, or visit the Getty Villa, that houses the billionaire JP Getty’s collection. Take a trip to one of LA’s many pumpkin patch farms, popular at Halloween. Thanksgiving, the third Thursday of November, may affect certain opening times, so check beforehand.

Flights in economy

From
return

from Larnaca, October 2019

Winter in Los Angeles

Known for their mild climate and minimal rainfall, LA winters can see highs of 68°F (20°C) and lows of 48°F (9°C). This is a great time to visit Disneyland and Universal Studios, when these parks have their lowest visitor numbers. Rainier days mean clearer views of the city, so a trek up Runyon Canyon is a must on winter mornings. Or see some real snow on Mount Baldy or on Bear Mountain, both just a few hours’ drive from LA.

Meet our Los Angeles insiders

Looking for tips on what to do when you’re in LA? Want to know the best places to stay, the most delicious food, or a quiet place to escape the crowds? Then who better to ask than a local Angeleno?

We’ve got the lowdown from those in the know, covering all aspects of the city, from its architecture and shopping, to must-see cultural hotspots and where to head when you want a little luxury. Discover your own Los Angeles with a little help from our friends and their LA secrets.

We couldn’t find any content to match your selection. Please try again.

A curious guide with Jonny Knowlson

British Airways pilot, Jonny Knowlson, explores curious things to do in Los Angeles. From boarding down Venice Beach, to cruising up Hollywood Boulevard.


Discovering luxury with Diana Gomez

Celebrity and fashion photographer, Diana Gomez, explores LA’s exclusive Arts District and gives the lowdown on the city’s boutique shopping experiences.


A photographer’s perspective

Portrait photographer, Lilly Dong, explores LA’s art and culture hot spots. Including art galleries, The Last Bookstore, and Seven Grand whisky bar.


Frugal fun with Hendo Bayer

Podcaster and DJ, Hendo Bayer, gives the lowdown on the best things to do and eat on a budget in Los Angeles.


Los Angeles visa and entry requirements

If you’re a citizen of a country covered by the Visa Waiver Programme (such as the UK), you will need to have a valid e-Passport along with an approved ESTA to enter the USA. You can identify an e-Passport by the ‘chip’ symbol on the front cover.

You can apply for an ESTA online, and should receive approval straight away, although we recommend applying at least 72 hours before departure, in case any travel authorisation is denied. An ESTA is valid for multiple journeys and lasts for two years, or until your passport expires.

UK citizens can also fast-track US passport control by joining Global Entry, the US Customs and Border Protection programme. Membership lasts for five years and the application process includes background checks and a face-to-face interview at an official enrolment centre.

Remember, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you have the right documents to be allowed entry into the USA when flying into LA.

Getting around

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

When you land at Los Angeles International, there are plenty of options for getting into the city and to your hotel. LA City Cab offers flat fares from LAX to Downtown for $46.50 (excluding tolls, surcharges and tips) – this usually takes 60 minutes, but depends heavily on the traffic. Alternatively, hop on the no-reservation FlyAway shuttle bus which takes you from the airport to various locations including Hollywood and Long Beach, from just $8. Or, if you are planning on staying for a while your best bet is to hire a car. Did you know you can pre-book your shuttle or private airport transfer with us? Just add it to you flight or holiday booking.

Taxis in LA

You can hail cabs on the streets of Los Angeles, but they’re not as frequent as in many other cities, and are usually only on the main roads and boulevards. There are plenty of apps you can download to get a cab, among them Uber and Lyft. There are also cabs you can book such as LA City Cab and LA Yellow Cab Company. You can always ask the hotel concierge to book a cab for you, too.

Trains and buses

The bus and train services in Los Angeles are run by Metro. Fares on both can be paid with a TAP card, which can be purchased at all Metro rail stations in LA. Once purchased it can be topped up online. Most rail lines run from 05.00 until 00.00, and until 02.00 at weekends. Fares cost from $1.75 and a day pass starts at $7.

Walking and cycling

You don’t see many people pounding the pavements in Los Angeles – unless it’s along shopping streets or for exercise somewhere such as Runyon Canyon or on the beach at Venice or Santa Monica. This city was built around the car. The same goes for cycling in LA – bicycles can be hired at various locations, especially on the coast, but cycling has yet to become part of the daily routine as it has done in so many other cities.

Tipping in Los Angeles

Tipping in Los Angeles isn’t just for good service – it’s a part of the culture here, as many service industries such as hotels, restaurants and transportation factor tips into their staff’s wages – but that doesn’t mean you have to go crazy with it. Our guide will help simplify who, when and how much to tip when you’re out and about in the city.

Tipping in restaurants

For most restaurants in LA, a tip between 15 and 20 per cent on the pre-tax total is standard. If you feel your service was exceptional, a tip of 22 per cent would be recommended. An easy way to calculate the tip is just to double the tax – which works out to be roughly 18 per cent. If you’re eating at a hotel restaurant or with a big group (usually six or more), the tip is sometimes already included in the bill as a service charge or gratuity – however, this might not go to your server, so check it carefully before leaving any additional money.

Tipping in bars

If you order a beer or wine, a $1-$2 tip per drink is typical in Los Angeles. Even if you order a soft drink, a tip of about 50 cents per drink is expected. For cocktails, $2-$3 should suffice, although if you’re drinking in an upscale bar, where bartenders take time to create your drink, it’s better to leave $3-$4 per drink.

Tipping with taxis

On short rides around LA, it’s common to round up the fare, while the average tip for a longer journey should be around 15 per cent. If you’re travelling to and from the airport and your driver helps you load and unload your bags, it’s recommended to tip around 20 to 22 per cent.

Tipping hotel staff

Tipping is also expected at hotels in LA. It’s best to tip the person directly at the time of service. If the porters help you carry your bags, expect to tip $1 or $2 per bag. If the doorman hails a cab for you, you should tip $1. And hotel maids might also expect $1 or $2 for a few days of cleaning.

Staying safe

LA is a diverse city, one of many different neighbourhoods. As in any busy city, it’s prudent to take care when travelling, Here are some helpful tips to stay street smart:

  1. Plan travel routes ahead of time to get a sense of your bearings.
  2. If you're walking after dark, stick to busy, well-lit streets.
  3. Avoid flaunting valuables, including your mobile phone, when you're in public.
  4. Remember, you must by over 21 years old to drink alcohol.
  5. Jaywalking is a fineable offence, so only cross the street at dedicated crossings.

To better prepare for your holiday, read our additional travel advice and the government’s foreign travel advice.

Useful contacts

Emergency

911

Call 911 in an emergency for Fire, Police or Ambulance services

Consulate services

+1 212 745 0200

For British Nationals in need of urgent assiantance

Discover more of Los Angeles

Discover more of Los Angeles.

Take a trip to the Annenberg Community Beach House,a charming craftsman-style home

Krista Simmons,  LA-based travel writer and producer

Terms and Conditions

footer navigation links

British Airways logo.