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  • Writer's pictureValeria


Updated: Jan 10

We’ve been on the run

Driving in the sun

Looking out for number one

California here we come

Right back where we started from


And that’s how I started my way back home from Australia: from California, Los Angeles.

I had 4 hyper-intense days, enough to visit whatever I planned. What impressed me the most about Los Angeles, has been its size: each transfer required at least 20 minutes and the main attractions are quite far from the city.

I stayed at the CitizenM in Downtown. This hotel took the first place in my personal hotel ranking. Here is my detailed reel about it.

Let’s get to the point :D



Los Angeles cutting edge. I had the pleasure to visit the Warner Brothers, Universal and Paramount Studios.


Warner Brothers Studios

With the basic ticket you’ll experience a 1 hour guided tour + 2 hours inside the park on your own + shop and dining. Here the direct link to buy the ticket and read all information.

The tour will show you where timeless movies and TV series like Friends, the Batman saga and Gremlins were filmed. The guide will tell you how the studio is managed, how to change a scene and…you will never watch a movie like before! In the last 2 hours of your visit, you cannot wander around the studios unsupervised but you are free to visit the studios’ expositions (central Perk included!) and take some photos and videos.


Universal Studios

After your morning visit at the Warner Brothers Studios, spend your afternoon at the Universal Studios. 30 minutes by bus or 6 minutes by taxi, you can drop off at the bottom of the Studios and take the free mini-train until the studios gate. You can take the mini-train every 10 minutes from here.

The basic ticket includes the general admission and the mini-train tour of movies and tv series locations (you will also attend some special effects demonstration). The Universal Studios are way different from the Warner Brothers: the studios are surrounded by an amusement park! You can experience simulators, carrousels and watch one of the offered shows. Please, watch the Waterworld show: it’s spectacular and the location has been perfectly re-built.

There’s any kind of food inside the park. A menu for you? Krusty Burger’s burger, a Duff Beer and chocolate frogs (careful not to let them run away!).

Keep an eye on the clock: most of the shows and attractions are closing between 4 and 4.30pm, try not to be late. The park closes way later, manage your time to give priority to those shows and attractions and keep your free time at the end. The park is huge.

In case you are a planning fan, here is the park map.


Paramount Studios

Here we are, in the oldest Hollywood studios! Here, you will find why movie stars are called “stars”, how much an Oscar weights and…you will also test it, you will see and sit on the real Forrest Gump’s bench, you will see and touch TARS, Interstellar’s movie robot.

Here, the basic ticket includes a 2-hours guided tour but no free time inside the studios.



Maybe not Studios but…celebrities are there any way!


Walk of Fame

…otherwise known as Hollywood Boulevard. On its way you can go chasing your favourite VIP star but also visit the Dolby Theater, the Hollywood Madame Tussauds and the Guinness World Record Museum.

Walking down the Walk of Fame, a small Celebrity Bus Tour agency proposed me a last minute tour between Hollywood and Beverly Hills. It was an unplanned activity but still a good one. Even though I will never know for sure if those were Beyoncè’s, Tarantino’s or Brad Pitt’s houses, the tour was nice. We saw Hollywood and the whole Beverly Hills, passing though narrow streets which were uncovered by public transports.


Dolby Theater

The Oscar’s night home, the Dolby Theater is worth the visit. There is an hourly tour you can buy directly at the counter, at least 15 minutes in advance.


Grammy Museum

A 3 floors museum for music lovers. You will pay for the entrance but there is no tour, it’s all free time. Here you can also keep an eye on permanent and special exhibitions, together with special events. The museum is not that big to see but there’s a lot to experience: there’s a lot of music and its history to read and listen and you can also try to play in your own DJ set! 



A bit of sea…in Santa Monica

From Los Angeles, I reached Santa Monica by metro, with a direct train from Downtown, where I was staying. I booked a Bike Tour which was cancelled, so the agency provided me a bike for the entire day. It couldn’t be better!

I crossed the entire bike path, each direction, and I stopped for a while to walk on the famous Santa Monica Pier and its amusement park. I sometimes stopped, along my way, to watch surfers and skaters and breath some Californian mood. I walked along the seafront, and poked around bars and shops. After popping over Venice Beach and its famous “canals”, I had a rich portion of Bubba Gump Crab & Shrimp Rolls and rode a little bit more for the pleasure of my digestion.

After dropping off my bike, I had a little walk in the pedestrian area, perfect for a little shopping.

A bit of mountain at…the Griffith Observatory

On the top of the Griffith Park, the Griffith Observatory is a journey in the space and astronomy. Whether you are experts or not, you will surely find something piquing your curiosity.

As for myself, despite being science-repellent, I found interesting the Gottlieb Transit Corridor and how it’s used to understand what day, time and sun position we are experiencing. To be sure not to lose it, reach the Gottlieb around 11.30. Here you can find a list with the exact show times.

A bit of hill…in Hollywood

As if a 20km daily walk is not enough to get rid of the American diet effects (spoiler: it’s not), I booked a short hike in Hollywood, to see the famous sign and listen to its history. The hike is for everyone and there are many photo spots.

Our guide was AMAZING: not only she told us about the Hollywood sign, but also gave us good tips and tricks about the city and its restaurants. She is Katie Oliver, you can find here on IG under the name of katieoliveroriginal. She also is an actress and producer, who better then she for this experience?


And a bit of well-deserved rest, comfortably seated (but not exactly quiet) in section 317, Row 2, Seat 3 of the Los Angeles Crypto Arena, watching Los Angeles Lakers VS Houston Rockets.

Tickets are sold online, even last minute. This surely was my best experience of my 4-days-trip to Los Angeles. The arena is amazing and rich of merchandising shops and bars. The match has a few breaks so you will have time to eat, go to toilet or brand yourself in case you couldn’t do it before.

A tip for you: leave you backpack at home because the security may refuse your entry of force you to leave it at the entrance, guarded. A small crossbody bag or pouch will be perfect.

Tips and Tricks

Some attractions and experiences were included in my Go City Pass. I bought an Explorer Pass with 5 attractions:

1.       Warner Brothers Studios

2.       Grammy Museum

3.       Bike tour/Bike rent in Santa Monica

4.       Hollywood hike

5.       Dolby Theater

 Questione SIM: do not buy it at the airport because the price is crazy. Better to go to a TMobile store and buy a prepaid SIM card.

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