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Enjoying Los Angeles Without a Car

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So you’ve planned a trip to Los Angeles. You’ve purchased the plane tickets, booked the hotels, and mapped out all the sights and attractions… but there’s just one tiny issue: transportation.

When someone mentions a trip out to California, a common response heard is “you’ll have to rent a car.” Los Angeles in particular is a sprawling city, looping and twisting with seemingly infinite neighborhoods and suburbs.

But this shouldn’t deter you from visiting the City of Angels. Los Angeles and surrounding areas can easily be explored using public transportation. No car? No problem!

After a flight into LAX you can catch a Super Shuttle outside of arrivals. This shuttle will take you from the airport to your hotel, business, or even Disney Land! You share the ride with other passengers, so expect several stops between you and your destination. Online booking is recommended before you go, however you can simply pay the driver as well.

Another, possibly more convenient option, is the metro. Los Angeles has a combination of local lines, railways, and buses that can get you to your destination- or near enough. Both LAX and the Burbank airport have lines that will take you to Santa Monica, Hollywood, Long Beach and more. For example, the ride from downtown LA to Universal Studios takes about 25 minutes. That’s not too bad of a journey and no parking or traffic to worry about.

The metro website can be found at http://www.metro.net. There you will find information on how to ride the buses and rail, transfer information, maps, and even a trip planner app that allows you to pinpoint the exact lines you need to take. The Red Line in particular hits major tourist points, such as Hollywood or Universal Studios.

For those of you choosing to stay in hostels, there is yet another choice available: The Hostel Hopper. The Hostel Hopper is a shuttle service that will pick you up directly from your hostel and take you straight to several destinations, including Venice Beach, Hollywood, and San Diego. Fees range from $15-50 round trip and are often cheaper than taxis and faster than buses. With a wide range of return times and a comfortable atmosphere, the Hostel Hopper can be a great way to travel stress-free. Visit their website at http://www.thehostelhopper.org.

So the next time someone tells you “you’ll have to rent a car” to enjoy Los Angeles, you’ll know better. As an entertainment capital of the world, with more than 300 museums and a slew of beaches and amusement parks, California can easily be explored with little more than a bit of pre-planning and creativity. Go enjoy Los Angeles without a car!


Written by Jordy



11 thoughts on “Enjoying Los Angeles Without a Car”

  1. Those proclamations are those that have brainwashed themselves into believing that travel has to be expensive … for those not afraid to actually use their feet a bit, public transport does a great job getting you around, even in car mad LA!

  2. Thanks for your comment, Caroline. You’re right, why to go for a car when public transport is pretty convenient almost anywhere and it saves one a lot of money! Actually local public buses/subways etc. are also great to observe locals in their natural habitat!

  3. very useful tips, I remember visiting my brother in LA but since he was busy with work, he told me how to use public transportation, I took the metro to get from hollywood boulevard to universal studios, but I was lucky to have his friend drive me to other places like Venice beach and Santa Monica :)

  4. This is so true! I’ve lived in Los Angeles for over a year without a car, and I was fine. sometimes you just need to be a little creative with the transportation, but it’s definitely not impossible to go around L.A. Car-free!

  5. Getting around was my big issue the couple of times I’ve been in L.A. I don’t actually want to drive in L.A. so I’m glad it sounds as though they’ve improved public transit. There’s a lot new to see there; thanks for the encouraging post.

  6. We all just need to understand that life is not impossible without luxury things like car, or its any other thing. You’ve shared great things in this post.

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