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Expats moving to Los Angeles will most likely be familiar with the city's storied fame and starlit attractions, but even those not into celebrity culture would be hard-pressed to ignore the enormous and iconic Hollywood hillside sign for too long.
Needless to say, there is plenty to see and do in LA, but sightseeing can be more complicated than one may initially think.
Expats living in LA will soon realise the immense scope of the city, and it follows that touristic endeavours are best tackled over a long period of time, rather than in a single stretch. The metropolis was initially separated into a number of separate towns, so attractions are spread far and wide without a true focal point. Not to mention, the traffic flow in LA is notorious for being among the most congested and troublesome in the country, so getting around can take quite some time.
Take the touring slowly and practise patience, but be sure to spend some time on any one of the city's gorgeous beaches, under the spotlight in one of the famous movie production houses, or among the beautiful people in West LA.
Recommended sightseeing in Los Angeles
Hollywood is the epicentre of the world's entertainment and film industry. The looming white letters of the Hollywood hillside sign are constant encouragement for expats to explore some of the city's landmark attractions, most of which are centred on the famous Hollywood Boulevard. Check out Grauman's Chinese Theatre and the mile-long and literally star-studded Walk of Fame in front. The Hollywood Wax Museum and the Dolby Theatre are also well worth a visit.
Universal Studios Hollywood
For film-transfixed foreigners, Universal Studios is an unforgettable experience. Visitors young and old will be transported through the dressing rooms of the stars and iconic back-lot sets, and through staged shark attacks and monkey madness in homage to films like Jaws and King Kong. Alongside this breathtaking tram experience, the theme-park portion of the site marries special effects and adrenaline-inspired adventures to keep visitors on the edge of their seats.
As famous as LA may be for the glitz and glamour of its film industry residents, it's nearly as celebrated for the miles of sandy beach stretching up and down the Californian Pacific coastline. Numerous communities line the oceanfront, each with its own fair reputation and allure. Malibu, Santa Monica and Venice all claim their own unique sway, some more stately and others more indicative of the city's underbelly, but all nonetheless are worth a visit.
Griffith Park and Observatory
This sprawling gush of green is famous for its stunning views of the city unfolding below and its well-kept grounds. Griffith Park is situated beneath the legendary Hollywood sign and also hosts the Griffith Observatory. For those who need a little time out from their bustling LA life, this is the perfect place to enjoy a bike ride, gaze into the cosmos or even just enjoy a dose of quiet – a rare experience in this busy city.
Los Angeles Zoo
Within Griffith Park is the Los Angeles Zoo, home to over 1,400 animals in a variety of natural habitats. There's no shortage of activities with shows, talks and demonstrations available to all visitors.
This is a must for all music lovers. Visitors to the museum can get lost in the interactive exhibits, which include everything from recording booths and behind-the-scenes tours to special items belonging to Grammy winners, including handwritten lyrics, outfits and instruments.
Museum of Contemporary Art
This museum, known as MOCA for short, hosts art collections from the 1940s up to the present. It is home to stunning works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. To learn more about these unique and interesting pieces, it's well worth taking one of the museum's complimentary tours.
Are you an expat living in Los Angeles?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Los Angeles. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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