Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA

As far as cities in the United States goes, Los Angeles is up there as one of the best. There are so many things to do in Los Angeles, you’ll hardly know where to start. With an endless amount of activities for all ages, Hollywood parties at every corner (if that’s your thing) and even theme parks, there’s no shortage of entertainment – regardless of how long you’re staying for. I’ve visited Los Angeles many times, and although I prefer to head out and explore more than just the hustle and bustle of Hollywood, it’s hard to deny the awesomeness of feeling like a celebrity while strolling down Hollywood Boulevard.

Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA

Whether you’re planning a short weekend in Los Angeles, a full seven days or even a month or two, there are plenty of options to keep you busy. The following 10 things to do in Los Angeles are some of my personal favourites. Since the last time I visited Los Angeles back in June of 2015, and looking back now, there are many things that I wish I had done. So until the next time I visit the wonderful state of California, these very tourist-y attractions will have to do! Here are 10 of the best, most popular or exciting things to do in Los Angeles, for a 5 day visit!

Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

Day 1: Explore Hollywood

Hollywood Boulevard

Hollywood Boulevard is a good place to start, on this list of things to do in Los Angeles! I’m willing to bet you have at the very least, seen parts of Hollywood Boulevard in TV shows and movies – right? It may be painfully busy, loud, overwhelming and even a little scary, but Hollywood Boulevard is one of the most famous attractions in the world. With frequent movie premieres, celebrities gracing the streets on a daily basis, expensive boutiques that I can’t afford to shop in and a crap ton of awesome souvenir stores, there’s no shortage of entertainment.

Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA

The Chinese Theatre and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum are must-sees during your time on Hollywood Boulevard. Ignore the ‘characters’ dressed up along the sidewalk, asking innocent passerby for a photo. You’ll be charged a lot of money, and they don’t look anything like the originals. Head straight for the best. Madame Tussauds is filled with extremely real looking celebrities, in their very best wax form. Back in 2013 when I last visited Madame Tussauds, I had selfies with all of my favourites. But by far the best photo I left with, was the one below of myself and Jim Carey.


Madame Tussauds is well worth the $20 (discounted price if you purchase online) and will give you a chance to let out your inner TV and movie geek. Have photos taken in cheesy poses, with all of your favourite celebrities!

Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LATop 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA

Hollywood’s Walk of Fame

The Hollywood Walk of Fame is one of Los Angeles most popular and most-visited attractions. People travel from all over the world to see the 2,500 (and more) stars lining Hollywood Boulevard. With over two thousand of them proudly showcased in the movie hub of America, you’re bound to find your favourite celebrity crush’s star while walking through Hollywood. Walk the 15 blocks down Hollywood Boulevard, then make your way down the 3 blocks of Vine Street to continue your Walk of Fame. Don’t forget to take photos of your favourite celebrities’ stars!

Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA

The Hollywood Sign

The best way to see the Hollywood Sign is on one of the many hikes. I didn’t get a chance to do this last time I visited (you can bet it’s on my bucket list for next time) however I did get to see it from afar at Hollywood & Highland Shopping Centre. There are a few different places to view the sign, including Beachwood Canyon and Griffith Park Observatory. If getting as close as possible to the Hollywood Sign is something you want to do during your stay in LA, ask around to find the best hike or viewing spot at the time!

Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA

Beverly Hills

Although it’s not really my thing, Beverly Hills is filled with billion dollar mansions, proudly owned by the best Hollywood celebrities. I haven’t personally toured through the streets of Beverly Hills, but we did drive past it on the first day of Contiki. With perfectly lined palm trees and lush greenery, it’s easy to see why celebrities flock to Beverly Hills. If you’d like to embark on your very own celeb search, there are actual tours to do so.

Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA

Day 2: Santa Monica & Venice Beach

Before I talk about Santa Monica and Venice, there’s one thing you should know: the two are very different from one another. Personally, Santa Monica is my favourite. From what I’ve heard, you either love or hate Venice Beach, and I guess I can see that. Although Santa Monica is my favourite out of the two, I still appreciate the uniqueness of Venice and definitely love the vibe it brings.

Santa Monica

Santa Monica is located roughly a 30 minute drive from Hollywood Boulevard, and is one of my absolute favourite things to do in Los Angeles. There are a few different ways you can get to Santa Monica from Hollywood, but the fastest and most reliable way would be to catch an Uber. The one way fare will be around $30, but if you’re traveling in a couple or with a group of friends, split the cost and save some cash!

Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA

Santa Monica Pier is one of the most popular attractions in this beautiful beachside town. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen Santa Monica Pier in many TV shows and movies. But just incase you haven’t, here it is:

Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA

Spend some time walking up and down the pier, browsing the stores and trying some delicious….pier….food? I mean, I guess it’s sort of street food. There are a ton of small cafes, restaurant and snack stands to keep your taste buds happy while you stroll along Santa Monica Pier. Don’t forget to walk along Santa Monica Beach, and take an Instagram photo at one of the Surf Lifesaving towers along the shore.

Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA

If you’d prefer something a little further away from the sand and salt water, head to Third Street Promenade – Santa Monica’s most famous shopping and dining district. With tons of well-known stores such as American Eagle, Apple, Victoria’s Secret, Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters, and plenty of cuisines to choose from, you can easily spend a few hours exploring Third Street Promenade. Don’t miss Johnnie’s New York Pizza next to Urban Outfitters for a delicious Italian meal – I had the cheese pizza and it was delightful!

Venice Beach

As I’ve mentioned, Venice Beach is very different to Santa Monica. Not only with the beach itself, the shops and the restaurants, but also the vibe. You’ll notice that it’s a very laid back and hippie-esk of atmosphere, which I really did love. If you’re not used to a very bohemian, sometimes dirty, graffiti covered beach-town with skateboarders flying up and down the boardwalk, maybe give Venice a miss. I would definitely go back again, though, and spend some more time exploring the town. Venice is super unique, and if you visit with an open mind, I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as I did!

Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LATop 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA

Personally, I think if you’re spending some time at Santa Monica, you should take that little detour. If for no other reason, than to compare the two for yourself. But I believe it’s well worth the 10 minute detour by car. I loved the old buildings, colourful street art, laid back locals and bohemian inspired clothing that lined the streets of Venice Beach. Stay and watch a street performance if you’re lucky enough to be there for one. The atmosphere is highly contagious, so stay a while and embrace the unique town!

Day 3: Universal Studios & Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Although both Universal Studios and Warner Bros. are different attractions, they’re super close to one another. You can actually see Warner Bros. from one of the multiple levels at Universal Studios. That means, it’s very possible to do both in one day. It may just mean waking up a little earlier. But trust me, it will be worth it!

Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Visiting Warner Bros. is one of my favourite things to do in Los Angeles. The Warner Bros. Studio Tour or Deluxe Tour will take you to see lots of behind the scenes action from some of your favourite TV shows and movies. You’ll be taken into many of the different backlots and sound stages used in classic television shows and movies such as Gilmore Girls, Friends, Batman and tons more. Back when I visited the last time, my Contiki group even got to sit in the Ellen Degenerous studios. Yep, where they film the show. Sadly Ellen wasn’t there, and we weren’t allowed to sit on her couch. But we did get to stand on the stage! Spoiler alert: the set is super, duper small. Photographs weren’t allowed inside the set, so you’ll just have to take my word for it!

Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA

The gazebo used in many TV shows and movies, but my favourite being from Gilmore Girls! This was back in 2013, and I still adore that show to this day.

There are always new exhibits in the works, and two of the latest (which weren’t there when I visited last, back in June 2015) are Harry Potter & Fantastic Beasts and DC Universe. Here you’ll see props and outfits used in both movies and franchises, plus lots of behind the scenes dirt on actors and the movies themselves.


If you’re a huge Friends fan like we are, definitely pay a visit to the Central Perk Cafe. Back when I visited this was only a set, not an actual working cafe. Now you can actually order your very own cup of coffee or quick bite to eat at Central Perk! Bring along your camera – you’re gonna want proof of this!

Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA

As a huge Friends fan, this is definitely one of my favourite memories! Sitting on the couch in Central Perk! #goals

THE STUDIO TOUR
Opening Times
: 8:30am until 3:30pm
Duration: Approximately 3 hours
Cost: $65 for adults and $55 for children
Purchase Discounted Tickets: For discounted tickets, head to the the Warner Bros. website and book in advance.

Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA

THE DELUXE TOUR
Opening Times
: 8:30am until 3:30pm
Duration: Approximately 6 hours
Cost: $295 (tour available for ages 8+ only)
Purchase Tickets: Click here to find out more about the Deluxe Tour, and to book tickets.

Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA

Fan of Pretty Little Liars? You may notice the exterior building used as Rosewood High School, during your Warner Bros. Studio Tour! Another awesome highlight for me!

For some more tips and information about Warner Bros, check out this awesome post from Toni at Enchanted Serendipity. She shares tons of exciting photos from Warner Bros, and lots of sneak peak tips for your first visit. Toni’s blog focuses on filming locations from all over the world, and Warner Bros. is one of the best for TV and film fans!

Universal Studios

Universal Studios is hands down, one of the best things to do in Los Angeles. Even more so now that Harry Potter is involved! The last time I visited Hollywood’s Universal Studios was in June 2015 with Contiki. I had previously been multiple times before, so therefore decided not to purchase the VIP Tour Pass like the rest of my Contiki friends, since I had already done the VIP Tour with my family back in 2013. Instead, I walked around the park on my own, went on all of the rides and ate two or twelve churros. Like I said, this was before Hogwarts was built.

Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LATop 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA

Fast forward to February 2016 when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood opened. You can imagine my sadness, realising that if I visited one year later, I could have spent the day with magical powers, playing Quidditch and drinking Butterbeer. Although I did miss out on Hollywood’s Harry Potter World, I did get the chance to visit Japan’s version. It was as incredible as I had imagined!


Make your way through Hogwarts and embark on the motion simulator ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. You’ll fly down the corridors of Hogwarts to Dumbledore’s office, over the castle and many more magical areas of Hogwarts. Don’t forget to buy yourself some Harry Potter souvenirs, too. When we visited Osaka’s version of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I bought myself Hermione’s wand and a Gryffindor scarf. The merchandise is quite expensive, so keep that in mind when planning your day.

Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA

Other than Hogwarts, there’s a lot to see and do at Universal Studios. From the Walking Dead walk-through attraction, to the Fast & the Furious, King Kong, the Simpsons, Transformers 3D, Jurassic Park water ride and more. Don’t forget to bring along your camera, and snap a selfie with Spongebob, Curious George, Scooby Doo and other familiar faces.

Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA

Day 4: Disneyland

Although not amongst the hustle and bustle of Hollywood, Anaheim’s Disneyland is still one of the best things to do in Los Angeles. Not only is Disneyland the Happiest Place on Earth, it’s also one of Rhiannon’s favourite places on Earth. I’ve been to Disneyland more times than I can count, at various times in my life. The first time my family took me to Disneyland, I was three years old. The latest time I visited, I was twenty three years old. I’ve clocked up a lot of hours, walked around the entire park over a hundred times and made an endless amount of wonderful memories at Disneyland. It’s also home to my favourite roller coaster of all time: Space Mountain.

Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LATop 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA

If you’re a theme park fan or of anything Disney related, don’t leave Los Angeles without visiting Disneyland. I’ve written an entire post about the Happiest Place on Earth, so if you’d like to know more, click here. But for a quick rundown: you’ll need at least one day to explore the full park, arrive early and make the most out of Fast Pass tickets! Don’t know what a Fast Pass ticket is? Click to find out!

Related: Disney Parks Guide: Anaheim’s Disneyland & California Adventure Park

Day 5: California Adventure Park

Although California Adventure Park is located right next to Disneyland, they are quite different parks. Both are Disney themed, but California Adventure Park is created more with adults in mind. There are fewer rides just for the kids and a handful of semi-thrill rides. California Screamin’ is one of the best, and don’t forget to check out the new Guardians of the Galaxy drop style ride!

Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA

You’ll also find tons of tips and advice for spending a day at California Adventure Park, in this post. Read it carefully before planning your day! There is a lot to see, tons of rides to scream on and plenty of shops and restaurants to enjoy. It’s best to pace yourself!

Related: Disney Parks Guide: Anaheim’s Disneyland & California Adventure Park

So there you have it, 10 of the best and most popular things to do in Los Angeles. Personally, I love spending as much time as possible exploring theme parks and strolling along California’s amazing beaches. But whether you’re a thrill seeker or a fan of spotting celebrities in the middle of Hollywood, there’s something for everyone in LA!


Have you visited Los Angeles before? What did you love the most? Tell me in the comments below! Or if you have something else to add to this list of things to do in Los Angeles, I’d love to know your thoughts!

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Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA | #losangeles #la #california Top 10 Things to do in Los Angeles: How to Spend 5 Days in LA | #losangeles #la #california

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

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  • UnaVeronicaVagante

    I have seen so many set in LA, that these photos seems surreal!
    Unbelievably interesting 🙂

  • Yag Dalal

    I am currently planning a trip to California, so this article is helping a lot. It’s concise and straight to the point.

  • Susie Jin

    I’ve never been to the west coast so I’ve always been super curious what LA is like (well, LAX doesn’t count :P) thanks for the tips! Will have to pick an itinerary with long layover to explore LA next time I go 🙂

  • Katelyn Brin Bossany

    LA looks like an absolute blast! Now that they have Harry Potter world too, who could pass this up? I definitely need to plan a visit.

  • Roxanne Weijer

    I would love to go to LA now! And especially to Disneyland, looks the best. And yes huge Friends fan here as well! Thanks for this blog, will definitely use it when I go to LA.