What you need to know!
Did a full day walking tour of LA. Our tour guide Damien was very knowledgeable and passionate about giving us all information in a clear and concise way. The tour was very well planned and organised and was not tiring.
We did the Hollywood tour and loved it! The tour was at a great pace and the guide (Vicky) was very knowledgeable and made the tour fun. Thank you
Booked the Wild Wild West To Now tour, our guide Terry was great! (He) was very knowledgeable and the tour brought us to some really cool DTLA areas we've never been to which was so much fun! Definitely worth the reasonable price. THANK YOU TERRY!
We had an Amazing Murder, Mystery & Ghost tour with Damien and Dante... thank you very much from Italian Girls... very interesting and funny… absolutely recommended!
My boyfriend and I took the Heart of Hollywood Tour and had a wonderful experience with Stuart. Really helpful for personal questions, funny, full of knowledge and a passion for Hollywood. Can't recommend this enough!
Angela took us inside some beautiful Broadway theaters, told us about LA history and was very enthusiastic about her city. The great thing was that she actually took us inside the buildings. Plus after the tour we went for the 35cent cocktails! Great tour and great guide!
I did the Historic Core Tour!!! It was an awesome walking tour and very informative even for this Angeleno!! I am downtown daily and drive past this area and never knew the history of various locations of the city!! This provides that!!
My son and I booked and completely enjoyed a private tour. We had a wonderful evening! Damien took us on a fun, informative tour. My son loves photography, and Damien did not disappoint, as he took over 300 photos!
How to get around Los Angeles
One of the most prevalent myths about Los Angeles is that it doesn’t have any public transport and therefore you must use a car to get around. This is off-putting for tourists, as most cities in developed countries have a mass transit system and that’s what the majority of visitors use while visiting. Even some cities in the U.S., such as New York, San Francisco and Boston have extensive networks including trams and/or trains. It’s expensive to hire a car simply to get from one part of the city to another and even in the age of smart phones with GPS, for tourists it can be quite stressful driving around a city that you’ve never been to before.
Many people none the less do rent a car during their stay in Los Angeles. It’s definitely not something we would recommend, unless you’re heading off on a road trip fairly soon after arriving here, especially because driving yourself around the city can actually slow you down, once you factor traffic and the need to find parking into the equation. Nevertheless if you are driving in L.A. just remember three things: one, Angelenos are usually considerate and courteous drivers – until they get on the freeway, when all bets are off. Two, if you’re parking on the street be sure to check what the rules around parking are VERY CAREFULLY (having your car towed can really ruin your day). Three, you can nearly always turn right on a red light (if not there’s a sign to let you know). This last point can be very confusing!
Luckily in the last few years ride sharing companies (like Lyft and Uber) have emerged and this has made a huge difference to a city like Los Angeles, which wasn’t well served by taxis (largely because hailing a cab was not allowed here). It’s a (relatively) cheap, (usually) quick and (largely) convenient alternative to having a car and many of our guests make use of these services. Nevertheless there is a much cheaper and often more convenient option to Uber and Lyft – the L.A. Metro.
That’s right, L.A. not having public transport is a myth. It has an underground metro system, light rail and buses and while it isn’t on a par with most European, and many Asian cities, it is high quality (in parts) and it’s rapidly being expanded. It’s also often the quickest way to get around the city, for example there’s no faster way to get from Hollywood to downtown than on the Red Line. All of the tours offered by The Real Los Angeles Tours start near Metro stations to make it easier for you.
So, how convenient is it to use is the public transport system? Very. You’ll need to purchase a TAP card ($1 from a vending machine at a station, $2 on the bus) and either buy a pass (a one day or a seven day pass, depending on the length of your stay, is a good idea) or put an amount of money on the card ($10 or $20 is enough for a number of rides). A single fare on the Los Angeles Metro is $1.75 and when bought with the TAP card can be used for up to two hours of transfers (in other words if you need to take a combination buses and trains $1.75 covers the entire journey within two hours).
Bus: There are bus lines connecting all the major parts of the Los Angeles area. They are not necessarily frequent (often running just two-three times an hour), but if you have time they will get you from A to B. There are also express buses that are actually very fast and can cover quite large distances (such as Santa Monica to downtown).
Train: there are no less than six rail lines in the Metro system, there are two lines that operate buses on their own dedicated right of ways with turn up and go services and there’s Metrolink, a rail service that covers the Los Angeles and surrounding counties. As you can see from this map, the combined systems cover a wide area.
LOS ANGELES PUBLIC TRANSPORT OPTIONS
Going from Hollywood to downtown? Take the Red Line from either Hollywood and Highland or Hollywood and Vine to whichever downtown stop you need to get to (our downtown tours start at 7th Street Metro Center, Pershing Square and Union Station).
Downtown to Pasadena? The Gold Line goes from Union Station to Del Mar or Memorial Park to visit Old Town Pasadena. The line is above ground and goes through some very picturesque neighborhoods.
Hollywood Burbank Airport to Koreatown? Metrolink and the Purple Line.
Staying near the beach and want to visit downtown? Smugly observe L.A.’s famous traffic on the 10 Freeway as you pass by on the Expo Line. This is one of the best public transport options here.
There are also shuttle buses connecting LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) to the Green Line and direct connections to several other parts of Los Angeles, including downtown, Hollywood, and Santa Monica.
Finally L.A. is by no means resting on its, admittedly modest, laurels. In fact Los Angeles probably has the most ambitious mass transit construction program of any city in the U.S. A new line, called the Crenshaw Line (which will finally give the Metro system a proper connection to LAX) is due to open in 2019 and several other major public transport projects are also in construction, including extending the Purple Line to Beverly Hills along Wilshire Boulevard and Miracle Mile and an extension of the Gold Line to Montclair. There’s even a plan to run streetcars through downtown L.A. again!