Travelling to LA on a budget – and without one
With its rich, diverse culture, Los Angeles has something for absolutely everyone — whether you’re bad and bougie or on a more basic budget.
The glitz and glam of LA may entice voyagers looking for a luxurious getaway, but there are also tons of ways to enjoy The City of Angels without breaking the bank.
- 21 places to eat in LA like a local
- 28 awesome spots to get your drink on in LA
- A local’s guide to the areas of Los Angeles
- 20 of the best places to stay in Los Angeles right now
From finding ways to treat yourself, to soaking in free cultural wonders, Los Angeles Tourism has you covered with the ultimate save and splurge guide to the city.
Black & White Exotic Car Rental
When it comes to getting around Los Angeles, the most luxe way to do it is behind the wheel of a Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, or Rolls Royce — especially if you’re a true car-lover. Pick up a fancy set of wheels at Black & White Car Rental and cruise through the Hollywood Hills or along the Pacific Coast Highway in style and on your own terms.
If you want to test drive and get a feel for exotic cars without renting them out, you can visit the Porsche Experience Centre for an afternoon of learning about the brand and experience a drive for yourself on their world-class track. End the day with a meal at Restaurant 917 – named after the legendary race car – and a cocktail overlooking the driver development track.
This bikeshare program provides you with an easy and cheap way to get around the city. Biking around Los Angeles is the perfect way to catch a glimpse of everything it has to offer, from the street art to beautiful cafes and boutique shops waiting to be discovered.
Or, you can travel around in the most budget-friendly way possible – the public transit system. In recent years, Los Angeles implemented many changes to ensure the Metro system is simple as possible. The new system is easy, clean, and incredibly inexpensive and can take you all the way from DTLA to the beach, Hollywood, LAX, and more (starting at $1.75 USD).
Arguably, no vacation is complete without a couple of hours of relaxation. CIEL at SLS Beverly Hills provides the most luxurious treatments fit for a celebrity. Enjoy a facial, mani-pedi, or a massage. This spa uses one of the most luxe, exclusive French skincare brands, Biologique Recherche.
This 24-hour spa in Los Angeles offers luxe treatments on a budget. Enjoy an ancient Korean style soak for the ultimate relaxation and restoration. With a women’s floor, men’s floor, and a family-friendly rooftop terrace, this is one of the most affordable, full-service wellness spots in the city. Get ready to de-stress and pamper yourself.
This restaurant features an eight-course vegetable inspired tasting menu sourced from its own garden in Long Beach. It is one of the recipients of 2019’s Michelin Stars and one of our favourite vegetarian dining options if you’re willing to splurge.
This spot serves a five-course tasting menu and a la carte snack options. The menu changes daily and there is an optional wine pairing for $50 USD per person.
Chef Aitor Zabala takes fine dining to new heights. Guests can enjoy a front row seat where the magic happens at the 10-seat counter by the kitchen. This spot is number five on the Top 100 North American Restaurants and has received 2 Michelin stars.
Stroll the Original Farmers’ Market
Opened at the corner of Third and Fairfax in 1934, the Farmers’ Market retains much of its original flavour (the freshest produce, made-to-order peanut butter, gourmet meats and cheeses, and hot donuts) while adding a few extra touches (gluten-free pizza, gumbo, authentic Mexican food). This is a classic LA attraction fit for the whole family. Bonus: It’s affordable too!
This family-owned restaurant is inspired by the owner’s Canadian and Indian roots. Unique dishes from Chicken Tikka Poutine to classics like Butter Chicken and handmade samosas will leave your taste buds on a high.
For a real treat, plan your trip to LA during Summer or Winter dineLA, a 15-day dining event that occurs twice a year. The program showcases Los Angeles’s premier dining experiences and diverse culinary scene throughout the city’s various neighbourhoods. Winter dineLA will occur between January 17 and 31, 2020—start planning now.
Banc of California Stadium’s laid-back Sunset Deck
If you like sports with an incredible view, this LA hotspot has a stunning bar and restaurant overlooking the stadium. Splurge on the Sunset Deck and you’ll enjoy a luxurious outdoor living room with pillowed couches and panoramic city views. Catching a concert or sports game here would be the experience of a lifetime.
LAFC looks just as great from the stands. For a similar, affordably priced experience, check out a game at the stadium (minus the Sunset Deck) for as low as $20.00 (USD). You’ll be at the heart of the game among LA’s die-hard soccer fans – the most energetic place to take in all the action.
Arts & Culture
Enjoy a two-hour feminist tour of the Getty Center on a Badass B****es Tour. Celebrating the stories of featured female artists, everyone is welcome to join and learn about the historic and new female artists. It costs $49 USD per person and tickets can be purchased on Museum Hack.
This new contemporary art museum boasts a collection of established, mid-career, and emerging artists, from the 1990s to the present. Visit his museum for the very affordable price of $0. All you need to do is book online beforehand to reserve a time slot.
If you’re looking to truly expand your artistic horizons, there are tons of free museums to explore on select days of the week, such us Art + Practice, The Underground Museum, ICA LA, The Getty Center, the California African American Museum, the Griffith Observatory, and so many more.
No matter what path you decide to take, if you’re headed to Los Angeles, then you’re headed in the right direction and you really can’t go wrong.
You can indulge in all the glitz and glamour that LA has to offer by hitting up some of the most renowned restaurants, spas, and attractions in the city.
But you don’t need to live like a celebrity to enjoy Los Angeles either.
With lots of things to do on a budget, including free admittance into several museums, hiking the beautiful trails, and devouring some of the world’s best street food, you’ll have a ton to write – sorry, text – home about.