USA

Visiting Los Angeles on a Budget: 3 Days Itinerary

Things To Do In L.A.

At the start of 2018, I traveled to the USA to attend the Sundance Film FestivalThe first stop of my U.S. trip was Los Angeles. After the long flight and the long sleep, I felt completely fresh and energised to go out and explore Los Angeles! I catch the L.A. metro to reach my first destination of the day. 3 Days are not enough to explore Los Angeles but it was almost sufficient for a budget solo traveler like me. Los Angeles is one the most expensive cities in the world and still I virtually managed to do all the things I wanted to do in the given time frame & within my budget. Here’s how I spend my 3 Days in Los Angeles:

DAY 1

 

STEVE HARVEY’s TALK SHOW “STEVE” LIVE TAPING 

I was really excited about this one. It was my first time witnessing the live taping of a tv show. I sent out requests for a ticket to Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O’Brien and Steve Harvey Shows but at the end, I received confirmation from the latter. There are no entry fees to attend these shows as a live audience but It is harder to get into the hugely popular shows like the former ones. You can apply for tickets here and hope for the best! I reached the studio at the designated time. All the ticket holders were queuing up. After an hour or so we entered into the lavish studio set. After half an hour, the show started. It turned out it was Steve Harvey’s Birthday that day. He was quite prepared(Of course, Teleprompter!) and hardly did any retakes. The show was good in parts but really really long maybe cause it was a birthday episode and Also, he was shooting for two episodes back to back. Not sure if it is a norm. You can even spot me(Only Indian in that episode) from the studio audience. Go search Youtube 🙂  It was a unique experience but I had a better experience when I attended Trevor Noah Show in NYC!

HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME

After the Studio taping, I head towards Hollywood Boulevard. I had my little adventure finding my favourite filmmakers/actors’ stars on Hollywood Walk of Fame. After my quest, I explored Chinese theatre, Dolby theatre, ate at Shake Shack and persuaded by Scientologists! ATMs, Souvenirs shops, Tour and Travels shops, Tattoo shops, Budget food eateries to expensive restaurants can be found here. The whole vibe of the place was peppy and fun. Even though it was a bit crowded since it is a famous tourist attraction, I really enjoyed exploring it.

STAND-UP COMEDY AT UBC(Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre)

I LOVE Stand-up comedy. So how can I miss seeing a stand-up comedy show while in L.A.!! I booked a ticket for the show “Good Looks” at UBC well in advance. This is the best and the cheapest way to see a comedy in Los Angeles. It costs me even less than $10 with no compulsory drinks or beverages! The show was really funny as we say in India “Full Paisa Vasool”. Last act of the show was performed by Sarah Silverman. She was phenomenal! Visiting this nice cosy theatre was the perfect way to end my day but the day was far from over.

IS L.A. SAFE?

Well, before you snigger, Here’s what happened: After the show was concluded, I set out on a walking expedition. It was 35-40 mins walk to my Airbnb from UBC. I wanted to explore Los Angeles at night on foot. After walking for a good 15 mins, I reached a place which was really quiet and dark. I just keep on walking still thinking about the show I just saw. At one point I saw this shabby looking guy. When we were crossing each other. He did this action of punching/stabbing my stomach and walked on while muttering something. I was sh*t scared to say the least. It is one of the scariest moments of my life. I fasten my pace and only felt at peace once I reached my Airbnb.

DAY 2

 

It was my last full day in LA since I had an evening flight the next day and I made most out of it! After my First visit to McDonald’s in the USA, I call a Lyft to reach my first destination of the day:

Ticket to Hollywood!
Our Vehicle
NYC style apartment constructed on the lot

Set of a Movie theatre
A Court
Props used in DC & Harry Potter Movies

BATMOBILES!

SCENE CONCEPTUALISATION FROM “MATRIX”
MODEL OF THE SET CONSTRUCTED FOR “INCEPTION”
CORPSE BRIDE FIGURES
SET OF “FRIENDS”
HERE YOU CAN SEE FIRST AUDITION TAPE OF FAMOUS ACTORS
ORIGINAL COSTUMES OF CLASSICS

HARRY POTTER’s BROOM
CAPSULE USED IN THE MOVIE “GRAVITY”
“THE JAZZ SINGER”: THE LANDMARK FILM IN THE CINEMA HISTORY
FROM “UNFORGIVEN”
NUMEROUS AWARDS WON BY WARNER BROS.
GOODBYE FROM DONALD DUCK!


WARNER BROS. STUDIO TOUR

Being a Cinephile, studio tour was must. After much deliberation, I finalised Warner Bros. Studio Tour. At the security check, the security guy joked “Relax sir, we’re not as worse as airport guys”  when I tried to take all the coins out of my pocket! Tour started with a screening of a video i.e. montages of famous Movies/TV shows produced by Warner Bros. We were taken to the sets mounted on the studio lot used for famous Tv shows/Movies. Followed by the visit to the place where one can see all the props and costumes used in Harry Potter and DC Universe Movies. A Garage where all the Batmobiles used in Batman movies are on the display. A visit to the set currently being used in the TV Show “Big Bang Theory”. Last stop was to an interactive exhibition showcasing script to screen and production process, the technology used in the movies. It was approx. 3 Hrs long tour and totally worth it for a movie buff. There are many studio tours run by different studios. So, I would suggest you to carefully chose the studio tour based upon the Movies/Tv shows you like. For Warner Bros. tickets check here.

 

DOES IT REMIND YOU OF SOMETHING? 🙂 THE FIRST STOP OF OUR HOLLYWOOD TOUR

CELEBRITY HOMES

HOLLYWOOD TOUR

Due to time constraint, I decided to take a Hollywood tour with a Tour Agency. We were driven through Mullholand Dr., Hollywood Hills, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Bel Air and Rodeo Drive. Along the way, Our tour guide quizzed us about Hollywood Celebrities Homes. I never understood the excitement of my “out of town” friends and relatives to see famous Bollywood celebrities’ homes in Mumbai as I find it completely pointless but during the tour, I could relate to their excitement and curiosity even though it was short-lived. Tour was fast paced as happen with these kinds of tours but I would recommend it if you are running short on time.

FREE MOCA VISIT

It was my second visit to any museum after my visit to Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. I decided to visit the museum mostly because it was a free entry: Every Thursday from 5 PM to 8 PM. MOCA(The Museum of Contemporary Art) is totally different from Rijksmuseum. MOCA is all about contemporary art, Installation art, provocative art. It was an interesting and enlightening experience and I’m glad I did it. This museum is located in Downtown LA.

U.S. BANK TOWER
VIEW OF DOWNTOWN LA

DOWNTOWN L.A. & OUE SKYSPACE

After my visit to MOCA, I went up to Oue Skyspace. It is an observation deck built on the 69th & 70th Floors of U.S. Bank Tower. One of the tallest buildings in the USA. The view of L.A. at night from the observation deck is stunning. Afterwards, I spend time wandering around Downtown L.A. before heading back to Hollywood Boulevard.

 

TCL CHINESE THEATRE
THE TICKET!

STAR WARS AT THE ICONIC TCL CHINESE THEATRE 

To begin with, I’m no Star Wars Fan but the chance of watching a legendary franchise movie at a legendary theatre was hard to pass on. I booked a late night show ticket at the TCL Chinese Theatre located at Hollywood Boulevard. Theatre was pretty empty. Before the movie began, A dude recites a poem written by him to the theatre audience. No one applauded apart from his friends and me as I felt it was quite good. On the other hand, the movie was a bit underwhelming but the whole movie watching experience was memorable. After my yesterday night escapade, I decided to call an uber back to my Airbnb.

DAY 3 

Last day of my trip to L.A. I had enough of all the glitter and glamour of L.A. So I decided to go somewhere quiet.

OH WELL!
SKATEBOARDING IS HUGELY POPULAR IN U.S.

WAITING FOR MY 3RD BUS!

VENICE BEACH

I changed multiple buses to reach Venice beach. It took me 90 mins to reach Venice beach from Central L.A. whereas it takes only 30 mins with own vehicle. Well, L.A. public transport is one of the worst I have seen. Nonetheless, It was worth the effort to reach Venice beach. Venice beach is located in the neighbourhood of Venice. Skyline and ambience of Venice are completely different from Mainland Los Angeles. The beach is clean and serene. After spending quality time at the beach, I head towards Santa Monica. I explored it for sometime before catching a train to Downtown L.A.

 

ACADEMY AWARD WINNING MOVIES ENGRAVED AS PER THE YEAR

THE DOLBY (KODAK) THEATRE

After reaching Downtown L.A., I changed trains to reach Hollywood Boulevard, I wanted to take the guided tour of Dolby Theatre but I missed the last tour by a few minutes! Since 2002, Dolby theatre(formerly known as Kodak theatre) is the venue of Annual Academy Awards.

 

EXPENSE REPORT

Accommodation: I used Airbnb for accommodation. You can get upto $44 off by booking your accommodation via my Airbnb Link.
Transportation:  Best way to explore Los Angeles is by renting a car. If that is not an option for you like me then you need to make do with inefficient but cheap L.A. Metro (Trains & Buses). Occasional shared Uber/Lyft is also a good option.
Food: Well, U.S. is the hub of Junk Food. It may not be the healthiest option but surely is the cheapest one. Also, Supermarkets!
Activities Expense:
Steve Harvey Talk Show: FREE
Hollywood Walk Of Fame: NIL
Stand-Up Comedy At UBC: $8.50
Warner Bros. Studio Tour:  $68
Hollywood Tour: $46
MOCA Visit: FREE
Oue Skyspace: $25
Star Wars Screening: $16
Venice Beach: NIL
Dolby Theatre Tour: I missed out on this one but the ticket cost is $25.
Visa: Here’s the post I wrote about the Visa process.

 

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An Indian Traveler

Hello, I'm a cinephile, an avid traveler with a song stuck in my head which I keep humming till ad nauseam :)

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23 Comments

  1. Before anything else…. never walk or explore dark places! Just from reading your experience I got scared too! Anyways, my eyes were locked on the screen, staring at Corpse Bride figures. (I love that movie!) Well, this was an interesting read.

  2. I have always wanted to visit LA. I think this city is fantastic! Very nice guide and very important too. Following budget is never easy when it goes to travel

  3. I didn’t know Steve Harvey was in LA. All this time I thought he was in Chigao! I love your itinerary and I want to go now. I just got back from Sedona, but I am ready to hit the road again!

  4. I admit I have never been a fan of Los Angeles, but I have to go in May to see my sister and your post has saved me! I’ve been thinking about what I should do to make my trip enjoyable. I definitely want to see a live taping and see that skyline view of downtown. I’ll be sure to avoid public transportation lol great list!

  5. I was actually just thinking about visiting LA but didn’t want to spend all the money! Then I stumbled on your post – how fitting! Looks like you had an excellent time.

  6. This is great and I’m definitely going to use it for the next time I’m in LA. I do remember that I had problems getting around the city by public transportation though!

  7. I am so jealous that you have attened the Steve Harvey’s talk show. I always want to see him on stage myself. Thanks for the tickets information. Good to know it is free and we can apply tickets in advance.

  8. I live in California and have never experienced anything like this in Los Angeles. I am disappointed in myself; I am definitely going to see these sights on my next trip down south.

  9. this was a total walk back on memory lane for me as i lived in la for 3 years, before i left 3 years ago! lol great photos!

  10. There are definitely so many things to do in LA, I’ve been there more than 6x and I haven’t been to some of these attractions you’ve mentioned. Great Post, will definitely check out these other spots when I visit come July.

  11. I have never been out west, and LA sounds like a really fun place to visit. You saw so many cool things! And it’s always nice to find things on a budget. Travel expenses add up so fast!

  12. We have been there not too long ago, but you got to see more places than we do. In our case it was a side trip, so we don’t really have plenty of time to roam around. But still, it was fun!

  13. I’ve been to LA and only I know how much I spent (I almost went bankrupt, shhh…) This is an amazing list. I wish I had this when I went.

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