Griffith Observatory at night with city lights in background.
Explore the permanent exhibits the observatory has on display.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Experience It All: 12 Free Attractions to Check out in Los Angeles

All the Glamour of LA, Without the Hefty Price Tag

Although it’s one of the most expensive cities in the US, there are plenty of free things to do in LA. Take your pick of museums, outdoor activities and Hollywood-centric experiences. While it’s easy to indulge and live like a celebrity in Los Angeles, if you’re looking to go a little easy on your wallet, check out these free activities instead.

Griffith Observatory

Situated at the top of Griffith Park, adjacent to the Hollywood Sign, sits Griffith Observatory. You might recognize this art deco building from movies like Rebel without a Cause or, more recently, La La Land. A landmark to science, the observatory has several permanent exhibits on space, with public telescopes for observing the heavens.

Special events including monthly star parties, eclipse viewings and lectures are held at Griffith Observatory all year long. And while it does have a planetarium that costs extra, admission to the observatory has always remained free, making it one of the most popular cheap things to do in Los Angeles.

Hollywood signChoose from three hiking trails that will give you different vantage points of the famous Hollywood sign.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Hike to the Hollywood Sign

Three different hiking trails around Griffith Park allow you to get up close and personal with the iconic Hollywood Sign (although you can’t actually touch it). The Mt Hollywood Trail, Canyon Drive Trail or Cahuenga Peak Trail provide different vantage points of the sign and the sprawling city below.

Each trail also has varying levels of difficulty, depending on length and terrain. Choose wisely and make sure to bring plenty of water, snacks and sunscreen to combat the intense, year-round sun.

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People walking along path cut into side of hill.Go for a walk, people-watch or participate in some yoga.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Yoga at Runyon Canyon

LA’s most popular hiking spot sits amid the Hollywood Hills, where the rich and famous are often spotted with their dogs. Aside from the people-watching and beautiful vista points, Runyon Canyon attracts locals and tourists alike with free, outdoor yoga classes. Everyday at 10:30 a.m., dozens of people get their namaste on with one of four regular yogis.

Make sure to show up early for a good spot and don’t forget your yoga mat. Pro tip: if you do forget water or snacks, there’s an honor system-run snack area at the entrance to the park off Fuller Ave.

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