LA is so big that the area in which you stay will have a big impact on your travel plans. Downtown, the historic heart of the city, has both chic hotels and basic dives, but getting to the coast from here can be a hassle; Hollywood, West LA and West Hollywood are safe, relatively central options for seeing the whole city, while Santa Monica, Venice and Malibu are predominantly mid-to-upper-range territory, perfect for soaking up the beach culture but a long way from the cultural attractions inland. It’s only worth staying in Orange County, thirty miles southeast of Downtown, if you’re aiming for Disneyland or are travelling along the coast.

Motels and the bottom-end hotels start at about $75 for a double, but many are situated in seedy or out-of-the-way areas; any decent motel or hotel will cost at least $90. B&Bs are still uncommon in central LA, and tend to be quite expensive, often fully booked, and sited in out-of-the-way places. A handful of hostels are dotted all over the city, many in good locations, though at some stays are limited to a few nights and at others a nonstop party atmosphere prevails.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Total eclipse of the heart (of America): where to see the 2017 solar eclipse

Total eclipse of the heart (of America): where to see the 2017 solar eclipse

Most visitors who trek through the vast interior of the USA are in search of natural wonders on the ground. But on August 21, 2017, they’ll be in search of a…

24 Nov 2016 • AnneLise Sorensen insert_drive_file Article
A Las Vegas survival guide: the dos and don’ts of Sin City

A Las Vegas survival guide: the dos and don’ts of Sin City

Few destinations can match the unbridled hedonism of Las Vegas. Nevada’s pulsating desert city, a tangle of neon-lit casinos and roaring freeways, is one of t…

16 Nov 2016 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
The dos and don'ts of Thanksgiving travel

The dos and don'ts of Thanksgiving travel

The only thing more challenging than an interminable turkey meal with a squabbling family? Getting there in the first place. Thanksgiving may kick off the mo…

11 Nov 2016 • AnneLise Sorensen insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month