As you’d expect, LA’s bars reflect their locality: a clash of artists, grizzled old-timers, and financial whiz kids Downtown; serious hedonists and leather-clad rockers in Hollywood; movie-star wannabes and self-proclaimed producers in West LA; a mix of tourists, locals and British expats in Santa Monica; and a more oddball selection in Venice. A few hard-bitten bars are open the legal maximum hours (from 6am until 2am daily), though the busiest hours are between 9pm and midnight. During happy hour, usually from 5 to 7pm or 4 to 6pm, drinks are cheap and sometimes half-price.

Nightlife in LA can be among the best in the country, with many options for serious drinking, partying and debauchery. Weekend nights are the busiest, but during the week things are often cheaper. Where they exist, cover charges range widely, depending on the night and the establishment (often $5–20). Except at all-ages, alcohol-free clubs, the minimum age is 21, and it’s normal for ID to be checked, so bring photo ID. LA also has an overwhelming choice of live music venues, offering everything from punk to salsa.

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