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It is possible to spend a fortune in Hollywood, but you don’t have to—many of the most famous attractions are free including the Walk of Fame, seeing the footprints at the Chinese Theatre, and people-watching on Hollywood Boulevard.
The heart of Hollywood is the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. Many of the neighborhood’s most famous tourist attractions are nearby including the celebrity stars in the sidewalk at the Hollywood Walk of Fame. the celebrity hand and footprints in the cement courtyard of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Dolby Theatre (home of the Academy Awards), Madame Tussauds, and the huge shopping mall and entertainment center Hollywood and Highland.
A short walk away are even more attractions such as Hollywood Wax Museum, Guinness World Records Museum, the Hollywood Museum, and Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium. Hollywood Boulevard is touristy and cheesy, but it’s also fun, full of life, and a great place for people watching.
The most convenient place to stay is near Hollywood and Highland, but hotels here are more expensive. Luckily it’s easy to find a cheap hotel just a five to ten minute walk away.
Motel 6 Hollywood is a two-minute walk to Hollywood Boulevard and within walking distance of all the major attractions. Facilities include on-site parking, free Wi-Fi and cable, a coin laundry, and the hotel allows pets.
Hollywood Guest Inn on Sunset Boulevard is a five-minute walk to Hollywood Boulevard. Rooms have a fridge and satellite TV, and there are free coffee and donuts in the morning. Wi-Fi costs extra so bear that in mind if you plan to be online. The hotel offers discounted tickets to Universal Studios.
Hollywood 7 Star Motel is another cheap motel close to Hollywood Boulevard. Room rates are low and include an outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi and cable, and complimentary coffee and donuts for breakfast.
Universal Studios Hollywood is one of Los Angeles’ top attractions. The movie-themed park is an entertaining day out for all the family featuring thrilling rides and shows, a real working movie studio, and shops, restaurants, and cinemas at CityWalk.
Hotels next door to Universal Studios, including Hilton Universal City, are very convenient and offer a free shuttle to the park, but they are expensive. Look out for last-minute deals if being close to the park is important to you.
A much cheaper hotel near Universal Studios is the motel Nite Inn. You could manage here without a car as the hotel provides a complimentary shuttle to the park, and it’s only a five-minute walk from the free shuttle bus that Universal Studios runs from the subway station.
If you have a car, then you are better off staying near Hollywood Boulevard and driving to the park. It’s only a 10-minute drive, and you’ll benefit from lower hotel rates and being close to other attractions.
Even without a car you could stay on Hollywood Boulevard and take the Red Line metro one stop from the Hollywood/Highland metro station to the Universal City station, where you can pick up the free shuttle to Universal Studios.
There are plenty of cheap hostels in Hollywood and staying in a dorm room is the most affordable way to visit the area. They are ideal for solo travelers and groups of friends looking for a fun atmosphere. Hostels offer the opportunity to meet other travelers, as well as perks like free breakfasts and activities, social areas, and kitchens, so you can save by making your own meals.
Most hostels also offer private double rooms for couples. These can be more expensive than motels or Airbnb, but are still reasonably priced and are worth considering if a sociable experience is a priority.
Banana Bungalow Hollywood is one of the most popular hostels in Hollywood and has an amazing location right on Hollywood Boulevard. There’s even a view of the Hollywood sign from the courtyard! Staff are friendly, there’s a fun international crowd to hang out with, and plenty of perks like daily events and activities. Unusually, most dorm rooms have their own kitchens and bathrooms.
USA Hostels Hollywood is just steps from the Walk of Fame. This award-winning hostel features privacy pods with a shelf, bed light, power outlet, and screening for more privacy from roommates.There’s also a free breakfast, garden patio, free shuttle to the beach, daily activities, and comedy and open mic nights.
There are over 1000 Airbnb properties in Hollywood so this is an option well worth looking into. You can rent a whole apartment or a private room in someone’s house. Rates are very reasonable and often better value than hotels—plenty of apartments are under $100 a night and rooms under $50. You’ll also benefit from many more amenities including kitchen, washer/dryer, and some even have pools.
There are plenty of free things to do in the neighborhood, so a trip to Hollywood doesn’t have to be expensive. Free activities include the Walk of Fame and Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, viewing the Hollywood sign (the easiest place is from the Hollywood and Highland Center), Hollywood Forever cemetery where many stars are buried, and Hollywood Farmer’s Market which includes music performances and free events.
You can even be a member of a studio audience for free. There are often people giving away tickets on Hollywood Boulevard, but if you’d like to see a specific show then book in advance.
Los Angeles is warm year-round so there’s no bad time to visit. For a budget vacation it’s best to avoid the busiest times during school holidays (especially the summer) and big entertainment industry events like the Oscars, Emmys, and Grammys. Make sure you book in advance if you do travel during these times.
Spring (March to May) or Fall (September to November) are ideal times to visit with temperatures in the 60s or 70s, less smog, and reduced crowds. Hotel rates are slightly cheaper in the winter (December to February) and you might find some last-minute deals.
The main airport to reach Hollywood is Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), 12 miles from the neighborhood. To get to Hollywood take an airport shuttle, or you might want to rent a car if you are planning to explore the city beyond Hollywood.
Although Los Angeles is known as a city where you need a car, it’s actually very easy to get around by public transport if you stay in Hollywood. Most attractions are close to each other and it’s easy to explore on foot. You can also travel by metro as the Red Line passes through the area with a stop at Hollywood and Highland—useful for getting to downtown Los Angeles, Universal Studios (Universal City stop) and North Hollywood.
© 2016 Hipmunk, Inc. Hipmunk is a trademark of Hipmunk, Inc.
© 2016 Hipmunk, Inc. Hipmunk is a trademark of Hipmunk, Inc.