WHERE TO STAY IN LOS ANGELES?
Los Angeles is a giant city, and no matter where you stay you’ll need a car to get around. However, some areas are better than others, depending on your preferences, so make sure you know what your priorities are, before you go. Determine what you want to see and which restaurants and bars you’re planning to visit, and choose a suitable place to stay based on that. Here are some of the areas I would recommend staying in:
If I’m in LA for a shorter period and the budget allows, I always stay in West Hollywood, because here’s everything that you expect to find in Los Angeles. It’s also one of the few places where you (almost) won’t be needing a car, as you will have so many things within walking distance.
If it’s your first time to visit LA, I would definitely recommend that you stay in West Hollywood. This is where you’ll find all the restaurants and nightclubs featured in the tabloid magazines and the chances of spotting a celebrity are among the best in the city. The hotels in the area are outrageously expensive, but private accommodation through websites such as AirBnb is usually more affordable. If you’re renting a car, please note that even the fancier hotels only rarely offer complimentary parking, and an extra charge of $20 a day for parking isn’t uncommon.
Downtown LA has gone through quite a make-over, and they’ve put in a lot of effort to make the area more attractive. Only a couple of years ago, I would have advised against booking a hotel in this part of the city, as the streets were almost empty after dark, and some neighborhoods could be really seedy. Today, Downtown LA is a nice place to stay if you stick to the area around Staples Center and The Standard Hotel, where there are lots of restaurants, shopping and nightlife within walking distance. The hotels in the area are also in general less expensive than the ones in West Hollywood, and all the skyscrapers provide the area with a hip, big-city vibe.
Hollywood isn’t particularly nice or cozy, but this is where you’ll find some of the most affordable accommodation not too far from where it all happens. I often end up staying in this area because it’s reasonably close to West Hollywood and usually a lot more affordable. Even if you go last minute, you’ll usually be able to find accommodation for $100 or less. The blocks closest to West Hollywood (between Highland Avenue and Vine Street) is by far the nicest, but also more expensive. Go further east, and you’ll find some rather deserted stretched, which can get a bit spooky after dark.
Silver Lake/ East Hollywood
East Hollywood is one of LA’s most up-and-coming neighborhoods. This is where you’ll find the artsy hipster crowd hanging out at some of the city’s hottest new restaurants and bars. Some of the neighborhoods can be a bit dodgy, but stick to the area around, and north of, Sunset Boulevard, and you’ll be fine. You’re far away from the Hollywood glitterati and East LA is primarily for those who want a true insider experience of LA in a very local environment.