Top five things to do in Los Angeles

1. Hollywood – dream factory
A visit to Los Angeles would be incomplete without having your picture taken in front of the iconic Hollywood sign. While you’re here you should also tread the Walk of Fame and visit the Kodak Theater, where the Oscars are awarded every year. A visit to Hollywood offers plenty of sights and attractions, but perhaps it’s best if you don’t plan things too carefully in advance. Take your time, hang out and dine at one of the many top-class restaurants. Who knows, perhaps you’ll spot a star or two?

2. Universal Studios – action and adventure
Universal Studios is a cutting-edge amusement park for adults. If you are a film fan, a visit here is like Christmas and your birthday combined. Here you can see how a real Hollywood film is made. In true American style the whole thing is wrapped up in impressive effects and sheer enjoyment. Catch a show with amazing stunts, drive along Wisteria Lane were the desperate housewives live, meet the eye of a dinosaur from Jurassic Park, and lots, lots more. Universal Studios will delight even the most jaded of visitors.

3. Farmers Market and The Grove – shop till you drop
Rodeo Drive may be the most famous shopping district in Los Angeles, but the prices mean most of us must content ourselves with window shopping. If you are searching for something exciting and unique, but that doesn’t cost the earth, go to Farmers Market. The name is a bit misleading. This is not a place that sells tractors and livestock. Instead, you will find over 100 shops and eateries – from the big chains to specialist boutiques selling everything from candles to pinball machines. Right next to Farmers Market is The Grove – a vast outdoor shopping and entertainment centre, where you will find everything you need, and more besides.

4. Venice Beach – as seen on TV
Los Angeles has plenty of fabulous beaches, particularly if you travel a little way out of the city. If you head for tranquil Cabrillo Beach, or super-romantic El Matador Beach, for example, you will find long expanses of fine sand, clear water and plenty of space. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for the authentic LA experience, there’s only one place to go: Venice Beach! This is the beach you know from countless films and television shows. And you certainly won’t be disappointed.

5. The Getty Center – best view in the city
Los Angeles is more than just special effects, shopping and sandy beaches. On a hill overlooking the city stands the Getty Center. Surrounded by tranquil parkland and exciting architecture, this is the perfect destination if you want to relax. Here you will find a vast collection of art and historic artefacts. Paintings by Van Gogh, Ming-dynasty vases and thousand-year-old frescoes, to name but a few. The centre also has its own research institute, with a number of fascinating activities and exhibitions – also with younger visitors in mind. There is something for people of all ages to enjoy here, and it offers the best view in all Los Angeles.

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