Cheap flights to Los Angeles depart from Manchester Airport, as well as Gatwick and Heathrow airports in London. International flights to Los Angeles arrive at Los Angeles International Airport, popularly referred to as LAX. Some British travellers may qualify for the Visa Waiver programme, which allows them to stay in the US for up to 90 days without a visa. Check with the American Embassy in London to see if you qualify before your flight to Los Angeles.
The FlyAway bus offers shuttle services between the airport and downtown Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, West Los Angeles and Orange County. A number of companies also operate bus services from the airport to downtown Los Angeles and surrounding areas. Metro Rail services are available from the Aviation/LAX station. Free shuttle services help transport passengers from all airport terminals to the Aviation/LAX Metro station. Taxis can be hired from outside all terminals.
The Metro operates a network of bus, subway and light rail routes throughout Los Angeles. Single tickets can be purchased from ticket vending machines in Metro stations. A variety of prepaid passes (daily, weekly, monthly etc) are available in the form of TAP cards. TAP cards are credit card-sized tickets that work in a similar manner to the Oyster cards used on the London Underground. Prepaid passes can be purchased from Metro Customer Centres and hundreds of stores throughout Los Angeles. Big Blue Bus runs a number of bus routes around Santa Monica, Venice Beach and other destinations in the West side of Los Angeles. Exact change is required when buying a ticket on board the bus. Taxis are widely available around Los Angeles. Look out for the City of Los Angeles Taxicab sticker to ensure you have an insured taxi.
A classic long haul holiday destination, there is never a dull moment in Los Angeles. Explore the city with a tour that takes in the famous Hollywood sign and stop outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre for a look at the stars’ hand and footprints. Discover Los Angeles’ prehistoric residents at the La Brea Tar Pits. The Page Museum has an extensive collection of skeletons and models of mastodons, dire wolves, sabre-tooth cats and other beasts. Head to Venice Beach and enjoy a stroll along the boardwalk. Be entertained by the muscle-bound bodybuilders, snake charmers, streetball players and other denizens of the city. Olvera Street, the oldest part of the city, is full of historic Mexican-style buildings.
Rodeo Drive is probably the city’s most well-known shopping destination. It is lined by upmarket boutiques frequented by celebrities and socialites. Those with a more modest budget can head for the Fashion District, teeming with independent fashion outlets and fabric wholesalers. The offerings at Grand Central Market reflect Los Angeles’ cosmopolitan population. Pick up fresh ingredients to for dinner, or visit the restaurants and cafes for tortillas, bento boxes and barbecued meats. Grab a burger from a branch of In-n-Out, the city’s most loved burger chain. Rub shoulders with more celebrities at the swanky Chateau Marmont, or go visit the multitude of bars and clubs lining the Cahuenga Corridor.