25 Free Things to Do in LA

25 Free Things to Do in LA

If you’ve seen our ultimate LA bucket list, then you know there is plenty to do in LA. You can never run out of things to do, and that’s one thing we loved about living there. Even if you’re on a really tight budget, you still have a lot of options.

25 Free Things to Do in LA // localadventurer.com

25 Free Things to Do in LA // localadventurer.com


1. Explore the Old L.A. Zoo

Sitting right in the middle of Griffith Park lies the ruins of the old LA Zoo.

Explore the Old LA Zoo + More Free Things to Do in Los Angeles // localadventurer.com

2. Griffith Observatory

This is one of the most iconic views of LA and you can visit multiple times. The day time and night time give you totally different views of the city, and they offer free stargazing events too.

Griffith Observatory is a popular spot for both locals and tourists + Click through to see 25 Free Things to Do in Los Angeles // localadventurer.com

3. Browse Around the Last Bookstore

This bookstore feels like you’re walking into a fairytale world. They carry new and used books, but the big draw are the permanent artistic creations that literally have the pages from books flying.

The Last Bookstore + 25 Free Things to Do in Los Angeles // localadventurer.com

4. Venice Canals

The Venice Canals are hidden right between the Venice Boardwalk and Abbot Kinney. The three canal-lined blocks have beautiful pedestrian bridges and cute beach houses. You can even bring a non-motorized vessel or paddle board and view the neighborhood from the water.

Venice Canals in LA is the Venice of America // localadventurer.com
photo: Onny Carr

5. The Getty Center or the Getty Villa

Admission is free at both of these museums, but you do have to pay $15 per vehicle for parking. If you want to save money, load up the car with all your friends.

The Getty Villa and the Getty Center are two free museums in LA // localadventurer.com
photo: David Jones

6. Watch Movies at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Walk the grounds of this cemetery where many of early Hollywood is buried. Directors, writers, and performers make their home here. They have a summer outdoor movie screening series too and many are free.

7. DTLA Art Walk

Every second Thursday of the month, downtown LA comes alive with art, culture, and food.

DTLA Art Walk supports the local community of artists in LA // localadventurer.com
photo: Mikey Wally

8. Observation Deck at City Hall

If you love getting great views, check out the 27th floor of City Hall. There is a free observation deck where you can get a great view of downtown.

Amazing Views at the Observation Deck at City Hall in LA // localadventurer.com
photo: Shabdro Photo

9. The Hollywood Sign

There are several viewpoints around LA to see the Hollywood Sign, but have you hiked to it?

Hike to the Hollywood Sign + More Fun Free Things to Do in LA // localadventurer.com

10. The Hollywood Bowl

The Los Angeles Philharmonic rehearses for their evening stage performances and often offers visitors a chance to watch the rehearsals for free. You can also check out the Edmund D. Edelman Hollywood Bowl Museum free of charge.

The Hollywood Bowl + 25 Free Things to Do in LA // localadventurer.com
photo: S. Savanapridi for Los Angeles County Parks

11. Hollywood Walk of Fame

Over 2,500 stars span across 2.4 miles of Hollywood Boulevard to make this iconic walk. Find the star you’re looking for and snap a photo with it.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame has more than 2500 stars on the sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street // localadventurer.com
photo: Karol Franks

12. Hike to the Wisdom Tree

On the top of Burbank Peak lies a lone tree that survived the 2007 wildfire. You’ll find ammo boxes at the foot of the tree where you can leave a diary-styled note or just enjoy the views.

Wisdom Tree Hike - The only tree to survive the 2007 wildfires // localadventurer.com
photo: Eugene Kim

13. Urban Light at LACMA

Although LACMA has an entrance fee, you can still visit their Urban Light exhibit for free. A ton of people come here to take photos and you can visit day or night. If you’re interested in visiting the museum, check their website for their free days!

Urban Lights LACMA is a popular photo spot in LA + 25 Free Things to Do in Los Angeles // localadventurer.com

14. Bradbury Building

The Bradbury Building is the oldest commercial building remaining in the central city and has one of the most unique interiors around. As a visitor, you can only go to the second floor but it’s still worth the visit. Do you recognize this building from 500 Days of Summer?

Bradbury Building - a piece of LA's architectural history. You might remember it from Bladerunner, 500 Days of Summer, or The Artist // localadventurer.com
photo: Anson Chu

15. Get Free Archery Training

Woodley Park Archers offers free beginners lessons to the community every Saturday at 9am and Wednesdays at 6PM. They even provide equipment so go unleash your inner Katniss.

16. Visit the Original In-N-Out Replica

In-N-Out is pretty synonymous with the west coast, and especially LA. Although the original store no longer serves customers, you can still see the replica with the original potato peeler, cash box, and cigarette vending machines.

17. Bike Up the LA River

Hop on a bike and ride along the LA River. If you start at Atwater and end at Glendale Narrows, it’s a solid 7.4-mile ride with beautiful greenery.

Bike Along the LA River // photo: Serena Grace // 25 Free Things to Do in LA - localadventurer.com
photo: @serenagrace

18. Santa Monica Pier

The pier at Santa Monica Beach is the focal point here and is home to the iconic Ferris wheel, aquarium, fairground games, and food stands. It’s a great place to people watch and enjoy the sunny LA weather, and they also hold special events throughout the summer.

Santa Monica Pier is a popular LA landmark for tourists and locals // localadventurer.com

19. Amoeba Music

Amoeba Records is an iconic and massive music store on Sunset, but they also host free shows from surprisingly large artists and great up-and-comers.

Amoeba Music is an iconic and massive music store on Sunset. They sometimes host free shows // localadventurer.com
photo: Celia Alba


20. Hike Runyon Canyon

Join the locals and tourists for a run or hike up Runyon Canyon. It is definitely a workout, but you’ll be rewarded with a great view of the city, and you may even spot a celebrity or two.

Hike Runyon Canyon - the most popular and most touristy hike in LA + 25 Free Things to do in LA // localadventurer.com

21. The Broad Museum

This is LA’s newest contemporary art museum in DTLA and general admission is free.

Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room at the Broad Museum Downtown Los Angeles + 25 Free Things to Do in LA // localadventurer.com
photo: Melly Lee

22. Explore Hidden Nazi Ruins

Murphy Ranch in Rustic Canyon is covered with graffiti but was once a secret Nazi sympathizer compound. Since then it has become a popular spot to hike to.

Murphy Ranch in Rustic Canyon LA used to be a base for nazi activities in the US // localadventurer.com
photo: J Jakobson

23. Annenberg Space for Photography

Anyone who loves photography needs to stop by the Annenberg Space for Photography. Free admission and $1 parking make this a great stop to admire amazing works.

Annenberg Space for Photography in LA has free admission and is great for photography lovers // localadventurer.com
photo: Carin

24. Tour the Disney Concert Hall

Check out the mind-bending architecture by Frank Gehry at this concert hall. You can do a self-guided or led tour for free.

Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall + 25 Free Things to Do in LA // localadventurer.com
photo: Will Hastings

25. Go on a Tour of All the Popular Instagram Spots in LA

LA is full of instagrammable murals and walls. We’ve put together a guide of the 25 Best Instagram Spots in Los Angeles, and you’ll be happy to know that most of them are free too!

The Famous Paul Smith's Pink Wall (25 Most Popular Instagram Spots in Los Angeles) // localadventurer.com

Travel Tips:

  • To save money on travel, consider going by train or bus. In addition to saving money, you’ll get to see the beautiful landscapes of the United States. A good option to search prices is GoTicket, a company dedicated to showing the best ways to reach your destination.
  • If you’re renting a car, check out these guidelines about rental insurance.

Best Places to Stay in LA

All accommodations listed below have Tripadvisor’s Certificate of Excellence and at least 4 stars on both Tripadvisor and Yelp.

More: Best Hotel Deals in LA + Tripadvisor Reviews

Are there any other free activities that we missed? What is your favorite place to visit in LA?

P.S. Don’t forget to check out the incredible work of all the photographers featured here. Links are below each photo!

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. For the Getty Villa you need to book reservation tickets in advance. You can do that online or over the phone.

    1. Thanks for the tip, Katie! It’s been a while since we’ve been. :)

  2. if someone Want to explore LA but don’t want to spend a lot of money?
    then he should read this great article.

    1. Aw that’s disappointing. Thanks for letting us know, Bob! :)

    2. “Free on your birthday” is now completely gone…

  3. Thank you! :)

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