2 days in Los Angeles: the Epic Itinerary + tips


Weekend in Los Angeles: The Best 2-day Itinerary + Where to Stay

You want to spend 2 days in Los Angeles and you’re looking for the best things to do?

You’re at the right place!

In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared for you this 2-day itinerary in Los Angeles.

During your trip, you will discover all must-see attractions of the city such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, Universal Studios Hollywood and a lot more!

In addition to the best places to visit and activities for each stage of your itinerary, I will also give you all my best tips and accommodation suggestions depending on your budget.

So, what are the best places to visit in Los Angeles in 2 days? Where to stay?

Let’s find out!

Book your tickets for Los Angeles best tourist attractions in advance

If you want to save time, you should buy your tickets online for each museum, activity and guided tour you want to do during your 2-day itinerary in Los Angeles.

Priority tickets are available for all major attractions and activities, so it’s very convenient!

Here is a quick recap of all tickets and tours for your weekend in Los Angeles. For your convenience, you will also find these links throughout the article.

By purchasing them using these links, you are 100% sure to get the official tickets. And as they are 100% digital, you don’t have to go anywhere to pick up your tickets, you’ll receive them immediately by email.

To see the prices and to book, simply click on the links below:

2 Days in Los Angeles: Must-See Attractions:

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you want to book other activities in Los Angeles, you should always use these 2 reliable and safe websites:

One Last Tip for a Perfect 2-Day trip in Los Angeles

If you already know your travel dates (or as soon as you will have them!), you should really book your accommodation.

As Los Angeles is one of the most touristic cities in the world, the hotels offering the best value for money are often fully booked months in advance.

As a seasoned traveler, I can assure you that it’s always by planning as far in advance as possible that I’ve found the best hotels or apartments deals.

You agree that it would be a shame to somewhat ruin your stay in Los Angeles by ending up in a not-so-great hotel that costed you a fortune, right? 😅

So your best bet is to take 5 minutes now to have a look at traveler’s favorite hotels in Los Angeles.

And if you like one of the hotels you find, book it!

It’s fast, it’s easy and most accommodation offer free cancellation. That’s the best way to protect yourself from the inconvenience of finding nothing but mediocre rooms at exorbitant prices.

To check the best hotels deals in Los Angeles, simply click on the green button below:

After securing your dream stay, it’s time to continue reading this guide!

Los Angeles in 2 days: the best itinerary

Let’s now plan your 48-hour itinerary in Los Angeles!

For this itinerary, I assume you will be spending 2 full days in Los Angeles and purchased skip the line tickets in advance for the visits and activities you want to do.

That’s the best way to save time and money during your stay!

If you still have questions after reading this guide or need help planning your trip, don’t hesitate to ask me your questions in the comments section located at the end of this article.

So, what are the best places to visit in Los Angeles in 2 days?

Day 1 of this Los Angeles itinerary – The best things to do

2 days in Los Angeles Day 1 itinerary
2 days in Los Angeles – Day 1 itinerary

Day 1 visits:

A. Hollywood sign
B. Griffith Observatory
C. Walk of Fame
D. Sunset Boulevard
E. Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills
F. Santa Monica Pier
G. Venice Beach

A. Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood Sign is a must-see and the perfect starting point for your 2-day visit of Los Angeles.

This iconic landmark, nestled in the Hollywood Hills, has been a symbol of the entertainment industry since 1923.

There are 2 ways to see the Hollywood sign:

  • Viewpoints accessible by car or public transports, such as Lake Hollywood Park and the Griffith Observatory (I’ll tell you more about it a bit below), where you can take some great photos.
  • Going on a short hike, to get a closer to the sign. It’s also a great way to enjoy superb views of Los Angeles.

There are several trails leading to the sign, and I especially recommend the Canyon Boulevard Trail for its scenic views or the Hollyridge trail.

You can’t actually touch the sign, but the hiking trails offer excellent spots for photos and a panoramic view of the city.

And if you prefer, you can hike with a guide, who will also take photos of you at the best spots. Click here to book and get more information!

Start early to avoid the crowd and the heat, especially during summer.

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you don’t feel like worrying about transportation, you’ll be happy to know that all visits of for your first day in Los Angeles are included in a minibus tour.

It’s really convenient, and your driver/guide will tell you everything you need to know about the places you’re going to see.

This tour must be booked in advance by clicking on the button below:

Hollywood sign sunset
Hollywood sign sunset

B. Griffith Observatory

Next, head to the Griffith Observatory.

Located on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood, in Griffith Park, this observatory offers some of the best views of the city, including downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, and the Pacific Ocean.

The Griffith observatory can also be visited.

Inside, you’ll find fascinating exhibits about space and science.

If you are visiting Los Angeles in 3 days with kids, it’s really a great visit, they will for sure love it, especially the planetarium.

Admission to the observatory is free, but there is a small fee for the planetarium shows. You can check the schedule here.

Griffith Observatory
Griffith Observatory

C. Walk of Fame

The next stop you shouldn’t miss on your first day in Los Angeles is the world-famous Hollywood Walk of Fame.

This sidewalk along Hollywood Boulevard is embedded with stars honoring celebrities for their work in the entertainment industry.

You will have a fun time searching for the stars of your favorite actors and musicians.

The Walk of Fame is also an excellent spot to see street performers, go shopping and soaking in the Hollywood atmosphere.

Also keep an eye out for the TCL Chinese Theatre, known for its collection of celebrity handprints, footprints, and autographs embedded in the concrete.

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you’re looking for an original activity to do during your week end in Los Angeles, you can create your own star in your own name.

And, of course, have your photo taken in front of it. It’ll be a unique souvenir of your trip!

You need to book the “Get your own Star” activity in advance by clicking on the button below:

Hollywood walk of fame
Hollywood walk of fame

D. Sunset Boulevard

To continue your 2-day trip to Los Angeles, you should go on Sunset Boulevard, one of the most famous streets in Los Angeles.

This boulevard stretches from downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean and is lined with a variety of entertainment venues, restaurants, and boutiques.

Sunset Boulevard is especially known for the Sunset Strip, a section that’s home to iconic music venues like The Roxy and The Viper Room.

Whether you’re looking for live music, comedy shows, or just a lively atmosphere, you’ll find it here.

Sunset boulevard Los Angeles
Sunset boulevard Los Angeles

E. Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills

Let’s now visit Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills.

This area is synonymous with luxury and fame, featuring high-end shops and elegant boutiques.

Even if you’re not planning to shop, a stroll through this glamorous neighborhood is a must on your 2-day trip to Los Angeles

Don’t miss the chance to walk by the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, famous for its role in the movie ‘Pretty Woman’.

You should also take a guided tour of Beverly Hills to see celebrity homes and learn about the history of this exclusive neighborhood.

To book this activity, you just have to click on the button below:

Rodeo drive Beverly hills
Rodeo drive Beverly hills

F. Santa Monica Pier

Next, head to the iconic Santa Monica Pier.

This historic pier offers a blend of entertainment, dining, and shopping, all with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

The pier is also home to Pacific Park, a seaside amusement park. I recommend you try out the Ferris wheel and the roller coaster.

You can also indulge in a classic beach treat like ice cream or churros and try some local seafood for the dinner.

Catch the sunset from the pier for an unforgettable experience. The colors of the sky blending with the ocean are simply breathtaking.

Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier

G. Venice Beach

End the first day of your 2-day trip to Los Angeles at Venice Beach, known for its bohemian spirit and vibrant boardwalk.

This eclectic beachfront neighborhood is a great place to shop for unique souvenirs, and enjoy street performances.

I really loved exploring the famous Muscle Beach outdoor gym and watching skateboarders at the Venice Skatepark.

The artistic murals and street art around the area are also not to be missed.

Grab a bite at one of the local eateries and enjoy the laid-back beach atmosphere of Venice.

A great way to end your first day of your weekend in Los Angeles!

Voyage Tips - Advice

When you’re in Venice, I’d also recommend taking a stroll along the canals.

Venice Canal in Los Angeles offers a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of the boardwalk, with some magnificent mansions to admire.

Venice Beach skatepark
Venice Beach skatepark

Day 2 of your trip to Los Angeles: What to do?

Universal Studios Hollywood is one of the most popular place to visit during a 2-day itinerary in Los Angeles.

So that’s the first option for your second day!

However, if you prefer to continue visiting L.A and its surroundings, I have also written a second option that you can read a bit below.

Option 1: Universal Studios Hollywood

For this second day of your 2-day stay in Los Angeles, let’s discover the magic of movies with a visit to Universal Studios Hollywood.

This world-famous theme park and studio offer a blend of thrilling rides, live shows, and a real working movie studio experience.

You should start your visit to Universal Studios with the Studio Tour.

It’s an incredible opportunity to see behind the scenes of some of your favorite movies and TV shows. Keep an eye out for sets from movies like ‘Jaws’ and ‘War of the Worlds’.

I personnaly really loved Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Even if you’re not a Harry Potter fan, the attention to detail in this area is astounding. From the shops of Hogsmeade to  Hogwarts Castle, it’s like stepping into another world!

Universal Studios Hollywood is home to a myriad of other immersive worlds, each offering unique experiences. Let’s explore some of these incredible attractions:

1) Jurassic World

Step into the world of dinosaurs in Jurassic World, and enjoy the Jurassic World Ride that takes you through a lush jungle landscape, filled with animatronic dinosaurs.

2) Super Nintendo World 

For video game enthusiasts, Super Nintendo World is the new addition to the park. It brings the colorful and playful world of Mario Bros and other Nintendo characters to life.

3) The Simpsons World

If you’re a fan of the Simpsons, you’ll love visiting The Simpsons World.

Here, you can stroll through a recreation of Springfield, complete with Moe’s Tavern and Krusty Burger. Don’t leave without trying a famous ‘Flaming Moe’ or a classic ‘Krusty Burger’ for the full Springfield experience!

I really loved the Simpsons Ride, which is a fun and hilarious simulator experience.

4) Transformers

For action lovers, Transformers: The Ride-3D is a must-visit.

This 3D ride puts you in the middle of an epic battle between the Autobots and Decepticons. The high-tech visual effects and motion-simulator technology are very impressive.

Universal Studios also offers a variety of dining options, from quick snacks to full-service restaurants.

In the park, you will also find the CityWalk, an area with shops, restaurants, and cinemas, perfect for ending your day.

Visiting Universal Studios Hollywood is for me an essential part of any 2-day trip to Los Angeles. It’s fun for all ages!

Voyage Tips - Advice

To make the most of your day, use the Universal Studios app to check ride times and plan your visit around the attractions you most want to see.

Purchase your tickets online in advance to avoid long waiting lines. Also, you should get a Universal Express Pass to skip the regular lines on rides and attractions.

Buy it now by clicking on the button below:

Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood

Option 2: Exploring Los Angeles’ surroundings

Here is an alternative itinerary for you second day in L.A.

3 days in Los Angeles Day 2 itinerary option 2
2 days in Los Angeles – Day 2 itinerary option 2

Day 2 visits:

A. Battleship USS Iowa
B. Aquarium of the Pacific
C. Whale watching cruise

A. Battleship USS Iowa Museum

Start your day in Los Angeles with a visit to the Battleship USS Iowa Museum.

Located at the Port of Los Angeles, this historic battleship-turned-museum offers a unique glimpse into American naval history.

As you walk the decks, you can explore the life of sailors and see the technology used during the ship’s service.

The views from the ship are also quite spectacular, giving you a different perspective of Los Angeles.

You need to book your ticket online by clicking on the green button below:

Battleship Iowa Museum
Battleship Iowa Museum

B. Long Beach – Aquarium of the Pacific

Next, head to Long Beach to visit the Aquarium of the Pacific.

This expansive aquarium is home to more than 11,000 ocean animals representing almost 500 species. It’s a fantastic place to learn about the Pacific Ocean’s diverse marine life.

I really loved the Shark Lagoon and the interactive touch pools where you can touch starfish and stingrays.

The Tropical Reef habitat, replicating the conditions of the Indo-Pacific reefs, is also a must-see.

You need to get your skip-the-line ticket by clicking here:

C. Newport Beach – Whale Watching Cruise

While you are in Los Angeles for 2 days,  you should go on an unforgettable whale watching cruise from Newport Beach.

This is a chance to see marine creatures in their natural habitat. Depending on the season, you might spot gray whales, blue whales, dolphins, and more.

Taking a cruise not only allows for an incredible wildlife viewing experience, but also offers breathtaking views of the Southern California coastline.

If you’re lucky, you can even see dolphins swimming alongside the boat!

And that’s it, you now know how to visit Los Angeles in 2 days! Spend one last night at your hotel before taking your flight back home the next day.

Voyage Tips - Advice

For the whale watching cruise, you need to book your tickets in advance by clicking on the button below:

Newport Beach
Newport Beach

Where to stay in Los Angeles

Now that you know how to visit Los Angeles in a weekend, you will need to find a hotel.

In order to help you out, here are my favorite hotels of the city, each in a different price category.

And as always, if you already know your travel dates, book your hotel right now! In Los Angeles, the best hotels are fully booked very quickly.

Here is my selection of the best hotels to stay in Los Angeles:

  • HI Los Angeles – Santa Monica Hostel: Located 200 meters from Santa Monica beach. Dormitory beds from €50. Strong points: cleanliness, location next to the ocean. The perfect hostel if you’re looking for a cheap accommodation in Los Angeles.
  • El Royale Hotel – Near Universal Studios Hollywood: Located close to Universal Studios, comfortable and spacious double room from €190, breakfast included. Strong points: friendly staff, free parking, comfortable beds.
  • Park Plaza Lodge: Located close to LACMA and Farmers market. Modern and comfortable double room from €190. Benefits: swimming pool, parking, convenient location for sightseeing.
  • citizenM Los Angeles Downtown: Located in Downtown Los Angeles, 400 metres from City Hall. Brightly decorated contemporary double room with large window overlooking the city, from €260, breakfast €19. Strong points: design, friendly staff, panoramic view of LA.
  • Loews Hollywood Hotel: Located next to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Beautiful double rooms, some with views of the Hollywood sign, from €255, breakfast €33. Strong points: heated swimming pool, geographical location, direct access to the shopping centre with lots of restaurants and a casino. My favorite hotel in L.A for its excellent value for money!
  • Pendry West Hollywood: This 5-star hotel on Sunset Boulevard offers sublime, elegantly decorated rooms with large picture windows. From €620 per night, breakfast €56. Strong points: the rooftop pool, the view over Los Angeles, the design of the hotel.
  • Shutters On The Beach: Magnificent 5-star hotel located directly on Santa Monica beach. Rooms with balcony and some with ocean views from €880, breakfast €46. Strong points: the view, the good restaurant, the style of the hotel, the swimming pool, the attentive staff. This is my recommendation for a luxury stay in Los Angeles!
Shutters on the Beach Where to stay in Los Angeles
Shutters on the Beach – Where to stay in Los Angeles

2 days in Los Angeles with your family

Are you wondering if this 2-day itinerary in Los Angeles is suitable for a family trip?

The answer is of course yes!

Here are the best things to do in 2 days in Los Angeles with your family:

More things to do in 2 days in Los Angeles

If you’re looking to modify this 2-day Los Angeles itinerary or you’re simply looking to add 1 or 2 extra activities, you should have a look at my detailed guide of the city.

You will find it here: The 45 best things to do in Los Angeles.

Map of your 2-day itinerary in Los Angeles

To help you visualize your daily itineraries during your 2 days in Los Angeles, I have created this map with all the places to visit day by day. You can view the map’s legend by clicking on the top left button, the one with a little arrow.

You can thus see the suggested itineraries for each day.

Flight prices to Los Angeles

As always, you should book your plane tickets as early as possible to get the best prices.

To check the rates and schedules for flights to Los Angeles, you can use our flight comparator, in partnership with Skyscanner:

Now you know the best way to visit Los Angeles in 2 days!

If you need help organizing your 2-day stay in Los Angeles, don’t hesitate to ask me your questions in the comments section below.

Book your trip now and save money!

You’re traveling in the US? These articles will help you!

Discover all my articles about USA: All my articles to help you plan your trip to USA are listed there.

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Los Angeles 2 days itinerary
Los Angeles 2 days itinerary

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

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