5 Days Los Angeles Itinerary + Complete LA Guide & Insider Tips

If you are planning a trip to LA and wondering where to start, you are in the right place! I have visited the City of Angels on different occasions and lengths of time. Now, I am happy to share with you this 5 days Los Angeles Itinerary, plus you will find great tips and helpful information to make the best of your LA Itinerary.

The first thing to know is that Los Angeles is a huge city and is very spread out, and visiting with an itinerary in mind, understanding the best things to do and the areas is your smartest choice.

With this 5-day Los Angeles Itinerary, you will be able to visit the bucket list places in LA without rushing and really have the best experience.

This guide is packed with tips that will help you to discover the best of Los Angeles, the best areas to stay, tips on how to save money, and the best options to get around LA Here you can also find the best ways to get around in Los Angeles.

So without further ado, I hope you enjoy this Perfect Los Angeles Itinerary in five days!

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Table Of Contents
  1. 5-Day Los Angeles Itinerary Overview
  2. How to Save Money on a 5-Day Los Angeles Itinerary
  3. A Perfect 5-Day in Los Angeles Itinerary
  4. How to Get Around Los Angeles in 5 Days
  5. Best Places to Stay during your 5 Day in Los Angeles Itinerary
  6. What to Pack for your 5 Day Los Angeles Itinerary
  7. 5-Day Itinerary Los Angeles Itinerary Conclusion
Los Angeles itinerary

Read More: The Ultimate Guide for Los Angeles Bucket List

5-Day Los Angeles Itinerary Overview

If you are wondering, how many days you need to explore the best of Los Angeles, here is my honest answer for you:

Given the size of the city, and how spread out it is, I recommend a 5-day Los Angeles Itinerary. In 5 days in LA, you can avoid spending your visit running around from sight to sight, without time to really enjoy the unique atmosphere of the city.

Just because there is so much to do and see, I highly recommend coming to Los Angeles with a well-defined itinerary, in order to maximize your time. Some areas are walkable, for example, you can walk from Venice to Santa Monica in 1-hour. But in other areas such as Hollywood and Malibu, you will need a car or Uber.

Lastly, make sure you choose accommodation in a good area, where you can walk to the areas you want to visit. Making your reservations in advance is also part of a well-planned Los Angeles Itinerary.

  • DAY 1 | Explore Venice Beach, walk Venice Boardwalk, visit Venice Canals, go shopping at Kinney Boulevard, grab a sunset at Venice Beach
  • DAY 2 | Explore Santa Monica, enjoy the beach, stroll the Santa Monica Pier, and have a nice dinner at the Ocean Avenue
  • DAY 3 | Take a road trip to Malibu, drive the Pacific Coast Highway, head to the Beaches in Malibu, go hiking, and visit a winery in Malibu
  • DAY 4 | Visit the Griffith Observatory, hike the Hollywood Sign, walk the sunset strip, visit Beverly Hills
  • DAY 5 | Relax by Marina del Rey, go kayaking or paddleboarding, visit the Fisherman’s Village, go on a sunset cruise
Los Angeles Itinerary

How to Save Money on a 5-Day Los Angeles Itinerary

If visiting Los Angeles is on your bucket list, but the costs may scare you away – I have great advice and tips here for you! Yes, it is possible to visit Los Angeles for 5 days without breaking the bank!

You can find inexpensive hotels, there are some restaurants and cafes that have reasonable prices. I also recommend getting the Go Los Angeles Card or Los Angeles Sightseeing Flex Pass as these passes start at $83 for one-day grant access to a variety of different attractions. Each pass has slightly different terms and attractions on offer so check carefully to see which will suit you better. This card offers 2 options:

  • All-Inclusive Card: This is the best option as you can save up to 50% of the gate prices for the main attractions in Los Angeles.
  • Build-Your-Own: With this option, you can save up to 20% of the gate prices, and you can choose to see only what is in your interests.
  • Hop-off-Bus Ticket: This is a good option too, with options of 24, 48, or 72-hour passes. The tour is narrated and takes you exploring Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and Santa Monica Pier and Beaches.

A Perfect 5-Day in Los Angeles Itinerary

Day 1 Los Angeles Itinerary: Explore Venice

1. Grab a coffee and an egg sandwich at the Egg Slut

Start your first day of your 5-day Los Angeles itinerary with a hearty and yummy egg sandwich at the Egg Slut. I know right? This name – if you wonder why just like I did here we go: The name refers to a chef who simply adds an egg to everything to make it better. The first public use of it was by chef Anthony Bourdain in season 5, episode 5, of his show No Reservations, which aired on February 2, 2000.

The egg sandwich is loaded with cheesy soft scrambled scallion eggs, sriracha mayo, crispy bacon, and a buttery toasted brioche bun. It’s the perfect sandwich for hangovers, brunches, or mornings when you need a little something extra to start your day. One of their specialties is the “slut” – a cage-free coddled egg on top of a smooth potato purée, poached in a glass jar – it is just yummy!

2. Visit Venice Beach Boardwalk

After grabbing your breakfast (or egg slut sandwich), walk to Venice Beach to enjoy the vibe. This eclectic and buzzing oceanfront playground for Southern Californians, and is one of my favorite things to do when I am visiting L.A. The beach here offers prime surfing, and you can also work on your tan if you feel like taking an easy morning.

But with so much to do, see and explore, I suggest you just walk around and make some stops along the way for a cocktail, pictures, or shopping. Now, talking about my favorite thing: active travel – this is paradise.

Here you can find a boardwalk that runs parallel to the ocean and many attractions line in including tennis courts, beach volleyball courts, bike, and rollerblading trails, a skatepark…

PRO-TIP: Take advantage that you are at one of the most famous beaches and join a Venice Beach 2-hour group surfing lesson, also recommended for beginners. Or you can join a fun guided bike tour to explore some of the best sights such as Venice Beach, Santa Monia, and the Venice Canals

4. Stop for a workout at Muscle Beach

Now we are talking about – as a bodybuilder athlete myself, I don’t have to say how much I love this place! This is the “Home of Bodybuilding” nestled right in the heart of Venice Beach since 1963.

This is the complete outdoor gym to work out. Some of the biggest names in bodybuilding and film including Franco Columbu, Lou Ferrigno, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Frank Zane have all been called Muscle Beach Venice home, and you can also work out here during your Los Angeles itinerary.

PRO-TIP: Muscle Beach Venice is open 7 days a week except for major holidays and rainy days and you can pay $10 for a day pass.

5 days Los Angeles Itinerary

4. Walk and take some pictures from the Pier in Venice Beach

  • Address: 1600 Harbor Dr. S, Venice, FL 34285
  • Hours: open from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Located on the southern part of Venice Beach, there is a the1,300-foot concrete fishing pier, built-in 1963. The pier offers great views, including watching the surfers which is my favorite thing to do. Enjoy a stroll while you appreciate the breathtaking views, and take some beautiful pictures here. Occasionally you can see dolphins too.

PRO-TIP: If you feel hungry, grab a fish taco at the Venice Whaler, which is just a few minutes’ walks from the pier.

3. Visit the Venice Canals

This is how the Venice name started – these canals were designed in 1905 to turn this area into a cultural center and create an Italian-inspired “Venice of America”. At one point the canals were home to gondolas imported from Italy.

Nowadays, the gondolas are gone, but it offers a beautiful and relaxing place to take a walk, away from the buzzing of the Venice Beach oceanfront.

Los Angeles Itinerary

6. Go shopping at the Kinney Boulevard

This is a mile-long strip of the latest fashion, art, and food and it is just minutes walking from Venice Beach. This is the place if you are searching for a truly eclectic shopping experience during your 5 days Los Angeles Itinerary. This is a bustling district, which stretches from Venice Boulevard to Pacific Avenue, and it is a popular destination for Joho Chip Shoppers. Here you can find one-of-a-kind local products, as well as internationally recognized brands.

If you are looking for a great place to eat, the Felix Trattoria is a temple with hand-made pasta and the traditional menu has a range of delicious antipasti, and second and vegetable contorini.

If you are looking for a great coffee or a small snack, you need to stop at The Butcher’s Daughter with a delicious menu with plant-based versions of popular favorites, and a beautiful patio.

PRO-TIP: Every first Friday of the month at 5 pm the street becomes a festival, filled with live music and the L.A. Premier Food Truck Event, with dozen of food trucks.

7. Grab Happy Hour and enjoy the sunset

The best way to relax after this busy Los Angeles itinerary is to grab a cocktail and enjoy the magical sunset in Venice Beach. A great place to go is the Hotel Erwins’ Rooftop Lounge. – a stylish and open-air deck where you grab a drink and they also serve small plates. This is a cool place to hang out, with DJs both, night and day, and stunning views. They also offer brunch on the weekends from 11 am to 3 pm.

My personal preference is the Venice Whaler, and also, it is a very laid-back place. I just love the atmosphere, the world-famous fish tacos, and the fantastic margaritas – but the sunset is what makes it even more remarkable. The Whaler has been welcoming locals and celebrities since 1944 – such as the Doors, Beatles, and Beach Boys.

Don’t forget to check for the Los Angeles Hotels with rooftop pools, to take full advantage of the beautiful weather, and pool party scene.

5 days Los Angeles Itinerary

Day 2 Los Angeles Itinerary: Explore Santa Monica

Start day 2 of your 5-Day Los Angeles Itinerary by exploring Santa Monica. It is one of the most scenic places in southern California, one of my favorite places in Los Angeles, offering 72 miles of coastline and sunshine for approximately 330 days in the year. With over 60 stunning beaches to explore, lots of amazing restaurants, and of course, the famous Santa Monica Pier for some fun!

1. Have a Coffee or Brunch at Urth

Suggested start time: 9 AM
Address: 2327 Main St. Santa Monica, CA 90405

Every time I visit Los Angeles, this is a must-stop for me. Founded in 1989, this cafe is widely considered the first coffee roasting company in America to offer exclusively organically grown, heirloom coffees. If you love coffee like me, they offer exclusive signature blends from light to dark roasts – from americano to latte, cappuccinos, and all between.

They also have a large selection of one tea. And the bakery is to die for! From a large variety of rich and creamy cheesecakes to amazing pies, and exquisite cakes. You have to try the chocolate hazelnut cake – layered with Nutella and hazelnut icing, and covered in chocolate hazelnut ganache. O-M-G!!! and don’t feel guilty, because, with all the walks on the second day of your Los Angeles itinerary, you will burn it all 😉

Los Angeles itinerary

2. Go shopping or a stroll at the Third Street Promenade

After you grab an amazing breakfast at Urth, take a walk to the Third Street Promenade. This is a pedestrian-only stretch in Santa Monica, offering many stores between chains and locals, and the most important thing here, the dinosaur fountains.

PRO-TIP: On Wednesdays and Saturdays morning, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. along Arizona Avenue, you can visit the Santa Monica Farmers Market – where big-name chefs go to stock up on products for their restaurants in Los Angeles.

3. Enjoy the Beach

There is a paved path that follows the shoreline all the way to Venice Beach, and it is a paradise for runners, rollerblades, biking, or walking. If you wish, you can rent a bike and or rollerblades and cruise from the Pier to or from Venice Beach. You can also rent boogie boards or umbrellas and beach chairs at one of the small shops, and just enjoy the beach.

I recommend stopping by Perry’s Cafe for a refreshment or lunch and spending a few hours here. It is a very laid-back restaurant on the sand, with lounge chairs where you can just sit down, relax and enjoy some people-watching. Here you can also find a beach chair and umbrella for rental.

Santa Monica Beach is a very active place and one of the best areas to stay in LA. Here you will find volleyball courts, surf lessons, rent a bike, and ride the 22-mile-long Marvin Braude Beach Trail. Also, Santa Monica Beach is the home to the original Muscle Beach, and today it features gymnastic equipment. including parallel bars, rings, and ropes, that can be used by adults and also kids.

PRO-TIP: If you are driving, there are plenty of parking lots. Here you can also find restrooms and beach cafes along the beach.

Los Angeles itinerary

4. Stroll the Santa Monica Pier

Address: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401

This is the most popular spot and it symbolizes the heart of Santa Monica. This pier has been around since 1909, and it is considered one of the landmarks in Los Angeles. It was originally built as a public utility for the city of Santa Monica. Considered a National Landmark, the pier remains a nostalgic past day and remains a fun icon today.

I love coming here at sunset for pictures, and just staying for dinner at one of the amazing restaurants in the area. The historic Santa Monica Pier is where all the action is, with shops, small restaurants, cafes, and locals selling arts. The highlight is the Pacific Park, the amusement park on the pier featuring roller coasters, and the Ferris wheel.

PRO-TIP: You can walk here all the way from Venice Beach, which is about 1 hour (2.6 miles). Another great option is to go on a 3-Hour Electric Bike Tour. This is a cool tour as the bicycle allows you to choose your own comfort level between pedaling with 6 gears, using the electric motor power which puts the power completely in your control, or both

Los Angeles itinerary

5. Have dinner at Water Grill

Address: 1401 Ocean Ave 90401

You will find an infinite of options for great bars and restaurants in Santa Monica. One of my favorite places is the Water Grill – especially if you love fresh seafood.

This is an oceanfront restaurant overlooking beautiful Santa Monica. The outside patio isn’t that big and gets filled up pretty fast during the weekend – so I would recommend making reservations if you are dining here on the weekend.

Bring your jacket because the ocean breeze can make you cold especially when the sun is down. The service is very good, and the inside of the restaurant looks very nice and classy.

Day 3 Los Angeles Itinerary: Take a road trip in Malibu

On the third day of this amazing 5-day Los Angeles Itinerary, you will discover all the magic about Malibu. The famous Pacific Coast Highway starts here, offering some of the most picturesque stretches of beach in Southern California. And then, there are the beaches in Malibu, I recommend spending at least a few hours exploring one of the beaches in Malibu. I have listed a couple of great options below for you. And if you are a wine lover like me, head to one of the amazing wineries in Malibu – with great quality local wine!

1. Drive the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu

Suggested start time: 9 AM
Start Point: This drive starts at the end of Interstate 10 in Santa Monica

This part is if you have a car if you want to hire a private driver, or even better if you join a Vintage VW hippie sightseeing to tour this beautiful route. The drive to Malibu is an attraction itself.

You will want to stop in some spots to take pictures and appreciate the views. The total distance is about 49 miles and it takes one to two hours, depending on the traffic. Your driving experience will be a little more enjoyable if you drive the route south from Oxnard toward Santa Monica. You’ll be on the ocean side of the highway, with better views. It will be easier to make a beach or photo stop because you won’t have to cross traffic.

Los Angeles itinerary

2. Head to the Beach in Malibu

The beaches in Malibu are very different from Venice Beach and Santa Monica, including private beaches where alcohol is allowed – but they are also notorious for the huge parking fees. You will find surf beaches, caves, and incredible rock formations.

The beaches in Malibu offer a laidback experience, where you can relax and lay in the sand. Or at least take a walk and enjoy the beauty and take some amazing pictures. Between Dec-Jan and April-May is when the whales migrate, and you have a high chance to see some gray whales, especially in the early morning. Some of the most popular beaches are:

  • El Matador State Beach: This is one of the best-kept-secret. Here you can find caves and massive rock formations.
  • Paradise Cove: This is a public beach where you and enjoy walking down the coast and marvel at the enormous mansions.
  • Surfrider Beach: This is a great beach for surfing due to the long right-hand break. This is a perfect beach for taking the views and watching the action onshore.
LA 5 days itinerary

3. Hiking in Malibu

If you are looking to go hiking, Malibu offers amazing hiking trails with views of the Pacific Ocean. Some of the best hikes in Malibu are the Escondido Canyon (3.7 miles), The Solstice Canyon Loop Trail (3.2 miles), and MASH Hike (4.85 miles).

Whatever hike trail you choose, you will be served with a beautiful landscape, with a seascape, mountains, and even waterfalls. Malibu hikes cover all difficulties from the easy hikes to difficult hikes for the expert and you can also customize your trail because some trails are linked to each other.

4. Go for a wine taste in Malibu

Location: Rosenthal Wine Bar is at 18741 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265.

Yes, you can (and should) go on wine taste in Malibu too – it is one of the coolest things to do in LA. You can find hidden in the canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains, a couple of great wineries, producing some pretty tasty (and affordable) wines. Some famous wineries are Cornell Winery & Tasting Room, Cielo Winery, and Rosenthal.

I visited Rosenthal, the oldest winery in Malibu. But even if the winery is not open to the public, the wine tasting bar in Malibu is the place to hang out. If you’re looking to taste Malibu wines at a beach party, this is the next best thing. Across from the Pacific Ocean, this Malibu tasting room can get quite crowded and lively. They serve Rosenthal Estate wines by glass, bottle, or flight.

PRO-TIP: If you love wine and are interested on experience some of the top vineyards with spectacular views, the best option is to join the Malibu Wineries Private Group Tour. The tour is a great experience to visit 3 wineries on a private luxury vehicle and with a local expert guide, that will share all about wine, the region, and the history of the area.

Day 4 Los Angeles Itinerary: Hollywood and Beverly Hills

On the fourth day of this 5-day Los Angeles Itinerary, you will explore the famous Hollywood and Beverly Hills area. I only recommend this part of the Los Angeles itinerary, for first-time visitors.

If you are staying in Venice Beach or Marina Del Rey, I recommend taking an Uber to this area. You can also hire a private guide to drive you to the Beverly Hills Celebrity Homes – I know it sounds a little cheesy, but I have to confess that I drove there on my first visit to Los Angeles, and I had fun “hunting” for the amazingly rich and famous mansions.

1. Griffith Observatory

Suggested start time: 9 AM
Address: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

The Observatory features space-related exhibits, star shows in the planetarium, and a telescope. Enjoy the grounds of the Observatory, it is beautiful and it features some terraces from where you get a birdseye view of the entire valley. If you happen to visit on a clear day, you will get to see all the way to Santa Monica from up here.

On the opposite hill, right across from the Griffith Observatory, you can catch an unobstructed view of the Hollywood Sign – that is the next destination of your 5-day Los Angeles itinerary.

PRO-TIP: Admission to the Observatory building, grounds, and telescopes are always free. However, you will have to buy tickets for the planetarium show. The best time to visit the Observatory is late afternoon towards the evening when you can stick around to see the sunset and city lights.

Los Angeles itinerary

2. Hike the Hollywood Sign

Did you know that you can hike from Griffith Observatory to the Hollywood Sign? It is a 4.4-mile hike each way, The trailhead and the summit are separated by 575 feet of elevation, but because this route crosses a mountain in between, the hike actually has two ascents of 425 feet and 525 feet. If you decide to hike to the Hollywood Sign, you can check here for all the details.

The worldwide symbol of the U.S. movie industry has a very dull and uninteresting beginning. The Hollywood Sign was created as an outdoor billboard for real estate development, and today, it is the most well-known landmark in the city of Los Angeles.

PRO-TIP: If you don’t want to hike, you have the option to take a shuttle to the summit Hollywood summit. Driving to the Hollywood Sign is not allowed.


3. Walk the Sunset Strip

You can continue your fourth day in the Los Angeles itinerary with a walk on the famous Sunset Strip. The strip is the 1.5 -mile stretch of Sunset Boulevard that passes through West Hollywood. Sunset Boulevard extends from Hollywood all the way to Beverly Hills. This is very touristy, as you can imagine, but no Los Angeles itinerary would be complete without a visit to the famous Hollywood.

Here is home to flashy boutiques, high-end restaurants, and nightclubs, as well as huge, colorful billboards. Go shopping (or window shopping) at the famous Rodeo Drive, and walk among some of the world’s well-known fashion icons. 

Another thing you want to do during your first time visiting Los Angeles is to walk the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The internationally-recognized Hollywood landmark. It encompasses over 2,600 five-pointed stars made of terrazzo and brass and embedded in the sidewalks along Hollywood Boulevard.

LA Holywood

4. Visit the Chinese Theater

Price to visit: FREE
Address:  6925 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028

Stop by another famous landmark in the city of Los Angeles, the Chinese Theater. it became famous for being the venue of the Academy Awards ceremony from 1944 to 1946. But most visitors come here because of the celebrity handprints and footprints in the concrete of the theater’s forecourt. The tradition began during the theater construction when one of the Hollywood legends at the time accidentally stepped into the wet cement outside the building.

5. Visit some Celebrity Homes in Beverly Hills

Finish your Los Angeles Itinerary today by strolling through this tranquil green space filled with landscaped hedges, cascading fountains, and colonnaded walkways in Beverly Hills. While the city offers beautiful green spaces, a jog through Beverly Gardens Park offers ample space and a chance to sightsee as well.

If you are curious and want to dive into the “celebrity world” I recommend grabbing a map with the celebrity’s homes, or joining a local tour for a 2-hour fun time around Hollywood and Celebrity homes tour.

Day 5 Los Angeles Itinerary: Relax by the Marina Del Rey

You must be exhausted from this busy itinerary – I know I was after I have done this itinerary myself. And I also consider Marina Del Rey one of the best areas to stay in LA since it is quiet with excellent restaurants, and it is also within walking distance to Venice Beach.

So finish your dreamy 5-day Los Angeles Itinerary by chilling a bit, and here is the best place! The Marina Del Rey is a man-made marina in Los Angeles dating back to the 1960s. Today it is home to approximately 5,000 boats, offering opportunities for paddle-boarding, kayaking, yachting, cycling, and whale watching.

1. Start your day with a Brunch at the Marina Del Rey

Suggested start time: 10 AM
Address: 4175 Admiralty Way Marina del Rey, CA 90292

The last day of this 5-day Los Angeles itinerary can start with a relaxing and enjoyable brunch at the stunning Marina Del Rey. My favorite place for brunch is the Jamaica Bay Inn. The brunch here is simply phenomenal, and the views make it a dreamy place you want to be when you visit Los Angeles for 5 days.

It has a great outdoor dining place with nice patios near the beach. It’s the kind of place LA has to offer. I ordered the avocado toast, and it was truly the best I ever had in my life.

PRO-TIP: If you plan to come on the weekend, you will need to make reservations in advance. In this article, you can find the best places to stay in Marina Del Rey.

2. Go for a Walk / Run / Kayaking or Paddleboard on Marina Del Rey

After that brunch, you can pick and choose some of the many activities to do at Marina Del Rey. You can rent a paddleboard or join a stand-up paddle-boarding lesson for all experience and skill levels. This is a fun activity, where your guide will provide information about the local environment and marine life, kayaking/paddle-boarding techniques, and safety while enjoying the peaceful atmosphere of the Los Angeles boater’s realm.

Then board your kayaks and paddle towards the main channel of the Marina. On the way, observe the beautiful and extraordinary boats. Begin your search for sea lions, birds, dolphins, and other marine life. You will love to just spend a few hours exploring this sanctuary during your Los Angeles Itinerary.

PRO-TIP: You can book this Kayak and/or paddleboard tour to see sea lions, and explore the beauty of the biggest marina in Los Angeles. You have the option to rent a double kayak or a paddleboard, and if you haven’t done it before, the guide will help you to feel comfortable and enjoy the most of this stunning scenario.

2. Visit the Fisherman’s Village

This replica of a New England seaport and the fish town is a quiet harbor front with beautiful views of the Marina, where you can enjoy the sailboats and some wildlife. You can find many restaurants, the Marina del Rey Historical Society exhibit space, and a smattering of shops. There is a lighthouse, and an abundance of bougainvillea to complete the charm of this place.

PRO-TIP: I recommend grabbing a drink and watching the sunset at the SALT Restaurant & Bar. Or take a cruise boat for sunset with wine and cheese.

4. Go on a Sunset boat cruise at Marina Del Rey

What a perfect way to end your 5-day Los Angeles itinerary – you can go on a sunset cruise a relaxing ride onboard an electric boat, while you enjoy the beauty of the biggest marina in Los Angeles. Keep an eye out for the local wildlife while you celebrate sunset with a glass of wine and a yummy selection of meat, cheeses, and fruit. Oh, life is good!

How to Get Around Los Angeles in 5 Days

METRO: Plenty of Los Angeles neighborhoods are not only walkable but connected to one another by train. The L.A. Metro system works well and has many stops. To use the Metro, purchase a TAP card at any Metro station from one of the vending machines. 
ELECTRICAL BIKE OR SCOOTER: The scooter service is very popular in LA now, and you can register on the app – even Uber and Lyft offer this service now. You can cruise around a cool 15 miles per hour or less.
UBER OR LYFT: That is what I used on my last trip, and I was very pleased to get to do this itinerary, without having to rent a car, especially driving in Los Angeles. Keep in mind that the prices may vary depending on the time of the day, the demand, the pick-up location, and the destination.
RENTAL CAR: The best way to explore the city is definitely by car, but keep in mind that driving in L.A. is very challenging. If you don’t want to ruin your relaxing vacation, I recommend you avoid the stress of driving in this “crazy” traffic. You would be better (and happier) to rely on Uber. But if you still decide to rent a car, I have good news for you below…

You can get a 15% off your rental car when you book through this site. I use and recommend RentalCar because it is the most reliable rental car source, and it allows you to compare the prices of different places.

Best Places to Stay during your 5 Day in Los Angeles Itinerary

The best decision you will make to have the best time during 5 Days in Los Angeles, is the area you choose to stay in, especially if you don’t have a rental car. As I said before, Los Angeles is a huge city, and very spread out.

Make sure you choose your accommodations close to the attractions you want to visit – You must check Where to Stay in Los Angeles, 6 best areas + Hotel Gide. Below is a quick guide for some of the best recommendations:


Downtown Los Angeles: Best for first-time visitors

Good Value Hotel | Freehand Los Angeles is a great option as it offers a combination of styles and is on a budget in the city of L.A. The decoration is to look like you have walked directly into the 60s with shabby chic furniture and colorful print tiles.

Mid Range | Hotel Indigo is a great option for midrange accommodation, offering stylish rooms and spaciousness when compared with the majority of the hotels in this area. With the Metropole Bar and Kitchen on site, and a cool penthouse bar called 18 Social is here too. You will love the pool at this hotel!

Luxury hotel | Conrad Los Angeles is the place for you if you are looking to spoil yourself. This hotel is stunning and it features a bar, restaurant, an amazing pool and a terrace, and incredible views of L.A. It is rated as Superb (9.0) by the guests for a reason.

Santa Monica: If you want to stay close to the beach

Good Value Hotel | The Georgian Hotel is an affordable accommodation, with an exceptional location, just a few steps away from the Santa Monica Pier. With 84 rooms with an ocean view, and a rooftop bar and restaurant.

Mid-Range | The Palihouse Hotel is an excellent option, located only 5-minutes from the beach. This is an iconic hotel that has been around since the 1900s. All the rooms come with kitchenettes, which allow you to prepare your own meals.

Luxury hotel | Casa Del Mar is a luxury hotel and one of the only beachfront hotels in Los Angeles. Here you can enjoy the pool that overlooks the beach, while you enjoy your favorite cocktail and live music. The rooms are lavishly decorated, and the spa offers amazing facials and massages.

Marina Del Rey: For a quieter stay but, but walking distance to the buzz of the Venice Beach

Good Value Hotel | Hilton Garden Inn is where I stayed during my last visit to L.A. and I recommend this hotel. Featuring an outdoor pool and hot tub, it is only a 2-minute walk to the beach, and 1 mile from Venice Beach Boardwalk. Very comfortable bed and good size rooms.

Mid-Range | Jamaica Bay Inn is a beautiful collection by Hilton. Of all the hotels in Marina Del Rey, this is the best boutique hotel, right on Marina’s beach, with an outdoor pool, and it is the best option for families to stay in too.

Luxury hotel | Ritz-Carlton, Marina Del Ray One of the highlights of this incredible hotel is the fresh-caught seafood plates at the restaurant Cast and Plow. Also, you can get spoiled with an 80-minute bliss-fest massage, or chill in the poolside cabana, with complimentary sparkling wine and refreshments on tap.

What to Pack for your 5 Day Los Angeles Itinerary

  • Los Angles Sightseeing Pass: I also recommend getting the Go Los Angeles Card or Los Angeles Sightseeing Flex Pass as these passes start at $83 for one-day grant access to a variety of different attractions.
  • Comfortable Pair of Shoes: That is the first thing you should pack for your trip to L.A.. you will walk a lot, and you maybe add some hiking too. I love my Nike Air Force as I find it ideal to wear with my gym clothes or a cute dress for a casual dinner.
  • Summer dresses: I recommend at least one summer dress as they are versatile to walk during the day or going out in the evening
  • Leggings: You will need at least one pair. Leggings are your best friend in L.A., as you can wear them pretty much every day (and night too;-))
  • Workout outfit: Dressing in layers and comfortably is the best rule to explore Los Angeles.
  • Long sleeves shirt and light sweater: It can get chilly in Los Angeles, even during the summer months. It is always wise to dress in layers!
  • Sunscreen: While you are out exploring, make sure to protect yourself from the sun. I recommend the Stream 2 Sea Sunscream and they are reef-safe
  • Sunglasses and hat: Don’t forget to pack your pair of sunglasses, you will need them!
  • Swimsuit: The water may be chilly, but I recommend planning at least a half-day at the beach, so pack that travel beach bag!
  • Beach Towel: This travel towel is a must to be used at the beach, on a picnic, or even as a blanket.
  • Day Backpack: This is a must on your packing list – I have a whole article on the best backpack for traveling that I recommend you to check!
  • Reusable water bottle: Never travel anywhere without a reusable water bottle. Remain hydrated without wasting single-use plastic bottles!

5-Day Itinerary Los Angeles Itinerary Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this 5-day Los Angeles Itinerary, and that you have found it very helpful for your trip planning to the city of angels. With so much to do, see and experience, Los Angeles is a must destination for any adventure, outdoor, and art lover.

If you have any further questions, just leave me a comment below and I will be happy to get in touch with you. I have visited Los Angeles many times, and any time I come back, I feel in love with this city again. And I am sure you will also love Los Angeles and will want to come back to continue exploring.

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7 thoughts on “5 Days Los Angeles Itinerary + Complete LA Guide & Insider Tips”

  1. Wow, I definitely didn’t fully experience LA last time I was there—there is so much to do! I’d love to do a road trip around the area some day 🙂

  2. What a fantastic, lively city! The sunset strip looks gorgeous. I’d love to explore LA, the coast, and I’d also love to visit Koreatown.

  3. Santa Monica Pier and Hollywood are high on my list when I finally see more than just the airport in LA. I’m looking forward to it & saving your tips for later!

  4. This is such a great and detailed itinerary, Paula! I still have yet to visit LA. I’d love to check out the Venice Canals, as per your recommendation.

  5. Looks like you had an amazing time! I’ve been to San Diego a few times, but never Los Angeles! I’m clear across the country in Virginia, but next time I visit I plan to visit LA. Thank you for the great list of suggestions!

  6. I visited Venice before the pandemic. It was so fun to see the beach scene. I loved the skater park. And it is free!

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