Downtown Los Angeles: Walking Route

Hello Molaviajeros! Welcome to a new post! This time we’re going to walk through downtown Los Angeles. Who said you had to drive everywhere in Los Angeles? Well, he was right! But this time, we’ll leave it parked and go see some cool downtown Los Angeles places. Will you join us?

Index of Contents

Where’s downtown Los Angeles? Has it always been like this?

The best way to locate us is to consult our map of Los Angeles. There you can see where downtown is.

As you can imagine, it hasn’t always been as it can be seen today. Downtown Los Angeles was one of the most promising areas in the early 20th century. Momentarily, this growth was hampered by factors such as the growth of the city, the arrival of cars and highways and the flight of neighbors to neighborhoods far from the center. Normal, in the suburbs they could have small houses with gardens, but in downtown, this was an unreal dream.

The sum of these circumstances made downtown Los Angeles suffer a certain decline after the Second World War. Luckily, this came back a few years later and to this day, it is an area with atmosphere, many activities and new well-to-do neighbors.

What can you visit in downtown Los Angeles?

We’ll start by saying that, for us, even though “knowing and visiting don’t occupy a place,” going just in time, downtown Los Angeles is a place we don’t usually travel as much as Venice Beach or Santa Monica, for example.

However, if you have enough time and you are lovers of eating the city, here you have your bit of downtown, stop by stop.


Chinatown is located in downtown Los Angeles and consists of 24 blocks. If you come to this point, you can begin your visit to this neighborhood by the statue of Sun Yat-sen, the father of modern China. Here you will not only be able to find restaurants and shops typical of any chinatown, but you can also visit, among other things, the temple Thien Hau, dedicated to the goddess of the sea Mazu, protector of fishermen and sailors.

Union Station

This is the main railway station in the city. Inaugurated in 1939, it has starred in many films. Does it ring a bell in Blade Runner, Speed, Pearl Harbour or even Garfield’s film? Yes, that’s it! We’ll leave you his geolocation.

Olvera Street

If at the exit of Union Station you go to Olvera street, you will see a very authentic area that will remind you that you are very close to SoCa. Come on, Baja California or South California. There you can enjoy some good nachos, visit places like Avila Adobe (the oldest house in Los Angeles) or also the church of Our Lady the Queen of Los Angeles. All of this is found around this location.

Los Angeles City Council

We’re still in the movies. This building has been the backdrop to several movies (does it sound familiar in Spiderman?) For several years it was the tallest building in Los Angeles at 138 meters. At present, you can visit its interior simply by going through a security check and paying a whopping… zero euros! Yeah, it’s free! So you can go up to the terrace on the top floor and take some good pictures of the city, 360°. Visits take place in the morning, but check the official website first to make sure that it will be open when you want to visit it. We’ll leave you his location below.

Little Tokyo

Don’t think that the Asian footprint of Los Angeles ends in Chinatown, no. Little Tokyo is a very authentic Japanese neighborhood where you can visit from the oldest Buddhist temple in the U.S. to an authentic Japanese garden in which to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city. In addition to these places, is curious but the neighborhood is also known for an open shopping center, typically decorated with Japanese motifs, like the rest of the neighborhood. To visit it, you can move around this area.

Music Center

This is quite an icon of the city as far as artistic representations are concerned. Inside is the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion and if this doesn’t tell you anything… Do you know that it was here that the Oscars were awarded between 1969 and 1987? Afterwards the delivery was also held here on several occasions, the last time, to bid farewell to the last century, in 1999. You can see it here

Walt Disney Center Hall

We continue with the music… Impossible to see it and not remember the Guggenheim of Bilbao, normal, since both were designed by the same person: Frank Gehry. Located just across the street from the Music Center, it is said to have almost perfect acoustics. We haven’t attended any concerts in that hall, but we hope to do so soon! By the way, this auditorium bears the name of the famous Walt Disney because it was his wife who donated fifty million dollars for its construction. This is your location.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Los Angeles

A very modern Catholic cathedral, which was consecrated as such in 2002 and designed by the Spanish architect Rafael Moneo. And why such a modern cathedral? Because the previous one was badly damaged by the 1994 earthquake, so this one came to give shelter to all the Catholics who had been left without a cathedral. And he did… Twelve stories high, he can accommodate 3,000 people. Here you have his location on the map

US Bank Tower and OUE Skyspace

Tell us, doesn’t this ring a bell in the Independence Day movie? At 310 meters high, it is the second tallest building in the city. But it is not the only secret that hides… But that in its superior part, is the observatory OUE SKyspace. The adult ticket is 25 USD, but we visit using our GoLa Card. Daniela and I had a great time shooting down a transparent slide that makes your hair stand on end, as it is attached to the facade of the tower and being built with transparent material, it impresses a little. The slide costs about 8 USD per person and is paid in cash, no card allowed. You can find these two points in this place. and see our experience in the OUE SKyspace in this video.

Grand Central Market

If you want to have something to eat, a stop at this market can come great, as it does not lack food stalls. In addition, this market is located very close to the Bradbury Building, a beautiful building with a very television interior. To see the Grand Central Market, go to this location

More than downtown L.A., you can visit…

The Broad Museum

It’s a museum of contemporary art that is located inside a spectacular building. It is located right next to Walt Disney Center Hall. Admission is free. To see it, you’ll have to go here


Let’s go with more modern art! And watch out, ’cause there’s three of these in LA. But only one in downtown Los Angeles. This Grand Avenue contains more than 5000 works of art, being the oldest of 1940. The entrance fee is 15 USD. And your geolocation is this.

Grammy Museum

The museum of music lovers. It has interactive exhibitions that change periodically. The entrance fee is 15 USD but if you have the Go LaCard is also included. The museum is in this location.

Staples Center

This center is home to the annual Grammy Awards, the Lakers Angels, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Kings, the Los Angeles Clippers and countless other shows… It has always been well known for its sporting themes, but as a curiosity, did you know that Michael Jackson’s funeral was held here?

Los Angeles Convention Center

Very close to the Staples, this is a convention center where fairs and exhibitions are held. Unless you are going to visit some of the buildings inside, it is enough to see the building from the outside. It’s more or less in this location.

Areas near downtown Los Angeles that are best avoided

If you’re one of those who gets lost walking between streets, we recommend that you avoid an area adjacent to downtown Los Angeles called Skid Row. It is situated between 3rd and 7th streets and Main and Alameda avenues. It’s not that it’s dangerous, but it’s a part of the city where a lot of people live on the street and it can be a bit unsafe for those of us who go on vacation “with our face like a bunch of nerds”.

Well Molaviajeros, we hope that this route walking through downtown Los Angeles has pleased you. If you’re just in time, remember that you can also take a look at our Los Angeles route by car in one day. We leave you here a summary illustration of the day of adventure.

For any questions, you know, you can contact us through the contact form on the website and we will respond as soon as possible.

Downtown Los Angeles: Walking route was last modified: June 11th, 2019 by MolaTravelling