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Los Angeles/Santa Monica

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mbrenn | 20:20 Fri 10th Jun 2005 | Travel
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I've been told that Hollywood and Downtown LA can be seedy and not nice areas to stay so I was looking at staying in Santa Monica.


Any advice? How easy is it to travel (on public transport) to Hollywood/Universal Studios etc from Santa Monica?

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That's probably a good idea. you'd need to spend serious cash to get good hotels in Hollywood and downtown LA. Santa Monica is lovely, quite hippy and you should get a little more for your money. The range of hotels in LA is quite wide, so go for the best you can afford. We thought we'd found a bargain on the internet, just off hollywood boulevard at highland, but when we arrived there were bars on the windows, and a family of about fifty Koreans living in the room opposite! Scary stuff, though perfectly comfortable.

For a city that worships the car, LA has very good, clean cheap reliable public transport. Universal studios is on the metro (it's the second last stop I think). However the metro doesn't go to Santa Monica (or at least it didn' last time I was there. You'd have to catch a bus down santa monica boulevard to vermont and catch a metro up to universal city - which really is worth the visit, but wear good shoes as it really is a full day out.

I'd suggest you start early and enjoy all the rides/shows. Then spend some time shopping in universal village. Then have dinner at one of the universal city reatsaurants (although the food is only average, the hot weather means you can sit outside and they often have live music and shows in the square) Tthen catch a film at the universal cinema.

To round it all off, get a cab down mullholland drive back into the city, and watch the famous LA night time panorama expand out in front of you.

If you're able, hire a car, as the city is vast. If not, prepare well with maps and the internet and you'll be pleasantly surprised as to how easy it is to get around.

I don't know what kind of budget you are on but if you would be at all interested in staying in a youth hostel there is a really nice one bang in the middle of the nice part of Hollywood, by this I mean the really touristy part with the Walk of Fame, the Chinese Theatre, Kodak Theatre (where the have the Oscars), the hostel is right on Hollywood Blvd, right opposite the metro station (Hollywood and Highland) and a nice new shopping mall.  Santa Monica is an hour away from the main Hollywood by bus, so maybe if you just want to spend a day or 2 looking at the ' classic' hollywood it may be easier just to stay here for 1 night. I can personally vouch that it is a very nice hostel, clean dorms with 3 bunks (6 people in all), free breakfast, and very nice and helpful staff.  Also very secure too.  I found it fine walking around this part of Hollywood at night, as there are always tons of tourists about.

http://www.hostelsweb.com/hostelsweb.com/hostel.php?HostelNumber=1817

My husband stayed in Marina Del Rey earlier this year, it's inbetween LA and Santa Monica and was really impressed.

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