California U.S.

Downtown LA on a budget

Rich in history and cultural heritage, there is always a story to tell when you’re in Los Angeles.  I used to live and work here when I first started my career as a journalist, and since I was born here, this city will always hold a special place in my heart.

Even though it feels like it’s been ages since I lived here, I can always count on my friend Ashley to be my Downtown Los Angeles tour guide whenever I come to visit. I like to take the train to Union Station to avoid traffic, not to mention it’s super convenient and affordable.

Here are things to do in Downtown LA on a budget.

OLVERA STREET

El Pueblo Historical Monument is the birthplace of LA and the home of the world-famous Olvera Street.  Here you will find a Mexican Marketplace where artisans and musicians showcase their love for the culture.  Stop by one of the kiosks to pick up a gift or souvenir or enjoy the delicious Mexican food.

In this area, you’ll see several historic buildings like the Plaza Firehouse, the first fire station in the city of Los Angeles.

GRAND CENTRAL MARKET

Located in downtown since 1917,  Grand Central Market is full of Angelenos and tourists with an appetite.  We waited in a long line to get an egg sandwich at Eggslut.  Almost 40 minutes, but it was totally worth it.  If you don’t want to wait that long, there are countless other places to grab breakfast, lunch, or dinner seven days a week that won’t leave a hole in your wallet.

Just looking at the picture of that tasty meal makes me want to go back for another bite!

317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013 Phone: (213) 624-2378

VISIT THE LANDMARKS

Located across from Grand Central Market, hop aboard Angels Flight – the world’s shortest railway.  The short ride takes you between Hill Street and Grand Avenue.  Opened in 1901, this railway was featured in the movie La La Land and has supposedly given more than 100 million rides since it first opened.  Although it was closed, when I stopped by for a visit, I know my friend recently went for a ride.

The Railway is open daily, seven days a week, 365 days a year, including holidays, from 6:45 in the morning until 10:00 at night.  A one-way fare is only $1.00.

351 South Hill Street, Los Angeles 90013

GRAB A DRINK AT A ROOFTOP BAR

I’m a sucker for sunsets, and when I can’t make it to the beach, viewing the greatest show on earth from a rooftop does not disappoint.  My friend Ashley and I stopped by the Ace Hotel to grab a drink, and catch the sun’s rays disappear in between the buildings.   Although I wouldn’t say the drinks here are cheap, they do have a happy hour menu.  Enjoying one or two libations won’t break the bank, but parking, on the other hand, is another story.  Parking lots in Downtown LA can vary from $10-$16 in the evening.

We met some new friends, had some great conversations and I made a mental note to bring my bathing suit next time I stop by for a visit.

929 South Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Check out that California glow behind me.
Ashley and the view
Ace Hotel rooftop

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