Where to stay in Los Angeles without a car: 5 Best areas

Hi guys, as usual, on my website, I cover topics for travelers without a car. Today, we will explore Los Angeles and help you find the best places to stay in Los Angeles without a car

I will share my recommendations for the top areas to stay in Los Angeles without a car, along with a helpful map. I’ll also tell you where I stayed in Los Angeles and suggest the best hotels for all budgets.

Los Angeles, often abbreviated as LA, is a major city located in Southern California. It is the largest city in California and the second-largest city in the United States, after New York City.

The city is often referred to as the entertainment capital of the world. It is home to Hollywood, which is famous for its film and television industry. Many major studios, including Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., and Paramount Pictures, are located in the area.

When visiting LA, you can visit numerous museums, theaters, art galleries, and cultural institutions, including the Getty Center, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Walt Disney Concert Hall.

The city attracts millions of tourists each year who come to explore Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, Santa Monica Pier, Griffith Observatory, and Hollywood Walk of Fame.

LA has an extensive network of highways and freeways, and it is also served by the Los Angeles International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world. You can easily use LAX FlyAway Bus or Uber to get from LAX airport to Santa Monica, Hollywood, and Union Station in Downtown LA.

While it’s known for its car-centric culture, it is possible to get around Los Angeles without a car. Some ways to navigate Los Angeles without a car include Metro Rail Trains, Metro Buses, DASH Buses, biking, walking, as well as ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

The LA railway system has 6 lines including two subway lines and four light-rail lines. The Red Line is a very convenient line for tourists as it connects Downtown LA and North Hollywood stopping at the popular attractions in Hollywood and Universal City. 

It is recommended to buy a TAP Card and install a TAP app to use public transportation in LA. You can buy it at TAP machines at the bus or subway stations. 

You can also rent a bike from various bike-sharing programs, such as Metro Bike Share. Cycling can be a great way to explore certain neighborhoods and enjoy the city’s weather.

Depending on where you are staying and where you need to go, walking can be a viable option. Some neighborhoods, like Downtown LA, Santa Monica, and Hollywood, are pedestrian-friendly with many attractions within walking distance.

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are available in Los Angeles. Taxis are also available, but they can be more expensive than ridesharing.

If you’re planning to stay in Los Angeles without a car, I recommend choosing a location that is well-connected by public transportation, has walkable amenities, and is close to the places you want to visit. 

Where to stay in Los Angeles without a car?

The best areas to stay in Los Angeles without a car are Hollywood, West Hollywood, Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Venice Beach. These areas offer easy access to attractions and amenities through public transportation, on foot, and via ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

Hollywood is a popular place for tourists, known for its entertainment industry landmarks like the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the TCL Chinese Theatre. It’s a walkable area relatively well-connected by the Metro Red Line, which can take you to Downtown LA and Universal Studios. 

West Hollywood (WeHo) is a great choice if you want a more upscale experience. Downtown LA is the city’s central business district and is well-connected by Metro lines and buses. You can explore cultural attractions like The Broad, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and historic Olvera Street.

Santa Monica is a popular beachfront destination with a charming pier and a lively promenade. While it’s a bit farther from central LA, you can use the Metro Expo Line to get there. Santa Monica offers a more relaxed atmosphere compared to other parts of the city.

Venice Beach is known for its bohemian spirit, Muscle Beach, and the famous Venice Boardwalk. If you enjoy a laid-back, eclectic vibe, Venice Beach might be your choice.

On my trip to Los Angeles, I didn’t rent a car, and I stayed in the Hollywood area at the budget-friendly 2-star hotel Hollywood Celebrity Hotel. It is located on Orchid Avenue, offers easy access to top tourist attractions like the Walk of Fame, Highland Shopping Center, and Chinese Theatre.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Los Angeles for car-free travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the best areas to stay in Los Angeles without a car
Map of the best areas to stay in Los Angeles without a car

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Los Angeles, especially for travelers without a car. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Los Angeles have been carefully selected by me, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

5 Best areas to stay in Los Angeles without a car:

1. Hollywood

Hollywood is an iconic neighborhood and a popular area in LA for tourists, especially for car-free travelers. Hollywood is a relatively walkable neighborhood, especially around the Hollywood and Highland intersection. 

You can visit iconic attractions like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, TCL Chinese Theatre, and the Dolby Theatre on foot. Just be mindful of your surroundings and pedestrian signals.

You can look for hotels that are within walking distance of a Metro Red Line station. The Hollywood/Highland station is a major transit hub in the area and is close to many attractions. This will make it easy to explore other parts of Los Angeles via public transit.

Make a list of the places you want to visit and plan your days accordingly. Group attractions together by location to minimize the need for transportation between them.

If you’re interested in seeing more of Los Angeles beyond Hollywood, consider joining guided tours that pick up and drop off from central Hollywood locations. This can be a convenient way to explore the city without a car.

Best places to stay in Los Angeles in Hollywood without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): Loews Hollywood Hotel, popular 4-star hotel, centrally located on North Highland Avenue, Hollywood, within easy walking distance from major attractions such as Dolby Theatre, TCL Chinese Theatre, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Short taxi ride from Hollywood Bowl.
  • Luxury ($$$): The Hollywood Roosevelt, this 4-star hotel is conveniently located on Hollywood Boulevard, in a very central location, with easy access to the city’s top attractions.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hollywood Celebrity Hotel, Fabulous 2-star hotel, centrally located, very close to Hollywood Bowl, Universal Studios as well, Dolby Theater, and Highland Shopping Center.
  • Budget ($): Orange Drive Hostel, this is a great value for money backpacker hostel in the heart of Hollywood, only within 4 mins walk from Dolby Theater. 

2. West Hollywood

West Hollywood, often referred to as WeHo, is a trendy and vibrant neighborhood in Los Angeles known for its nightlife, dining, shopping, and LGBTQ+ community.

West Hollywood offers a lively and enjoyable experience for visitors without cars. Its central location and walkability make it a convenient choice for those who prefer not to drive while still having access to a wide range of entertainment and dining options.

West Hollywood is a very walkable neighborhood, so you can explore the Sunset Strip, Santa Monica Boulevard, and other popular areas on foot. This way, you can enjoy the vibrant street life, boutique shops, and cafes.

While West Hollywood doesn’t have its own Metro station, it is served by several bus lines. You can use buses to connect to nearby Metro stations, like Hollywood/Highland or Beverly Center. The Metro Bus system and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are readily available.

WeHo is famous for its nightlife, including bars, clubs, and lounges. If you plan to enjoy the nightlife, be sure to choose a hotel within walking distance of your desired entertainment venues to avoid the need for transportation late at night.

Best places to stay in Los Angeles in West Hollywood without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills, 5-star hotel, located within a short Uber ride from Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive shopping, Beverly Center Mall, and Melrose Avenue. Great base for nightlife, dining, and clothes shopping.
  • Mid-range ($$): Sunset Marquis Hotel, 4-star accommodation, located in the middle of West Hollywood, easy distance from the famed sidewalks of the Sunset Strip.
  • Mid-range ($$): Chamberlain West Hollywood, 4-star hotel, located within easy walk from Sunset Boulevard, very close to popular areas such as Pacific Design Center,  West Hollywood Design District, the Beverly Center, Rodeo Drive, and The Grove.

3. Downtown Los Angeles

Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) is the central business district of the city and has undergone significant revitalization in recent years. It’s a diverse and dynamic neighborhood with plenty to see and do. 

Downtown LA is well-connected by multiple Metro lines and bus routes. You can choose to stay at a hotel that’s within walking distance of a Metro station or bus stop, such as the Metro Red or Purple Line, which runs through DTLA.

Downtown LA is one of the most walkable neighborhoods in the city. Many attractions are within walking distance of each other, including the historic Olvera Street, The Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Strolling around DTLA can be a great way to discover hidden gems.

While staying in Downtown LA, you can also explore Little Tokyo, the Arts District, and Chinatown, all of which are easily accessible on foot or via public transportation.

Downtown Los Angeles offers a mix of cultural attractions, dining options, and entertainment, making it an exciting place to stay even without a car. With the Metro and other transportation options, you can explore not only Downtown but also other parts of Los Angeles during your visit.

Best places to stay in Downtown Los Angeles without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): Hotel Per La, Autograph Collection, 5-star hotel located at the intersection of South Olive Street and 7th Street, a short walking distance from many nice restaurants and bars.
  • Mid-range ($$): The Los Angeles Athletic Club, 4-star accommodation in Downtown LA, central location, easy access to public transportation.
  • Budget ($): Miyako Hotel Los Angeles, great 3-star hotel, within walking distance from Little Tokyo and Grand Central Market, also close to A light rail transport station, which is a bonus for car-free travelers.

4. Santa Monica

Santa Monica is a beautiful coastal city in Los Angeles County known for its beach, pier, shopping, dining, and outdoor activities.

Without a car, you can choose that area within walking distance of Santa Monica Beach and the famous Santa Monica Pier. Staying near the beach will give you easy access to the ocean, restaurants, and the iconic attractions of the area.

Santa Monica is a pedestrian-friendly city with a vibrant downtown area. You can walk along the Third Street Promenade, which is filled with shops, restaurants, and street performers. The beachfront bike path is also a popular place for walking.

The Santa Monica Pier is a must-visit attraction with an arcade, restaurants, an amusement park, and fantastic views of the Pacific Ocean. It’s within walking distance of many hotels in the area.

While Santa Monica offers plenty to do, consider taking day trips to nearby areas like Venice Beach or Malibu using public transportation or ride-sharing services.

Santa Monica is a picturesque and visitor-friendly destination that can be thoroughly enjoyed without a car. Its walkability, public transportation options, and beachfront location make it a great choice for travelers looking to relax and explore the California coast.

Best places to stay in Los Angeles in Santa Monica without a car:

  • Luxury ($$$): Santa Monica Proper Hotel, a Member of Design Hotels , 5-star hotel, located on Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, short distance from the beachfront, Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park.
  • Mid-range ($$): Huntley Santa Monica Beach, popular 4-star hotel located on 2nd Street, Santa Monica, only a few mins walk from the 3rd Street Promenade and the Santa Monica State Beach path, short taxi/Uber ride from Venice Beach.
  • Budget ($): Ocean View Hotel, 3-star beachfront accommodation, a short walk from the Pacific Ocean and Santa Monica Pier, offering stunning views of the sea.

5. Venice Beach

Venice Beach is LA’s vibrant and eclectic neighborhood, known for its bohemian spirit, artistic scene, beachfront activities, and unique atmosphere. 

Without a car, you can look for hotels within walking distance of Venice Beach. This allows you to easily access the beach, the famous Venice Beach Boardwalk, and nearby attractions.

Venice Beach is a highly walkable and bike-friendly neighborhood. You can stroll along the boardwalk, rent a bike to explore the area, or even rent a scooter for a fun way to get around.

Spend time at Venice Beach itself, whether it’s soaking up the sun, swimming, or simply watching the various performers and artists that frequent the area.

The Venice Beach Boardwalk is a lively stretch where you’ll find street performers, vendors, artists, and shops. It’s a great place to people-watch and immerse yourself in the unique culture of Venice Beach.

Don’t miss Muscle Beach, an outdoor gym and iconic fitness spot where you can see bodybuilders and athletes working out.

Best places to stay in Los Angeles in Venice Beach without a car:

  • Mid-range ($$): Inn at Venice Beach, 4-star hotel, short walk from Del Rey Divers and Venice Fishing Pier. Short ride from Venice Beach Park.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Erwin, 4-star beachfront accommodation, short walk from Venice Beach Boardwalk, easy access to Restaurants, shops, museums, art galleries.
  • Budget ($): The Kinney – Venice Beach, 3-star hotel, great location, close to restaurants and shops at Abbot Kinney.

In conclusion, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Downtown LA, Santa Monica, and Venice Beach are the best places to stay in Los Angeles without a car. These neighborhoods are very popular among tourists, as they offer plenty of things to do and see that can be explored on foot or by using public transit.

There you have it, my recommendations for the popular areas that you can stay during your car-free trip to Los Angeles. I hope you found my article helpful and enjoy your holiday!

You can continue reading about LA in these articles:

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality travel guides.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

Leave a Comment