When it comes to Los Angeles museums, the words “free admission” have a certain ring. Imagine standing before a priceless van Gogh without having paid a dime, or strolling through the galleries and gardens filled with Roman statuary at the renowned Getty Villa. Artistic "free"-dom indeed.
Following is a list of select L.A. museums with free admission. For a comprehensive list, check out our guide, Discover Free Museums in Los Angeles.
Celebrating its 5th anniversary through February 2021, The Broad is home to the 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection, which is among the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art in the world. General admission to The Broad is free, with a separate charge for select exhibitions and events.
Founded in 1979, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is the only artist-founded museum in Los Angeles, dedicated to collecting and exhibiting contemporary art. MOCA houses one of the most compelling collections of contemporary art in the world, comprising roughly 7,000 objects, with a diverse history of ground-breaking, historically-significant exhibitions.
California African American Museum
Located at Exposition Park, the California African American Museum (CAAM) exhibits the history, art and culture of African Americans with an emphasis on California and the western United States.
California Science Center
Through hands-on experiences, the California Science Center educates visitors about human inventions and innovations, the processes of living things, and much more. Admission to the Science Center's permanent exhibitions is free (excluding IMAX and Special Exhibits). Timed reservations to view the Space Shuttle Endeavour are required on weekends, holidays, and peak dates.
The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) collection holds more than 15,000 costumes, accessories and textiles from the 19th century through the present day. During Awards Season, the FIDM Museum exhibits costumes from all of that year's Oscar nominees as well as numerous other films.
La Plaza de Cultura y Artes
Renowned as one of the nation's premier centers of Mexican American culture, La Plaza de Cultura y Artes invites visitors to explore interactive exhibits as well as contribute to the ongoing story of Mexican Americans in Los Angeles and beyond.
Located in the Downtown L.A. Arts District, ICA LA presents dynamic exhibitions of contemporary art that are complemented by educational programs for art lovers of all ages. Be sure to check their calendar of weekend events for non-traditional BBQs and family fun.
Opened to the public in 1935, the iconic Griffith Observatory is renowned as a national leader in public astronomy, and a beloved gathering place for visitors and Angelenos alike. Admission to the Observatory's grounds, exhibits, and telescopes is always free. There is a modest fee to see the programs in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium.
Travel Town Museum
Located in the northwest corner of Griffith Park, the delightful and family friendly Travel Town Museum focuses on the history of railroad transportation in the western United States, with an emphasis on railroading in Southern California and the Los Angeles area.
Getty Center & Getty Villa
Situated on a hilltop in Brentwood, the spectacular Getty Center exhibits European paintings, drawings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, and photography from its beginnings to the present.
Dedicated to the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria, the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades houses 44,000 works of art from the museum's extensive collection of antiquities, of which over 1,200 are on view.
Located at the corner of Wilshire and Westwood Boulevards in Westwood Village, the Hammer Museum champions the art and artists who challenge us to see the world in a new light, to experience the unexpected, to ignite our imaginations, and inspire change.
The Annenberg Space for Photography
The first cultural destination dedicated entirely to photography in the L.A. area, The Annenberg Space for Photography features state-of-the-art, high-definition digital technology as well as traditional prints by some of the world's most renowned photographers and emerging photographic talents.
The Nethercutt Collection
The Nethercutt Collection showcases more than 130 of the world’s greatest antique, vintage, classic and special interest automobiles. Spanning four floors, the collection also includes automobile mascots, antique furniture, clocks and watches, and one of the world's finest collections of Mechanical Musical Instruments.