Downtown L.A. Proper
Downtown L.A. Proper


From Chinatown and Little Tokyo to the Fashion and Arts Districts and everywhere in between, Downtown Los Angeles offers visitors a diverse collection of unique districts, each with distinct personalities, intriguing stories and compelling attractions.  

“Downtown Los Angeles is the historic heart of the city and a perfect example of how the LA experience is continuously evolving,” said Adam Burke, President & CEO, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. “Home to culturally rich districts, including Chinatown, Little Tokyo and El Pueblo de Los Angeles, diverse entertainment and art offerings, and some of the best culinary options in the city, DTLA is a can’t-miss destination for families, couples and solo travelers alike.”

LA was founded downtown in 1781, and today, DTLA abounds with beautiful historic sites as well as thrilling new architecture, world-class museums and cutting-edge art galleries. Boutique hotels are booming, and the food-and-drink scene is thriving with friendly new breweries, sleek bars and innovative restaurants. There’s also shopping for every style and budget, from luxury apparel to the latest in streetwear.  

Read on for LA Tourism’s detailed guide and tips for exploring Downtown Los Angeles.


Arts & Culture  

  • See a performance at The Music Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ahmanson Theatre or Mark Taper Forum
  • Visit a renowned art museum, such as The Broad, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Grand Avenue, or The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, or discover new and international artists at galleries like Hauser & Wirth, Hive Gallery, Arts District Co-Op, DOMA Arts Complex, Over the Influence, Night Gallery or Spring Arts Collective
  • Discover your artistic passion at the GRAMMY Museum or Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising Museum
  • Immerse yourself in street art, including “Pope of Broadway,” “The Cleansing of Carnage from Vagus,” “Bloom,” “Kiss,” “Ed Ruscha Monument,” Santee Public Gallery and the Container Yard


  • See Frank Gehry’s vision come to life at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and Conrad Los Angeles hotel
  • Visit famed buildings from your favorite movies, including the Bradbury Building from “Blade Runner” and The Biltmore Los Angeles hotel, one of DTLA’s most-filmed sites  
  • Explore the eclectic mix of Spanish, Art Deco and other styles at LA’s City Hall, Union Station and Central Public Library  
  • Stroll along South Broadway where historic theaters have been repurposed for retail and entertainment, including the Apple Tower Theatre, Rialto Theatre (now Urban Outfitters) and The United Theater on Broadway


  • Visit some of the city’s oldest buildings at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, including Avila Adobe and Sepulveda House
  • Dive into LA’s diverse cultures at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, Italian American Museum of Los Angeles, Chinese American Museum, Japanese American National Museum and more


  • Find bargains on everything from evening gowns to athleisure wear in the Fashion District, including Santee Alley
  • Shop for huarache sandals, embroidered blouses and more at Olvera Street’s Mexican Marketplace
  • Look for merchandise celebrating Japanese pop culture, plus crafts and home goods, at Little Tokyo’s Japanese Village Plaza
  • Check out the latest in cutting-edge streetwear and design at ROW DTLA


  • Check into one of DTLA’s beautiful boutique hotels, such as the Downtown LA Proper Hotel, The Hoxton, Downtown LA, kodō hotel, Hotel Figueroa, Hotel Per La, Wayfarer Los Angeles,  and more.  
  • Experience the L.A. LIVE entertainment district with a stay at Residence Inn Los Angeles LA Live or The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles

Food & Drink

  • Enjoy authentic cuisine from around the world at spots like Little Tokyo’s Daikokuya, Mama Lu’s Dumpling House in Chinatown or LA Cha Cha Chá in the Arts District  
  • Experience celebrity chefs at their finest at Jose Andres’ Agua Viva and Stephanie Izard’s Girl & the Goat  
  • Sip cocktails at Wolf & Crane in Little Tokyo, mocktails at STAY in Chinatown or beer at Creature Comforts, Angel City Brewery or Arts District Brewing Co.
  • Dine on classic dishes or creative fare at Grand Central Market, Smorgasburg LA or Level 8 at Moxy Downtown Los Angeles & AC Hotel Downtown Los Angeles


Dive deeper into the different districts that make up Downtown Los Angeles:  


Bunker Hill is home to a dozen bucket-list DTLA destinations, including Frank Gehry’s architectural wonder, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, a renowned venue for live music and home to the LA Philharmonic. Gehry also designed the new Conrad Los Angeles hotel across the street, whose dining concepts, Agua Viva and San Laurel, feature menus from world-famous chef Jose Andres.

Continue on Grand Avenue to The Broad museum to see renowned contemporary art, including Jeff Koons’ “Tulips” and “Balloon Dog,” Ed Ruscha’s LA cityscapes, Kara Walker’s “African’t” cutouts and rooms devoted to Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Admission to The Broad is free, but plan ahead for tickets to Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms, which are released online once a month.

The free Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA Grand Avenue) features abstract expressionists like Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock, portraits by Cindy Sherman and Amy Sherald, and cutting-edge work by LA-based artists.  

Tucked behind the MOCA is Angels Flight, the world’s shortest railway. Built in 1901, it offers one-minute rides up and down the hill for only $1 each way and takes you directly to the historic Grand Central Market, where food vendors sell everything from donuts and oysters to tacos and Korean food.  

Nearby you’ll find the iconic Biltmore Los Angeles hotel, the weird and wonderful Last Bookstore and LA’s landmark Central Public Library, which opened in 1926 and survived a devastating 1986 fire.


Stroll through this vibrant, up-and-coming neighborhood to discover art galleries, street art, trendy boutiques, breweries, cafes and restaurants.  

Start your day with caffeine from Boxx Coffee Roasters or Eightfold Coffee. For lunch or dinner, try LA Cha Cha Chá, Manuela, Yunomi Handroll, or Wurstkuche, then head over to Arts District Brewing Co. or Angel City Brewery for a beer.

Check out the galleries at Hauser & Wirth, Art Share L.A., Arts District Co-Op, Over the Influence and the newly opened DOMA Arts Complex.  

Colorful street art and powerful murals adorn the neighborhood, including “Bloom,” a floral tribute to the late community activist Joel Bloom; “Kiss,” a picture of a smooching couple and the words “Kiss the one you love every chance you get”; a portrait of artist Ed Ruscha, and murals at the Container Yard.

Hennessey + Ingalls bookstore specializes in books on LA architecture, while boutiques like NEOITY and Al’s General Store sell the latest in streetwear. Virgo is a plant-based organic hair salon and spa, and Signal is a new shopping enclave, home to Alchemy Works (apparel and home goods); Period Correct (clothing and accessories inspired by motorsports) and Flagships by M5 Shop (menswear).  

For lodging, consider the tranquil, luxurious rooms at the new kodō hotel, located in a redesigned century-old firehouse with an onsite Japanese restaurant.


Only one of three official Japantowns in the United States, Little Tokyo is a major cultural and civic center for Japanese Americans — and a destination for anyone who loves Japanese food, shopping and all things kawaii.  

In Japanese Village Plaza, boutiques like Japangeles and PopKiller/Pop Little Tokyo sell T-shirts, hats, posters and other merchandise celebrating Japanese pop culture. The nearby Weller Court outdoor mall is home to Midori Matcha ice cream, the Kinokuniya bookstore and Marukai Market grocery store.

Little Tokyo is known for its exceptional culinary scene. Options include Daikokuya for ramen, Shabu Shabu for hotpot, Hama or Kura Revolving Sushi Bar for sushi, Wolf & Crane for whisky and cocktails, and Fugetsu-Do Bakery — founded in 1903 — for mochi.  

The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) tells the tragic story of the unjust internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Engraved in the pavement outside many local stores is the year the store opened and the year the owners were sent to internment camps. Adjacent to the JANM is MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary location, featuring 40,000 square feet of exhibition space.


Spanning 100 blocks in the heart of Downtown LA, the Los Angeles Fashion District is the hub of the LA fashion industry. Start at Santee Alley for a variety of formal wear and deals on apparel, accessories and footwear for the entire family. On the last Friday of each month, designer showrooms hold public sample sales at markets such as California Market Center.  

The Fashion District also includes the LA Flower District; Santee Passage food hall, home to Vegan Hooligans and Holy Basil; and at City Market South, Superfine Pizza, the Italian restaurant Rossoblu, DAMA for Latin food, and Creature Comforts brewery, housed in an old produce market.  

On Sundays, nearby ROW DTLA hosts Smorgasburg LA. The open-air food fest at the historic Alameda Produce Market has nearly 100 vendors selling creative fare like pizza-pan fry dumplings and mochi croissants, along with empanadas, acai bowls and more.

Outside the market, dining options include Pikunico fried chicken, Michelin-starred Hayato, Pizzeria Bianco and Go Get ‘Em Tiger coffee shop. And be sure to check out boutiques like Omami Mini, General Store, Apt. 4B, and Bodega, whose hidden entrance is decorated like an actual bodega, for high-end streetwear.

The Fashion District is also home to gorgeous boutique hotels, including the Downtown LA Proper Hotel and The Hoxton, Downtown LA. Book a stay or stop by for views and cocktails on the rooftop bars.  


El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument marks the place where 44 settlers of Native American, African and European heritage arrived from Mexico in 1781 and founded the village that grew into one of the world’s greatest cities.

Experience some of that history at LA’s oldest existing home, Avila Adobe, built in 1818, Sepulveda House, built in 1887, and LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, celebrating Mexican American and Latinx culture. Nearby are the Museum of Social Justice, the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles, the Chinese American Museum, and America Tropical Interpretive Center.  

The colorful Mexican Marketplace on Olvera Street features huarache sandals, embroidered blouses and woven blankets, while mariachi music brings locals out to dance on the plaza. Try Mexican food from Cielito Lindo or El Rancho Grande, or a “French-dipped sandwich” from either Philippe the Original or Cole’s French Dip — both claim to have invented the recipe.  

Just across the street is LA’s Union Station train terminal, a stunning architectural landmark with arched windows and a clock tower, blending Spanish Colonial Revival and Art Deco styles. An exhibition inside commemorates LA’s original Chinatown, which moved to its current location to make way for the station.  


Twin golden dragons adorn the Chinatown Gateway Monument, welcoming visitors to the first Chinatown in the U.S. owned by Chinese residents. Shops and street vendors along Broadway sell fresh produce, straw hats, toys, housewares and more. You’ll see art around every corner, including the famed “Dragon Chasing Pearl” mural, a statue of martial arts star Bruce Lee and art galleries.  

A mix of old and new culinary offerings cater to every palate. For example, try dim sum at Golden Dragon or Mama Lu’s Dumpling House, trendy burger options from Burgerlords or Amboy Quality Meats and Delicious Burgers, zero-proof cocktails at STAY and Phoenix Bakery’s famous strawberry cake.


South Park is home to the LA Live Entertainment District and arena, where the Lakers, Clippers, Kings and Sparks play. Nearby, check out the exhibits at the GRAMMY Museum or bowl a game at Lucky Strike.  

Hotels include JW Marriott Los Angeles at LA Live, Residence Inn Los Angeles LA Live, Hotel Figueroa and The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles at LA Live, along with the new double-branded Moxy Downtown Los Angeles and AC Hotel Downtown Los Angeles. Don’t miss Moxy/AC’s Level 8, a unique dining concept with eight different venues offering everything from cocktails and a raw bar to Japanese and South American food.  

“We’ve created an expansive maze of concepts that are held together by their connection to the culture of Downtown LA and by an artful combination of authentic cuisine, performance-driven nightlife, and interactive design,” said Mitchell Hochberg, Level 8 Co-Founder and President of Lightstone, Moxy and AC’s owner and developer.

Other nearby dining options include Katsuya LA Live, Sonoritas Prime Tacos, Mastro’s Ocean Club, The Palm-LA Downtown, El Cholo and The Original Pantry Cafe, which has been serving up eggs, sandwiches and more since 1924.  


On foot, by LA Metro or Uber/rideshare services.

  • Many downtown destinations are within walking distance of one another.
  • Downtown has numerous LA Metro stops on the A, B, D and E lines. Buy a $2 TAP card from station kiosks or download the app, then add money for rides, $1.75 each. Take 20 rides in a week and additional rides are free until the seven days are up. Enjoy metro station artwork, like Pearl Hsiung’s colorful mosaic in the Grand Av Arts/Bunker Hill station.
  • Uber and other ride services typically pick up downtown within minutes.  


  • Parking meters accept coins, credit/debit cards and the ParkMobile app. Read signs carefully; a red stripe on the curb means no parking.  
  • Parking lot prices vary from $5 in Chinatown on weekdays to $17 and up on weekends near Bunker Hill.

Getting from LAX to DTLA

  • The FlyAway bus is $9.75 each way between DTLA’s Union Station and LAX airport.  
  • Take the free LAX-it shuttle from your terminal to the airport’s designated pick-up area for cabs and Ubers.

Stay safe

  • Just as you would in any urban area, avoid empty streets and be aware of your surroundings, especially at night. Keep track of your purse, wallet and phone.
  • Like so many other cities, LA faces complex challenges related to homelessness, addiction and mental illness. If you’re inclined to help, keep a dollar handy for easy access, or donate to a nonprofit like Shelter Partnership or the Midnight Mission.

Link to PDF: 


Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (Los Angeles Tourism) is the non-profit destination marketing and sales organization for the Los Angeles tourism industry and the ultimate resource for where to stay and play in the LA area.  

Los Angeles is a dynamic, ever-evolving destination – where diversity thrives, and everyone is welcome. A global creative capital and the epicenter of the sports universe, LA presents limitless possibilities for visitors from around the world. For more information, visit, follow at @discoverLA on Instagram, TikTok and X. 


Chris Heywood
SVP, Global Communications 
(213) 236-2366