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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > United States of America > California > Los Angeles

Los Angeles Weather

18°C

Local time Los Angeles

Currency

US$

Travel to Los Angeles

Flying to Los Angeles

Los Angeles International Airport serves as a hub airport for Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Virgin America. Airlines offering flights to Los Angeles from the UK include American Airlines, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, United, Air New Zealand and Delta. Multiple airlines fly from other US cities. LA is a year-round destination but flights tend to be priciest during the school summer holidays. July and August are also the hottest months.

Flight times

From London - 11 hours; New York - 6 hours; Toronto - 5 hours 25 minutes; Sydney - 13 hours 40 minutes.

Travel by road

Freeway travel in California is excellent, with good roads connecting Los Angeles to San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Francisco and Palm Springs. Side streets are often not in such good order, with potholes abundant, so mind your tyres, especially in areas like Hollywood and West Hollywood.

Driving in the USA is on the right and the minimum driving age is 16 years. A valid national driving licence is required, although check with your car hire company whether they require an International Driving Permit, especially if your licence isn't in English.

Speed limits are 40-56kph (25-35mph) in towns, 88kph (55mph) on highways and 105-113kph (65-70mph) on freeways, unless otherwise posted. Drivers may turn right at a red light, after stopping, unless there is a sign that prohibits it. California has strict laws against drink-driving, and open containers of alcoholic beverages are not permitted in vehicles.

The AAA (tel: +1 800 222 1333; www.aaa.com) can provide information on driving routes and online maps, and may offer reciprocal benefits to members of automobile clubs in other countries.

Emergency breakdown services

AAA (tel: +1 800 222 4357).

During rush hours, Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) will assist freeway drivers with minor problems in order to keep traffic moving. For accidents and emergencies dial 911.

Routes

Interstate 5 (I-5) connects Los Angeles with Seattle in the north and San Diego in the south. The Pacific Coast Highway (State Highway 1) is a scenic route north along the California coast to Santa Barbara and San Francisco. Los Angeles is linked to Palm Springs by I-10, and to Las Vegas and Salt Lake City by I-15.

Coaches

The main Greyhound (tel: +1 800 231 2222; www.greyhound.com) coach station is at 1716 East Seventh Street, Downtown. Greyhound provides coach services to cities nationwide. 

Megabus (tel: + 1 877 462 6342; us.megabus.com) runs coaches between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose.

Time to city

From San Diego - 2 hours 15 minutes; Las Vegas - 4 hours 30 minutes; San Francisco - 6 hours; Palm Springs - 2 hours.

Travel by Rail

Services

The main railway station in Los Angeles is Union Station, 800 North Alameda Street, on the edge of Downtown. This vast, art deco, Spanish-style building, built in 1939, is an attraction in itself.

Rail services have shrunk in recent years and tend to be slower than other forms of transport, but the 24-hour LAX FlyAway bus service (www.lawa.org/flyaway) provides fast, economical travel between the station and the airport.

The Los Angeles terminal is at the western end of major routes across the southern Rockies and is also the southern terminus of the West Coast line to Seattle (Washington). Frequent services go to stations as far south as San Diego.

Operators

National and regional rail services are provided by Amtrak (tel: +1 800 872 7245; www.amtrak.com). Metrolink (tel: +1 800 371 5465; www.metrolinktrains.com) is the regional rail system for southern California and connects with most cities in the region.

Five main Amtrak trains serve Los Angeles: the Coast Starlight, which begins in Seattle; the Pacific Surfliner, which runs from San Luis Obispo to San Diego via Los Angeles; the Southwest Chief from Chicago; the Sunset Limited from Orlando via New Orleans to Los Angeles; and the Texas Eagle from Chicago via San Antonio.

Journey times

From San Diego - 2 hours 45 minutes; Seattle - 35 hours 25 minutes.

Travel by boat

Located in San Pedro Bay, some 40km (25 miles) south of downtown Los Angeles, the Port of Los Angeles, 425 South Palos Verdes Street, San Pedro (tel: +1 310 732 7678; www.portoflosangeles.org), is one of the world's biggest and busiest seaports and cruise ships stop here regularly.

The area includes recreational facilities such as a Maritime Museum, marina, aquarium and historic fishing village.

Ferry operators

The majority of cruise ships head south towards Mexico, although Los Angeles is a stop on sailings to Alaska and other international destinations.

There is also the Catalina Express (tel: +1 800 481 3470; www.catalinaexpress.com), which operates a service to Santa Catalina Island.

Nearest port

Los Angeles.

Transfer

Travel into Los Angeles via taxi or car as the port is poorly served by public transport.

Transfer time

15 minutes.

Transfer distance

2.9km (1.8 miles).