Sightseeing and Top Attractions in Downtown Los Angeles

The Sights of Downtown Los Angeles

What is there to see and do in Downtown Los Angeles?

The sights and attractions of Downtown Los Angeles

Los Angeles has looked down on Downtown in days gone by but not anymore. Its many sights and attractions, including Chinatown, Bunker Hill and Olvera Street, are all mecas for locals and visitors alike. Added to that the designer bargain shopping at the Garment District and the entertainment area around the Staples Center and you have smorgasboard of delights of which any city would be proud. Oddly perhaps, given LA's reputation of Nobody Walks in LA, one of the best ways to see and experience many of Downtown's sights and attractions is on foot.


Chinatown is a wonderful concoction of old and new buildings, ancient traditions and experimental art, and sights, sounds, and smells both familiar and foreign.

Self-Guided Walking Tour of China Town

A great way really to really get to know Chinatown is to tackle it on foot. Starting at Central Plaza (947 N. Broadway) you will be enchanted by the quaint walkways and tiny shops. The sound of clicking mahjong tiles can be heard from upstairs windows where many of Chinatown's family associations hold their social meetings.

Central Plaza

A popular place for filming, Central Plaza with its distinctive "Gate of Filial Piety" also boasts a statue of Dr. Sun Yat Sen, founder of the Republic of China, a wishing well dating to 1939, and a five-tiered pagoda. On the building at 951 N. Broadway, you will find a dragon painted by Tyrus Wong. For more:

Self-Guided Walking Tour of China Town

Bunker Hill

With the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ahmanson Theater and Mark Taper Forum Bunker Hill was, arguably, the cultural center of Downtown. Since the architectural masterpiece that is the Walt Disney Concert Hall came to be there is no argument.

Walt Disney Concert Hall

A "best that money can buy" approach has created not only a beautiful sight but also a beautiful sound. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is acoustically unsurpassed. This is of little value without world class artists to exploit the fact. In steps the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

If you can't get ticket go on the audio tour. For more on Walt Disney Concert Hall see No. 60 on the list of Los Angeles top things to do.

Downtown Center

The streets of the Downtown Financial District or Center can be frenetic and invigorating as anything you'll experience in the Big Apple - well almost. Many of the high-rise buildings, built in the late 50s and early 60s, will draw you eyes skyward and make you want to hug a banker - well probably not.

Fashion / Garment District

The 90-block LA Fashion District is one of the most vibrant and diverse wholesale and retail shopping areas in the US. There is an amazing array of clothes and jewelry available, often at reduced prices.

Historic Downtown

Historic Downtown is the home of an unequaled collection of early 20th Century commercial architecture. Within 3rd and 9th Streets and Main and Broadway, the district includes 24 blocks of Beaux Arts, Art Deco and revival-style buildings.

For more you gotta go - Downtown Los Angeles