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4 Fun and Free Museums to Visit in Los Angeles

Written by Staff Writer

This blog post was updated on April 30, 2020.

Many travelers hop flights to Los Angeles with ideas of living large like the celebrities who call the city home. They want to experience that magic of the City of Angels without breaking the bank. However, realistic budgets quickly squash those dreams of living large in LA. While you might not be able to frequent the shops on Rodeo Drive and spend a small fortune, Los Angeles does offer several fun and free museums you can visit to fill up your time in town.

The Hollywood Bowl Museum


Image via Flickr – CC BY 2.0 – Patrick Woodward

Located right on the grounds of the historic performance venue, travelers can explore the colorful and long history of the Hollywood Bowl at the Hollywood Bowl Museum. Open every night before concerts and during the day, admission is always free. The museum explores the many musicians, conductors, singers, dancers, actors, and composers who have performed here since the early 1920s.

Travel Town Museum


Image via Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0 – Jordan Colley

Conceived under the idea of being a railroad petting zoo, the Travel Town Museum gives visitors the chance to see a number of historic locomotives, passenger cars, cabooses, and trolleys. Located in Griffith Park, the museum places particular emphasis on the history of Southern California and its relationship with the railroad. The museum is particularly fun for kids to visit and parents will appreciate the free admission.

FIDM Museum and Galleries


Image via Flickr – CC BY 2.0 – Bradley Griffin

The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Museum in Los Angeles offers the chance to peek in on historic fashion over the last 200 years. The free museum boasts a 15,000-piece collection with fragments of that collection available for viewing throughout its current and permanent exhibitions. Many of the works on display hail from theater and film from the late 19th century to the present day. The overall goal of the FIDM Museum is to examine the roles of historic fashion and its relationship to society and of course Los Angeles.

The Paley Center for Media


Image via Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0 – Tracie Hall

For most travelers, sitting in their hotel room watching television would be a waste of a vacation; you would miss Los Angeles. However, if you need an excuse to feast on historic television and radio moments, the Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles makes that possible. Located in Beverly Hills, the center is free to visit but they do suggest contributions. The goal of the space is to present the cultural, creative, and social significance of television, radio, and other new media platforms. The permanent collection holds more than 140,000 television and radio programs. You can park yourself in the Paley Center and watch from its collection. TV lovers won’t feel bad about being couch potatoes here.

Inspired to visit LA on a tight travel budget? Start looking at cheap flights to Los Angeles!

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