Coolest Things to See in Downtown LA

A local’s guide to discovering your city.

Remember when DTLA wasn’t that cool of a place? Yeah, neither do we. LA’s center city has always had this sort of seedy yet sophisticated vibe not for the faint of heart. But that’s what gives it character. The next time you plan a day out downtown, live your best life and see more stuff by trading your two feet for two wheels. You’ll be able to cross off all these stops and then some if you don’t take too many taco breaks. Our URB-E Scooters can get you there.


Angels Flight Railway 350 S. Grand Ave. (Top station) or 351 S. Hill St. (Lower station) This Insta-worthy stop is the shortest railway in the world. It opened in 1901, closed down for a while because obviously there’s no point to it and opened back up in 2017 when someone realized it was a great tourist trap. But it’s a great cheap and historic tourist trap — one way is $1 or 50 cents if you have a Metro card — worth taking at least once in your life.


Bradbury Building W. 3rd and Broadway When you’re done taking the shortest railway ever, scoot over to the Bradbury Building. We swear our guide isn’t an architecture tour, but this one’s worth seeing IRL. The Bradbury Building was designed by this guy, George Wyman, who legitimately had a conversation with his dead brother via a Ouija board. It was built in 1893 and has been spotted in movies like Bladerunner and Chinatown.


Public Art All over DTLA Flood your Insta Stories with snapshots of DTLA’s vibrant street art and murals. They’re everywhere. Here’s a quick list to get you started: The Bride and Groom; Our Lady of DTLA; Mind, Body and Spirit sculpture; The Evolution of Los Angeles sculpture; sixbeastsandtwomonkeys sculpture; Anthony Quinn; and more.


The Last Bookstore W. 5th and Spring Yes, the name of this bookstore is misleading. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dip inside to cool off in the Self-Help section. (Hey, we won’t judge.) Page through some books. Check out the vinyl. And play an epic game of hide-and-seek if you’re up for the challenge. Don’t forget to peep the artist studios upstairs before you go.


Bonus points if you find this “Thoughts” manifesto displayed in a hat shop window nearby.


Jewelry Theater Building 7th and Hill “Diamonds are forever,” according to the song Kanye adapted long before he fell off his rocker. DTLA is home to a lavish jewelry district. It’s so lavish, in fact, that we wonder how these places even stay in business. But get this: Inside one of those jewelry stores is a hidden gem. (#sorrynotsorry) To find it, enter through the gold-and-glass doors between Fix Café and Ricebar on 7th Street. Walk down a few stairs. Get transported to Hollywood’s heyday and revel in the splendor of this old-timey theater. You can also shop jewelry kiosks or have your watch repaired, but that’s not why we sent you here.


Museum at Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) W. 9th and Grand If your wardrobe is stuck in 90s-revival mode, you might want to check out this little-known spot for some OOTD inspo. The museum has collected more than 15,000 objects of American and European design dating back to the 1800s. It was originally meant to educate FIDM students, but now it’s open to the public. It’s also FREE.99. When you’re done, there’s a park with actual green grass in the back if you’re in need of a quick break.

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Broken Shaker at Freehand W. 8th and Olive Sunsets and skyline selfies FTW. Whoever thought of this Kodak moment was a genius. While you’re there, sip on a “B*tch Don’t Kill My Vibe” cocktail, because, let’s be honest, you earned it. BTW, there’s also a rooftop pool so maybe pack your swimsuit just in case the liquid courage leads you into the water.

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