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17 Mistakes Tourists Make When Visiting Los Angeles For The First Time

Two words: LA. TRAFFIC.

We recently asked LA locals who are part of BuzzFeed Community to tell us about some of the biggest mistakes tourists make when visiting their city. Here are some of their tips:

BTW, while the majority of these tips are from our users, a few are not Community submissions.

1. Most tourists consider only LAX when flying to LA, despite the fact that other airports, like Burbank's, are often more convenient and less congested.

@lizzys4ae25d5f2 / Via

"Fly into Burbank. Honestly, LAX can be a nightmare."


2. They don't pay attention to whether they're using the bike lane or the pedestrian lane — and potentially get hurt as a result.

3. They sacrifice cost for convenience by parking their cars as close as possible to the beach.

Tttuna / Getty Images / Via

"If you want to go to Venice Beach, park in the Marina del Rey area and walk/scoot over to Venice because the parking fees and traffic are a nightmare in Santa Monica. A prettier and less populated alternative is taking the Pacific Coast Highway up to Zuma Beach."


4. They underestimate the time it'll take to get from point A to point B.

5. And as a result, they often think they can pack visits to multiple parts of the city into one day.

Heavy rain and Los Angeles rush hour traffic is a bad combination.

@philklotzbach / Via Twitter: @philklotzbach

"Tourists think they can 'plan' their day without any understanding of traffic. Like, no, you cannot see Malibu, Santa Monica, and DTLA all in one day."


6. Tourists rent cars for the duration of their stay when Uber, Lyft, and public transportation are actually much cheaper alternatives.

7. Those who do end up driving make the mistake of traveling on the Pacific Coast Highway during peak hours.

8. Many tourists simply underestimate the sheer size of Los Angeles.

Frankramspott / Getty Images / Via

"It is pretty hilarious how off their sense of the city's geography tends to be. The city of Los Angeles is more than 500 square miles, and Los Angeles County is nearly 10 TIMES that size. My advice: study your Google Maps!"


9. Tourists think jaywalking isn't a big deal and don't realize that fines are heavily enforced.

10. They get a little *too* up-close and personal to stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

@hntrjustin / Via Twitter: @hntrjustin

"I have seen people lie down and take photos of themselves kissing stars on the Walk of Fame. Fam, I guarantee you that someone has shit, pissed, vomited, or all three right there. Do not put your mouth on the sidewalk anywhere, but especially not in Hollywood!!"


11. And they forget that there's more to see and do in LA besides visit Hollywood.

12. Tourists think that Hollywood is the celeb-spotting jackpot.

Nicholas Hunt / Getty Images / Via

"You have a better chance of seeing a celebrity at Bristol Farms or Whole Foods in Thousand Oaks than in Hollywood. And they’re all around Toluca Lake. They're way more prevalent in the San Fernando Valley or Conejo Valley."


13. They waste time and money going on celebrity home tours, only to return with photos of empty yards and locked gates.

14. Tourists make the mistake of trying to have an authentic Mexican food experience at high-end restaurants.

15. And some don't realize that a trip to Disneyland could literally take up half of their visit.

16. They inadvertently become victims of theft when they leave luggage or valuable items in plain sight in their cars.

Niserin / Getty Images / Via

According to locals, thieves smash car windows and grab items that catch their eyes. They go through luggage and dump them in bushes where residents find them. While this is normal, opportunistic crime for the city, neighbors have noticed that these break-ins occur frequently near trailheads like the ones leading to the Hollywood sign and the Wisdom Tree.

17. And, they visit the Venice Beach Boardwalk on the weekends when it's basically a mob scene.

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