Solo Female Travel to Los Angeles – Things to Do and Safety Tips
Rated as the second most popular city for solo female travel, Los Angeles has plenty of things to do and see. Over 50 million people visit Los Angeles, California every year, drawn in by the many entertainment attractions. If you love movies, media, theme parks, sunny weather, and beautiful palm-paved roadways, then L.A. may be worth the visit.
To help you plan your dream vacation to The City of Angels, this travel guide will explain how to stay safe while traveling solo in Los Angeles. You’ll also find out about Covid restrictions, places of caution, things to do, how to travel, and where to stay during your trip.
Things You May Not Know About Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles (commonly misspelled as Las Angeles) is the most populated city in California. As the only North American city to host the Olympics twice, Los Angeles has become a massively developed city with lots of attractions for visitors of all ages and interests. With over 100 museums, Hollywood Boulevard and the Walk of Fame, impressive Malibu beach houses, Beverly Hills, and Harry Potter World, there’s always something to do or someone famous or rich to see. Los Angeles
Is L.A. Safe for Solo Female Travelers?
With lots of caution, yes, Los Angeles can be a safe destination for solo female travelers. Los Angeles has a long history of gangs and violence, which is a valid concern for any visitor. Crime in L.A. has steadily decreased over the last 30 years, however, 2019 and 2020 marked a 20% jump in the murder rate. However, most areas where such violence occurs are not places tourists visit. (We’ve listed those areas to avoid down below.)
While considering a solo trip to Los Angeles, you should know that the tourism scene in California has changed a lot over the last decade. The tourist gems exist, but they’re more closed off than before, and you must be incredibly careful when traveling between them. You should know that many native California women do not feel comfortable traveling to Los Angeles alone. Should you travel to L.A. alone? Only if you’re willing to do extra planning and stick to a strict travel plan that avoids problem areas. With those precautions, a solo trip can be safe and fun.
Safety Tips for Los Angeles
- As in most cities, pickpockets are common around tourist attractions. Stay vigilant!
- Public transportation in L.A. is risky at night, when empty, or when crossing through dangerous areas. The risk goes down during popular hours with many people traveling. If you can, call a taxi or use another service like Uber, Lyft , or Curb. Plan ahead, as transportation can sometimes take a while to arrive.
- When looking at where to stay in L.A. consider female only hotels (sometimes called dorms).
- When booking a hotel, try to stay close to major tourist attractions. These are pricier, but amenities are better, plus hotel workers can give you tips on other attractions to see and do alone safely.
- Avoid dark areas of the city. Don’t go into dark stores or down dark roads.
- Stay true to the popular L.A. tourist attractions. These places have higher security and a more protective police (LAPD) presence.
- Avoid walking long distances by yourself.
- Schedule tours and, if possible, travel with other travelers/groups interested in similar attractions. Your risk of an attack goes down drastically when you are with at least one other person.
- Plan and let people know where you are and where you are going. You can use your phone’s location services to broadcast your location to close family and friends.
- Don’t explore. L.A. is massive, and it’s easy to get lost. Know exactly where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. Dangerous areas are hard to discern, and a one-block mix-up can make all the difference.
- Keep your phone charged and keep a charger (consider a mini phone battery charger) with you always. Los Angeles Hotel Deals
Self Defense for Solo Female Travelers
Pepper spray is legal for general carry in California, including Los Angeles. You can get a pocket-sized canister of pepper-spray on Amazon for about $8 . We recommend Sabre Red gel-based spray. Learn how to use it. Don’t be afraid to use it. Pepper spray is very effective and can save your life. It also works as a great deterrent.
These two videos show how to use pepper spray and how effective it is in an attack.
Areas of Caution in L.A.
The following is a list of areas that you really shouldn’t visit as a solo female traveler. When making plans, make it a point to stay away from these areas.
- Skid Row (Officially: Central City East)
Skid Row has a high concentration of homeless people. Covid-19 has helped disperse that number, but over 8,000 homeless still live there.
Lincoln Heights has a high crime rate and lots of property damage with a firm presence of Hispanic gangs.
Watts, California, sees a lot of political unrest and an anti-police atmosphere. Regardless of how you feel about police, a lack of police in an area makes it unsafe for travel, especially for solo females.
According to Areavibes, Chinatown, LA is the most dangerous part of Los Angeles.
West Adams, Los Angeles, has an incredibly high rate of assault and robbery.
Homeless Population in Los Angeles
Stay away from homeless camps and other homeless individuals. Don’t give them money. We know it feels ethically wrong, but homeless individuals are often unstable and usually carry some sort of weapon. The money given directly to the homeless harms the economy and spurs drug trafficking, which inhibits the city’s ability to help those people. If you give money to one person, others are likely to see and ask, and will get upset if you give to one and reject the other. Panhandling (and giving to panhandlers) is illegal. Also, many homeless people carry harmful diseases (like MRSA).
How to Travel in Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California, is one of those places where the best way to travel depends on what you want to see. Los Angeles spreads over 500 square miles, so while a bike or walk might be good for a day trip, your two best options are public transit or a car.
Public Transit in L.A.
The Metro is a cheap and effortless way to get around Los Angeles but it isn’t as developed as the public transit in other major cities. The Metro has limited reach to certain locations. If there is somewhere you’re especially looking forward to visiting, check to see whether Metro has a route there first.
See additional details at Metro.net.
*Apple and Google maps keep most Metro transit maps and schedules uploaded and current.
Personal or Rental Vehicle
Whether a personal car or a rental, an individual vehicle will allow you to get where you want to go on your own schedule. The drawback to driving is that California driving is usually difficult for out-of-staters and your trip will require extra time planning to avoid traffic. Driving in L.A. traffic is notoriously slow. Rush hour is 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Car Rentals
Parking: Los Angeles uses thousands of parking meters, most of which you can pay online or (most conveniently) through the app. See LA Express Park for more details.
Covid Restrictions and Guidelines in Los Angeles
- Do not travel if you are sick with any Covid-19 symptoms.
- The CDC Recommends Vaccination before traveling. You can find the CDC’s updated Covid-19 policies here.
- Masks are required in airports, on airplanes, and in all public transit.
- Masks are required in all indoor public settings, including concerts, venues, restaurants, etc.
8 Must-See Attractions and Things to Do in L.A.
Los Angles has a lot of great attractions for the solo female traveler. Though there is so much more to do in L.A. that isn’t listed here, this list highlights the eight most popular attractions which you can do alone. Save tons of money with the LA Go-City card,
- The Getty Center
With a comprehensive display of art, The Getty Center has art attractions from modern-day artists to creators from the ancient world. An attraction to professionals, professors, and the public, The Getty Center is a fantastic center for learning and entertainment. Find more here.
- Griffith Observatory
Not only is the Griffith Observatory the most-visited public observatory on Earth but it is also free to the public. The observatory is in Griffith Park, the home of the Hollywood sign and a variety of trails which are safe for solo female travelers. Find out more here.
- Universal Studios
One of the largest attractions in Los Angeles, Universal Studios is a must-see on any tourist’s trip. Not only do the Studios have rides, food, and movie sets to explore from favorite films but they also have The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Universal Studios Tickets
- Petersen Automotive Museum
Are you a gearhead? Grease monkey? Or simply interested in cars? This museum is full of historic as well as famous automobiles and offers the largest guided automotive tour in America. Find more here.
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter:
Family-friendly, easily walkable, and very safe, this attraction is perfect for solo female travelers with any interest in Harry Potter. This fictional world turned reality is filled with entertaining activities like escaping Gringotts bank, trying bona fide butterbeer, and riding a variety of themed rides. Find out more here.
- Battleship USS Iowa Museum
An important battleship during WWII, the USS Iowa was transformed into a museum displaying the history it was a part of. The tour shows how the battleship housed valiant soldiers, shipped vital cargo, and helped maintain the freedoms of the United States of America.Battleship Iowa Tickets
- The Broad
Filled with over 2,000 pieces, The Broad is one of the largest contemporary and postwar art collections in the world. Located in downtown Los Angeles, solo female travelers should exercise caution while exploring this busy location. Find out more here.
- Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
The NHM of L.A. holds many opportunities for amusement and education with its various exhibits and in-depth tours. The museum also hosts a variety of events tourists can attend.
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles Tickets