me and my boyfriend are planning a trip to the US, starting in L.A.
For my understanding, the traffic in L.A. is terrible..
Is that true?
We are planning on renting a car after a few days in Santa Monica and L.A. to go on rout 1.
Do you recommend on renting the car for traveling in L.A. aswell? or just afterwards?
Just to reiterate what everyone else has said. I would definitely rent a car. I realize they said that already but I want to emphasize how important it is haha. Everything is so spread out that even factoring in the traffic it would take you 3 times longer to get from place to place with public transportation. I would definitely say you can walk the areas that are close. For example, if you'll be in Santa Monica and you're on Abbot Kinney BLVD Shopping I would say you can walk to the surrounding areas if you've found parking somewhere. But once you want to go to a different area, you'll need a car. Parking usually isn't too hard to find.
Enjoy and welcome to LA!
Los Angeles spans across quite a large area. Traffic really depends on which part of LA you are in, which part you are trying to go to, and at what time of day. Overall, It's not as bad as it sounds...unless you hit a jam caused by construction or an accident...or if you're out and about during rush hours. Having a car is definitely a good idea in LA!
Traffic is always terrible here, but all that means to a visitor is that it takes longer to get anywhere than you think. There is no good alternative to driving, since we are so spread out. But if you visit Santa Monica, you can walk everywhere there, then do the same in Venice Beach, Hollywood, Beverly Hills etc. stay off the 405 if possible, and you should be fine. As crowded as it is, people are very polite when driving, for the most part.
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Personally, I would definitely rent a car. There is a bus/subway system but it's not great and I think you'll feel pretty limited. Sometimes, the bus or train will only get you in the general vicinity of where you have to go and you'll have to spend a long time walking to the actual place. It will also take you much, much longer to get from point A to point B than it would if you have a car (although traffic in L.A. is always a nightmare).
As I just advised my college bestie, put your travel budget into a rental car and save on other things. Uber or Lyft would cost a fortune during rush hour or traffic jams, and they're impossible to predict. Try to get accommodations with street parking, since overnight at hotels can be $20+. The Waze app is awesome for getting around and has live updates. During one of Obama's recent visits, I thought it was sending me right into the eye of the storm, but instead it had me drafting off of POTUS's motorcade at top speed during rush hour, all the way from DTLA to Santa Monica!
Yes, traffic is bad in L.A., like in most major metros. It's really spread out, so that's the problem you find, so you really have to be a bit more strategic. Like try to avoid driving between 4-7/730 and become good friends with Google Maps and Waze.
But like others have said, definitely rent a car. It's hard to get around doing that. I would, however, recommend planning on staying in the hood you'll be spending the most time in. It sounds like that place is Santa Monica, which is great, and very walkable. And actually has some public transportation infrastructure, and if you've had a few drinks, easy to just call a Lyft or Uber. And then you have Venice and Malibu which are all right there.
Yes renting a car in LA is very helpful to see the city. If you're going short distances both Lyft and Uber are great apps for getting around easily. For renting a car this app is great http://www.skurt.co/