Instead of doing a Ten Best Places to View Los Angeles we decided to narrow it down to just one.  Whether you are visiting Los Angeles and want the single best spot to see the city from, or you want some killer shots for your Instagram feed, this is the place to go.

Union Station
Historic Los Angeles Union Station seen from the LA City Hall Observation Deck

Unless you want to scare yourself on the Sky Slide, forget about Skyspace LA.  It’s going to cost you $20 – $40 to get a birds eye view of Los Angeles.  Save the money for another fun thing to do in LA.  You can get an equally spectacular view of Los Angeles free from the Observation Deck of the Los Angeles City Hall.  We think free views are the best views of Los Angeles!

In the video above we approach the Los Angeles City Hall from a couple blocks to the west with the  fountain at Grand Park in the foreground.  It is the most iconic view of City Hall to be found.  You will want to enter City Hall on the eastern side off of Main Street.  You’ll have to pass through a metal detector (so don’t overstuff your pockets) and sign in at the front desk with ID.

Grand Park
Grand Park in DTLA seen from the Los Angeles City Hall Observation Deck

Then you take the express elevator to the 23rd floor.  You catch another elevator to the 26th floor and from there take a set of stairs up to the observation deck.  Plan on spending some serious time up there.

The deck is a balcony the encloses all four sides of the top floor.  To the north you are seeing such landmarks as the historic Union Station, Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church, the freeway system and the Hollywood Freeway snaking through Franklin and Hollywood Hills.

Looking to the west you have stunning views of Grand Park and its spectacular fountain from the air, the Walt Disney Music Hall and amazing views of the tallest skyscrapers perched on top of Bunker Hill.  Up until 1962, the LA City Hall was the tallest building in Los Angeles.  It isn’t any more, but you won’t feel any of the other buildings obstruct your view one bit.

The south also offers views of the skyscrapers, and also some great views of the Los Angeles Times building below.  Off the East balcony you can see the LA Arts District and all across East LA.  There is another view of Union Station, the famous Olvera Street and of course, more freeways!

I was truly taken with what a beautiful city Los Angeles is when I viewed it from the observation deck the first time.  I think you will be too.  And if you are vacationing in LA, there is simply no better way to get acquainted with the city.

Angels Flight Railway
Ride the beloved Angels Flight Railway. Catch it between 3rd and 4th on Hill Street. Fare is only one dollar.

The Los Angeles City Hall is located at 200 N. Spring Street, but the public entrance is on the eastern side off of Main Street.  Parking in the area is tight, but I found a convenient Joe’s Auto Park on 2nd and Broadway for $11.00 for a full day.  That is a reasonable rate for that part of town.

While you are there you can also take time to stroll through Grand Park and enjoy the fountain (take off your shoes and run through it if you’re feeling in the mood), take a close look at the Triforium Sculpture, tour the Walt Disney Concert Hall, check out the famous but unheard of Second Street Tunnel or (and we definitely recommend this one) walk into the famous Bradbury Building and see why it has “starred” in so many movies!

Oh! And the historic Angels Flight Railway is just too cool not to take a ride on. It only costs a dollar to step back into the world as it was back in 1910 and ride it up to the ultra modern California Plaza oasis on top!

Please share this with your friends so they will know the where to find the best view of Los Angeles too!  Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to see more of our great videos about cool things to do and places to go in Los Angeles.

LA City Hall
Los Angeles City Hall seen from Grand Park

Video Credits:

Produced by: Mark Stout http://markstoutphotography.com
Narrated by: Zeus Lee

Background Music: Bongo Madness by Quincas Moreira YOuTube Music Library https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL1zFMJb0sthwdAlGjGbdyg