Griffith Park Observatory, Los Angeles

4.5 out of 5 stars 24 Reviews

2800 East Observatory Road (323) 664-1181

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Griffith Park Observatory
    by Sienlu
  • Griffith Park Observatory
    by Sienlu
  • Griffith Park Observatory
    by Sienlu
  • Sienlu's Profile Photo

    Griffith Observatory

    by Sienlu Written Sep 30, 2014

    The observatory is up in Hollywood hills, it has a great view of the whole Los Angeles Basin, Downtown, Hollywood and the Pacific Ocean. It is displaying science related objects and info. It was donated by Colonel Griffith in 1896 and his objective was to make astronomy accessible to all. Since it opened in 1935, everyone can enjoy free admission, according to Griffith's will.

    You can see the Foucault pendulum, which is a huge ball hanging from a string, it was conceived as an experiment to demonstrate the rotation of the earth.

    It also has a huge telescope through which you can see the moon.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Adventure Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • JoeM130's Profile Photo

    Beautiful!

    by JoeM130 Written Aug 27, 2014

    I'll start by telling you that we only only explored the grounds and took in the views. We did not experience the inside of the Observatory. BUT...Being that it's free, and the views are so magnificent, it rates very high on my to-do list. The view of Downtown LA, Hollywood, the Hollywood Sign, and much of the LA Metro area is well worth the visit. We liked it so much, that we went during the day and the nighttime hours, to take in its views. The area is clean, safe, usually pretty crowded, and there was a police and security presence. There area also restrooms located on the upper parking lot. The only downside was, on the weekend, it was extremely crowded. There was police directing traffic, and the parking lots were full, leaving you to park on the narrow, winding road. Try to plan your trip early or during the workweek!

    Was this review helpful?

  • GracesTrips's Profile Photo

    A Los Angeles Landmark Anew

    by GracesTrips Updated Jun 19, 2014

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Griffith Observatory has finally reopened after many years of restoration and renovation (my tip posted in 2007). The views of Los Angeles are spectacular from the observatory. Unfortunately, it's not so easy to get to (back in 2007). There may be less traffic now. We found it easy and convenient to park at a covered public parking structure at Hollywood and Highland (part of the Kodak Theatre Center). Parking costs $10 there for all day. We purchased our shuttle tickets online and it was easy to find where to catch the shuttle. It appears this service may not be available anymore. However, here is a link to the weekend shuttle service available today (click on days of service and route):

    http://www.ladottransit.com/other/observatoryshuttle/observatoryshuttle.html

    Otherwise, there is free parking at the Observatory and adjacent roads leading up to the Observatory. Entrance to the Observatory is free.

    There is a show you can watch at the observatory that explains our universe, planets, stars, etc. The show is an additional cost, the seats are comfortable. The Hall of the Sky exhibit is very cool. Gives you a perspective of what size the earth is in relationship to the other planets in our solar system. You can also see how much you would weigh on each of these planets. My boyfriend was skeptical - wasn't convinced it was all that accurate. All in all, I thought it was a worthwhile visit.

    Here is an additional link for information regarding the observatory:

    http://www.friendsoftheobservatory.com/Getting-to-Griffith-Observatory.html

    Celing Albert Einstein
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • travelgourmet's Profile Photo

    STARS IN THE SKY, NOT JUST HOLLYWOOD

    by travelgourmet Updated Jun 19, 2014

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Many tips have been given for Los Angeles. Way too much to repeat, except for one. One tip that I feel a part of since my birth has been the Griffith Observatory. Today, as a member of FOTO, I smile for the grand reopening of the Observatory. This was the dream of Griffith J. Griffith, who donated money and land in 1912 for this complex that did not become reality until May 14, 1935.

    The Griffith Observatory that sits on Mount Hollywood is fully owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles. It was closed down for renovation and updating from 2002 until November, 2006. The Observatory has much to offer. This renovation has made the Griffith Observatory a world class study of the heavens with great displays and shows. Views of Los Angeles and the stars above. Story telling and picture museum, planetarium and theatre, exhibits and hands on classrooms. Restaurant and gift store. Entrance is still free, (hours open vary, so check out their website) thanks to Griffith J. Griffith. One who cared for the future. The City of Los Angeles, www.ci.la.ca.us and Friends of the 0bservatory (FOTO) www.friendsoftheobservatory.com both helped to make the beautifully renovated Griffith Observatory a reality.
    Open Tuesday-Friday 12:00 noon to 10:00 p.m. Open Saturday-Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Closed on all Mondays.
    There are parking places on the upper lot, but the road leading up has parking available, if no spaces remain. Trust you get to visit and enjoy this fascinating landmark of Los Angeles. Please see my Griffith Observatory travelogue for additional photos.

    GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • TravellerMel's Profile Photo

    Griffith Park Observatory

    by TravellerMel Written Oct 10, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    An amazing place to visit - and it is FREE! Interesting museum exhibits make science understandable. You can go to the roof and look through the giant telescope, and also overlook the city of Los Angeles. If possible, do NOT go when there is a concert at the Greek Theatre (traffic and parking will be awful), or on the weekend (same reason). There is a nominal charge if you want to see one of the shows in the planetarium (which are really cool).

    In front of the Griffith Observatory backdrop LA at night, from the Griffith Observatory
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • marinarena's Profile Photo

    Do the Observatory- it should be mandatory...

    by marinarena Updated Nov 20, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    if you like to learn while sight-seeing. If the cosmos are your thing, this is a first stop on your Los Angeles journey. Stars of Los Angeles are not just the ones on the sidewalks of Hollywood and in the glaring lights of studios and paparazzi cameras- the stars of the world's sky can be best viewed atop the hills of Los Feliz.

    After a triumphant re-opening in November 2006, the observatory continues to gain much local and outsider fanfare. Try for going to the observatory on a weekday. There will be fewer crowds. Also, try to go in the Spring or Fall to avoid the high-tourist summer season.

    Be forewarned: Wear comfortable shoes. be prepared for much walking. Also, bring your own bottled water, especially on a hot day as I experienced during reopening weekend. Pack a lunch or snacks and eat on the front lawn. The observatory cafe is average, nothing special and has long lines. Don't wait 40 min to sit down and eat a measly turkey sandwich at the table as many did during reopening.

    There is no cost to enter the observatory (Yay, free !!) However, costs involved in your GP Ob trip if attending the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. (about $8). Also, costs may incur for a taxi, which is advantangeous to take especially for high-tourist seasons and weekends since parking is extremely limited. Otherwise, there is free parking available along the roads leading to the observatory. Disabled visitor parking is well designated and is available. There is a bus option for arrival which is very economical via LA DOT bus - just 50 cents for one-way service. You can catch the bus at Hollywood Blvd/Vermont Ave, conveniently just over a block away from the Metro rail Sunset-Vermont Red Line stop. Bus service is only on weekends. Bus schedule is subject to change. Check website below for updates (go to Griffith Park Observ- "Visiting")

    people flocking to Griffith park Observatory, LA inside Griffith Park Observatory, Los Angeles Griffith Park Observatory, California
    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    Griffith park and observatory

    by mindcrime Written Feb 3, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Griffith Observatory (pic 3) is amazing, it‘s a small museum, a planetarium and a theatre at the same time. It is open Tuesday-friday (12.00-22.00) and weekends (10.00-22.00). There’s no entrance fee except some specific shows from time to time.

    We went up to the Griffith Park on our last day in LA, it was just before sunset so we saw the city lights and this was great as a memory to carry with us back home. The view from the Griffith park is really great day and night, you can see down to downtown but also far away to the beach! It is also a good spot for the Hollywood sign pictures of you, some people want to prove that been somewhere by showing in front of the landmarks, I prefered to spend the whole time just admiring the landscape, a sight to behold(pics 1-2). The park is nice for hiking too and we noticed a lot people jogging at the stip road.

    sunset at Griffith park view from Griffith park Griffith Observatory

    Was this review helpful?

  • Great views from the Observatory

    by steven.photopilot Written Dec 11, 2009

    You need to wait until just after a rainy day (I know we don't get a lot, but we do get them) and the view from the observatory is incredible. Here is what it looked like a few days ago (www.photopilot.com/blog/index.php/2009/12/09/griffith-park-observatory). Don't miss out on checking out the Observatory after this storm passes!!

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • gilescorey's Profile Photo

    Griffith Park & the Observatory

    by gilescorey Updated Nov 10, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Observatory Reopens! I got in line, got my reservation, got on the shuttle bus and saw the wonder! The four year, 93 million dollar rehab has transformed the Observatory from an aging, sentimental hulk into a world class museum. Whether you're fascinated by the heavens or looking for LA panoramas a trip to the observatory grounds and a hike through this massive urban wilderness park is a must for any visitor. Don't miss the bizarre sculpture of James Dean(commemorating the knife-fight scene from "Rebel Without a Cause" filmed at Griffith). It's frightening & hilarious. And, if you hike nearby, watch for rattlesnakes. They are EVERYWHERE.

    The views are phenomenal if the smog is not too thick. One caveat: The delayed opening created a flurry of interest, and the Observatory has limited parking. Initially, you had to reserve and use a shuttle bus, but this restriction has been lifted...for now. So, you can drive up at will, but don't be surprised if during peak visiting hours/season you need to reserve ahead of time and use a shuttle.

    The City Sentinel Art Deco Flourishes
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Architecture
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • warmhug's Profile Photo

    Science and Technology Icon

    by warmhug Written Oct 7, 2007

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Griffith Observatory is a national leader in public astronomy, a beloved civic gathering place, and one of southern California's most popular attractions. The Observatory is located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, just above the Los Feliz neighborhood.

    Was this review helpful?

  • A rare LA monument

    by Powerkeni Written Jan 11, 2007

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Griffith Park Observatory finally reopened! And with the free shuttle from Hollywood and Highland (there's a subway stop), this is really one of those must see local sights. This is one of the few true monuments in LA, and it is fantastic. Going at sunset is a sight to behold. Plenty of hiking in the area, and the renovated planetarium and museum is awesome.

    Was this review helpful?

  • blaird's Profile Photo

    Griffith Observatory

    by blaird Updated Sep 17, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Okay, The Griffith Observatory is being renovated and expanded for three years, beginning 2003 and ending in Fall 2006. In the meantime, you can visit the Griffith Observatory Satellite, which is nothing nearly as good as the big one. They have a small display of exhibits, a lecture area, and a telescope to view the moon and planets at night.

    The Griffith Observatory Satellite is open from 1 p.m. - 10 p.m, but closed on Monday.

    It's Free!!

    The main observatory is very cool, so visit when it's open. They have a monument to Hipparchus (?-125 B.C.), Copernicus (1473-1543), Galileo (1564-1642), Kepler (1571-1630), Newton (1642-1727), and Herschel (1738-1822).

    There are three big telescopes, a theatre, and a Foucault Pendulum. This experiment proves the earth spins on an axis.

    A ton of stuff has been filmed at the observatory, but the most famous is Rebel Without a Cause...you'll see a bust of James Dean on the grounds.

    Lots more to see and do there.

    From the Griffith website
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • USCgirlie's Profile Photo

    Rare place to enjoy the (celestial) stars in LA...

    by USCgirlie Written Mar 28, 2006

    In LA, the combination of dense smog and bright city lights make seeing the stars (the celestial kinds) very difficult. However, the Griffith Observatory is one such exception in LA. In fact, I was brought to this very site for an Astronomy class "field trip." It is amazingly, almost eerily, quiet here - and you feel like you're in the wilderness, as it's very dark and secluded. However, the views of the stars in the sky are wonderful, unparalleled, and very worth it! In the daytime, this site is very popular for picnics. At night, bring flashlights, blankets, warm clothes, hot chocolate, and some food!

    Related to:
    • Camping

    Was this review helpful?

  • draguza's Profile Photo

    Griffith Observatory

    by draguza Written Aug 26, 2005

    The construction of this art deco observatory was completed in the early 1930s and has provided a great view of the area during both day and night ever since. Anyone even vaguely interested in astronomy will find the exhibits and planetarium shows fascinating. Griffith Observatory is of an interest to cult film fans because it was a site in the James Dean movie "Rebel Without A Cause."

    Los Angeles panorama
    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • JanPeter74's Profile Photo

    Griffith Park / Hollywood Sign

    by JanPeter74 Written Apr 16, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Griffith Park is very nice place to start your day in LA. Built on the slopes of a mountain it gives you a great view of both the city of LA and the Hollywood Sign. The best viewpoint is the Griffith Observatory. As far as I know this place provides the closest (generally accessible) view on the Hollywood Sign. Mind that the Observatory building itself is not open to public.

    One remark. If you want to take pictures of the city here during the morning, you will be looking into the sun.

    Hollywood Sign taken from Griffith Obs. with zoom
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Los Angeles

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

16 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Griffith Park Observatory
4.0 out of 5 stars
1.2 miles away
Show Prices
3.0 out of 5 stars
1 Review
1.2 miles away
Show Prices
Show Prices

View all Los Angeles hotels