High art, high class restaurants, and historic landmarks punctuate this cultural center.

There's more than meets the eye in Downtown's concrete jungle of freeways, skyscrapers, sculptures, and convention centers. From its wholesale flower market and fashion district to its historic landmarks and gallery-sponsored art walks, Downtown is where diverging interests converge in this star-studded city on the coast. Take the time to explore this seemingly-intimidating neighborhood and you'll notice that it's friendlier than expected—people are nice and public transportation is accessible. Downtown, everyone's waiting for you.

See places to stay Save this neighborhood

On the Map

Downtown is bordered by Westlake, Lincoln Heights, West Adams, Skid Row, Echo Park, South LA, Boyle Heights, and Arts District

LAX Airport: 25 minutes by car or 1 hour by public transit
Santa Monica Pier: 25 minutes by car
Hollywood Walk of Fame: 30 minutes by car
Venice Boardwalk: 30 minutes by car
The Grove: 20 minutes by car

  • Public transit is Easy
  • Having a car is Possible

Downtown: Sleek, Shiny, and Sky High

downtown los angeles bristol hotel ghioldi037

Downtown is the definition of an urban epicenter.

downtown streets cyclists devon0214

Shiny high-rises loom above broad streets.

business district high rises ghioldi034
early morning los angeles modern buildings devon0114
la downtown towering buildings ghioldi032

Public transportation passes through.

los angeles metrorail devon0563

World-renowned architects like Frank Gehry design concert halls.

walt disney concert hall devon0325
alexander calder sculpture public art devon0109

Plazas look particularly regal.

la grand park fountain devon0419

Los Angeles' Downtown earns its esteem.

Heritage In Historic LA

historical hotel figueroa botero salon ghioldi054

Downtown delivers much more than big buildings.

union train station ghioldi027
union station traveler ghioldi028

It's filled with historic train stations, hotels, museums, and music centers.

la union station exterior ghioldi025

When you're Downtown, view the world through a painter's brush at the MOCA.

la moca museum ghioldi036
los angeles public art sculpture devon0391

Hear the world through sonic genius at the Los Angeles Music Center, one of the nation's largest performing arts centers.

historic downtown la ghioldi015
old los angeles plaza historic district ghioldi016

Olvera Street marks the oldest district of Downtown LA.

olvera street mexican food vendor ghioldi020
cielito lindo mexican restaurant olvera street ghioldi018
mariachi band la golondrina cafe ghioldi009

Drink, dine, shop, and stroll through its kiosks and cafes.

leather baby shoes sandals ghioldi011
figueroa hotel ghioldi062
figueroa hotel nighttime pool ghioldi057
the historic fig ghioldi059

At night, LA lights up its library.

los angeles public library ghioldi080

Books illuminate.

Dining In Downtown

sleek dining large restaurant ghioldi038

High-class cafes, wine bars, and lounges intermingle with old-school diners and family-run restaurants in Downtown LA.

reservations book hostess table ghioldi040
bottega louie los angeles ghioldi047
restaurant kitchen sous chefs ghioldi045
la original pantry cafe night ghioldi071

The Original Pantry Cafe has been cookin' since 1924.

original pantry cafe counter ghioldi074

It's a veritable Downtown icon.

Stadium-Sized Entertainment

staples center daytime figueroa street devon0482

Home to the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, and Kings, the Staples Center hosts major sporting events and sold-out concerts.

la live entertainment complex night ghioldi067

Across the street, the L.A. Live entertainment complex lights up the night.

clippers nba jerseys souvenirs ghioldi053
la live entertainment nighttime crowds ghioldi065

Glitzy, Ritzy, and Divey Downtown Nightlife

downtown la nighttime biking ghioldi050

Although most of Downtown's nightlife centers on cool lounges and high-end clubs catering to bottle-service clientele, this neighborhood also makes room for the art scene.

downtown los angeles lounge ghioldi078
the standard hotel ghioldi077
lounge line nighttime ghioldi079
downtown buildings gi joe movie advertisements ghioldi052

Going Downtown often means dressing up.

mas malo restaurant tequila long line ghioldi098
coles public house french dip ghioldi085
dressed up grils going out downtown la ghioldi088
vip line los angeles lounge nightlife ghioldi089

Sometimes, it just means dressing the part.

night scene la downtown ghioldi095
gritty downtown bar south main street ghioldi091
downtown la night crowd ghioldi093

The Smell is Los Angeles' volunteer run, all-ages experimental art space.

los angeles the smell art space ghioldi092
spring street bar outside patio ghioldi097
downtown la nighttime crowds ghioldi096

Head to Downtown on the second Thursday of the month and peruse its galleries during its monthly art walk.

art walk art gallery window display ghioldi086

They stay open late for the Thursday exhibition.

lights strung over downtown la streets ghioldi087


Airbnb works with local photographers to capture the spirit of neighborhoods all around the world. The photography on this page includes work by:

Eleonora Ghioldi

View website

Eleonora is an Argentinean photographer who splits her time between Los Angeles and Buenos Aires.  She loves to teach, photograph and work in personal projects.  She lives with her husband, four sons and their dog.

Lauren Devon

View website

Lauren Devon is an editorial and commercial lifestyle photographer based in Los Angeles. She loves the adventure of her work, as well as the creativity and collaboration that goes with it. With the help of locals, Lauren explored the heart of each community for Airbnb, and discovered neighborhood gems that made each story diverse and fresh.