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28,448 votes

Griffith Observatory

2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles, California 90027 USA

Free to Visit
Open Now
Sat 10a-10p
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards
  • Wheelchair
  • Public
  • Outdoor
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Local Favorite

Our Take

This beautiful observatory building in the Hollywood Hills is a mecca for science lovers and film buffs alike (and also fans of GTA V). Its myriad of exhibits, including a Tesla coil, a Foucault Pendulum, and a giant telescope among others, are totally free to the public... and the countless number of projects filmed here (including, most famously, "Rebel Without a Cause") add to the interest. The stellar views of the city don't hurt, either.

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“See the stars in this unique Observatory”

Griffith Observatory is an icon of Los Angeles, 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. It is 1,134 feet above sea level and is visible from many parts of the Los Angeles basin.  Griffith Observatory's unique architecture and setting, compelling programmatic offerings, and cinematic exposure have made it one of the most famous and visited landmarks in southern California. Tens of millions have come to walk the inside of the building, view the live planetarium shows, or simply gaze out towards the coast and the heavens. This cultural and scientific icon owes its existence to the dream of one man, Griffith Jenkins Griffith, and to the dedicated scientists and public servants who worked to fulfill his vision of making astronomy and observation accessible to all.

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Reviewed by

  • 28 Reviews
  • 78 Helpful
June 06, 2014

I love this place! Free admission, incredible views, and science! Be sure to catch the short movie about the observatory with Leonard Nimoy, watch the sunset on the patio with a cup of coffee, and peer through the giant telescope after dark.

10 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Anna Hider

  • Blogger
  • 1,414 Reviews
  • 628 Helpful
April 29, 2014

At night, the line to use the big telescope is SUPER long, so get there early if you're set on that. Or you can amuse yourself with one of the smaller ones which are still awesome. Also, it's basically free, which I love.

4 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 9 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
June 30, 2015
Rated 5.0

Closed on Mondays. DOES have free wifi. Great views!

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Helen Taylor

  • 8 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
August 03, 2017

SOOOO.. this is my freakin jam. If I didn't live 45 minutes away, I would come here once a week. But I do bring pretty much all of my visiting guests here. The view of LA is my favorite from here, especially at sundown. The shows in the planetarium are the main reason I enjoy this place; something reminiscing of childhood field trips about them. But the overall education you get is so fun and hands-on, it will be exciting and appealing to any age range. Nighttime telescope viewing: They are very strict about the time. We waiting in line for 45 minutes the first time, and we were finally just the 4th people in line, but at 9:30 sharp he closed the doors and we didn't get to look. We came back with a vengeance and finally made it, it was pretty damn cool. Though I was hoping to see a bigger view of Venus than I had imagined it would produce, still got to see it through the Griffith Observatory.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 13 Reviews
  • 7 Helpful
July 28, 2016
Rated 4.0

The Griffith Observatory was a great place to take my science-loving kids. Parking was a nightmare but just park in the lower level lot, the hike up the hill is worth it and it's FREE! We went when they were hosting a public star party and my kids were able to see the moon and Mars through the telescopes that were set up on the lawn. The Observatory was recently renovated/expanded so make sure to catch the movie in the Leonard Nimoy Theater to see how it was done, very interesting! My kids enjoyed seeing what they weighed on each of the planets and also seeing real moon rocks and learning where meteorites often hit. The interactive periodic table of elements was my son's personal favorite. The view of L.A. from the top deck is unbelievable! Bring quarters so your kids can look through the observation deck binoculars and don't forget to get a photo of the Hollywood sign in the background. This stop is perfect for a day trip!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 13 Reviews
  • 13 Helpful
June 29, 2015
Rated 5.0

This place was incredible! All we wanted to do was just get a picture in front of the Hollywood sign and heard this place is the place to go do that. We ended up parking pretty far but it was a nice walk. We did get a photo, but the sign was rather far, so it didn't come out as well. However the observatory was really interesting! and we learned a lot!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
AJ Frustaci

  • Road Warrior
  • 16 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
May 22, 2015
Rated 5.0

If you only have time for 1 thing in LA, this should be it. Day or night, it doesn't matter. You get the best view of all of Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign, and at night it's cool to see all the lights and yet be secluded from it. The exhibits are great too, especially the scales which show you what you weigh on each one

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 58 Reviews
  • 51 Helpful
October 12, 2014
Rated 5.0

This is one place to go and see the beauty from above! Without any entrance fee you will be able to become one with the telescope and explore what happens above the earth...among the stars!

Very educational, but so worth it. If you are afraid of the heights I would not recommend it.

The Planetarium Show is fantastic to see and the views from up there just one in a million!!

Do not miss it!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 332 Reviews
  • 190 Helpful
September 30, 2014
Rated 4.0

On a clear day you can see almost the entire city (including the Hollywood sign!) from up here. Going up right before sunset is apparently pretty spectacular.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Stephen Rees

  • Road Warrior
  • 273 Reviews
  • 326 Helpful
September 02, 2014
Rated 5.0

I loved visiting the Griffith Park observatory when I traveled to L.A. Along the drive up to the observatory you get some great views of the Hollywood sign, and once you get to the top you get an amazing panorama of the Los Angeles area. The observatory itself is also pretty cool, and included a huge telescope that you can wait in line to use.

1 person found this review helpful

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Griffith Observatory

2800 East Observatory Road
Los Angeles, California
90027 USA
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Open now until 10:00 pm
  • Sun, Sat: 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Tue - Fri: 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm

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Good for Cultural travelers. Has a Historic vibe.

  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Outdoor Seating
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Parking, Dining

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