If you’re vacationing in LA, you probably have some plans set to see the glamorous city’s top attractions, including Universal Studios Hollywood, Madame Tussauds, the Hollywood Museum, etc. To help manage your travel budget you’ll most likely want to check out some of the inexpensive (or even free) attractions, too. To enhance your Los Angeles experience (and keep some cash in your wallet), check out some of the 10 best bargain attractions.

The Getty Center & Getty Villa

The Getty Center in L.A. The Getty Center in L.A.
The J. Paul Getty Museum is one of the top-rated attractions in Los Angeles. And guess what—admission is absolutely free. Although parking (in a garage) costs $15, it’s truly an unbeatable price for what the Getty Center offers. It houses one of the biggest and most beautiful art collections in the world. But the real reason to visit is for the stunning architecture and the best views of LA. You can also check out the Getty Villa in Malibu to see the Getty’s collection of Greek and Roman art. Although admission is free, you’ll have to reserve timed tickets in advance for the Villa.

Venice Beach Boardwalk

The boardwalk is perfect for people watching! The boardwalk is perfect for people watching! Image credit: venicebeach.com
The Venice Beach Boardwalk practically epitomizes LA with street performers, hard-bodied beach-goers, and a whole slew of interesting characters wandering around. In fact, Venice Beach Boardwalk is the most visited destination in Los Angeles. In addition to the unparalleled people-watching, you’ll enjoy unique shops, cafes, street vendors, and the chance to observe beach sports on Muscle Beach. While the boardwalk itself is free, parking can be up to $15 depending on the lot and time of year While you're in the area, don't forget to stop by Pacific Park - you can get discounted admission with your Go Los Angeles® Card, so you don't need to worry about straining your budget!

Paramount Ranch

Experience the Wild West Hollywood style.
Hollywood’s version of the Wild West was created at the Paramount in 1927, and the site has been used for filming ever since. Visiting this Old West town set is free, and you can take all the photographs you want at this “movie ranch.” You’ll also find two easy hiking trails nearby, which can make for a fun (free) daytime activity. If you're interested in touring more movie sites and sets, you can take a few studio tours for less with the Go Los Angeles® Card, including the Warner Bros VIP Tour and a behind-the-scenes tour of Universal Studios Hollywood.

Point Dume State Beach

Image credit: malibuhiking.com Image credit: malibuhiking.com
This Malibu state park is the perfect nature getaway offering a diversity of landscapes. You’ll find wide beaches, coastal bluffs, sand dunes, and rocky cliffs overlooking the ocean. The beaches are quieter than most, so you can really relax while basking in the sun. If you have kids with you (or if you’re a kid at heart), explore the shallow tide pools to discover some small sea creatures. The best part? It’s all free. If you'd prefer a more comprehensive overview of Malibu, or perhaps, a celebrity-focused tour, try out a themed Malibu Tour.

Griffith Park

The Griffith Observatory at Griffith Park.
Griffith Park is the largest municipal urban wilderness area in the United States, where you’ll find both landscaped “parkland” and natural terrain. What’s really special about Griffith Park is that it is home to lots of bargain attractions. For no cost, you can take your kids on the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round, stargaze through the super Zeiss telescope at the Griffith Park Observatory, or discover old empty train cars at the historical Travel Town Museum. You could also rent a bike and pedal around the park's beautiful expanse, or hike up to the Hollywood Sign. Tip: If you want to catch a glimpse of the stars from the Observatory, get in line before dark!

Runyon Canyon Park

The view from Runyon Canyon.
Enjoy the natural paradise in the Santa Monica Mountains that is Runyon Canyon Park. Expect to be blown away by scenic views of all of LA and the gorgeous West Coast sunset. As it’s well known for it’s liberal off-leash pet policy, this place is perfect for the dog-lover. Whether you’re bringing your pets or not, pack a picnic and bring a kite for some outdoor fun at Runyon Canyon…all free, free, free!

California Science Center

california-science-center-imax-2The California Science Center’s interactive exhibits appeal to visitors of all ages. The permanent exhibits, featuring human and wildlife environments as well as air and space displays, are all free to the public. There is a fee for parking, but at only $10 per car, you won’t hurt your wallet. The Science Center also has a 7-story IMAX theatre which is not included in the free admission, but you will get into the IMAX for free with your Go Los Angeles Card!

Page Museum & La Brea Tar Pits

An outdoor exhibit at the La Brea Tar Pits.
The La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park is the largest source of prehistoric fossils ever excavated. The largest collection of these fossils is housed in the park at the Page Museum. It’s free to wander around the park and look at the tar pits and outdoor exhibits, but if you want to explore more of the prehistoric, admission to this unique Museum is only $7.

Hollywood Walk of Fame & Forecourt of the Stars

The  Walk of Fame. The Walk of Fame.
You can’t visit LA without strolling along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Enjoy a free self-guided tour on Hollywood Boulevard while searching for the names of your favorite celebrities beneath your feet. Along the Walk of Fame, you’ll stumble across world-famous TCL Chinese Theater. At the Forecourt of the Stars in front of the theatre, put your own hands in the handprints of legendary Hollywood celebrities. Both activities are free!

The Hollywood Sign

By Scott Catron (Sunset on HollywoodUploaded by zaui) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons By Scott Catron (Sunset on HollywoodUploaded by zaui) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Although you can’t get right up to the sign (it’s fenced off from the public), you can still get a prime (free) view of the iconic Hollywood Sign from several nearby spots. The Hollywood & Highland Center offers an excellent viewing area, or drive up Beachwood Canyon for a closer look.

So Remember...

If you're looking for free or inexpensive attractions, try out a few on this list! Also, be sure to pick up a Go Los Angeles® Card to save up to 55% on admission to top attractions, tours, museums, and more. It's the best way to stay on budget while traveling without sacrificing any of the things you want to see and do. Go Los Angeles Card