Griffith Observatory

Vacation Travel Guide
Griffith Observatory showing a city, an observatory and landscape views

Discover a star-studded hangout and marvel at the art deco splendor of one of LA’s stellar attractions.

Perched high above the city near the Hollywood sign, the Griffith Observatory offers a mind-expanding window on the universe and plenty of intergalactic fun. Though LA’s fog and haze means the views of heavenly bodies aren’t as good as they used to be, you can still see beyond the smog to glimpse stars, moon craters, Jupiter’s satellites and more.

With its three copper-cladded domes, this stimulating shrine to science has been a famous LA landmark since 1935. Movie buffs may recognize it from numerous sci-fi flicks, including The Terminator, and the 1955 James Dean film Rebel Without a Cause.

The observatory hasn’t just played a significant role in Hollywood history, it’s also made a major contribution to space exploration; the Apollo astronauts learned about celestial navigation within its walls.

In addition to exhibition halls with more than 60 space-related displays, the observatory has a 300-seat planetarium beneath the central dome and a multimedia theater for education programs and activities, the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon.

Scan the stars when the skies are clear with the Zeiss refracting telescope, solar telescopes and other instruments available for public use. Time your visit to coincide with a free monthly star party so you can peer at the moon, visible planets and other objects in the solar system through a variety of telescopes.

When you’re ready to come back down to Earth, take some time out in the grounds around the observatory for more awesome views. From your vantage point on the south slope of Mount Hollywood, you’ll see the LA basin laid out before you. At night, with the city lights sparkling below, the spectacle is simply stunning.

Griffith Observatory is about eight miles (13 kilometers) north of downtown. It is open five days a week, from Wednesday to Sunday, but is closed on most holidays. Admission to the observatory and the surrounding grounds is free.

For more details on interesting local attractions and activities, check out our things to do in Los Angeles page.

Top things to do in Griffith Observatory

Top Hotels Close to Griffith Observatory

Hollywood Hotel - The Hotel of Hollywood
Hollywood Hotel - The Hotel of Hollywood
3.5 out of 5
1160 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
The price is $109 per night from Dec 5 to Dec 5
This family-friendly Los Angeles hotel is located near the airport, within 3 mi (5 km) of Greek Theatre, Pantages Theatre and Griffith Observatory. Hollywood ...
3.7/5 Good! (969 reviews)
"Super cute place! Staff were very helpful and they had cozy beds and pillows. But the walls were paper thin - literally heard our neighbors playing loud music until super late at night."

Reviewed on Nov 27, 2021

Hollywood Hotel - The Hotel of Hollywood
Loews Hollywood Hotel
Loews Hollywood Hotel
4 out of 5
1755 North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $233 per night from Dec 13 to Dec 13
This family-friendly Los Angeles hotel is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of Hollywood Wax Museum, Dolby Theater, and TCL Chinese ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (2,716 reviews)
"Everything was great."

Reviewed on Nov 29, 2021

Loews Hollywood Hotel
Luxury Tuscan Villa w/ Infinity Pool & Incredible Amenities
Luxury Tuscan Villa w/ Infinity Pool & Incredible Amenities
Los Angeles, CA
This family-friendly vacation home is located in the city center, within 2 mi (3 km) of Griffith Observatory and Greek Theatre. Melrose Avenue and Hollywood ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (7 reviews)
Great little place in a great location
"Great space for 7 people and 4 off-street parking spaces located close to Balboa Park and lots of restaurants. Only 4 stars due to uncomfortable seating and minimal kitchen supplies, but overall a great rental for 7 people"

Reviewed on Oct 18, 2021

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Luxury Tuscan Villa w/ Infinity Pool & Incredible Amenities
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Griffith Observatory

Hollywood Hotel - The Hotel of Hollywood
Hollywood Hotel - The Hotel of Hollywood
3.5 out of 5
1160 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
The price is $109 per night from Dec 5 to Dec 5
Hollywood Hotel - The Hotel of Hollywood
Loews Hollywood Hotel
Loews Hollywood Hotel
4 out of 5
1755 North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
The price is $233 per night from Dec 13 to Dec 13
Loews Hollywood Hotel
Luxury Tuscan Villa w/ Infinity Pool & Incredible Amenities
Luxury Tuscan Villa w/ Infinity Pool & Incredible Amenities
Los Angeles, CA
Luxury Tuscan Villa w/ Infinity Pool & Incredible Amenities
4BR Home w Pool/BBQ/Parking - City & Canyon Views
4BR Home w Pool/BBQ/Parking - City & Canyon Views
Los Angeles, CA
4BR Home w Pool/BBQ/Parking - City & Canyon Views
Villa Heavens View
Villa Heavens View
3.5 out of 5
2121 N Hobart Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Villa Heavens View
Hollywood Hills Spanish Contemporary - Ask About Monthly Specials
Hollywood Hills Spanish Contemporary - Ask About Monthly Specials
Los Angeles, CA
Hollywood Hills Spanish Contemporary - Ask About Monthly Specials
The Dixie Hollywood
The Dixie Hollywood
3 out of 5
5410 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
The price is $111 per night from Dec 8 to Dec 8
The Dixie Hollywood
New Hollywood Home With Griffith Observatory Views and parking
New Hollywood Home With Griffith Observatory Views and parking
Los Angeles, CA
New Hollywood Home With Griffith Observatory Views and parking
Upscaled Vibrant 1920's Hollywood Style Flat w/ House Filters
Upscaled Vibrant 1920's Hollywood Style Flat w/ House Filters
Los Angeles, CA
Upscaled Vibrant 1920's Hollywood Style Flat w/ House Filters
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.