The 8 Best Hollywood Tours
Note: Some tour providers on this list may be running more limited operations due to COVID-19 or may impose testing or vaccine requirements. Check with your tour operator about availability before you book.
Hollywood’s glitz, glamour and celebrities have always held a fascination for travelers. Tourists journey to Los Angeles from all over the world to catch a glimpse of the city’s famous residents or scope out iconic filming locations. For a behind-the-scenes peek at Hollywood’s unknown tales and secrets, enlist the help of a local by signing up for a guided tour. Researching both expert opinion and traveler sentiment, U.S. News selected the best Hollywood tours.
Big Bus Tours Los Angeles – TMZ Celebrity Tour
TMZ, known for its celebrity news-fueled television show and website, operates this bus tour that takes travelers through Hollywood in the hopes of seeing their favorite celebrities. During the two-hour trip, TMZ guides will take you to celebrity hangouts in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills the Sunset Strip and more. The guides even bring video cameras in case a passing celebrity is willing to give an interview. Many patrons say the tour is fun, even without seeing any stars, and applaud the entertaining guides. Tours run multiple times daily. Tickets start at approximately $50 for participants ages 13 and older and $30 children age 3 to 12. Children younger than 2 are not permitted.
Ultimate Hollywood Tours – Hollywood and Beverly Hills Tour
Keep your eyes peeled for Hollywood A-listers on this two-hour open-top bus tour, which promises to drive by dozens of celebrity homes. The bus will also cruise down Rodeo Drive and pass by the Hollywood Walk of Fame landmark and the Beverly Hills Hotel, among other celebrity haunts. Visitors appreciate the guides’ sense of humor and knowledge. They also say this is an excellent way to see the major attractions in Hollywood in a short amount of time. The tours depart multiple times daily. Tickets cost approximately $40 for adults and $30 for children. If you’re hoping to see even more of Los Angeles, consider the company’s five-hour excursion that includes an hourlong stop in Santa Monica.
The Real Los Angeles Tours – The Real Hollywood Tour
During this historic walking tour, travelers will learn why Hollywood, once a farming town, was selected by movie industry pioneers in the early 20th century. The two-hour tour also stops at unique sights, such as the oldest house in Hollywood. But major attractions aren’t forgotten either: You can expect to see the Capitol Records Building, the Dolby Theatre and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, among other sights. Reviewers enjoy the informative guides, and even locals say they discover things they never knew about the city. Tours are offered daily at 10 a.m. and cost approximately $35 for adults; children 11 and younger tour for free. You can also opt to combine this tour with the company’s Central Downtown LA tour for a comprehensive, three-hour historical overview of the city.
Open Bus Tours – Movie Star Home Tour
Admire the mansions of Hollywood’s rich and famous as you wind through LA’s posh neighborhoods on this two-hour, open-air bus tour. Then, pass by iconic sights, such as the Hollywood sign and Mulholland Drive, before cruising along Rodeo Drive, the Sunset Strip and other well-known Hollywood locales. Most reviewers give the tour high marks, applauding the amusing and informative guides. Ticket prices start at $35 for adults and $25 for kids up to age 10. Tours are available Thursday through Monday; they depart four times each operating day. Private tours are also an option.
Taking a bus tour to pass by the homes of the rich and famous is a popular activity for Hollywood tourists.(Getty Images)
Bikes and Hikes LA – Hollywood Sign Hike
For a unique and sunshine-filled Hollywood tour, opt for this 2 1/2-hour hike to the Hollywood sign. Highlights include a view of Griffith Observatory, panoramic views from Mount Hollywood and local guides who also double as actors and comedians. Along the 4-mile round-trip hike, you might even see local celebrities walking their dogs. Tour-takers love the views, informative guides and the overall experience. The company offers both morning and afternoon guided hikes. The exact meeting times vary, depending on the time of the year. Bikes and Hikes LA recommends wearing sunscreen, sunglasses and sneakers, and bringing a camera or smartphone for all those Instagram-worthy views. Tickets start at $28 per person. The company also offers three different bike tours around Hollywood and LA.
Hollywood City Tours – The Original Hollywood Tour
According to travelers, this tour is worthwhile if you’re only in Los Angeles for a short amount of time, as you cover a lot of ground in just two hours. You’ll cruise along Rodeo Drive and the Sunset Strip in an open-top bus as your driver (who doubles as your guide) shares interesting tidbits and historical information. Reviewers compliment the personable, entertaining guides, who they say tailor the tour to the group’s interests. Along with celebrity homes belonging to A-listers like Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, you’ll also drive past Hollywood landmarks like the Hollywood Bowl, Chateau Marmont and the Pantages Theatre. Tours operate daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets for adults cost approximately $40; tickets for kids 10 and younger cost about $30. If you’re hoping to hit all of LA’s top sights, consider the company’s seven-hour Grand LA Tour.
Access Hollywood Tours – Celebrity Homes & Hollywood Sign Tour
Reviewers say this Hollywood sightseeing tour is lots of fun thanks to the engaging, personable guides. They also praise the beautiful scenery and report seeing plenty of iconic landmarks and celebrity homes. On this two-hour tour, you’ll board an open-top bus in search of celebrity homes belonging to the likes of Mick Jagger and Madonna, as well as Hollywood must-sees like Greystone Mansion, Rodeo Drive, the Sunset Strip and more. Tours are available Thursday through Tuesday starting at 10:30 a.m. until around 4 p.m. Tours may be available daily, depending on the month. Tickets cost approximately $40 for passengers ages 12 and older and $25 for children ages 3 to 11; infants 2 and younger can ride for $10.
Surf City Tours – The Perfect Los Angeles Tour
See the best of both Hollywood and Los Angeles on this half-day tour, which lasts approximately 5 ½ hours. Departing from Santa Monica Pier, the bus tour features several stops, including the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive and The Original Farmers Market. Along with celebrity homes belonging to stars like Ellen DeGeneres, you’ll cruise past famous music venues, such as The Viper Room and Whisky a Go Go. Reviewers say the tour flies by thanks to the knowledgeable guides, who are well-versed in celebrity culture. Travelers also appreciate the time allotted for each stop and say they captured great photos. Tours are available at 10 a.m. and noon daily. Tickets cost $85 for participants ages 14 and older and $70 for children 13 and younger. If you’re short on time, consider the company’s two-hour Hollywood tour.