Griffith Observatory in LA

Best Time to Visit Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles (2024)

Do you want to know the best time to visit Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles? Experience the celestial wonders of Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles at their prime with our guide to the best time to see. Discover optimal viewing conditions for stargazing, planet observation, and iconic skyline panoramas.

Are you passionate about exploring observatories? I’m fascinated by everything within our galaxy and beyond, so I make it a point to visit observatories and planetariums whenever possible. Among the most captivating observatories I’ve experienced is the renowned Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles (LA).

Whenever I indulge in the Hollywood series Lucifer, it evokes memories of my visit to Los Angeles and my memorable experiences in the city. Los Angeles isn’t just a vibrant urban center; it also offers numerous day trips that you can take from Los Angeles for exploration and adventure.

PIN for later reference – Best Time to Visit Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles

PIN for later reference - Best Time to Visit Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles
PIN for later reference – Best Time to Visit Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles

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About Griffith Observatory

Situated adjacent to Mount Hollywood, Griffith Observatory stands as a prominent landmark in LA, honoring Griffith Jenkins Griffith, an esteemed American industrialist and philanthropist. Since its inauguration in 1935, the observatory has emerged as a cherished destination for tourists in LA.

For those enchanted by theme parks, a must-visit in LA is Universal Studios Hollywood in LA.

Hollywood sign at Griffith Observatory
Hollywood sign at Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory boasts intricate Greek key patterns on its exterior and a blend of Greek and Beaux-Arts designs within its interior. Structurally, it comprises three distinct levels:

  1. Lower Level: Hosting amenities such as a café, gift shop, theater, and exhibits.
  2. Main Level: Housing the planetarium, galleries, telescope, and additional exhibits.
  3. Roof: Featuring viewing platforms, telescopes, and further exhibits.

Fun fact: The planetarium once served as a training ground.

Griffith Observatory in LA
Griffith Observatory in LA

Best Time to Visit Griffith Observatory

For an unforgettable experience, aim to visit the observatory during sunset, when the breathtaking views of the sunset blending with the city lights are mesmerizing. Weekdays offer a quieter atmosphere, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the wonders of the observatory with fewer crowds to contend with. To make the most of your visit, plan to allocate at least 2 to 3 hours to explore the various exhibits and delve into the depths of the observatory and planetarium.

If you’re attending a show at the planetarium, it’s advisable to arrive well in advance to ensure you secure your spot and are punctual for the start of the presentation. This not only guarantees you have sufficient time to find your seat but also ensures you don’t miss out on any of the captivating insights and visuals the show has to offer. By timing your visit strategically and allowing ample time for exploration, you’ll be able to savor every moment of your journey through the wonders of the observatory.

How to Get to Griffith Observatory?

By Road

Located approximately 16 kilometers (10 miles) from downtown LA, Griffith Observatory is easily accessible by car, with a convenient drive time of just 30 minutes. Upon arrival, visitors will find paid parking facilities at around USD 4 per hour.

However, it’s important to note that parking availability can be limited, especially during weekends and public holidays, due to the high volume of visitors. Thus, planning accordingly and considering arriving early to secure a parking spot for a hassle-free experience is advisable.

By Public Transport

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) oversees public transportation, with the DASH system offering an affordable and economical means of traveling within LA. DASH buses operate daily from 10 AM to 10 PM, providing convenient access to various destinations.

To reach Griffith Observatory from downtown LA, travelers can embark on a multi-step journey. Begin by boarding a bus from Figueroa Street/7th Street to 1st/Hill. From there, transfer to the metro at Grand Park station, heading towards Vermont/Sunset. Finally, take a bus from Vermont/Sunset to Los Feliz/Vermont, where Griffith Observatory awaits.

It’s worth noting that navigating between these locations without a car may pose some challenges and require careful planning. However, with the proper preparation, exploring around in USA without a car can lead to rewarding experiences and memorable adventures.

Things to Know Before Visiting Griffith Observatory

  • Admission to the Griffith Observatory building, public telescopes, and grounds is complimentary. However, access to the Samuel Oschin Planetarium and its captivating shows incurs a minimal fee of USD 10 per adult.
  • The observatory welcomes visitors four days a week, from Thursday to Sunday. On Thursdays and Fridays, operating hours are from 12 PM to 10 PM, while on Saturdays and Sundays, the observatory opens its doors from 10 AM to 10 PM. Even on days when the interior is closed to the public, visitors can still stroll around the grounds and marvel at the stunning sunset views, including the iconic Hollywood sign.
  • To economize on parking costs, consider parking further downhill from the observatory and embarking on a scenic hike upward, typically lasting around 20 minutes each way.
  • While outside food is prohibited within the observatory, a convenient café on the lower level offers a selection of delectable food and beverages for purchase.

On a side note, don’t miss the opportunity to embark on an unforgettable hike to the Hollywood sign—an experience like no other, offering a tranquil escape from the crowds often found at other tourist attractions in Los Angeles.

Sunset from Griffith observatory
Sunset from Griffith Observatory

About Lights of the Valkyries, Show at Griffith Observatory

The planetarium hosts daily programs open to the public, offering extraordinary experiences of the sky and universe. These captivating shows also present opportunities to witness live images of the Sun and stars utilizing advanced technology such as the coelostat and solar telescope, which precisely track solar movements.

During my visit, I had the privilege of attending one of these exceptional presentations: “Lights of the Valkyries.” This mesmerizing display delved into Viking cosmology, unraveling the mystical nature of the Aurora Borealis, commonly known as the Northern Lights. I was awestruck by the immersive experience and the profound insights offered by the show. Undoubtedly, it stands out as one of the most remarkable and unforgettable spectacles I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing.

Is Griffith Observatory in LA Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Griffith Observatory is a haven of safety, making it an ideal destination for solo female travelers. While navigating certain areas of LA, particularly around Downtown, may evoke a sense of unease, I found reassurance in the secure environment of Griffith Observatory and its surroundings.

Nevertheless, as with any location worldwide, it’s essential to exercise caution and always be aware of your surroundings. By staying vigilant and informed, visitors can fully enjoy the wonders of Griffith Observatory while prioritizing their safety.

Night view of Griffith observatory
Night view

Closing Notes

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Griffith Observatory and wholeheartedly endorsed it as a must-see destination in LA. This unique observatory offers an unparalleled experience, immersing visitors in its wonders for several hours. The breathtaking views of the city, particularly during sunset, are truly mesmerizing and add to the allure of the observatory.

Are observatories among your favorite destinations as well? I’d love to hear about your experiences and personal favorites. Feel free to share your thoughts with me at


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  • My opinions and views are unbiased. If the post is a collaboration, then they are specifically mentioned.
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Best Time to Visit Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles (2024)
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    PIN for later reference – Best Time to Visit Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles

    Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles - PIN for later reference
    Best Time to Visit Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles – PIN for later reference