California 5 MINS READ

A Guide To Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

A Guide To Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

California 5 MINS READ
griffith observatory with los angeles skyline

Griffith Observatory is one of Los Angeles’ most famous spots that every visitor must go to. It is a planetarium and astronomy museum and people go up to this gorgeous landmark for several reasons – you can get stunning views of Los Angeles, the Pacific Ocean, and the esteemed Hollywood sign on Mount Hollywood. It is maintained by the City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation and Parks.

There are plenty of things to do in and around Griffith Observatory, such as seeing the esteemed Tesla Coil Demonstration which will be enjoyed by both adults and small children alike. Learn everything there is to learn about planetary orbits and so much more.

Getting There

You can see so much of downtown Los Angeles and the gorgeous city lights from here. Famous movies such as La La Land were shot with the view from here being the backdrop. Visiting Griffith Observatory is completely free for all to enjoy. If you’re wondering how to find parking, there is an option for paid parking in the Observatory parking lot on either West Observatory Road or Western Canyon Road. You can approach pay stations and pay parking fees to park your vehicle. You can also avail yourself of free parking as you enter Griffith Park in Los Feliz. You can also use public transportation from the several bus stops at the park, such as buses and shuttles which run every 15 mins to get to the park.

Another option is to either rent a bike from one of the bike racks there and follow a path uphill or bring your own bike. The Fern Dell entrance closes after dark so if you plan on entering through here and using the paid parking, we recommend entering before the afternoon.

Here are some places you absolutely cannot miss when you visit Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles.

Things To Do At Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

Griffith Park

Griffith park los angeles

Griffith Park is a huge expansive stretch of land that has rough terrain and has the perfect hiking trails or even parkland areas where you can sit back, relax, and have a picnic. The Griffith Observatory along with the planetarium and theatre are all located in Griffith Park. It is one of the largest municipal parks that have regions of urban wilderness in the USA and is iconic to be one of the best parks in Southern California. The Griffith Observatory is located in Griffith Park, along with the Greek Theatre, three City golf courses, the Los Angeles Zoo, and so many other iconic places that you can visit.

Samuel Oschin Planetarium

samuel oschin planetarium griffith observatory
Image Credit: Griffith Observatory

The Samuel Oschin Planetarium is one of the best planetariums in the world with its fine state-of-the-art projection system and 290 seats where you can lay back and watch either a 60 or 90-minute show being projected on a dome. Learn everything there is to learn about outer space at this planetarium. Every planetarium show here is led and hosted by a storyteller which makes it all the more engaging and fun. You can get planetarium tickets either on their website or upon getting there. There’s so much of the night sky and the solar system that you can observe here. It’s the perfect place for kids and amateur astronomers to enjoy themselves. There are also several public telescopes here that you can utilize, such as the Zeiss telescope.

Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theatre

Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theatre
Image Credit: Griffith Observatory

This theatre was built as a complementary building to the original observatory as a presentation theatre. It has definitely contributed to and improved the experience of the observatory itself and even expands on the ways in which the observatory can provide knowledge and education along with entertainment to its visitors. The theatre plays films and hosts programs and plays which are all free to view. The theatre is also an integral part of the school programs that the observatory has.

Gottlieb Transit Corridor

gottlieb transit corridor
Image Credit: Griffith Observatory

This unique glass corridor is a 150-feet-long and 10-feet-wide glass-walled corridor that is useful for visitors to understand the movement of the sun, moon, and stars, and how this determines the day and time. It teaches visitors what it means to be astronomical observers and how to arrive at conclusions about time based on celestial movements. Every day at 12 noon, there is a presentation that happens here when the sun is right overhead the meridian line of the observatory. We highly recommend attending this informative presentation.


How long do you spend at Griffith Observatory?

To get a true sense of everything that Griffith Observatory has to offer, we would recommend spending at least 3 hours here, however, on average people tend to spend about 2 hours.

Do I need a ticket to enter Griffith Observatory?

The Griffith Observatory buildings, grounds, and public telescopes all are completely free to go to! The planetarium shows do require tickets, however, and you would have to pay for parking in some areas.

Can you go to the Griffith Observatory for free?

The Griffith Observatory buildings, grounds, and public telescopes all are free to go to! The planetarium shows do require tickets, however, and you would have to pay for parking in some areas.

How long is the Griffith Park Observatory hike?

The loop road up to Griffith Observatory is 1.75 miles long and 610 feet elevated. There are also several other routes that would take you uphill.

How hard is the Griffith Observatory hike?

The Griffith Observatory hike is moderate to difficult, but has a wide dirt path and isn’t too inclined, so it’s definitely a walkable trail.

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