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Getty Center

Museums, Art and design Westside Free
5 out of 5 stars
(17user reviews)
Getty Center
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
 (Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/<a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">brewbrooks</a>)
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/brewbrooks
 (Photograph: Michael Juliano)
Photograph: Michael Juliano
 (Photograph: Courtesy Sam Poullain)
Photograph: Courtesy Sam Poullain

Time Out says

Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the Getty will close on March 14 until further notice. You can keep up with more local event cancelations here.

What’s now called the Getty Villa served as the decades-long home for the J. Paul Getty Trust’s extensive art collection. But in 1997, the Getty Center opened. The end result is a remarkable complex of travertine and white metal-clad pavilions that houses ornate French furniture, recognizable Impressionist pieces and rotating exhibitions. Its relative inaccessibility is more than compensated for by free admission and panoramic views, from the hills and the ocean in the west all the way around to Downtown in the east.

Buy tickets to a scavenger hunt at the Getty here

What to see inside

Once you’ve parked at the bottom and taken the electric tram ride up the hill, one thing becomes apparent: It’s a big place, with works displayed in four permanent galleries, an exhibition space and the adjacent Getty Research Institute. The West Pavilion’s Impressionist pieces are a perennial crowd-pleaser, particularly Van Gogh’s Irises. Across the way, the South Pavilion features French decorative arts, outdone only by the baroque room recreations in the East Pavilion. Make sure to head to that building’s upper level, where you’ll find a number of Rembrandt masterpieces. Meanwhile, the North Pavilion features art exclusively made before 1700—most exquisitely, a collection of illuminated manuscripts on the lower floor.

What to see outside

You could stroll along the Getty’s myriad courtyards, overlooks and fountains without ever stepping foot inside a gallery and still come away satisfied. The most notable destination is Robert Irwin’s Central Garden, a cascading stream that leads to a lush labyrinth of hedges and pathways—make sure to check out the modern sculpture garden just past it. The cactus garden in the southeast corner provides a postcard-perfect view of the city with a cluster of cacti in the foreground. If you’re after sunset views, post up on any of the pavilion’s westward-facing terraces (if you can see the Central Garden and the oceanfront mountains, you’re looking the right way).

Where to eat

The bustling cafe by the entrance, as well as another one near the Central Garden, should suffice for most visitors, while the Restaurant (reservations recommended) provides sit-down service for a more leisurely, luxurious meal. We’d opt for the casual offering; if you want to go with the most casual option, pack a picnic and lay out a blanket on the museum’s sloping, south-facing lawn.

By: Time Out editors



Address: 1200 Getty Center Dr
Los Angeles
Price: Free admission; parking $20, after 4pm $15, after 6pm $10
Opening hours: Tue–Fri, Sun 10am–5:30pm; Sat 10am–9pm
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  • Drawing Until Sunday May 31 2020 Free
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Users say (17)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

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1 of 1 found helpful

The building and surrounding gardens, the artwork and the view of LA are stunning. Amazing that there is no charge for this museum where you could spend all day going through the exhibits and still not finish. The ride by tram from the base is also an experience in itself. So, bring your camera, packs some snacks and water to nourish yourself to see as much of this museum as possible. Truly a beautiful treasure of Los Angeles


What an incredible place. The views down over LA stretch on for miles and the grounds provide the perfect place to take in the vista. The architecture is phenomenal. The buildings seem huge and brutish but the texture of the stone and the bright white colour lends the whole area an amazing sense of calm and serenity. Inside, natural light finds it's way everywhere and the curves of the building help accentuate certain artworks and exhibitions. It's a large place with plenty to see, both inside and out; you really could while away a whole day here. A must see in LA.


The Getty Center is a must-go, must-see spot in L.A. The natural setting and architectural perfection combine to offer stunning grounds that change with the day's changing lighting. From the top of the hill you get panoramic views of the city. No two visits will be alike.

The galleries are mostly lit with natural light and you can see they were designed for the collections. The docents and volunteers in the galleries received extensive training and are a wealth of knowledge.

For a museum, the cafe and restaurant stand out with very decent food and settings.

The Central Garden is one of my favorites on the grounds, and it truly changes with the seasons and over time.

This spot has something for everybody, regardless of age and where you come from. It is always worth the visit.


I'm old enough to remember school trips to the original Getty Art Museum at the magnificent villa near Malibu, and I admit to missing its splendor (it's now a separate museum) but the Getty center, designed by Richard Meier, is stunning, in a gogeous setting overlooking Brentwood and the Santa Monica mountains. The collections range from medieval to modern, with especially good Renaisance art. Special exhibitions are also worth a look, particularly as the collections include manuscripts and photographs, not just paintings and scullptures, and the exhibitioins are usually beautifully curated. The archives are amazingly good for researchers, so there is often a mix of tourists and academics buzzing around. Also check upcoming lectures and other events. This is a prestigious and spectacular museum that proves, once and for all, that LA is not soul-less, low-class and/or spaced out.


I visited the Getty soon after I moved to Los Angeles and was blown away by the view. The art was collection impressive and vast, but the lasting memories I have from my visit are the tram ride up & how beautiful the city looked while there. Definitely a great place to take someone who is visiting or new to the city. The facilities, landscaping, and the gardens are really astounding as well - plenty of great places to sit for a little with a coffee or a good book. Inside of the galleries and outside there is a plethora to see. As I'm sure you might read in other reviews, although the museum is free to visit, there is a charge to park in the lot. 

One of my favorite spots in Los Angeles! Perfect for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. And, even if you aren't an art connoisseur, you can still spend a full day enjoying the beautiful views, modern architecture, and luscious garden. Plus, free admission! Grab your camera and explore the multiple facets of the center; or, enjoy a relaxing picnic on the grass with a blanket and a bite to eat from one of the on-site cafes.

The Westside's brightest gem, The Getty is an anchor for world renowned classic art in Los Angeles.  The building itself is studied by architectural students with it's landscaping to match.  The Getty boasts some of the most beautiful garden in all of Los Angeles.

The Getty Center is the perfect getaway for the day if you want to feel like you're far away from the city life, while enjoying great art, education and ambiance. They have a lot of great new exhibits they change around, so you can go often and still see and learn something new. The garden is beautiful, and you get great city views as well. The ride up is also quite fun, and it's cool to know you're on those little trams that you can see from the freeway! There's something for everyone, whether you're into the exhibits or the views. I definitely recommend The Getty, whether you're visiting, or a local!


What is there left to say about the Getty? It's one of LA's most beautiful institutions and a place every Angeleno and visitor should experience. There's an incredible amount of history in the architecture alone (there are fossil imprints in the courtyard stones!), which makes it a joy to explore. 


The Getty is a landmark in Los Angeles and a MUST see if you are visiting. They have popular exhibitions happening all year round so anytime you visit you will be sure to explore and be inspired all year long. If galleries are not your thing, you can also just go to walk around and see the view from The Getty. It's breathtaking!

The Getty is a famous L.A. spot but it's earned its place. From its great views of the city to its world-class exhibits and extra programming like concerts and speakers, there's always a reason to visit the museum. The Buddhism talk I saw last year was enlightening and inspirational. It's also just a cool spot to hang out on the lawn with a bottle of wine and picnic basket.

The Getty Museum has the most fascinating exhibits that my family and I have ever experienced!

I love the Getty Center! and every time when I have internacional visitor, they love to go too!

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