Perched high above the city of Los Angeles, the Getty Center is home to a stellar art collection—with pieces spanning the ages from Renaissance to Pop Art—as well as Richard Meier’s cutting-edge architecture and serene, seasonally changing gardens. On clear days, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of LA and the Pacific coast beyond.
Even getting up to the Getty Center aboard the computer-operated tram is fun. From the sprawling arrival plaza, a natural flow of walkways, stairs, fountains, and courtyards encourages a relaxed pace between galleries, gardens, and outdoor cafés. Five buildings house collections of manuscripts, drawings, photographs, furniture, and decorative arts, and an assortment of pre–20th-century European paintings. Must-sees include Van Gogh’s Irises, Monet’s Wheatstacks, and Rembrandt’s The Abduction of Europa.
The Getty Center is one of LA’s most visited museums, so purchase tickets ahead of time to guarantee admission. City highlights tours stop here, often in combination with the Getty Villa or celebrity homes in Beverly Hills. If you’re interested in aerial views of the remarkable building, take a helicopter or plane tour of the area.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Getty Center Museum is a must-do for art and architecture lovers.
- Children can visit the interactive Family Room or browse the special kid bookstore.
- Dining options include snack carts, a cafeteria, a self-service café, and a restaurant with scenic views.
- The museum store sells books and merchandise inspired the museum’s antiquities collection and seasonal exhibitions.
- The Getty Museum is accessible to wheelchairs. Service animals are welcome, and there are options for those with mobility, sight, and hearing impairments.
How to Get There
The Getty Museum is located west of Hollywood. Metro bus lines 734 and 234 stop at the Getty Center entrance, at the intersection of Getty Center Drive and Sepulveda Boulevard. There is no street parking; paid parking is available in the Getty Center lot, which opens 30 minutes before the museum. Take the free tram from the street-level parking area to the top of the hill.
When to Get There
The Getty is open every day except Mondays and Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day; check the website for opening hours. Late afternoon is a great time to visit if you want to beat the crowds, plus parking fees are reduced at this time—and the Cactus Garden is lovely in the afternoon light.
Before visiting, check to see what special exhibitions or public programs are available. The museum is constantly showcasing new pieces from the collection or major works from around the world, and tickets can sell out way in advance on these special dates.