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A traveler's guide to the Getty Center in Los Angeles

The Getty Center or as it is known as “The Getty’ is a campus in the Getty Museum. It is a $1.3 billion center and opened to the public in 1987. It is well known for its architecture, gardens, and amazing views that overlook Los Angeles. It houses magnificent European paintings, drawings, sculptures, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, and photography. It has one of the best collections of artworks anywhere in the world. Let us look deeper into the Getty and find out what some of the things to do and see are

The Getty Center


  • Due to the height restriction in the area, half of the Getty Center is underground – it is three stories both up and down.   
  • Every spring the Getty Museum hires a herd of goats to clear the brush and reduce the danger of fire in the area.  
  • When the Italian beige-colored travertine stone was split for construction, it ended up exposing hidden fossils – leaves, shells, twigs, branches, and feathers. You can conduct a fossil hunt on the floor and the walls.   
  • The Getty regularly offers new exhibitions, research, publications, performing art events, and public education all with their diverse local and international audience in mind.  

Things to see at the Getty Center

  • View from the Top – The allure of the Getty is not just the galleries but also the entire campus is a work of art. Richard Meier, the architect made it a point to showcase one of the finest views in Los Angeles. Do not skip the outside balconies and pavilion between the galleries. You should on a clear day go outside and enjoy the fresh air and also savor the brilliant views of the mountain and the ocean from the top. The South Pavillion also has great views of the city, while the West Pavillion’s second-floor balcony offers a bird’s eye view of the museum’s brilliant Central Garden.   
  •  Central Garden – The Central Garden for the Getty was created by SoCal sculptor Robert Irwin. It is 134,000 square feet and features a natural ravine and a tree-lined walkway. He described it as a sculpture in the form of a garden that aspires to be art. He has designed an oasis where you can easily lose yourself in the landscape and appreciate the beauty of the Getty itself. You can take a stroll on a nice clear day under the flowering trees by the azalea pool and grab a seat on a bench where you can relax with a glass of beer or wine.  
  • Joke Glass – Joke Glass is a 17th-century version of what we know as dribble glass. The ornate silver embellishments and the human form are unusual making Getty’s Joke Glass very distinct and unique. The Joke glass is designed so that it makes drinking without spilling nearly impossible.   
  • The Musicians Brawl – It is one of the favorite places for people to recreate a tableau vivant posing contest.   
  • Impressionist Room, Gallery W204 – It is home to some of the best works including Van Gogh’s Irises and Manet’s Spring. This is also the highest-priced art available at the Getty. Manet’s Spring was bought for $65.1 million which breaks down to $112,284 per square inch. Make sure you spend quality time admiring the art instead of just rushing by and taking a picture. Move a few steps away from the piece, take a deep breath, and allow yourself to be overwhelmed by its soft glowing colors.   
  • Getty Exploration Organization – You should visit the Getty Exploration Foundation where you can lodge a broad library of files and examine assortments that are committed to workmanship and culture.   
  • Nurseries – Zigzag through the quiet gardens that encompass the exhibition halls and look at display models and rich scenes.   
The Getty 2 scaled

Getting there

The Getty Center is located at 1200 Getty Drive Los Angeles, CA 90049 US. It is right on a slope in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. Due to its raised position, it gives a staggering perspective on the surrounding region which includes the Pacific Sea and the St Nick Monica Mountains.   

If you are arriving there by using your vehicle, there is a parking structure that is accessible from the gallery with stopping expenses. The location for GPS is the same as the address mentioned above.   

You can use public transport to get there as well. You can use the Los Angeles Metro Transport framework, that is Line 734 or Quick Line 734. These transport lines must stop near the Getty Center. For timetables and stops nearest to you, look at the Metro website.   

Once you show up at the Getty Center’s leaving region, you can take a cable ride from the lower left region to the top where the gallery complex is arranged. Also, ridesharing apps such as Uber or Lyft will conveniently drop you off at the Getty Center for a fee. 

Admission & Hours

For many years you could just walk into the Getty, but now due to its recent skyrocket in popularity, you will require a reservation. Getty Center tickets are free, and you can book them at the Getty Center’s website. You will need to show the ticket at the base of the mountain before getting on the tram, but you can also just use the QR code on your phone. Tickets are usually available a day in advance, so you do not need to stress too much about it.  

The Getty is closed on Mondays and the weekends are usually busy. It is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5.30 pm and on Saturday evenings till 9 pm. Historically, the Getty gets extremely crowded, and you will see enormous lines to take the tram. It would be best to go early in the morning when the crowds are at their lightest and another great time to visit the Getty is on Saturday in the late afternoon.   


There are great food options at the Getty Center. If you arrive early in the morning and need something to put in your stomach, you should go to the Museum Courtyard Coffee Cart. They have plenty of drink options plus a selection of pastries. You can even order in advance online in order to skip the lines and that is very helpful, especially on the weekends.  

Visit the Cafe for lunch as it has everything from Mexican food to grills and soups and more. There is something for everyone here and the food quality is solid, and the dining room is gorgeous.   

If you’re looking for a special treat, try to get a seat for Saturday night at the Restaurant at the Getty Center. The food there is wonderful, and the views are also unbeatable. The Restaurant can book up to several weeks in advance so if you want to enjoy those amazing views make sure you book in advance.   

The Getty scaled


One of the best places to stay near the Getty in Los Angeles is just down the street and is called the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel. It is a wonderful oasis in the heart of the city and just a 5-minute drive away by car and a 10-minute ride away by bus.

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