You’ve got your map to the homes of the stars, you’ve got your camera, but you don’t know where to start or how to tackle the sprawling mass that is Beverly Hills and Hollywood. It might even come as a surprise that Hollywood Boulevard has a very dodgy side to it too. This might well be the moment to consider a guided tour.
Naturally there are more than just a handful of tours to Hollywood and Beverly Hills and finding the best one can be something of a chore, so we have saved you some time and corralled the top five, taking into account everything from quality of experience to reviews left by those who have taken the tour previously.
FROM $37 per person
There’s no use trying to hide it, if you’re looking to do a tour of Beverly Hills, you’re probably just a teensy bit curious to see where the celebrities are living. There is no shame in it. In fact, many people have seen a business opportunity in it and that is why the Hollywood star tour is a common choice for visitors to LA, and there is no shortage of options. This two-hour classic takes guests in an open-sided van, which meanders around Beverly Hills and West Hollywood allowing you the best possible glimpses of some star homes, the walk of fame and Mulholland Drive among many other recognisable spots.
From $48 per person
The ‘Hollywood’ sign is one of the most recognisable in the world. Signifying the dreams that have been realised in the streets and studios it overlooks, this sign is nestled in the Hollywood Hills, which can be explored via an extensive network of trails. Better yet, those trails lead up to the best vantage points overlooking Los Angeles. This Hollywood Hills guided hiking tour includes the best view of the Hollywood sign too, as well as visiting locations used for films like La La Land, Rebel Without a Cause and Back to the Future II. The price includes a queue jump for the Griffiths Observatory.
From $75 per person
Although the large open-top bus celebrity homes tours are ubiquitous, tours in smaller groups like this one make it easier to reach places that the bigger vehicles don’t usually go to. Taking the time to really explore the Hills and West Hollywood, this 4.5-hour trip passes by the abodes of greats like Tom Cruise, David Beckham and Christine Aguilera, among roughly 30 other homes of revered celebs. You will also visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Michael Jackson’s last LA home, and cruise down many of the iconic streets, like Rodeo Drive and Sunset Boulevard.
From $149 per person
If you really want to feel immersed in the kind of decadence a place like Hollywood demands, then the best way to experience the area is from the sky in a helicopter. It’s one thing to try and get a glimpse of a celebrity home through the gaps in a fence or gate, but to look down on them from above, as well as drinking in the LA skyline, is a fine way to spend the 25-minute trip. You will also get the broad vistas of the Pacific Ocean and the mountains that rise up from it. Your pilot will provide lively commentary that helps point out sites of interest and add context to what you’ll see. Finally, you’ll get to fly close to the Hollywood sign before returning back to land.
From $100 per person
When seeing where the stars live isn’t enough, it’s just as well there’s a tour to show you where they work too. The studios are where the real magic of Hollywood takes place. Explore the Warner Bros. Studio back lot, where the shows that made you fall in love with L.A. in the first place were made. And New York too, in the case of Friends, which was filmed here. The tour then loops around the mansions of people like Tom Cruise and Halle Berry up towards the Hollywood sign, hoping to glimpse the stars themselves.