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Best Free Admission Museums In Los Angeles

Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters
(credit: LACMA/Joshua White /

(credit: LACMA/Joshua White /
Who says great art has to come at a high price? That's definitely not the case in LA where residents and tourists can visit dozens of museums, galleries, cultural centers and more without paying a single penny. Here's a list of 10 such places that are absolutely free all the time.

Broad Museum - infinity-mirrored-room
(credit: Yayoi Kusama, Courtesy of David Zwirner, N.Y.)

Broad Museum
221 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 232-6200
Date/Time Of Free Admission: Always Free Admission

One of Los Angeles' newest and best museums is not only a cultural landmark that houses nearly 2,000 objects from billionaires Eli and Edythe Broad's personal collection of modern and contemporary art, but it's also a beautiful setting. At a cost of $140 million to build, and a zero dollar admission fee, this architectural and artistic wonderland is truly a gift to the city of Los Angeles. The museum houses some of the most popular exhibits in Los Angeles, too, including the Infinity Mirror Room, "Two Marilyns" and other great pieces by Andy Warhol, "Fountain (Buddha)" and more.

Related Guide To The Broad Museum

A bronze sculpture titled "Funerary Geniuses" by the French artist Barthelemy Prieur is seen on display at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. (photo credit: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

J. Paul Getty Museum | The Getty
1200 Getty Center Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 440-7300
Date/Time Of Free Admission: Always Free Admission

The Getty Center, one of two locations of the John Paul Getty Museum, aims "to further knowledge of the visual arts and to nurture critical seeing by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting works of art of the highest quality." Entrance to this museum off of Sepulveda Blvd. is absolutely free and in addition to the art, the Getty Center offers spectacular views, dramatic architecture and tranquil gardens. The Museum is open from Tuesday to Friday and on Sunday from 10am to 5:30pm. On Saturday, they are open from 10am to 9pm.

The Getty Villa in Malibu (photo credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

The Getty Villa
17985 Pacific Coast Hwy
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
(310) 440-7300
Date/Time Of Free Admission: Always Free Admission

The Getty Villa, located in the Pacific Palisades area of LA, is the second part to the John Paul Getty Museum. Visitors to this educational center and museum can expect to be enlightened on the cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. Although admission is free, visitors are required to acquire an advance, timed ticket. Each general admission ticket for exhibitions allows adults to bring up to three children ages 15 and under. The Villa is open Wednesday through Monday from 10am to 5pm.

People visit the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. (photo credit: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

Griffith Observatory
2800 E Observatory Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(213) 473-0800
Date/Time Of Free Admission: Always Free Admission

One of LA's most popular attractions, the Griffith Observatory, located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park directly above the Los Feliz neighborhood, offers not only a great view of the heavens, but breathtaking views of the city as well. Entrance to the observatory is free of course, but there is a fee to see shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 12pm to 10pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 10pm.

(credit: Paley Center)

The Paley Center for Media
465 N Beverly Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 786-1000
Date/Time Of Free Admission: Always Free Admission

The Paley Center for Media, situated in the Beverly Hills area, focuses on everything related to TV and radio and its former name is the Museum of Television and Radio. The Paley Center, which has a sister site in New York City, aims to stimulate visitors to consider the cultural, creative and social significance of the TV and radio as well as emerging platforms for the professional community and media-consuming public.

California Science Center10
Viewers look at a 13th century mummy of an adult female from ancient Peru at the Mummies of the World exhibition at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. (photo credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

California Science Center
700 Exposition Park Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90037
(323) 724-3623
Date/Time Of Free Admission: Always Free Admission (Excludes IMAX & Special Exhibits)

Both adults and kids can have fun while learning at the California Science Center in South Los Angeles. The center, which offers free admission, has a three-fold Master Plan to become the largest science center on the West Coast and its organizers have been doling out creative and stimulating hands-on exhibits to encourage an interest in the sciences for more than 10 years. Learn about the benefits and consequences of inventions and innovations, the common connections between all forms of life, aircraft design and space exploration, and more.

Guests look at works of art at the "The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama" exhibition at the UCLA Fowler Museum in Westwood. (photo credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Fowler Museum at UCLA
308 Charles E Young Dr N
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 825-4361
Date/Time Of Free Admission: Always Free Admission

The Fowler Museum on campus of the University of California, Los Angeles in Westwood "explores global arts and cultures with an emphasis on works from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas, past and present." The Fowler Museum also hosts lectures, performances and workshops for patrons of all ages. For dates and times, visit Visit Fowler.

A visitor attends the American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765-1915" exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles. (photo credit: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

5905 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 857-6000
Date/Time Of Free Admission: Free For L.A. Residents At Certain Time Periods On Certain Days

Unfortunately, the LACMA is not absolutely free all the time, but there are enough free hours to make it seem like it. If you're looking to dodge the $15 adult ticket price, stop by the museum from 3pm to 5pm Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday and Fridays from 3pm to 8pm with proof of L.A. residency. Three to four hours should be enough to take in a good number of the exhibits from various periods and regions -- hopefully.

Museum goers attend an event party at the Fashion Institute Design & Merchandising (FIDM) Museum & Galleries in Los Angeles. (photo credit: Charley Gallay/Getty Images)

FIDM Museum & Galleries
919 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 624-1200
Date/Time Of Free Admission: Free To The Public On All Days

Located on the campus of the Fashion Institute and Design Merchandising, the FIDM exhibitions are, of course, mostly clothes. The facility boasts over 12,000 costumes, accessories and textiles from the 18th century through the present day, including film and theatre costumes. In addition, the FDIM Museum and Galleries houses The Annette Green Perfume Museum, which is solely dedicated to the "historical and cultural roles of fragrance around the world."

armory center for the arts
(credit: Jimmy W./Yelp)

Armory Center for the Arts
145 N Raymond Ave
Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 792-5101
Date/Time Of Free Admission: Free To The Public On All Days

This Pasadena venue describes itself as a community arts center and not only hosts contemporary art exhibits and performances, but also offers classes (some of which are free) and will even host your kid's or teen's "art party" for a fee, of course. If you're not looking to shell out any kind of cash, however, there's no need to but the Armory Center for the Arts would appreciate a $5 donation... but only if you feel like it.

Director John Singelton visits an exhibition of African American film posters at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles. (photo credit: Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)

California African American Museum
600 State Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90037
(213) 744-7432
Date/Time Of Free Admission: Free To The Public On All Days

Located in South Los Angeles, the California African American Museum (CAMM) houses three exhibition galleries, a theater gallery and a Sculpture Court. The museum was designed by African American architects, Jack Haywood and Vince Proby, and shares with patrons the history, art and culture of African Americans in California and along the western U.S. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm for free, and on Sunday from 11am to 5pm for free. There is a cost to park though.

Additional Museums

The following museums aren't free all the time, but there are some days where you can get in scot-free. Check their websites for details.

Article by Nicola A. Menzie

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