9 Tips To Get Most Out of Your Visit to the Getty Villa in Los Angeles - 9 Tips To Get Most Out of Your Visit to the Getty Villa in Los Angeles -
9 Tips To Get Most Out of Your Visit to the Getty Villa in Los Angeles

9 Tips To Get Most Out of Your Visit to the Getty Villa in Los Angeles

Written by:
Evan La Ruffa
Apr 03, 2023

The Getty Villa in Los Angeles is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. And I had the most fun touring its grounds. However, with so much to see and do, it can be tough to know how to make the most of your visit. 

This blog post will give you an overview of what to expect at the Getty Villa, as well as some tips and tricks for getting the most out of your experience.

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What to Expect at the Getty Villa

The Getty Villa is a museum located in Los Angeles that focuses on art and culture from the ancient world. The villa is situated atop a hill in Pacific Palisades, with sweeping views of the city below. The villa was modeled after the Villa dei Papiri, an Italian country house that was discovered in Herculaneum in the 18th century.

The stone driveway, the walkways leading you in, and the epic estate hovering over the ocean make every view and vista amazing.

The Getty Villa first opened to the public in 1974, and underwent a significant renovation and expansion project from 2004-2006. Today, the villa houses two museums: the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute. The villa is also home to gardens, courtyards, fountains, and sculptures.

Visitors can expect to see a variety of artwork and artifacts on display at the Getty Villa, including Roman mosaics, Greek and Etruscan sculptures, jewelry, pottery, and more. The museum also offers rotating exhibitions of various topics related to ancient art and culture.

The collections are incredible, but in the opinion of this humble writer, the garden and grounds are where it’s at.

Museum Exhibits

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The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa features two floors of permanent galleries with exhibits on Roman life, architecture, sculpture, painting, pottery, glassware, metalwork, coins, jewelry, and daily life objects from antiquity. There is also an outdoor gallery with Roman sarcophagi (burial chests).

In addition to the permanent galleries, there are also several changing exhibitions at the museum throughout the year. Recent exhibitions have included “Naked Truths: Women Reclining in Art” (2019), “Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of Hellenistic Greece” (2015-2016), “Luxuriae: Luxury Objects From Antiquity” (2014), among others.

Gardens and Grounds

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The Getty Villa features beautifully manicured gardens with plantings that are indigenous to Southern California as well as replicas of ancient Roman garden features such as fountains and sculptures. Visitors can stroll through gardens filled with olive trees, cypresses, palms trees, herbs, roses; or relax on one of the many benches scattered throughout the grounds.

One highlight of the gardens is definitely the replica of an ancient Roman pool called a nymphaeum which features statues of nymphs surrounded by greenery – it’s truly a oasis within Los Angeles!

Tips for Making the Most of Your Visit

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When packing for your visit to the Getty Villa, be sure to pack comfortable shoes as you will be doing a lot of walking. If you plan on visiting the gardens, pack a hat and sunscreen as well. It is also recommended that you bring a water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day.

Consider Timing and Transportation–Golden Hour!

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But the real tip to behold, is to go toward the end of the day when the light is not its most epic and golden hour can bless you. The Getty Villa is located in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles and is only accessible via car or bus. There is no public parking at the Villa, but there is a paid parking lot on site which you can buy in advance online and present on your smartphone at the gate. 

The closest Metro station is 17th Street/Santa Monica College, which is about a 20-minute walk from the Villa. Keep in mind that the Villa is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so plan your visit accordingly.


Take Advantage of Guided Tours… or Just Wander

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Guided tours are available daily at the Getty Villa and are included with admission. These tours provide an overview of the history of the Villa and its collections, as well as insights into specific exhibits. But like I said, a contemplative walk wandering around in meditation is highly recommended as well.

Exploring the Getty Villa Further

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The Getty Villa hosts a variety of events and programs throughout the year that visitors can take advantage of. From family-friendly activities to educational lectures, there is something for everyone at the Villa. Check the website in advance of your visit to see what events will be taking place during your stay.

Dining Options at the Villa

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The Getty Villa has several dining options available for visitors, including a café, a casual restaurant, and a more formal dining room. The café is a great option for grabbing a quick bite to eat, while the restaurant is perfect for a leisurely lunch or dinner. The formal dining room is only open for dinner and reservations are required in advance.

That said, I recommend you just stay hydrated and keep driving up the PCH to Broad St Oyster Company in Malibu. Have the Lobster Roll, thank me later.

Shopping for Souvenirs and Gifts

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The Getty Villa also has a shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs and gifts. The shop carries a wide variety of items, from books about the history of the villa to replica Roman artifacts. 

There is sure to be something for everyone on your list!


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The Getty Villa in Los Angeles is a must-see for anyone interested in art, history, or gardens. With so much to see and do, it’s important to plan your visit ahead of time. Use these tips to make the most of your experience at the Getty Villa:

  1. Know what to expect by familiarizing yourself with the Villa’s history and exhibits.
  2. Plan ahead by packing appropriately and considering transportation options.
  3. Make the most of your visit by taking advantage of guided tours and events… or just wander, meditate, and reflect on your own!
  4. Explore the Getty Villa further by dining on-site (or just head to Broad St) and shopping for souvenirs.

By following these tips, you’ll be sure to have a memorable and enjoyable experience at the Getty Villa in Los Angeles!

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Written by:
Evan La Ruffa
Apr 03, 2023