About Getty Villa
Address: 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Hours: 10a-5p Weds. – Monday (closed Tuesdays).
Admission: FREE, but you must reserve your free ticket online at:
Free Admission Dates/Times: Always FREE.
Parking: $20, $15 after 3p. For evening events, parking is $10 after 6p.
Remember to check out our main L.A. Museum Guide page.
What’s in the regular collection at the Getty Villa?
The regular collection of the Getty Villa features antiquities from ancient Greece and Rome including marble vessels and figurines from the Cycladic islands, Greek bronzework, sculpture from southern Italy and the original Greek bronze statue (“The Victorious Youth”) from the Hellenistic period.
What are the upcoming special exhibitions for the Getty Villa?
What do previous visitors have to say about their visit to Getty Villa?
Visitors to Getty Villa have given the museum a 4.5 rating on both Yelp and Trip Advisor. Most of them commented on the beautiful location since the museum is located near the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, a place where many celebrities live and play. Most enjoyed the atmosphere of the museum because of the lush exterior plants, not something you would see at typical visits to other museums. Many visitors enjoyed the olive trees and roses. And several commented that the gardens are impeccably maintained and recreates the experience of visiting a Roman nobleman’s(or woman’s) villa in ancient times versus a stuffy dimly lit museum.
One visitor loved learning the history of Getty Villa which was built by J. Paul Getty to recreate the largest Roman home of its time until the Mount Vesuvius’ eruption buried it. Getty recreated this home here at the Malibu site.
A lot of statuary work is displayed by the outdoor pools or fountains just as it would be if you visited this aristocratic home in ancient times. Visitors have commented that it feels like you’ve entered a time machine when you step onto the grounds. One of the nicest things about visiting Getty Villa (besides the stunning art) is that tranquil feeling of the site which contrasts with a lot of other tourist attractions in Southern California. With it’s wonderful views of Malibu, the ocean, etc., It feels closer to a spa retreat than a typical crowded museum visit. And because they have free ticketed entry, requiring you to reserve in advance, overcrowding is avoided.
There was a variety of opinions on how much time was needed to tour the museum. Some felt they had a good fill of art after visiting an hour or two and others felt you need to reserve a full day to do it justice. The museum itself is not a huge site so you won’t have the feeling of being overwhelmed the way you would visiting other more extensive collections.
A number of folks with disabilities commented how accessible the site was and that there were good pathways and elevators which were helpful to navigate the site.
Things not to miss according to the visitors: Several visitors to the museum recommended signing up for a docent tour so you get the most out of your experience and learn the history behind each piece you’re viewing. Another visitor enjoyed theater night at Getty Villa where they reenact ancient plays.
Where should I eat when visiting Getty Villa?
Museum Cafe: A number of people who have gone to Getty Villa recommend the Museum Cafe right on the villa’s grounds. The food is good, although some said overpriced, and the ability to enjoy nice views of the site were a high point for these visitors.
Another iconic restaurant (only 3 minutes away) in Malibu is Gladstones, 17300 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272. Gladstones is a seafood restaurant that has been a local favorite for years. It’s open from lunch through dinner with a terrific view of the ocean as you dine and can stroll down to the beach after your meal.
I place I just love, love, love is Duke’s Malibu, 21150 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265, especially for their special brunch on Sundays. It includes some Hawaiian favorites such as kalua pork, farro salad Hawaiian ahi poke. It’s named after Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku, movie actor and surf instructor. If you go during non-brunch time, they have a nice big menu including fish tacos, lobster tail, island fish and shrimp as well as steaks and ribs. Or you can enjoy a leisurely Sunday, brunch at Duke’s with its beautiful ocean views then Getty Villa. Cowabunga!
Taste at the Palisades is also a good option. It’s a 4.6 average rating from the major review site. Located at 538 Palisades Dr, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 and is open from lunch through dinner. It has everything from brunch options such as steak and eggs, huevos rancheros, and hole in one as well as salads, burgers, and pizzas with a California twist. Dinner includes fennel seed crusted albacore, hanger steak, and squash risotto. You should find something for everyone here. It’s also located just above the Self-Realization Fellowship if you wish to make a detour here.
What other attractions are near the Getty Villa?
- Sunset Beach, Malibu
- Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine
- Topanga Beach, Malibu
About Sunset Beach, 17300 Sunset Bl., Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
If you’re visiting Getty Villa and want to spend the whole day in the Malibu area, Sunset Beach is a great place for beginning surfers. The waves are long right hand rollers that are a lovely ride especially for beginning long boarders. So make your own artful day not just by visiting Getty Villa but by carving the waves with a solid long board. Visit the nearby Malibu Surf Shack, 22935 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265 to rent a board for the day, sign up for lessons or buy some surf swag. Or if you’re not a surfing enthusiast, just relaxing, walking along the waves or sunbathing on Sunset Beach Malibu may be in order. You’ll find parking right along Pacific Coast Highway (free). Lifeguard, restrooms, showers available.
About Self-Realization Fellowship, 17190 Sunset Bl., Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
If you are looking to continue the peaceful relaxing vibe you experienced at Getty Villa, check out the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine! The site, free to the public, includes lush with meditation gardens, outdoor lake, temple and indoor sanctuaries. Silence phones and loud conversations to experience the peace of this magical retreat. Benches are available to relax all along the way as you hike around the site. The Lake Shrine was founded by Paramahansa Yogananda and is open to people of all faiths, especially those looking to decompress from the stress of modern life in a natural environment. If you need a beverage or a caffeine jolt afterwards, there is a Starbucks nearby.
About Topanga Beach, 18700 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265
Another place to feel the authentic Malibu lifestyle is Topanga Beach. It’s also a good surfing spot and a place for the whole family to visit. You may wish to enjoy the beach before your trip to Getty Villa by snagging a spot along the highway (or in their lot) before the heat of the day. Great place to walk and see where the Malibu Beach homes almost jut into the sea. You’ll get a real feel of what it’s like to be a Hollywood celebrity who makes Malibu their home.