The Getty Center Art Museum

***Virtual Tour of the Getty***

About the Getty

Address: 1200 Getty Center Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90049
Phone: 310-440-7300
Hours: Monday closed. / Tues.-Fri. 10a-5:30p / Sat. 10a-9p / Sun. 10a-5:30p
Admission: Admission is always FREE including for most special exhibitions.
Free Admission Dates/Times: Admission is FREE every day.

Where can I park at the Getty Center?

Parking is available at the Getty Center in an onsite structure as you arrive at the bottom of the hills from the Getty Museum campus. It is $20 per car or motorcycle and $15 after 3p. For evening events and on Saturdays, parking is $10 after 6p. There are spots accessible for the disabled in the structure. There is no on-street parking available.

Electrical vehicle charging is available on Levels 1 and 2 on a first-come, first-served basis.

Monthly parking passes are available for frequent visitors starting at $81 per month.

A shuttle takes visitors up the hill to the main campus.

Remember to check out our main L.A. Museum Guide page.

What is in the regular collection at the Getty Center?

The regular collection at the Getty Center features European Art including a variety of pre-20th century European paintings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, drawings and decorative arts. It also features 19th and 20th century American and photographs from around the world as wells as modern and contemporary sculpture.

There are four different art pavilions on the main campus named after each direction: North, East, South and West and outdoor sculptures.

North Pavilion

The North Pavilion features work prior to the 1600’s and medieval and Renaissance sculpture/decorative arts.

East Pavilion

The East Pavilion is focused on Baroque art of the 17th-century. This includes work by Dutch, French, Flemish, and Spanish artists. When you visit the East Pavilion, you will discover paintings, sculpture and Italian decorative arts from 1600 to 1800.

South Pavilion

The South Pavilion contains the 18th-century collection. This involves a huge number of paintings and most of the Getty’s European decorative arts collection.

West Pavilion

The West Pavilion features work from the 1700s through 1900 including sculpture and Italian decorative arts. You will also find 19th-century paintings, and the Center for Photographs. Neoclassical, Romantic, and Symbolist sculpture and decorative arts are also included.

Outdoor Sculpture

Contemporary and modern sculptures are featured throughout the grounds.

What are the upcoming special exhibitions at the Getty Center?


What are visitors saying about their visit to Getty Center Museum?

Sweeping view from the Getty Center, Photo by Ariel Penn

Both Yelp and Tripadvisor reviewers rated Getty Center Museum an average of 4.8.  Most of the patrons of the Getty highlighted the following things among their favorites: one of the best views of all of L.A.  You can see from the ocean to downtown from their back terrace. This is one of the few places in L.A. where you get that kind of vista. The outdoor terraces also provide a Birdseye view of the gardens and the poor suckers trapped in gridlock on the 405. Also, visitors loved the spaciousness of the Getty museum site with its collection of buildings and lovely outdoor gardens and the copious outdoor space. You can spend a nice afternoon just being in the outdoors and touring the gardens without ever setting foot inside a museum.  Many mentioned nowhere on the site did they feel crowded.  

One of the Getty Center Gardens, Photo by Ariel Penn

People were impressed with the breadth and importance of the collection as well.  And most appreciated getting to the mountain top site via the ever available tram.  Also, the fact the museum was always free was a plus according to museum patrons.  The museum is supported by a $6.9 billion dollar endowment which allows admission to always be free to all who enter. And the museum’s collection is so extensive most visitors agreed that you should allocate a full day for a visit. Most recommend taking a tour with one of the very knowledgeable docents who are a treasure to this institution.

One of the first things you may notice and like when you visit is how the Getty allows natural light into its galleries so you can see the paintings (and sculptures) in the same kind of light in which many were created, pre-electric, natural light. This helps eliminate the fatigue of being in darkened rooms (typical of most museums) with artificial light. 

Most visitors mentioned enjoying the art by Vincent Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Pierre August Renoir, and were also impressed by the ever changing rotation of special exhibitions.  It reminds me of that famous saying, “If you’re bored here, it’s your own fault. 

There are also special education and performance nights.

Where should I eat when I visit Getty Center?

Since the Getty Center is situated in the hills above L.A. on an isolated campus and a tram ride away, these onsite eating options are always best if you’re hungry:

These include Restaurant at Getty Center, Tasting on the Terrace, Garden Terrace Cafe and various coffee carts.  

Restaurant at Getty Center features fancier dining  ($20-50 dollar range per person) and seating with views of the Santa Monica Mountains. The menu includes wild salmon, stone fruit flatbread, seared scallops, Mary’s Chicken Breast, prime filet, and double chocolate mousse. 

The Garden Terrace has more of the cafe style options and is less expensive with sandwiches and snacks overlooking  the Central Garden.

Tasting on the Terrace allows you to enjoy artisanal wine and sunset views from their outdoor terrace. It includes wine tasting options from Santa Barbara, Paso Robles and other locales along with specially selected finger foods to go with each wine experience. 

What other attractions can I visit near Getty Center?

Getty Center is nestled in the mountains near Beverly Hills and Bel Air off the 405 between the 10 and 101 freeways.  This makes it accessible to attractions in the Valley portion of L.A. and the L.A. metro area. 

If you wish to head towards the Valley area up the hill from the Getty, be sure to visit Skirball Cultural Center with its ever changing exhibitions on art and culture.  Previous exhibition have included special displays on Janis Joplin, Andy Warhol, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and fashion pioneers. If you like shopping and low brow culture, be sure to visit the world famous Galleria in Sherman Oaks, home of the “gag me with a spoon” Valley Girl. Or if you want a nearby Valley retreat in  nature, check out the Lake Balboa area which includes a Japanese Garden and nature preserve.

Rodeo Drive Store, Photo by Ariel Penn

You also have the option of heading the opposite direction towards Beverly Hills and the L.A. Metro area. If so, a visit to Getty Center can set you up nicely to take a tour of Rodeo Drive in nearby Beverly Hills. Whether you can afford to shop or just window shop, you’ll appreciate seeing the offerings of such luxury retailers as Prada, Gucci, Armani. And you can try one of Rodeo Drive’s distinctive restaurants such as Maude by celebrity chef Curtis Stone. In the mood for Italian, try Piccolo Paradiso. And if you’re simply in the mood for a signature cocktail, check out Honor Bar.

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