With fame and red carpets ten a penny, it’s often easy to forget that Los Angeles is a city of culture and beauty, ready to be explored.

LEVEL flies from the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX to Barcelona. Shuttle Bus G offers a free connection between the airport and Aviation/LAX station on the Green metro line.

Things to do in Los Angeles

The 'city of angels' is a treasure trove of the weird and wonderful. Keep an open mind and prepare to have plenty of fun.

1. Discover another side of LA

Seeing LA’s famous Hollywood sign up close is an essential part of any visit, so make a beeline for Griffith Park – one of the largest urban green spaces in North America, right in the middle of the city. Avoid The West Observatory Trail unless you want to join the hordes of tourists. (There are more than 53 miles of trails in 4.5 acres of surprisingly rugged terrain, so you have other options). Instead, try the Mount Bell or Mount Chapel routes. Beat the heat by going after nightfall. The Hollywood sign lights look particularly good. If you want a hiking buddy, the Sierra Club leads weekly group walks.

2. Embrace the weird

The Museum of Jurassic Technology has been called ‘the strangest museum in America’ since it was founded in the late 1980s – and it’s easy to see why. Housing a fascinating yet bewildering collection of artefacts and curios, it’s an amalgam of science history and art. Look through a microscope at a sculpture of Disney’s Goofy on the eye of a needle, or admire the portraits of Soviet cosmonaut dogs. There’s also an exhibition about supposed ancient medical beliefs, includes mice on toast and mouse pie. Take a breather by visiting the Moroccan-style rooftop courtyard tearoom on the second floor. The sound of cooing doves is very soothing, and the tea and cookies are free.

3. See a killer drag show

LA is the unofficial capital of drag (RuPaul's Drag Race is filmed in the city), so make sure to see a performance while you’re in town. While it doesn’t look like much from the outside, The Plaza is a cheap-and-cheerful, self-described ‘ghetto-fabulous dive bar’, featuring Mexican drag acts dancing and lip-synching to Spanish hits. At Hamburger Mary's, take part in a game of ‘Legendary Drag Bingo’ for the chance to win big – and enjoy one of LA’s finest burgers while you do it. ‘Buffy The Hamburger Slayer’ is stuffed with garlic, doused in red wine and served with Swiss cheese, Caesar dressing, lettuce and tomato.

4. Travel through time

Looking for quirky souvenirs? At Time Travel Mart you can pick up everything from a centurion helmet to tinned ‘mammoth chunks’ and even robot milk. The store in Mar Vista is a fun place to spend an hour or two browsing. All proceeds from the store go to 826LA, a non-profit organisation committed to supporting students with their creative writing skills.

5. Pay your respects to the stars of Hollywood

Hollywood Forever Cemetery is the final resting place for more of Hollywood’s founders and stars than anywhere else in the world. Founded in 1899, the cemetery was an integral part of the growth of early Hollywood: Paramount Studios was built on the back half of the original site, where the studio is still in operation today. Take a wander and look out for stars including Johnny Ramone, Cecil B DeMille, Jayne Mansfield, Rudolph Valentino and Douglas Fairbanks. For a movie night with a difference, Cinespia hosts outdoor screenings here during the summer months.