Best Los Angeles Studio Tours

Editor’s note: this blog post was last updated on 4/10/2015

Visit the studios where your favorite movies and TV shows are filmed for an exciting way to experience the star-studded city of Los Angeles.

No trip to LA is complete without a trip to one (or four) major film and television studios headquartered in Los Angeles. Back-lots, sound stages, and antique sets are just the beginning. Keep your eyes open–you might see a studio filming in action!

Not sure which studio is best for your visit? We put together a go-to list with a run down of what to expect at each studio including age requirements and other need-to-know information.

Planning to see more than studios while you’re in LA? Save up to 55% on over 30 top Los Angeles attractions with a 3, 5, or 7-Day Go Los Angeles® Card. Or, check out the Los Angeles Studio tours value package for a discount on 3 of the most popular studio tours.

Warner Brothers Studio Tour

The set of Central Perk from FRIENDS on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Discount Tickets

Photo credit: William Warby (license)

Ever wanted to see the batmobile? Sit on the couch at Central Perk? Peruse an entire floor of authentic Harry Potter props? Now’s your chance!

The highlights of this 2.25 hour tour are endless. You’ll cruise through sound stages, sets, back-lot streets, and memorabilia collections on an extended golf cart that seats twelve.

As you visit the sets of some of your favorite on-air television programs, it’s likely you’ll run into some celebrities. Make sure you tell your tour guide what you want to see most, as every tour is geared towards visitors’ interests. You might spot stars on set for The Big Bang Theory, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Conan, Pretty Little Liars, The Mentalist, Chuck, Mike & Molly, and many more.

Restrictions & Requirements:
Warner Brothers Studio Tour offers admission to guests ages 8 and up. Although flash cameras are allowed in some areas, video cameras are prohibited. Over-size bags are also prohibited. Adults must bring a photo identification card, and it is suggested you arrive 30 minutes before your tour is scheduled to depart.
Hours:
Monday through Friday, 8:20 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location:
3400 Riverside Drive
Burbank, CA 91505

Paramount Pictures Studio Tour

Paramount Pictures Studio Tour Discount Tickets

Photo credit: Neon Tommy (license)

As the only classic studio still located in Hollywood, the Paramount Pictures Studio Tour offers a unique look into the historic past of the film industry, far different than the modern studios in Burbank. Of course, the Studio is also home to working movie and television facilities, and you’ll get to see the day-to-day operations of the big Hollywood executives and popular movie stars.

One of the most impressive parts of the 2-hour tour is the re-creation of streets designed to look like New York and Chicago for numerous film shoots. For example, the New York City backlot is a 5-acre site that recreates 8 distinct areas of New York City, including Brooklyn, SoHo, and the Lower East Side.

Although we won’t go as far as to say you should expect a celebrity sighting, it is a common occurrence, so keep your eyes peeled! You will be strolling along the workplaces of the top celebrities in the industry after all.

Restrictions & Requirements:
You must be 12 years of age or older to participate in the Paramount Pictures Studio Tour. Advanced reservations are required and all cameras and recording devices are prohibited.
Hours:
Monday through Friday tours depart at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2 p.m.
Location:
5555 Melrose Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90038

Sony Pictures StudioTour

Set of Jeopardy Being Filmed at Sony Studios

Photo credit: Steve Jurvetson (license)

A tour of the famed Sony Pictures Studio, once the home of MGM, will shed light on the film industry from its historic beginnings to the present. You’ll take a 2-hour walking tour of the place where The Wizard of Oz, Men in Black, and Spider-Man were filmed (along with several other big hits!).

Your tour will be led by a knowledgeable guide who will take you through Hollywood’s glory days and behind the scenes of the state-of-the-art motion picture studio. Sony Pictures features a whopping 16 sound studios, and you’ll get to walk on the sets of various shows currently being filmed (pending availability), including Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. As you’ll be at one of the busiest studio lots in the world, it’s quite possible you’ll glimpse some of the stars who work at Sony.

Restrictions & Requirements:
To go on the Sony Pictures Studio Tour, you must be 13 years of age or older. Reservations are not required, but they are highly recommended. All adults must carry a photo identification card. Video recording devices are not allowed on the tour.
Hours:
Monday through Friday tours depart at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, 1:30 pm, and 2:30 p.m.
Location:
10000 West Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232

Universal Studios Hollywood Tour

Universal Studios Hollywood Tour

Photo credit: Prayitno (license)

This 45-minute tram tour is included in admission to the Universal Studios Hollywood Theme Park, making it a great option for those who want to experience both. The action-packed live studio tour is narrated by video-host and famed comedian Jimmy Fallon.

On this tour, you’ll ride through the largest movie set street expansion in Hollywood history built with creative consultation from Steven Spielberg.

The range of sets is impressive: for instance, you’ll see the legendary Bates Motel from Psycho and Wisteria Lane from Desperate Housewives. Then you’ll witness how they make the movie magic at the Special Effects Stage, as you learn about CGI, stop-motion, motion capture, and 3-D technology.

After the tour, get your thrills in on attractions like The Simpsons Ride and Jurassic Park – The Ride.

Restrictions & Requirements:
Although there are no specific restrictions for the Universal Studios Hollywood Tour, visitors should be aware that the tram tour passes through several attractions that may include loud explosions and special effects. This should be taken into account when deciding if the tour is right for your group.
Hours:
Universal Studios Hollywood hours of operation vary. Be sure to check the website for up-to-date info. (The studio tour is included in regular park admission).
Location:
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608

See the film industry in action when you go on the best Los Angeles studio tours and save with a Go Los Angeles® Card. Or, check out the Los Angeles Studio Tours value package for a discount on 3 of these 4 studios.

 

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