Los Angeles is one of the favorite destinations of tourists across the world and The United States, too. We put together a list of five things you might want to avoid doing while in town, though, just to make sure you do not offend anyone and remain safe at all times.


Don’t get too close to the Hollywood sign

Although it might be tempting to try and drive to possibly the most famous sing on a hill, you shouldn’t do that. Furthermore, it’s illegal to be too close to it and this is because the authorities have made an effort in keeping it clear from vandalism and they also try to make it safe. The surroundings are hilly and you can injure yourself.

The locals are also pretty annoyed by the tourists that stop in the middle of the road to take pictures of the sign. There are parking restrictions in the area for this reason. Of course, don’t try to climb the fence either. You can see it closer if you hike behind it but there is also a fence there.

Don’t assume everyone speaks English

Los Angeles is a place where lots of people like to come and visit. Some of them also want to make a life there. That’s how you can find people from all around the world making a living there. Yelling at vendors or valets won’t help too much. Instead, try to use a simple vocabulary and sign gestures.

If you are polite enough, people will go the extra mile and try to please you even if they don’t speak the language. Of course, not every vendor has language issues so it’s possible that you won’t have a difficult time.


You shouldn’t smoke in public

You should know that Southern California cities have some of the most restrictive smoking bans, and if you don’t pay attention to that you will be having trouble with the police. Los Angeles doesn’t allow smoking on beaches, in parks, around entrances to public buildings, or pretty much in every intensely populated area.

Make sure to stay at a hotel that allows you to smoke if you do and also, if needed, rent a car from a company that allows that. Those will probably be the only places where you can smoke freely. The locals will surely not enjoy it if you light your cigarette up in front of their eyes.

Don’t use taxis or public transportation

You might be wondering — just how are you supposed to go around if you can’t use taxis or public transportation? The simplest answer to that is Uber or Lyft. Buses don’t work as well as they do in other cities, in the sense that it takes them an hour to do a 12-mile trip. That’s really time-consuming.

Alternative taxi services such as Uber or Lyft will be faster and they will cost you 20 to 30 percent less than a regular taxi. Another option would be to rent a vehicle and use that to visit the city.

You can choose to catch the train if you prefer public transport, but if you do so, make sure to stay alert and pay attention to your surroundings.


Don’t skip on tipping

It’s known that hospitality service jobs don’t pay very well and when you’re in Los Angeles you will face a lot of people that work as restaurant servers, hotel staff, concierges or tour guides. They rely a lot on the tips to cover their costs and make a decent living for themselves.

That is why it’s nice for you to tip them when you feel that they deserve it. And if you’re visiting the same place more than once and you are welcomed by the same person, you will surely be remembered as a nice customer and your services will probably be better.

You can offer $1-$2 to a valet that parks your car or to the doorman that calls your cab, so for some small services, and you should keep in mind that a tip between 10 and 20 percent of the bill is appreciated.