The Getty Centre

A campus of the acclaimed Getty Museum, you can enjoy a walk in the beautiful gardens or see an exhibition.

TravelCurious Tip

The Cactus Garden is rather more secluded and a good place to get a more peaceful view of the city without people asking you to take pictures of them!

The Getty Centre sits alone in its eyrie, overlooking the endless sprawl of Los Angeles. On a clear day, the views extend all the way to the Pacific Ocean. But the centre itself, with its white, curving walls, looks like a rather alien fortress. A tram will whisk you up there, 881 feet above sea level, to the site of Richard Meier’s modernist masterpiece. The disconnect is quite appropriate: you pass from the humdrum, day-to-day, to something more timeless.

Inside the fortress, there is plenty to see. The centre is renowned for its permanent collection, which includes a masterful array of pre-20th century European art, as well as more recent photography from all parts of the globe and a range of contemporary and modern sculpture.

So it is, perhaps, more a question of what you should prioritise seeing. Van Gogh’s Irises, Monet’s Wheatstacks, Titian’s Venus and Adonis, and two pieces of Rembrandt’s - The Abduction of Europe and Rembrandt Laughing - are among those that cannot be missed.

Not all the art is inside, though: the gardens themselves are exquisitely designed. The Central Garden is rather playful and in stark contrast with the smooth marble geometry of Meier’s buildings. And the Cactus Garden at the South Promontory sets dozens of prickly plants against the angular city skyline in a beautiful way, particularly as the light fades towards sunset.

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