Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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  • What is Griffith Observatory?
  • Griffith Observatory tickets?
  • Opening time
  • When to visit it?
  • Where is it and how to get there
  • History, curiosities and information

"If all of humanity could look through that telescope, it could change the world" 

Griffith J. Griffith

Il Griffith Observatory of Los Angeles, California is a real one icon of the city as well as one of its most popular attractions.

With its imposing figure dominate the view on Los Angeles, and offers those who decide to visit it a privileged point of view not only on what is in the sky, but also on the city below.

What is Griffith Observatory?

The Griffith Observatory, inaugurated in 1935, is one of the most important and famous astronomical observatories in the world.

Thanks to its particular line, the Griffith Observatory is also one of the most iconic buildings in the city, dominating the view from its strategic position within the Griffith park. At the time of the opening, its planetarium was the third largest in the United States.

Griffith Observatory tickets?

Visit the Observatory and the surrounding park and see its telescopes it is always free. You do not pay any entrance fees.

Tickets for the Samuel Oschin Planetarium

Unlike the entrance to the Observatory, which is always free, to attend the daily shows held in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium (Centered in the Universe, Water is Life and Light of the Valkyries), you have to pay an entrance ticket:

  • $7 for the adults;
  • $ 5 for children ages 5 to 12.

Children under 5 can only attend the first show held in the planetarium, and must sit on an adult's lap.

Ingresso al Griffith Park

L’ingresso al Griffith Park it is always free.

Opening time

The Griffith Observatory is open for six days per week:

  • on weekdays (Monday to Friday) it is open from 12:00 to 22:00;
  • on public holidays (Saturday and Sunday) it is open from 10:00 to 22:00;
  • on Mondays it is closed.

The surrounding park and car park usually follow the same opening hours as Griffith Park (from dawn until 22pm).


During major US holidays, Griffith Observatory may be closed:

  • on the first day of the year, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President's Day, Cesar Chavez Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Day and at Christmas the Observatory is closed;
  • on Independence Day and Veteran's Day, the Observatory remains open.

When to visit it?

In reality, there is no better time than another to visit the Griffith Observatory: whether you decide to visit it during the day, or decide to wait until it is dark, at the Observatory you will find something interesting to do and see.

During the day

If you decide to visit the Griffith Observatory during the day, go by again Robert J. and Suzanne Gottieb Transit Corridor it is possible to see how the progress of the sun across the sky is connected with the passage of time and the calendar.

A map of the sky about 6 meters long shows visitors the path that the sun takes during the year through some unknown stars, and the position they occupy within the constellations.

You will thus have the opportunity to discover those stars that you did not know existed due to the brightness of the sun.

Also during the day, the Observatory's triple solar telescope is another attraction not to be missed. Thanks to their power and accuracy, these telescopes are capable of bring the sun directly inside the Ahmanson Hall of the Sky.


If you decide to wait to visit the Griffith Observatory as soon as it gets dark, you will have the option to admire the stars from one of the many telescopes that are set up every evening by the observatory staff.

In addition to Telescopio Zeiss, which is positioned right on the roof, the telescopes are also positioned on the lawn in front of the Observatory and on the East Observation Terrace.

Where is it and how to get there

The Griffith Observatory is located al 2800 di East Observatory Road. It can be reached by public transport, by car and on foot.

By car

If you decide to reach the Griffith Observatory by car, coming directly from Downtown, you must take the Us - 101 N, then continue on the CA 110 N / Pasadena Freeway and the I - 5 N towards Los Feliz Boulevard.

Exit I -5 N at Exit 141 A and continue on Los Feliz Boulevard then continue on N Vermont Canyon Road towards W Observatory Road.


Near the Observatory there are two parking lots: one located on West Observatory Road and the other (open August 7) ​​located in Western Canyon. Both are paid, with a fee of $ 4 an hour. Here are the times during which parking in the two areas is paid:

  • Monday to Friday from 12:00 to 22:00;
  • Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 22:00.

Con i mezzi pubblici

One of the most practical and fastest ways to reach the Griffith Observatory are public transport, and in particular the DASH Observatory, the service of shuttle made available by LADOT (the Los Angeles Department of Transportation).

To take the DASH Observatory buses you have to go to the station of the Red line of the Metro Vermont/ Sunset.

The service runs at the following times:

  • Monday to Friday from 12:00 to 22:00;
  • Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 22:00.

The buses of the DASH Observatory stop in the open space in front of the Observatory every 20/25 minutes approximately. There are two additional stops at Nt. Hollywod Drive, at the Greek Theater and along Hillhurst Avenue in Los Feliz Village.

Il cost of the service is $ 0,50, but it drops to $ 0,35 if you have a Metro TAP Card. Children under 4 travel for free.

History, curiosities and information

Since its inauguration, the Griffith Observatory has become a reference point for all the inhabitants of Los Angeles (and beyond). But how did this wonder that the whole world envies Los Angeles come about?

Storia del Griffith Observatory

Thanks to a man's dream: Griffith Jenkins Griffith; and to the dedication of numerous scientists and public officials who decided to roll up their sleeves to realize this man's dream of making astronomy accessible to all.

Griffith J. Griffith

The benefactor who contributed decisively to the creation of one of the icons of the city of Los Angeles was a Welshman who moved to America as a boy.

After making his fortune working in the Mexican silver mines, he moved to Los Angeles, where he bought the land on which the Rancho Los Felis.

After a trip to Europe, he decided to donate part of this land for the construction of a large public park that could be enjoyed by all citizens of Los Angeles.

The Observatory

After discovering astronomy and becoming passionate about it, Griffith decided that the city of Los Angeles and its citizens needed an Observatory and, in 1912, he decided to make a donation to the city to build one.

At the head of the commission for the realization of the Observatory he was put himself together with two other members.

Given his increasingly precarious health, Griffith decided to write a will in which he left his possessions to the city and detailed instructions to complete the work of the Observatory, which was inaugurated in 1935.

Information: what to see at Griffith Observatory

If you decide to spend part of a day at Griffith Observatory, even if you are not passionate about astronomy, you will certainly be fascinated by the many opportunities that this structure offers.

Il Samuel Oschin Planetarium

One of the reasons Griffith Observatory has always been on the cutting edge is his Planetarium. Just think that when the Observatory was inaugurated, the planetariums had only appeared in the world for a little over a decade.

Even today, thanks to his dome aluminum, al star projector Zeiss and its digital projection system, the Samuel Oschin Planetarium at the Griffith Observatory, which can accommodate up to 290 people, it is one of the best in the world.

Every day, visitors are offered three shows different:

  • Centered in the Universe - The reopening show, which takes visitors on a journey of exploration through the cosmos;
  • Water is Life - a show that promises the search for water and new forms of life outside the globe;
  • Light of the Valkyries - is the show inaugurated on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Observatory, and is dedicated to the beauty of the northern lights.

Permanent Exhibitions

In addition to the exhibits that periodically alternate in its rooms, the Griffith Observatory also hosts a series of permanent exhibitions.

W. M. Keck Foundation Central Rotunda

As soon as you enter you are in the WM Keck Foundation Central Rotunda, a circular room with a richly frescoed vault, where the motifs of the frescoes celebrate the encounter between science and mythology, between earth and sky and the man whose vision led to the birth of 'Observatory.

Wilder Hall of the Eye Exhibit

On the left of the Rotunda is the Wilder Hall of the Eye Exhibit, divided into four areas where the birth and progress made by man in thestar gazing and the tools used for this purpose.

South Gallery

Opposite the Rotunda is the South Gallery, an intersection point between the entrance, the Samuel Oschin Planetarium and the Gravity Stair, which leads to the lower floor.

The ceiling of the gallery is frescoed with a magnificent representation of Sun created by AB Heinsbergen, while the walls are covered with Photos dedicated to astronomy and space exploration.

Ahmanson Hall of the Sky

In the Ahmanson Hall of the Sky, in addition to the solar telescopes we talked about earlier, there are also several international dedicated to Sun, To Luna, To Terra and their cycles: Day and Night; Sun and Stars; Seasons; "Our sun is a star"; Moon phases; tides; eclipse; elements.


Downstairs is located Cosmic Connection, a gallery where they are retraced the stages of the evolution of the Universe during its 14 million years of life.

Edge of the Space Exhibits

Immediately after is the Edge of the Space Exhibits, whose exhibits are intended to broaden the visitor's perspectives, taking them outside of Earth's orbit.

The areas called Cosmic Rays and Cloud Chambers speak of the invisible cosmic rays. Pieces of the Sky is the area dedicated to meteorites, Our Moon is the area dedicated to month, while Cosmic News presents the latest news and discoveries from the world of astronomy.

On one side of the Edge of the Space Exhibit are gods telescopes that allow you to observe some objects in detail.

Gunther Dephts of Space Exhibits

In this space are the permanent exhibitions dedicated not only to Solar System, but also to the Universe outside it: Our Earth, Our Solar System, The Milky Way, Albert Einstein and the Depths of Space are some of the issues that are addressed by these permanent exhibitions.

Leonard Nimoy Event Horizion Theater

Also on the lower floors is the theater 190 seats dedicated to the great interpreter of the saga of Star Trek now missing, Leonard Nimoy.

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