- Mon: 4am-1am
- Tue: 4am-1am
- Wed: 4am-1am
- Thu: 4am-1am
- Fri: 4am-1am
- Sat: 4am-1am
- Sun: 4am-1am
Thousands of travelers pass through Union Station in downtown Los Angeles every day on their way to other destinations, but it's worthwhile for visitors to spend time enjoying this beautiful, historic railroad terminal.
Built in 1939, Union Station features a unique combination of Spanish Colonial Revival, Mission Moderne and Art Deco architectural styles.
Parking and Public Transportation at Union Station
Parking is available for around $2 per 20 minutes (to a maximum of about $15) in a small lot in front of the station, and in the Gateway Plaza behind it (up to about $6 per day).
But since this is, after all, a train station, it's best to get here by rail via Amtrak, Metrolink or the Metro Red, Gold or Purple line.
Best and Worst Time to Go to Union Station
The best times to go are on weekends and on weekday evenings after rush hour. The worst time is during the early morning and late afternoon, when it becomes crowded with commuters.
Admission to Union Station
Admission is free.
Must See/Do at Union Station
The interior will look familiar to movie fans. "Blade Runner," "The Way We Were," and many other movies and TV shows were — and are — filmed here. There's even a replica of the booking hall next to the actual one that's used for filming purposes, so visitors should keep their eyes out for famous faces.
If visitors feel as if they're in church, it's intentional. The station's layout was inspired by that of cathedrals.
It's fun to simply sit on one of the historic benches, look around at the beautiful architecture and watch the throngs of travelers pass by.
Other Places to Visit Near Union Station
Olvera Street is right across the street, and Chinatown is a short walk to the north. A good place to grab a bite is historic Philippe the Original, said to be the birthplace of the French dip sandwich (about $8 to $10).
Insider Tip for Visitors to Union Station
Every Saturday at 10 a.m., the Los Angeles Conservancy offers an informative, two-and-a-half-hour Union Station Walking Tour for around $5 to $10. Tickets must be purchased in advance of the tour.
Author's bio: Laura Goldman is a freelance writer, native Angeleno and L.A. history buff. Follow her on Twitter and visit her blog, i Still Love Dogs.