Los Angeles city guide: what to see, plus the best bars, hotels and restaurants

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All eyes are on LA ahead of the Oscars, and the city has more to offer visitors than ever: new bars and attractions in regenerated districts, better transport options, plus views and beaches galore

The opening scene of La La Land – which looks set to sweep the board at the Oscars this weekend – may reinforce Los Angeles’ reputation as one big traffic jam, but the rest of the film is essentially a beautifully crafted love letter to the city.

And while the famous landscape showcased in the film remains more or less the same, over the past decade the city itself has changed hugely, with east-side neighbourhoods such as Echo Park and Silver Lake going from places to avoid to places to be seen. Other areas of LA are going through a gentrification process similar to that of San Francisco a decade ago, with tech firms such as Snapchat and youth media company Vice moving in to Venice Beach. Not that this has gone unopposed: last autumn in east LA’s Boyle Heights, locals fiercely fought the arrival of art galleries, which they saw as the first step towards a takeover; and in Downtown, the homeless community of Skid Row is being surrounded by corporate interests.

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