Elevate your UCLA study abroad with a bus adventure

United States Los Angeles Destination 017

Your UCLA study abroad is an adventure, an opportunity to see more of the world and expand your horizons beyond the university campus. Los Angeles is a city ripe for exploring, and it has a great public transport system to help you hunt out the summer city’s treasures. Our SAF Staff and Scholars share their four favorite bus routes, ones that will orient you and make you feel like a true local. A one-way trip on the LA Metro is $1.75, and if you pay with a TAP card, you get two hours of free transfers, too. As a UCLA student, you might qualify for a discount on some LA bus routes. You can even buy your TAP card online before you start your UCLA education abroad. 

Metro Bus Line 2: Sunset Boulevard to Hollywood

A picturesque 40-minute journey through some of LA’s most famous neighborhoods, Line 2 starts in Westwood, home to UCLA, and heads along the tree-lined Sunset Boulevard, past some pretty impressive houses and takes you into the heart of Hollywood. 

You ride through the serenity of Beverly Hills until you emerge on to bustling Sunset Strip, famous for its nightlife, music venues, and historic recording studios. This route offers a literal journey into the entertainment history of LA, with stops near iconic venues like the Comedy Store and the Hollywood Palladium, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Metro Bus Line 720: From LA to the coast

For a real international experience, hop on Line 720 from the Westwood campus east to Downtown LA or head west to Downtown Santa Monica, finishing two blocks back from the Pacific Ocean.

This is LA’s busiest bus route, and it takes you to the LA you’re less likely to see in the movies. You pass local parks, you can jump off at local food courts, or you could just ride the bus end to end, watching life hop on and off the bus and seeing the country as authentically as it comes. It’s a study in LA communities. Traveling from LA to the boho Pacific coast takes around an hour, depending on traffic.

Santa Monica Rapid 3LAX to Venice Beach

For westside beach life and incredible views, catch the Big Blus Bus Lincoln Blvd Rapid, aka Rapid 3. It runs from LAX to Santa Monica and takes around an hour. When you’re in Santa Monica, you can either walk around the chic Santa Monica or hail an eco-friendly Circuit golf car EV free between Wilshire Boulevard and Marine Street, and the ocean to Fifth Street. There are classic SoCal beach cruiser bikes, scooters and e-bikes, too, so you can make the most of your time by the Pacific. 

There’s also a fantastic beach walk between iconic Santa Monica Pier, with its amusement park, aquarium, and entertainment, and Venice Beach. There are street performers, shops, street food—and Muscle Beach outdoor gym is a must. It’s a world away from anything you’ll learn during your UCLA abroad program education.

Metro Bus Line 761UCLA to Getty Museum with mountain views 

California is synonymous with the beach, but it’s so much more than that. The Metro Bus Line 761 has a more cultural vibe, with scenic vibes of arid mountains, palm trees, and LA’s mountain ranges as well as cultural heavyweight, the Getty. 

From UCLA in Westwood, the Getty Center is around 40 minutes. You could make this the extent of your journey, or you could spend a couple of hours exploring the galleries, exhibits, gardens, and architecture, then get back on the bus for a view-filled experience. 

From the Getty, the 761 goes north along Sepulveda Boulevard, part of Pacific Coast Highway and one of the longest streets in LA—at 42.9 miles long. Then you dogleg inland to celebrity-favorite Sherman Oaks before the Van Nuys stops. It’s well worth taking a stop here for lunch and maybe to see the half pipes and bowls of Pedlow Field Skate Park, and the Japanese Garden on Woodley Avenue.

Honestly, most of the bus routes around LA will take you to some incredible places and draw you into experiences you’d never have if you stayed at home. The whole point of study abroad is making memories and broadening your horizons. Where better to do that than on public transport? It’s where life happens.

Informational Pre-departure