Warner Bros Studio Tour

Top choice Tour

in San Fernando Valley

How can you visit Gotham City, Stars Hollow and Central Perk all in the same morning? Head to Burbank! Well, more specifically, by scooping up a ticket to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood, where you’ll explore 100 years of movie and TV history at a still-active production site. 

You’ll cruise around backlot sets with a guide, plus get time on your own to peruse authentic costumes and props. Whether you’re a fan of classics or more recent productions, there’s something here to catch anyone’s eye—though devotees of DC super heroes, Friends, The Big Bang Theory and Harry Potter are especially in luck. Hearing the Sorting Hat call out your true Hogwarts house is worth the trip alone. Are you a Gryffindor or Hufflepuff? Finally find out. 

History of the Warner Bros. Studio

Exterior of Warner Bros. Studio
The Warner Bros. lot covers 110 acres, with 10 backlots and 30 soundstages © IVAN IVANOVICH DAN / Shutterstock

Not just a name, Warner Bros. was founded by four actual brothers: Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack Warner. The group officially established the film studio in 1923, making it the third oldest in America behind Paramount and Universal. Innovators early on, Warner Bros. began synching speech with sound in motion pictures. One of these “talkies,” the 1927 film The Jazz Singer, became a runaway hit and revolutionized the entire industry.

Thanks to the financial success of the The Jazz Singer, Warner Bros. was able to acquire a 68-acre studio lot from First National Pictures and move its headquarters from Hollywood to Burbank, where it remains today. The studio introduced tours in 1973, offering the general public a rare peek behind the scenes. 

These days, the lot covers 110 acres, with 10 backlots and 30 soundstages. The Warner Bros. library has expanded to include both box office and TV hits, such as Casablanca, Spider-Man and Friends—all filmed here. Even the tour itself has evolved. Studio 48: Script to Screen opened in 2015, and new DC Universe and Harry Potter experiences debuted in 2021. 

Tickets and practicalities

Tickets

Currently, the only way to buy tickets is online. Purchase them at wbstudiotour.com/tickets. Are you a SoCal resident? Keep an eye out for occasionally discounted prices for locals.

Hours

Tours happen Thursday-Monday between 9:00am and 3:30pm.

Location

The studio is in Burbank, just two miles from Griffith Park and four miles from the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

Parking

Guest parking is available for a fee.

Can you take pictures?

Feel free to snap away, but videos aren’t allowed.

What’s included in the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood?

Set of TV series 'Friends', Warner Brothers Studio Tour
Set of TV series 'Friends', Warner Brothers Studio Tour © Tim Richards / Lonely Planet

A ticket gets you roughly three hours of behind-the-scenes access to Tinseltown. That breaks down to a one-hour guided exploration of the backlots, and two hours on your own for immersive experiences, shopping and dining.

Before you meet your guide, you’ll start in the Storytelling Showcase, an exhibit that tells the nearly hundred-year history of Warner Bros. and features mini models of soundstages and the famous 1927 water tower. 

Then, you’ll board a stretch golf cart driven by your guide and begin your backlot tour. Routes vary depending on what’s filming that day, but most likely you’ll see Brownstone Street (a set used for The West Wing and Argo), Midwest Street (used for Gilmore Girls and Rebel Without a Cause) and New York Street (an ER and Blade Runner backdrop). You might even stop for a photo op at the Friends fountain, made famous in the show’s opening.  

Finally, you’re on your own to wander Stage 48, an interactive soundstage, and Action and Magic Made Here, an exhibit devoted to the DC Universe and Harry Potter. Pose for a pic in Aquaman’s lair, check out Batman vehicles and learn wand choreography from a Hogwarts expert.  

Dining at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

Casablanca movie
If you need caffeine before diving into the costume history of Casablanca, rest easy knowing there’s a Starbucks in the Welcome Center © Philip Lee Harvey / Lonely Planet

If you need caffeine before diving into the costume history of Casablanca, rest easy knowing there’s a Starbucks in the Welcome Center. But if you can hold off, the chance to chill like Rachel and Ross at Central Perk Café, inside Stage 48, is even more exciting. This working replica serves drinks and New York-inspired bites, such as corned beef melts, pizza and cheesecake. The Café also sells exclusive Friends swag, including kitchenware inspired by Monica, t-shirts and novelty socks. 

Shopping at the Warner Bros. Studio Store

Do you need lip gloss inspired by the hit show Pretty Little Liars? Can you live without it now that you know it exists? This massive gift shop has every souvenir you didn’t even realize you were seeking. With Dobby dolls, Scooby-Doo water bottles and Batman baby onesies, you’ll find an array of merch from across the Warner Bros. world. 

Is the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood worth it?

For TV and movie fans who want an inside look without all the hoopla around, say, Universal Studios, this is the activity for you. Of course the Warner Bros. experience isn’t a theme park so you won’t have access to rides or cinematic shark encounters (at least you shouldn’t), but you will pay about half the price you’d pay at Universal. Plus, the tour here is much more personal as you have a live guide who’s happy to field all your filmmaking questions, rather than a pre-recorded video.