Olvera Street

Downtown Los Angeles & Boyle Heights

The block-long, pedestrianized 'birthplace of Los Angeles' (circa 1781) may now be a festive Mexican marketplace with gaudy decorations and souvenir stalls that scream ‘tourist trap’, but you can still find authentic experiences here. Visit Avila Adobe, the city's oldest house, shop for Chicano art, slurp thick Mexican-style hot chocolate, or pick up handmade candles and candy. At lunchtime, construction workers and cubicle drones swarm the little eateries for tacos, tortas (sandwiches) and burritos.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Downtown Los Angeles & Boyle Heights attractions

1. Italian American Museum of Los Angeles

0.02 MILES

Aptly located inside Italian Hall – built in 1908 as a social hub for the area's Italian community – this small, interactive museum sheds light on the oft…

2. América Tropical Interpretive Center

0.03 MILES

Everyone from Hollywood stars to LA intellectuals attended the 1932 unveiling of América Tropical, a rooftop mural by David Alfaro Siqueiros, one of…

4. Avila Adobe

0.04 MILES

The oldest surviving house in LA was built in 1818 by wealthy ranchero and one-time LA mayor Francisco José Avila. After subsequent lives as a boarding…

5. La Placita

0.12 MILES

Founded as La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Ángeles (Our Lady the Queen of the Angels Church) in 1781, and now affectionately known as la…

6. Union Station

0.15 MILES

Built on the site of LA’s original Chinatown, Union Station opened in 1939 as America’s last grand rail station. It’s a glamorous exercise in Mission…

7. Plaza Firehouse

0.16 MILES

The city’s oldest fire station (1884) is now a one-room museum filled with dusty old fire-fighting equipment and photographs.

8. Old Plaza

0.16 MILES

El Pueblo’s central, magnolia-shaded square is crowned by a pretty wrought-iron gazebo. Sleepy and a little sketchy during the week, it often turns into a…