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January 28, 2008updated Dec 14, 2015

Useful Information for your Stay in Los Angeles

By Chris Boyle

 

WHEN BEST TO GO

 

Useful Information

Some of the best times to visit L.A. are the spring months of March and April and the fall months of October and November.

It is warm during the day but not hot, and nights can be cool enough to require jackets. The sky is generally clear in spring, and in late autumn it’s blown clear by the famous Santa Ana winds.

LOCAL CUSTOMS

Tipping is normal practice in most of America. Waiters will expect 15 to 20 per cent and taxi drivers, hairdressers and service personnel expect 10 to 15 per cent. Topless sunbathing is frowned upon and the authorities have been known to dish out fines. It is also illegal to drink alcohol in public spaces.

ATTIRE

Los Angeles has no real dress code, with jeans being acceptable in almost every situation. Granted, the jeans may be couture, but California casual style allows you to dress up a pair of jeans and go pretty much anywhere. A jacket with jeans, or slacks, a button-down shirt and jacket are fairly standard attire for restaurants in L.A.

LANGUAGE

English

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CURRENCY

US dollars ($)

EXCHANGE RATE

£1 = USD 1.60

€1 = USD 1.38

COUNTRY DIALLING CODE

+1

24-HOUR EMERGENCY CONTACT

911 for all emergencies

EMBASSY CONTACTS

+1 202 588 6500

TIME ZONE

GMT -8

POPULATION

3.8 million

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr.Day
  • Presidents’ Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veterans’ Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas

TYPICAL OPENING HOURS

Shops are usually open from 10am to 9pm on Mondays to Fridays and until 6pm on Sundays. Banks close all weekend but ATMs are available for cash withdrawals.

RELIGIOUS DEMOGRAPHIC

California is slightly less religious than most American states, with 21 per cent having no religious affiliation. Protestants and Roman Catholics make up the largest group.

 

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