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3 Hollywood studio tours that will make you feel like a celebrity – or at least an extra

The Hollywood Sign

Picture this: you’re strolling down Hollywood Boulevard, your sunglasses perched stylishly on your nose (even though it’s cloudy). You’ve got that undeniable swagger in your step. You feel like a movie star. Now, let’s be real for a second – you might not have an IMDb page (yet), but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience a taste of Hollywood stardom.

In this post, we’ll be discussing three major LA studio tours that will make you feel like a celebrity – or at the very least, an extra with a killer cameo.

The best LA Studio Tour for you

You’re in LA. You’ve got to visit at least one of the major working film & television studios. But finding the best studio tour for your group will depend on three key factors:

  1. Your budget – get the most bang for your buck
  2. Time – what else have you got planned for the day?
  3. Personal interest – what are your favorite movies & television shows?

#1 – Universal Studios: an all-day adventure

Duration 10 hours | Rating 4/5 | Price Range + $100

Universal Studios knows how to do it right. They are the OG film studio and they have earned their stripes. They are also different from the others on this list – while Universal does have a working movie lot, you can only visit it as part of their theme park experience – meaning you’ll spend all day there.

Their studio tour is an absolute classic – I’ve enjoyed it over 25 times – and it has made me tear up at least half of those. Everyone remembers their first time because it’s an overwhelming (yet commercial) experience full of movie magic. You’ll cruise Wisteria Lane, see a wrecked Boeing 737 and experience 4D adventures based on The Fast & The Furious. Epic – but don’t expect an up-close-and-personal look at movie making. This is, after all, still a ride at an amusement park.

Is this the one for you?
Though more expensive than other studio tours, spending a day at Universal Studios Hollywood is a must on any trip to Los Angeles. If you’re on a tighter schedule, this park allows you to kill two birds with one stone. You’ll please both the thrill-seekers and the movie buffs.

Worth it if you’re a fan of: Harry Potter, Jaws, Psycho, Jurassic World, King Kong, The Fast & The Furious, Desperate Housewives, Nope, etc.

UPGRADE – if you’re traveling with a #boomer, let them buy the VIP experience for you. It includes an unlimited express pass, continental breakfast and a private VIP gourmet lunch. PLUS you go on a private tour, which does let you enter a soundstage. It’s “only” $360, so parents are required!


10 hours




+ $100

Less niche & more family friendlyMore expensive
Full day of funTour is only 60 minutes
The largest studio in HollywoodLonger queues
Makes you feel like you’re in a movieExteriors only, no entering soundstages

#2 – Warner Bros. Studio Tour: selfies & superheroes

Duration 3 hours | Rating 4.5/5 | Price Range + $70

Ever wonder where Batman got his capes dry-cleaned or where the Friends cast hung out between takes? The Warner Bros. Studio Tour is a hidden gem for every film & tv fanatic. During this tour, you’ll be able to stroll through Central Perk, check out the Batmobile and maybe even catch a glimpse of your favorite celebrity – this is a working studio lot after all.

The WB tour consists of two parts: a fun & illuminating guided portion (1 hour) where you’ll actually get to enter a soundstage and a self-guided exhibition (2 hours) showcasing unique props of their most iconic films & television shows. They also feature several interactive installations AND you will ge to pose with an actual Oscar. The exhibition is always expanding, so I highly recommend it. #MillennialMagic

Is this the one for you?
This tour is much more in-depth and personal than the Universal Backlot Tour. It’s not a theme park ride, but if you love film & relevision then this is the one for you. It’s fun, illuminating and did I mention YOU GET TO HOLD AN OSCAR?!

Worth it if you’re a fan of: Harry Potter, Friends, The Big Bang Theory, Pretty Little Liars, DC Universe, Batman, Girlmore Girls, ER, etc.

UPGRADE – the movie buffs can upgrade to a Deluxe or Classic Tour but the regular tour has the best value for money.


3 hours




+ $70

Up-close-and-personalGuided portion is only 60 minutes
Small groups (10 – 15)More niche
Visit an actual working soundstage
ICONIC sets (Friends / Big Bang Theory)
Spend as long as you like at the exhibition

#3 – Paramount Studio Tour: classic Hollywood history

Duration 2 hours | Rating 3.5/5 | Price Range + $60

Paramount is where old-school charm meets Hollywood glamour. It’s the only backlot that offers direct views of the Hollywood sign. Take a stroll through this iconic studio, and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time.

To be honest, I think my dad would love this place. And that pretty much sums up how I feel about the tour: it feels a little dated. But if you know your classics, you’ll have a wonderful time because Paramount Studios quite literally embodies Hollywood’s Golden Age. Plus: the classic entry archway & historic fountain also double as the ultimate Instagram backdrop.

Is this the one for you?
My biggest problem with this tour is that it feature mostly older films & television shows. There’s a ton of history here, but zero hype. You do get good value for money as the guided portion takes around 2 hours. And guess what? Your wallet won’t be shedding any tears – this tour is both affordable and Instagram-worthy. Hashtag winning!

Worth it if you’re a fan of: The Godfather, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, King Kong, Star Trek, Dr. Phil, Forrest Gump, Glee, Grace & Frankie, etc.

UPGRADE – the movie buffs can upgrade to a 4.5 hour VIP Tour for a whopping $215 (1 meal included). If you’re gonna spend that much money, throw it at the Universal VIP upgrade instead.


2 hours




+ $60

Guided portion is 2 hours longNiche tour with older references (great for movie buffs)
Smallest groups (7 – 10)Tour guides aren’t always the best
Beautiful viewsMost affordable
Visit an actual working soundstage

TLDR – choose your own adventure

You still have no clue which tour to book? Let me make it easy for you.

  1. You’re looking for an all-day adventure full of immersive movie magic?
    = Universal Studios Hollywood!
  2. You’re looking for an entertaining and personal visit to a working backlot?
    = Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood!
  3. You’re a fanatic want to visit classic sets?
    = Paramount Studio Tour!

Got a favorite studio? Let me know in the comments below!

Ben Voyage!

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