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Getty Center Vs Getty Villa (Local Guide)

Getty Center Vs Getty Villa (Local Guide)

We have talked about staying safe in Los Angeles and there are a few spots all tourists should be going to such as the Getty Center and Getty Villa.

Of course, the average person is not going to be aware of the differences.

Since the names are so similar, we were confused too!

We realized a lot of people don’t understand the differences and want to go to a tourist-friendly spot that is going to give them value for their time.

This is why we decided to compare the two Getty museums in greater detail. These two are 40 minutes apart, which means you will want to plan which one you are going to visit.

Here is our take on the Getty Center vs Getty Villa.

About Getty Center

Getty Center is a fascinating museum and is situated on Getty Center Drive in Los Angeles.

It’s common for tourists to want to check out this beautiful museum in Los Angeles because it’s historic, spacious, and also renowned for being tourist-friendly.

When we went, numerous tourists were walking around exploring the Getty in Los Angeles.

This demonstrates it’s a nice stop to include in your Los Angeles itinerary. We found this to be a safe part of Los Angeles, which only added to the appeal of going to the Getty.

People who are going to be heading to the Santa Monica Mountains are often going to have the Getty Center on their list of places to visit. This is a refined museum that has been cultivated over years of design work and it shows as you are walking around.

We loved our time at the museum and the exhibits that are set up here are outstanding. The variety is exemplary.

About Getty Villa

This is known as the original Getty Museum.

It was designed by a man named J. Paul Getty and it was due to his passion for historic artifacts. He would take the time to go around the planet picking out these items and bringing them back to southern California to put on display.

As time went on, his collection grew and he prepared what is known as the Getty Villa.

All of these pieces are hosted at the Getty Villa and those who want to appreciate the nuances of these pieces will want to get to the museum as soon as possible. It is breathtaking because the view of the Pacific Ocean in the backdrop only adds to its appeal.

We do find this to be a unique spot and an ideal one for history buffs.

When you are walking around exploring the Getty Villa, you are going to see beautiful architectural elements that are based on European designs. You are also going to get to enjoy time at the cafe with its international cuisine along with the beautiful outdoor theater.

We had a lovely time exploring the building along with seeing the artifacts for the first time. We do recommend this for those who have time to visit both Getty museums.

When you are here, you are going to come across some of the most historic pieces in the state. this includes exhibits that are thousands of years old. We were mesmerized by how beautiful the statues were and it showed the attention to detail that goes into maintaining these artifacts.

Comparing Getty Center To Getty Villa


We will begin with how tourist-friendly these two locations are.

When comparing the Getty Center to the Getty Villa, we will have to say the Getty Center is far more tourist-friendly. This is due to the guided tours that are set up at the location and the level of detail they go into.

This is ideal for those who are looking to learn more.

Plus, most people are going to talk about the artifacts of the Getty Villa, but that does not mean as much when you are looking to have a good time with the entire structure. We loved being able to get more value out of the Getty Center and this is important for the average tourist.

Since the museum is free, it is also a great way to have fun when you are in the area.


This is one comparison point where you are going to have a tie.

We don’t think there is much of a difference between the two when it comes to the quality of the views. Both are situated higher up, which means the view you are going to get to see will be breathtaking.

In most cases, we believe it’s best to check out both if the view is what you care about more than the artifacts or the guided tours.

With the Getty Center, you are going to get a beautiful view of the city. With the Getty Villa, you are going to have a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean.

We also recommend taking the time to spend a part of your visit in the main garden. It’s beautifully designed and maintained making it quite peaceful to walk around in. We got coffee and took the time to settle in because of how beautiful it was at the Getty Center.


If you are a museum enthusiast, this might be the most important point for you.

The Getty Villa has all of the classic pieces that have been around for thousands of years. These are pieces that might be integral to your visit as you are going to want to learn more about what Getty collected over the years.

These pieces are beautiful and worth checking out.

However, the collection at the Getty Center is more well-rounded and there are more pieces for you to go through. It is fun learning about them through the tours that are always going on and they continue to add to their collection with each passing year.

This is why it will come down to what you prefer more than anything else.


The Getty Center wins in this regard because it’s situated closer to the downtown core.

This means you are going to find it easier to get to the Getty Center and not have to go out of your way. Plus, it’s common for people to visit some of the celebrity homes in the area and just drive around the gorgeous neighborhoods in this part of Los Angeles.

Since it is so close to these homes, you are getting a bonus element to your itinerary that is not going to be seen with the Getty Villa.

Final Thoughts

This is what you will need to know when comparing the Getty Center to the Getty Villa.

We would have the Getty Center as a top priority on our itinerary and then the Getty Villa. We believe the Getty Center is more developed, tourist-friendly, and in the right location for those who are running short on time.

Of course, if you do have time, please visit both museums to get the best of both worlds.

We also want to share our pieces on going from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles, the top museums in Los Angeles, beautiful views in Los Angeles, and free places to cool down in Los Angeles.