Should I spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Pasadena?

Should you spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Pasadena?

Many visitors spend one to three days in Pasadena during their visit. If you're not sure how much time you might need here, we have the answers because there's so much to see and do. This city offers a number of attractions to explore, including the museums and landmarks, the restaurant scene, the nightlife, and shopping.

Pasadena is a city that's not far from Los Angeles. At its heart is Old Pasadena, which is where most tourists visit. The area is filled with restaurants and shops, as well as some interesting architecture. It makes a pleasant place to spend a few hours or a few days.

Do you have one or two days to visit Pasadena? Here's our comprehensive breakdown of how much time you might need for your trip along with some suggestions for things to do.

Is one day enough time in Pasadena?

With only one day, you might feel a bit pressed for time when exploring the main attractions. After all, Pasadena is a small city with a some good sights and activities, but still hosts a fairly small number of tourists. To fully embrace Pasadena, a longer visit is better. Most travelers tend to allocate one to three days to browse the museums, enjoy a meal at a restaurant, enjoy the evening activities, and browse the shops. Nevertheless, if your schedule is limited, we can provide some suggestions to maximize your visit.

How to spend a day in Pasadena

A number of fantastic museums and famous landmarks are found in Pasadena, so spend at least one full day exploring those that look the most appealing to you. There's a good number of museums around town that include kids' museums, art museums, and local museums. Popular museums include the USC Pacific Asia Museum, the Norton Simon Museum, and the Pasadena Museum of History. Many people also enjoy touring the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The restaurant and food scene here is top notch, so make sure you spend time at one of the local restaurants where you can taste the delicious cuisine. Local restaurants feature southern California cuisine as well as international flavors. Dishes often use local ingredients that are fresh and seasonal. Restaurants range from casual to fine dining and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming.

The public transit in Pasadena is fast and efficient. Over the course of a few days, you should be able to explore the city quite easily and affordably. Buses and light rail offer local transit and connect the city to nearby Los Angeles.

Is a weekend (two to three days) enough time in Pasadena?

Two days or a full weekend in Pasadena is often considered the right amount of time to spend here, as many tourists take around one to three days for their trip in the area. A 2-day trip would usually give you enough time to check out the museums and landmarks, the restaurant scene, the nightlife, and shopping. Further down, you'll find our recommendations to kick off your adventure.

Pasadena, CA Pasadena, CA

How to spend 2 days in Pasadena

With a weekend (two to three days) in Pasadena, you'll have a bit more time to enjoy everything that the city has to offer.

Shopping in Pasadena is very popular, and it's easy to see why. Spend time exploring the many shops and boutiques to find the perfect gift, souvenir, or outfit. Old Pasadena is where you'll find some of the best shopping. It's filled with a charming atmosphere and interesting boutiques.

The nightlife scene is very popular here. After dark, head out to one of the many venues around town. Much of the nightlife scene is concentrated around Old Pasadena. You'll find clubs, bars, and lounges that begin the evening with Happy Hours and then become more party-focused as the evening progresses.

More Info

If you're looking for more information about Pasadena, we have even more advice to help you plan your journey.

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.