HARMONY 2019 Travel Information

The California Institute of Technology is located in Pasadena, California, on the West coast of the United States. It was founded in 1891.

Despite its small size, Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute featuring faculty and alumni that have earned national and international recognition, including 39 Nobel Prizes. The Institute manages the nearby Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA; owns and operates large-scale research facilities such as the Seismological Laboratory and a global network of astronomical observatories, including the Palomar and W. M. Keck Observatories; and cofounded and comanages LIGO, which, in 2016, observed gravitational waves for the first time.

Getting there

HARMONY 2019 will be held on the campus of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) at the Annenberg building, home of Caltech's Department of Computing and Mathematical Sciences (CMS).


There are 5 airports within 30-60 minutes of driving from Caltech: LAX, ONT, BUR, LGB, and SNA. The closest airport is BUR (in Burbank), but it is a domestic airport and is served by only a small number of airlines. The most likely airport to be used by international travelers is LAX in Los Angeles, although ONT (in Ontario) is also an international airport and may be an option for some travelers.

Driving to Caltech

Caltech is easily accessible from both the Harbor/Pasadena Freeway (number 110), southwest of campus, and the Foothill Freeway (number 210), north of campus. The campus has visitor parking available. Please see the CMS directions page for more information.

If you are not accustomed to driving to/from Pasadena from the surrounding areas, it is worth noting that the amount of traffic on the roads can be unexpected and distressing. Local residents (including your local organizers) have noticed a significant increase in traffic over the past few years. If you have visited in the past, please beware that your expectations about travel time may need to be adjusted to the new reality. The use of tools such as Google Maps' traffic view is essential to maintaining your sanity on the roads. (But don't use your mobile devices while driving!)

Public transportation

Visit the Caltech transit guide, intended especially for the Caltech community. You will find Caltech-specific information on everything from transit subsidies to bus routes, which will help to make your public-transit trip cheaper and faster.

Passport and visa

Please check your passport and visa requirements in due time before your departure. If you require an official invitation letter for your visa, please act as follows:

  1. Register yourself online
  2. Process the payment of your participant fee
  3. Send an email to the local organizers giving the postal address you want the invitation letter to be sent to. We kindly recommend you to contact us early in advance, as the conveyance of your letter may take some time.


(More information forthcoming.)

There are several hotels near the campus, including a Hilton, Sheraton, and some lesser-known hotels. There is an on-campus hotel too (which features the ever-popular "Einstein room" where the world-known genius supposedly stayed) but availability tends to be very limited.