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How to Build a LEGO City

how to build a lego city

How to Build a LEGO City

Key Points

  • Themed LEGO sets have become popular, but building a LEGO city allows for more creativity and freedom.
  • Consider the space you have and the cost of sets when planning to build a LEGO city.
  • There are two approaches to building a LEGO city: planning ahead or working with what you have.
  • MrBookieboo provides tips on planning and building a modular LEGO city, while New Brickerton shows how to build a LEGO city on a budget.
  • Essential supplies for LEGO city building include baseplates, bulk blocks, and road plates for creating roads and cars.

Themed LEGO sets have become incredibly popular but they can constrain builders to a degree. When you want to go large, you’ll want to know how to build a LEGO city. While the process may seem daunting if you’re a beginner, tips from experts can make life easier. If you’re ready to build the LEGO city of your dreams, we’ve put together a guide to help you get started.

LEGO City Building Tips

Before you consider building a city made from these colorful bricks, there are a few things to consider. The first is space, which varies from one builder to the next. Think about how much room you have to work with, and consider future expansions as well.

LEGO cities allow builders to create freely, as you can build something from scratch or start with a set. That’s where pricing comes into play, especially if you plan on making a LEGO city around certain themes. Setting up a blocky world of Harry Potter would look amazing, but it could cost well over $1,000 if you plan to use sets like Diagon Alley or Hogwarts.

How to Build a LEGO City

We’re going to cover two different approaches in our LEGO city-building guide. One method is for people who want to plan things out, and another is for builders on a budget.

How to Build a LEGO City with MrBookieboo

Our first video comes from MrBookieboo, who focuses on planning. While there’s a lot of focus on trains and roads, his impressive city is a modular masterpiece. He covers everything from the size of the base plates to the perfect table to use as your base.

His tips are fantastic, especially if you’re concerned about running out of space. You don’t have to go wide; you can always build vertically, as the builder shows. MrBookieboo took a modular-heavy approach with this particular build, although there are several recognizable sets in the video, including the LEGO Palace Cinema, Town Hall, and Scooby-Doo’s Mystery Machine.

How to Build a LEGO City with New Brickerton      

While it’s still a good idea to plan ahead, sometimes you just need to work with what you have on hand. That’s the first piece of advice from New Brickerton, whose video shows builders how to create a LEGO city without breaking the bank.

His build took place over the course of a year. While his LEGO city started on a kitchen table, it quickly expanded. This LEGO fan also provides valuable resources for people new to world-building. From builds based on sets you already have to the best place to find specific parts, you’ll want to stick with this video until the end.

Essential LEGO City Building Supplies

Both LEGO builders can help you get started, but you still need LEGOs to use as a starting point. With city building, a great place to begin is with a baseplate. You may not have a baseplate to tie things together if you have multiple smaller sets. These handy LEGOs can also add depth vertically or give you extra room for foliage and other accents throughout the city. You’ll also need some bricks and some road plates to build your LEGO city.

LEGO Baseplate

This classic green LEGO baseplate is around 10 x 12 inches in size or 32 x 32 studs in LEGO terms. It’s an official standard-sized plate, but there are also compatible plates from various brands. If you’re considering using parts without LEGO branding, check user reviews regarding fit beforehand. These parts can help expand sets cheaply, but they vary in quality and size from the official blocks.

A Great Starting Point
LEGO Classic Green Baseplate
$5.99
  • 32 x 32 studs
  • LEGO Part #11023
  • 1,024 total studs
  • 1 piece
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/07/2024 10:26 pm GMT

Bricks in Bulk

You can also buy bricks in bulk in any color you can imagine. LEGO has several boxed building sets with no theme, including kit 10717. It’s a simple set featuring 1,500 pieces, which include eyes, doors, and traditional colored bricks. This kit is a great way to expand an existing city or start a new one from scratch.

A Box of Colorful Fun
LEGO 1500 Piece Classic Bricks Set
  • 1,500 total pieces
  • LEGO set 10717
  • Variety of colors
  • Brick separator included
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Road Plates

Unless you plan a LEGO city with an apocalyptic theme, you’ll probably need roads and cars. You can create both with regular bricks and some creativity. With that in mind, some of their coolest bricks are designed specifically for that purpose. Our favorite for city life is LEGO set 60304, City Road Plates. It’s a buildable intersection complete with glow-in-the-dark street lights, signs, and greenery.

A Blocky Crossing
LEGO City Road Plates
$19.99
  • LEGO set 60304
  • Glowing streetlights
  • Speedbumps and greenery
  • 112 pieces
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/07/2024 10:57 pm GMT

The Wrap-Up

Building a LEGO city should be a rewarding experience and something you can enjoy for years through expansion. If you’d like to add some medieval flair to your next build, check out our tips on building a LEGO castle.

  1. LEGO Classic Green Baseplate
    $5.99
    • 32 x 32 studs
    • LEGO Part #11023
    • 1,024 total studs
    • 1 piece
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/07/2024 10:26 pm GMT
  2. LEGO 1500 Piece Classic Bricks Set
    • 1,500 total pieces
    • LEGO set 10717
    • Variety of colors
    • Brick separator included
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  3. LEGO City Road Plates
    $19.99
    • LEGO set 60304
    • Glowing streetlights
    • Speedbumps and greenery
    • 112 pieces
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/07/2024 10:57 pm GMT

Summary Table

SectionKey Points
LEGO City Building TipsConsider space and pricing. You can build from scratch or start with a set.
How to Build a LEGO City with MrBookiebooFocuses on planning. Tips on the size of the base plates and the perfect table to use as your base. You can build vertically.
How to Build a LEGO City with New BrickertonShows how to create a LEGO city on a budget. Provides resources for people new to world-building.
Essential Lego City Building SuppliesBaseplate is a great starting point. You can buy blocks in bulk. LEGO set 60304, City Road Plates, is recommended for city life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the LEGOLAND sets compatible with new sets from LEGO?

All official LEGO blocks are designed to work with one another regardless of age.

Does LEGO produce new City sets?

The company continually refreshes its product lines, and new LEGO City sets arrive throughout the year.

What are the best pre-built sets to use in a LEGO city?

Any of the company’s modular LEGO sets would make a great addition to a LEGO city.

Is building a LEGO city expensive?

How expensive it is depends on the size of the city and how many LEGOs or sets you have to start with, but it can get pricey if you’re just starting with LEGOs.

Does LEGO make baseplates in different sizes?

Yes, you can find official plates with varying stud counts.

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