New Orleans
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Top attractions in New Orleans

Top Tours & Activities in New Orleans

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Top 10 things to do in New Orleans

A slow-brewed Gumbo of cultures with a seemingly immortal music scene, New Orleans still drips with the Southern charm chronicled by Tennessee Williams and other famous sons. Here are the best things to see and do in one of the US' most characteristic cities!

S.S. Natchez

There's no better way to cruise the Mississippi than by steamboat! The original Natchez was destroyed in a fire, but the current S.S. Natchez offers dinner and live Jazz tours of Old Man River.

French Quarter

Mit den elegantesten Gebäuden und Denkmälern der Stadt wie dem "1850 House“ oder dem Jackson Square ist das symbolträchtige French Quarter ist ein Muss für jeden Besucher.

Lake Pontchartrain

Having once suffered from careless overdevelopment, the Lake Pontchartrain are now a great place to swim and picnic, particularly by the Mardi Gras fountain.

Garden District

New Orlean's rich and famous still gravitate towards this district's 19th-century mansions. Book a Garden District tour to see the best bits, but it's also a great area just to wander and ponder!

Bourbon Street

Though it's now known primarily for its bars and clubs, by day, Bourbon Street remains one of the best places to tour New Orleans' colonial past.

The Cabildo

The governing-offices-turned-courthouse called Cabildo at Jackson Square is where the Louisiana Purchase was signed. Its blend of Spanish and French colonial architecture is now a museum.

Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium

The Audubon Institute runs a zoo and aquarium too, but as family attractions go, this is one of the best in the US. There's even a creepy-crawly snack bar – Bug Appétit!

Mardi Gras World

Discover what goes into making Mardi Gras' most breathtaking carnival floats at the giant Mardi Gras World warehouse. It's open 7 days a week, closing only for major holidays. Oh, and Mardi Gras!

Louisiana State Museum

Louisiana may have a short history but it's one that warrants 9 state museum buildings! The Cabildo is one, but their flagship is just across Jackson Square at The Presbytère.

The Old US Mint

Here's another branch of the Louisiana State Museum worth visiting. No longer used to mint coins, the Old US Mint is now a huge Jazz museum, exhibiting old recordings, photos, and live music!

Planning Your New Orleans Visit

When to go?

The height of summer (June-August) can get intolerably hot, but it's worth checking what events are happening the rest of the year before settling on dates. The famous Mardi Gras carnival takes place the day before Ash Wednesday (in February or March). If you want to sample some traditional street food though, arrive for November's Oak Street Po-Boy Festival to try the best Po-Boy sandwiches in town!

How long to stay?

For sightseeing, four days should be enough time to cover the French Quarter and Garden District, however, New Orleans is a city full of life and culture that penetrates deep beneath its surface. Book a few extra days if you can, keep your itinerary loose, and be prepared to get drawn into a few pleasant surprises!

How to get around?

Walking is by far the best way to see New Orleans, but when it's raining you can easily hail one of the city's many reasonably priced taxis. (Bear in mind though, that most cabs are more expensive and harder to come by on special event days.) There is also a well-connected bus network, but why not opt for the streetcars for which the city is famous? The St. Charles Avenue route, between downtown and Uptown, is a National Historic Landmark!

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    American Dollar ($)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-06:00)
  • Country Code
    +1
  • Best time to visit
    Spring, fall and winter tend to be more pleasant times to visit the city, not only to avoid the heat, but also to experience Mardi Gras, or one of the city's famous festivals. Check event calendars while planning your trip!

Things to Do in New Orleans

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What people are saying about New Orleans

The trip was excellent and the driver/guide was interesting/unique.

The boat was comfortable and made viewing the wildlife easy. The driver/guides knowledge of location of wildlife was very useful and his personal view on conservation and his personal history was important and delivered with humor and interest.

New Orleans High-Speed 16-Passenger Airboat Ride Reviewed by Calvin, 07/17/2018

Wanna have fun, laugh, drink & learn about NOLA? BOOK THIS TOUR!!

I really didn’t know what to expect but the description sounded fun and I’ve heard a lot of great recommendations regarding the tour guides here at this company especially the girl guide Ashli that goes by the nickname TRashli. I find that hilarious btw. We booked the tour and everything was great from start to finish. I laughed so hard during this tour that midway through it my cheeks were hurting! HAHA!! The tour is cram packed full of information regarding nola history. The history is normally followed up by a ghost story and there’s vampire stories past and present! I loved the voodoo stories too! The comedy was great! We had Ashli aka TRashli and the girl is an amazing storyteller. She’s very talented & was born for the job. After the tour we were bummed because we were having so much fun! So our guide took us to one more location and told us another story! We all loved it. If you want to have fun, laugh, drink, and learn about nola this is the tour for you!

Informative and fun. Light walking and good food.

Elizabeth was a well of information which flowed generously. Her fun and humorous style kept the tour interesting, while revealing the difference between Creole and Cajun. I highly recommend it.

Swamp tour was our favorite part of our trip to New Orleans.

For the plantation tour, the young fair skinned lady with rosy cheeks, who was our tour guide, was amazing. We loved the rows of old oaks.

Wonderful tour very knowledgeable tour guide

Had a wonderful time. Experienced a lot and learned a lot. Would highly recommend.

New Orleans: 3-Hour City Tour Reviewed by Karen, 07/10/2018