Top attractions 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!
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.
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.
Having once suffered from careless overdevelopment, the Lake Pontchartrain are now a great place to swim and picnic, particularly by the Mardi Gras fountain.
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!
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 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.
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!
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 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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
- CurrencyAmerican Dollar ($)
- Time ZoneUTC (-06:00)
- Country Code+1
- Best time to visitSpring, 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 swamp boat tour gave us an opportunity to llearn about the complex ecological nature of the swamp. At the Laura Plantation Katy gave us en excellent historical presentation on the lives of the plantation owners and the terrible conditions in the existence of the slaves.
Our guide, Dustin, did a great introduction to the history, cultural background and city layout for us. He was at times humorous.
We took the garden district/Lafayette cemetery tour with James and it was a fantastic experience. He knows literally everything you could possibly want to know, back stories about the history, info about the vegetation, brings out the human side of tombs at the cemetery, and the architecture of the houses and their backstories. He knew what celebrities lived where and took his time telling us more when we showed interest and moved on faster on things we weren’t as interested in. We couldn’t have a better time! He even thought to offer to take photos of our group without us thinking to do it! He arrived early and made the whole process so easy. He even went as far as to give the two parts of our group directions to our next destinations! Thank you James!
With a better understanding of slavery we have a chance to overcome racial inequality some day...
Tyler was our tour guide. Unbelievably knowledgeable. Learnt so much. Keisha was our driver. Really entertaining. Great overall experience.