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!
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- 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
Top Attractions in New Orleans
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What people are saying about New Orleans
We started early, which was nice, because it was hot when we weren't moving. But we we were moving a lot and it kept us cool. We went fast down the waterways and slowed down to take pics and ask questions in some of the tour guides fave spots. We only got stuck once, when the guide took a turn too fast and we veered into the swamp. Was okay though. Another boat quickly got us out and while we waited we got to play with a baby alligator which tour guide had on board in a cooler. The views were magnificent. We saw alligators, egrets, swamp chickens, turtles and lots of flowing spanish moss. Would highly recommend this company and this event to anyone. Wear your ear protection. It got loud without it!
I enjoyed the various guides and different information we received from each one. It was nice to be able to hop on and hop off in different area, or just ride the loop to see and learn. I am really glad I purchased the three day pass and was able to enjoy the Garden District tour. I loved New Orleans and can’t wait to visit again!
The Oak Alley Plantation Home was amazing, well worth the trip. The tour company that took me was not run so well. Picked up from hotel and dropped off at meeting point for bus, but I was left there with other passengers for half an hour as they forgot about us. Once that was sorted the rest of the tour went smoothly.!
Our Tour guide, Mike's knowledge of New Orleans history was amazing! This city tour was well worth our time. It stopped for a brief look through St Louis cemetery #3 which I would've enjoyed more time. We also stopped to enjoy beignets at Cafe Du Monde, delicious!!
Dewey was an amazing tour guide! By far this was our favorite experience in New Orleans! Glad we had the chance to meet Hercules up close and personal. Never thought I’d ever pet an alligator! What a memorable tour!!