Top Tours & Activities 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
Top Attractions in New Orleans
- 1French Quarter
- 2Mississippi River
- 3S.S. Natchez
- 4French Market, New Orleans
- 5Garden District
- 6Jackson Square
- 7Lafayette Cemetery
- 8Bourbon Street
- 9St. Louis Cathedral
- 10Magazine Street
- 11Louis Armstrong Park
- 12St. Louis Cemetery Number 3
- 13Old US Mint
- 14The Cabildo
- 15Mardi Gras World
- 16Saint Louis Cemetery
- 17Lake Pontchartrain
- 19Ogden Museum of Southern Art
- 20Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium
Other Sightseeing Options in New Orleans
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What People Are Saying About New Orleans
Our tour guide, Abrey, was very good. She was very knowledgeable and entertaining. She was well organized, looked out for people's safety while walking through the tour. I highly recommend the tour while in NOLA.
Our guide was Steve & even though the day was cold, he made sure to find us some alligators to see & even had a 2 foot baby to hold. We were instructed the difference between a swamp, marsh, bayou & man made canals, saw it all, would do the tour again. And don't forget the Egrets, Herons & turtles.
Our guide, Drew, did a fantastic job of keeping us all entertained and informed on the various historical aspects and cultural points while walking through Lafayette Cemetary number one and the Garden District with its beautiful homes. He kept three teenagers entertained and parents as well. Highly recommended to go on this tour and ask for Drew - you will not be disappointed. It moves slow enough to show the points of interest and fast enough to keep it all interesting.
Tour guide was amazing, staff was amazing full of interesting facts. Loved learning about history of NOLA.
The cruise was very relaxing and enjoyable. We did the cruise only, not the one including lunch. There were some small plates, though, and they were great!