New OrleansUnited States of America

New Orleans charmswith its energy and community spirit: Dixieland jazz, laid-back locals,cherished architecture and a distinctive French flair. 

Lashedby Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans continues to rebuild. Meanwhile, intrue Southern style, the city embraces the mantra “let the good times roll.”You’ll find the locals relaxed, and unhurried, always ready for a chat, andembodying the spirit of the city’s nickname, “The Big Easy.”

New Orleans sits onthe Mississippi River in southern Louisiana. It was founded in1718 by Phillippe d’Orleans, then the Regent of France. The city was underSpanish control for decades before it passed back into French hands, and thenwas sold to the United States in 1803.

A magnet forimmigrants, the city attracted sugar and cotton workers from France, Ireland,Germany and Africa. Today you’ll find it a multicultural blend of Creoles,African Americans and French-speaking locals.

Goto the FrenchQuarter to see the rattling streetcars made famous in TennesseeWilliams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire. This lively area is known for its ornate,Spanish Colonial architecture. Each year, leading up to Lent, theFrenchQuarter hosts the colorful Mardi Gras festivities, said to havestarted as early as 1743.

While in the quarter,stop by the famous Café du Monde, beloved for chicory-laced cafe au lait andFrench-style beignets. From here, cross the road to Jackson Square.This beautiful park has been a popular hangout for artists since the early1920s. Today, it’s home to painters, tarot readers, musicians, streetperformers and classic Creole cuisine. Sample traditional food, includingpo’boy sandwiches, fresh Louisiana crawfish, spicy gumbo, jambalaya stews andsugary pralines.Don'tmiss a night out on iconic Bourbon Street, known for itsnightspots, cafes, strip joints and jazz clubs. Venues here have hosted manyfamous musicians, including Louis Armstrong, a New Orleans native.

New Orleans also hasstrong ties to a strain of Voodoo religion that is still practiced by a handfulof locals. You can take a voodoo-themed tours of the infamous St. LouisCemetery, whileLafayette Cemetery is a popular location for movieshoots.

Getting around iseasy, though, as the city is flat and ideal for walking. Alternatively, jump ona streetcar for an inexpensive bit of fun. Several lines originate in Downtownand cover most of the areas you will want to visit. At night, find a cab at acab-stands and hotels, or telephone one and it will generally arrive fairlyquickly. Driving in New Orleans is not recommended. Parking spaces are scarceand expensive, and finding your way is sometimes difficult with many one-waystreets and a rather complicated layout.

For more details oninteresting local attractions and activities, check out our things to do in New Orleans page.

Best time to visit New OrleansThe best time to visit is late winter, or early spring—you'll enjoy moderate weather (nights can be cool), blooming azaleas, and a busy, fun atmosphere filled with festivals and other special events. During the most popular festivals like Mardi Gras (February) and the Jazz and Heritage Festival (April–May), the city is bustling with excitement and activities, but hotel rooms are in short (and expensive!) supply. If you plan to visit the city during these events, it’s wise to book your room well in advance.

Peak season: February through May is the busiest time for travel to New Orleans. Temperatures are warm, but not hot, the azaleas are in full bloom, and the city is hopping with festivals and special events.

Value season: In December (before and during Christmas), tourists are scarce, so you can take advantage of dramatically lower hotel rates. The weather is mild and the city is decorated in seasonal glitter, making this a great time to visit the Big Easy. From June through August, the weather is hot and humid. During the summer months, the sun can shine for as long as 11 hours each day, providing little break from the heat.

New Orleans Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in New Orleans

French Quarter showing street scenes, heritage architecture and a city

French Quarter

4.5/5Wonderful!(557 area reviews)

The fantastic nightlife and great live music are just a few highlights of French Quarter. Make a stop by Bourbon Street or Jackson Square while you're exploring the area.

French Quarter
Garden District featuring flowers, a house and a park

Garden District

5/5Exceptional!(1 area review)

Unique features of Garden District include the gardens and restaurants. Make a stop by Lafayette Cemetery or Magazine Street while you're exploring the area.

Garden District
Warehouse District, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

Warehouse District

4/5Very Good!(40 area reviews)

The abundant dining options and interesting museums are top of the list for many visitors to Warehouse District. A stop by National World War II Museum or Louisiana Children's Museum might round out your trip.

Warehouse District

Top Hotels in New Orleans

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Omni Royal Orleans Hotel
Omni Royal Orleans Hotel
4 out of 5
621 Saint Louis St, New Orleans, LA
The price is CA $158 per night

This family-friendly New Orleans hotel is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of Bourbon Street, Jackson Square and Preservation Hall. ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (4,719 reviews)

"I enjoyed my stay at The Omni Royal, friendly staff."…"

Reviewed on Jul. 13, 2020

Omni Royal Orleans Hotel
Royal Sonesta New Orleans
Royal Sonesta New Orleans
4.5 out of 5
300 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA
The price is CA $175 per night

Located in French Quarter, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Bourbon Street and Jackson Square. French Market and National World War II Museum ...

4.4/5Excellent! (2,073 reviews)

"Nice hotel and very hospitable! And in a great location. Jst need amenities in da room! Microwave especially!"…"

Reviewed on Jul. 14, 2020

Royal Sonesta New Orleans
The Westin New Orleans
The Westin New Orleans
4.5 out of 5
100 Rue Iberville, New Orleans, LA
The price is CA $148 per night

Located in French Quarter, this luxury hotel is steps away from The Shops at Canal Place and Canal Street. Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and Decatur Street ...

4.1/5Very Good! (1,674 reviews)

"I really enjoyed the stay. The only thing I didn't like is that I didn't have a microwave and mini refrigerator in the room."…"

Reviewed on Jul. 5, 2020

The Westin New Orleans

Popular places to visit in New Orleans

Canal Street
Image for Canal Street

Canal Street

4/5(574 reviews)

Start your exploration of New Orleans with the many attractions on this buzzing pedestrianized street, which is located right in the heart of the downtown area.

National World War II Museum
Image for National World War II Museum

National World War II Museum

4.5/5(164 reviews)

Personal accounts, films and artifacts provide a thorough and informative look at World War II.

Mardi Gras World
Image for Mardi Gras World

Mardi Gras World

4.5/5(109 reviews)

Get an inside view into preparations for one of the world’s most famous annual festivals.

Top things to do in New Orleans

Steamboat Natchez Daytime River Jazz Cruise
Image for Steamboat Natchez Daytime River Jazz Cruise

Steamboat Natchez Daytime River Jazz Cruise

CA $51
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
Steamboat Natchez Evening Jazz Cruise
Image for Steamboat Natchez Evening Jazz Cruise

Steamboat Natchez Evening Jazz Cruise

CA $70
Per adult
86% of travellers recommend
Swamp & Bayou Tour w/ Transportation from New Orleans
Image for Swamp & Bayou Tour w/ Transportation from New Orleans

Swamp & Bayou Tour w/ Transportation from New Orleans

CA $73
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
New Orleans Cemetery, Voodoo, & French Quarter Tour
Image for New Orleans Cemetery, Voodoo, & French Quarter Tour

New Orleans Cemetery, Voodoo, & French Quarter Tour

CA $20
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
Oak Alley Plantation w/ Transportation from New Orleans
Image for Oak Alley Plantation w/ Transportation from New Orleans

Oak Alley Plantation w/ Transportation from New Orleans

CA $97
Per adult
88% of travellers recommend
Private Chauffeured River Road Plantation Tour
Image for Private Chauffeured River Road Plantation Tour

Private Chauffeured River Road Plantation Tour

CA $134
Per adult

Reviews of New Orleans

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
428
5 - Excellent 56.09436435124508%
4 - Good
287
4 - Good 37.61467889908257%
3 - Okay
42
3 - Okay 5.504587155963303%
2 - Disappointing
6
2 - Disappointing 0.7863695937090432%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Mar 21, 2020

Need to come again in good times. Missed all the music as I am a musician. Jazz and blues.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Mar 20, 2020

Our home away from home. Would love to spend more time there.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Mar 19, 2020

Double decker buses were very good. Too bad coved 19 was hanging over our heads at that time. We just wanted to go home and be safe

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Mar 18, 2020

Would love to go back, our time was cut short due to COVID -19 virus

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Mar 15, 2020

Something to do for everyone of all ages. Bring your wallet Aswell as hood set of walking shoes

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Mar 14, 2020

So much to do and see. Pedestrian friendly and something to interest everybody

Read travel guides and advice on visiting New Orleans

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