New Orleans

Travel Guide
New Orleans

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

Wyndham New Orleans - French Quarter
Wyndham New Orleans - French Quarter
4 out of 5
124 Royal St, New Orleans, LA
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is CA $164 per night from Oct 4 to Oct 4
Located in French Quarter, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Canal Street and Decatur Street. Cafe Du Monde and National World War II Museum are also within ...
4.2/5Very Good! (2,705 reviews)
"It was located in the center of the French Quarters"

Reviewed on Aug. 31, 2021

Wyndham New Orleans - French Quarter
Bourbon Orleans Hotel
Bourbon Orleans Hotel
3.5 out of 5
717 Orleans St., New Orleans, LA
Located in French Quarter, this historic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Jackson Square, Cafe Du Monde, and French Market. Canal Street and National World ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (1,350 reviews)
"Great location, beautiful place."

Reviewed on Sep. 14, 2021

Get rates
Bourbon Orleans Hotel
Loews New Orleans Hotel
Loews New Orleans Hotel
4 out of 5
300 Poydras St, New Orleans, LA
The price is CA $316 per night from Oct 7 to Oct 7
This family-friendly New Orleans hotel is located in the business district, within a 10-minute walk of Harrah's New Orleans Casino, Canal Street, and Audubon ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (1,447 reviews)
"We enjoyed our stay."

Reviewed on Aug. 26, 2021

Loews New Orleans Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Homewood Suites by Hilton New Orleans French Quarter
Homewood Suites by Hilton New Orleans French Quarter
3 out of 5
317 N. Rampart, New Orleans, LA
The price is CA $169 per night from Sep 27 to Sep 27
Located in French Quarter, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Saenger Theatre, Louis Armstrong Park, and Preservation Hall. Jackson Square and French ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (988 reviews)
"Workers were very friendly and accommodating. Only thing I would say is I wish they had more knowledge on how the charges to my card worked because although there was a total for the stay, it looked like it got charged a few different times splitting the costs. They didn’t know why it was like that, ..."

Reviewed on Aug. 25, 2021

Homewood Suites by Hilton New Orleans French Quarter
Sonder at The Jung
Sonder at The Jung
3.5 out of 5
Canal Street, LaSalle, New Orleans, LA
Located in New Orleans Central Business District, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Canal Street and Decatur Street. Cafe Du Monde and National World ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (230 reviews)
"Perfect location. Staff very helpful!"

Reviewed on Aug. 20, 2021

Sonder at The Jung
Club Wyndham Avenue Plaza
Club Wyndham Avenue Plaza
3 out of 5
2111 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA
Located in Faubourg Lafayette, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Magazine Street and Lafayette Cemetery. National World War II Museum and Ernest ...
4.2/5Very Good! (499 reviews)
"The outdoor area was enjoyable. Very friendly and helpful staff"

Reviewed on Aug. 23, 2021

Club Wyndham Avenue Plaza
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in New Orleans

Top things to do in New Orleans

Cities near New Orleans