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New Orleans
Travel Guide

Listen to jazz at its best, eat spicy Creole food and dress in costume for parades and festivities during Mardi Gras in this fascinating southern U.S. city.

What other city in America, or even the world, has such a distinct heritage as New Orleans, with its multicultural blend of Creoles, African Americans and French-speaking locals?

Ever since the city was founded in 1718, people have wanted La Nouvelle Orleans, as it was called. The French founded the port city because of its location near the juncture of the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico, before the Spanish briefly took control. In 1801 Louisiana ceded back to France, but only two years later the territory was sold back to the United States for US$15 million, effectively doubling the size of the new country in what is considered one of the biggest real estate bargains in history.

From this point on, the city grew rapidly with influxes of Americans, French, Creoles, Irish, Haitians, Germans and Africans all calling the city home, and New Orleans became the leading urban centre in the south. These immigrants gave New Orleans the heritage and soul that the city is famous for today.

New Orleans' location on the banks of the Mississippi has been its biggest strength and also its major weakness. When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, the city's flood protection system failed and 80% of the city was swamped with water and thousands died. Post-Katrina, people slowly returned to the city and as the place was cleared up, tourism bounced back and now the city has more visitors than ever before.

These visitors flock to the French Quarter, the oldest and most bohemian part of one of the oldest cities in the country. Just as much Spanish as French, the beautiful and elegantly faded pastel coloured houses are stunning. Jackson Square is the place to head for prime people-watching, with brass bands and artists vying for attention in one of the country's oldest parks.

The party never stops on Bourbon Street, one of the most famous or infamous, districts for boozing and carousing. It might not be for everyone, but it's one of those places you need to see to believe.

For a taste of New Orleans' ghostly side, a visit toLafayette Cemeteryfor a stroll around the beautifully decaying tombs will not be forgotten. Come during the day unless you enjoy being spooked!

Tourism is one of New Orleans' biggest industries, and the city makes it easy for the crowds to get around. The town, being flat, is made for walking, but for public transportation, the famous streetcars are the best way of getting round. Less romantically, cabs are always available. Driving is not recommended.

New Orleans Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in New Orleans

Royal Sonesta New Orleans
Royal Sonesta New Orleans
4.5 out of 5
300 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA
The price is NZ$249 per night from 12 Apr. to 13 Apr.

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 ...

4.3/5Excellent! (2,084 reviews)

"Only thing i didnt like was the location of the toilet paper rolls behind you im a bigger person and it was extremely difficult to turn around and grab toliet paper off the wall"…"

Reviewed on 11 Apr. 2021

Royal Sonesta New Orleans
Omni Royal Orleans Hotel
Omni Royal Orleans Hotel
4 out of 5
621 Saint Louis St, New Orleans, LA
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is NZ$210 per night from 19 Apr. to 20 Apr.

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. ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (1,675 reviews)

"Great location in the French Quarter. Staff excellent."…"

Reviewed on 9 Apr. 2021

Omni Royal Orleans Hotel
Astor Crowne Plaza New Orleans, an IHG Hotel
Astor Crowne Plaza New Orleans, an IHG Hotel
4.5 out of 5
739 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA
The price is NZ$208 per night from 22 Apr. to 23 Apr.

Located in French Quarter, this luxury hotel is steps away from Canal Street, Bourbon Street and Royal Street. Decatur Street and Saenger Theatre are also within ...

3.9/5Very Good! (2,652 reviews)

"Beautiful room with a great view."…"

Reviewed on 10 Apr. 2021

Astor Crowne Plaza New Orleans, an IHG 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.
Luxury Condos in California Building by Hosteeva
Luxury Condos in California Building by Hosteeva
3.5 out of 5
1111 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, LA
The price is NZ$216 per night from 14 Apr. to 15 Apr.

Located in New Orleans Central Business District, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Canal Street, Harrah's New Orleans Casino and Mercedes-Benz Superdome. ...

4.2/5Excellent! (304 reviews)

"I loved the location, I was able to walk everywhere I wanted to go. Views were amazing from the top floor,and the whole unit waa luxury down to the dishwasher. My flight left at 3:00pm so I asked for a late checkout. They extended it from 10am to 11am which was no help,I was even willing to pay more ..."…"

Reviewed on 4 Apr. 2021

Luxury Condos in California Building by Hosteeva
Sonder - Duncan Plaza
Sonder - Duncan Plaza
4 out of 5
925 Common Street, New Orleans, LA

Located in New Orleans Central Business District, this aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of Canal Street, Bourbon Street and Saenger Theatre. Royal Street ...

4.1/5Very Good! (97 reviews)

"The overall property was cute, clean, and quaint. Great value for the price, great walking distance to everything. If you're a light sleeper who cannot sleep with noise, I would not recommend it. When we left, the elevator was not working...we were on the 10th floor."…"

Reviewed on 29 Mar. 2021

Sonder - Duncan Plaza
The Brandywine by Sextant
The Brandywine by Sextant
4 out of 5
888 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA
The price is NZ$226 per night from 19 Apr. to 20 Apr.

Located in New Orleans Central Business District, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of National World War II Museum, Smoothie King Center and Canal ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (119 reviews)

"Our penthouse had everything we needed except a wine opener, which we got from housekeeping the very next day. If you can process that this is not your typical hotel with a front desk that you can call and there is nowhere to store your luggage before and after check-in then I recommend this property. ..."…"

Reviewed on 8 Mar. 2021

The Brandywine by Sextant
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 activities in New Orleans

Reviews of New Orleans

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
73
5 - Excellent 48.666666666666664%
4 - Good
67
4 - Good 44.666666666666664%
3 - Okay
7
3 - Okay 4.666666666666667%
2 - Disappointing
3
2 - Disappointing 2%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

22 Mar. 2020

truly remarkable city but can be bit wild for older traveller

5/5 - Excellent

Russ

9 Feb. 2020

Great food at Mr Eds Seafood and Oyster Bay. Oyster shots are amazing. Ask for Alan to make his special recipe for you.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

27 Jan. 2020

Great history to see in the Garden District and old French Quarter. Make sure to visit Frenchman St. not just Bourbon St. Visit Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral, but beware of shoeshine guys.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

5 Jan. 2020

New Orleans is a ‘must go-to’ place; the people, attractions, music and of course the legendary Bourbon Street are all memorable.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

30 Dec. 2019

The people, history & culture is as wonderful as the music, food and entertainment - a unique American city. Our 4th visit and we discovered many new aspects and enjoyed all the familiar ones !

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

28 Nov. 2019

Felt safe to walk around central and French quarter. Locals and staff were pleasant

Cities near New Orleans