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New OrleansUnited States of America

Utterly unique with an alluring past and bohemian present, the city of New Orleans beguiles and bewitches everyone who visits.

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

French Quarter showing a city, street scenes and heritage architecture

French Quarter

4.5/5Wonderful!(113 area reviews)

Great live music a vibrant jazz scene and top sights from Bourbon Street to Jackson Square – discover French Quarter, a destination also famous for its historic sites.

French Quarter
Garden District showing flowers, a garden and a house

Garden District

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

3.5/5Good!(2 area reviews)

The ample dining options and fascinating museums are top of the list for many visitors to Warehouse District. A stop by National World War II Museum or BECA Gallery - Bridge for Emerging Contemporary Art 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
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is NZ$229 per night

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

4.5/5Wonderful! (4,677 reviews)

"The classic and elegant look and feel was perfect. Plus the location was amazing."…"

Reviewed on 2 Jun. 2020

Omni Royal Orleans Hotel
Holiday Inn New Orleans - Downtown Superdome
Holiday Inn New Orleans - Downtown Superdome
3.5 out of 5
330 Loyola Ave, New Orleans, LA
The price is NZ$173 per night

Located in Central Business District, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Canal Street, Bourbon Street and Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Smoothie King Center ...

4.2/5Excellent! (2,223 reviews)

"Everything was great, I even had a nice view of the city & the hotel pool."…"

Reviewed on 1 Jun. 2020

Holiday Inn New Orleans - Downtown Superdome
Holiday Inn FRENCH QUARTER-CHATEAU LEMOYNE
Holiday Inn FRENCH QUARTER-CHATEAU LEMOYNE
3.5 out of 5
301 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA
The price is NZ$173 per night

Located in French Quarter, this hotel is steps away from Bourbon Street and Canal Street. Cafe Du Monde and Mercedes-Benz Superdome are also within 1 mi (2 km). ...

4.3/5Excellent! (1,147 reviews)

"Beautiful property right in the French Quarter. Staff was nice and helpful, chatted with us and gave us recommendations for food and things to see. Clean rooms, if you can get a room with balcony do it. Nice little view of French Quarter. Would stay here again."…"

Reviewed on 31 May 2020

Holiday Inn FRENCH QUARTER-CHATEAU LEMOYNE

Popular places to visit in New Orleans

Canal Street
Image for Canal Street

Canal Street

4/5(72 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(17 reviews)

World War II is brought to life at America's premier war repository.

Mardi Gras World
Image for Mardi Gras World

Mardi Gras World

4.5/5(12 reviews)

If you can't make Mardi Gras, this attraction dedicated to the world's most famous festival is the next best thing.

Top activities in New Orleans

New Orleans Ghost, Voodoo, Vampire, and French Quarter Tour
Image for New Orleans Ghost, Voodoo, Vampire, and French Quarter Tour

New Orleans Ghost, Voodoo, Vampire, and French Quarter Tour

86% of travellers recommend
NZ$40
Per adult
Steamboat Natchez Daytime River Jazz Cruise
Image for Steamboat Natchez Daytime River Jazz Cruise

Steamboat Natchez Daytime River Jazz Cruise

90% of travellers recommend
NZ$61
Per adult
New Orleans Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour with Expert Guide
Image for New Orleans Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour with Expert Guide

New Orleans Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour with Expert Guide

84% of travellers recommend
NZ$95
Per adult
New Orleans Cemetery, Voodoo, & French Quarter Tour
Image for New Orleans Cemetery, Voodoo, & French Quarter Tour

New Orleans Cemetery, Voodoo, & French Quarter Tour

90% of travellers recommend
NZ$24
Per adult
Garden District Tour
Image for Garden District Tour

Garden District Tour

96% of travellers recommend
NZ$32
Per adult
Manchac Swamp & Laura or Oak Alley Plantation Combo Tour
Image for Manchac Swamp & Laura or Oak Alley Plantation Combo Tour

Manchac Swamp & Laura or Oak Alley Plantation Combo Tour

92% of travellers recommend
NZ$170
Per adult

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

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