AN AMERICAN CITY LIKE NO OTHERS
WHAT TO DO IN NEW ORLEANS? MY JOURNEY
Houses in the French Quarter
House in the French Quarter
Street in the French Quarter
Balcony in French Quarter
If there is one neighborhood not to be missed in New Orleans, this is it! The architecture and the color of the buildings are truly amazing! Many buildings have beautiful, well-flowered balconies. It is really pretty and very pleasant to walk around. Each street has its own atmosphere and charm. For example, Bourbon Street is THE street for bars and parties. Before coming to New Orleans, I didn’t know the city was famous for bachelor / bachelorette parties. But you have to believe that it is. The day is quieter than the evening. Don’t hang around too late at night, after a certain hour it’s not really safe.
Then you have Royal Street, not the same vibe as Bourbon Street. It is a very quiet street with the unique architecture of the French Quarter. It’s one of my favorites. It is super cute and very pleasant to walk around. Do not miss !
Halfway between these two streets mentioned above, go to Jackson Square. It is a very beautiful square, with its Saint Louis Cathedral. You can admire the Mississippi River and the beautiful cruise ships typical of Louisiana. You have a great view of the square and the river from the Washington Artillery Park. If you want to take a break, you have the café du monde on the square. Not very far, you also have the French market. We were there in the afternoon but there were not many open stands. To try rather in the morning. Also in the square is the Hurricane Katrina Museum and the custom Mardi Gras parade, the Presbytery. It is a small museum (well it still takes 2 to 3 hours to visit it) which has two very important permanent exhibitions of New Orleans. For the part on the hurricane we learn more about the region, and this natural phenomenon that happened in the city more than once. And for the Mardi Gras exhibition, there are some costumes, explanations about this celebration, the traditions. It’s very well explained and interesting.
After your visit, do not hesitate to get lost in the different streets of the district to see all these magnificent architectures. At the end of the day, go to Frenchmen Street. This is THE street for jazz bars. Walk around in the early evening to find a bar with a vibe/music you like, stop for a drink and enjoy. Frankly, it’s a street to do. I didn’t know much about jazz before, and I loved it! The atmosphere, the music… A real pleasure!
You may have understood that to visit all this beautiful district, a good half-day is enough. Take your time and stroll around the neighborhood quietly.
Entrance fee for the presbytery museum: $7 / €6.75
House in Garden district
Before telling you about this district, I will tell you about Canal Street because there is a good chance that you will pass through it on your way to the Garden District. Canal Street is one of the main streets of the city, animated by many shops, as well as the Louis Armstrong park which is super cute. If you go by tram to the Garden District, you have some at this place but it all depends on where you come from.
For the Garden District, I recommend that you follow the itinerary created by the site Freetoursbyfoot which helped us a lot to visit the district. It will allow you to know where to go and to know the history of the houses, as well as the films shot in these places. Perhaps you will recognize one among those you see. The architectures are both similar for some but very different for others, it’s original. And as a huge Disney fan, I’m so glad I saw the house that inspired the Anaheim Park Haunted House. The tour lasts about 1h30 in total.
OUTSIDE THE CITY
Big House of Oak Alley Plantation
The swamp tour
The slaves houses
The swamp tour
View from the first floor of the Big House
There are also activities to do not far from New Orleans. Here are 2 activities we did.
First of all, the Oak Alley plantation, one of the most famous plantations in the region. Depending on the period in which you are, a reservation the day before may be sufficient. But take online because the tickets are cheaper than on site. Note that you must arrive 30 minutes before the start of the visit because otherwise you will not be able to enter the house called Big House. Guided tours inside are organized throughout the day. You will discover the history of the family, how they lived at the time, and the history of the house. The tour lasts approximately 30 to 40 minutes. Then you can visit the exterior. Some explanations are present on the owners of the house, the sugar cane industry in Louisiana, and also on the slaves and how they lived. The visit allows you to learn more about these different plantations that there were in the region, it is very interesting. To visit everything, you will need about 2 hours.
After the plantation, you can take a tour of the Louisiana swamps. We chose the Cajun Pride Swamp Tour because it was good value for money, and no regrets. The visit lasted about 1h30. We board a classic swamp boat where we can see alligators, turtles and other animals. It is private property and the alligators know when the boats are moving. They approach because they feed them. You can see a lot during your visit. The guide teaches us about the alligators but also about the marshes and some legends. It makes the visit more interesting than just seeing marshes and animals.
On the map, these two activities are a bit far, but I assure you, you can do these activities in New Orleans without a car. Getyourguide offers out-of-town activities with the option to pick you up from New Orleans. Sometimes you can even combine several activities. It is a good compromise for doing activities without a car.
Entrance fee to the Oak Alley plantation: $31.50 / €30
Price for the Cajun Pride Swamp Tour: $26.50 / €25.30
New Orleans surprised me in a good way. Lots of people partying but during the day it does not distort the city which is super beautiful! Architectures that cannot be found anywhere else in the United States. Depending on the route, it may take a little detour but it’s worth it.
WHERE TO EAT?
219 Dauphine St,
New Orleans, LA 70112
Price: between $10 and $20 without taxes
A specialty of New Orleans. To give you an idea, it’s a baguette with different hot ingredients inside. But it’s super good! And it’s one of the best addresses in New Orleans so go for it!
234 Loyola Ave,
New Orleans, LA 70112
Price: between $15 and $20 without taxes
One of the best restaurants in town, renowned for its chicken. And I confirm, very good! The restaurant is definitely worth a visit.
WHEN TO GO?
I was in New Orleans at the beginning of May, and honestly it was already getting hot, it was bearable but I was happy to be inside sometimes.
2 days are enough to visit New Orleans. This leaves you 1 day to visit the different neighborhoods and museums, and a day to do a Swamp Tour and visit a plantation. If you want to do more museum in the city, an extra day would be good.
WHERE TO SLEEP? MY ACCOMMODATION
HI NEW ORLEANS
1028 Canal Street,
New Orleans, USA
Price: $50 – €48 / night / person in a female dormitory for 8 women
Hostel link to book: click here
This hostel chain is not cheap but you get what you pay for. Everything is great as well as the common areas. The location is ideal, a few blocks from Bourbon Street, and in a rather safe neighborhood.
MY 3 TIPS TO VISIT NEW ORLEANS
- For plantations, choose only one, otherwise it will repeat with what you have already seen. The one I did is very complete and explains well how a plantation worked at the time.
- Lose yourself in the streets of the French Quarter, there are quite a few that are pretty.
- Provide tips for bar musicians.