There are plenty of things to do in New Orleans, whether you are there for a couple of days or a week.
I put together a list of Nine Things to do in New Orleans to help you plan your trip. Most of these activities are free or a small charge. I did not list any tours, as you can find them on your own. Whether this is your first time visiting or you have been to New Orleans before, have a great time.
Frenchmen Street is an alternative to Bourbon Street as the crowds are much more laid back. It’s easy to find great music whether on the street corner or in a bar/restaurant, as almost all had live music. We visited Frenchmen Street several times to listen to Jazz, after discovering it one afternoon. When we went back that evening for dinner, service was very slow but the music was great. It’s very crowded at night, so get there early if you want a seat, as most bands start at 7:00 p.m. in the evening.
St Louis Cathedral
The triple steeples of St Louis Cathedral can be seen from afar, looking over Jackson Square and General Andrew Jackson statue. This is the heart of New Orleans. It is one of the city’s most prominent landmarks. This church is the oldest Catholic cathedral in use in the United States.
Wandering the Streets in the French Quarters
To really appreciate the different architecture of New Orleans, get out and wander the streets in the French Quarters.
Watch Street Performers
Street performers can be found throughout the French Quarters. Whether they are playing music, or singing you can find it here. It’s not unusual to see people dance along to the music as they walk by. If you like their music they have CD’s for sale.
There is so much to see and do in the Garden District, you could easily spend the day. This is a place you can take a tour or just wonder on your own looking at famous people’s houses, go shopping, or have lunch or dinner.
Sandra Bullock House
Ann Rice House
Houses in Garden District
The Lafayette Cemetery is only a couple of blocks from the streetcar drop off. You can walk around on your own, or there are tour guides at the gate offering tours. Even if you walk around on your own, there are so many tours that you will overhear some tidbits about the cemetery.
Magazine Street is a unique neighborhood of old houses, local restaurants and funky shops making this a great street to stroll and spend some time. Prices are much lower than Canal Street and the French Quarter. Magazine Street gives you a sense of what the city was like years ago.
Riding the Streetcar
You cannot come to New Orleans and not ride the streetcar. For $3 you can get an all-day pass and ride any of the street cars. The tickets are available to purchase on the tram. When you want to get back on the streetcar, look for small yellow vertical signs that identify the stops. Or look for people gathered around waiting for the streetcar.
The most scenic route is out in the Garden District. This beautiful neighborhood is filled with stately mansions, and large oak trees. The street car goes by Tulane University and Loyola University New Orleans and Audubon Park.
Be aware if the cars are full, they will pass by and you will have to wait for the next one. This happened to us around lunch time trying to get back to Canal Street. We had three street cars not stop as they were full. It took about twenty minutes before the next car would arrive. If you are pressed for time call Uber to get back.
TIP: Make sure you have exact change as the machine on the tram does not give change.
The French Market is like a flea market and farmers market combined with food stalls and shopping. Haggling with the vendors is expected and most places only take cash.