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“People who don't like Bourbon Street just don't understand history” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street
New Orleans, LA (French Quarter)
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Ranked #155 of 461 things to do in New Orleans
Activities: Drinking, Nightlife, Dancing, Shopping, City walk sightseeing, People-watching
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Owner description: The partying never stops on Bourbon Street, the French Quarter's liveliest and wildest thoroughfare, where the rhythmic sounds of jazz, country western, Dixieland and sultry blues permeate the air. Brimming with life, you'll find everything from shopping to music to Cajun food to nightclubs.
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212 reviews 212 reviews
63 attraction reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
145 helpful votes 145 helpful votes
“People who don't like Bourbon Street just don't understand history”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2011

I read a couple of reviews of Bourbon Street, and I had to write my own because those poor people just didn't do their research, and ended up missing the best aspects of the French Quarter.

For one, you are going to find a "variety" of music on Bourbon Street, and not just Dixieland Jazz. That's history. New Orleans has always played to an audience, and they are going to play the music that attracts people with their money to their city. Right now, not as many people want to hear the old standards, but they do want to hear "their" music. That's why you hear the variety of music, and the different styles coming from various establishments.

If you want to hear the jazz, go to Preservation Hall, or just listen for the sounds of what you want to hear, and follow them to the respective establishment form where it comes. If you want to hear what the locals like, go a few blocks toward the river, and a few blocks downtown, (downtown is the part of town "down river"), to Frenchmen Street. Frenchman Street is more likely to have the banjos, the washboards, and the trumpets. Most importantly, do your homework!

On another point, I heard one woman comment about the "smell" of New Orleans. The "smell" you sometimes smell comes from the fact that there are no "alleys" for the establishments on Bourbon Street. That's because this is one of the oldest parts of one of the oldest cities in the nation. It was built in a time when alleys were neither needed, nor used. In keeping with the historic nature of the area, the city decided not to tear down any historic buildings in order to make alleys. As a result, all of the trash of the city ends up in the street, but that's OK because shop owners clear out the streets and hose them down every day. Those smelly streets are actually cleaner than the streets of most cities. Besides, the smell you smell is the smell of history, and, believe me, it was probably a lot worse when the streets were made of mud, people emptied their chamber pots out the window and into the street, and horses evacuated their bowels on a regular basis. Frankly, the streets of New Orleans at their worse smell no worse than any alleyway anywhere else in the country, and I, for one, have come to associate that smell with the good times I've had in the Quarter. I also associate them with the smell of history; something I really love. If you don't believe me, do your homework!

When tourists open their minds, they find the beauty of New Orleans and the Vieux Carre is that it is all history during the day, and all party once the Sun goes down. There is so much marvelous American history to explore all around the Quarter all day long - The WWII Museum, The Civil War Museum, The Mint, The Beauregard House, the Ursuline Nuns, the Chalmette Battlefield, the Presbytere, the Cabildo, the St. Louis Cathedral, Cafe du Monde, Jackson Square, and so many more. Then, at night, they block off the streets, and let tourists enjoy the hospitality of New Orleans in a way no other city I now of does - right in the streets like a huge block party, surrounded by all of that history. It is a wonderful place to take a step back in time, and really feel what it must have been like to have lived in the city in some wonderful day gone by. Like all of the attractions in the area, Bourbon Street is a wonderful, eye-opening experience for Americans of all ages, and it always will be. You just have to do your research, learn your history, and open your mind. The rest will fall into place.

Visited September 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Big Pine Key, FL
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Don't waste your time...”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2011

The first thing we did after arriving at our hotel was walk the couple of blocks to Bourbon St. That was also the last time we walked Bourbon St. We could not walk two feet without some huckster trying to separate us from our money. When we weren't being attacked by them, we were attacked by the stench that pervades the entire street. Walking and looking at the clubs and bars, not one seemed enticing enough for us to patronize. We did go to Pat O'Brians the next day, just to say we did, and it was during the day, but otherwise we avoided Bourbon for the rest of our week long stay. Any restaurants worth going to are not on Bourbon. Any music club worth going to is not on Bourbon(check out Frenchman St.). Any sights worth seeing are not on Bourbon. In short, Bourbon is just for kids looking to drink and get sick.

Visited September 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Red Light District”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2011

Having travelled to New Orleans for the jazz and blues culture I was very disappointed. This street is just very loud modern music, red light shows and bars. Noise almost all night. Full of drunken revellers from mid-morning. I thought I had arrived in Ibiza.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“I am a drinker, I don't recommend bourbon street.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2011

I love to drink, I was there with my husband. The street was filthy, aside from the numerous strip clubs full of unattractive junkies, the smell of vomit and urine filled the air. I do not know why people think this place is great. French Quarter had nice sites on the other hand, just avoid this street.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
42 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“A bit of a disappointment”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2011

I was looking forward to an evening stroll down Bourbon Street, taking in a few drinks and some live music in this iconic location. Sadly, although there was some good live music, there were more strip clubs and scantilly dressed females trying to lure people into attractions by giving away shots, and half dressed street entertainers than anything else. I am not a prude and enjoy a laugh and a drink or two myself but if I wanted the hen/stag night experience on 'the strip' I would have gone to Ibiza or Ayia Napa, it wasn't what I expected. Thankfully some locals told us about Frenchman street which was more authentic and we got a nice meal and some great live music. I expect this probably bringing money to New Orleans but it seems like the true flavour of the place is being lost.

Visited August 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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