The Presbytere
The Presbytere
4.5
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
The Presbytere was designed in 1791 to match the Cabildo, alongside St. Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter. It stands today as a beautiful reminder of both Louisiana's singular past and its vibrant present.The Presbytere, originally called Casa Curial or "Ecclesiastical House," was built on the site of the residence, or presbytere, of the Capuchin monks. The building was used for commercial purposes until 1834 when it became a courthouse. In 1911, it became part of the Louisiana State Museum. Two exhibitions are on display-"Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond" tells of rescue, rebuilding and renewal, and "Mardi Gras: It's Carnival Time in Louisiana" captures the fun and fantasy of the annual celebration.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area

Address
Neighborhood: French Quarter
A small and teeming network of laissez-faire living lounged out on the balmy banks of the Mighty Mississippi, the French Quarter has long been a port of call for folks in search of a good time and a great story. Perpetually inebriated Bourbon Street runs across its midriff like a strand of cheap ribbon tied around an otherwise rather pretty and impressively well-kept vintage dress. Throughout the rest of the Quarter, brightly colored Victorian homes and businesses, famously done up with wrought-iron features, provide a distinct and immediately recognizable backdrop for all varieties of fun. At any given moment in this historic riverside setting, some of America’s finest meals are being cooked, most potent cocktails are being mixed, and most engaging music is being performed.
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See what travelers are saying

  • Rhonda Whiten
    Pace, Florida111 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hurricane Katrina and Mardi Gras museum
    Small museum with 2 main themes, Hurricane Katrina and Mardi Gras. The bottom floor is all about Hurricane Katrina. Such a sad time for the people of NOLA. The top floor is dedicated to Mardi Gras costumes, jewels, and masks.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 26, 2023
  • Jenny from Santa Cruz
    Santa Cruz, California797 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Inexpensive ticket for two great exhibitions
    When we were there, it had two exhibitions and both were very well done. The exhibition on Hurricane Katrina was very emotional, with lots of personal stories in addition to some interesting insights about the science of the flood. A few parts of the science part were broken, but it was still very effective. There was also a great exhibition about the history of Mardi Gras that answered a lot of questions I'd been wondering about, in addition to having some fun and fabulous outfits. I also good a good giggle about the museum bathroom door looking like a line of mardi gras porta potties. This was an inexpensive ticket, and was well-worth the price.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 4, 2024
  • Tom S
    Ypsilanti, Michigan189 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very moving exhibit on Hurricane Katrina
    We had less than an hour at the Prebytere, so we only had time to experience the exhibit about Hurricane Katrina and not the one about Mardi Gras. The exhibit was very well-done, informative, and emotionally impactful. I'd recommend it-- admission was only $7, and it's located right on Jackson Square so it's very convenient if you're already in the French Quarter.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 27, 2024
  • Angela C
    193 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Learn it all about Katrina and Mardi Gras
    The Presbytere was really amazing. The Katrina exhibit was sobering. As someone who only saw it on TV I was shocked at what I learned. The Mardi Gras exhibit was so detailed. i had next to zero knowledge of what goes into Mardi Gras celebrations. It is NOT all about drinking and beads! There is humor involved in creating the floats. The pageantry of the costumes are quite elaborate. Give yourself some time here to read everything.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 2, 2024
  • Christopher C
    Patchogue, New York262 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must see in the French Quarter
    I’ve been three times now over many years. This was the second time we saw the Katrina exhibit, still very moving. The Mardi Gras exhibit has been here for a while also, but they’ve changed and added to it, and still very enjoyable to go through, and very interesting. This is a must visit when you are in New Orleans, doesn’t cost much, doesn’t take long and it’s in the middle of everything!
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 4, 2024
  • kemma
    California101 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must do on your itinerary
    We thoroughly enjoyed the Katrina and Mardi Gras exhibits in this gorgeous building. The Katrina exhibit was so informative, engaging and interactive. The combination of photos, artifacts, videos and hands on displays provided an immersive exhibit. My husband and I had watched extensive news coverage when it happened but our 19 year old had only heard of Katrina and learned so much from the displays. It was interesting learning about the science behind why this was a somewhat man made disaster. The second exhibit on Mardi Gras was also amazing. The costumes on display were incredible. We almost didn’t go here on our trip but am so glad we went. I think this should be a must do on a visit to New Orleans.
    Visited July 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written July 13, 2024
  • Cody
    Roswell, New Mexico99 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Solid local history on display
    Expect to spend about an hour at this museum. Bottom floor focuses on Hurricane Katrina, while the top covers the history of Mardi Gras. I feel that the Katrina exhibit could eventually be expanded into its own museum. The information on display just scratches the surface of the hurricane’s impact on New Orleans. An emotional museum reminiscent of the OKC Memorial could be achieved here. The Mardi Gras exhibit includes quite a few colorful costumes. Definitely an eye-catching and photogenic display.
    Visited July 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written July 13, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,004 reviews
Excellent
574
Very good
334
Average
75
Poor
15
Terrible
6

simsu66
Rayleigh, UK598 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We arrived in New Orleans on the Friday before Mardi Gras and decided on the Saturday morning to visit the Presbytere as we knew it included a history of Mardi Gras which we thought would be a good introduction.

The exhibits on Mardi Gras are indeed very good and give a very good background to how the festival developed.

The ground floor has an excellent exhibit on Hurricane Katrina. Not only does it provide a very moving story of the hurricane itself it poses some very good questions about the future and how to combat climate change.

We spent a good 2-3 hours in the museum.

We later bought a combination ticket to other State Louisiana museums and due to a mix up ended up with tickets for the Presbytere. This gave as an opportunity to re-visit. This time we focused more on the video stories in the Katrina exhibit.

Whilst not everyone will want to go twice I would highly recommend a visit to the Presbytere and allow yourself plenty of time to fully appreciate it.
Written March 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tnk9581
Fond du Lac, WI135 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
I almost didn’t make it here but am so glad I was able to find time to go. The information on Katrina was so interesting. There was so much to learn. I really enjoyed it. And the Mardis Gras exhibit was really well done too. I would definitely recommend adding this museum to your list of things to do in New Orleans
Written March 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jay W
Beaver Dam, WI360 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020
This museum teaches you a lot. When you walk into the historic building's lobby you see a piano that was wrecked in the hurricane. After you pay for a ticket you can walk through the halls and see journal writings, spray-painted artifacts and videos of people in the hurricane and the damage it did. Then you take the stairs or elevator to the 2nd floor and see Mardi Gras floats, masks, dresses, and more. It is such a great experience for all ages snd is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area!
Written March 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Laura M
Melbourne, Australia169 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Solo
There is a fantastic display on hurricane Katrina; how it impacted the city, the aftermath and various other related topics.
It was a very compelling and touching display and really explained things well with lots of first person accounts, photos, videos, audio and artefacts on display.
The Mardi Gras portion of the museum in contrast was much more light hearted and showed some of the history of the event and had lots of costumes and other associated things on display.
Over all, definitely worth the $7 entry fee and an enjoyable couple of hours
Written February 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Basspohl
Lansing, MI70 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021 • Family
My family of four, including two young adults, visited on an afternoon. Full admission is $7, and there are various discounts available based on age etc. It took us approximately two hours to see the two exhibits on two floors: Hurricane Katrina, and Mardi Gras. There were excellent depictions of how the levee breaches occurred, failure to prepare, rescues, etc, and many many Mardi Gras costumes and stories of how different societies celebrate it. Informational and entertaining.
Written April 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ErinMoore
Columbus, OH144 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
My family didn't have much interest in the Mardi Gras exhibit but we did enjoy looking at the costumes. It seemed to have a lot of great information for those who would be interested in learning more. We were limited on time and went specifically for the Katrina exhibit. To be honest, it left me wanting a little more. I understand it may be tailored for all ages but we were hoping for even more videos and personal stories on how it affected the residents. Having said that, I did appreciate what was provided as it was incredibly informative and agree with other reviews in that it's appropriate for all ages. The price was also minimal.
Written January 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Laughingbodies
Escondido, CA3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
I found the museum while I was walking around and spent two hours learning about Katrina. I was so moved. I then went upstairs and learned all about Mardi Gras and well what can I say - I came out knowing more than when I went in and had several profound emotional experiences while in the museum. Best $7.00 I've ever spent!
Written August 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We are so very pleased that you enjoyed your visit and that you were able to share the experience with others!
Written August 31, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

404HappyTraveller
Saskatchewan, Canada481 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
This is the other half of the Louisiana State Museum, and, without a doubt, does an outstanding presentation of Hurricane Katrina. The display is well organized and presents a large amount of information from a variety of viewpoints. It not only presents the facts, but also the depth of the human involvement and emotions. The upstairs does a very detailed history of Mardi Gras right up to the present day, and it is very good also, but the Katrina presentation rather overwhelmed the Mardi Gras portion.
Written January 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bernard W
Dallas, TX1,915 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022
Presbytere is a Louisiana State Museum to the right of the Cathedral. NARM membership gets one in free. The first floor is the place to learn about and, to a certain extent, experience Katrina and other hurricanes that ravaged the area. It also has an entire second floor dedicated to Mardi Gras from history, costumes, and related aspects of the fun-filled frolicking time. Very good museum.
Written February 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

monticellotraveler
Cedar Rapids, IA54 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Family
Looking for an indoor activity, we went to this museum on a tip from another tour guide and we were not disappointed. In fact, we loved it and would highly recommend. The exhibits we saw were on Hurricane Katrina and Mardi Gras and were well done. The Katrina exhibit was equal parts breathtaking and heartbreaking. The Mardi Gras exhibit helped us understand a little more about this historical, cultural tradition and see beyond the stereotypes of Mardi Gras.
The bonus is that there are great views overlooking Jackson Square from inside the building, which make for great photo ops.
Written June 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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The Presbytere - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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