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New Orleans Tourism: Best of New Orleans

About New Orleans
New Orleans is full of life—but with a laid-back energy that sets it apart from other cities. You’ll wanna soak it all in: impromptu jazz performances up and down Frenchmen Street, the ding of the St. Charles Streetcar, moss-draped trees in the famous Garden District…even its gothic, above-ground cemeteries. (The city’s said to be one of the most haunted in America.) For some, NOLA will always be all about Bourbon Street, but for travelers looking to take it slow, the city’s distinct blend of cultures—including Creole and Cajun—means there’s tons to see, explore, and yes, eat.

Travel Advice

Essential New Orleans

Traveler Guides

New Orleans Is Great For

Rowdy bars and classy cocktail joints

Heating up your visit with cool local jazz

Stepping back in Southern history

New Orleans Travel Guide

Travelers' pro tips for experiencing New Orleans

The best place for families to stay is in the CBD (bounded by Canal St, the River, Baronne, and Poydras St) so that you're within walking distance of all the best sites to see, near the streetcar lines, close to the French Quarter, but away from the drunken, late-night craziness.
Yes, visit the famous restaurants, they are institutions with well-deserved reputations but also ask locals about their favorite spots and be prepared to leave the French Quarter, to Upperline Uptown, Deanie's out by the Lake, Toups’ in Mid City. New Orleans has an excellent public transport system, there are streetcars and buses, but you're probably going to want to rent a car or take a cab to reach your destination.
James H
If you plan to spend most of your time in The French Quarter, book a hotel in The French Quarter. This will save your tired feet from blocks of unnecessary walking. Trust me — it's worth the extra money to stay right where the action is.

In the words of those who've been there before ...

New Orleans has something for everyone; all ages, interests, and lifestyles. It is described as the northernmost Caribbean city and the westernmost European city. You will not find another place quite like it in the world.
New Orleans is a great city. There is plenty to see and do. And definitely plenty to eat! I could go to New Orleans over and over. It's definitely more of a couples/friends vacation.
Angela A
New Orleans is a simply gorgeous city, wonderfully laden with mystery around every cobblestone corner. There are those who visit this historical city to see what lies beneath and to stand quietly in front of buildings that have drawn every ghost hunter, psychic, and paranormal investigator in the country.

What is the best way to get there?


Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) is the city’s main airport, where you can keep the good times rolling by catching some live entertainment while you wait for your flight.


New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal is a major Amtrak hub, with three train lines offering service to Memphis and Chicago; Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York; and Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, Tucson, and Los Angeles.


Greyhound, FlixBus, and MegaBus all offer service to the New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal.

For more info on getting to New Orleans, see here.

Do I need a visa?

If you are a non-U.S. citizen, you may need a visa to visit New Orleans, unless your country is part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The program allows citizens of certain countries to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa.

For more info on visas and the VWP, see here.

When is the best time to visit?

New Orleans’ best weather makes its debut in February and lasts until May, coinciding with carnival season and the world-famous Mardi Gras celebrations. The average daily temperatures this time of year typically hit highs of 71 Fahrenheit (22 Celsius) with lows dipping to 45 Fahrenheit (7 Celsius).

If you’re looking to skip the madness, and the inflated prices, opt to visit in winter when hotels are cheaper, and you won’t melt from summer’s heat or worry about fall’s possible hurricanes.


The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (NORTA) operates nearly 40 bus routes and four streetcar lines, as well as paratransit and ferry crossings on the Mississippi River. Some buses and streetcars run 24 hours.

For info on schedules, routes, and fares, see here.


New Orleans has more than 1,200 taxis you can grab on the street and at major hotels.

For info on fares and companies, see here.


Ridesharing: Both Uber and Lyft operate in New Orleans, and you can book via their smartphone apps.


Since it’s a flat city, biking is a great way to navigate New Orleans, and there are several companies that offer bike rentals.

For more info on renting a bike, see here.

On the ground
What is the timezone?
Central Standard Time
What are the voltage/plug types?
The standard voltage in New Orleans is 110V to 115V, 60Hz AC. Outlets accommodate two-prong flat (not grounded) plugs or grounded three-prong plugs.
What is the currency?
U.S. dollar
Are ATMs readily accessible?
Are credit cards widely accepted?
How much do I tip?
Restaurants/room service
Standard tipping in New Orleans is 15 to 20 percent of your bill, or 25 percent if you were extremely happy with your meal and service. Taxis: Like restaurants, 15 to 20 percent of your fare is a typical tip for taxis, more if they were particularly nice or helpful.
It’s standard to give between $2-$3 cash to bellhops who help with your luggage and the valet each time you retrieve your car.
It’s common to leave a tip of $2 per day of your stay to the housekeeping staff of your hotel, which you can leave in the room when you go. Some hotels leave envelopes for such tips, but if they don’t, a quick note saying “Thank you” will suffice. Tour guides: If you take one of the NOLA’s many tours, your guide will surely appreciate a tip, generally between $5-$10 cash.

Are there local customs I should know?

The legal drinking age in New Orleans is 21. You can consume alcohol on the streets of The Big Easy as long as it’s not in a glass container. Some venues even permit you to bring drinks in from other places. In addition, some bars are open 24 hours.
If you’re asked, “Where y’at?” by a local, don’t give your physical location. They’re actually asking how you are or what’s going on.
Laissez les bon temps rouler
This is another phrase you might want to learn before visiting New Orleans. Meaning “Let the good times roll” in French, it just happens to be the city’s motto.
Frequently Asked Questions about New Orleans

We recommend staying at one of the most popular hotels in New Orleans, which include:

Some of the most popular restaurants in New Orleans include:

New Orleans is known for some of its popular attractions, which include:

If you're a more budget-conscious traveler, then you may want to consider traveling to New Orleans between June and August, when hotel prices are generally the lowest. Peak hotel prices generally start between September and November.