New Orleans is a bustling small city, nestled next to the Mississippi River and very famous for its signature dishes: Cajun crawfish, fried chicken with special sauce, … Besides, this place also has a lot of interesting attractions along with mysterious spiritual stories. It is also known as the cradle of American music, whether your favorite genre is Jazz, Rock or soothing Ballad, all can be found here. New Orleans is also an European and Caribbean city of America, bearing bold cultural features of French, Spanish, Haitian and Cuban. So, what to do and how to visit New Orleans? Let’s check out our New Orleans travel blog (New Orleans blog) with the fullest New Orleans travel guide blog (New Orleans guide) for the budget and best trip to New Orleans for the first-timers to find out the answer!
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New Orleans is known as a city by many names, all of which sound hilarious. “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” (is a Cajun French phrase which means “Let the good times roll!”) is like the city itself. New Orleans is famous for its French-inspired dishes – Creole and Cajun, for its outdoor jazz performances, and the love of life abounds everywhere. Life is always active, vibrant, bustling, full of positive in this city.
After spending hours of immersing in the beautiful streets, relaxing with jazz and eating as much crawfish as possible, I wrote an article about the New Orleans travel guide that could not be more detailed below.
New Orleans travel blog: Overview of New Orleans
New Orleans was founded in 1718 as a small but extremely beautiful city located in the southeastern region of Louisiana, USA. New Orleans covers an area of about 906.1 km² and a population of nearly 500 thousand people. New Orleans is also considered one of the largest port cities in the United States. It is also the homeland of Jazz, along with extremely unique multiracial cultural heritages.
I traveled to New Orleans for the first-time in 2006, while on a journey across America. It was the time right after the terrible Hurricane Katrina, which made the city desolate, with empty buildings, trashy scattered across the streets, making the city look like an abandoned town. However, I was especially impressed by the local people’s positive attitude to life. More than ten years later, when returned here, I saw a clear change in the city. Not only cleaner, but many areas of the city changed dramatically. All make the city become one of the top tourist destinations in the US.
Traveling to New Orleans, you will experience many different shades of the city. If by day, New Orleans is gentle and charming like a village girl, at night it becomes extremely hot and fascinating with lots of entertainment venues always bustling in the vibrant music. Even many people even call New Orleans as “sinful city” because the Bourbon street here converges many famous nightclubs, pubs and bars.
New Orleans travel guide blog: When to visit?
New Orleans is influenced by a humid subtropical climate, with a short winter, mild weather and hot and humid summers, rarely snowing. However, due to its low elevation, New Orleans often suffers from heavy storms. Compared to many other US cities, this place has extremely favorable weather conditions for you to travel at any time of the year.
The New Orleans peak tourist season takes place from February to May every year. This is the time when the climate is cool, pleasant and also the time where there are many festivals and special celebrations, with many exciting activities and entertainment. This is also the best time to visit New Orleans, however, this is also the time when the number of tourists from all over the world flock to New Orleans very much, leading to higher hotel and service prices. If you plan to visit this time, you need to book the hotel about 3 months in advance.
If you want to have a budget trip to New Orleans, do not suffer from the crowds, you should come here between December and early January next year.
In case you want to avoid high hotel room rates, opt for a trip to New Orleans during the summer or winter months. Summer in the city often has thunderstorms, the temperature is quite high, but it is suitable for fun activities and exploration thanks to the warm weather. Winter in New Orleans is not too cold, often with outstanding events like Christmas and lots of fun activities.
New Orleans blog: How to get to New Orleans?
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is located in the Kenner suburb, about 20 kilometers from the city center. From Vietnam, there are many airlines that are operating routes to this airport for you to choose from such as: Korean Air, American Airlines, United Airlines, … Of which Korean Air is a quality airline with good fares. This is the right choice for your self-sufficient trip, but you will need to transit at at least 1 or 2 points to arrive.
If you traveling from other cities in the US to New Orleans, visitors can choose from other means of transport such as train, or car. Some beautiful routes to New Orleans like I-10, I-55, US90, and US61 are perfect for you sightseeing throughout the journey.
New Orleans guide: Transportation in New Orleans
To getting around the city, one of the most popular ways is the tram (street car). This is not only a type of transportation, but also a tourist attraction of the city.
Buses with many routes throughout the city are also a top choice for travelers traveling in New Orleans.
Biking is another popular way to explore New Orleans, you’ll find bikes at bike rental spots in the city.
Because the city center is quite small and tourist attractions also located close together, walking is also a perfect way to explore New Orleans. These are all good ways to travel on a budget.
New Orleans travel blog: Accommodation in New Orleans
Due to a popular tourist city, New Orleans offers a wide variety of accommodation for all tourist needs. Here, you can find many luxury 5-star hotels such as Windsor Court Hotel (Agoda.com or Booking.com), Ritz-Carlton New Orleans (Agoda.com or Booking.com), Roosevelt New Orleans (Agoda.com or Booking.com), … Or boutique hotels located in historic streets.
According to the New Orleans travel experience of many tourists, they often choose to stay in the French Quarter such as Grenoble House (Agoda.com or Booking.com), because it has many great accommodations, moreover it is close to attractions, and there is a tram for convenient traveling. The atmosphere in this neighborhood also gives a special feeling to your trip.
Below we recommend more best cheap, budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
Hotel Monteleone, a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $141/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Place d’Armes Hotel, a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $119/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Hotel Provincial, a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $116/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Royal Sonesta New Orleans, a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $144/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Omni Royal Orleans, a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $144/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
There are many other good hotels in New Orleans, you can easily choose from Agoda.com, Booking.com.
New Orleans travel guide blog: Experiences should not be missed when traveling to New Orleans
New Orleans is a vibrant city with a rich history, it has gone through a difficult time, but has changed dramatically since then. The rich food, music and beautiful scenes make New Orleans become a destination that attracts many American tourists and the world as well. Here are the places you should visit, experiences you should try.
An area that I really love in New Orleans, it features massive ornate historic castles, with some of the city’s trendiest restaurants and bars. This area was built and developed in 1832 for the newly rich and wealthy people. Let spend a few hours wandering the streets, admiring historic castles and famous cemeteries, you’ll love this place as much as I do.
Riverfront / Warehouse area
Located right between the Garden District and the French Quater neighborhood, the area has seen a staggering revival over the past few years as abandoned old warehouses have been reused into shops and art galleries and trendy restaurants. If you choose to visit here, take a walk on the paved streets, drop by the art galleries and walk along the banks of the Mississippi River.
After visiting these two locations above, head straight to the famous French Quarter, where you can admiring old French houses dating back to the 18th century with curling iron balcony fences curved that very artistic.
The area was settled by the French in 1718, until now it has become a paradise for wine lovers in Bourbon Street, antique shops on Royal Street, and culinary enthusiasts looking for the best Cajun in the city. In addition, you can also see Jackson Square, St. Louis Church, stunning houses and top-notch bars and pubs, walk along the neighborhood and you will have a chance to admire the beautiful old architecture from the 18th and 19th centuries.
French Quarter in New Orleans is also considered a great place for you to enjoy countless delicious foods and immerse in the melodious music of the unique bars. You can also find unique gifts in souvenir shops.
Not only a famous sightseeing spot in New Orleans, Jackson Square also known as Place d’Armes is also considered the heart of the city. Here, you will have the opportunity to visit many famous and impressive architectural works such as St. Louis Church, Cabildo, Presbytère, and Pontalba Building … Not only that, Jackson Square is also the place featured street art events regularly. This is a great place for you to explore New Orleans’ unique culture.
Located in the center of the square courtyard is a horse-riding statue of General Andrew Jackson, sculptured in 1856. Next to it is St. Louis church in pure white paint, with its bell tower’s pyramid-shaped architecture is extremely unique and impressive.
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
One of the must-vist places in New Orleans is Audubon Aquarium. This aquarium is located right next to the banks of the Mississipi River. With a large area, Audubon Aquarium is divided into 4 different areas including: the Amazon rainforest, the Mississipi River, the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Maya Reef gallery. The special thing of Audubon Aquarium is that you not only can explore the ocean world, but also have the opportunity to see hundreds of macaws with colorful colors.
Address: 1 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70130, United States
Opened: September 1, 1990
Hours: 10AM–5PM / Tuesday, Wednesday: Closed
New Orleans Ghost, Voodoo & Vampire Walking Tour
The tour is a collection of underground religious activities from Africa brought to the city by slaves. From ghostly tales of vampires to ghost queen Marie Laveau, this city has a certain scary atmosphere. This tour will take you through the French Quarter and the graveyard here, and introduce you to the city’s ghost stories.
Spirits of New Orleans: Ghosts, Voodoo and Stories Private Tour
Before the Civil War, slavery enriched many of the planters here, and they built elaborate, epic houses to show off their wealth. The 1850 House is one of historical evidence from this period, when it still remains intact as it was before the Civil War. Coming to New Orleans, you must visit this place, it is located right next to Jackson Square and is currently managed by the city council.
Address: 523 St Ann St #3318, New Orleans, LA 70116, United States
Hours: 10AM–4PM/Monday: Closed
New Orleans is not just an ordinary city. It owns three beautiful parks (City Park, Louis Armstrong Park, Audubon Park – St. Charles), and I think you should definitely visit one of them. There are clear ponds, aged oak trees and a quiet space for you to relax and energize yourself after a long New Orleans travel itinerary.
Despite its small size, New Orleans still owns a large and beautiful of City Park. This park was founded in 1854. It is covered with lots of greenery. Including old oak trees with a lifetime up to more than 600 years. Walking around the City Park, you will see the beautiful fountains, admire the unique iron art. Not only that, located right next to the park are many famous attractions you can visit such as New Orleans Museum of Art, Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, Carousel Gardens Amusement Park.
Address: 1 Palm Dr, New Orleans, LA 70124, United States
Steamboat Natchez Boat Tour
Traveling to New Orleans you should not miss the opportunity to explore the Mississippi River on the Steamboat Natchez boat. This steamboat will take you along the river so you can freely enjoy the beautiful views on both sides. When joining this tour, you are also served lunch with delicious and attractive dishes.
Listen to music on French Quarter
From street bands to jazz teahouses, the city of New Orleans has music in its veins. Spend a relaxing evening listening to the great music on French Streets, whether it’s on the street or the tea room is enjoyable.
Oak Alley Plantation
Get out of New Orleans and head straight to the famous Oak Alley plantation. It was a house of twenty-eight large, perfectly planted oak trees along the banks of the Mississippi River. The interior of the house is nothing special, but the more you go inside you will be curious, with gardens, large oak trees in the vast orchard and exhibits of slave life. Try to get here early or late to avoid noisy tours.
Oak Alley or Laura Plantation Tour with Transportation from New Orleans Hotels
Address: 3645 LA-18, Vacherie, LA 70090, United States
Area: 10 ha
The National WWII Museum
This is the largest museum in America to display about this WWII. With the sound system, images and exhibits, the personal stories associated with the history of the war gave me an unexpected impression. I have spent more than three hours here and still cannot visit all. Although the admission ticket is quite expensive (USD21) but I strongly recommend you visit. A few veterans still come here from time to time, if you are lucky you will hear historical stories from themselves while admiring the photos here.
Address: 945 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130, United States
Civil War Museum
I’ve always been fascinated by the civil war history museums, especially in the South. This museum exhibits more than 5000 historical artifacts and has painted a picture of their patriotism and combat purposes for their honor. It is an attractive place in New Orleans for history lovers.
Address: 929 Camp St, New Orleans, LA 70130, United States
Hours: 10AM–4PM/Sunday, Monday, Tuesday: Closed
It is a historic music spot located in the French Quarter which working to protect, preserve and perpetuate the spirit of traditional New Orleans jazz.
New Orleans Jazz Tour with Local Guide
Address: 726 St Peter, New Orleans, LA 70116, United States
Hours: 12–4PM, 5–7PM, 8–11PM
In addition you can visit some other places such as:
- Audubon Zoo
- Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
- New Orleans Museum of Art
- Louisiana State Museum Cabildo
- St. Louis Church
New Orleans travel blog: What to eat?
Not only music and art, New Orleans is also known as a food city. Locals are always obsessed with food, during lunch they might even discuss dinner. The city’s cuisines are created on the basis of Creole and Cajun recipes, offering a variety of flavors. There are many local dishes for you to enjoy such as Gumbo, Louisiana Crawfish Etouffee, Jambalaya, …
In addition, the restaurants in New Orleans also reflect a variety of cultures, with influential French, African, Spanish, German, Italian and Caribbean cuisines. Even today, you can find both Asian and Latin American dishes in this city.
New Orleans blog: Shopping
For your shopping needs, New Orleans offers many ideal locations for you. From antique shops, art galleries, Boutique shops, large department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue (Address: 301 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70130, United States/Hours: 11AM–7PM;Sunday: 12–6PM) is the place to find these items. Royal Street has many souvenir shops, antique shops. Magazine Street, shops at Canal Place, French market are all prominent shopping spots of New Orleans.
With the aforementioned New Orleans travel guide you will easily plan your trip. Just know the information about New Orleans accommodation, attractions, ways to travel, eat, shop, and you will get the most economical trip to the most attractive destination in the US. Happy traveling!
New Orleans travel blog: Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to New Orleans you can refer to
- New Orleans Jazz Tour with Local Guide
- Go New Orleans – All Inclusive Pass
- Haunted Ghost Tour by NOLA Ghost Riders
- New Orleans Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
- Spirits of New Orleans: Ghosts, Voodoo and Stories Private Tour
- New Orleans Cocktail and Jazz Guided Tour
- French Quarter Food Tour in New Orleans
- New Orleans Cocktail History Walking Tour
- New Orleans Food, Cocktails, and Jazz Tour
- Lonely Planet Experiences New Orleans Cocktail Tour
Are you looking for more top things to do in New Orleans: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Let’s check it out here.