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New Orleans
Travel Guide

New Orleans

Listen to jazz at its best, eat spicy Creole food and dress in costume for parades and festivities during Mardi Gras in this fascinating southern U.S. city.

New Orleans took a battering from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but the city is gradually returning to normal and opening its arms to visitors in the spirit of true Southern hospitality. This French-flavoured community on the banks of the legendary Mississippi River has seen plenty of good times and bad times, but its infectious joie de vivre is unstoppable.

Founded by the French Regent Phillippe d’Orleans in 1718, the city spent a number of years under Spanish control before returning to French ownership, eventually becoming part of the United States of America in 1803. Sugar and cotton plantation workers came first from Europe and Africa, and subsequent immigration from other continents has given the city its characteristically multicultural flavour. Influences of Creole, African American and French culture can be felt everywhere, from food to architecture, faith to art.

Of course, one of the most famous products of this cultural melting pot is the music for which the city is world-famous – jazz! The slave songs of the cotton fields gradually morphed into the Dixieland sound made famous by locally born legend Louis Armstrong, among others. On any given night in Bourbon Street you can hear great jazz pouring out of the bars and clubs, while the Mardi Gras parades leading up to Lent fill the narrow streets of the historic French Quarter with marching bands and brightly coloured floats.

Jackson Square is a magnet for artists, tarot card readers and street performers, as well as a great place to sample classic Creole cuisine for a fraction of the cost of an upmarket restaurant. Treat yourself to a steaming bowl of jambalaya or spicy gumbo, then cross the street to the historic Café du Monde for one of their famous French-style beignets and a cup of chicory-flavoured café au lait.

The influence of Voodoo is still strongly felt in New Orleans, and guided tours of the city’s ancient cemeteries may well convince you that the spirits are still active. Atmospheric Lafayette Cemetery is often used by horror film crews, while leaving a gift on the grave of the queen of Voodoo, Marie Laveau, in St. Louis Cemetery is said to make wishes come true.

Getting around on foot is easy in this flat and compact city, although it’s fun to take a trip on one of the trams (known locally as street cars) that rattle through the winding streets of playwright Tennessee Williams’ beloved French Quarter, past the ornate balconies and elegant facades of Spanish-colonial houses, hotels and shops. Taxis are plentiful and public transport is cheap and reliable, but parking can be expensive and hard to find and navigating the criss-crossing streets by car can be challenging for those unfamiliar with the layout of the city.

New Orleans Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in New Orleans

Royal Sonesta New Orleans
Royal Sonesta New Orleans
4.5 out of 5
300 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA
The price is AU$223 per night from 16 May to 16 May
Located in French Quarter, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Bourbon Street and Jackson Square. French Market and National World War II Museum ...
4.3/5Excellent! (2,142 reviews)
"Great location. Very clean and friendly staff."

Reviewed on 11 May 2021

Royal Sonesta New Orleans
New Orleans Marriott
New Orleans Marriott
4 out of 5
555 Canal St, New Orleans, LA
The price is AU$199 per night from 23 May to 23 May
Located in French Quarter, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Canal Street and Jackson Square. Cafe Du Monde and French Market are also within 15 minutes. ...
4.3/5Excellent! (1,615 reviews)
"convenient, walking distance"

Reviewed on 11 May 2021

New Orleans Marriott
Wyndham New Orleans - French Quarter
Wyndham New Orleans - French Quarter
4 out of 5
124 Royal St, New Orleans, LA
The price is AU$152 per night from 25 May to 25 May
Located in French Quarter, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Canal Street, Royal Street and Bourbon Street. Harrah's New Orleans Casino and Jackson Square ...
4.2/5Excellent! (2,459 reviews)
"The hotel a accommodations were nice and the parking was convenient."

Reviewed on 10 May 2021

Wyndham New Orleans - French Quarter
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Luxury Condos in California Building by Hosteeva
Luxury Condos in California Building by Hosteeva
3.5 out of 5
1111 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, LA
The price is AU$255 per night from 1 Jun. to 1 Jun.
Located in New Orleans Central Business District, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Canal Street, Harrah's New Orleans Casino and Mercedes-Benz Superdome. ...
4.2/5Excellent! (310 reviews)
"This property is perfect, not too far and not too close to the French Quarter. Also, very spacious with a beautiful view of the city. The only issue was parking, we had to park in a structure nearby, that charges $20 a day."

Reviewed on 12 May 2021

Luxury Condos in California Building by Hosteeva
Bluegreen Vacations Club La Pension
Bluegreen Vacations Club La Pension
3 out of 5
115 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA
The price is AU$342 per night from 11 Jun. to 11 Jun.
Located in French Quarter, this boutique condominium resort is steps away from Audubon Insectarium, Canal Street and Decatur Street. Harrah's New Orleans Casino ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (690 reviews)
Must do
"Very welcoming service is outstanding!! I loved everything about this hotel. For sure safety... VERY VERY VERY SATISFIED!!"

Reviewed on 17 Mar. 2020

Bluegreen Vacations Club La Pension
Factors Row by Sextant
Factors Row by Sextant
3.5 out of 5
822 Perdido Street, New Orleans, LA
The price is AU$474 per night from 24 May to 24 May
Located in New Orleans Central Business District, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Canal Street, Bourbon Street and Royal Street. Harrah's ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (321 reviews)
"This property was amazing! I’m not a big hotel fan. I like to have room to spread out, so this apartment was perfect (especially for the price). The bedrooms were large, and the beds were very comfortable. The location is walkable to most things. Only a few blocks to all the action and restaurants, ..."

Reviewed on 24 Mar. 2021

Factors Row by Sextant
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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