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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

Astor Crowne Plaza New Orleans French Quarter
Astor Crowne Plaza New Orleans French Quarter
4.5 out of 5
739 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA
Fully refundable
The price is AU$174 per night from 16 Aug. to 16 Aug.
Located in French Quarter, this luxury hotel is steps away from Canal Street, Bourbon Street and Royal Street. Decatur Street and Saenger Theatre are also within ...
3.9/5Good! (2,819 reviews)
"The location was great"

Reviewed on 2 Aug. 2021

Astor Crowne Plaza New Orleans French Quarter
Bourbon Orleans Hotel
Bourbon Orleans Hotel
3.5 out of 5
717 Orleans St., New Orleans, LA
The price is AU$236 per night from 1 Sep. to 1 Sep.
Located in French Quarter, this historic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Jackson Square, Cafe Du Monde and French Market. Canal Street and National World ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (1,394 reviews)
"Walking distance to Jackson Park, Bourbon Street and all the popular tourist sites."

Reviewed on 4 Aug. 2021

Bourbon Orleans Hotel
New Orleans Marriott
New Orleans Marriott
4 out of 5
555 Canal St, New Orleans, LA
The price is AU$183 per night from 22 Aug. to 22 Aug.
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! (1,884 reviews)
"Very small bedrooms."

Reviewed on 2 Aug. 2021

New Orleans Marriott
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.
Homewood Suites by Hilton New Orleans French Quarter
Homewood Suites by Hilton New Orleans French Quarter
3 out of 5
317 N. Rampart, New Orleans, LA
The price is AU$174 per night from 11 Aug. to 11 Aug.
Located in French Quarter, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Saenger Theatre, Louis Armstrong Park and Preservation Hall. Jackson Square and French ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (961 reviews)
"Great location but far enough away that it was queit."

Reviewed on 2 Aug. 2021

Homewood Suites by Hilton New Orleans French Quarter
Sonder - Duncan Plaza
Sonder - Duncan Plaza
4 out of 5
925 Common Street, New Orleans, LA
The price is AU$210 per night from 11 Aug. to 11 Aug.
Located in New Orleans Central Business District, this aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of Canal Street, Bourbon Street and Saenger Theatre. Royal Street ...
4.1/5Very Good! (108 reviews)
"The experience of not dealing with anyone while checking in was new but hassle free as well. Communication was great and being able to understand the dos and donts while staying in a Sonder hotel was amazing. Very clean room, very well equipped kitchen for my family and a even better location close ..."

Reviewed on 7 Jul. 2021

Sonder - Duncan Plaza
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$282 per night from 9 Aug. to 9 Aug.
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. ...
4.2/5Very Good! (326 reviews)
"Property was within walking of everything. Far enough not to hear any outside noise at night. Only improvement would be to add more mirrors, only mirror was in the bathroom which we had to take turns to use."

Reviewed on 3 Jul. 2021

Luxury Condos in California Building by Hosteeva
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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