New Orleans is unlike any other city. New Orleans is known for its eclectic background, which includes African, Caribbean, French, Spanish, Creole, Cajun, and Native American influences, and offers cuisine, music, language, and architecture unlike any other place on the planet.
Jazz, a mash-up of West African, Caribbean, ragtime, blues, and French dance music, was formed here. Shellfish, wild game, smoked meats, mirepoix (AKA the holy trinity: onion, celery, and bell pepper), many varieties of rice, and ground pepper sauces tempered with herbs are all included in New Orleans’ cuisine.
The majority of New Orleans residents speak English, sometimes in the weirdly New York-sounding “Yat” accent; only a few speak Cajun or Creole. Though New Orleans is famed for its Voodoo spirituality, a blend of West African religion and Catholicism, only a small fraction of the population adheres to it.
A few additional localisms, most restaurants, and bars will let you depart with alcoholic beverages in plastic or paper “go-cups;” a “faubourg” is a neighborhood or suburb, and medians between traffic lanes are referred to locally as “neutral ground.”
Whether you’re traveling alone, in a group, or with a family, there are hundreds of accommodation alternatives to meet your preferences. New Orleans is notably well-known for its premium boutique hotels and charming inns near the French Quarter. However, there are other neighborhoods outside of the city center that is equally lively and significantly less pricey in comparison. Experience New Orleans’ unique culture and rich history by making your reservations on bookings.com.
Best Area to Stay in New Orleans
If you want to be close to jazz, the thing that New Orleans is best at, you can choose Marigny/Bywater. Mid-City is the ideal area to be close to both local life and the riverside. If you are interested in old buildings and architecture, you can stay in the French Quarter, and if you are close to fancy restaurants and bars, you can stay in the New Orleans Downtown – Business Center / Central Business District (CBD).
Uptown is great for local life, there are too many historical buildings. If you are looking for an area that is silent and calm, you can stay in Uptown.
Famous Street in New Orleans: Bourbon Street
Bourbon Street, located within the French Quarter, is one of the most renowned streets in the United States. Bourbon Street, which stretches 13 blocks from Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue, is not for the faint of heart. Bourbon Street is never quiet, even in the early hours of the morning, with blazing neon lights inviting visitors into intriguing bars, nightclubs, and even strip spots. Bourbon Street has an interesting history. The street was named for a French aristocratic family, not after the booze, as many people believe.
Even if you don’t stay near the street, Bourbon Street is a must-see on every trip to New Orleans. While Bourbon Street is most known for its rowdy clubs and loud nightlife, it also has several historical landmarks. The Royal Sonesta Hotel, which debuted in 1969 on Bourbon Street, is worth a look inside. Galatoire’s is a prominent fine-dining establishment and one of the street’s oldest restaurants, having been established in 1905.
Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, near the intersection of Bourbon and St. Undeniably, Bourbon Street is the greatest spot to party in New Orleans and a popular destination for many types of events. While Bourbon Street is lively all year, the Southern Decadence Festival over Labor Day weekend is an LGBTQ-friendly festival, while Carnival and Mardi Gras in early spring bring in thousands of tourists and excitement.
However, if you have a large group and are looking for the tremendous party energy that New Orleans is known for, Bourbon Street is the place to be. Because the street is so busy, it might be difficult to find hotels with available rooms on short notice, especially as Carnival approaches.
You could be better off staying somewhere else on our list and taking a day trip to Bourbon Street.
Best Place to Stay in New Orleans: French Quarter
Live music, particularly jazz, is prevalent here, and you’re likely to hear trumpets and brass bands performing at all hours of the night. Bourbon Street, the stuff of partying legend, is the most renowned street here.
Because Bourbon Street is so popular, our guide will contain a special section on it. But the French Quarter isn’t only about drinking and partying.
The bohemian history alone is worth seeing, where you’ll learn about the long-lasting tales that have shaped New Orleans into what it is today.
While there are numerous things to do in the French Quarter, visiting Jackson Square is a must-do. In the center of the French Quarter, this is the ideal spot to sit and watch live acts while people-watching.
This architectural marvel features three spires and a stunning interior design that is still available to the public today. In the square’s center, there is also a magnificent statue of Andrew Jackson.
The Cabildo and The Presbytere are two historically noteworthy structures that front Jackson Square. The Presbytere now serves as a modest museum, with two permanent displays highlighting Louisiana history and the role New Orleans played in the state’s resilience.
The Cabildo, which is also overseen by the State Museum of Louisiana, details the history of slavery and racism in Louisiana, as well as the impact of colonialism.
Take a stroll along Pirates Alley, a narrow street crammed with old houses, intriguing stores, and a distinct New Orleans heritage. When you’re hungry, go to Cafe du Monde, a classic cafe that serves the greatest beignets in town.
There are also plenty of locations to have a drink. Going on a bar crawl is a traditional French Quarter activity. Make sure to taste a sazerac, New Orleans’ signature cocktail prepared with cognac or whiskey.
Finally, New Orleans is a major center for jazz and live music, so be sure to see a show. Local musicians are frequently featured at bars such as The Funky Pirate on Bourbon Street and Preservation Hall on St. Peter Street.
So sit back and relax, or kick up your heels to the great brass music that will be played all night.
A Unique Place to Stay in New Orleans: Uptown
This region of the city features the St. Charles Avenue streetcar, large historic houses, Tulane and Loyola Universities, the lovely Audubon Park and Zoo, and many renowned local organizations. It’s distant from the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter, providing culture without the crazy, yet is easily accessible by many ways of transportation.
During Mardi Gras, it’s a terrific spot to be since the parades flow down St. Charles in a very family-friendly setting. There are neighborhood cafes, Po-boy shops, long-running family eateries, and numerous popular sites for snow-balls, New Orleans’ favorite summertime pleasure.
This century-plus Victorian villa nestled away in River-bend serves some of the city’s greatest contemporary Creole dishes. Chef Frank Brigtsen refreshes classic recipes in a simple and delightful way.
NOLA Brewing Company, Tchoupitoulas Street, on the edges of the Irish Channel, offers a diverse assortment of creative, regionally influenced artisan brews.
Tipitina’s is a destination for music fans, but even those who aren’t into music will get swept up in the atmosphere. Since 1977, this unique venue has been a destination for live music and weekly Cajun dancing sessions. The standing-room-only venue is ideal for witnessing a local band while learning about musical history.
The Chloe, the crew behind renowned venues Sylvain and Barrel Proof meticulously refurbished this Victorian-era home on St. Charles Avenue. With just 14 rooms, you’ll feel right at home in rooms with soaking baths and local art.
Magazine Street is a six-mile stretch of one-of-a-kind local boutiques, art galleries, neighborhood taverns, popular restaurants, and colorful architecture.
One of the Nicest Neighborhoods in New Orleans: Downtown
The Central Business District, located immediately across Canal Street from the French Quarter, houses the majority of New Orleans’ office buildings, as well as the Warehouse District and the freshly formed South Market District. Traditionally a destination for city business visitors, it has evolved into a fashionable food, drink, and cultural center.
The Warehouse Area, which began to evolve in the late 1980s, is now a full-fledged arts district, complete with famous art galleries and museums. The CBD also houses the Orpheum and Saenger Theaters, as well as the Superdome, which is home to the New Orleans Saints.
There are many locations aimed at office workers for a fast, affordable snack, but there are also some of the city’s most talked-about restaurants, such as Cochon, Peche, and Emeril’s.
Butcher Cochon, a smaller spinoff of chefs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski’s legendary Cochon, has emerged as a favored destination for a Cajun-influenced, meat-centric lunch.
The Sazerac Bar, Huey Long enjoyed this magnificent bar within the historic Roosevelt Hotel. Sit at the long wood bar, drink a Sazerac or a Ramos gin fizz, and gaze out the window at the renowned Paul Ninas murals.
Julia Avenue, The Warehouse District’s “Gallery Row” on Julia Street is a collection of more than a dozen art galleries housed in former stores. The architecture offers a one-of-a-kind backdrop for perusing classic and contemporary art. Every month on the first Saturday, galleries have coordinated openings with a lively ambiance.
The Virgin Hotel adds even more trendy cred to the CBD by providing relaxed accommodations within walking distance of the Quarter. The rooms are stylish and comfortable, and there are lots to do and see surrounding the hotel.
If you just accomplish one thing, visit the National WWII Museum, a world-class complex with award-winning exhibits that tell the lives of people who served in WWII and at home.
Marigny/Bywater Where New Orleans Stays
Downriver from the French Quarter, across Esplanade Avenue, are two of the city’s trendiest areas, sometimes referred to as one continuous neighborhood. The young and hip are drawn to this region, which is attracting an ever-increasing population of the in-the-know.
Although hotel companies have yet to establish themselves, there are many bed & breakfasts and a few smaller inns to pick from. The furthest areas of Bywater are best reached by cab or rideshare, however, the energetic may comfortably walk around the region during daytime hours.
Colorful Creole cottages and old residences with modest cafés and shops, a few art galleries and cool record stores, and the riverside Crescent Park are all here.
Adolfo’s, this small, cash-only restaurant offering Creole Italian – a local specialty blending Italian and local French elements – is perched above the lively Frenchmen Street, up a narrow flight of steps near the Apple Barrel pub.
Wine for a Party, while Bacchanal is no longer a residents’ secret, it retains its own local charm and eccentric hideaway vibe. This wine shop/hangout with a charming “treehouse” bar and beautiful rear terrace is located at the far end of the Bywater.
Jamnola, this interactive project in the Marigny combines joy, art, and music. The 5,500-square-foot warehouse facility has been transformed into a selfie utopia, complete with bright, colorful rooms built by local artists to celebrate local art, music, and culture.
Hotel Peter & Paul is housed in a former Catholic church and school that has been transformed into one of New Orleans’ most beautiful hotels.
On Frenchmen, you can support live, local music. Experience the music up close, whether it’s a brass band at d.b.a, reggae at Cafe Negril, or trad jazz at Snug Harbor.
Mid-City The Ravaged Path Shining Pearl
Consider Mid-City for a true neighborhood excursion distant from – but yet accessible to – the French Quarter. It is located midway between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain and provides easy access to both sites via streetcar or taxi/rideshare.
Overachievers may cycle to the Quarter through the Lafitte Greenway, a 2.6-mile paved track. Mid-City is a vibrant, varied neighborhood that is host to the world-famous annual Jazz and Heritage Festival. In the Bayou St. John neighborhood, you’ll discover an artsy crowd and colorful residences, as well as historic sites along Bayou Road.
The Parkway Bakery & Tavern, this family-owned, informal neighborhood eatery is a great place to get classic, loaded po’boys.
Although it has risen in prominence, the courteous staff still looks after the residents while welcoming tourists. The shrimp are perfectly fried, the roast beef is appropriately messy, and the Barq’s is served icy cold.
Finn McCool is an Irish pub with a local character and is one of the city’s best neighborhood bars. You’ll feel like a regular as soon as you order your first beer, which is lively and completely unpretentious. It’s a popular hangout for Saints and soccer fans, and their weekly pub quiz night is especially rowdy.
The City Park is a 1,300-acre natural oasis filled with moss-drenched trees, tranquil strolling trails, and local wildlife. The park contains the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Botanical Gardens, and both mini- and normal golf courses.
Inn on Canal Street is a lovely Canal Street B&B that is close to the streetcar. The home’s exquisite decor is unique, and the handmade meals are filling.
Go to Rock ‘n Bowl to have some fun while knocking down some pins. Even if you don’t bowl, Rock ‘n Bowl is one of the best places to hear live music, from blues to zydeco, and the dance floor is constantly packed.
Treme The Dive Inn New Orleans
Faubourg Treme, or simply “Treme,” is a historic neighborhood on the north side of the French Quarter. Originally known as “Back of Town,” a massive development project was launched to rehabilitate and refurbish this amazing region, drawing on its rich historical value, jazz and brass band tradition, and Creole origins. Treme, one of the city’s oldest districts, is arguably most known for being the primary home location for free people of color in the 1950s and 1960s. Many people believe this region to be the home of both jazz and the southern Civil Rights Movement.
Since then, the region has come back to life, with some incredible things to see and do. Treme has produced some renowned artists and musicians, and a lasting artistic culture thrives on its streets. Treme begins in Armstrong Park, which is named after legendary jazz musician Louis Armstrong and is just a short walk from the French Quarter.
The Backstreet Cultural Museum houses several precious antiques honoring Creole artisanship, second-line ancestry, and Mardi Gras Indians, as well as modern photography.
Exploring Treme’s unique cultural cuisine is an ideal excursion for foodies. You’ll sample some of New Orleans’ greatest southern comfort cuisine, brunch, and cocktails. There aren’t many hotels in the Treme neighborhood, but there are a few tiny B&Bs and guest houses for a more genuine stay. Treme does offer true, low-key pubs and taverns with live jazz music and plenty of regulars eager to tell their experiences.
If you want to get away from the dazzling glamour and have a cultural experience, this is the place to stay in New Orleans.
Cool Place to Stay in New Orleans: Garden District
This neighborhood was formerly home to multiple Southern plantations, giving you a sense of New Orleans’ antebellum heritage. The plantations were later subdivided into smaller residential lots, each with its own beautiful garden, giving rise to the district’s name. The Garden District today has world-class restaurants, galleries, entertainment, and even the occasional celebrity. This peaceful spot is ideal for taking a break, sitting down, and watching the world go by.
Magazine Street, located on the Garden District’s southern outskirts, lacks the glitzy southern palaces of St. The neighboring Garden District Marketplace is an 8,000 square foot marketplace with up to 90 different food, art, and craft merchants representing New Orleans’ many local enterprises. This gloomy ‘city of the dead’, packed with elevated graves and mausoleums, is one of New Orleans’ most recognized attractions. The neighboring Garden District Book Shop is a local and visiting favorite. The book shop has author signings, book readings, and other events on a regular basis, and also has hundreds of volumes about Louisiana and New Orleans history.
In terms of lodging, the Garden District has a lot to offer at a variety of pricing ranges. You may stay at big brand-name hotels or at a smaller B&B or boutique hotel, which are popular in the Garden District. There are several wonderful college and dive pubs in this neighborhood for a casual beverage, as well as more upmarket establishments that bring the Garden District to life.