If you’re a big fan of the Netflix series ‘The Originals’ or the Disney classic ‘Princess and the Frog’, you know that the lively city of New Orleans is the epitome of fun! Known for its distinct Jazz music, Louisiana Creole cuisine, festivals and parades, it’s always a party in New Orleans. In this southern city, even a mournful, grim occasion like funerals are a cause for celebration to commemorate the life of the recently deceased. In fact, the city’s official motto is ‘Laissez les bons temps rouler!’, which translates to ‘Let the good times roll!’.
Interested in taking a trip down to the Crescent City? Well, here’s a compiled list of our top 15 must-see landmarks in New Orleans, Louisiana!
The National WW2 Museum
The National WW2 Museum is not only ranked as the top attraction in New Orleans by Trip Advisor, but it was also designated as America’s official museum on World War II by Congress. If you’re a history enthusiast, this 8th globally ranked museum is positively the place to go!
The museum features immersive exhibits, multimedia experiences, and extensive collections of over 250,000 artifacts, and over 9,000 personal accounts validating significant exhibits and research. It seeks to educate its visitors on the war that majorly impacted the world. This is to increase awareness of the country’s past and its fight for freedom.
This landmark is located in New Orleans’ Historic Warehouse District on Andrew Higgins Drive between Magazine and Camp Streets. Parking is available at a garage at the corner of Magazine and Poeyfarre Streets. Via public transport, take either bus 11, 15, or 91, or take New Orleans’ oldest form of transportation, and take Streetcar line 12.
Museum exhibits open daily from 9AM to 5PM
Ticket Prices: Adult $28.50 / Senior (65 & above) $24.50
Known as the Crown Jewel of New Orleans, the French Quarter is the oldest and most historic neighbourhood in the city. This national historic landmark is saturated with culture, history, and entertainment. As the heart and cultural center of New Orleans, the French Quarter is always buzzing with activities. Shop at the French Market, where a mix of modern boutiques and old antique stores combine to give you a dazzling shopping experience. Visit mad Madame LaLaurie’s mansion – a woman infamous for the murder and torture of slaves. Or take a walk on Bourbon Street, where the party never stops! From museums and tours to riverboat rides, this street is permeated with unique and exciting experiences at every corner.
Transportation-wise, the closest stations are N.Rampart at St. Ann and Decatur at St Peter. You can take bus lines 11, 28, 32, 57, 64, 88 or 91; or Streetcar Line 12.
St. Louis Cathedral
One of New Orleans’ most notable landmark as a cultural and architectural icon, is the St. Louis Cathedral. Standing proudly as the tallest and most striking structure in the French Quarter, this cathedral is infused with rich history and architectural prowess. Although being a Catholic house of worship, the cathedral has captivated visitors of all faith and ethnicities, where they admire its beautiful works of art such as its stained glass windows and paintings.
Located at 615 Pere Antoine Alley, the closest stations are Decatur at St. Peter, Decatur at Dumaine, and Toulouse Station. Via Streetcar, you take line 12, and via bus, you can take buses 11, 32, 57, 64, or 91.
Opens daily from 830AM to 4PM
Jackson Square – a national historic landmark nestled in the heart of the French Quarter. Its name was derived from Andrew Jackson, after the bronze statue placed at the center of the square. Host to numerous city events and celebrations, this historic park also served as a backdrop in popular films and television shows. Moreover, it’s a venue for street artists to openly display their work outside the iron fence. For a memorable souvenir, have your portrait painted with this popular backdrop! Or, relax at Cafe du Monde sipping some café au lait latte, and munching on beignets while taking in the sights.
Jackson Square is located on Decatur Street, between Jax Brewery Shopping Mall and the French Market, directly in front of St. Louis Cathedral. You can ride the Riverfront Streetcar to Jackson Square if you’re located near the Convention Center, if not, merely head towards the French Quarter.
Opens daily from 8AM to 7PM
Dance the night away at Bourbon street – where the party never stops! Located in the heart of the French Quarter, Bourbon Street is one of the most famous nightlife strips in the world. Vibrant, entertaining, nocturnal and rowdy are words often used to describe this neon-lit street, constantly throbbing with music and adorned with flung beads 24-7. Like its name suggests, the street is famous for its multiple bars, strip clubs and “Go-Cups” as its legal to consume alcohol within the French Quarter.
A few favourites of Bourbon Street include Old Absinthe House – a saloon that created the famous Absinthe House frappe; Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop – a cottage bar rumoured to be a blacksmith shop disguising the Lafitte brothers’ privateer efforts; And Lafitte-In-Exile – the oldest gay bar in the country.
New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum
Consistently ranked as one of the spookiest and most haunted cities in America, it’s only right to visit New Orleans’ Historic Voodoo Museum! Voodoo played a significant role in New Orleans’ culture. Explore this mysterious museum and uncover its secrets! Home to artifacts such as historic voodoo relics, paintings, and sculptures, visitors can learn more about Voodoo culture and its beliefs.
Curious about what your future holds? The museum also offers services from practitioners such as psychic readings, consultations, special gris-gris, rituals, and ceremonies. This small, unique museum also offers Cemetery Tours to the nearby St. Louis Cemetery – the City of the Dead, and the tomb of Marie Laveau.
Located at 724 Dumaine Street. Situated blocks away from Jackson Square, between Bourbon Street and Royal Street in the heart of the French Quarter.
Opens daily from 10AM to 6PM
Ticket Prices: General Admission $7 / Seniors, Military, College Students $5.50 / High School Students $4.50 / Under 12 years $3.50
New Orleans City Park
Ranked as the 20th most-visited urban park in the country, New Orleans City Park serves as the city’s largest outdoor attraction. With its magnificent, mature oak trees, quaint moss canopies, multiple themed gardens, and beautiful trails, biking and jogging here makes for an ideal location. Other exciting recreational activities also include golf, tennis, and horseback riding.
This picturesque park also contains various attractions within its borders such as Storyland – a themed playground, Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, New Orleans Museum of Art, Botanical Gardens, and the Festival Grounds where live concerts are held.
Located 1 Palm Drive, take the 48-City Park Streetcar on the Canal Street Streetcar line, and depart at either Lelong, Esplanade or Carrollton Avenues. For bus lines, you can take buses 27, 60, 91 or E-1.
Opens daily from 6AM to 6PM.
New Orleans Museum of Art
New Orleans Museum of Art – the oldest fine arts institution in New Orleans, possess a 200-million-dollar collection of over 40,000 objects that features a wide variety of works, such as French and American Art, photography, glass, and African and Japanese works. Additionally, the museum also features over 90 sculptures, situated on beautiful landscapes in their Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. It’s no wonder this museum earned its status as one of the top art museums in the South!
Located at One Collins Diboll Circle City Park, parking is available on Lelong Drive and around the museum. Take the Canal-City Park Streetcar line to Wisner Avenue and Esplanade Street or take buses 27, 60, 90 or 91.
Opens every Tuesday to Friday, 10AM to 6PM.
*Select Friday Nights due to special programming, 10AM to 9PM
Saturday, 10AM to 5PM & Sunday, 11AM to 5PM
*Closed every Monday
Ticket Prices: Adults $15 / Seniors (65 & above) $10 / 19 & below Free Admission
Harrah’s Casino New Orleans
Boasting over 1,500 slots, more than 130 table games, and a poker room with over 20 poker tables, Harrah’s Casino has a wide variety of exciting games for everyone! Don’t like the smell of smoke? Well, since 2015, Harrah’s Casino became a non-smoking establishment. However, if you smoke, that’s fine too! Now you can smoke and play in Harrah’s new, climate-controlled, Smoking Courtyard featuring over 60 slots and high-limit games.
All that stimulating fun and excitement is bound to leave your stomach grumbling. So, refuel with a New York Strip at The Steakhouse or with mouth-watering options at The Buffet! Feeling tired but can’t bear leaving all the action? Well, stay at Harrah’s Hotel – a luxurious AAA Four Diamond Award-winning hotel.
Located at 228 Poydras Street, the closest stations are Harrah’s Casino, Canal and Wells, Poydras at St. Peters, and Convention Center Boulevard. You can take streetcar lines 47 and 48; and buses 11, 16, 55, 64, or 91.
Unlike the bustling neighbourhood of the French, the Garden district emits an air of serenity and elegance. This neighbourhood boasts large, sophisticated mansions with refined landscapes, making it the main attraction of the district with its magnificent architecture. However, the Garden District also features other attractions that are not to be missed!
Visit the Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 – one of New Orleans’ famous above-ground graves which are not only beautiful but historic. Or, the Garden District Bookshop – one of the finest in the city with distinct interest in New Orleans and Louisiana-focused work. Sneak a peek at The Columns Hotel – one of the famous haunted places of the city due to its tragic past. However, with an interior so lavish and extravagant, ghosts would be the last thing on your mind. So, kick your feet back and treat yourself to a cocktail or two!
The closest stations to the Garden District are St. Charles at Washington, Third street, and Sixth street. Take streetcar line 12 or busses 11, 27 or 91.
Listen to smooth jazz live at New Orleans’ Preservation Hall! This traditional New Orleans jazz venue is a non-profit foundation associated with a touring band. This small, intimate venue aims to be the foundation of New Orleans music and culture, reviving Jazz through acoustic New Orleans Jazz concerts nightly.
Located at 726 St. Peter Street, the closest stations are Decatur at St Peter, Toulouse Station, Decatur at St. Louis, Decatur at Dumaine, and N. Peters at St. Louis. Take Streetcar Line 49 or bus lines 55, 64, 88 or 91.
Showtimes: Opens nightly at 5,6,8,9 & 10PM
General Admission Prices: $20
“Big Shot” Reservations: First Row Seats $50 / Second & Third Row Seats $40
Audubon Butterfly Garden
With over 50 live exhibits and several multi-media elements, this insectarium and entomology museum is the largest American facility dedicated to insects. Here, you can interact with insects, participate in an immersive theatre experience, and visit a tranquil Japanese butterfly garden. You can even put your freaky cooking skills to the test while you explore exotic bug culinary creations!
Located at 423 Canal Street, the nearest stations are Canal at Decatur, N. Peters at Canal, Canal at Magazine, and Canal at S. Peters. Bus lines that stop near the Butterfly Garden are 11 and 16.
Opens daily from 10AM to 430PM
Physical Tickets: Adults $22.95 / Child (2 to 12) $17.95 / Seniors (65 & above) $19.95
Online Tickets: Adults $18.95 / Child $13.95 / Seniors $15.95
St. Roch Market
The St. Roch Market – a destination fit for food lovers and the culinarily curious, features local, fresh produce from talented, independent vendors. With a variety of cuisines including traditional and contemporary Cereole dishes, this iconic food hall is bound to satisfy any craving.
The market is located around the corner of St. Claude Avenue and St. Roch Avenue, just on the edge of the Marigny neighbourhood. Parking is available behind Whitney Bank. Buses to the area include 55 and 88.
Opens Sunday to Thursday, 7AM to 10PM
And Friday to Saturday, 7AM to 11PM
Groove to the beat on this energetic, trendy street that’s constantly humming with music all night long. From traditional jazz to blues, and reggae to rock, the Frenchmen Street is home to some of the city’s most popular live-music venues such as the Blue Nile, the Spotted Cat, and the Maison. Even on curb sides, the music never stops!
This street also offers a variety of late-night eateries such as Dat Dog, Adolfo’s and Three Muse, that is bound to satisfy your ravenous appetite from dancing!
Located 10 to 20 minutes east of the French Quarter, in the Faubourg Marigny neighbourhood, the closest stations are Elysian Fields at Abundance, Benefit, Pleasure, and N. Dorgenois. Bus lines available are 55 and 94.
Madis Gras World
Want to experience the magic of Madi Gras all year round? This carnival celebration, also known as ‘Fat Tuesday’, is celebrated yearly in the vibrant streets of New Orleans’, slowly descending into flurries of chaos, crowds and youthful exuberance.
At Madi Gras World – the largest float designing and building facility in the world, visitors are able to learn about the history and traditions of the popular holiday and get a closer look at the very floats rolling through the parades each year.
Located at 1380 Port of New Orleans Place, next to the Convention Center, visitors interested in a day tour can arrange for a complimentary shuttle, with pickup stops located along downtown and the French Quarter. Or, take the Streetcar to Hilton Riverside Hotel.
Opens daily from 9AM to 530PM
*First tour begins at 930AM, last tour begins at 430PM
Tour Ticket Prices: Adults $22 / Child (2 to 11) $14 / Seniors (65 & above) $17