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How Much Money For A 4-Day Trip To New Orleans


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Vanna Ragsdale



Planning a trip to New Orleans? Get ready to experience the vibrant culture, rich history, and mouthwatering cuisine of the Big Easy. Nestled in the heart of Louisiana, New Orleans is a city unlike any other, boasting a unique blend of French, Spanish, African, and Caribbean influences. From the lively music scene to the world-famous Mardi Gras celebrations, there is always something exciting happening in this energetic city.


Before embarking on your trip, it’s important to budget accordingly. Understanding the expected expenses will help ensure that you make the most of your time in New Orleans without breaking the bank. In this article, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide to the costs involved in a four-day trip to New Orleans.


Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or a music lover, New Orleans has something for everyone. You can explore famous landmarks such as the French Quarter with its colorful facades and beautiful balconies, or visit the historic St. Louis Cathedral. Take a stroll along the Mississippi River or sample delicious Creole and Cajun cuisine in one of the city’s many renowned restaurants. With its vibrant streets, lively nightlife, and welcoming locals, New Orleans is a destination that promises a memorable and enriching experience.


Now, let’s dive into the specifics of planning your trip to New Orleans. We’ll cover accommodation options, transportation, food and drinks, sightseeing and activities, shopping, and miscellaneous expenses. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of the costs involved and be well-prepared to make the most of your trip to the Crescent City.



When it comes to choosing accommodation in New Orleans, there are plenty of options to suit every budget and preference. From luxurious hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts, the city offers a wide range of choices for visitors. The cost of accommodation can vary depending on the location, amenities, and time of year.


If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, consider staying in one of the many guesthouses or budget hotels located in the outskirts of the city. These accommodations are often more affordable and offer basic amenities such as comfortable beds, private bathrooms, and Wi-Fi.


For those seeking a unique experience, consider booking a stay in one of the historic boutique hotels or charming bed and breakfasts in the French Quarter or Garden District. These establishments often offer a glimpse into the city’s rich history and provide a cozy and intimate atmosphere.


If luxury is what you’re after, New Orleans has no shortage of upscale hotels to cater to your needs. From renowned five-star hotels to boutique accommodations with top-notch amenities, you’ll find a plethora of options to indulge in a luxurious stay.


The average cost for accommodation in New Orleans ranges from $100 to $300 per night, depending on the type of accommodation and the time of year. Keep in mind that prices may fluctuate during peak tourist seasons, such as during Mardi Gras or major events/festivals in the city.


To save on accommodation costs, consider booking your stay well in advance and keep an eye out for any deals or promotions. Additionally, be flexible with your travel dates if possible, as prices may vary depending on the day of the week.


Overall, finding suitable accommodation in New Orleans is relatively easy, with options available for every budget. By planning ahead and exploring different neighborhoods, you can find the perfect place to stay while enjoying all that the city has to offer.



Getting around New Orleans is fairly convenient, with various transportation options available to suit different preferences and budgets. Whether you prefer to explore on foot, utilize public transportation, or rely on ridesharing services, there are several ways to navigate the city efficiently.


One of the best ways to experience New Orleans is by walking. The city is compact and pedestrian-friendly, especially in popular areas like the French Quarter and Garden District. Walking not only allows you to soak in the vibrant atmosphere but also saves you money on transportation costs.


If you need to cover longer distances or prefer not to walk, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) operates an extensive network of buses and streetcars. A one-way fare on a bus or streetcar costs $1.25, and you can purchase passes for unlimited rides within a particular timeframe, such as a 24-hour Jazzy Pass for $3.00.


Another popular transportation option in New Orleans is utilizing ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft. These services are widely available and offer convenience, especially if you’re traveling with a group or have limited mobility. The cost of ridesharing varies depending on the distance and demand.


If you plan on renting a car, be prepared to navigate the city’s busy streets and limited parking options. While having a car can be convenient for exploring areas outside of the city center, like plantations or swamp tours, parking fees can add to your overall expenses. Consider checking with your accommodation for parking options or explore nearby parking garages.


For those interested in a unique transportation experience, riding a historic streetcar is a must. The St. Charles Avenue streetcar, in particular, offers a scenic route through the picturesque Garden District. The fare for a streetcar ride is the same as a bus ride, making it an affordable option for sightseeing.


Keep in mind that while New Orleans has a reliable and efficient transportation system, it’s always a good idea to plan your routes and check for any service disruptions or schedule changes. This ensures a smooth and hassle-free experience as you explore the vibrant streets of the Big Easy.


Food and Drinks

New Orleans is a food lover’s paradise, renowned for its unique and mouthwatering cuisine. The city is famous for dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya, beignets, and po’boys, which are a must-try for any visitor. When it comes to dining in New Orleans, there are options to suit every budget and palate.


The French Quarter is a foodie’s haven, with its charming restaurants, lively cafes, and iconic bars. You can indulge in a fine dining experience at one of the upscale restaurants, where prices can range from $30 to $100 per person for a three-course meal. For a more casual meal, head to one of the local eateries or food stalls, where you can enjoy delicious regional specialties without breaking the bank. Expect to spend around $10 to $20 per person at these establishments.


Don’t miss the chance to try some of New Orleans’ famous street food. Grab a freshly made po’boy sandwich or sample the mouthwatering crawfish boil from a food cart or local market. These options are not only delicious but also budget-friendly, with prices ranging from $5 to $10 per meal.


When it comes to drinks, experiencing New Orleans’ vibrant bar scene is a must. Sip on classic cocktails like the Sazerac or the famous Hurricane while enjoying live music in one of the city’s jazz clubs. Prices for cocktails can range from $8 to $15, depending on the establishment and the drink.


For those looking to save on dining expenses, consider opting for lunch specials or happy hour deals offered by many restaurants. These can provide significant discounts on food and drinks during specific hours. Additionally, exploring neighborhoods outside of the touristy areas can lead you to hidden gems and more affordable dining options.


Don’t forget to factor in tips when dining out in New Orleans, as it is customary to tip around 15-20% of the total bill for good service. Keep in mind that some establishments may include a service charge automatically.


Whether you’re a food connoisseur or simply looking to indulge in some delicious cuisine, New Orleans offers a wide range of culinary experiences to satisfy every palate and budget. So be sure to come hungry and leave with a happy belly!


Sightseeing and Activities

New Orleans is a city with a rich history and a vibrant cultural scene, offering a plethora of sightseeing and activities for visitors to enjoy. From exploring iconic landmarks to immersing yourself in the vibrant music and art scene, there is no shortage of things to see and do in the Big Easy.


Start your sightseeing adventure with a visit to the historic French Quarter, the heart and soul of New Orleans. Marvel at the beautiful architecture, stroll along lively streets like Bourbon Street, and soak in the lively atmosphere. Don’t miss the chance to visit Jackson Square, home to the impressive St. Louis Cathedral and the vibrant artist colony of Jackson Square Park.


For a taste of Louisiana’s unique natural beauty, take a swamp tour through the nearby bayous and marshes. Experience the thrill of spotting alligators, marsh birds, and other local wildlife as you navigate through the scenic waterways.


To delve deeper into the city’s history, consider visiting the National WWII Museum. This world-class museum offers a comprehensive and immersive experience, chronicling the events of World War II. It is a must-visit for history enthusiasts.


New Orleans is also famous for its music scene. Head to the birthplace of jazz, Preservation Hall, for an intimate musical experience that will transport you back in time. Immerse yourself in the melodies and rhythms of jazz at one of the city’s many live music venues and clubs, where talented musicians showcase their skills.


If art and culture are your passions, take a trip to the New Orleans Museum of Art, which houses an impressive collection of artworks spanning various periods and styles. Explore the vibrant art galleries in the Arts District and experience the city’s thriving contemporary art scene.


Make sure to save time for a culinary adventure in the city’s food markets and culinary tours. From exploring the flavors of the famous Cafe du Monde with its delectable beignets and chicory coffee to sampling local delicacies on a food tour, New Orleans offers a gastronomic experience like no other.


Whether you’re interested in history, music, art, or culinary delights, New Orleans has something to offer. Plan your sightseeing and activities ahead of time to make the most of your visit to this culturally rich and dynamic city.



When it comes to shopping, New Orleans offers a unique and diverse retail experience. From trendy boutiques to antique shops and local markets, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to indulge in some retail therapy and take home a piece of the city’s vibrant culture and style.


One of the most iconic shopping destinations in New Orleans is the French Market. Located in the heart of the French Quarter, this historic open-air market is a hub of activity with a wide variety of vendors selling everything from local produce to handmade crafts and souvenirs. Explore the market to find unique gifts, jewelry, art, clothing, and more.


If you’re a fan of antiques and vintage finds, head to Magazine Street in the Garden District. This charming street is lined with specialty shops, antique stores, and boutiques offering a wide range of unique treasures. Spend a day browsing through the extensive collection of furniture, clothing, accessories, and artwork to find that perfect one-of-a-kind piece.


New Orleans is also known for its vibrant art scene, with many local artists showcasing their works in galleries throughout the city. Consider visiting the Julia Street Art District, also known as the “Arts District,” where you’ll find a concentration of contemporary art galleries featuring diverse styles and mediums. This is the perfect place to discover original artworks and support local artists.


For fashionistas looking for the latest trends, the Magazine Street and Royal Street shopping districts offer a mix of high-end boutiques and designer shops. Browse through the collections of local and international designers, or explore the upscale shops in the historic Royal Street where you can find fine jewelry, unique accessories, and luxurious clothing.


When it comes to food-related shopping, don’t miss the chance to visit the market at the French Quarter or the locally-owned grocery stores. You can find spices, hot sauces, local honey, and other culinary specialties that will allow you to bring a taste of New Orleans home with you.


Remember to shop responsibly and support local businesses whenever possible. Look for products that are locally made or crafted in New Orleans to truly embrace the authentic flavor of the city. Additionally, don’t forget to budget for shopping expenses to ensure that you can bring home some treasured mementos of your trip.


Whether you’re looking for unique souvenirs, vintage finds, local artwork, or the latest fashion trends, New Orleans has a shopping scene that caters to all tastes and budgets. Enjoy exploring the city’s diverse retail offerings and take home a piece of the Big Easy’s vibrant spirit.


Miscellaneous Expenses

While planning your trip to New Orleans, it’s important to consider the miscellaneous expenses that may arise during your stay. These expenses can vary depending on your personal preferences and interests. Here are a few miscellaneous costs to keep in mind when budgeting for your trip to the Big Easy.


First and foremost, don’t forget about travel insurance. While it may seem like an additional cost, having travel insurance can provide peace of mind and protect you from unexpected circumstances such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, or lost luggage.


Another expense to consider is tickets to events or attractions. If you plan to attend a concert, a sports game, or any other special event during your stay, make sure to include the ticket costs in your budget. Additionally, some attractions or museums may have admission fees, so research and plan accordingly.


New Orleans is known for its lively nightlife scene, with a wide array of bars, clubs, and live music venues to choose from. Be prepared to budget for cover charges and drink prices if you plan on enjoying the nightlife during your stay.


If you’re a coffee lover, expect to spend a few dollars each day on your caffeine fix. New Orleans has a vibrant coffee culture, offering a variety of local coffee shops where you can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee or try the famous chicory coffee.


Tipping is also an important aspect to consider. In New Orleans, it is customary to tip service staff such as waitstaff, bartenders, and hotel staff. Plan to set aside some cash for tipping, with the standard practice being 15-20% of the total bill.


Transportation costs can also include additional fees such as parking fees, tolls, or rental fees if you decide to rent a car for day trips outside the city.


Lastly, it’s always a good idea to set aside some money for souvenirs and personal shopping. Whether it’s unique local crafts, artwork, or clothing items, bringing home a memento of your trip is a great way to remember your time in New Orleans.


By accounting for these miscellaneous expenses in your budget, you can ensure that you’re prepared for any unexpected costs and fully enjoy your time in New Orleans without any financial surprises.


Total Cost

Estimating the total cost of a four-day trip to New Orleans is essential for effective budget planning. While the exact amount you spend will depend on your personal preferences and travel style, here is a breakdown of the expected expenses to help you calculate a rough estimate.


Accommodation costs in New Orleans can range from $100 to $300 per night, depending on the type of accommodation and the time of year. Keep in mind that prices may be higher during peak tourist seasons or major events/festivals.


Transportation costs in the city can be relatively low, especially if you choose to walk or use public transportation. The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) offers buses and streetcars for a fare of $1.25 per ride, with options for unlimited rides within a specific timeframe available. If you decide to use ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft, expect to pay varying fees depending on the distance.


Food and drink expenses can vary greatly depending on your dining choices. Budget around $10 to $20 per person for casual meals, and be prepared to spend more for fine dining experiences. Don’t forget to include the cost of drinks, tips, and any special dining experiences or food tours you plan to indulge in.


Sightseeing and activity expenses can range from free activities like walking tours in the French Quarter to paid attractions like museum admissions, swamp tours, and live music shows. Depending on your preferences, budget around $50 to $100 per person for sightseeing and activities.


Shopping expenses will depend on your personal shopping habits and interests. From unique souvenirs to artwork and fashion items, allocate a budget ranging from $50 to $200 for shopping expenses, depending on your preferences and the items you’re looking to purchase.


Miscellaneous expenses like travel insurance, event tickets, coffee, tipping, transportation fees (e.g., parking or rental car), and souvenirs should also be factored into your budget. Allocate an additional $50 to $100 per person for these miscellaneous costs.


Considering the above estimates, a rough total cost for a four-day trip to New Orleans could range from $800 to $2000 per person, depending on your choices and preferences. Remember that these figures are only estimates, and it’s important to consider your own travel habits, preferences, and budget restrictions when planning your trip.


By budgeting effectively and being mindful of your expenses, you can ensure a memorable and enjoyable trip to the vibrant city of New Orleans without breaking the bank.



Visiting New Orleans is an exciting and enriching experience that offers a colorful tapestry of culture, history, music, culinary delights, and unique attractions. By planning your trip and considering the various expenses involved, you can make the most of your time in the Big Easy without dreading any financial surprises.


From selecting the right accommodation to exploring transportation options, budgeting for food, drinks, sightseeing, shopping, and miscellaneous expenses is crucial for a hassle-free experience. By taking into account these factors, you’ll be able to allocate your funds wisely and fully enjoy all that New Orleans has to offer.


Remember, the costs provided in this article are estimates and can vary depending on your personal preferences and travel style. It’s essential to tailor your budget to suit your needs and prioritize the experiences that matter most to you.


New Orleans welcomes visitors with open arms, offering a rich blend of history, culture, music, and incredible cuisine. Soak in the vibrant energy of the French Quarter, explore the charming streets of the Garden District, and indulge in the city’s culinary delights. Immerse yourself in the music scene and discover the unique arts and crafts that make New Orleans truly special.


By planning ahead, setting a budget, and being mindful of your expenses, you can make your trip to New Orleans a memorable and fulfilling experience. With a little preparation, you’ll be able to savor the flavors, revel in the music, and create unforgettable memories in the dynamic and lively city of New Orleans.