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Things to do in New Orleans

Things to do in  New Orleans

Welcome to New Orleans

Rowdy yet refined, New Orleans is a city that unabashedly mixes all-hours fun with a deep respect for tradition and culture. Late night revelers spill into Bourbon Street, trombone players and tap dancers vie for attention on street corners and in famous clubs, and both old school cuisine and the chefs it inspired entice visitors into the city's varied restaurants. Tour the Garden District and the French Quarter; cruise down the Mississippi River on a steamboat; and watch live jazz all over town. A day trip to the countryside reveals New Orleans’ roots, with opportunities to tour historic plantations and ride airboats through the swamps.

Top 10 attractions in New Orleans

#1
Mississippi River

Mississippi River

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A central character in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the mighty Mississippi River has long captured the American imagination. Originating in Minnesota and sweeping across 95 river miles (153 kilometers) south to New Orleans where it spits out into the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi is the largest river system in North America and has gained an almost mythical place in American history.More
#2
French Quarter

French Quarter

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The French Quarter, with its vibrant atmosphere and unique blend of architectural styles, is easily New Orleans’ most famous and most popular area to visit. It's also the city's oldest neighborhood, and its elegant streets are lined with an appealing mix of lively bars—especially along the legendary Bourbon Street—historic monuments, delicious restaurants, and inviting jazz clubs.More
#3
Steamboat Natchez

Steamboat Natchez

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When in New Orleans, there's no better and more classic way to experience the mighty Mississippi than on a river tour aboard the Steamboat Natchez. The historic stern-wheeled steamboat makes its home on the riverfront next to the French Quarter, before slowly and gracefully plying the river for brunch, lunch, or dinner cruises with live traditional jazz on board.More
#4
LaLaurie Mansion

LaLaurie Mansion

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LaLaurie Mansion is not your regular tourist attraction. Also known as LaLaurie House, this French Quarter spot has a gruesome past involving torture, murder, and acts of brutality. The house is a regular stop on ghost tours of New Orleans and attracts visitors who want to learn more about the property’s spine-chilling history.More
#5
Garden District

Garden District

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New Orleans' Garden District is the epitome of Southern charm. Plantation-style mansions, which are among the most impressive in the city, feature wrap-around porches, verandas, and manicured gardens where there’s always something blooming. Streets are separated by stretches of green parks, and the historic cable car line runs along St. Charles Avenue.More
#6
Oak Alley Plantation

Oak Alley Plantation

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Famed for the 300-year-old allée of live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss that flank its main entrance, Oak Alley Plantation has more to offer visitors than a quintessential view of a Southern plantation. Highlights include numerous exhibitions exploring the complexities of Southern and Louisiana history, 1,300 acres (526 hectares) of grounds, and the historic house itself—all within easy driving distance of New Orleans.More
#7
Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street

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The infamous Bourbon Street, also known as Rue Bourbon, conjures up images of endless partying, drinks of all shapes and sizes, bachelorette parties, and of course, Mardi Gras. Outside of Mardi Gras season, visitors flock to this playground of the South for its Creole restaurants, live music venues, souvenir shops, and well-known drinking establishments.More
#8
Jackson Square

Jackson Square

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In the heart of the French Quarter lies Jackson Square, one of New Orleans’ most famous locations. A National Historic Landmark, it is home to St. Louis Cathedral and is often filled with locals and tourists who come to stroll the paths, catch the buskers and street performers in action, or just sit in the shade and watch the world go by.More
#9
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

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The St. Louis Cemetery consists of three cemeteries, and St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is New Orleans’ oldest and most famous resting place. On the National Register of Historic Places, the Roman Catholic cemetery was established in 1789, and most of the graves and vaults are above ground.More
#10
French Market

French Market

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Located in the heart of New Orleans’ vibrant French Quarter, the French Market is a grand bazaar that serves as much as a cultural meeting place as it does a market space. In addition to hosting stall after stall of vendors hawking handmade goods and artisanal foods, the market doubles as a venue for a daily flea market and a twice-weekly farmers market. The French Market boasts the superlative as the oldest continuously operating open-air market in the United States, making it a part of living Louisiana history.More

Trip ideas

Best Weekend Getaways from New Orleans

Best Weekend Getaways from New Orleans

Literary History in New Orleans

Literary History in New Orleans

Top activities in New Orleans

Small-Group Airboat and Plantations Tour with Gourmet Lunch from New Orleans
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New Orleans Airboat Ride

New Orleans Airboat Ride

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$59.00
Swamp Boat Ride and Oak Alley Plantation Tour from New Orleans
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Oak Alley Plantation Tour

Oak Alley Plantation Tour

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Haunted Pub Crawl in New Orleans

Haunted Pub Crawl in New Orleans

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Whitney Plantation Tour

Whitney Plantation Tour

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$71.00

Recent reviews from experiences in New Orleans

star-5
Great Tour
Montel_C, Jan 2022
Three Hour City Tour of New Orleans
I was able to see parts of New Orleans that I would not have seen unless I went on this tour.
star-4
A Great experience
melanie_r, Jan 2022
Airboat Ride with Round-Trip Transportation from New Orleans
cold season) we didn’t get to see more of them.
star-5
French Quarter tour
ttn2004, Dec 2021
New Orleans French Quarter Bike Tour
We got to see different areas of New Orleans.
star-5
Memorable
Leslie_R, Dec 2021
New Orleans French Quarter Photo Shoot
I can’t wait to see the pictures!
star-5
Not to be missed
Lori_L, Dec 2021
The National WWII Museum Campus Pass Ticket New Orleans
When in New Orleans put this on top of your list of things to do.
star-4
Overview of New Orleans
shake, Dec 2021
City Sightseeing New Orleans Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
We did not have time to hop off the bus, but we got an overall flavor of the many things to see the next time we visit New Orleans.
star-5
Great Guide and great food!
Luinda_L, Dec 2021
New Orleans Food Walking Tour of the French Quarter with Small-Group Option
We highly recommend that you add it to your list of things to do.
star-5
NOLA is awesome!
Kelli_W, Dec 2021
New Orleans City Tour: Katrina, Garden District, French Quarter & Cemetery
He did not leave any stone unturned or miss a chance for us to see every part of New Orleans.
star-5
Must do when in New Orleans!
paklinc_l, Nov 2021
Small-Group Swamp Tour by Airboat with Downtown New Orleans Pickup
The tour was very enjoyable and we were able to see many alligators despite the colder weather.
star-5
Great experience
Kathleen_M, Nov 2021
Paddlewheeler Creole Queen Historic Mississippi River Cruise
A great experience to see new orleans from the water.
star-5
Excellent tour giving a...
Susan_K, Nov 2021
New Orleans History and Sights Small-Group Bike Tour
Excellent tour giving a look at all of New Orleans our guide was informative and made an enjoyable trip to see the city !
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Soothing
Bill_H, Nov 2021
New Orleans Steamboat Natchez Harbor Cruise
She always wanted to see New Orleans and we finally were able to do it.
star-5
Wonderful Trip
Jeanne_M, Nov 2021
New Orleans Small Group City Tour
He was also a brain trust for what to do in New Orleans.
star-5
Perfect Hop on hop off day at New Orleans
PANGESTHER, Nov 2021
City Sightseeing New Orleans Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Plenty of time to see things especially at the French Quarter.
star-5
Great Swamp Tour on an Airboat!
Matt_D, Oct 2021
Small-Group Swamp Tour by Airboat with Downtown New Orleans Pickup
Got to see a bunch of gators and other wildlife!
star-5
Educational and Spooky
Ashley_D, Oct 2021
New Orleans #1 Haunted Ghost, Voodoo, & Vampire Tour
Tons of beautiful historical buildings to see and take pictures of along the way.
star-4
Nice to see all of the...
Greg_K, Oct 2021
New Orleans City Tour: Katrina, Garden District, French Quarter & Cemetery
Nice to see all of the different areas of New Orleans, We spent a little to much time driving through damaged neighborhoods.
star-5
Our tour bus guide, Nate,...
Allison_S, Oct 2021
Oak Alley and Laura Plantation Tour with Transportation from New Orleans
Both places are beautiful and would recommend to see when in the New Orleans area.
star-5
Great way to see New Orleans!
Christy_K, Sep 2021
New Orleans Small Group City Tour
It was a great way to see more of what New Orleans had to offer than just the French Quarter.
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Great tour and very friendly people
James_A, Sep 2021
New Orleans Swamp Tour Boat Adventure
It a very enjoyable tour great host and I get to see alot of alligator swimming and I also learn alot about new orleans swamp

All about New Orleans

When to visit

New Orleans’ best weather makes its debut in February and lasts until May, coinciding with carnival season and the world-famous Mardi Gras celebrations. If you’re looking to skip the madness, and the inflated prices, opt to visit in winter when hotels are cheaper and you won’t melt from summer’s heat, or worry about fall’s possible hurricanes.

A local’s pocket guide to New Orleans

Maggie Bennett

Maggie is both Viator's New Orleans account manager and a New Orleans enthusiast. Countless visits to the region, including three trips for Mardi Gras, make her a go-to gal for things to do there.

The first thing you should do in New Orleans is...

hit Bourbon Street to people-watch, grab a fried shrimp Po’ Boy sandwich or fried oysters, and enjoy a famous Hurricane cocktail.

A perfect Saturday in New Orleans...

includes venturing outside the city for a high-speed airboat and plantation combo tour, or heading to the Garden District for jazz brunch at Commander’s Palace. Save room for bananas Foster for dessert!

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

Mardi Gras, of course. The parades, parties, and elaborate costumes are not to be missed.

To discover the "real" New Orleans...

head to Frenchman Street to check out jazz clubs frequented by locals, or take a bike tour to easily explore neighborhoods outside the French Quarter.

For the best view of the city...

hop aboard the Steamboat Natchez to experience the New Orleans skyline from a unique vantage point. Alternatively, stay on dry land at the Pontchartrain Hotel’s Hot Tin rooftop bar.

One thing people get wrong...

thinking New Orleans is just a place to party. It’s packed with history, culture, and outdoor activities as well.

Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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