New Orleans
In 3 days

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How to spend 3 days in New Orleans

The melting pot of diverse cultures that is New Orleans comes through in its music, cuisine, and art. This city by the Mississippi River has a lot to take in. Here is our guide with the best tips on how you can experience 3 days in New Orleans.

Day 1: Get into the New Orleans spirit

Morning

Skip breakfast if you can because a guided food tour is the best way to get under the skin of New Orleans. In this southern city, you’ll find a story behind each dish. Take it slow, learn the history, and feast on Creole and Cajun cuisine.

Afternoon

Stroll through the French Quarter, New Orleans’ most popular neighborhood. Must-sees in the area include Jackson Square, The Cabildo Museum, and St. Louis Cathedral.

Evening

Wrap up your first day in New Orleans with dinner and drinks at a casual restaurant in the area. Bonus points if your meal comes with a side of live Jazz music.

Day 2: Unique museums and… ghosts

Morning

If you think you won’t find boring museums in New Orleans, you got it right. Spend the morning visiting the Voodoo Museum and the Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture.

Afternoon

Head to the Garden District to look at historic mansions. These houses are not just gorgeous, they are supposedly haunted, too, so good luck spotting a fleeing ghost! Break the spell with an afternoon treat of beignets and coffee. Café Beignet and Café du Monde are 2 popular spots where you can try this sweet treat. Yum!

Evening

Shop for local art at Frenchmen Street’s Palace Market. Browse the area for drinks and dinner - it’s typically less crowded than Bourbon Street. Didn’t channel as many spirits as you hoped on your self-guided tour during the day? Book a ghost night tour to hear all the grim stories you missed.

Day 3: Understanding New Orleans’ complex history

Morning

Get out of the city to tour 1 of the old plantations in New Orleans. If you don’t have a car, you can choose a tour that includes transportation to and from the city. Laura Plantation and Whitney Plantation are some of the estates you can visit in New Orleans.

Afternoon

Head back to the city for a lunch of local comfort food. In the afternoon, experience the world of Mark Twain on a steamboat river cruise down the Mississippi.

Evening

Have dinner or drinks at the House of Blues with live music. Or check the calendar to see if you can catch a show before leaving New Orleans.

What is the best way to get around in New Orleans?

Did you know that streetcars are both an attraction and the best public transportation to get around New Orleans? They mostly cover the city center. For other destinations, you can rely on public buses. Walking is still 1 of the best ways to explore the city, though.

If you’re a cyclist, take advantage of the city’s bike-sharing service called Blue Bikes. You’ll find bicycles ready for pick up in popular neighborhoods like the French Quarter and the Garden District.

Taxis and ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber are also available in New Orleans. Keep in mind that during festive seasons taxi rates are higher. The driver may charge a fixed price per person or use the meter rate. Some routes, like to and from the airport, are charged at a fixed rate.

Essential travel tips for your 3 days in New Orleans

  • You can experience some Mardi Gras off-season if you know where to look. Get all the history and details of this popular event at the Backstreet Cultural Museum or the Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture. And parades don't just happen on those 3 days in February either: check official schedules to see parades happening days before the main event.
  • New Orleans is a musical city, but there is so much more to the scene than Jazz. It’s not difficult to find a venue with live music, with genres as diverse as hip-hop and folk. If Jazz is your jam, don’t miss a trip to the city during Jazz Fest.
  • Local cuisine is rich in meat- and fish-based dishes, but there are plenty of places in New Orleans that accommodate vegans and vegetarians.


Other Sightseeing Options in New Orleans

Want to discover all there is to do in New Orleans? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about New Orleans

We were very impressed with the tour. The tour guide, Charlotte, had a wonderful personality and was very knowledgeable about New Orleans history. We learned first hand that there is more to NOLA than the French Quarter. I would suggest this tour on the first day of your stay because you will be introduced to the various neighborhoods which will give you ideas of where you want to go and see.

Very nice experience. Christy was an awesome host. Christy is very knowledgeable, patient, awesome storytelling. Also, Christy is kind and eagered to answer any questions you may have. It was really nice. I would do it again, and highly recommend anyone who may be interested. It's worth it. I also like that Christy communicated well, and kept good head count

Sean Bird was an excellent tour guide and his driver was very knowledgeable as well. He made learning about the various areas of New Orleans interesting! Thank you Sean Bird

Charles, our narrator, was very knowledgable with a great delivery. We learned so much about the Battle of New Orleans as well as Hurricane Katrina.

Amazing, ask to have Dan for your tour guide. He is fun, patient and knowledgeable. Tour surpassed our expectations