There are so many things you must do in the French Quarter. The French Quarter is where it’s at in New Orleans, and is truly the heartbeat of the city. It’s a culturally rich melting pot that’s welcoming and down-to-earth, yet elegant and bougie.
The city thrives on a raucous-causing good time, while still maintaining an air of class. Add a splash of elusive, mystical appeal, and it’s no wonder the “The Quarter” draws us in. It’s here that you’ll likely spend the bulk of your time in New Orleans. So as the New Orleanians say, “laissez les bon temps rouler”. Cajun French for, “let the good times roll”. So, let’s roll, shall we? 🙂
10 Things You Must Do in the French Quarter
1. Take a Tour
I am not always the biggest fan of tours, but in New Orleans, definitely do it! There is so much history wrapped up in these cobblestone streets, I would highly recommend it. Plus, they’re very reasonably priced!
- New Orleans Food Walking Tour – The food! It’s all about the food in NOLA.
- New Orleans Ghost Tour – This is a must – the New Orleans ghost tours are famous!
- New Orleans Music Tour – Music is one of the highlights of any trip to New Orleans!
- New Orleans Bike Tour – There’s so much to see, and honestly it gets really hot walking around all day, why not take a bike tour?
- New Orleans City Tour – See the whole city including the Garden District (a personal fav!) and some cemeteries.
- Horse Drawn Carriage Tour – See the city in style on a horse-drawn carriage, or you can even reserve a private VIP experience!
- New Orleans Cemetery Tour – I know it sounds strange, but cemeteries are a popular attraction in New Orleans. And some pretty famous people are buried here!
2. Explore Jackson Square
This is New Orleans’s lively old town square. You’ll find charming street corner painters, live music, and the beautiful, St. Louis Cathedral.
3. Go Antiquing on Royal Street
Strolling down Royal Street is a New Orleans essential. It’s filled with art galleries, antique stores, and luxury hotels.
4. Go to the Voodoo Museum
The Voodoo Museum is a New Orleans landmark. For $7.00 learn all about New Orleans’s voodoo history and culture.
5. Go Shopping at the Old French Market
Come stroll through the market. You’ll find all kinds of unique goods, as well as café-style food here too. Try a muffuletta here!
6. Take a New Orleans Cooking Class
Are you obsessed with all things New Orleans cuisine? Come take a cooking class! It’s a super fun and tasty way to spend an afternoon. 🙂 Book in advance because these classes are quite popular, here are some I recommend:
- New Orleans Cooking Class – This is the least expensive at $30 bucks for a 2-hour class
- Taste of New Orleans – This class takes place at a super popular (and tasty!) restaurant called The Old Coffee Pot
- Small Group Cooking Class – This class is a bit more intimate and longer at 3 hours. And it includes free drinks!
7. Wander through Pirates Alley
It’s easy to get lost wandering through the French Quarter, and I am so happy I happened to stumbled upon Pirates Alley. It’s a picturesque cobblestone alleyway that’s great for photographs! Be sure to also try Pirates Alley Café!
8. Eat Beignets at Café du Monde
This is an absolute must! There’s nothing more “classic New Orleans” than beignets at Café du Monde. Because of its popularity there will likely be a wait, but it’s so worth it.
9. Shop and Dine on Chartres Street
Chartres Street is not as famous as Royal or Bourbon Street, but equally beautiful in architecture. You’ll find lots of boutique shopping and cafés here.
10. Experience the Nightlife
It’s not hard to figure out why New Orleans is nicknamed the “Big Easy”. It’s its round-the-clock nightlife is famous. Here’s some places to check out:
PRO TIP: Remember that in New Orleans you are allowed to take alcoholic beverages to go!
- Bourbon Street – Bourbon Street is the place for nightlife in New Orleans. You can pop into a bar, or just wander the streets.
- Jazz/Piano Bars – My favorite is Pat O’Brien’s, home of the Hurricane.
- Carousel Bar & Lounge – This revolving bar has been named one of the Top 20 Bars in the World. Come to Hotel Monteleone and enjoy a cocktail where the likes of Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and Tennessee Williams also threw a few back.
- Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop – Riddled with folklore and legend, Lafitte’s is a unique bar that makes you feel like you’ve stepped back into the 18th century.
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Did I miss anything? What would you do in the French Quarter? Love to know in the comments below!