This post reviews and compares the various bus tours in New Orleans, including hop-on-hop-off tours, fully guided city shuttle tours, and tours that focus on Hurricane Katrina and the city's recovery.
- Fully Guided City Tours
- Hurricane Katrina Tours
- Swamp Tours
- Plantation Tours
- Combos + Discount Passes
Most tours last approximately 3 hours and most companies focus on offering basic city overviews, such as the French Quarter, the Garden District, several other neighborhoods, City Park, and one or more cemeteries.
You can also take a tour specifically covering Hurricane Katrina and the city's revitalization or head out to the surrounding plantations and swamps.
It's important to mention that many of these tours are not replacements for our pay-what-you-wish walking tours.
The bus tours listed below are all general city sightseeing tours that usually operate with shuttle buses.
They visit various neighborhoods, including the French Quarter, the Garden District, and the Central Business District among others.
They also make stops in at least one cemetery.
Not listed here are bus tours that cover ghosts and cemeteries as their main theme. Click on the link for information on these tours.
This tour begins on Canal Street and covers neighborhoods like the Central Business District, the French Quarter, the Treme, Frenchman Street, and Faubourg Marigny as well as the Garden District.
The tour also visits the Lower 9th Ward, where you will see some examples of post-Katrina revitalization.
It also visits St. Louis Cemetery #3 (where you will get off the bus and guided through), City Park (where you will stop for a short refreshment), and finally to the Museum and Arts District, where you will see the National World War 2 Museum.
This is a great intro to the city and Cajun Encounters are probably the best-reviewed bus company in New Orleans.
- Tours depart 3 times daily at 8:30 am, 11:15 am and 2:30 pm.
- 4:00 pm seasonal departure sometime available.
- Tours last 3 hours.
- Pick up at your hotel.
- $54.00 - Adults (12 years and up)
- $37.50 - Children (4-11)
- Free - Children up to 3 years old
- Purchase your tickets here.
Recommend for: people with mobility issues or those short on time. This tour is quality, but is not a replacement of our walking tours as the only guided stop is in St. Louis Cemetery #3. The hotel pick-up is a nice touch.
Read our post reviewing all of Cajun Encounters offerings.
Louisiana Tour Company
Much like the other companies on this list, the Louisiana Tour Company offers a bus tour around the city of New Orleans which includes a stop at a St. Louis Cemetery #3.
What sets this service apart from others is the fact that they use a minibus rather than a coach bus.
This minibus tour is also a bit longer than others with an average duration of about 3 hours, giving them enough time to do a short guided cemetery walking tour.
- Price: $46/Adults | $25/Children
- Availability: Daily at 9:30 am & 1:30 pm
- Duration: 3 hours
- Purchase or learn more.
This tour has a respectable rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars (read reviews here). Guests indicate that the bus tour itself is both informative and fun, providing a lot of interesting details about the city.
Customers note that the cemetery tour takes place at St. Louis Cemetery #3 and lasts for around 15-20 minutes on average.
Most reviewers appreciated the opportunity to learn more about burial practices in New Orleans.
Gray Line's Super City tour is similar to Cajun Encounters tour, where you will make only two stops (St. Louis Cemetery #3 and City Park), but the bus tour is just a bit shorter - and a bit cheaper - without hotel pickup.
Gray Line also has good reviews (for a bus tour company), and they offer several other tours for visitors to New Orleans.
- Super City Tour departs at 2:00 pm
- Tours last 2 1/4 hours.
- No hotel pickup. The bus departs from Gray Line ticket office (map).
Prices as of 2020:
- $44 - Adults (13 years and up)
- $15 - Children (6-12)
- Free - Children up to 5 years old
- More information or to book.
Recommended for: those looking to save money on a bus tour.
City Segway Tours
If you are really just after a set of wheels to whisk you around New Orleans, then you might even consider a Segway Tour.
New Orleans Adventures Tour
The itinerary is essentially the same as what is listed in the last 3 tours. The biggest thing of note is that this tour is included for free with a purchase of a New Orleans Power Pass.
This company also has a good review profile, but they do not have as many reviews as the other companies.
- Tours at 10 am and 2 pm.
- May offer hotel pickups.
- Bookings are taken over the phone.
- $46 - Adults
- $25 - Children
- free with a purchase of a New Orleans Power Pass.
Recommended for: those considering purchasing the New Orleans Power Pass.
Mini-coach, 3-hour city tours similar to what has already been mentioned.
This company often has a Groupon Deal. Like the other tours, this company gets good reviews on TripAdvisor.
- 9 am and 2 pm daily departures.
- Hotel pick-up is available.
- $50 - Adults
- $30 - Children (under 12 years old)
- Groupon deal ($31 for 1, $57 for 2, $103 for 4)
Recommended for: those looking for a city tour and are on a budget.
There is only one traditional hop-on-hop-off bus service in New Orleans, CitySightseeing, a global sightseeing company with the familiar red double deck buses.
- Buses operate daily every 30 minutes from 9:30 am until 5:30 pm (17:00).
- Each ticket is good for 1 or 3 days of riding.
- Live guide on each bus.
- Hop on at any of their 18 stops (map at the bottom of this page).
- Free walking tours of the French Quarter and Garden District + a self-guided tour of Lafayette Cemetery
- $39 - Adults
- $10 - Children
- Purchase tickets here
- This ticket is also included for free with the New Orleans Sightseeing Pass.
- $49 - Adults
- $10 - Children
- Purchase tickets here
Recommended for: people who want to have transportation around New Orleans and want to explore on their own time or in conjunction with our neighborhood tours.
Many people are interested in seeing the areas of New Orleans that were affected by the great storm of 2005, including the famous levee breaks, and to take in the rebuilding efforts.
The city has discouraged large bus tours into these areas, and in our opinion, for good reason.
However, you can still take a small group tour. Most of the bus companies listed above include parts of a Hurricane Katrina tour into their city tours, and for many people, this will be sufficient.
Listed below, however, are the tours that are specifically designed to cover this topic.
There are several tour operators offering daily Katrina themed guided tours, including Gray Line New Orleans.
Hurricane Katrina Tour
- Daily at 1 pm (Jan-Dec) (Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this tour is currently suspended)
- Duration is 3 1/2 hours
- Ticket prices
- $55 - Adult
- $31 - Child (6-12)
- Free - Children 5 and younger
- Get more information.
TIP: Many standard city bus tours will also cover Hurricane Katrina sights. If you have a car or bike, be sure to consider our self-guided tour.
It's very common for companies to list combinations. The combinations are varied.
You can combine the city bus tour with a swamp tour, plantation tour or even a riverboat cruise. The savings can add up.
We've summarized some of the companies' packages below.
And if you are really planning on taking in many of New Orleans most popular attractions, then the New Orleans Power Pass may make financial sense for you.