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New Orleans Neighborhood Guide | Tips for Tourists

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This guide provides information for visitors about the most well-known and important neighborhoods in New Orleans, Louisiana.

We include maps listing each of the notable attractions in the areas.


French Quarter (Vieux Carré)

This is the most well-known of the New Orleans neighborhoods, which runs adjacent to the Mississippi River.

It’s home to some of the most historic sites in the entire city, such as Jackson Square, where you can find the architecture that the city is famous for in buildings such as the Cabildo and St. Louis Cathedral.

If you want some help finding all the biggest landmarks and figuring out where everything is located, consider taking our pay-what-you-wish French Quarter walking tour.

Alternatively, you could also watch our abridged virtual tour of the French Quarter to get a sense for why this is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the Big Easy.

One of the most popular areas on the edge of the French Quarter is Bourbon Street, a place filled with great food, great drinks, and fantastic music, not to mention the famous Cafe du Monde.

We have a guide to Bourbon Street which can help you find the best things to see and do in this part of the city.

You might also want to check out our post on New Orleans safety tips before heading out.

Alternatively, you can also watch our virtual tour of Bourbon Street to get a feel for what you can expect and why you should visit.

This map pinpoints some of the major attractions in the area, making it easier to find locations you might want to visit.


Garden District

The Garden District is a small Uptown neighborhood filled with large, beautiful houses, mansions, and historic buildings.

This is also where you will find one of the most notable cemeteries in the entire city, Lafayete Cemetery #1.

The architecture of the Garden District is the main draw.

We offer a pay-what-you-wish Garden District walking tour which will help to introduce you to the neighborhood and learn about its history.

You can also watch our virtual Garden District walking tour below to get an idea of where everything is located and what you might want to see in the area.

And to get here, consider taking a ride on the historic St. Charles Streetcar.

The map below will provide a list of important attractions in the Garden District to help you find locations you might want to visit.


Magazine Street and the Lower Garden District

Adjacent to the Garden District is the Lower Garden District.

And one of the best spots to shop on Magazine Street.

There are also several restaurants and cafes where you can grab a quick bite or coffee.


Central Business District (CBD) And the Warehouse District

While most people come to the Central Business District because of the Caeaers Superdome (formerly the Mercedes-Benz Superdome).

However, this is downtown New Orleans, and these districts are filled with fun attractions and activities that are often overlooked and that visitors might want to check out.

Although we don’t currently have a tour in the area, there are a lot of things to see and do in the Warehouse District.

To get a better idea of what you can find in this part of the city, consider watching our virtual tour of Canal Street and the Central Business District.

On the eastern side of the neighborhood, you'll find the Arts District around the intersection of Julia St. and Magazine St.

This is where you will find the New Orleans Museum of Art.

This area is chock full of art galleries, and they actually offer free admission from 6 pm - 9 pm on every first Saturday of the month.

If you’re curious about where to go in this part of town, the following map includes dozens of locations you might want to check out.


City Park

This isn’t a neighborhood in the sense that there are people who live here, but it is one of the most beautiful and interesting areas in all of New Orleans.

There are a lot of things to see and do in this park, including the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, New Orleans Botanical Garden, the Louisiana Children's Museum, Storyland, and so much more.

And you can learn more about some of these activities and attractions in our guide to City Park.

We don’t currently offer a walking tour of this area, but we do have a virtual tour of City Park that you can watch below.

Use the following map to find the best attractions and activities in City Park.


Treme

This is one of the most historic neighborhoods in New Orleans, and is widely considered the birthplace of jazz.

And it’s home to many important landmarks, such as the Backstreet Cultural Museum, Louis Armstrong Park, and Congo Square.

You should definitely experience at least once during a trip to the Big Easy.

We currently offer a pay-what-you-want Treme walking tour which covers some of the most significant sites and provides information about the history of the area.

Alternatively, you could also check out our virtual tour of Treme to get an idea of what makes this neighborhood so special.

If you want to see as much of Treme as possible, use the map below to find attractions and notable sites you might want to visit.


Frenchman Street and Faubourg Marigny

This is another popular neighborhood in New Orleans located very close to the French Quarter.

One of the main draws of the Marigny is Frenchmen Street, a location known for its great music venues.

We currently offer a pay-what-you-want walking tour of Frenchmen Street and the Marigny which can help you become more familiar with these surroundings.

If you can’t manage to take our walking tour, we also have a virtual tour of Frenchmen Street that covers a lot of the same ground.

For more advice on where to go and what to see in this part of the city, check our guide to Frenchmen Street with 12 places for live music.

You can also use the map below to figure out where Frenchmen Street is located, how to get there, and what to see in the area.

The Marigny is filled with little restaurants and cafes that feel miles away from the French Quarter.


Esplanade Avenue and Bayou St. John

Located just north of Treme, this neighborhood is actually quite close to City Park, and there are a lot of historic sites to see in the area.

This is where the French initially settled in New Orleans, so there are a lot of beautiful old houses in the area, including landmarks such as the Charpentier House, Degas House, and St. Louis Cemetery No. 3.

If you’re willing to pay for admission, you can actually enter Degas House and experience one of the oldest houses in the city.

Tickets are included with some New Orleans tourist passes.

This is also where you’ll find Bayou St. John, and we actually have a virtual kayak tour of the bayou that you can enjoy below.

You can learn more about some of the best sites to see in this neighborhood by taking our self-guided tour of Esplanade Avenue and Bayou St. John.

Use the map below to find even more attractions in the area that you might want to visit.


Mid-City/Center City

This neighborhood is just north of the Garden District and it’s notable mostly because of its civil rights history. 

Dryades Street was the site of a historically significant boycott, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was founded with the help of Martin Luther King Jr. right here in Central City.

Today there is a MLK Statue and Memorial on Claiborne Avenue, and they hold an annual parade on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

This is also the site of Lafayette Cemetery No. 2 and St. Joseph Cemetery, and where the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (Jazz Fest) takes place.

If you’re interested in seeing some of the beautiful and unique cemeteries in New Orleans, these are both great locations to visit.

Check this guide to Central City for ideas of other landmarks you might want to visit in the area.

Alternatively, you can also use this map to find more attractions and figure out where all of the landmarks are in Central City.


Algiers Point

Located just across the water from the French Quarter, this neighborhood offers an entirely different perspective of New Orleans.

One of the most interesting activities in the area is the Wednesdays on the Point concert series, a free event which takes place every Wednesday during the warmer months.

The Algiers Ferry is one of the cheapest ways to cross the water to Algiers Point, and it's also a great way to experience the city from the water without having to pay for a riverboat cruise.

Initially founded in 1719, Algiers Point is one of the oldest places in New Orleans, and it was originally the site of Kings Plantation.

After the Louisiana Purchase, more people started moving to Algiers Point and it became a neighborhood of industry, with business in lumber, shipbuilding, stockyards, and eventually the railroad.

To learn more, make sure to read our full post covering the history of Algiers Point and the most notable things to see and do.

If you want to find even more fun attractions, you can use this map of the neighborhood to get an idea of where everything is located.


Bywater

If you're wondering where this neighborhood is located, the answer is technically in the name.

Just to the east of Faubourg Marigny, Bywater runs alongside the Mississippi River.

Although this area isn't as well known as other places in New Orleans, it is notable for at least a few reasons.

First, it's home to the relatively new Crescent Park.

This is the location where the Society of Saint Anne krewe starts their procession during Mardi Gras each year, so if you want to see the beginning of the event, you should come here!

Bywater is also one of the locations where locals fled during Hurricane Katrina, as it wasn't it as hard as other neighborhoods.

Perhaps most importantly, this neighborhood is home to the site where Homer Plessy was taken off an East Louisiana Railroad car for violating local laws, leading to a landmark Supreme Court case that made segregation legal for 58 years.

If you're interested in the history of New Orleans, this is definitely a location you should consider visiting.

Use this map to find specific attractions in the Bywater neighborhood.


Tulane and Loyola University

The main campus for both Tulane University and Loyola University is located just a few blocks from Audubon Park and Audubon Zoo.

Whether you're planning to visit this neighborhood because you're interested in attending the school or simply because it runs along the historic St. Charles streetcar line, there are plenty of reasons to make the trip.

Aside from the obvious nearby family activities, Tulane and Loyola University are only a 15 minute walk from the Crescent City Farmer's Market.

Both campuses are also just a 5-10 minute drive from the Rock N' Bowl, a popular local spot for dancing, live music, and of course bowling.

For more information about where these universities are located and what else you can find in the area, make sure to use this map for specific directions.


About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: January 13th, 2023
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