Which New Orleans City Pass Is Best?

This is a post that compares the various different New Orleans attraction passes, combos, discounts, and coupons.  As you look at the variety of options keep in mind your budget, interests, and stamina. Everyone’s tastes are a little different, so not all packages are right for all people. Luckily, there are quite a few options. Happy planning!

 

 


BEFORE YOU BUY

There are a few things you should consider before purchasing a tourist pass. This section will give you an idea of what to expect from each type of pass and help you to figure out which one to pick. 

One thing that all share in common is the ability to skip-the-line or what is often referred to as fast-track-access to many attractions and tours.  You won’t need to wait in line for tickets as most attractions have designated lines for pass and combo holders.

And don’t forget, we offer well-reviewed, pay-what-you-like tours of New Orleans, so you don’t have to choose the tours on offer with these cards.  You can pay (and save) whatever you like with our options.

All-Inclusive

The all-inclusive option will provide free admission to a select number of attractions. The advantage to this pass is that you only have to purchase and use one card to get into each of the locations that are included.

This discount pass will be especially useful for visitors who plan on visiting several different locations in and around the city over the course of a few days. Prices can be a bit more expensive, but it’s so convenient that you might not mind the higher price tag. You can choose what you want to see as you explore New Orleans, for total flexibility.

Choose Your Attractions

If you’re not sure that you would be able to get the full benefit out of the all-inclusive pass, this option is definitely worth consideration. This pass will allow you to pick and choose a set number of activities rather than (potentially) forcing you to pay for services you might not use.

Although you typically won’t save as much with these services, you’ll have more time to use your pass at your own leisure and complete control over what you choose to see and do in the city.

Combo Packages

Although these aren’t technically tourist passes, they will allow you to save a lot of money on several different activities. These packages are made possible when notable tour companies in the area work together to combine their services at a discount.

The attractions offered are usually more limited than what you’ll find with either an all-inclusive or build your own pass, but some travelers and/or locals may find these activities more interesting and entertaining.

 


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ALL-INCLUSIVE

This section will provide information about all-inclusive tourist passes you can get in New Orleans. These services typically include free admission to several notable attractions for one flat price.

This is probably the easiest option on our list.  There are two companies offering passes, the New Orleans Sightseeing Pass (just below) and the New Orleans Pass


New Orleans Sightseeing Pass

This tourist pass provides two different options for travelers to consider. The first option is an all-inclusive pass, which allows you to visit as many tours and attractions you want for just one price (think all-you-can-eat buffet).

Alternatively, you can also get a flex pass and choose the attractions that interest you the most (a-la-carte). For more information on the flex pass, make sure to check out our a la carte pass section where you choose your attractions.

There are over 22 different activities and locations you can enjoy with the New Orleans Sightseeing Pass, allowing you to save up to 54% on retail prices. If you intend to see a lot of sights around the city, this will make it pretty easy to get around town without needing to pay admission at every single location you visit. Passes are available for 1, 2, 3, or 5 days.

In addition to saving money on a variety of attractions, this pass also includes a free hop-on-hop-off bus tour. This service will take you to many of the locations included with the New Orleans Sightseeing Pass, making it pretty easy to get around town.

Prices (as of July 2018):

Below are the prices that include a 20% discount on the 2, 3, & 5-day passes.  In order to get these prices, you need to use our exclusive promo code: FTBF

The prices in red underneath each multiple-day pass listing is the average cost per day. The longer the pass, the lower the daily cost.

  • 1-Day: $69/Adults | $49/Children
  • 2-Day: $95/Adults | $63/Children
    • [$47/day/adult and $37/day/child]
  • 3-Day: $127/Adults | $87/Children
    • [$42/day/adult and $29/day/child]
  • 5-Day: $175/Adults | $127/Children
    • [$35/day/adult and $25/day/child]

Click here for more information or to purchase. Don’t forget to enter our exclusive promo code FTBF for a 20% discount!

The New Orleans Sightseeing Pass is valid for 12 months after initial purchase. It will only become activated after its first use. If you plan to visit later in the year, make sure to check back routinely for any sales they might have.


New Orleans Pass (formally the Power Pass)

The New Orleans Pass combines admission to popularcreolequeenpowerpass attractions, museums, and tours in New Orleans into one affordable sightseeing package for tourists.

With free admission to over 26 attractions in the city, the New Orleans Pass can save you hundreds of dollars and a lot of time with the ability to skip lines at some attractions.

In addition to free entrance to some of the city’s top locations, you’ll also receive discounted entrance, meals and coupons for souvenir shopping throughout New Orleans.

You can choose your length of the pass based on how long you’re visiting New Orleans or how many sites you want to visit. The passes are for consecutive business days – so a 1 Day pass is not 24 hours but rather until the attractions close that day.

If you’re short on time, however, the 1-day pass is still a good choice as there are some late night options included on the pass. If you have a multi-day pass, they are consecutive only and will expire at midnight on the last day. You can visit as many attractions as you want, but you are only allowed to visit each site once per pass.

powerpass


Price: 

As of July 2018, prices were as followed:

Adults (13 years and up), Child (12 years and under)

  • 1-day pass:  Adult   $69.99   Child  $49.99
  • 2-day pass:  Adult  $119.99  Child  $79.99
  • 3-day pass:  Adult  $149.99  Child  $109.99
  • 5-day pass:  Adult  $199.99  Child $159.99

Kids under the age of 2 are not charged admission at many locations, so this service is recommended for those 2 and up! Purchase your passes here.

Family/Group Passes?

Each pass is good for only one individual. However, you can purchase multiple passes and have them put on the same card. The New Orleans Pass looks like a chip and pin credit card that you present to the guide or box office at attractions. You can load multiple passes on to one card so that every member of the family isn’t required to carry their own. Just make sure the name on the card is the person redeeming the passes as they will check your ID.


Attractions

The pass includes visits to historical sites, cultural experiences, sports, and rides. Top attractions include:

Is it worth it?

There are always pros and cons to these types of city discount passes. It all depends on how you travel, what sites you want to see, and how long you’ll be in NOLA. If you want to see as much as you can and you can fit a lot of the attractions the pass offers into your itinerary, it might add up for you.

One thing to consider is transportation. The New Orleans Pass is good for admission only, but many of the attractions listed are outside of the city. The Swamp tours and Plantation visits are wonderful activities, but without your own car to get there, you will have to pay extra for the transportation.

 


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CHOOSE YOUR ATTRACTIONS PASS

This section will include information about opportunities to build your own pass by choosing your own attractions. This a la carte option will allow you to pick and choose only the attractions you want to visit. The advantage of these tourist passes is that you aren’t paying for any additional services that you don’t intend to use. 


New Orleans Sightseeing Flex Pass

Unlike their all-inclusive pass, this option allows you to choose 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 different attractions for one low price. Visitors who know exactly what they want to see and aren’t interested in paying for anything else should definitely consider the New Orleans Sightseeing Flex Pass. After purchase, you will have 30 days to visit each attraction at your own discretion, making this an excellent choice for both locals and travelers alike.

Prices: (as of July 2018)

Below are the prices that you will pay.  The prices for the 4, 5, & 6 Attraction Flex Passes have a 20% discount applied to them.  To get the discounts on these passes, make sure to use our exclusive promo code: FTBF

The prices in red underneath each multiple-attraction pass listing is the average cost per attraction. Generally, the more attractions in the pass, the lower the average cost per attraction.

  • 2 Attractions:  $49/Adults | $29/Children
    • [$24/attraction/adult and $14/attraction/child]
  • 3 Attractions: $69/Adults | $49/Children
    • [$23/attraction/adult and $16/attraction/child]
  • 4 Attractions: $71/Adults | $55/Children
    • [$18/attraction/adult and $14/attraction/child]
  • 5 Attractions: $87/Adults | $71/Children
    • [$17/attraction/adult and $14/attraction/child]
  • 6 Attractions: $103/Adults | $87/Children
    • [$17/attraction/adult and $14/attraction/child]

Click here for more information or to purchase. Don’t forget to enter our exclusive promo code FTBF for a 20% discount!

Attractions

Here is a short list of some of the attractions, activities, and historic locations you can visit with either the All-Inclusive or Flex-Pass options.

Is it worth the price?

If the included attractions are places you plan to visit anyway, this could easily be a great deal. Many of the activities included with the New Orleans Sightseeing Pass are between $25-$30 per person on average, so if you choose to see at least a few of them, you’ll probably end up saving quite a bit of money.

As with the all-inclusive pass, this option also includes a hop-on, hop-off bus tour. The bus tour is a great addition because it will provide stops at several notable locations throughout the city – including a few places where you can enjoy walking tours and admission to historic sites that also come with the pass.

 


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SWAMP/RIVERBOAT/PLANTATION COMBOS

This section will feature several combo packages offered by local tour companies. Unlike a tourist pass, each package will come with a set number of attractions and services. There are 3 companies that offer these combos: Cajun Encounters, Grayline New Orleans, and Cajun Pride.

These combo deals typically offer fewer options, but they also include activities you won’t find on other passes and they usually include swamp, riverboat and plantation options. 


CAJUN ENCOUNTERS COMBOS

A quick view of their swamp tour video- where they feed adult alligators off the boat- will get you excited about these discounts! They offer 3 different combinations, each offering 2 tours, saving you $8 per person.

To get the discount, you will need to enter promo code FTBF8COMBO when you choose your second option.

Below is their promotional video for their swamp tours.  You could also view their videos for their plantation tours and city bus tours.  All tours include complimentary hotel pick-up and drop-off.

 

 

(Option 1) City, Cemetery and Swamp Tour

This tour combines a city bus sightseeing tour with a visit to one of New Orleans’ historic cemeteries and a trip our to Cajun Encounters’s own boat landing in the Honey Island Swamp. Includes hotel pick-up and drop-off.

You’ll Experience…

  • History of New Orleans
  • French Quarter
  • Garden District
  • Frenchman Street and the Faubourg Marigny
  • Treme
  • Warehouse and Arts District
  • Honey Island Swamp – the only preserved wetlands of Louisiana
  • Wildlife sightings (some thought to be extinct!)
  • Cajun village only accessible by boat
  • History of the seedy dwellers who hid in the swamps

Price 

  • $100 – Adult
  • $65 – Child (under 12)
  • $8 less than buying each separately
  • Purchase tickets 

To get the discount, you will need to enter promo code FTBF8COMBO when you choose your second option. 


(Option 2) Plantation and Swamp Tour

This tour combines 2 historic Mississippi River plantations and historic homes with a swamp tour. Includes hotel pick-up and drop-off.


IMPORTANT: Due to the in-depth natures of these two tours, this combination can’t be done in a single day.  


You’ll Experience…

  • Old River Road’s Historic Homes
  • Oak Alley Plantation (with a quarter mile tunnel of oak trees)
  • Walkthrough of Laura: a Creole Plantation, including historic quarters
  • Honey Island Swamp- the only preserved wetlands of Louisiana
  • Wildlife sightings (some thought to be extinct!)
  • Cajun village only accessible by boat
  • History of the seedy dwellers who hid in the swamps

Price (as of March 2016)

  • $140 – Adult
  • $98 – Child (under 12)
  • $8 less than buying each separately
  • Purchase tickets 

To get the discount, you will need to enter promo code FTBF8COMBO when you choose your second option.


(Option 3) Plantation and City, Cemetery Tour

This tour combines the two plantation visits with the city bus and historic cemetery tour.  Includes hotel pick-up and drop-off.

You’ll Experience…

  • Old River Road’s Historic Homes
  • Oak Alley Plantation (with a quarter mile tunnel of oak trees)
  • Walkthrough of Laura: a Creole Plantation, including historic quarters
  • History of New Orleans
  • French Quarter
  • Garden District
  • Marigny
  • Treme
  • Warehouse and Arts District

Price (as of March 2016)

  • $136 – Adult
  • $98 Child (under 12)
  • $8 less than buying each separately
  • Purchase tickets 

To get the discount, you will need to enter promo code FTBF8COMBO when you choose your second option. 


Before you buy…

Cajun Encounters lives up to its name. For the swamp tour, they use 22 passenger boats (not airboats) that give you a close encounter with plants and animals.

For city and plantation tours, you are able to disembark for a closer look at several spots. While the combo’s $8 savings (5%) may not be a huge discount, what you’re getting is a guaranteed quality tour from a local company that has nearly 20 years of experience.

 


CAJUN PRIDE 

This company is focused on swamp and bayou tours. Cajun Pride is unique from other companies in that they operate in their own private swamp, which they claim means that your boat will be alone on the water.  

They have a good review profile on TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide (see the reviews).  

Since their tours are the Maurepas Swamp to the west of the city, this company may be a good option for those who are also planning a trip to one of the plantations. One bonus is hotel pick-up from most New Orleans hotels.   

SWAMP AND PLANTATION TOUR COMBO

Read our detailed post reviewing all of Cajun Pride tours.   

 


GRAY LINE NEW ORLEANS COMBOS

Gray Line is a national brand offering guided tours, mostly by bus, of New Orleans and the surrounding areas.  Gray Line offers 3 combination packages, a swamp and plantation tour combo, a plantation and city bus tour combo and city bus tour and riverboat cruise.  Grayline offers 10% the price of each product when purchased as a package.

Unfortunately, they do not offer a swamp and city tour like Cajun Encounters, and their packages also don’t include their Hurricane Katrina Tour or their Night Bus Tour.  

Gray Line does not offer hotel pick-up, rather all passengers meet at their French Quarter office. On the plus side, there’s no waiting to pick up other passengers from area hotels.

 

 

Swamp and Plantation Combo

Spend two days exploring with Gray Line’s option to save money by purchasing both the Swamp & Bayou Tour with the Oak Alley Plantation or Whitney Plantation Tour (both top attractions of Louisiana).  BONUS: You save 10% by combining!

Get more information and purchase tickets.

You’ll Experience…

  • The Mississippi River on a custom swamp boat.
  • Learn about wildlife and the vanishing wetlands
  • Travel past several lakes and plantations on a guided route

Plus one of the plantations below

Price

  • $88 – Adult 
  • $45 – Child (ages 6-12) 
  • Free – Child up to 5 years old
  • Saves you $11/adult and $8/child off of the retail price if you were to purchase separately.

Before you buy… The 10% savings is a great deal, but make sure you have two days to spend on these tours. 

Get more information and purchase tickets


Paddle and Wheel Combo

This tour is a great buy, and with a total of about 4 hours, you can see the city and take a cruise full of historical information. You save $7/adult with the combo ticket.  Check out their paddle boat video.  The lead video is of the Super City Bus Tour.  

You’ll Experience…

  • French Quarter
  • Jackson Square
  • Cabildo and Presbytere Museum
  • Historic Cemeteries
  • Bayou St. John
  • Besthoff Sculpture Garden
  • Tulane and Loyola University
  • Audubon Zoo
  • 2-hour cruise with a guided history of the region

Price (as of July 2017)

  • $68 – Adult 
  • $28 – Child (ages 6-12) 
  • Free – Child up to 5 years old
  • You save $7/adult by purchasing together.  You don’t appear to save anything for a child (6-12).

Get more information and purchase tickets


Plantation and Super City Combo

This tour can be done in one OR two days, and covers a lot of ground! See all of the city on the Super City Bus Tour, before visiting your choice of either Oak Alley or Whitney Plantation.  The discount for this combo is $14, a GREAT deal!

You’ll Experience:

  • the French Quarter
  • Jackson Square
  • Cabildo and Presbytere Museum
  • Historic Cemeteries
  • Bayou St. John
  • Besthoff Sculpture Garden
  • Tulane and Loyola University
  • Audubon Zoo

and one of either plantation

  • Guided tour of Oak Alley Plantation, offering a quarter mile of oak tree path.
  • Guided tour of Whitney Plantation, gain insight into the lives of slaves on this plantation.

Price (as of March 2016)

  • $96.50 – Adult 
  • $46 – Child (ages 6-12) 
  • Free – Child up to 5 years old.
  • Saves you $14/Adult and $1/Child.

Get more information and purchase tickets.

 


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COUPONS AND DISCOUNT SITES

There are several places where you are likely to find discounts on hotels, tours, restaurants and shopping.  Some may be familiar to you already.


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