This post is about taking the St. Charles Streetcar from the French Quarter to the Garden District and beyond.
We include tips for visitors on where to board, fares, and passes as well as a guide to riding New Orleans Streetcars.
- Where to Board
- Stops Along the Way
- Fares + Passes
- Guide to the Garden District
- Things to Do in NOLA
- Free Tours by Foot
The Historic St. Charles Streetcar Line is the city's longest and the world's oldest continuously operating street railway system.
Travel along St. Charles Avenue, following the path of the Mississippi River, past beautiful mansions and live oaks, then around the Riverbend, past Audubon Park, Loyola, and Tulane Universities, and into Carrollton at Claiborne Avenue, which is the end of the line.
The cars on this line are vintage streetcars that have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and have not been altered.
This means that there is no air conditioning and that the cars are driven with their windows open.
Because the cars are registered landmarks, not all of them are ADA-compliant. Having said that, there are two vehicles on this line that are compliant for anyone who requires assistance.
This car operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is even used by locals.
WHERE TO BOARD THE ST. CHARLES STREETCAR
From the western edge of the French Quarter, you can access the stop by crossing Canal Street at Bourbon.
The street names change on either side of Canal St., and Bourbon St. becomes Carondolet (pronounced car-ron-doe-let).
The stop is located on the right side of the Foot Locker store and is detectable by an elongated yellow car stop sign.
Click here for directions to the streetcar stop.
You could also use this Google 360 street view to familiarize yourself with the streetcar stop.
The image below is from Canal Street looking southwest along Carondelet
WHAT YOU WILL SEE
Before we tell you what to expect, we want you to be aware of our GPS-enabled audio tour of the St. Charles Streetcar that you could take with you.
Here's a sample.
Click here to get the audio tour.
Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy some of New Orleans' finest architecture.
While on your journey from the Central Business District to the outskirts of Uptown, you will pass through the first of the “American Neighborhoods”.
Known today as the Central Business District, it was the first neighborhood for the American prospectors arriving in town shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
Many of the properties in this area date back to the 1820s.
If you have time, you might consider stopping at the National World War 2 Museum.
And if you are considering a tourist attraction discount pass, then know that this museum is included in all of them.
After approximately 2.5 miles, exit at the Washington Avenue stop.
Your streetcar conductor will be calling out every stop, so you won’t have to worry about passing it by. You will also see lots of people getting off at this stop.
Walk down Washington Avenue (to the left upon exiting the streetcar) and walk one block.
You will meet your Garden District guide in front of the Rink, a large yellow building to your left.
Or you could visit on your own, we have a GPS-enabled audio tour as well as a guide to the neighborhood.
This is also the stop for Commander's Palace, the iconic New Orleans restaurant.
This part continues until around Tulane and Loyola Universities and Audubon Park and Zoo and is one of the most visually stunning parts of the line.
FARES AND PASSES
New Orleans buses and streetcars are operated by the Regional Transit Authority (RTA). Their website offers comprehensive information on their routes, schedules, and fares.
For children over 2 and adults, both the bus and streetcar cost $1.25 to ride, children under 2 are free and for adults 65+ with I.D. is 40 cents.
It is important to know that exact change is required when purchasing one-way and single-day passes from your streetcar driver.
Drivers do not issue change. Any change due will be printed on a ticket card, which you can use for your next streetcar ride.
The RTA offers unlimited ride passes (Jazzy passes) for added convenience and savings. Their one-day pass can be purchased directly from the driver or conductor for $3.00.
3-day ($9), 5-day ($15), and 31-day ($55) passes must be purchased online or at a Jazzy Pass Ticket Vending Machine.
All other Jazzy passes have to be purchased from a vendor and most Walgreens locations carry these Passes. Jazzy Pass purchase locations.