About New Orleans
New Orleans is a popular city of Louisiana, and is located along the Mississippi River in the southeastern region. It serves as a major port and is often considered as the economic and commercial hub for the Gulf Coast region. Moreover, with this New Orleans tour guide, you can learn about the city and plan your trip accordingly.
Furthermore, the city is world renowned for vibrant music, unusual dialects, delectable cuisines, and annual celebrations, including the popular, Mardi Gras. This town is also piled up with popular streets stretched along the French Quarter. Streets such as Bourbon Street are usually crowded, and portray the true colors of this place.
With a total population of 383,997 according to the 2020 U.S. Census, New Orleans is the most populous city. In addition, the population of the metropolitan area is considered to be in a hike, as compared to the last years. It also anchors the Greater New Orleans metropolitan area, which has a population of 1,271,845 as of 2020. This makes it the 46th most populous city of the United States.
New Orleans is located in the Mississippi River Delta, south of Lake Pontchartrain along the coast of the Mississippi River. It is settled approx 105 miles upriver the Gulf of Mexico. The city is around 350 square miles, out of which 169 square miles is land and 181 square miles is water.
New Orleans or La Nouvelle-Orléans was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, director of the French Mississippi Company. It was given this name after the Duke of Orleans, who was a regent in France’s kingdom.
Soon after in 1763, the city was ceded to the Spanish rulers. Plus, the port of New Orleans played an important part in smuggling of military goods and other supplies up from the Mississippi River.
Later on in 1812, the Battle of New Orleans began amongst the US army and British to win the rule of the city. However, General Andrew Jackson cobbled up a military force, with the help of the US navy, to defeat the British. This battle serves as the greatest American victory of the war.
Religion in New Orleans is different and unusual from other parts of the USA. The city is inclined more with Voodoo Catholicism than any other religion. In addition, 64.9% of the population is religious, with 36.3% Christians, 1.4% Judaism, 0.6% Islam, and 2% Jewish. Besides, New Orleans Voodoo is gaining more and more popularity and followers every year.
Being an unusual city, even the culture in New Orleans is impeccable. This distinct culture makes it the most hedonistic city of the USA. With a lesser dominance of American culture, here you will find a blend of French and Spanish cultures scattered over in the city.
American English is the most spoken language in New Orleans, despite the dominance of French colonial history in the city. Moreover, French is rarely used in daily lives. However, many punctuations and expressions influence various languages spoken here. With a mix of cultures and people, French, Spanish, Creole, Cajun, and African languages are also spoken in the city.
The official currency of New Orleans is the U.S. Dollar ($, US$, USD).
New Orleans is a political subdivision of Louisiana. Considering that, the city has a mayor-council government, following a home rule since 1954. In addition, the city council consists of seven members, each selected for a single district, followed by two members elected at large. The present mayor of New Orleans is LaToya Cantrell, who is also considered as the first female mayor leading the city’s council and governmental affairs.
New Orleans covers a humid subtropical climate, with mild winters and hot, humid summers. The annual average temperature ranges from 11.9 °C in January to 28.5 °C in July. Moreover, the dew points in summers are relatively higher and the rainfall months are counted as July to September, and October being the driest month.
When to Go
The best time to visit and explore the culture of this city is around February to May, when the weather is most favorable. During this time, you can witness the annual festivities and celebrations, which elevate the distinctive side of New Orleans. Besides, visiting here in the right season will help you have a worthwhile and memorable vacation.
If you are visiting Louisiana from another country for 90 days for tourism, business, and medical purposes, an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is required. You have to apply for ESTA at least 3 days before your scheduled departure.
Due to Covid-19, there are some travel restrictions in New Orleans. Hence, read the updated government guidelines before applying for a visa.
If you belong to one of the 40 countries part of the Visa Waiver Program, you can apply for ESTA. Additionally, you must have an e-passport to use the Visa Waiver Program. However, the purpose of your visit to New Orleans, Louisiana should be tourism, business, or medical. For other purposes, the eligibility criteria would be different.
For a trip to Louisiana for 90 days, ESTA is the quickest and easiest way to get travel permission. However, check your ESTA eligibility criteria before applying for a B1 and B2 visa.
B1 Business Visa: If you are going to the US for a business meeting or conference.
B2 Tourist Visa: If you are traveling to the US for tourism.
While applying for a visa, the first step is to complete the DS-160 form. Once you submit it online, schedule an interview at the US embassy or consulate in your country. You will need to provide some documents at the interview.
From luxurious and elegant hotels to affordable hostels, the city has a variety of accommodations to choose from. Now let’s look at the best hotels in New Orleans, where you can consider staying during your trip in this city.
When in the US, call 911 in case of any emergency. In addition, the New Orleans Emergency Medical Services Department offers medical assistance to all the residents and tourists visiting this city. Furthermore, below are the emergency contact numbers of emergency services in New Orleans.
- New Orleans East Hospital
Address: 5620 Read Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70127, United States
Contact: +1 504-592-6600
- Curahealth New Orleans
Address: 3801 Bienville Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115, United States
Contact: (504) 899-1555
- Dress Code
Despite being a fancy town, there’s no such dress code followed here. One of the fun facts about New Orleans state, is that you can dress in whichever way you like, and no one will even question it. Dress like Charlie Chaplin or wear flip flops if that’s what you prefer. However, mind your outfit before entering a chic bar at night. Many of the French Quarter restaurants, generally ask to wear a tuxedo for men and a classy dress for women.
Drinking is 100% legal and allowed in New Orleans. You can even drink in public places without anyone batting an eye. However, use only plastic cups for drinking in a street or two. The famous French Quarter is an open evidence of drinking trends in the city. Besides, there’s a reason why this city is known as the best place to drink in the USA.
Tipping is definitely necessary in the city. Wherever you eat, drink or party do remember to spare a tip of at least 20% of your bill if the service was average. However, for above and beyond services, a tip of 25% is good to spare.
While jotting down this New Orleans tour guide, another important thing is to learn about the photography guidelines followed here. As a matter of fact, clicking pictures is completely legal in this city even in the museums, provided that you use non-professional equipment and smartphones to click pictures. You can also take photographs of the other attractions present in New Orleans.
When traveling to New Orleans, there are plenty of corners you can explore and learn about their history too. That being said, the city comprises certain neighborhoods contributing to the popularity of this city. So, let’s have a look at each of these districts, which is also considered as one of the best things to do in New Orleans.
- Algiers Point
This district feels like a small river town, considering it is nestled on the point where the Mississippi River bends sharply opposite the French Quarter. In addition, this place gets a spectacular view of the whole city, including the churches and skyscrapers.
It is known as the historical district of the town and houses more than 7000 people. It is a peaceful neighborhood boasting several historical homes and ancient buildings, which attracts many tourists here.
- French Quarter
Being the most popular district of New Orleans, French Quarter has gained significant fame. Be it the vibrant nightlife, bars and lounge lined with celebrations or world-class restaurants, this neighborhood will never disappoint you.
- Garden District
This district is certainly a beautiful district of New Orleans. Lined up with oak trees and historic homes, this neighborhood has become the second-most popular place, the tourists love to visit in this city. If you’re traveling with your beloved, then walking down the streets of this corner is a perfect date plan for you.
This neighborhood is located in the northwest region of the city and is mostly surrounded by water. With surrounding water and street canals, this place is the largest sailing spot of New Orleans.
Located just downriver from the French Quarter, you will find this amazingly beautiful neighborhood, covered with elegant buildings and bars. Besides, nights are even more exciting and thrilsome when the streets are filled with vibrant music and locals enjoying and partying.
The Warehouse district which inclines with the CBD is perfect deja vu of New York City. In addition, this part of the city is devoted to art and photography, which attracts young painters and photographers to live and work here.
Museum and Cultural Tour
Museum tour is a crucial part of the New Orleans tour guide and luckily, there are tons of museums you can explore in this city. From historical centers to popular art museums the city receives a lot of appreciation for the conservation of American culture. In addition, the city is immensely dedicated to such world renowned museums and art galleries that augment the beauty of this place and attract several tourists here.
Top Museums and Art Galleries
National WWII Museum
New Orleans Museum of Art
Mardi Gras World
New Orleans Jazz Museum
New Orleans Sightseeing
Oak Alley Plantation
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
New Orleans Rum Distillery
New Orleans Food and Wine Tour
High End Dining
If you’re thinking about the best restaurant in New Orleans, then here comes a list of all the eateries you can have a delicious bite in. Additionally, New Orleans boasts plenty of delectable restaurants that often attract tourists visiting the city.
With a decent amount of finest restaurants, this foodie town pays a considerable respect to culinary traditions of Louisiana. The creative chefs of the city are gifted with a talent to sprinkle flavors of America in each dish they prepare.
So, let’s explore the list of top-rated delectable restaurants this city has to offer. But do remember to check the latest travel restrictions in New Orleans.