The French Quarter in New Orleans oozes history. The area is filled with music. The atmosphere is buzzy and vibrant 24 hours a day.
New Orleans French Quarter is the oldest neighbourhood in the city. Most of its architecture was built in the late 18th century during the period of Spanish rule over the city, which is reflected in the stunning architecture.
New Orleans French Quarter
The district is now a National Historic Landmark and a prime tourist destination. Luckily it was built on higher ground than anywhere else in the city and so survived the floods of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 which left the rest of the CBD submerged for 12 months.
There are many beautiful and interesting shops and galleries to browse in.
Don’t miss Bourbon Street for its world-famous pubs and restaurants, clubs and history. And you just have to take a walk down Royal Street with its antique shops, art galleries and historic hotels with awe-inspiring architecture.
The scene at night is filled with music in the bars and performances on the street, shops selling voodoo icons and ghostly haunted house tours. It’s the only city you will see signs to rent an apartment that “isn’t haunted”.
New Orleans People watching
And there are other things ‘gay’ and much more X-rated. People watching certainly can a fulltime pastime in New Orleans French Quarter!
Jazz and music festivals abound including the infamous Mardi Gras in February, one of New Orleans’ most famous celebrations attracting a ton of visitors and also cherished by the locals, and the French Quarter Jazz Festival in April.
The French Market near Jackson Square is also worth a visit. It is open 7 days a week selling local crafts and local delicacies such as gator tail bites and seafood gumbo. Here’s how to spend three days in New Orleans.
10 things you should know about the French Quarter in New Orleans.
1-You can cruise the quarter on a horse-drawn buggy or a ‘taxi’ tricycle
2-Or get a free ride in a cool ARV (but they only take you to the local police station…)
3-Jazz funerals and weddings regularly frequent the streets, so if you see one, just join in. The more the merrier.
4-Beads, masks, wigs and bawdy outfits are popular day and night – nothing is too outrageous.
5-Don’t walk down the middle of the road or you will be showered with beads thrown from the balconies.
6-You can drink 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The French Quarter never runs out of alcohol.
7-Whilst you can’t drink and drive, it’s ok to drink while you walk (‘take away’ drinks are allowed)
8-Alcoholic cocktails are sold out of ice slush machines and be warned, they all have quite a kick
9-Visit the home of the Hurricane, a rum and grenadine based cocktail, Pat O’Brien’s, a real fun historic place to knock back a few whilst standing around the stunning fountain of fire in the back courtyard
10-You have to try a melon flavoured Hand Grenade, an explosive concoction served up in the five Tropical Isle bars as being the most powerful drink in New Orleans, and the Trip Advisor’s best drink on Bourbon Street
Whether you are an art critic, a history buff, a spirited shopper or simply a sightsee-er, everyone can have fun in New Orleans. With so much culture, history and entertainment, you will find a unique and exciting experience around every corner. The New Orleans French Quarter is a great place to visit!