New Orleans It is one of the most culturally and gastronomically interesting cities in U.S. In its streets we can enjoy a rich history, a gastronomy reflecting its mixture of cultures and an incredible music scene. A city that has lived through endless calamities and has always resurfaced with more force. If you wonder what to see, what to eat, how to move and where to sleep during three days in New Orleans Do not miss this guide.
Guided tour of New Orleans: French Quarter, Cemetery and Voodoo tour
To get to know the history of the city better and know how to orient ourselves, we decided to take a guided tour of downtown New Orleans. The tour French Quarter, Cemetery and Voodoo we hired him at Getyourguide and it cost us € 11 per person. In this tour of more than two hours we met the New Orleans history starting with him french quarter. A neighborhood that, due to the orography of the city, housed all kinds of cultures in its streets. From the rich Creoles from France, slaves brought from the coast of Africa and immigrants from various countries.
We learned the history of this city that was also a Spanish colony and the origin of the Creole and Cajun food. On the tour we visited the cemetery number 1 of Saint Louise and we learned the story of Marie Laveau, the so-called "queen of voodoo," and we even saw the hideous grave that will house the remains of Nicholas Cage. The tour ended in Congo Square and in the near Louis Armstrong Park, and it was a great way to get to know the city and know much more about its history.
French Quarter or French Quarter
He French Quarter or also known as "Vieux Carré”Is the most emblematic and touristic neighborhood of New Orleans. It is a rarity within the architecture that we can find in other cities in the United States and has a beauty that reminds us of ancient European cities. The architecture of the historic center reminds us of Spanish and French buildings. The houses of two and three floors are very characteristic, with a balcony decorated with wrought iron very worked. It also highlights the colors of the houses and the ceramic plates of Talavera that reminds us of the name that the street had in the Spanish colonial era. For example, the mythical and infamous Bourbon Street in its day was Bourbon Street.
Bourbon Street It is the main artery of the French Quarter. This street that goes from Canal St. (where the trams stop) to Esplanade St. is the liveliest in the French Quarter. During the day we can find kids playing a plastic cube as a drummer to earn a few dollars and even some jazz bands that improvise concerts in the middle of the street. At night the atmosphere changes completely, all the bars are full of people, and the fact that alcohol can be consumed on the street makes the atmosphere a bit of a lag.
There are people drinking huge jugs of cocktails and bars with butt music. We visit New Orleans on weekdays, so imagine what the atmosphere has to be like on a Saturday night. Among all the music bars in the area there is one that stands out among all of them: Maison Bourbon. This is one of the oldest jazz clubs in New Orleans and the United States, and one of the few places to listen to authentic jazz on Bourbon Street.
Another historic place to listen to good jazz in the French Quarter is the Preservation Hall, which was created in 1961 to preserve and protect the jazz created in New Orleans. Unlike Maison Bourbon, here you have to pay admission to attend daily concerts.
Between Café du Monde and Splanade Street This French Quarter market is extended, which is unique in the United States and one of the oldest (dating from 1791). A market with outdoor parties and covered parts where we can find food stops, a market with all kinds of products and even live music. It has a very European air and is a good place to go shopping or have a relaxing drink. It is open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If you want to enjoy the live music in New Orleans in a less crazy environment, the place is Frenchmen street. This street has more than twenty stores that offer live music every day of the week. Among all of them stands out The Spotted Cat Music Club, one of the most famous places in the city.
There we can have a drink while listening to good live music. The downside is that there is little room to sit as it is a fairly small place. Another place that also has very good live music and also serves meals is the The Maison. It is a good place to dine in the area of Frenchmen street before going to have a drink at The Spotted Cat.
During the nineteenth century this area of the city housed the warehouses that kept the merchandise that was transported by the Mississipi River. With the fall of maritime trade this area was forgotten until a few years ago. Currently, the Warehouse District It is one of the most fashionable areas of the city and the old brick buildings that kept cotton and sugar cane have become art galleries, museums, cafes and trendy restaurants. One of the most beautiful areas is among Magazine St and Julia St. In this district there is also what is considered one of the best museums in the United States: The National WWII Museum.
Visit to The National WWII Museum
Come on, do you go to New Orleans to visit the World War II Museum? It is the first thing we think when we learned about this museum. It was not at all our intention to visit it. We had chosen to visit The Mardi Gras World, but just those days it was closed due to a music festival.
So we ended up in the Warehouse District in front of the National WWII Museum debating whether it was worth entering or not. The $ 27 worth of admission did not make it easy for us, but we finally opted to enter and also paid the extra $ 6 to see the movie in 4D Beyond All Boundaries.
Honestly, if you have time on your visit to New Orleans, I recommend that you go to this museum for the deployment of media and the didactic way in which it explains both the European campaign and the Pacific campaign. It is a museum pass. It is one of the best I've visited in modern history and after visiting the Moscow Museum of Contemporary History, Hiroshima and the Tokyo-Edo Museum I have been able to have a more global vision (and of almost all parts) of World War II. To visit this museum you need to dedicate at least 4 intense hours.
This neighborhood dates from 1832 when this area was composed of plantations and the "Americans" preferred to settle in this area further away from the French Creoles. In this way they moved away from the narrow and populated French Quarter to be able to have larger houses. Formerly this area was known as Lafayette, but in 1852 it was annexed with the city of New Orleans. The Garden District stands out for having a large number of Southern-style mansions that remain intact. It is one of the most opulent areas of the city and where celebrities such as Anne Rice, Sandra Bullock or John Goodman have their residence.
There are companies that perform guided tours of the Garden District, but we did it for free by following this itinerary. To get there we take the tram on Canal Street on the St. Charles line to the Washington Avenue stop.
Next to the Mississipi River we have the entire Riverwalk area. From here the Steamboats that run along the Mississipi River while they offer food and live music. We did not do this activity, but we did visit The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk. Normally we would not recommend a shopping center, but the good thing about this outlet is that it is a "tax-free" area so you can shop at a great price. For the tax-free you have to go with your passport to the office that is on the second floor of the mall and they will refund you in cash part of the taxes of your purchase.
Tremé was one of the neighborhoods most affected by Hurricane Katrina and one of the neighborhoods where some of the effects can still be seen. The story goes that the free black population was looking for a place to live at a reasonable price near the French Quarter and settled in this area of the city. This neighborhood is also known for its Brass Bands, street music bands that come out at festivities, celebrations and funerals. Mythical places are the Carver Theater or the Willie Mae's restaurant.
We walked from Louis Arsmtrong Park to eat at Willie Mae's and the truth is that we went through an area that no we should Luckily nothing happened to us because it was noon, but at night it would be another song. Even so, if you visit Tremé, it is better to avoid the area between the highway and the Willie Mae's and walk along the main avenue. This was recommended to us later ...
Forget the car in New Orleans. If you have a rental car, it is best to leave it parked at the hotel and move around the city on foot or by streetcar. The tram is a very effective and cheap method to get around the city. The single ticket costs $ 1.25. When you go up you have to pay the ticket or you can buy a one-day pass for $ 3 and it also serves buses. You have to pay in cash and with the exact price, since they do not return change. There are five tram lines that work all night too. You can check the schedules and prices of the passes on its website.
Within an hour's drive of New Orleans along the Mississipi River, landowners were installed in large manor houses with countless tracts of land and a large number of slaves who worked them. Today, some of those plantations that have become museums that tell us that dark part of the history of the United States are still preserved. If you do not have a car you can hire a tour to one of these plantations from New Orleans with transfer.
Of the various plantations there are, we decided to visit Oak Alley Plantation. A plantation that stands out for the avenue of oaks that leads to the mansion. In this mansion movie scenes were shot Interview with the vampire. Upon accessing the site, we first visited the area of the slaves, an area that they have recreated such as the booths where the slaves lived, with much information about the work they did and the type of treatment they received. This plantation was sugarcane, one of the hardest crops there was at the time.