New Orleans in 2 Days

New Orleans is a colourful and lively city located on the Southern coast of Louisiana, made famous by its Creole food and exciting nightlife. Easily accessible via the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, NOLA is in fact one of the most visited cities in the United States. The best place discover Southern culture, to celebrate a special occasion, or to turn back time. 

If you are thinking of visiting New Orleans as part of a group trip, check out the Eastern Discovery with Contiki blog post. 


Table of Contents

New Orleans Itinerary


French Quarter

New Orleans is home to the some of most beautifully ornate French colonial architecture in the world. Most of the city’s most picturesque streets are found in the appropriately named French Quarter. This area of New Orleans truly makes you feel as though you are in another country. Jackson Square is its hub, where you can find many local artists and musicians. Another place well worth the visit is the French Market, filled with stands of delicious Southern foods and crafts. Café du Monde is the best place to sit back, absorb the buzzing atmosphere and dust your face with beignets. 

Garden District

For those looking to explore a wealthier side to New Orleans, the Garden District is home to grand historic mansions with streets lined by hanging oak trees. It is certainly one of the prettiest neighbourhoods in the city, and is worth wandering around. The area is accessible via a short ride on one of the city’s historic streetcars that travels along St. Charles Avenue. Whilst in the Garden District, head to Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 for some insight into New Orleans’ haunted side and unique landscape. Here, people are remembered with tombstones that sit above the ground due to the city’s high water levels. 

Airboat Tour

Escape the city this afternoon by heading out on an airboat tour. Not only will you have the chance to spot hundreds of alligators lurking in the murky waters, but also learn about life on the bayou. The landscape here is incredibly unique, and feels like a magical scene straight out of Princess and the Frog. The tour was such a fun way to learn about such a unique culture and area of the world. I recommend booking online ahead of time to reserve your desired time. Airboat Adventures offers multiple tours throughout the day from USD$59*, as well as transportation to and from the bayou for an extra USD$30* per person.

Bourbon Street

New Orleans is undoubtedly famous for its crazy nightlife, and Bourbon Street provides the heart of this entertainment. Spend the night bar-hopping along the street, dancing to every kind of music from jazz, to country, to karaoke. My favourite bars on Bourbon Street include:

Tropical Isle – the only place to try the world famous ‘hand grenade’ cocktail

Cat’s Meow – for some late-night karaoke

Maison Bourbon – for classical jazz music

Boot Scootin Rodeo – for country music and a ride on a mechanical bull

New Orleans, LA, USA


Plantation Tour

Head to the outskirts of New Orleans this morning for a glimpse into the city’s dark past. It is no secret that the South was home to such widespread slavery, so New Orleans is no exception. The city and its rich culture and history really cannot be fully appreciated without a visit to one of the nearby plantations. 

Oak Alley Plantation is one of the largest and most famous experiences in New Orleans, located just one hour outside of the city centre. The estate offers immersive insight into the lives of the rich and poor who lived here during the antebellum era in Louisiana. It is also required that you arrange your own transport to the location, either by car rental or an organised tour. Gray Line offers an Oak Alley Plantation Tour, including transport and ticket purchase for $USD82* per person. 

Southern Food and Beverage Museum

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is an underrated experience in New Orleans. The museum is such a fun and interactive way to learn about the culture of the South, particularly New Orleans and the height of its temptation during the prohibition era of the 1920’s. Various exhibits walk you through the history of the Southern states through the lens of food and drink. Tickets can be purchased online for just USD$12*. 

For foodies, like myself, the museum is also home to a cooking school, offering lessons in both creole and cajun styles. Having never before tried Southern food, I booked the ‘Taste of Louisiana: Hands-On Cajun Class and Lunch’ option for USD$115*. Now, I certainly understand the hype. The foods prepared were a delicious mixture of meats and stews which I had never before experienced. Despite having visited two years ago, the gumbo is still something I crave daily. 

Ghost and Spirits Tour

To end your time in this beautifully haunted city, embark on a nighttime ghost and spirits walking tour through the French Quarter. Although certainly adrenaline inducing, the tour was a unique way of hearing the stories of real people who had lived and died in New Orleans at various points in the city’s history. You will also learn about the Voodoo religion that has been practiced here for over 300 years. Gray Line also offers an Interactive Ghost and Spirits Walking Tour every night, for just USD$27*. 

*Please note that all prices are current as of the publication date of this post.

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