Setting off to New Orleans, but not sure how to squeeze all of those incredible attractions into just two days? Don’t worry-we've got you covered. Whether you’re traveling for Mardi Gras, or planning a romantic getaway, the city has plenty to offer. So, if you're heading up to The Big Easy for a couple of days, make sure to check out our rundown of the best landmarks, activities, and restaurants to add to your itinerary.
See the Sights
It’d be a sin to visit New Orleans without checking out the St. Louis Cathedral. Situated in the heart of old New Orleans, this venerable structure is the oldest Cathedral in North America. Towering over its neighbors and built in a unique mixture of architectural styles, the building commands full attention from passersby. Visitors can take guided walking tours to see the fine details and stained-glass windows. Combining art with history, this tour provides an interesting and educational experience for those who want to learn more about the background of the city.
Another must-see in the city is Audubon Zoo. Dating back from the early 20th century, this place is one of the country’s oldest and top-ranked wildlife parks. Situated in historic Uptown New Orleans, this iconic landmark and living museum is filled with an exotic mix of animals from around the world. In addition, the zoo’s award-winning natural habitats including their Louisiana Swamp and Jaguar Jungle allow visitors to explore one of the most unique ecosystems in the United States. Exciting as well as educational, this one is fun for all the family.
After you’ve finished up at the Zoo, head over to the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park to get a dose of some culture. A perfect stop for art lovers, this award-winning museum houses an impressive collection of artworks spanning over 5,000 years. With an expansive repository ranging from European paintings and sculptures from the 16th through 20th centuries to American pieces from the 18th and 19th centuries, this place has it all. Educational and fun, this place makes for the perfect day trip.
It wouldn’t be a New Orleans article without mentioning Mardi Gras. Whilst the festival itself usually takes place in the Springtime, Mardi Gras World provides visitors with a way to experience the traditional Christian celebration all year long. Located on the East Bank of the Mississippi River, this 300,000 square-ft working warehouse houses over 80 per cent of the floats which are constructed for carnival season, as well as an expansive collection of intricate costumes and props. On the tour, visitors can learn more about the holiday and its unique customs, and see how the breathtaking floats are built.
New Orleans is well-recognized for all things Jazz. Those who want to recapture the true essence of the genre should head down to Preservation Hall for an authentic experience. Once serving as a practice hall for the living legends of the New Orleans Jazz scene, the venue now works to honor and preserve one of America’s most respected art forms. On any night of the week, you can book to see stunning live performances from masters of the genre. Operating as a small venue, the shows have an incredibly intimate atmosphere which can't be found anywhere else.
The city is internationally renowned for its stunning architecture and fascinating history. Those who are interested in seeing more should consider checking out the Presbytère. In the past, the important landmark served as a courthouse as well as a residence for monks, whilst today it is part of the Louisiana State Museum, with educational displays telling the story of New Orleans culture. Showcasing an expansive collection of important cultural artefacts, this one is perfect for those of all ages.
Learn about the City
With its long and fascinating history, New Orleans is home to many world-class museums. Situated along Jackson Square, the Cabildo seeks to inspire, educate, and engage through its collection and preservation of unusual artworks and rare mementos of the past. Built into one of the most historically significant buildings in America, this stunning landmark houses over five hundred pieces pertaining to Southern history. Whilst the museum’s architectural integrity and fascinating background is enough to draw us in, the repository’s historical treasures puts it right at the top of our itinerary.
One of our favorite places in New Orleans is the Backstreet Cultural Museum. Tucked away, but definitely not to be missed, the institute displays an amazing collection of memorabilia from Mardi Gras, Jazz funerals, and more. Exhibiting a fascinating and misrepresented part of New Orleans culture, the museum seeks to educate its visitors about Mardi Gras Indian lifestyle. As beautiful as it is interesting, the repository is comprised of intricately beaded and feathered suits, rare photographs of Indian gangs, and priceless artefacts. A totally one-of-a-kind experience, the museum provides a valuable learning experience concerning a small, fractured part of the community.
Though some choose to opt out, we recommend a plantation tour for those who are interested in learning more about the history of the Antebellum South. Located on the East Bank of the Mississippi River, the San Francisco Plantation House is often regarded to be the most opulent plantation of its kind in North America. Originally constructed in 1849, the building exhibits an extravagant concoction of architectural styles – a style which has often been referred to as ’’Steamboat Gothic‘’. Visitors can take guided tours to see the fine details and antique artefacts up close. On the tour, an expert guide will take your through the unique and somber history of the estate.
Situated in South-Eastern Louisiana, New Orleans is charming, energetic and family-friendly. While 2 days might not seem like very long to explore, you can customize your trip to focus on the highlights of the city. Choose from historical landmarks, fun activities, tempting restaurants, and more - the world is your oyster! To maximize your time, we recommend staying in the city center – this way, you’ll spend less time travelling from place to place. To make the most out of your travel experience, check out our All-Inclusive Pass and Explorer pass.