New Orleans is best known for its lively music scene, unique festivals and Creole cuisine. However, travelling on a budget can come with its restrictions. Still, with Go City, you’ll be able to find lots of fun and creative things to do on vacation at a fair price. To make your money go further, have a look at some of our affordable things to do in the city.
Check out the parks
If nature is your thing, New Orleans is home to some of the United States’s most unique public parks. At 1,300 acres, City Park is one of the biggest urban parks in America. With the world’s largest collection of mature live oak trees, the area serves as a great budget-friendly spot for recreation, picnics or just enjoying a long, leisurely walk. The park is open all year round, seven days a week, and is admission-free – just remember to pack your comfortable walking shoes!
But it doesn’t stop there – the city offers a wide array of outdoor spaces which shouldn’t break the bank, including Jackson Square. Seated in the French Quarter of the city, this national historic landmark facing the Mississippi River is surrounded by a number of notable buildings, including the St. Louis Cathedral, the Presbytere and the Pontalba Buildings. The park itself is built up with iron-wrought fences and equestrian statues, showing its long history.
For those who take an interest in the arts, we also recommend looking into the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. A cross between a garden and an outdoor art exhibit, the space showcases contemporary and modern pieces alongside one another. Artists featured in the garden include Katharina Fritsch, Frank Gehry and Jeppe Hein. Walking along the footpaths, it’s hard not to notice the 200-year old live oak trees and gleaming lagoons — overall, the experience is unusual and serene.
Low-budget educational experiences can be difficult to find - however, the city has a lot of affordable museums to offer. Located at the site of the very first apothecary shop, the Pharmacy Museum documents and showcases the history of medicine throughout the 19th century. Exhibiting an extensive collection of old surgical tools, medical instruments and apothecary jars containing their original ingredients, the museum proves to be a fascinating learning experience for all. For those who want to learn more about the topic, the museum also provides educational programs on the history of pharmacy and health care.
If you’re looking to learn more about the city, the Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum might be just for you. Founded in 2011, the museum seeks to remember and celebrate the Lower Ninth Ward, a neighborhood which was largely affected by Hurricane Katrina. The museum presents oral history interviews with Lower Ninth Ward residents, exhibits of fundamental events from the history of the neighborhood, and cultural events to entertain and educate. A moving experience, the museum tells the remarkable tale of the community’s strength and survival.
As far as kid-friendly activities go, the Louisiana Children’s Museum is a great option. This state-of-the-art campus focuses on providing immersive, educational activities for children eight and younger. With 13 interactive exhibits and integrated outdoor spaces, this museum makes for a fun day out-and all at a lower price point! The institution also offers special programs and activities which are designed for children with special needs. Although the space is designed primarily for kids, we think that there’s fun to be had for all the family.
Learn about the culture
New Orleans has an endless list of activities to offer, but a visit wouldn’t be complete without exploring the French Quarter. This historic neighborhood is the cultural hub of the city, fusing colonial French architecture with Caribbean and Southern influences. With its vibrant atmosphere and unique architecture, there's so much that captures the eye. If you’d like to experience more of the city’s rich bohemian culture, you can find live music, street performers, artists and fortune tellers in the quarter. Whilst the show is entirely free, it’s encouraged to tip the musicians and performers.
Besides being a great historical city, New Orleans is known for its distinctive local cuisine. If you’d like a taste of the South sans the hefty price tag, we recommend Parkway Bakery and Tavern. Bold and full of character, this restaurant is known for serving some of the best po’boys around – and has even been visited by Barack Obama himself! For those who are looking for something a little more sweet, Café du Monde might just be for you. Operating out of a beautiful Antebellum building in the French Quarter, this purveyor is best known for their iconic sugar-coated beignets and high-quality coffee. A total New Orleans classic, it’s hard to be disappointed with this one.
For anybody who’s especially interested in Cajun and Creole food, we suggest heading down to the French Market. Sat along the Mississippi River banks, this famous market has an astonishing 230 years of experience in trading. This buzzing fair offers a broad category of products ranging from fresh produce and seafood to Cajun dishes and bakes. There’s a fun, lively atmosphere at the market, with drinks flowing and great local cuisine being served. Among the stands, you should also be able to pick up Cajun and Creole cooking ingredients to add a bit of spice into your repertoire.
New Orleans is a beautiful, unique destination presenting ample opportunities for affordable travel. A top location with an entrancing atmosphere, the city is available to those who know where to look. Thankfully, it’s quite simple to find affordable activities catering to different age groups and areas of interest. With Go City, you can find fun and interesting things to do on your trip which you’ll remember for years to come.