New Orleans, on Louisiana's Gulf Coast, is driven by the steady rhythm of its musical heritage. Drink, dine and be merry, feel the city's heartbeat on your tongue at the eateries on Bourbon Street to The French Quarter. Then explore the city's tree-fenced Uptown streets before going on to boho Baywater. Find your feet on Frenchmen Street where dancing the night away is usually a given, not an option. 

There's no question that the Big Easy will keep you entertained from sunup to sunset. But if you're wondering what sights and sounds will also go easy on your wallet, we have just the list for you. 

New Orleans Museum of Art

Having opened its doors in 1911 with only nine works of art on display, the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) has flourished into one of the city's oldest fine arts institutions, now home to more than 40,000 objects, art and photography from all over the world. Beyond the museum's collections lies its 12-acre Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden: a landscaped exhibition space for over 90 sculptures. Discover them among the two-century-old live oaks, magnolias and twinkling lagoons. 

Address: 151 Collins Diboll Cir, New Orleans, LA 70124

Opening times: 

Tuesday - Friday 10AM - 6PM.

Saturday 10AM - 5PM

Sunday 11AM - 5PM


Jazz in the park

The dancing masses in Louis Armstrong Park is as much of a feature of springtime in New Orleans as the Spanish moss gathering on its oak trees. Join the festivities from spring until fall, when you'll be treated to a free series of outdoor musical performances. Every Thursday evening, just outside the French Quarter, you'll enjoy live music, delicious Cajun and Creole dishes and craft stores displaying handmade goods from local and international artists. 

Address: Louis Armstrong Park 901 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Opening times: Every Thursday 4PM - 8PM


Second Line

During the 19th Century, African-American fraternal organizations and societies mobilized to provide insurance and burial services to the community. These organizations promoted their work through jubilant parades and local celebrations while honoring the departed. 

But as racial segregation began to dwindle and mainstream companies started supporting African-American requests, these community-run organizations were less necessary. Instead, their parades became symbols of unity, positive energy, and a showcase of local talent.  

Join the dozens of different second line parades put on throughout the year, usually on Sunday afternoons in the French Quarter and neighborhoods all across the city. Brass bands, vibrant costumes and the spontaneous energy of a block party.

Address: Vary each week

Opening times: Every Sunday 1PM - 5PM


Wednesday at the Square

There's no better showcase of New Orleans's community spirit than this free, 10-concert music series set in the heart of its Central Business District. Organized by more than 100 volunteers on a weekly basis, Wednesday at the Square has become a beloved springtime tradition. Live music, and food and drink are sure to keep first-time visitors and locals entertained, while sales of food and drink benefit the Young Leadership Council's community service projects. 

Address: S Maestri Pl, New Orleans, LA 70130

Opening times: Wednesdays 5PM - 8PM (March-May)


The French Market

With over three centuries of history and six blocks of shopping options, The French Market is one of the oldest and most famous markets in the state. Let the smell of freshly brewed coffee refresh your senses (the market has been home to coffee stands and expert baristas since the 1860s) before exploring its enchanting shops and stalls. Visit speciality bookstores and gift shops - why not buy a Louisiana cookbook and take a piece of the area home with you? Try Aunt Sally's world-famous Creole pralines and grab a captivating treasure at the flea market. 

Address: 151008 N. Peters Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

Opening times: Daily 10AM - 6PM


Louis Armstrong Park

Louis Armstrong is still one of the city's most celebrated and proudest exports. This prodigious jazz talent was the foundational influence for jazz today, with a warm, gravelly voice full of New Orlean spirit, recognized the world over. The 32-acre Louis Armstrong Park, located at 701 N. Rampart Street on the edge of the French Quarter, is a homage to the city's most celebrated native sons. Its location, in the Tremé neighborhood, also honors the area's rich musical legacy, as the birthplace of many of New Orleans's most famous jazz musicians. Be sure to visit the park's Congo Square, which took its name from the slaves who gathered there on their day off, to sing, beat drums, sell handmade goods and celebrate. The park also annually hosts Martin Luther King Day celebrations, Red Dress Run, weddings, festivals, concerts, filming and more besides, making it the perfect place for a free but exciting day out. 

Address: 701 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Opening times: Daily 8AM - 6PM


City Park

No trip to New Orleans would be complete without a visit to one of the city's largest and oldest urban parks. Take in captivating moss canopies, botanical gardens and an open-air sculpture garden. And free your inner child at the amusement park, where one of its original hand-carved flying horses will transport you back in time. This natural utopia is also home to the world's largest stand of mature live oaks, including an 800-year old grand oak. Stroll through the park or get active on one of its 26 tennis courts or biking, jogging, and walking trails. 

Address: 1 Palm Dr, New Orleans, LA 70124

Opening times: Daily 9AM - 5PM


French Quarter Festival

With over two decades' experience in hosting the largest free music festival in the South, French Quarter Festival is the place to be for music lovers of all ages. Organized by more than 1,500 volunteers annually, the festival boasts over 20 stages throughout the French Quarter. Discover local music and tap your feet to traditional and contemporary jazz or get moving to New Orleans funk, brass bands, folk, gospel and more. And if all that dancing has worked up an appetite, you'll appreciate Louis Armstrong-inspired dishes and excellent local cuisine from incredible Louisiana restaurants.

Address: New Orleans, LA 70130

Opening times: Every April