Planning a trip to New Orleans? If so, you just might be thinking about the best ways to get around the city once you’re there. Well, lucky for you, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide of how to see the sites whilst soaking up all that the area has to offer. Voracious explorers, pay attention, as we take you through some of the most efficient and affordable ideas to help you get along with your trip.
One of the best ways to explore New Orleans is by foot. We especially recommend walking for first timers, since the city has a vibe you simply can’t find anywhere else. Strolling through the area, you’ll be able to admire its lively streets, vibrant history, and stunning architecture. We suggest getting around heel-to-toe in the Autumn and Springtime when the weather is a little cooler. Those who need a little guidance whilst exploring should be able to find several walking tours on offer throughout the city.
Another great way to see the sites en route is by bike. Designed before cars, the city’s flat, confined infrastructure naturally lends itself to bike riding. If you’re interested in riding around the historic neighborhoods of New Orleans, you’ll be able to rent a bike from a vendor, sign up for the city’s bike-share program, or book a biking tour. With hundreds of bike routes as well as scenic parks with trails and waterfront paths, we couldn’t think of a better way to explore the city. Economical and environmentally friendly – what's not to love?
Whilst walking and biking are an excellent way to explore the city, they can often be tiresome. To rest your weary legs, why not hop into a pedicab? Scattered around the central areas of the city, this mode of transportation provides a quick and easy way to move around. Fun and eco-friendly, the buggies allow you to take in all the sights without having to walk long distances. Since the pedicabs have canvas, convertible-style roofs, they’re a great option all year round, as they can shield you from all types of weather.
Although taxis grant a slightly less picturesque journey than some of our aforementioned options, they’re still one of the most popular choices for moving around the city. Offering a quick and efficient way to get to your destination, they primarily operate along the Canal Street downtown corridor and in the French Quarter and nearby Garden District neighborhoods. Those who are looking for taxi service should be able to hail down a passing cab, wait at a taxi stand, or call for a pickup. While playing a vital role in the city’s thriving tourism sector, taxi rates can pretty damning – those visiting during Mardi Gras will have some serious price surges to deal with. To make your journey more economical, check out some options for rideshares here: https://www.neworleans.com/plan/transportation/ride-sharing/
Streetcars are a cool and unique way to experience the many areas of New Orleans. Constructed in the early 1800s, the trams are iconic to the city, retaining much of their 19th-century charm and romance. Operating on five lines, (St. Charles, Canal, Riverfront, Rampart St.-Claude, Loyola/UPT), this is an affordable and convenient way to see the area. Although the streetcar experience isn’t as panoramic as walking or biking, riders can still catch views of antebellum mansions, stunning parks, and fine hotels. What’s particularly special about riding via streetcar is that you are travelling with a piece of Southern history.
Since New Orleans is surrounded by immense rivers, meandering waterways, and endless canals, it’s no surprise that ferries are a very necessary implementation in the city’s transportation system. A staple attraction and super fun way to navigate the city, the ferry will be able to get you where you want to go at a lower cost. Especially good for those who aren’t planning to rent a car, ferries provide a great way to get around without restriction. Hop on the boat to Chalmette to check out the battlefields, to Algiers for a sweet day trip, or catch a steamboat tour to watch the skyline sparkle from a distance - whatever you decide to do, the world is your oyster!
As a tourist, you can’t always rely on a cab or Uber to take you where you want to go – this is why it’s important to consider different methods of travel. A cheap and efficient mode of transportation, car rental provides a great way to venture outside of the city. Since driving in the narrow, one-way streets of New Orleans can be a laborious task, we only recommend renting a vehicle to further explore the area. If you’re thinking about car rental, just make sure to check different companies' rates to find the best deals.
As with most big cities, New Orleans has a great metropolitan bus system in order. Although less romantic than the streetcar, this modern mode of transport has more expansive routes, meaning that you can get to almost any area of the city with ease. If you’re planning to use the bus all throughout your stay, you should consider buying a Jazzy pass, which offers unlimited rides with discounts for seniors, students and children available. However, bear in mind that it isn’t the most reliable way to navigate the area. Those who are choosing this method of transport should be aware of delays and keep a loose schedule. We also suggest having a backup plan in place, in case the bus doesn’t arrive on the dot. Still, taking public transit comes with some great perks; you’ll get to interact with the locals, connect with the city, and lower your carbon footprint all at once.
As you can see, New Orleans presents many great options for transportation. We hope you found our roundup of the most practical and affordable ways to move around the city useful. Whether you’re looking to cycle around the Garden District, take a ferry to Algiers, or drive out to the plantation gardens, you should be able to find a way to get to where you want to go. With so many things to see, do and experience in the city, you’ll probably take advantage of a few of these options on your trip. Still, what matters most is that you get out there, see the sights, and enjoy yourself. Hey, some people say it's not the destination, it’s the journey - here at Go City we tend to think that it’s a bit of both! Make the best out of your travel experience with our All-Inclusive Pass and Explorer Pass.