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Guide to Where to Stay in New Orleans

Stay in New Orleans

Immerse yourself in the captivating pulse, infectious energy, and artistic exuberance of New Orleans, a city that will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on your spirit, compelling you to dance to a rhythm that defies time itself.

Yet, amid the vibrant chaos, there exists a realm of refined French architecture, poolside cocktails, and intellectual whimsy. A perplexing choice presents itself:

Where are the best places to look for accommodation? Don’t worry, in this guide I show you the best neighborhoods for your stay.

New Orleans’ 7 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Choosing a better New Orleans Neighborhood is the key for a great trip experience. Here, we present the top seven neighborhoods that define the soul of New Orleans.

1. French Quarter – Ideal for First-Time Visitors

As the oldest and most renowned neighborhood, the French Quarter stands as the quintessential choice for first-time visitors. Nestled at the city’s heart, it offers delectable cuisine, incredible music, and lively nightlife. This district is a haven for food enthusiasts, boasting a myriad of restaurants with global delicacies.

Some things to do in the French Quarter:

  • Experience the vibrancy of Jackson Square.
  • Stroll along the historic Chartres Street.
  • Embark on a walking tour of the French Quarter.
  • Explore the Old French Market.
  • Enjoy street performances in Jackson Square.
  • Visit the iconic St. Louis Cathedral.
  • Discover jazz at the Preservation Hall.
  • Join a steamboat dinner cruise from Natchez Dock.
  • Wander through Jean Lafitte National Historical Park.
  • Delight in the nightlife at Orleans Grapevine Wine Bar.

Central Business District (CBD) – Budget-Friendly Hub

Contrary to its name, the Central Business District (CBD) is a lively downtown neighborhood filled with excitement. Catering to sports fans, shopaholics, foodies, and culture enthusiasts, CBD also offers budget-friendly accommodations, making it an ideal choice for backpackers.

Some things to do in the Central Business District:

  • Experience the historic St. Charles Streetcar line.
  • Admire the Immaculate Conception Church.
  • Indulge in a boozy day out with local spirits.
  • Sample fruit wines and smoothies at NOLA Tropical Winery.
  • Explore Lafayette Square.
  • Savor treats at Imperial Woodpecker Sno Balls.
  • Cruise the Mississippi paddlewheeler.
  • Relish southern comfort food at Commerce Restaurant.
  • Enjoy local delicacies at Hobnobber’s Varieties Bar.
  • Excite your senses at Juan’s Flying Burrito.

Bourbon Street – Nightlife Extravaganza

Home to Mardi Gras, brass bands, and vibrant buildings, Bourbon Street stands as the epicenter of nightlife in the city. With its array of hotels, you can stay in the heart of the action within the French Quarter. Spanning 13 blocks, Bourbon Street offers bars, clubs, pubs, and restaurants, ensuring an unforgettable night.

Some things to do on Bourbon Street:

  • Enjoy drinks at Tropical Isle.
  • Dine at Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak.
  • Explore Musical Legends Park.
  • Experience jazz at Fritzel’s European Jazz Club.
  • Dance at Chris Owens Club & Balcony.
  • Join history combo tours or cocktail and ghost crawls.
  • Sip shots at Rita’s Tequila House.
  • Party at Oz, a 2-story gay dance club.
  • Sample absinthe cocktails at the Old Absinthe House.

4. Faubourg Marigny – Coolest Locale

Faubourg Marigny, a dynamic and laid-back district, appeals to those seeking a unique atmosphere and rich culture. Bursting with bars, restaurants, tattoo parlors, and boutiques, it caters to culture vultures and trendy hipsters alike. This neighborhood’s quirky vibe is enhanced by its rough edges, making it a favorite among artists and hipsters.

Some things to do in Faubourg Marigny:

  • Stroll along bustling Frenchmen Street.
  • Enjoy local beers at Brieux Carre.
  • Try small-batch beers at Parleaux Beer Lab.
  • Explore the Art Garage.
  • Discover treasures at the Piety Street Market.
  • Experience a Frenchman Street live music pub crawl.
  • Enjoy local flavor at Elizabeth’s.
  • Wander down Royal Street.
  • Relish craft selections at Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits.

5. MidCity-Lakeview – Family Friendly Retreat

North of the city center, Mid-City/Lakeview offers charming neighborhoods with lush landscapes and unique experiences. Perfect for families, it provides a respite from the French Quarter’s hustle and bustle while remaining well-connected. Outdoor adventures, animal encounters, and swamp tours make it an ideal spot for families.

Some things to do in Mid-City/Lakeview:

  • Explore New Orleans City Park.
  • Visit Carousel Gardens Amusement Park.
  • Discover sculptures at The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden.
  • Embark on an Oak Alley Plantation tour.
  • See the Joan of Arc statue.
  • Visit the New Orleans Botanical Garden.
  • Ride the carousel at Carousel Gardens.
  • Explore Storyland.
  • Take an Airboat Swamp Tour.
  • Play mini-golf at City Putt.
  • Dine at The Blue Crab or Russell’s Marina Grill.

6. The Bywater – New Orleans’ Best-Kept Secret

Beloved among locals, The Bywater offers a laid-back atmosphere, making it a favorite among hipsters and artists. Its rough edges add to its charm, and the neighborhood is a treasure trove for those who enjoy a leisurely pace. The Bywater’s long boulevards make it one of the best areas to explore without a car.

Some things to do in The Bywater:

  • Admire colorful art at Dr. Bob Art.
  • Explore Music Box Village.
  • Visit Studi BE for massive art exhibitions.
  • Take a street art and mural tour.
  • Enjoy local flavor at Elizabeth’s.
  • Walk down Royal Street.
  • Experience craft selections at Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits.

7. The Garden District – Ideal for Long-Term Travelers

The Garden District, known for its oak-lined streets, charming homes, and Mardi Gras parade, is an up-and-coming area. Quirky homes, gardens, and boutique stores define this district, making it a top choice for long-term travelers seeking a peaceful retreat.

Some things to do in the Garden District:

  • Explore the Lafayette Cemetery.
  • Visit the Walter Grinnan Robinson House.
  • Discover local cuisine.
  • Shop vintage items on Magazine Street.
  • Dine at Commander’s Palace.
  • Join a Garden District walking tour.
  • Have brunch at Ruby Slipper Cafe.
  • Witness the Mardi Gras parade on St. Charles Avenue.

Final Thoughts on accommodation in New Orleans

New Orleans, vibrant and lively, promises an unforgettable experience steeped in music, culture, and culinary delights. This guide has outlined my top seven neighborhoods, ensuring you find the perfect spot for your stay. Choose wisely and let the rhythm of New Orleans enchant you.