5 tips for New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
© Sean Pavone | Dreamstime.com

One of the most attractive destinations in the south of the USA is the port city of New Orleans on the Mississippi River, which was founded in 1718 as a French settlement and sold to the United States by Napoleon in 1803 together with the colony of Louisiana.

Affectionately known as “The Big Easy,” the metropolis fascinates visitors with its carefree attitude to life and an exciting mix of different cultures – Spanish, French and African-American influences have shaped its architecture, language and gastronomy. Last but not least, New Orleans has achieved world fame as the cradle of jazz – one of the most famous jazz musicians of all time, Louis Armstrong, was born here.

Tip 1: Jackson Square

Jackson Square is a historic park in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The park was designed in the style of the Place des Vosges in Paris. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960 for its central role in the city’s history. In 2012, Jackson Square was named one of the most important public parks in the United States.

From the 1920s through the 1980s, the square was known as a gathering place for painters of very diverse talents, including competent professionals, talented young art students, amateurs, and caricaturists. Each year, residents host the French Quarter Festival at Jackson Square. Occasionally concerts are held in the park.

Tip 2: Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street in the heart of the French Quarter runs between Canal Street and Esplanade Avenue. Many street names in the historic district were named after Catholic saints or royal families. Bourbon Street traces its origins to the “House of Bourbon” royal family in France. The noble family of Bourbon has provided as many as eight French kings.

Things are less royal on Bourbon Street today. Between music bars with jazz, rock or pop you can find strip clubs and bars. In contrast to the rest of the USA, the consumption of alcoholic beverages outdoors is permitted here. Reason enough for many party people from all over the country to come here for a weekend.

On the corner of St. Ann Street you will find Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo. The voodoo museum of the famous voodoo queen is packed with many curiosities from simple talismans to candles to masks and a real snake.

Tip 3: French Market

Events, shopping, delicious food and antique trinkets – that’s what the French Market stands for. Located near Jackson Square, it is the oldest market in the United States. The popularity that the French Market enjoyed as early as 1791 continues to this day.

The hustle and bustle of the streets is accompanied by the musical sounds of talented street performers, giving the place something special. At the farmer’s market, you can buy fresh food and small handicrafts between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily, while you can grab antique trinkets at the flea market. The French Market is particularly popular for its small cafés, which invite you to linger in comfort. The Café Du Monde is particularly worth mentioning here. This is especially known for the so-called Beignets, which resemble the German Krapfen.

In addition, you should definitely inquire about upcoming events. The French Market regularly hosts music concerts, recreational and activity activities for children, and festivals. The French Quarter Festival in mid-April and the Satchmo SummerFest in August are among the most famous music festivals.

Tip 4: Lafayette Cemetery No. 1

Cinema buffs will recognize the eerie walls of Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 from the films Interview with a Vampire and Double Jeopardy . Just south of the somewhat dangerous Tremé neighborhood is St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, the final resting place of some of New Orleans’ most interesting and historic figures, including Bernard de Marigny, former president of the Louisiana Senate, and Voodoo Queen Marie Laveua. Many of the ornate Spanish and French style tombs in the cemetery are above ground to be protected from rising water levels.

Tip 5: Oak Alley Plantation

Oak Alley Plantation exudes the peace and serenity so typical of the city of New Orleans. True nature lovers will get their money’s worth during a walk at this place. As you stroll along the narrow, paved path towards the so-called Oak Alley Plantation Mansion, you can already see the grandiose building despite the great distance. The mighty oak trees that surround the path on both sides form a gigantic frame around the mansion.

Once you arrive at the mansion, a variety of activities await you. For example, you can take part in a 40-minute guided tour of the so-called Big House. During this time, you will learn more about the inhabitants of the majestic estate and the historical background of the pre-war period. The guides are always dressed in original costumes during their work, which makes the journey into the past particularly authentic. In addition, behind the Big House are about 40 replica white wooden cabins where the plantation owners’ slaves lived in due course. At Oak Alley Plantation, you will be offered the opportunity to learn more about the living conditions and mindsets of slaves from that era. A small exhibit called Slavery at Oak Alley helps provide a comprehensive look at the living conditions of the slaves. Another exhibit called The Civil War Interpretive Exhibit explores the sensitive subject of the Civil War. Through knowledgeable guides, you will learn the background of the war and have the opportunity to ask questions.

You can also visit the woodshed where the blacksmith worked. Learn what tools were used by one of the most important people on the plantation.