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This is a great time of year to head to New Orleans – the temps are nearly perfect for walking and exploring, and you won’t have the crowds from Mardi Gras or Jazz Fest. 4 days in New Orleans is plenty of time to get a good feel of the city at a relaxed pace. I’m sharing how we spent our 4 days here and a few tips for planning your New Orleans itinerary. Plus, I’ll share some suggestions if you have more or less time to spend in NOLA.
*Note: Regular readers, I was in New Orleans a few years back. I’m taking a look back at this trip because I never wrote an itinerary post and have been receiving some requests to do so.
How to Spend 4 Days in New Orleans – The Ultimate Itinerary
Day 1 – Arrive & Take a Walk Down Bourbon Street
We arrived in New Orleans our first day in the afternoon. We got checked into our hotel and then took a walk down Bourbon Street. Our hotel was right on Bourbon Street, so it was an easy walk! There is a lot to see down here. We stopped at a few bars and restaurants before making our way back to our hotel that night. Bourbon Street does look completely different at night – so, it was fun to see it in both the day time and night.
Day 2 – Food Tour + Shopping + Haunted History Tour
The food tour will only take a few hours maximum, so we used the remainder of the day to shop in the French Quarter and do a little exploring. There are tons of fun shops in this area.
Another highlight of this trip was taking a walking haunted history tour (like this one). This is best done at night + you can bring alcoholic beverages along for your haunted walk through the city! (They even let you stop to refill your beverages halfway through, haha.)
Day 3 – Cemetery Tour + Garden District + Jazz Bars
For day 3 we didn’t have any tours planned ahead of time. My goal was to see the AHS: Coven Mansion in the Garden District – which I did. Then we walked over to Lafayette Cemetery No.1. We ended up doing a half hour walking tour here. As morbid as it may sound, you should visit at least one cemetery while in NOLA. They are beautiful, unique and full of history.
We then headed over to a fun jazz bar called “The Three Muses.” We wandered back to our hotel and hung out there to watch even more jazz performances!
Day 4 – Tarot Card Reading – Depart
We woke up and went to a tarot card reading at Rev. Zombies Voodoo Shop this morning – it was a fun experience! I’m not really a believer in this stuff, however, I do have to say, the reading was eerily accurate. We also did a cheap reading on the street afterward – this was also fun, but also not as “accurate,” shall we say. Marie Laveau’s House Of Voodoo is probably the most popular place to get a reading, but it was completely booked for the 4 days we were here, so be sure to call and book ahead of time!
Our flight left late that afternoon.
Do You Only Have 3 Days in New Orleans? Here are Some Tips…
You could easily condense this into a 3-day itinerary as well. For example, you could do your food tour, cemetery tour and haunted history tour all in one day – no problem! They are short tours. And there would still be time when you arrive on your first day to do a little shopping and exploring, and maybe even do a tarot card reading if you’re interested. Plus, 3 days is a great amount of time to sample all the different cuisine and beverages in New Orleans!
Another interesting option, if you have more time, is to take a cruise to New Orleans. Little did I know, but there are actually a few cruises that leave from Florida and dock in New Orleans for a few days, before sailing to Mexico. If you find yourself on one of these cruises – you could definitely use this itinerary!
Where We Stayed
We had stayed at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. It was right on Bourbon Street and was a nice hotel. Pro tip: If you don’t want to wear earplugs at night, don’t request to stay on the Bourbon Street side of the hotel like we did! We thought it would be fun to see the action for our hotel at night – and it was fun! But we did have to sleep with earplugs in because the partying doesn’t stop until nearly 6 am in NOLA!
Need a spot to store your luggage in New Orleans? Luggage Hero is great if you can’t check into your hotel yet or need to check out early and still want to do some sightseeing! They’ll watch your bags for as little as $1 an hour. Click here to see their rates for New Orleans.
It’s a good idea, no matter where your adventure takes you, to have travel insurance. You never know what might happen! Whether you get sick before your trip and can’t go, or you become sick or injured while on your adventure – being covered with travel insurance is a must. Some credit card companies do provide this service (check with yours), or you can get a free quote from travel insurance companies such as RoamRight.
To check if your country requires a Visa for traveling to the United States, click here.
New Orleans Travel Guide Book
Are you still looking for more information on traveling to New Orleans but prefer a hard copy? Click here to check out an amazing travel guide written by Lonely Planet! It features maps and budget tips and more.
*Thank you to Celebrity Cruises for sponsoring this post.
Have you ever been to New Orleans? If so, what are some things you would add to this itinerary? Let me know in the comments!
*Click here to see all of my New Orleans blog posts.
This article is now available as a mobile app. Go to GPSmyCity to download the app for GPS-assisted travel directions to the attractions featured in this article.
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