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3 Days in New Orleans: The Good Itinerary

Planning a visit and questioning what to do with 3 days in New Orleans? Learn on for a jam-packed itinerary for the Large Simple and plan the right weekend getaway.

With three days in New Orleans, you possibly can indulge within the metropolis’s improbable culinary, music, and nightlife scenes. If all you do is eat, drink, and dance that’s completely tremendous right here. In truth, it’s to be anticipated.

Alongside the best way, you’ll get to get pleasure from strolling across the picturesque French Quarter, ideally with a to-go cup in hand — this is likely one of the few locations the place you possibly can truly drink in public in the USA.

The motto of New Orleans is “let the great instances roll,” and that’s exactly what it is best to do on a visit there. 

Other than consuming, consuming, and having fun with the music scene, New Orleans is a superb melting pot of cultures and folks and there are quite a few museums, occasions and neighbourhoods to go to that replicate the town’s range.

On this New Orleans 3 day itinerary, I’ll share my greatest ideas for the place to remain, issues to do, and the place to eat and drink.

Day 1 in New Orleans

The primary of your 3 days in New Orleans is devoted to exploring the town’s historic French Quarter. You’ll get to admire the structure, dig into mouthwatering native delicacies, and begin the occasion off proper.


Let’s simply go forward and get one of the vital touristy issues to do in New Orleans out of the best way. Begin your time without work at Cafe du Monde close to Jackson Sq..

It is a quintessential cease on any New Orleans itinerary.

Be part of the road (there will definitely be one) to pattern the well-known beignets. By no means heard of them? It’s a elaborate French title for balls of fried dough which can be doused in powdered sugar.

As you would possibly count on, they’re completely scrumptious! They’re particularly good with a cup of espresso. That sugar and caffeine excessive will certainly get you shifting to kick off your 3 days in New Orleans.

new orleans eating beignets is one of the top things to do

Spend the remainder of your morning wandering across the French Quarter. I discover aimless wandering of the world to be a extremely good time, however if you happen to want a bit extra path you possibly can be a part of the free strolling tour. 

Free Excursions By Foot presents excursions day by day at 10AM beginning on the statue of Andrew Jackson. Excursions final about two hours and are donation-based, so you’ll want to tip your information if you happen to get pleasure from it! Click on right here to allow them to know you’re coming.

Whether or not you be a part of a tour or make your individual you’re in for a deal with. New Orleans is likely one of the most photogenic American cities on the market, so be sure to convey your digicam for this one!


Strolling across the French Quarter all morning will certainly work up an urge for food. It’s time to start out checking gadgets off your to-eat record, which ought to be an extended one for a weekend in New Orleans.

The delicacies of New Orleans is primarily composed of the holy trinity of Cajun, Creole, and soul meals. From jambalaya to po’ boys to crawfish, there are many traditional New Orleans dishes you’ll have to pattern.

With so many eating places to select from, there are at all times offers available within the French Quarter.

It’s value it to take a look at Groupon simply earlier than your journey to see what promotions locations are working. We had a wonderful lunch for a really affordable value on the New Orleans Creole Cookery on one go to.

It may be a bit intimidating deciding the place to eat with so many choices. Let another person determine it out by occurring this afternoon meals tour. Over the course of three hours, you’ll get to attempt ten tasty dishes as you study concerning the historical past of meals in New Orleans.

gumbo is new orleans famous food

In spite of everything that meals, you’ll most likely be feeling such as you want a nap. You’ve solely acquired 3 days in New Orleans, although, so I recommend grabbing a espresso as an alternative.

Rejuvenated by the magic of caffeine, head all the way down to the riverfront for a leisurely stroll. The Moonwalk Riverfront Park is the right place to start out. Benefit from the views of the Mighty Mississippi and public artwork alongside this scenic promenade. 

On the finish of the park, you could have a number of selections for easy methods to proceed.

The Audobon Aquarium of the Americas is a well-liked place to go to in New Orleans. There’s additionally the Butterfly Backyard and Insectarium close by. Click on right here to take a look at ticket choices for each.

When you’re over right here, you would possibly wish to leap on the ferry on the Canal Avenue Terminal. It’s nicely definitely worth the $2 to go over to Algiers for an incredible view of the cityscape. 

Stick round for a bit to take a look at the Jazz Stroll of Fame. Should you really feel prefer it’s time for a drink (and it’s), drop into Crown & Anchor — an English-style pub and a pleasant warmup earlier than the insanity of Bourbon Avenue.


Those that desire a barely classier expertise than the native ferry can go for a river cruise. Steamboat Natchez is the best choice, providing 2-hour dinner cruises with reside music. Click on right here to take a look at all their choices and costs.

steamboat in new orleans

Should you don’t go on the river cruise, you could have loads of choices for the place to eat and drink in New Orleans. For a traditional Large Simple expertise, head over to the Lodge Monteleone. 

Right here you’ll discover the wonderful Criollo, which at all times has a inventive seasonal menu. The lodge can also be dwelling to the well-known Carousel, a legendary New Orleans bar. It’s not only a intelligent title — the bar is an precise carousel!

Their signature drink is the Vieux Carré, a potent but easy cocktail with cognac, vermouth, whiskey, and bitters. It was truly invented right here, so that you’re consuming in a little bit of historical past! It’s positively one of many high New Orleans cocktails to attempt.

After a pleasant dinner and a few drinks, you’re prepared to take a look at the notorious Bourbon Avenue. Go forward and seize a frozen cocktail in a comically massive cup or one of many “huge ass beers” they promote and be a part of the occasion.

tropical isle bar on bourbon street new orleans where to grab a cocktail

I’ll be sincere with you — Bourbon Avenue isn’t actually my factor.

It’s tremendous touristy, obnoxiously loud, and slightly sloppy. That being stated, it’s positively nonetheless a must-see for a weekend in New Orleans. If something, the people-watching alone is definitely worth the journey!

One among Bourbon Avenue’s solely redeeming qualities is that it’s dwelling to Lafitte’s Blacksmith Bar & Store. This historic watering gap is likely one of the high New Orleans bars to seize a drink in.

This place is 300 years previous and is called after a French pirate. It’s additionally a candle-lit piano bar. It doesn’t get a lot cooler than that.

Searching for extra posts about travelling to New Orleans?

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Day 2 in New Orleans

Did you get just a little carried away final evening? It’s OK, so did everybody else. No relaxation for the weary, although! You’ve acquired to benefit from New Orleans in 3 days.


I’m not normally a fan of brunch (it’s overrated and overpriced), however I’ll make an exception in New Orleans. For some cause consuming an enormous meal accompanied by a number of drinks with sun shades on simply appears proper.

On my final go to to the Large Simple, we had a improbable brunch on the Ruby Slipper Cafe. Eggs Benedict, a Bloody Mary, and occasional present the right gasoline for an additional day in New Orleans.


When you’re down right here within the Mississippi Delta, why not head out to the swamp? It solely takes half an hour from the French Quarter to be out within the bayou surrounded by gators. 

There are tons of choices — swamp boat, airboat, canoe, kayak, and mountain climbing are all doable. Learn all concerning the 7 greatest swamp excursions in New Orleans to seek out which one is greatest for you. 

The one draw back to taking a swamp tour is that it takes up a lot of the afternoon. However, it’s positively a singular expertise to have.

airboat tour new orleans

Should you skip the swamp tour, I recommend heading as much as Metropolis Park as an alternative. It is probably not as well-known, however it’s truly larger than New York’s Central Park.

There’s sufficient to see and do within the park to maintain you busy for a number of hours. You’ll be able to try the New Orleans Botanical Backyard (tickets are $8) to see greater than 2,000 crops from all over the world.

Another choice is the spectacular New Orleans Museum of Artwork ($15) and the sculpture backyard ($5). There are additionally boats and bikes for lease and a trifecta of golf programs (regular, mini, and disc). 

It’s a bit out of the best way, however it’s definitely worth the detour to go to Parkway Bakery & Tavern. This is likely one of the hottest locations amongst locals for a New Orleans traditional — a po’ boy.

Professional tip: order it “dressed” if you’d like lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and mayo.


In your 2nd night in New Orleans, I like to recommend sticking to Frenchmen Avenue. That is the place to dive headfirst into the wealthy musical heritage of the Large Simple.

New Orleans is named the “birthplace of jazz,” which originated from pre-Civil Warfare drumming and voodoo rituals. Whereas jazz continues to be a giant a part of the native tradition (together with the annual Jazz Fest), you possibly can hear all kinds of reside music on Frenchmen Avenue.

Faubourg Marigny Bywater new orleans

There are dozens of music venues packed onto this 3-block part of the town’s Faubourg Marigny neighborhood. Some have a canopy cost however many don’t, permitting you to bounce round to listen to a number of bands in a single evening.

The music isn’t simply within the bars right here, although. You’ll additionally hear roaming bands jamming out within the streets. There actually is music on each nook in New Orleans!

Once you inevitably want some late-night meals to absorb the booze, Dat Canine is the place to be. It doesn’t get way more NoLa than an alligator sausage topped with crawfish etouffee.

Day 3 in New Orleans

By the final morning of a giant weekend in New Orleans, you’re most likely a bit exhausted from all of the enjoyable you’ve been having.

Don’t fear — I’ll take it straightforward on you for the ultimate of three days in New Orleans.


I take advantage of the time period “morning” loosely right here, as chances are high you won’t get shifting till midday. Should you handle to get going sooner than that on a Sunday within the Large Simple, I applaud you.

Everytime you roll away from bed, head simply north of the French Quarter to Treme. This is likely one of the metropolis’s oldest neighborhoods and a middle of African-American and Creole tradition. 

I’m certain you may use some caffeine proper about now, so drop into both Treme Coffeehouse or Fatma’s Cozy Nook. Gasoline up with a espresso and a lightweight breakfast then head out to discover the world. 


You may have a number of choices for issues to do over right here, together with the New Orleans African American Museum. You’ll be able to take a self-guided tour for $20 or join one among their guided excursions.

The half-day “Treme Expertise” is a well-liked complete tour that additionally contains lunch. Click on right here to see all of the choices. 

One other must-see within the space is Louis Armstrong Park. Right here you possibly can go to the historic Congo Sq. in addition to the New Orleans Jazz Nationwide Historic Park. That’s proper – there’s a nationwide park devoted to jazz right here! 

entrance to armstrong park in new orleans

The Nationwide Park Service has put collectively a pleasant self-guided strolling tour of the world. Simply click on right here to obtain the map. There’s a telephone quantity on it you possibly can name for a free audio tour.

One cease on that strolling tour is the legendary Preservation Corridor. Their mission since they opened in 1961 has been to “shield, protect, and perpetuate conventional New Orleans jazz.” 

Way over only a venue, Preservation Corridor can also be a non-profit group, band, and report label.

You’ll be able to catch reveals on a nightly foundation with the primary efficiency at 5 PM. Common admission tickets are simply $20 (money solely) however it is best to present up early if you happen to hope to seize one.

Additionally they promote seated tickets on-line for $35-40, so it’s not a nasty concept to choose some up nicely prematurely if you understand your dates.

It’s a traditional New Orleans expertise and it’s additionally for an excellent trigger, so it’s a win-win! Head to their web site to take a look at your choices.

3 days in new orleans preservation hall


Whether or not you could have tickets or not, it’s time to seize one final dinner within the Large Simple. There are infinite choices inside a brief stroll of the corridor because it’s within the coronary heart of the French Quarter. 

Should you haven’t had it but, you possibly can lastly attempt a traditional New Orleans dish on the Gumbo Store. For Creole delicacies in a scenic courtyard, you possibly can head to The Court docket of Two Sisters.

You’ll be able to’t depart New Orleans with out experiencing a little bit of voodoo. If you may make it there earlier than 6, the Historic Voodoo Museum is value a fast cease (tickets are $7). In any other case, the close by Marie Laveau’s Home Of Voodoo stays open late.

At this level, you would possibly very nicely be working on fumes. You may additionally catch a third wind and crank it up for one final evening in New Orleans.

Should you can summon the vitality, I say go for it and wander the streets of the French Quarter. Seize one final to-go cocktail, benefit from the world-class individuals watching, and pop into anyplace that sounds good. 

It’s been a wild trip, however you’ve efficiently accomplished a weekend in New Orleans! Congratulations, you simply earned your occasion stripes. 

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Insider’s Suggestions for 3 Days in New Orleans

Should you actually wish to “let the great instances roll” in NoLa, then you’ll want to comply with the following tips:

Hydration is happiness – There are extra bars per capita in New Orleans than another metropolis within the US. You may get to-go cups and a few of them keep open all evening. As you may think, it’s a bit straightforward to go overboard when partying right here. You should definitely get a glass of water from time to time, and perhaps some meals when you’re at it! 

Take heed to the locals – Each time we go to New Orleans, we simply let our mates who reside there inform us what to do. I’ve integrated loads of their recommendation on this information, however you must also positively discuss to locals and get their suggestions.

Ebook early for festivals – I can’t imagine I made it this far in a New Orleans information with out mentioning Mardi Gras. It’s the most important occasion of the 12 months right here and a bucket-list merchandise for a lot of. 

Should you’re headed to the Large Simple for Mardi Gras or another New Orleans competition, I can’t stress this sufficient. Ebook your lodging as early as you possibly can! 

Do your analysis – In a metropolis like New Orleans, there are infinite choices for locations to eat and drink. They don’t seem to be all created equal, although. Keep away from disappointing meals and cocktails by sticking to respected locations. There are many vacationer traps right here, in spite of everything.

mardi gras festival in new orleans

Attending to New Orleans

Likelihood is you’ll arrive within the Large Simple by way of the Louis Armstrong Worldwide Airport (MSY). It’s about 11 miles (18 km) west of downtown. 

By Bus

You may have a number of choices for attending to your lodging from the airport. There’s the Airport Categorical Bus, which prices simply $1.50. The issue is that it doesn’t run very often. Click on right here for all the data and the timetable. 


There are additionally airport shuttles obtainable for $24 one-way or $44 round-trip. They associate with lots of the huge inns downtown so you possibly can doubtless get door-to-door transportation. Click on right here to e book your spot.


Taxis from the airport provide a flat charge of $36 for 2 passengers for journeys to the CBD or French Quarter. For 3 or extra, it’s simply $15 per individual. 

Each Lyft and Uber function in New Orleans. The airport has put collectively a helpful information for utilizing rideshare apps, so click on right here to test it out.

Hire a Automobile

I don’t find out about you, however I need nothing to do with a motorcar throughout a weekend in New Orleans. It’s greatest to go away the driving to another person and revel in your self right here!

The one cause I might see renting a automotive can be to take journeys out of the town. You’ll be able to simply as simply hop on a tour to the swamp or a plantation, although. That being stated, there are many rental automotive firms on the airport if you happen to select to go that route.

Finest Locations to Keep With 3 Days in New Orleans

Most guests to the Large Simple wish to keep within the French Quarter, and understandably so. That is positively the guts of the town and probably the most occurring a part of city. 

Staying within the French Quarter offers you quick access to a lot of the high issues to do in New Orleans. You even have seemingly infinite choices for locations to remain, eat, store, and occasion. 

Listed below are a number of suggestions for locations to remain within the French Quarter:

  • Funds: McCrory’s Place
  • Mid-Vary: French Market Inn
  • Luxurious: Lodge Le Marais

For a extra detailed have a look at the place to remain within the space, try our neighbourhood and lodging information, or this put up with the perfect inns on Bourbon Avenue.

best new orleans festivals

Whereas the French Quarter is nice, it’s positively a little bit of a vacationer bubble.

Only a few locals truly reside there as of late. For a extra native vibe, you possibly can search for locations in neighborhoods just like the Bywater or Mid-Metropolis. 

On our first journey to NoLa, we discovered a great spot on Airbnb within the Bywater. It is a cool, artsy neighborhood with so much to supply. It’s additionally only a fast journey to the French Quarter. Click on right here to get your Airbnb low cost coupon.

Have Enjoyable With This New Orleans Itinerary! 

I hope this information has you excited for a giant weekend in New Orleans. There are few cities on the market that may evaluate to the Large Simple. It’s such a enjoyable place to go to that you just’ll be planning your return earlier than the weekend is up!

There are such a lot of wonderful issues to do right here and such all kinds of improbable eating places and bars that you just’ll simply have to return again. 

With festivals occurring all all year long, there’s by no means actually a nasty time to go to New Orleans! I do know I’m planning my subsequent journey there to coincide with the town’s well-known Jazz Fest, or perhaps I’ll lastly rejoice Mardi Gras there.

Should you’ve been to New Orleans and have some suggestions, drop a remark beneath and tell us!

Photos on this article are supplied by Shutterstock, a high web site for sourcing royalty-free movies and pictures. 

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