New Orleans Holidays & City Breaks

New Orleans Holidays & City Breaks

Deals from £986 per person

There’s nothing quite like New Orleans holidays. Forming part of America’s Deep South near the mouth of the Mississippi River, this Louisiana hotspot is celebrated for its funtime vibes. And walking Bourbon Street is the best way to experience it; we’re talking marching brass bands surrounded by crowds of people and packed-out live music bars spilling out onto the streets creating an unforgettable party atmosphere. But there’s so much more to see beyond this famous quarter! From iconic dishes, amazing art and world-renowned festivals to its beautiful architecture, stunning wetlands and sprawling plantation houses - it’s a city with so many sides

Music mecca 

Holidays to New Orleans are like stepping into a music hall of fame! As the birthplace of Jazz, you’ll find tributes to its musical past all over the city. We suggest you start by visiting some of its most famous bars - Preservation Hall, The Spotted Cat Music Club and Snug Harbor to name a few. Or for a deep dive into its history,  book a Jazz walking tour so an expert guide can help you tick off top sites like Louis Armstrong Park and Frenchmen Street. As much as Jazz is the main draw for music lovers, New Orleans is also worth visiting if you like Blues, Reggae or R&B with most venues playing host to a mix of genres.

A famous food scene 

Known for its iconic dishes, eating your way through New Orleans has become a culinary goal for most foodies.. With a blend of French, Spanish, African, and Caribbean influences to thank for its Creole dishes, you mustn’t leave without trying gumbo (a hearty meat or fish stew that's served hot over rice) and jambalaya (Creole’s answer to paella). Coffee fans shouldn’t miss a chance to stop by Café du Monde in the French Quarter. Its cafe au lait and beignets (deep-fried dough with a coating of sugar)will be worth the long wait.

One giant street party

Bourbon Street is the life and soul of the party in New Orleans.  It’s basically 13 blocks of bars, and there’s something for everyone whether you’re after some quiet Jazz music, pumping disco vibes or fancy a cocktail from one of its bead-decorated balconies. And you don’t have to step inside to be part of the nightlife! Did you know it’s legal to drink on the sidewalk here? That’s right, just grab yourself a ‘go cup’ and take in the street party atmosphere. Those wanting to experience the best of the city’s party scene should head here during Mardi Gras. This bucket-list spectacle is one of the top things to do in New Orleans for good reason with brightly coloured floats parading through the streets, flamboyantly dressed locals and bead throwing.

Voodoo rituals 

New Orleans has always been Synonymous with voodoo, which was brought about by the Western Africans who settled here. Still very much part of the city today, this bizarre ritual cannot be missed. Stop by shops including House or Voodoo and Marie Laveau, or learn more about its history with a Haunted History Tour taking you to some of the city’s eeriest spots including its famous cemetery.  Alternatively, you can delve even deeper into the origins of this culture with a trip to The New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum which is home to all sorts of weird and wonderful artifacts. 

Day trips from New Orleans 

Day trips are also a great way to escape the city if you’re staying for a few days - and a swamp tour should be at the top of your list of things to do in New Orleans. It doesn’t get much more exciting than riding an airboat through Louisiana’s wetlands. This diverse ecosystem is a must for gator spotting, but it’s also home to turtles, eagles, snakes and more. After getting wet, it’s time to hop back on dry land to explore the area’s amazing plantation houses. Despite their dark history, these sprawling estates are beautiful, from their acres of land to their grand furnishings.  If you only have time to visit one, Oak Alley Plantation won’t disappoint with its traditionally dressed guides offering an authentic look into plantation life.

Map of New Orleans

23 - 31°C

With a subtropical climate New Orleans promises mild winters and humid summers that are typical of Southern America.

From 10 hours

You’ll land at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY), which is 11 miles northwest of downtown New Orleans

New Orleans is best for...

Music lovers:  From the Tremé neighborhood to the Jazz bars of Frenchmen, you can’t escape the musical marks legends like Louis Armstrong and Irma Thomas have left on the city.

Night owls: New Orleans comes alive at night, and it’s got something for just about every partier. Cajan dancing, Jazz bars, festivals, casinos, clubs, and of course its neon-lit centre - Bourbon Street.

Foodies: You better bring your appetite to New Orleans because the food is divine. Tuck into the tastiest gumbo at Dooky Chase’s or grab a fried seafood sandwich at Domilise’s Po-Boy & Bar.

Fast facts for New Orleans

Language: The main language spoken in New Orleans is English. But if you step beyond Bourbon street you may also find some locals speaking French, Spanish, African, Creole or Cajun.

Currency: The currency used in New Orleans is the US dollar ($).

Local time: New Orleans is 6 hours behind GMT/UK time. 

Fly to: Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY).

Flight time from UK: From 10 hours.

Tourist information:  Further New Orleans tourist information can be found at Visit New Orleans.

Getting around New Orleans

Streetcar: Those looking to explore the city’s leafy avenues should hop on a streetcar. Not only is this the most authentic way to see the city, but it’s also the most scenic route.

Bus: Taking you to the city’s biggest attractions, you can’t go wrong with a Hop-On Hop-Off Tour bus.

Cruise: Taking a ferry across the Mississippi River is not just a form of transport, but a must-do experience. This is a great option if you want to explore beyond the city for a few hours.

Events in New Orleans

Mardi Gras: Typically taking place around the beginning of Jan and lasting until mid Feb, get ready for a season of never-ending parades and parties.

French Quarter Festival: This is basically one big music festival with performances from some of the city’s best local artists. Spread across 20 stages, you’ll find music from just about every genre. And the best part - it’s completely free!

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival: Calling all Jazz lovers, this annual event is one of the city’s biggest with music lovers gathering from all over the world to listen to the sweet sounds of the sax.

New Orleans weather

Temperature: January is the chillest month with its coldest days dipping below 8°C, while July is the hottest month with its warmest days hitting a toasty 33°C.

Best time to visit: If you want to be a part of the famous Mardi Gras then you need to plan your trip in February - just make sure you pack a jacket as temperatures can drop as low as 10°C, especially on an evening. As spring approaches temperatures begin to rise, which means you may get away with just wearing a t-shirt. You may also experience heavy showers, so although warmer we suggest you carry a waterproof. The Autumn months (October & November) are a great time to visit for comfortable temperatures and a lower chance of rain. But with lots of festivals going on it tends to be the busiest time.

Best hotels in New Orleans

Places similar to New Orleans to visit

New Orleans FAQs
Where are the best places to stay in New Orleans?

Choosing where to stay will depend on why you’re visiting, so if you can’t decide we’ve covered some of the top areas if you’re heading to New Orleans for the first time.

French Quarter: This is a great spot if you want to be close to the city’s main attractions or for anyone wanting to sample Bourbon Street’s non-stop nightlife.

Garden District: As one of the city’s most upmarket spots, this quiet neighbourhood is a popular choice with families. Here, you’ll be welcomed by beautiful mansion-filled streets with tons of family-friendly spots from zoos to parks and restaurants. 

The Central Business District: If you want something that’s cheap, this district has plenty of affordable accommodation options as well as being close to the French Quarter and many of the city’s sporting events.

The Warehouse District: Culture vultures will love this area, mainly for its great choice of art galleries and museums, while it’s also home to some of the best dining spots. 

Is New Orleans safe?

Despite the city’s high crime rate, New Orleans is considered a safe spot for tourists. As long as you stick to the main tourist areas and make use of the many public transport links, you shouldn’t encounter any problems. However, it is always advised that you stay vigilant.

What is the best time to visit New Orleans?

New Orleans has a mild climate so you can pretty much visit most of the year. Winter is a great time to bag a cheap deal and take advantage of crowd-free attractions, but it can be a lot cooler. Unless you’re planning to visit during Mardi Gras ( beginning of Jan to mid Feb) as the city will 

While mid spring and late autumn are a great option for pleasant temperatures with plenty going on to keep your trip jam-packed. The summer months can feel very humid in the city, so if you don’t like the heat we suggest you avoid June, July and August. This is also classed as tropical storm season. Although, most hurricanes are at their peak during August and September, and  won’t hit New Orleans every year.