You don’t need an endless budget to have a great time in New Orleans. Here are a few ways to experience the French Quarter without breaking the bank.
1. Savor beignets at Café Du Monde
Beignets: Are they breakfast or dessert? Does it matter? Pick up a small café au lait and a bag of three delicious French donuts smothered in a cascade of powdered sugar, all for under $4 at New Orleans’ famous Café Du Monde. Happily snack as you stroll through the French Quarter.
2. Attend a free festival
We all know New Orleans can throw a helluva party, but some of its best shindigs won’t even cost you a dime. From Mardi Gras to the French Quarter Festival, there are tons of free events that take place throughout the year.
3. Snap a photo at St. Louis Cathedral
With its gleaming white façade and silver spires, St. Louis Cathedral is at the heart of the French Quarter, and there are plenty of inexpensive activities to keep you busy. Make your way to Jackson Square. Have your portrait drawn, listen to some street-corner musicians or snap a photo of this New Orleans landmark.
4. Eat fresh seafood for cheap
Mudbugs, crayfish, crawdads – there are a ton of nicknames for these lobster-like crustaceans, but we just like to call them “delicious.” Keep an eye out for free crawfish boils, which are offered at a number of nightlife spots and festivals during spring’s crawfish season. Or head to Deanie’s Seafood to sample an order of crawfish tails for under $10.
5. Tour the Old Ursuline Convent
For only $5, you can take a guided tour of the French Quarter’s Old Ursuline Convent, the oldest building in the Mississippi River Valley. You’ll see hand-crafted woodwork, colorful oil paintings, lush gardens and religious sculptures.
6. Join a piano sing-along at Pat O’Brien’s bar
Make your way to Pat O’Brien’s, where there’s no cover charge to enjoy the lively atmosphere and to sing along with the live piano show. While you’re here, you might as well try O’Brien’s famous signature cocktail, the Hurricane, for $8.
7. Browse the Flea Market
Shopping is hardly ever budget-friendly. But when you’re looking for some retail therapy without the hefty price tag, explore the open-air Flea Market inside New Orleans’ historic French Market. This spot is great for scoring unique finds and trinkets without spending a fortune.
8. Walk the French Quarter
Where else can you enjoy two hours of history, architecture and entertainment for only $15? When you take a guided walking tour by the Friends of the Cabildo, you’ll get to explore five historic buildings while learning about the city’s rich past.
9. Gander at voodoo potions at the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
Satisfy your morbid curiosity with a trip to the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, the location of the first licensed apothecary in the country. For the $5 admission, you’ll get to browse an extensive collection of antiquated medical equipment, preserved leeches and, yes, authentic voodoo potions.
10. Step back in history with the New Orleans Historic Collection tour
Get a glimpse into the New Orleans lifestyle – or what it was like hundreds of years ago – with the New Orleans Historic Collection. You can choose from three different $5 tours: the Louisiana History Galleries inside the Merieult House, the elegant Williams Residence or an architectural walking tour.
Information shared with us from the New Orleans Tourist Board