New Orleans: Trip Preparation & Destination Information

About New Orleans

Overview

Mardi Gras. Voodoo. Joie de vivre. Nicknamed the "Big Easy," New Orleans is known the world over for its costumed parades and street parties, vibrant live-music scene and spicy, singular cuisine reflecting its history as a melting pot of French, African and American cultures. The historic heart of the city is the French Quarter, known for its French and Spanish Creole architecture and vibrant nightlife along Bourbon Street. New Orleans is full of life—but with a laid-back energy that sets it apart from other cities. You'll wanna soak it all in.

 

Established: 1718

Area: 223,872 acres (349.8 sq mi)

Elevation: 6.5 ft

Time Zone: Central Daylight Time (GMT-5)

Emergency Number: 911

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Packing List

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Weather

NEW ORLEANS WEATHER

Fun Facts

  • New Orleans’ popular Bourbon Street was named after the French Bourbon dynasty, not the whiskey.
  • The motto for New Orleans, "Laissez les bon temps rouler," means "Let the good times roll." While this Cajun French phrase is often said during the Mardi Gras season, it's truly an embodiment of NOLA as a whole.
  • It’s illegal to ride on any Mardi Gras float in the city without wearing a Mardi Gras mask.
  • America’s first mixed drink, the Sazerac (the official cocktail of the city), was created in a French Quarter bar by Antoine Peychaud. The Sazerac is traditionally made with 1/4 oz of Absinthe, 1 1/2 oz of whiskey or cognac, a sugar cube, and three dashes of bitters.
  • Born in NOLA on Aug. 4, 1901, jazz icon Louis Armstrong is a New Orleans staple: There are two statues in the city honoring him, AND he's the namesake of the airport and a park.
  • New Orleans is one of the few cities in America to have lived under three different flags: the French, the Spanish, and then the French again before being sold to the United States.
  • Located in New Orleans, City Park is one of the largest parks in the nation and was once a popular spot for Creole men to meet and duel.
  • Most of the city is built on a swamp, making it important that the dead in the city be interred in above-ground tombs.
  • It was a French pirate, Jean Lafitte, who helped General Andrew Jackson defeat the British at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, the only real triumph for the US in the War of 1812.
  • Some of the best and most historic murals in the city can be found in bus stations. The Greyhound Station (the New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal) houses amazing murals depicting Louisiana history. They were painted by Conrad Albirizio from 1951 to 1954.

Tipping

Tipping Suggestions: Tips for Guides, drivers and restaurants are not included. Tips provide supplemental income, and, while not mandatory, are greatly appreciated. If the local teams have added to the experience, please reward them.

Guides USD $5-8 per person/per day
Drivers USD $3-4 per person/per day
Restaurants  USD 15-20% of total bill

 

FAQ

Where can I find information on travel safety? Click here for the most up-to-date information on safety while traveling.

 

Do I need a Visa? For US travelers, no. International visitors should check with their consulates to see if they need a visa, e-visa, or waiver.

 

What about vaccines? For vaccination information, click here.

 

How much should I pack? As we will be using shared transfers and spaces throughout our tour we recommend all travelers pack as lightly as possible. Please review our luggage restrictions below.

 

Do you recommend travel insurance? While not required, we highly recommend all travelers get travel insurance for their trip to protect themselves from the unknown! Check out travel insurance options from our partner, worldnomads.com or from a provider of your choice.

 

What does public transportation look like? New Orleans' streetcar system is a charming way to explore the city, and you can easily rent bikes, hop a bus, take a ferry, or call a pedicab, a taxi or a limo service whenever you need to.

 

Is Uber or Lyft available? Yes!

Luggage Restrictions

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