10 Best Tours in New Orleans

New Orleans is a city full of surprises in which it is worth hiring the services of an organized tour. If you want to know the most popular ones in this article I provide you with the information you need to know.

Katherine Betances

Katherine Betances

10 min read

10 Best Tours in New Orleans

New Orleans | ©Pedro Szekely

The city of New Orleans is a vibrant and bustling destination. Focused for tourism, nightlife and fun there are many things you can see, do and enjoy in this city.

In this list I recommend the most popular organized tours to do in the city so that when it comes time to organize your travel itinerary, you will have options to choose from.

I recommend selecting some of the experiences highlighted here and complementing them with some excursions from New Orleansto see the famous old plantations.

1. Tour of mysteries, witches and ghosts of New Orleans.

Ghost tour through the streets of New orleans| ©Robert Smrekar
Ghost tour through the streets of New orleans| ©Robert Smrekar

Considered one of the staple experiences in any visit to the city, a ghost tour in New Orleans is essential to get to know its people and culture. It is also one of the top-rated adventures for travelers, who genuinely enjoy the spooky stories.

Numerous companies offer this type of experience and are organized in different formats: from tours exclusively for adults to tours specially designed for families with children of all ages.

Generally these ghost tours take place during the night and are short duration adventures. Therefore, I recommend booking the experience even if your itinerary is very short, for example 1 day in New Orleans.

Useful information

  • Price: Available from approximately €28 per traveler.
  • Duration of tour: Generally 2 hours is enough time to complete the experience.
  • Recommended if... it is your first time in the city or if you have never done this type of experience. This is a unique adventure that New Orleans offers its visitors with a level of dedication and commitment that is hard to match.

Book a ghost tour in New Orleans

2. Guided tour of the French Quarter.

In the French Quarter| ©Elisa.rolle
In the French Quarter| ©Elisa.rolle

The French Quarter is the name given to the most important historical neighborhood in New Orleans, the most touristic and one you can't miss on a tour of the city.

In the city you will find numerous companies that offer this experience, in which an expert guide takes travelers on a walking tour through the most outstanding monuments, the most secret places and the most important sights.

Although certain details of the experience may vary depending on the company you hire, a tour of the French Quarter in New Orleans will always include the accompaniment of an expert guide with a degree in the history of the city. The experience is usually offered in several languages, with English tours predominating over other languages.

Useful information

  • Price: The basic tour that only includes the French Quarter is available from approximately 28€.
  • Duration of tour: For a tour of the French Quarter at least 2 full hours of the itinerary must be booked.
  • Recommended if... It is the first time you visit the city this tour is a basic tour that you can not miss. Essential to get to know the most important historical monuments of the city.

Book a tour of the French Quarter in New Orleans

3. Guided tour of the Garden District

Garden District| ©KarDesGuzman
Garden District| ©KarDesGuzman

After the iconic French Quarter, the second most important neighborhood in the city is the Garden District, at least from a tourist and historical point of view. It is an extremely elegant area of the city where tree-lined alleys and large stately homes built in the nineteenth century predominate.

It is a spectacular visit that is usually organized in small groups. I recommend including it if you visit the city for several days, for example 3 days in New Orleans. Another fantastic way to do this visit is a combined tour.

You will find in the city many companies that organize tours to the Garden District in conjunction with visits to the French Quarter, due to the physical proximity of both destinations.

Useful information

  • Price: The exclusive tour to the Garden District usually costs approximately 28€ per traveler.
  • Duration of tour: This type of experience is usually completed in approximately 2 hours.
  • Recommended if... you want to marvel at the city's historic architecture and legends. It is a tour worth doing and you can combine it with other experiences or tours included in this list.

Book a tour of the Garden District of New Orleans

4. Gastronomic tour of New Orleans.

Gumbo, Typical dish in New orleans| ©BigOwen
Gumbo, Typical dish in New orleans| ©BigOwen

When visiting New Orleans you should keep one thing in mind: besides ghosts, mysteries and good music in this city, the food is delicious! Of course, the best way to get to know and soak up the local culture is through a tour guided by an expert.

As you will soon realize, you will find numerous local companies in the city that offer this type of experience, at different times and with different approaches, so it will be very easy to find a tour that suits your needs.

Are you looking for a private, one-on-one experience or do you prefer the fun and good vibes of group tours? When it comes to food tours in New Orleans, there's something for everyone!

Like other New Orleans experiences, these types of tours are led by a guide who is an expert in local cuisine. Certain important details such as whether or not tasting is included, drinks, the number of places to visit and the maximum number of travelers are conditioned by the company organizing the experience.

Useful information about New Orleans

  • Price: Tours that include food tasting usually cost from 65€ per traveler.
  • Duration of the excursion: They are generally held at lunch or dinner time and usually take about 3 hours to complete.
  • Recommended if... Gastronomic tourism is your thing, this tour will be the highlight of the whole trip. The gastronomy in New Orleans is one of the most peculiar thanks to the strong influence of African customs and Afro-Latin culture.

Book a culinary tour of New Orleans

5. Historical tour of the cemeteries of New Orleans.

Masonic Cemetery| ©Carlos D
Masonic Cemetery| ©Carlos D

Another popular tour in the city that tourists especially enjoy is a tour of the city's most famous cemeteries. Two cemeteries are among the most prominent and visited: Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 and St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.

As in so many other cities, in NOLA cemeteries you will find everything from ceremonial architecture and ancient tombs to prominent historical figures. However, because of its culture's strong connection to the supernatural and death, a tour of New Orleans cemeteries, accompanied by an expert guide, is invaluable.

This experience is designed to take the traveler through the tombs of characters such as voodoo queen Marie Laveau or the famous American activist Homer Plessy. All this while discovering all kinds of curiosities about the history and culture of the city.

Useful information about New Orleans

  • Price: The guided tour of any of the cemeteries usually costs about 25€ per participant.
  • Duration of the tour: Although it may vary depending on the design of the experience, book at least 1 hour for a cemetery tour.
  • Recommended if... you want to learn more about the culture, history and past of the city as well as its most famous figures. Also if you are attracted to the architecture of the cemeteries and want to learn more about them.

Book a tour of the New Orleans cemeteries

6. Pub Crawl to get a taste of the New Orleans nightlife.

Haunted Pub Crawl| ©Martin Elliss
Haunted Pub Crawl| ©Martin Elliss

It's ideal for soaking up the nightlife scene in the city as well as getting a closer understanding of the influence of Jazz in New Orleans, how it is lived these days and how it has evolved throughout history.

Keep in mind that some aspects of the experience depend entirely on the company you choose to hire. For example, the inclusion or not of drinks, the duration of the tour and the number of participants. This tour is one of the best things to do in New Orleans at night.

Most tours usually include 1 or 2 tastings of local drinks in each of the bars or pubs that you stop at during the tour; it is of course accompanied by an expert guide and usually includes live music.

Useful information

  • Price: For group tours with drinks tasting you will have to pay about 45€ per traveler on average; private tours are more expensive.
  • Duration of the excursion: They always take place during the night and usually last about 3 hours.
  • Recommended if... you go with friends to the city and are looking for a few hours of fun around good music and alcohol; also if you visit the city alone this environment is ideal to meet other traveling friends, adventurers like you.

7. Experience the Mardi Gras experience any time of the year!

Carnival in New Orleans| ©Brian Lin
Carnival in New Orleans| ©Brian Lin

The city of New Orleans celebrates Fat Tuesday, the largest Mardi Gras party in the United States and one of its most colorful carnivals.

If you happen to be in town at this time (late February or early March in New Orleans) you definitely have to attend the Carnival parade.

New Orleanians love Carnival so much that they try to keep the festive atmosphere going for much longer. So no matter when you travel, you can enjoy a Mardi Gras tour.

An expert guide will take you through the iconic sites that star in the carnival parade to experience what is known as the Mardi Gras Experience. This is combined with a tour of the city and colorful carnival costumes for you to take pictures.

The visit also includes a trip to Mardi Gras World, the warehouse and workshop where architects and artists bring the colorful floats to life.

Useful information about New Orleans

  • Price: The guided tour is available for around 50€ per traveler.
  • Duration of the tour: This type of experience usually lasts about 2 hours.
  • Recommended if... You want to enjoy the Carnival culture; it is great fun if you are going to New Orleans with children on vacation, especially for the costume part.

8. Katrina recovery tour of New Orleans.

Hurricane Recovery| ©Carlos Barria
Hurricane Recovery| ©Carlos Barria

The passage of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans is remembered as one of the greatest tragedies of modern times. The overflowing of the Mississippi River left the city with great material and human damages, which still remain in the memory of its people.

On the other side of the coin we were able to appreciate the amazing recovery plan. Today you can take a guided tour of the city that shows you in detail this important historical event and the plans executed to overcome the tragedy.

Usually this type of experience is combined with other popular and slightly more touristy tours of New Orleans. Such as a tour of the French Quarter, an architectural tour of New Orleans and/or a tour through the District Garden.

Useful information about the Katrina recovery tour in New Orleans

  • Price: The price to pay for the experience is around 48€ per traveler.
  • Duration of tour: If you book a combined tour it can take 3 to 4 hours to complete the experience.
  • Recommended if... you have time to walk around and visit less touristy areas of New Orleans. This tour can be more interesting when combined with other experiences and tours already discussed in other sections of the listing.

9. Tour the bayous in New Orleans

New Orleans Wetlands| ©MJLope
New Orleans Wetlands| ©MJLope

No trip to the beautiful southern city of New Orleans would be complete without one of its traditional swamp tours. Considered a must-do experience on your first visit to the city, you'll experience the deep, secluded swamps that still exist in the city, some of them private.

Due to the demand for this type of activity you will find in NOLA several local companies that offer this type of experience. They range from 2-hour itineraries with speedboat or boat tours to those that last up to 9 hours. The latter include lunch and visits to nearby plantations where you will see the wildlife of the area. Alligators, raccoons or snakes live there... and you can meet them up close!

Useful information about New Orleans

  • Price: The price to pay for the experience is from 48€ per participant up to 240€, depending on the time and if it includes a boat ride, boat or a visit to a plantation.
  • Duration of the excursion: Varies depending on the company you hire and the itinerary. You should book between 2 hours and a full day.
  • Recommended if... You are interested in getting to know the Creole roots of New Orleans from the deep cypress swamps overlooking the large sugar plantations.

Book a swamp tour in New Orleans

10. New Orleans Jazz Tour

Jazz Club sign| ©Enzo Boulet
Jazz Club sign| ©Enzo Boulet

To pronounce New Orleans is to play jazz. No one is unaware that it is the cradle of this musical style that brought with it the multiculturalism of the colonies that mixed in the city. That is why, if you are a music lover, you cannot miss a jazz tour in New Orleans.

On this tour you will learn about the origins of jazz by walking through various emblematic areas such as Louis Armstrong Park, dedicated to one of the greats of music and born in New Orleans. You will also be guided by a local guide through the Marigny neighborhood and Frenchman Street, all enlivened with live jazz music and beer tasting.

Useful Information

  • Price: From 60 euros
  • Duration of the tour: Approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.
  • Recommended if... You like jazz, its history and the culture that surrounds this unique style that emerged in New Orleans.