Top 5 French Quarter Historic Places

New Orleans is a city full of rich culture and history. The French Quarter in particular has a great deal of historical significance, with several important attractions located within its boundaries.

If you are visiting New Orleans, you will not want to miss out on visiting some of the city’s most famous historical landmarks. Here is a list of the top five historic spots in the French Quarter we recommend checking out.

1. Old Ursuline Convent Museum

Regardless of whether you are a history buff or looking to expand your knowledge of New Orleans history, you will enjoy a tour of one of the greatest historic spots in the French Quarter.

The Old Ursuline Convent is the oldest building in the Mississippi River Valley, built on Chartres Street back in 1752. This building has worn many hats over the centuries and was once a convent, orphanage, and even a makeshift hospital.

Now, you can tour the inside of this beautiful building, where you will see oil paintings featuring past archbishops, bronze busts, a hand-crafted cypress staircase, and many religious statues.

Ursaline Convent in New Orleans

2. St. Louis Cathedral

Often found in the front and center of many photographs and logos for New Orleans, the iconic St. Louis Cathedral is one of the city’s most notable landmarks. Situated between the Cabildo and the Presbytere, it overlooks Jackson Square, towering over its neighbors with its famous triple steeples. Also, did you know? The St. Louis Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in the United States.

St. Louis Cathedral French Quarter

3. The Cabildo

The Cabildo is a magnificent Spanish colonial building that neighbors the St. Louis Cathedral and is home to many rare artifacts of America’s rich history. Among these artifacts is the famous Napoleon’s death mask, one of just four remaining in existence.

You will also find an 1839 self-portrait by Julien Hudson on display at the Cabildo. Hudson was a free man of color and was one of many during the Antebellum period who worked as a professional artist in New Orleans.

The Cabildo was also the site of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, which finalized the United States’ acquisition of the Louisiana territory and doubled the size of the nation.

The Cabildo in New Orleans

4. Old Absinthe House

For nearly 200 years, the Old Absinthe House bar has been a staple for New Orleanians. Here you will find antique chandeliers, along with jerseys and helmets of football legends.

Authentic marble fountains with brass faucets that were once used to drop water over sugar cubes into glasses of absinthe align the bar that seats patrons along the rail. You will have the chance to sample a wide variety of fine malt scotches, house specialties, and, of course, absinthe at this eccentric and historically significant bar.

Old Absinthe House in New Orleans

5. Place d’Armes

We may be biased, but our hotel is truly a piece of French Quarter history and is a registered historic landmark.

In 1725, Father Raphael De Luxembourg Capuchin opened the first school in French colonial Louisiana, teaching students of all ages where the Place d’Armes now stands.

Some of the best things to do in New Orleans are just minutes away from our beautiful hotel. The Place d’Armes hotel itself is an experience, with its restored 18th and 19th-century buildings that surround tropical courtyards, fountains, and an inviting swimming pool.

Be sure to book your room at the Place d’Armes Hotel, a beautiful French Quarter hotel conveniently located close to many historical destinations and attractions. Some of the best things to do in New Orleans are waiting just outside the front door!

Place d'Armes Hotel in New Orleans

Top Tours to Try When You’re a Guest at the Place d’Armes French Quarter Hotel

Top Tours to Try When You're a Guest at the Place D'armes French Quarter Hotel

Maybe we’re biased, but we don’t think any other city does tours quite like New Orleans. This city’s historical and cultural significance is well known around the world, adding to the many reasons why New Orleans is so special and unique.

Because of its endless amount of wonderment and mystery, some first-time visitors find themselves in awe. This is where tours come in. There are some types of tours you might be familiar with that are popular in New Orleans: history tours, home and garden tours, and even ghost tours. Take a look at some of our favorite tours in and around the French Quarter.

Bike Tours

Did you know that, increasingly, New Orleans is a biking city? Multiple nights a week, there are mass rides and bar crawls for those who rather leisurely take their time as they ride. Luckily enough for you, New Orleans provides many opportunities to see this enchanting city, which seems to be stuck in some sort of time capsule, on your own set of two wheels.

While riding down a bike lane in this bike-friendly city, you can take in all of the historic landmarks, unique architecture, and, of course, maybe a dive bar or two. Go for a spin and explore quintessential New Orleans neighborhoods such as the Marigny and the Bywater.

If you prefer more greenery, then don’t miss an opportunity to ride through the Garden District where you will find some of the city’s most beautiful homes and gardens.

Personally, we recommend the two-hour French Quarter tour where you can hit a number of landmarks we’ve already mentioned including the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, the Mississippi River and the Creole Queen, the French Market, Cafe du Monde, Jackson Square, and the St. Louis Cathedral.

Cemetery Tours

Maybe you wouldn’t think it if you hadn’t been to the city before, but in New Orleans, cemeteries are large tourist attractions. To some, especially since the airing of American Horror Story’s third, New Orleans-based season, Coven, this isn’t much of a surprise. New Orleans has a deep and extensive occult history, grounded in the practices of voodoo.

Due to a high water table as well as low sea levels, New Orleans is famous for its aboveground tombs, which are often referred to as “cities of the dead.” With New Orleans’ unconventional burial practices, it is no wonder travelers would have a piqued interest to explore the city’s relationship with death and the afterlife.

There are dozens of cemeteries throughout the city, but the majority of tours will take you through St. Louis Cemetery #1 where you will find the graves of famous New Orleans residents, such as Marie Laveau.

City Sightseeing Tours

You may have seen that big, red double-decker bus coming down one of the streets in New Orleans’ biggest neighborhoods: the French Quarter, the Garden District, or the Central Business District.

The City Sightseeing Tour is great for any tourist who is visiting New Orleans for the first time. It’s like a catch-all for New Orleans history, architecture, and culture. You might be thinking that this tour would take a significant amount of time away from your other plans. You know, New Orleans was founded in 1718, and its battle between French and Spanish influence is enough to make anyone exhausted. It really is a lot to cover!

Surprisingly enough though, this tour only lasts two hours, which leaves you plenty of time to explore the other facets the city is so well known for, like music, cuisine, and nightlife.

Walking Tours 

New Orleans is the perfect city for walking. Not only is it flat and relatively easy to navigate, but you also have plenty of scenery along the way with the stunning French and Spanish architecture that differs drastically from the aesthetic of other modern cities.

Hear the brass band on the street corner or the click-clack of tapdancing feet, marvel at the stillness of the human statues, who have painted themselves entirely in gold or silver, smell the fresh scent of to-die-for cuisine, or listen to the buzz of the crowd. On your tour, you’ll discover how sensory the city really can be.

French Quarter Walking Tours are among the most popular, taking you to some of the most iconic landmarks of the city. Whether you’ve been to New Orleans or not, nothing is more charming than making your way down cobblestone streets as you watch the red Canal Street streetcars pass by, slow and steady like the locals that walk the street. (No one is ever really in a rush here.)

If you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary, or you just loved that cemetery tour so much that you just had to learn more, don’t hesitate to try out any number of the New Orleans ghost and haunted history tours. New Orleans has a long history of hauntings and has been repeatedly recognized as one of the most “Haunted Cities in America.”

Whichever walking tour you happen to choose, you can uncover the extraordinary history of the city at your own leisure.

Place d’Armes invites you to take advantage of exclusive seasonal savings on our room rates! Book today and experience the true New Orleans spirit with this French Quarter Hotel.

Kid-Friendly Activities Near the Place d’Armes French Quarter Hotel

Kid-friendly Activities Near the Place D'armes French Quarter Hotel
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas by Gary J. Wood on Flickr

Don’t be fooled by New Orleans’ hard-partying reputation. Beyond the 24/7 bars and Bourbon Street debauchery, there’s a culturally rich, historic, and yes, kid-friendly city to explore. That goes double for the French Quarter, which is a tourist destination as well as a living, breathing neighborhood with residents of all ages.

It might not be the whitewashed version you’ll find in Disneyland — which is all the better for travelers in search of authenticity. Round up the kids and head to the following destinations. The little ones will have so much fun, they won’t realize how much they’re learning.

Ride the streetcar

The expanded streetcar routes mean you have options when contemplating this historic and affordable (a day pass, or Jazzy Pass, is $3) mode of transportation. Want to check out mansions on St. Charles Avenue and end at the Audubon Zoo? Hop on the St. Charles streetcar at the foot of Bourbon and Canal Streets.

If you prefer to cruise up Canal Street to Mid-City, where City Park, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Sculpture Garden await, pay the $1.25 fare and climb aboard the Canal Street line.

For those who prefer to stay closer to home, the Riverfront streetcar glides from end to end of the French Quarter. (Tip: Red streetcars are air-conditioned and handicapped-accessible, while the older green streetcars are not.)

Shop at the French Market

2 French Market Place

New Orleans’ oldest outdoor market (a fixture since 1791) offers everything under the sun: tie-dyed sarongs, local produce, Zippo lighters, sterling silver jewelry, sunglasses, alligator heads, body jewelry, and more. You’ll find souvenirs and travel essentials you may have forgotten at home in this five-block stretch of vendors. It’s hard not to be entertained by this open-air market, but a scavenger hunt or souvenir allowance can make it even more exciting for kids.

Go to the Audubon Butterfly Garden & Insectarium and Aquarium of the Americas

423 Canal St. and 1 Canal St.

Kids can hold stingrays, parakeets and butterflies at these two offshoots of the Audubon Institute. The Aquarium of the Americas offers a mini version of an Amazon rainforest, while the Insectarium’s Butterfly Garden is a peaceful escape that’s aflutter with beautiful winged insects. You can even dare your kids to eat chocolate-covered ants (for sale at the Insectarium). (Note: The Insectarium is moving in with the Aquarium. The two are slated to reopen in the Summer of 2023.)

Visit Jackson Square

From mimes and musicians to palm readers and portrait artists, there’s so much to see and do in Jackson Square. Take a slow stroll around the block and patronize any street artist who strikes your fancy. If the sun gets overbearing, cool off under the trees or by the fountain in the center garden, or wander through the St. Louis Cathedral. It’s a beautiful, serene, and sacred place to stop and reflect for a moment.

Nosh on beignets at Cafe du Monde

800 Decatur St.

You may spur a major sugar high when you bring children to Cafe du Monde, but the rewards are worth the risk. Order beignets and hot cocoa — the price is under $10, and the adorable shots of kids covered with spilled powdered sugar will be treasured for years to come.

Take a ghost tour

Let’s face it: Ghost stories are spookiest when you’re a child. That means the under-18 set is the best audience for a ghost tour. Check out Gray Line’s Ghosts and Spirits Walking Tour, which is child-friendly, or take the New Orleans City and Cemetery Tour. Stroll through these ornate, historic “cities of the dead,” view the tomb of Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau, and let your imagination run wild.

Additionally, French Quartour Kids specifically caters to children and has several tours for different age groups on the history of New Orleans, music, Creole heritage, ghosts, pirates, and more. (Warning: Not all ghost tours are kid-friendly. If you don’t go with our suggestion, be sure to inquire before you book your tour).

Planning a trip to New Orleans? Check availability for your travel dates and book your stay online. Also, make sure to take advantage of our low weekday rates and special offers. If you find lower rates on your Place d’Armes room at the time of booking, we will match the rate! And you can get exclusive deals and discounts at our New Orleans hotel by signing up for our email list.

The Top 10 Landmarks Near Our French Quarter Hotel

french quarter fall
A wrought-iron balcony in the French Quarter, New Orleans

When it comes to travel with a twist of magic and adventure, it doesn’t get much better than exploring the French Quarter on foot. It’s the heart and soul of New Orleans, a testament to its colorful past — a richly woven tapestry of different cultures, cuisines, musical notes, and its everlasting joie de vivre — still manifested ’round the clock in so many unique ways.

Whether you’re on a quest to sample a savory Creole dish, dance the night away to a brass band, stroll the streets to admire the exquisite wrought-iron architectural details, or take in an eclectic street performance — this one-of-a-kind place has them in spades and pretty much around every corner.

While it’s easy to come up with a longer list of must-see landmarks in a city this old and colorful, here are our top 10 recommendations, all located within walking distance from each other in the French Quarter. There’s only one exception — Frenchmen Street is located in Faubourg Marigny, right outside the French Quarter.

1. Jackson Square

751 Decatur St.

This timeless landmark is located in the heart of the French Quarter. Known since the 18th century as Place d’Armes, it was renamed in honor of Andrew Jackson following the 1815 Battle of New Orleans. Jackson’s bronze statue is the focal point of the square, surrounded by lavish flora and facing the Mississippi River.

Jackson Square is also a host to the open-air artist market and performance space, with local art displayed along the fence. You can have your sketch done, dance to a brass band, or have your fortune told. Carriage rides are offered in front of the square. When you cross the street to the riverside, you’ll find the French Market, Cafe du Monde, and The Shops at JAX Brewery.

2. St. Louis Cathedral

615 Pere Antoine Alley

St. Louis Cathedral is the oldest continuously active Roman Catholic Cathedral in the United States. It stands between its two historic neighbors, The Cabildo and The Presbytere, overlooking Jackson Square and the block-long row of the Pontalba Buildings. St. Louis Cathedral is one of the most instantly recognizable buildings in the world, its famous steeples showing up on many a postcard and in quite a few films.

The Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis King of France was built in 1724 and had been rebuilt twice after a hurricane and a fire. It was dedicated in 1794 and has enjoyed an illustrious and eventful history. One of its most famous caretakers was Pere Antoine, a popular Capuchin priest who had been pastor of the Cathedral from 1785 to 1790 and again from 1795 to the time of his death in 1829.

You can check out the Cathedral’s stunning interior during its hours of operation, and attend a mass or a music concert. If you’re just passing by, depending on the time of day, you may get to hear its bell or witness an occasional wedding party spilling out of the Cathedral, followed by a second line.

3. The Cabildo and The Presbytere

701 & 751 Chartres St., Jackson Square

Did you know that the 1803 Louisiana Purchase was signed at The Cabildo? This historic building served as the seat of government during the Spanish colonial rule, and was built to replace the building claimed by the fire in 1794.

Standing tall right next to St. Louis Cathedral, The Cabildo is now part of the Louisiana State Museum. It houses such precious artifacts as a painting of Marie Laveau by Frank Schneider; a self-portrait by Julien Hudson, an antebellum artist and free man of color; and Napoleon’s death mask, one of only four in the world.

On the other side of St. Louis cathedral is The Presbytere, built in 1791 in the style to match the Cabildo. It’s called “Presbytere” because it was built on the site of one, which served as a residence for Capuchin monks. The building served as a courthouse in the late 19th century and is now also part of the Louisiana State Museum, just like the Cabildo.

The Presbytere currently houses several temporary and permanent exhibits. The magnificent “Mardi Gras: It’s Carnival Time in Louisiana” tells the story of the Carnival traditions in Louisiana, including Cajun Courir de Mardi Gras, Zulu coconut throws, 19th-century Rex ball costumes, and much more. “The Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond” exhibit documents the natural disaster, its aftermath, and the ongoing recovery with interactive displays and artifacts.

4. French Market

2 French Market Place

French Market was founded in 1791 as a Native American trading post and has been operating continually since, making it the oldest public market in the country. Similar in structure to a traditional European market, this open-air mall covers roughly five blocks, from Cafe du Monde on Decatur St. across from Jackson Square to the daily flea market at the end of Esplanade Avenue.

Many retail shops and restaurants surround it in every direction. The flea market area hosts dozens of local artisans, plus vendors from all over the world. You’ll find souvenirs, handmade masks and jewelry, t-shirts, music, and more.

French Market also includes a small pedestrian plaza on Dumaine and St. Phillip streets called Dutch Alley. The food stands at the Farmers Market Pavilion offer a slew of spices, produce and local food that is uniquely New Orleans — from pralines to oysters to the beignet mix or the hot sauce you’d want to take home. The Farmers Market also hosts an annual Creole Tomato Festival to celebrate its harvest.

5. The Riverfront

1 Toulouse Street

You can access the mile-long riverfront very easily from the Jackson Square area. There you will find the grassy Woldenberg Park and a walkway called the Moonwalk, named after the former New Orleans mayor Maurice “Moon” Landrieu.

Woldenberg Park is a popular spot to watch the 4th of July fireworks. It also hosts one of the largest stages during the annual French Quarter Festival, which takes place in the spring.

Stroll along the Moonwalk to view public art, like the Holocaust Memorial, and watch the boats go by. The Riverwalk is also home to two popular family-friendly attractions, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and the Entergy IMAX Theater, soon to be joined by the Insectarium.

6. Bourbon Street

French Quarter

That much is true: Bourbon Street is home to one of the wildest nightly street parties in the country. It’s well known for its karaoke and burlesque clubs, bars that never seem to close, and crowds milling about round the clock. This endless party vibe makes Bourbon Street a great destination for your bachelor party, a girls’ night out, spring break, a couple’s getaway — and any other cause for celebration.

It is also one of the oldest streets in the country, a vivid example of Spanish colonial architecture dating back to 1798 and steeped in history, magic and legends. It’s home to the city’s most iconic destinations like Galatoire’s and the Old Absinthe House. One of the best jazz clubs in the country, if not the world, also has a Bourbon Street address. Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub is located in a historic 1831 building and hosts live, traditional jazz performances nightly, attracting jazz aficionados from all over the globe.

7. Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop

941 Bourbon Street

This ancient, at least by North American standards, bar is housed in a Creole cottage on the corner of Bourbon and St. Philip streets. Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop was built between 1722 and 1732, and it’s said to be the oldest structure used as a bar in the U.S.

It’s also said to have been used by the infamous Lafitte Brothers, Jean and Pierre, as a base for their smuggling operation in Barataria, operating as a facade for the privateers. We won’t likely know the truth beyond the legend, but the bar is dripping in magic and history, making it a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.

8. Old Ursuline Convent

1100 Chartres Street

The Old Ursuline Convent was built in 1752, which makes it the oldest surviving example of the French colonial period in the country, circa Louis XV. The building first served as a convent for the Ursuline nuns, and then, as centuries ticked on, it had been, at some point: a school, an archbishop’s and priests’ residence, archdiocesan offices/archives, and is now part of the Catholic Cultural Heritage Center of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Its museum is open for self-guided tours.

9. Royal Street

French Quarter

Only one block away, running parallel to Bourbon Street, Royal Street presents a very different scene — a mix of performance art, live music on the corners, eclectic art galleries, funky boutiques, and upscale antique shops. The French Quarter part of Royal Street stretches for 13 blocks, from Esplanade Avenue to Canal Street, and the stretch between St. Louis and St. Ann streets is a pedestrian mall closed to traffic from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and till 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

The scenic street is also known for its wrought-iron balconies plus other charming architectural details and lush courtyards, including those featured by the street’s many restaurants. Consider having the iconic bananas Foster in Brennan’s stunning outdoor seating area.

Among the notable art galleries are Harouni, 933 Royal St., featuring the artist’s own work; and Rodrique Studio, 730 Royal St., with his ubiquitous Blue Dog paintings on display.

As for shopping for antiques, from exquisite chandeliers to rare 17th-century furniture to fine art and jewelry, Royal Street also got you covered. M.S. Rau, 630 Royal St., for instance, is considered one of the best destinations in the world for antique shopping.

10. Frenchmen Street

The Marigny

Frenchmen Street is a three-block area with one of the best and most densely packed live-music venues and restaurants in the city. It’s located in Faubourg Marigny, right next to the French Quarter, featuring more than 20 bars and clubs, plus a night art market, a smattering of diverse restaurants, and live music on street, especially at night. Jazz, brass, funk, DJs — you name it — and it’s playing on the corner somewhere on Frenchmen.

Some of the city’s best clubs are located on Frenchmen and offer live music seven nights a week, day and night. The Maison, for example, has three floors and a packed late-night show calendar year-round. Dragon’s Den offers a diverse and eclectic mix of music on its two live music stages, plus the lure of a courtyard and a balcony for a more relaxed experience.

Marigny Brasserie‘s outdoor seating is as elegant as it is perfect for people-watching. Three Muses and Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro are the dinner-and-a-show kind of places that focus on Creole and regional cooking, and d.b.a.‘s roster of world-famous musicians who have played there is legendary.

For smaller venues and a more intimate ambiance, you can try The Spotted Cat Music Club or the cozy, divey Apple Barrel. Finally, top off all the blues and funk with Adolfo’s Creole Italian cooking, from a tiny old-school restaurant directly above the Apple Barrel.

Remember, you can walk to all these places from your hotel! Take advantage of Place d’Armes specials, group rates, and best-rate guarantee for greater savings to spend on New Orleans famous French Quarter cuisine and enjoy everything this magnificent city has to offer. Reserve your room today!

Must-See Museums in and Near the French Quarter

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. Photo by Cheryl Gerber

Whether you’re an art lover, history buff, or music fan, or just want to learn more about the city’s rich culture, New Orleans is home to many fascinating museums, from the sprawling National World War II Museum to tiny jewels like the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. Many of the best are within easy walking distance in the Quarter, or in the nearby Arts District and Treme.

The National World War II Museum

945 Magazine St.

Designated by Congress as “America’s National World War II Museum,” this sprawling complex with five soaring pavilions tells the story of the globe-spanning war that changed the world through the experiences of the men and women who lived through it.

Four main halls transport visitors into the Pacific and European Theaters, the D-Day Invasion, and The Home Front. You can also submerge yourself in an immersive submarine experience, and see, hear, and feel the immensity of the war in the epic 4D movie Beyond All Boundaries, narrated by Tom Hanks.

Contemporary Arts Center

900 Camp St.

Founded by a passionate group of Louisiana artists who wanted to expand the concept of art beyond work that hangs on the walls, the CAC is a hub of creative activity, from large-scale visual art exhibitions to music, dance, and theatre performances. A winding circular ramp, with a central atrium for hanging installations, connects several levels of gallery spaces.

Ogden Museum of Southern Art

925 Camp St.

Home to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of Southern art, Ogden’s permanent collection of more than 4,000 pieces from 15 states dates back to 1733 and ranges from traditional folk art to cutting-edge contemporary art and photography. It mounts new exhibits throughout the year and also hosts special events, including live music.

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

514 Chartres St.

How did New Orleanians cure what ailed them back in the 19th century? This unique museum holds some clues. Built in 1823 for Louis Dufilho, America’s first licensed pharmacy, it showcases oft-questionable medical practices that proliferated in the mid-1800s, when opium was as common as aspirin and voodoo potions shared shelf space with patent medicines. Hundreds of artifacts include hand-blown apothecary bottles, old prosthetics devices and antique wheelchairs.

The Cabildo

701 Chartres St.

Built under Spanish rule between 1795 and 1799, the Cabildo served as the site for the transfer ceremonies that finalized the 1803 Louisiana Purchase and houses three floors of historic paintings, documents and objects. The museum houses several permanent exhibits and a few temporary ones. Subjects include Creole history, Mardi Gras, Katrina, and more.

New Orleans Jazz Museum

400 Esplanade Ave.

Housed in the Old U.S. Mint near the lively Frenchmen Street music corridor, the New Orleans Jazz Museum celebrates jazz in the city where it was born. Its collection of 25,000+ instruments, recordings, photographs, printed sheet music, and other musical ephemera is the largest in the world, but it’s not just a shrine to the past. The NOJM also produces 15+ music festivals and over 365 live concerts throughout the year, where history continues to be made today.

Backstreet Cultural Museum

1531 St. Philip St.

Second-line parades, Mardi Gras Indians, and countless world-class musicians emerged from the creative cauldron of Treme, one of the oldest African-American neighborhoods in the country. The museum houses an extensive collection of historic photographs and a rich trove of artifacts like second-line umbrellas and elaborately beaded Mardi Gras Indian costumes. BCM also hosts regular music and dance performances and serves as a Mardi Gras gathering spot for Indians, Baby Dolls, and Skull & Bones gangs, who wake the town up on Mardi Gras Day.

Planning a trip to New Orleans? Check availability for your travel dates and book your stay online. Also, make sure to take advantage of our low weekday rates and special offers. If you find lower rates on your Place d’Armes room at the time of booking, we will match the rate! And you can get exclusive deals and discounts at our New Orleans hotel by signing up for our email list.

The Place d’Armes Guide to the French Quarter


Place d’Armes is located on the quiet 600 block of St. Ann Street, in the center of the French Quarter of New Orleans. You can stroll just two blocks to the historic Jackson Square, or Cafe du Monde for some beignets. The excitement of Bourbon Street is only eight blocks away, too!

Because the French Quarter has so much to offer in terms of history, entertainment and world-class cuisine, choosing a perfect itinerary could be overwhelming. So here’s our guide to what you can see, do, eat, and drink — all near the hotel. Also, do you need help choosing which room to book for your trip? We got you covered, too.

Choosing the perfect room at Place d’Armes

The beautifully restored 18th and 19th-century buildings of the historic Place d’Armes surround the lush tropical courtyards, a sparkling saltwater swimming pool and fountains. There are five room types, with either a king or a queen bed, and we also have rooms with two queen beds.

The one-bedrooms are ideal for solo travelers, couples, or besties who don’t mind sharing a bed. The rooms with two queen beds are well suited for families, friend trips, girl trips, and any small groups that are OK with sharing a room.

If you treasure your privacy and are sensitive to noise, the windowless interior room offers great value and all the peace and quiet you need. Our beautiful deluxe room has a little more space, and a street or courtyard view (great for people-watching!). The balcony room features a balcony that faces St. Ann Street and is perfect for people who want the full French Quarter experience. The courtyard room faces our lush tropical courtyard with fountains and a swimming pool, and the junior suite features the most space with its elegant sitting area.

Keep in mind that due to the historic nature of our property, we have some variations in our room sizes. 

Getting around

Place d’Armes places you within walking distance of numerous New Orleans attractions, restaurants, art galleries, museums, and more. You will be able to browse through famous New Orleans art galleries and antique shops, eat at some of the best restaurants in the country, and shop at the Riverwalk Mall and the French Market.

What’s on St. Ann Street, you ask? St. Ann has its own hidden history, full of characters, places and events that make it one of New Orleans’ most storied streets. Take a trip back to antebellum New Orleans in the 1850 House (523 St. Ann), which is furnished with the exquisite art and decor found in the finest homes of the prosperous local gentry. Situated inside the Pontalba buildings bordering Jackson Square, the elegant apartments were designed and financed by Baroness de Pontalba Micaela Almonester.

The voodoo priestess Marie Laveau’s first house was an old adobe cottage between Rampart and Burgundy streets at an address then known as 152 Rue St. Some say Marie’s spirit continues to inhabit the current house (1020 St. Ann), which was built on top of the old foundation when the cottage was torn down in 1903.

One of the most remarkable historic landmarks, The Presbytère (751 Chartres at St. Ann), was built in 1791 to match the neighboring Cabildo alongside St. Louis Cathedral, and was originally used as a residence for Capuchin monks. It later served as a courthouse and became part of the Louisiana State Museum in 1911. The Presbytère’s permanent exhibits celebrate the joyous spirit and resilience of New Orleans. One of them, Mardi Gras: It’s Carnival Time in Louisiana, invites visitors to climb aboard parade floats and view historic throws, while Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond documents the city’s remarkable recovery from one of the worst disasters in U.S. history.

If walking around the French Quarter isn’t quite your speed, other transportation options include mule-drawn carriages, pedicabs, streetcars, buses, cabs, Uber and Lyft, and even a ferry that goes to Algiers on the West Bank. One of the most versatile and easy options for visitors to see the city is the City Sightseeing New Orleans Hop-On, Hop-Off double-decker bus tour. The buses come to each stop every 30 minutes, allowing you to travel and sightsee throughout New Orleans at your own pace. It’s a nice way to get from the French Quarter to the Garden District and Magazine Street shopping district.

Other New Orleans neighborhoods are within easy reach as well. From the music-haven strip of Frenchmen Street in the Marigny to the club-hopping St. Claude Avenue in the Bywater and the galleries and the museums of the Arts District, they all offer a colorful tapestry of unique culture and traditions, within walking distance or an easy ride away.

Where to eat

Whether you’re looking for traditional American options or Creole- and Cajun-inspired recipes the city’s dining scene provides endless options, particularly in the French Quarter. From artisanal pizza to the signature cafe au lait and decadent desserts, the French Quarter has it all.

For breakfast, try the Bananas Foster French toast or eggs Benedict po-boy at Stanley (it also offers a great view of Jackson Square), or the wildly popular eggs cochon and BBQ shrimp and grits at the Ruby Slipper. Vacherie serves authentic Cajun cuisine from the Hotel St. Marie located on Toulouse Street, and the charming, French-style patisserie Croissant D’Or tucked away on a quiet block of Ursuline Avenue is perfect for early risers.

Do you have a food bucket list? Cross off the gumbo, po-boys, charbroiled oysters, muffulettas, and other classic dishes that came to define New Orleans while you enjoy a long, leisurely lunch near the hotel.

How about more classics for dinner? Some of the best restaurants in the Quarter, both fancy and casual, offer up Gulf coast fish, shrimp Creole, crawfish étouffée, and other deliciousness. And why not walk it off afterward, off the beaten path of the hand grenades and giant novelty cups, and explore a few local watering holes?

What to do

The Quarter is over 300 years old and is considered one of the most beautiful historic places in the country. When you’re staying at the Place d’Armes Hotel you’re already immersed in history. Even strolling around informally, you’ll discover storied landmarks just about anywhere you go.

Whether you’re a history buff or just want to explore lightly and have some fun within the walking distance of the hotel, you will not want to miss out on visiting some of the city’s most famous historical landmarks, including the must-visit museums, located right in or near the Quarter.

Whether you’re here on a girls weekend, a romantic getaway, a short stay, visiting with the whole family, or exploring on the budget, there’s plenty to do, round the clock, in and near the French Quarter. Bustling nightlife, walking tours, all kinds of sightseeing tours, and entertainment — you can find it all within walking distance from the hotel.

Where to shop

For souvenirs (including the edible kind like pralines and Louisiana hot sauces) and well-priced local arts and crafts, try Decatur Street and the French Market, including the strip of the Shops at the Colonnade adjacent to the market. Want to pick some cool masks and beads for the kids?

There are quite a few options that are fun for parents, too. There are three malls nearby, and Chartres Street is packed with boutiques, just as Royal Street boasts some of the best antiques and vintage shopping in the country.

The best time of the year to visit

Even during the hot and humid months, the Crescent City’s event calendar is pretty much always full, so when you should visit really depends on your interests and your tolerance for heat. There’s something going on year-round, from food and drink fests to the fall and winter holidays, the Carnival, and the Saints football season.

No matter when you decide to visit, we’ll be happy to have you! Book your stay with us today, and see why no other city compares to the magic that is New Orleans.

Must-See Highlights in Nearby Neighborhoods

Armstrong Park. Photo by Cheryl Gerber

There’s no shortage of attractions just steps away from the Place d’Armes, where history and culture collide in the storied streets of the French Quarter. But New Orleans also offers a colorful patchwork of other neighborhoods with their own unique traditions.

The Arts District

Site of three major museums, including the world-renowned National World War III Museum, the Arts District transformed many old commercial warehouses into trendy restaurants, galleries and bars, where art meets the culinary arts.

Julia Street

Julia Street becomes a swarming hub of see-and-be-scenesters from Camp St. to Tchoupitoulas the first Saturday of every month, when top-tier galleries like Arthur Roger (432 Julia St.) and Jonathan Ferrara (400A Julia St.) open their latest shows. Pop into Galliano (200 Julia St.) for a twist on classic Cajun cooking, or feast on the exotic Southeast Asia/West African/Caribbean fusions at Carmo (527 Julia St.).

Julia Street also serves as the ground zero for the Arts District’s annual White Linen Night, held the first Saturday of every August.

Contemporary Arts Center (900 Camp St.)

Founded by Louisiana artists, the CAC is a hub of creative activity and performances. Several levels of gallery spaces are connected by a winding circular ramp, which overlooks a central atrium often hung with installations.

Ogden Museum of Southern Art (925 Camp St.)

The Ogden boasts the world’s largest permanent collection of Southern art, which ranges from traditional folk art to cutting-edge contemporary art and photography. It mounts new exhibits throughout the year and also hosts special events.

The Marigny

Frenchmen Street

The club-hopping strip of Frenchmen is the epicenter of the city’s live music scene. Hit The Spotted Cat (623 Frenchmen St.), or reserve a table at Snug Harbor (626 Frenchmen St.) to hear cool contemporary jazz. d.b.a. (618 Frenchmen St.) hosts some of the hardest-working musicians in town, while the Blue Nile (532 Frenchmen St.) presents high-energy shows by local stars along with national touring acts.

St. Claude Triangle

Just the other side of Elysian Fields, where the Rampart.-St. Claude streetcar line ends, a trifecta of live music venues offers a hip alternative to the oft-overcrowded Frenchmen scene.

Anything and everything goes at the AllWays Lounge (2240 St. Claude Ave.), from swing dance to burlesque to drag shows to the quirky, punky, and all kinds of wonderful. Catch hot up-and-coming bands at the Hi-Ho Lounge (2239 St. Claude Ave.), a lively neighborhood bar. The dimly lit Siberia (2227 St. Claude Ave.) churns our live shows on a regular basis just down the block.

The Bywater

Julia Street’s hipper cousin, the boho enclave of Bywater hosts art openings the second Saturday of the month at artist-run collectives like The Front (4100 St. Claude Ave.) and the Good Children Gallery (4137 St. Claude Ave.). It’s also home to the Music Box Village (4557 N. Rampart St.), a delightful collection of artist-built musical houses that visitors can play like instruments.

Bacchanal Wine (600 Poland Ave.) attracts visitors from around the world to its funky outdoor courtyard. Guests sip world-class wines while listening to live acoustic music and feasting on the seasonal menu of small plates, steak, and cheese plates.

Get your day off to a good start at the Bywater Bakery (3624 Dauphine St.), which makes delicious house-baked breakfast treats and savory specialties, and hosts events including live music.


One of the country’s oldest African-American neighborhoods, Treme is the living heart of second-line culture. Throughout the 19th century, enslaved Africans and free people of color gathered every Sunday in Congo Square to dance and drum in a corner of what is now called Louis Armstrong Park, which hosts free outdoor music festivals throughout the year.  

The Backstreet Cultural Museum (1531 St. Philip St.) houses a fabulous array of Mardi Gras Indian costumes and photographs that trace the neighborhood’s musical history. Catch a jazz mass at St. Augustine Catholic Church (1210 Governor Nicholls St.), then hit Lil Dizzy’s Cafe (1500 Esplanade Ave.) for lunch. Or try the savory gumbo z’herbes at Dooky Chase’s (2301 Orleans Ave.), where the late, great Creole chef Leah Chase worked her magic.

The Garden District

Hop the St. Charles Streetcar at Canal and Carondelet to travel in style to the fashionable Garden District.

Get off at Washington Street to wander among the above-ground graves at Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 (1427 Washington Ave.). (Closed for renovations as of 2023.) Just across the street is Commander’s Palace (1403 Washington Ave.), an elegant old-school Creole restaurant known for its decadent Jazz Brunch spread.

Planning a trip to New Orleans? Check availability for your travel dates and book your stay online. Also, make sure to take advantage of our low weekday rates and special offers. If you find lower rates on your Place d’Armes room at the time of booking, we will match the rate! And you can get exclusive deals and discounts at our New Orleans hotel by signing up for our email list.

What’s on St. Ann Street in the French Quarter?

Pontalba Apartments

If you’re staying at the Place d’Armes, which borders bustling Jackson Square, you’re in the heart of the Quarter on St. Ann Street, which boasts a wealth of restaurants, bars and boutiques. St. Ann also has its own hidden history, full of characters, places and events that make it one of New Orleans’ most storied streets. Discover the lore and legends while enjoying some of the Quarter’s best dining, drinking and shopping.

History, Legends & Lore

Birthplace of Voodoo Priestess Marie Laveau (1020 St. Ann St.)

Shaded by honeysuckle vines, pomegranate and banana trees, Marie Laveau’s first house was an old adobe cottage between Rampart and Burgundy streets at an address then known as 152 Rue St. Ann. It served as a sanctuary for children, the poor and sick, and New Orleanians seeking powerful charms from a voodoo priestess who casts as potent a spell today as she did in her own lifetime. Some say Marie’s spirit continues to inhabit the current house, which was built on top of the old foundation when the cottage was torn down in 1903.

NCIS: New Orleans Headquarters (719 St. Ann St.)

While it was filming in New Orleans, the hit CBS show had its headquarters on St. Ann between Royal and Bourbon streets, where a gated carriageway leads inside to a squad room, kitchen and courtyard, with an interrogation room in the back. In real life, the carriageway serves as parking spaces for residences on either side. The actual set was in a Jefferson Parish soundstage, but fans of the series can check out its weathered, exterior entrance on St. Ann.

1850 House in the Pontalba Apartments (523 St. Ann)

Take a trip back to antebellum New Orleans in the 1850 House, which is furnished with the exquisite art and decor found in the finest homes of the prosperous local gentry. Situated inside the Pontalba buildings bordering Jackson Square, the elegant apartments were designed and financed by Micaela Almonester Baroness de Pontalba, a remarkable woman whose initials (AP) can still be seen in the cast iron balcony railing. A shrewd businesswoman and heiress, the Baroness survived a gunshot attack by her money-hungry father-in-law.

The Presbytère (751 Chartres at St. Ann)

Built in 1791, the Presbytère was designed to match the neighboring Cabildo alongside St. Louis Cathedral, and was originally used as a residence for Capuchin monks. It later served as a courthouse and became part of the Louisiana State Museum in 1911. The Presbytère’s two of its several permanent exhibits celebrate the joyous spirit and resilience of New Orleans. Mardi Gras: It’s Carnival Time in Louisiana invites visitors to climb aboard parade floats and view historic throws, while Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond documents the city’s remarkable recovery from one of the worst disasters in U.S. history.

Eat, Drink & Shop

Stanley (547 St. Ann St.)

Breakfast and brunch are served all day at this lively Quarter eatery, which boasts a soda fountain with house-made ice cream and features a full menu of delicious sandwiches, from classic Reuben and corned beef pastrami to the ever-popular Stanley Burger.

Muriel’s Jackson Square (801 Chartres St., corner of St. Ann)

Muriel’s history stretches back to the founding of New Orleans. It was rebuilt after going up in flames during the Good Day Fire of 1788. An extensive renovation in 2001 restored Muriel’s to its mid-1800s glory, and its classic Creole food and specialty cocktails are as classy as its ambiance.

Cafe Du Monde (800 Decatur, corner of St. Ann)

A New Orleans tradition since 1862, Cafe du Monde serves its iconic sugar-dusted beignets and chicory-laced cafe au lait 24 hours a day, and fresh-squeezed orange juice is always on the menu. Pro tip: Skip the crowds that flock there for breakfast and stop by at night, when you rarely have to wait for a seat.

Maskarade (630 St. Ann St.)

Masks are a Mardi Gras tradition, and Maskarade is brimming with the fanciful creations of some of the world’s most gifted maskmakers. Don’t see anything that strikes your fancy? Commission your own personal made-to-order mask.

New Orleans Cajun Store (537 St. Ann St.)

Looking for edible souvenirs? Choose from dozens of hot sauces and spices made by Tabasco and Andy Roo’s. You’ll also find a slew of other Louisiana mementos, from colorful aprons and apparel to playful ornaments to elegant fleur de lis serving ware.

Creole Delicacies Shop (533 St. Ann St.)

Visitors make a beeline for this shop’s creamy pralines and other Louisiana pecan delicacies like Praline Honey Butter. It’s also stocked with regional cookbooks, Cajun spices and mixes and plenty of local souvenirs, from kitchen gadgets to seafood decor to Christmas ornaments.

Willa Mae’s Scotch House (2401 St. Ann St.)

Grab a cab and head to this fried chicken and soul food mecca in Treme. A destination for activists during the Civil Rights movement, the family-owned restaurant was honored with a James Beard award. It counts President Barack Obama among its many customers.

Planning a trip to New Orleans? Check availability for your travel dates and book your stay online. Also, make sure to take advantage of our low weekday rates and special offers. If you find lower rates on your Place d’Armes room at the time of booking, we will match the rate! And you can get exclusive deals and discounts at our New Orleans hotel by signing up for our email list.