There’s plenty to see on foot in the Quarter, and clip-clopping through its streets in a mule-drawn carriage is très romantique. But there’s so much more to New Orleans than the 78 square blocks that comprise the city’s historic heart.
Make the most of your trip to New Orleans by sightseeing on City Sightseeing’s Hop-On Hop-Off buses, riding one of its legendary streetcars, or hiring a human-powered pedicab that can get you to that dinner reservation much faster than you could hoof it.
With multiple 18 stops all over town, and great combo packages with walking tours and harbor cruises, Hop-on Hop-Off bus tours from City Sightseeing New Orleans give you the most bang for your buck and lets you explore New Orleans at your own pace.
City sightseeing tours start at $39 for a one-day pass, but the best deal is the three-day pass ($49), which includes two free walking tours in the Quarter and the Garden District. Sit on the upper deck for the best views, and listen to savvy guides explain exactly what you’re seeing. You can even venture beyond New Orleans’ boundaries by booking tours that visit Louisiana’s swamps and bayous, or Oak Alley Plantation.
Royal Carriages (700 Decatur St.)
The king of mule-drawn carriage tours, Royal Carriages was named Louisiana’s #1 attraction of 2018 by the Louisiana Travel Association. Enjoy an impromptu 30-minute ride by hiring one of the carriages parked in Jackson Square, or book a one-hour tour online ($40/person).
Need a Ride New Orleans Pedicabs (1025 Bienville St., Suite 3)
Recently introduced to the bicycle-friendly streets of New Orleans, pedicabs are a clean, green way to get around town. NOLA Pedicabs’ motto is “we pedal to please,” and they can take you wherever you want to go, whether it’s the Fairgrounds during Jazz Fest or a Saints game at the Dome. Need a Ride serves the Quarter, CBD, the Arts District and Faubourg Marigny. Both companies employ savvy seasoned bicyclists who know their way around town.
A streetcar named Desire hasn’t rattled through the streets of New Orleans since 1948, when many of the old neighborhood lines were replaced by diesel buses. But the historic St. Charles line never stopped rolling, and several new lines have been added that make streetcars the most charming, and most economical, way to explore the city.
Quarter visitors can hop the St. Charles line at the corner of Canal and Carondelet, go through the CBD and Garden District and continue uptown past the stately St. Charles mansions. The Riverfront line is a fun way to see the Mississippi, and connects to the Canal St. line, which runs all the way to City Park. The fully air-conditioned Rampart/St. Claude streetcar, the network’s newest addition, runs along the rear of the Quarter on Rampart St. to Elysian Fields and St. Claude, near several lively Marigny music spots.
Streetcars run 24/7, and cost just $1.25 per ride, plus $.25 per transfer. (Exact change only, please.) Visitors can also buy a variety of Jazzy streetcar passes good for designated periods of time. Check the RTA pass info page for details.
Everyone knows about Uber and Lyft, which function the same way in New Orleans as they do in any city. You can also go old school and hire a taxi, still the preferred form of motorized transportation for many New Orleanians. There are a number of local cab companies, but the biggest and most reliable is United Cab.
All New Orleans cabs take credit cards, and have the same set fee schedules. Travel to and from the airport is $33, plus $14 per passenger for more than two people. Cab rides within the city cost $3.50 plus $2 per mile, or $.25 for every 40 seconds of stuck-in-traffic waiting time, with an extra $1 charge per additional passenger.