New Orleans offers plenty for budget travelers, since much of the city’s appeal involves historic atmosphere rather than big-ticket activities. Many top attractions can be seen on foot, by bike, or on a low-cost guided tour. Whether you want Creole cuisine and cocktails or haunted history and swamp adventures, here’s how to explore the Big Easy on the cheap.
Explore on Foot
Walking is one of the best ways to soak up New Orleans’ unique Southern ambience. Must-see neighborhoods such as the French Quarter, Marigny, and Frenchmen Street are compact enough to cover in a short amount of time and filled with hidden courtyards, specialty shops, and curious details best seen on foot. If aimless wandering isn't your style, stroll with a purpose on a walking tour focused on food, history, art, or paranormal activity.
Find Discount Dishes
Happily for foodies on a budget, New Orleans is filled with casual options to indulge in the city’s famous cuisine. Food and cocktail tours can help you find the best places in town that serve up Creole specialties such as po’ boy sandwiches, gumbo, piping hot beignets, and Sazeracs that won't take a bite out of your wallet.
Skip the Car Rental
Avoid the expense of a rental car, and use New Orleans’ extensive network of public buses and historic streetcars to get around. For an even easier ride with added narration, join a hop-on-hop-off-bus tour with stops at all the city's most popular landmarks. Segway and bike tours are also great, low-cost ways to expand your sightseeing and venture beyond the French Quarter.
Book a Combo Tour
Although they may come with a higher price tag, combo tours can actually save money when you book two or more popular tours together. For example, a package with both a walking tour and steamboat cruise or a swamp-and-plantation bundle lets you pack multiple adventures into one day, usually at a discount.