You’re off to Louisiana on the banks of the Mississippi? Here is our guide to the best neighborhoods to stay in New Orleans
New Orleans, the largest city in the southern United States state of Louisiana, has 343,829 inhabitants and 1,167,764 in the entire metropolitan area (2010) and covers an area of 907 square kilometers. Located on the southern shores of Lake Pontchartrain near the Mississippi Delta, the city known as Big Easy has an infinitely rich historical and cultural heritage. Founded in 1718 by French settlers, it remained French until 1803 and was a place of great artistic and musical activity in the 20th century, which can be witnessed through the New Orleans Carnival.
When looking for a place to stay in New Orleans, you will find that housing prices are high. You will also notice that many districts have a French-sounding name: Fontainebleau, Faubourg Lafayette, Audubon, Vieux-Carré, Leonidas, Freret, Tulane-Gravier, Faubourg Marigny, Saint-Jean, Metairie or Saint-Claude. Here is our selection of neighborhoods to stay in New Orleans.
The Old Square (French Quarter)
This is the French Quarter, a must in New Orleans. Your visit to the area begins in Jackson Square, a park where the statue of General Andrew Jackson on his horse overlooks the Mississippi River, with St. Louis Cathedral in the background. This place welcomes music and art every day of the week, and yes, the city is the cradle of jazz! There are abundant street concerts, many concert halls, bars, and a particularly festive atmosphere, except in the evenings when some streets outside of the neighborhood can become mischievous.
The French Market Place will delight you if you like shopping: there are six streets of clothing shops, books and various sweets where you can find the best deals. You will meet unannounced musicians, impromptu street parades – the Second Lines -, and passer-byes dancing to a swing tune. The district also boasts unique colonial architecture and is a great place to stay in New Orleans, especially if you like parties and jazz music.
Suburb of Marigny
After France sold Louisiana to the United States in 1803, a wealthy French owner from Basse-Normandie – Bernard de Marigny – sold his parcels: 212 years later, Faubourg Marigny is a cosmopolitan hub of jazz music and celebrations. Many bars have been set up on Frenchmen Street, and the nightlife is very intense. The buildings with their gleaming colors also add to the charm of the district. An ideal place to stay in New Orleans and experience the archetype of New Orleans’ vibrant life in one evening: music, friendly and relaxed atmosphere, socializing, and authentic living.
Central Business District (CBD)
Adjacent to the French Quarter on its western flank, the CBD, which includes the Warehouse District is the modern heart of the city. A mix of contemporary architecture, large buildings, and a much quieter living environment to stay in New Orleans than the French Quarter. Some old buildings – including the famed warehouses that gave the district its name – have been renovated into housing and art galleries. Many cafés, bars, and restaurants dot the long, perpendicular streets, as if “cut with a knife.” Three prominent museums await you for cultural outings: the Children’s Museum (Julia Street), the War Museum (Magazine Street) and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art (Camp Street).
The Garden District is literally the place to stay in New Orleans if you are looking for peace and quiet, a park, gardens, and greenery in the heart of the city. This district is famous for its cemeteries – in a particular style -, for its neo-Renaissance style residences and for the Victorian architecture. The vegetation is lush and abundant, and it is the most elegant area of the city: it attracted world-renowned actors such as Brad Pitt, Nicolas Cage or Sandra Bullock. You will need a comfortable budget to sleep in the Garden District.
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