New Orleans is a city in Louisiana on the Mississippi River, near the Gulf of Mexico. We visited the city in the end of November and the weather was quite nice with pleasant temperatures. We stayed in French Quarter, which is the New Orleans’s historic center. French Quarter is known for its beautiful buildings with cast-iron balconies, bars on Bourbon Street, art galleries and restaurants.
A must see is Jackson Square, a historic park in the French Quarter and Saint Louis Cathedral, the oldest continuously active Roman-Catholic Cathedral in the United States.
I personally prefer walking everywhere but a good tip is to use trolleys, which locals call streetcars. The streetcar system is cheap and easy to navigate. There are currently 5 streetcar routes: the Riverfront, St. Charles, Canal (Cemeteries), Canal (City Park/Museum), and Rampart/St. Claude lines.
A tourist favorite is to take a steam boat cruise on the Mississippi river. We have chosen a Jazz brunch, but due to COVID-19 restrictions we saw the jazz band only through the TV. They played on a floor above us, which was closed to public.
Guided tours make it easier for travelers to visit the city’s distinct neighborhoods. Because we had one day when it was pouring rain, we visited several museums and chose a sightseeing bus tour. One interesting fact – New Orleans is known for its above ground cemeteries. It is because of city’s swampy terrain. Unfortunately, after a rainstorm, the rising water would pop the coffins out of the ground, so New Orleans’ graves were built above, following the Spanish custom.
We visited several good restaurants and bars, but what really caught my attention was Bar Marilou. The atmosphere was great with a mysterious vibe. The bookcases opened up to allow the servers to go in and out of. The decor is a dark red and luxurious style, very warm and cozy. The drinks and food were great.
Other nice spots to try are famous bars in Roosevelt and Montelone hotels. Unfortunately, the famous Carousel Bar was closed due to COVID-19. I would recommend trying the oldest known American cocktail – the Sazerac, which is a local variation of cognac or whiskey, absinthe, bitters and sugar.
Garden district is a neighborhood full of beautiful mansions, gardens, parks, boutiques and antique shops. While you walk through this neighborhood, where many wealthy Americans settled, it would be a shame not to visit the Commander’s Palace – a culinary legend. It has been a New Orleans landmark since 1893.
New Orleans is world-renowned for its culture, jazz music, Creole cuisine and its annual celebrations and festivals, most notably Mardi Gras. It was an amazing place to visit.