New Orleans is full of rich history and culture, much of which can be experienced just by traversing the streets. There are plenty of free things to do in the city, from lounging in beautiful parks to perusing art galleries to visiting museums and more. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Watch canoes, paddleboards, and other non-motorized watercrafts float along the bayou.
Admire the beautiful mansions, wrought-iron fences, and balconies throughout the Garden District neighborhood.
Explore Gallery Row and the unique artwork, sculptures, and photographs that adorn the walls.
At the lively heart of the French Quarter, you never know who you’ll see. Keep an ear out for musicians or peruse the artwork of local street vendors.
The Historic New Orleans Collection offers free tours exploring Black history, the history of the French Quarter, and more.
The historic church is open to the public and worth visiting for its beauty alone.
The park is the perfect place to relax outside with a picnic, game of football, or just to stop by and feed the ducks.
Choose from multiple types of tours and learn about the ghosts, architecture, and history of the city.
A labor of love, the Lower 9th Ward Living Museum was founded and curated by Ms. Leona Tate - one of the four little girls who desegregated public schooling in the United States. The six-room house museum tells the history of New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward through the perspective and voices of those who live there. It is a true hidden gem, and completely free.
From Canal Street to the Moon Walk along the French Quarter, stroll down the riverfront and watch ships of all kinds ply the Mighty Mississippi. Also on the riverfront, Crescent Park offers stellar city views, accessed just past the French Market at Elysian Fields. You can go all the way to the Bywater.
Read the historic plaques that are scattered on noteworthy buildings and public art all over the city. Whether it’s the homes of New Orleans’ most important Jazz musicians, or learning more about the history of enslaved people throughout city with the New Orleans Slave Trade Marker App, there are a wealth of educational opportunities to explore for free.
The Fly is a swath of green space behind Audubon Zoo on the Mississippi River. Sunsets there are lovely.