You don’t have to be rich to take in all that New Orleans has to offer—from attractions to music to cheap eats, we’ve got our top picks for exploring New Orleans at $10 or under. Play a round of mini golf at City Putt, take a ride on the streetcar, visit a Louisiana State Museum or see a movie, plus more. Check out our top ten things to do in New Orleans for $10 or under below, and see here for our top 50 free things to do in NOLA.
Visiting Jackson Square is a must in New Orleans, filled with free and cheap attractions for learning about Louisiana’s history. Stop by Jackson Square to take a free tour of St. Louis Cathedral and learn about its centuries-old architecture. Flanking the cathedral on either side are the Cabildo and Presbytère, Louisiana State Museums filled with exhibits on Mardi Gras and historic Louisiana artifacts. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for students, seniors and active military and free admission for children under six years of age.
It wouldn’t be a visit to New Orleans without some beignets, and they’re conveniently priced at just under $4 for an order of three. That leaves room for a café au lait, hot chocolate, or a beverage of your choice to wash it all down. Visit Café du Monde at two locations: in the iconic French Quarter or family-friendly City Park. Either way, make sure to bring cash and have a few wet wipes ready (unless you want to be sporting powdered sugar hands all day long).
Located within New Orleans City Park, the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden is home to primarily 19th and 20th century sculptures from around the world, donated almost entirely by the Besthoffs. The sprawling oasis features gorgeous landscaping with lagoons and waterways in addition to world-class sculptures. Recently expanded by nearly seven acres in 2019, the garden now flanks the New Orleans Museum of Art like a butterfly. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, military and university students, and free for visitors under the age of 19.
Also located within New Orleans City Park, City Putt is New Orleans’ only mini golf course. For $10, play a course that is full of sculptures inspired by New Orleans. Keep an eye out for crawfish boil pots, Mardi Gras revelers and the city’s iconic snow-elf, Mr. Bingle scattered throughout the 18-hole course. Enjoy a snowball at the stand nearby or a nice stroll through the expansive park grounds afterwards.
Head to the original Prytania Theatre location in Uptown New Orleans for a classic movie or a kid’s feature film. Every so often, find old favorites like Casablanca on the schedule for just $6 a ticket. During the summer months, catch a classic kid’s film on Friday or Saturday mornings for $10 a ticket, including popcorn and a drink. Look forward to reliving your childhood memories with movies like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park and the Wizard of Oz.
Play the slots at Harrah’s Casino with just a handful of change. Head downtown to try your luck at one of the 700 penny slots: one-and two-cent slot games at the casino. Grab a bite to eat or a drink while you’re there.
You don’t have to look far to find live music in New Orleans. Head to Frenchmen Street in the Marigny for music on a budget. Clubs like d.b.a. regularly have cover charges for $10 or less. Catch a jazz band on any given night of the week. For more on live music in New Orleans, see here.
Learn about the history of jazz in the birthplace of jazz. With the low admission price of $8 for adults, $6 for students, seniors and active military and free admission for children under six years of age, the whole family can enjoy the Jazz Museum conveniently located in the French Quarter and housed in the Old U.S. Mint. Browse the exhibits before making your way to a live jazz show, which are frequently held throughout the week.
Whether it’s the breakfast tacos at Pagoda Café, mac ‘n cheese bites at the Camellia Grill or an ice cream soda from Creole Creamery, New Orleans has an abundance of restaurants with cheap eats. While you’ll always want to have more cash on hand to tip, you can find cheap eats for under $10 here.
For $1.25 per ride, or $3 for an unlimited day pass, the streetcar is the perfect activity for seeing New Orleans on a budget. Ride the historic St. Charles Avenue line and take in an abundance of architecture styles. Stop along the way at shops, restaurants and parks. Other streetcar lines include the Canal/City Park line and the French Quarter Riverfront line, which are also great for jaunting across town.