New Orleans is one of the most distinctive cities in America! As the home of jazz music, creole culture and Mardi Gras, this rich and diverse coastal city attracts millions of visitors each year with its quirky culture, vibrant nightlife and fascinating history – especially for those interested in the paranormal.
As quite a large city, with some unsafe areas, figuring out where to stay before you arrive is absolutely imperative. It can be difficult to navigate the streets, making this quite a daunting task.
That’s where we come in! We have built this guide to the seven best areas in New Orleans to help you plan your itinerary for your upcoming trip to NOLA.
So let’s get started!
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in New Orleans
- French Quarter – Best neighborhood in New Orleans for your first time
- Central Business District – Where to stay in New Orleans close to everything
- Bourbon Street – Where to stay in New Orleans for nightlife
- Lakeview – Best neighborhood in New Orleans for families
- Mid-City – Where to stay in New Orleans on a budget
- Marigny – Best neighborhood in New Orleans for couples
- Uptown – Best neighborhood in New Orleans for laid back culture
Where to Stay in New Orleans
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in New Orleans.
Best Hostel in New Orleans
As the best rated hostel in the cheapest neighborhood in New Orleans, India House Backpackers had to take the top spot! They have fantastic communal facilities – including an outdoor pool and regular events. The complimentary breakfast also helps it stand out from other hostels.
Best Budget Hotel in New Orleans
This historic guest house is one of the only hotels situated right on Bourbon Street – meaning you will be placed right in the heart of the action! Despite its central location, it still offers well facilitated rooms at good prices, making it the ultimate choice for budget travellers.
Best Splurge Hotel in New Orleans
This hotel is truly the pinnacle of luxury in New Orleans! Not only is it the highest rated five star hotel, it is also located in the Central Business District – ensuring you can easily get around all of the main attractions. Rooms beautifully combine classic New Orleans style with modern design.
New Orleans 7 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the seven best neighbourhoods in New Orleans. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
(Best neighborhood in New Orleans for your first time!)
- COOLEST thing to do in French Quarter – head on a ghost tour of the French Quarter to learn about the haunted history of the city
- BEST place to visit in French Quarter – Royal Street is the main hub of the area, with great shops, galleries and historic attractions lining the route
The French Quarter is often where many visitors find themselves spending most of their time in the city! This is the cultural, historic and spiritual hub of the city, with attractions to be found on every street. It is the oldest neighborhood in the city, dating back to the French colonial era, and the most unique part of New Orleans.
Aside from Bourbon Street, which is such a popular nightlife hub in the city we’ve classed it as a separate area, the most popular attractions in French Quarter include the paranormal tours and stores, as well as the historic streets surrounding Royal Street!
- Head to Jackson Square, a vibrant hub of activity with street performers, tarot card readers and live music
- The Old French Market is more than 250 years old, and remains the best place in the city to pick up souvenirs, fresh produce and vintage items
- Cigar Factory New Orleans & Museum shows you how cigar rolling is done in the city, and the importance of the cigar industry to the local economy
- If you’re sick of the standard New Orleans style music, but still want to check out live artists, head to Margaritaville for something a bit different
- Café Beignet, as the name would suggest, is one of the best places in the city to pick up the iconic sweet treat
Best Hostel French Quarter
The only hostel located right in the French Quarter, IHSP takes you right to the heart of the action! They have excellent facilities – including large communal spaces where you can mingle with other guests. They offer a complimentary breakfast every morning, as well as regular social events.
Best Budget Hotel in French Quarter
Located within a historic townhouse, this bed and breakfast is an attraction in its own right! Rooms are well equipped with ceiling fans, cable television and alarm clocks. A continental breakfast is provided every morning, and there are private parking facilities available on-site. Rooms are cleaned daily.
Best Splurge Hotel in French Quarter
It goes without saying that the Ritz-Carlton is an internationally renowned luxury hotel chain! This great service extends to their New Orleans hotel – the only five star hotel located within the French Quarter. Rooms are well equipped with modern conveniences and luxury details. There are spa facilities available on-site.
(Where to stay in New Orleans close to everything!)
- COOLEST thing to do in CBD – the Central Business District is a great place to take in some of the more upmarket live music venues – we suggest FQB
- BEST place to visit in CBD – if you are visiting any other time than Mardi Gras itself, Mardi Gras World is a great place to spot some of the iconic floats from past parades
Located right next to the French Quarter, New Orleans Central Business District is one of the most accessible neighborhoods in the city! As the epicentre of American influence on the state of Louisiana, the Central Business District used to be known as the American Quarter and is still a great location to learn about this part of the city’s history.
The main train and bus terminals are based in the CBD, giving you easy access to other parts of New Orleans, Lousiana and the US South! It is a little more upmarket than other parts of the city, mostly due to it being the main business hub. If you want swanky restaurants and upmarket bars, this is the place to be.
- Head to Julia Street in the Warehouse District – known locally as Gallery Row, it is home to a good variety of locally owned art galleries and boutiques
- Visit the Sazerac Bar – this popular watering hole is somewhat of an institution in New Orleans, selling a good selection of cocktails
- Louisiana Superdome is a major sporting venue – either catch a game during major sporting seasons, or take a tour when there aren’t any games scheduled
- Meyer the Hatter is a quirky shop selling a wide variety of mens’ hats – these are an important staple of New Orleans fashion
- Mothers sells excellent po’ boys – an iconic New Orleans sandwich – as well as cheap and cheerful Cajun cuisine
Best Hostel CBD
Hostelling International are a popular hostel chain across the world, and their experience is prevalent in this stunning New Orleans Hostel! The hostel comes with fantastic communal facilities, as well as regular social events and excursions. A complimentary breakfast is included with the rate, and they also offer private rooms.
Best Budget Hotel in CBD
Another internationally renowned brand, Holiday Inn Express is the place to be if you want budget friendly comfort! Located in the heart of the Warehouse District, this hotel gives you easy access to the CBD and the French Quarter. There is a 24 hour tour desk on-site, helping you to plan excursions in the area.
Best Splurge Hotel in CBD
This marvellous five star hotel truly epitomises luxury in New Orleans! Rooms are elegantly decorated to showcase a modern take on traditional New Orleans style. There is an outdoor pool, as well as a four diamond restaurant serving high quality cuisine throughout the day. Free high speed WiFi is available.
(Where to stay in New Orleans for nightlife!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Bourbon Street – party all night long at the Canal Street end of Bourbon Street – the most iconic street party in the country!
- BEST place to visit in Bourbon Street – wander through the Musical Legends Park where you can check out the statues dedicated to American icons
Located right in the middle of the French Quarter, Bourbon Street is the heart of New Orleans’ bustling nightlife scene! The world-famous Mardi Gras celebration centres here, but the party doesn’t stop there. Year round this street is home to outdoor parties, buzzing venues and great jazz concerts.
Aside from nightlife, Bourbon Street also has some great restaurants open throughout the year! The lower end of the street is home to the local LGBTQ+ venues, making it a great location for gay travellers. It is also very well located, giving you easy access to all areas of the city.
- Head to Tropical Isle year round to discover cajun music and its contribution to the local party scene
- Fritzel’s European Jazz Club is an important hub for the city’s jazz scene, and they also offer some fantastic cocktails
- For the gay crowd, Oz is the most popular venue with two floors of music and great prices on drinks
- New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is a quirky attraction during the day where you can learn about the city’s macabre past
- St Louis Cathedral and Cemetery are also popular historic attractions in the area – especially if you are interested in hauntings in New Orleans
Best Hostel Bourbon Street
As the closest hostel to Bourbon Street, City House aim to create a social atmosphere where you can meet up with other travellers to head out on the town with! They have fantastic communal spaces, as well as regular events both within and outside of the hostel to help you meet others and discover the city.
Best Budget Hotel in Bourbon Street
Lafitte Guest House is one of the few hotels located right on Bourbon Street, allowing you to stay right in the heart of the action! Rooms come with a patio, allowing you to enjoy views across the city centre and join in with the street parties from the second you step outside your hotel room.
Heading to New Orleans? Save some money with our guide to the coolest hostels in New Orleans!
Best Splurge Hotel in Bourbon Street
Operated by the Waldorf Astoria, the Roosevelt Hotel is the closest five star hotel to Bourbon Street and perfect for those that want to splurge on a trip to New Orleans! There is a rooftop bar where you can get the party started, as well as spa facilities where you can unwind the morning after.
(Best neighborhood in New Orleans for families!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Lakeview – take part in Greek cultural events with the local community at the Hellenic Cultural Centre
- BEST place to visit in Lakeview – visit the wide parks that front Lake Pontchartrain, with excellent recreational facilities and calm spaces
Lakeview, as well as the neighboring Chantilly district, are not frequently visited by those from outside New Orleans – but they are popular getaway spots for locals! Their calm atmosphere and easy going attractions make them the best areas for families to visit, and they also have great connections to the city centre.
Lake Pontchartrain is the main attraction in itself, with a large park lining the banks of the lake! These parks are well facilitated and provide a calm atmosphere to soak up the Louisiana nature. The lakeside neighborhoods have seen a lot of renovation over the past few years, giving them a modern vibe.
- West End is a small park at the edge of the Lakeview neighborhood with a marina – here you can hire boats to take out on to the lake
- Gentilly has some interesting architecture from the 20th century – though not as famous as the colonial styles of the city centre, it’s a good insight into American design history
- Krewe of Dreux is a family friendly equivalent to the Mardi Gras celebration, held the Saturday before the main event every year – bring costumes and a picnic
- Munch Factory is a fantastic, family friendly restaurant offering some of the best po’ boys you will taste outside of the city centre
Best Hotel for Backpackers Lakeview
Whilst there aren’t any hostels in the Lakeview neighborhood, Days Inn by Wyndham is a motel style accommodation that is perfect for those on a strict budget! They offer a complimentary buffet breakfast every morning, as well as private parking spaces on-site. Rooms are basic, but well equipped with everything you need.
Best Budget Hotel in Lakeview
Located in neighboring Gentilly, De La Reguera gives you an authentic taste of modern life in New Orleans! A continental breakfast is provided every morning, featuring cuisine from across Louisiana. Rooms are fully air conditioned and have their own private dining area for those who are self-catering.
Best Splurge Hotel in Lakeview
This four star bed and breakfast is located right on the waterfront, giving you spectacular views across the entire lake! Rooms are beautifully decorated to reflect classic New Orleans style, and come with full air conditioning and modern conveniences. A complimentary breakfast buffet is included in the rate.
(Where to stay in New Orleans on a budget!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Mid-City – catch some live music at Buck Street Bar & Grill – there’s no cover charge or drink minimum!
- BEST place to visit in Mid-City – wander around the gorgeous City Park, filled with native plantlife and birds
The Mid-City region is a large neighbourhood to the northwest of the French Quarter and CBD. This expansive area is the perfect choice for those visiting the city on a budget that still want to remain within easy travelling distance from the main attractions! It also has some fantastic attractions in its own right.
This area has the most hostels and budget hotels, ensuring you can visit the city without breaking the bank. A lot of the live venues do not have cover charges, and both food and drink come in at great prices. The large park to the north also has some excellent attractions for reduced prices – or even free!
- New Orleans Museum of Art, located within the park, is the largest collection in the city centre – famous for its faberge eggs and Latin American art
- As a popular destination for those looking for the macabre, it’s no wonder that the largest cemetery in the city – Metairie Cemetery – is a popular attraction
- Parkway Bakery and Tavern is the perfect restaurant for budget friendly bites – grab the cheapest po’ boys in town!
- Finn McCool’s is a popular Irish pub in the area – featuring a diverse clientele from all over the city
Best Hostel Mid-City
Of the multiple hostels available in Mid-City, India House Backpackers Hostel has the best guest reviews thanks to their excellent facilities and welcoming staff! They have an indoor and an outdoor kitchen, as well as a large pool where they host regular parties. Guest are given discounts on city tours.
Best Budget Hotel in Mid-City
Located within a historic building, this bed and breakfast transports you back in time to the late 19th Century! Rooms are beautifully decorated to reflect the classic design of the architecture, and come with excellent facilities. A hot breakfast is served every morning, and is included as part of your rate.
Best Splurge Hotel in Mid-City
Another historic hotel, Le Pavillon is a four star accommodation that nevertheless offers better rates than those in the city centre! This lets you splash out on a luxury stay for less. There is a restaurant on-site, as well as a fully equipped fitness centre and an outdoor pool.
(Best neighborhood in New Orleans for couples!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Marigny – catch a theatre performance at Café Istanbul
- BEST place to visit in Marigny – visit Dr Bob Art, a small independent art gallery where you can pick up some pieces to take home
Situated right next to the French Quarter, Marigny is the place to be if you want to discover a more authentic side of New Orleans! Though much quieter than its more touristy neighbor, Marigny has just enough life to keep it interesting and entertaining. This makes it the perfect choice for couples that want all the fun without sticking to the party strips.
As a less touristy neighborhood, Marigny has retained its Creole flavour and is largely unspoiled by all the college kids that visit during Mardi Gras! In fact, if you want to discover the festival in a more authentic way, this is the place to be.
- Frenchmen Street is the main thoroughfare in Marigny – head there for live music, shopping destinations and entertainment venues
- Crescent Park lines the Mississippi River and the best part is in Marigny – climb the bridge for great views across the city
- Adolfo’s is a quirky restaurant serving a mix between Italian and French Creole cuisine – they have a regularly changing menu
- If you want a restaurant more suited to date night, head to Marigny Brasserie – they have an extensive menu and fantastic wine selection
- R-Bar is a must visit for laid back nightlife – with a mostly hipster vibe throughout the day, it livens up in the evenings as a major local hotspot
Best Hotel for Backpackers Marigny
Despite being a two star accommodation, this B&B comes with excellent facilities! Whilst there are no hostels in Marigny, Chez Palmiers offers well priced rooms and some good communal facilities – including a heated pool. This makes it a great choice for young couples sticking to a tight budget.
Best Budget Hotel in Marigny
This hotel is for adults only – making it the perfect getaway for couples visiting the city! Rooms are decorated in the classic New Orleans style, allowing you to experience a little bit of culture and history from your room. A buffet breakfast is included in the rate, and private parking is available on-site.
Best Splurge Hotel in Marigny
This beautiful accommodation comes in the form of miniature cottages – perfect for a romantic getaway in the Louisiana city! A complimentary breakfast is provided and comes with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. There is a large hot tub in the court yard to enjoy throughout your stay.
(Best neighborhood in New Orleans for laid back culture!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Uptown – hop on a street car and take in the main sights of the Uptown area
- BEST place to visit in Uptown – head to the Garden District where you can see some of the most lavish mansions in the city
Just south of the city centre, the Uptown area offers some of the same cultural delights of the French Quarter but without the hustle and bustle! This makes it the perfect place to soak up the city’s culture without getting too overwhelmed. This large area stretches from the Garden District in the West right to the Central Business District in the south.
This ensures it is well connected with other areas of the city – perfect if you want a quiet base from which to explore the more iconic attractions! With the university district also located within Uptown, it is also one of the most budget friendly parts of the city.
- Check out the Freret Street Market on the first Saturday of every month for a good selection of vintage goods and crafts
- At NOLA Brewing you can take a tour of a functioning craft brewery before settling down to sample some of their best products
- Tipitina’s is a local institution – with jazz music playing most evenings, they also run the occasional Cajun dance class
- Wander along Magazine Street, the main shopping street in the district with antique stores and local boutiques
Best Hostel Uptown
Despite being in one of the quieter neighborhoods, Auberge NOLA maintains a party atmosphere that allows you to easily mingle with other guests! They include free parties every evening, as well as a complimentary breakfast in the morning to help cure your hangover.
Best Budget Hotel in Uptown
This Garden District hotel is located within a colonial style building, allowing you to experience a little piece of New Orleans history! Though it is only two stars, it comes with great facilities that ensure your money stretches further. A large buffet breakfast is included in the rate.
Best Splurge Hotel in Uptown
This gorgeous four star hotel is located on the university side of Uptown, which is an incredibly peaceful part of the neighborhood! Rooms are fully air conditioned and come with high speed WiFi. There is a communal terrace as well as a gorgeous garden.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in New Orleans?
New Orleans is a truly eclectic city with one of the most unique cultures in the entire United States! Whilst famed for its Mardi Gras celebrations, it is an excellent destination year round – whether you want parties, history or culture.
For best area, we are going to go with Marigny! It is right next to the French Quarter, meaning you can still visit the main attractions, but has still retained an authentic character that can’t be found elsewhere.
That being said, this city is so bustling with different aspects of culture that any of the areas on this list are sure to delight you. We hope this guide has helped you to narrow down your options.
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments!
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