Historic Site in the French Quarter
Free Things to Do in New Orleans
The city of New Orleans is a tourism paradise; from the historic attractions and bustling nightlight, to the top-notch food and musical sensibility.
However, all of those things can get rather expensive very quickly. So if you’re looking something to do in NOLA and you’re on a budget, here are a handful of free things to do in New Orleans:
Take a walk on St. Charles Ave.
Stretching from the Warehouse District to Uptown, St. Charles Avenue is a pleasant area to visit when exploring downtown NOLA. The thoroughfare is home to a variety of historic mansions, and offers easy access to the Garden District, Canal Street, and the French Quarter.
Tour the French Quarter.
Speaking of the FQ, see what makes this neighborhood so special during your NOLA furlough by embarking on a free tour of the French Quarter. The tours are provided by the French Quarter’s Visitors Center, which is operated by the National Park Service. Must-see attractions in the FQ include the National WWII Museum and the Old U.S. Mint, among others.
Wood Pat at Jean Lafitte National NHS & Preserve
Art on Wednesdays.
If you’re in town mid-week, check out the New Orleans Museum of Art and the dazzling sculpture garden. The NOMA, home to some of the state’s largest fine art collections, is free of admission on Wednesdays.
Hosted in the spring, the French Quarter Festival is a favorite among NOLA visitors and residents because of the diverse lineup of performers across a dozen stages. Oh, and it’s free. The festival is held in the historic FQ.
NOLA's National Parks.
If you’re ready to escape the hustle and bustle of greater New Orleans, check out the nearby Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, home to 20,000 acres of Mississippi River Delta protected wilderness.
Back in the city, the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park is a must-visit for traveling music fans. Both parks are free of admission 365 days a year. Check out the event schedule and program details before you visit; those are free, too.
Hang at Jackson Square.
St. Louis Cathedral at Jackson Square
While exploring the historic districts and crisscrossing streets of NOLA do make time to visit Jackson Square. The beloved park is nearly 300 years old and home to several gorgeous attractions, such as the St. Louis Cathedral and the Presbytere Museum.
Moreover, JS is known to host a number of free, community-focused events throughout the year. More specifically, the square is often a haven for local musicians and free concerts of all varieties.
This one is a bit more obvious – although many Mardi Gras activities do cost a pretty penny, certain festivities on Bourbon Street are completely free of charge. Feel free – no pun intended – to enjoy the parades, dance in the streets, and get in some good people watching.