You might know New Orleans as a party town, but there’s so much more to NOLA than Mardi Gras.

Here’s our round up of six reasons why you need to visit New Orleans.

1. Yeah, the nightlife really is that good

visit New Orleans nightclub jazz bar Topdeck

New Orleans comes alive at night.

Check out the legendary Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. The street is lined with bars and good times, so grab a ‘go cup’ and join the party-goers under the glow of neon lights.

If you’d rather hang out with the locals, head to Frenchmen Street. A live music mecca, you’ll find jazz musicians playing in the clubs and impromptu performances spilling out onto the street.

2. It’s the birthplace of jazz

visit New Orleans Topdeck Music Violin Street Performer

Speaking of jazz, go see a live performance!

Jazz music was born and raised in New Orleans, and world-class musicians are playing here every night of the week.

Whether you listen in a laid-back lounge, cocktail in hand, or on the dance floor into the early hours, there’s a sound for everyone.

Still think jazz isn’t your thing? You can get amongst other genres of live music too from blues, roots and R&B to rock, reggae and rap in New Orleans.

3. You can eat to your heart’s content

visit New Orleans Cajun food Topdeck

You’ve come for the party, but you’ll be happy you stayed for the food.

Cajun and Creole food is the heart and soul of the New Orleans foodie scene.

Try gumbo: a thick stew of meat or seafood (or both!) served over rice. Jambalaya is another staple, as is the New Orleans take on Spanish paella.

After something sweet? You can’t visit New Orleans without tasting a beignet (a deep fried doughnut smothered in powdered sugar) from Café du Monde. The coffee stand serves up the sweet treat 24 hours a day. Yaaaas.

4. You can have an encounter with the supernatural

visit New Orleans Bourbon Street Night

New Orleans is said to be the most haunted city in the United States, and it’s a label they embrace proudly. Here, cemeteries are a tourist attraction. Yes, you read that correctly!

The cemeteries here are eerily beautiful and weirdly wonderful, with many of the tombs housing generations of families. Take a trip to Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 and St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.

When night falls, you could always explore the spooky side of New Orleans with a guided ghost tour.

5. The historic Garden District is well worth a visit

visit New Orleans house topdeck

Once an area of plantations, the Garden District is home to preserved stately mansions and manicured gardens – the likes of which you’ve only seen in movies.

Life moves much slower here, and the best (and cheapest!) way to see the Garden District is by streetcar.

Take the St. Charles streetcar line, the oldest continuously operating streetcar service in the world, and marvel at the grand homes and leafy, tree-lined boulevards.

6. For a taste of Southern hospitality

Topdeck New Orleans live music jazz bar visit New Orleans

New Orleans is unique, sure. But what really sets it apart, makes it memorable, and brings visitors back, are its people.

Locals will say hello, and maybe even strike up a conversation with you in the street. Don’t be alarmed, that’s just life in The Big Easy! Embrace it and you’ll love it here.

Wanna visit New Orleans?

Try our BBQ & Blues trip or head to the Sunshine States.

Want more inspo? Take a look at our other trips to America.

Jasmine Gearie
Born and raised on Australia’s sunny Central Coast, Jasmine now calls London home. She found her love for travel as a kid when her mum bought her a map of the world instead of the Buffy poster she’d asked for. She still loves Buffy, and dog watching in Hyde Park.