This blog post was updated on September 17, 2018.

Four Cultural Things to do in New Orleans

Walk Down Bourbon Street!


As the saying goes, “When in Rome, do as Romans do.” If you want to soak up the culture of New Orleans, there are few sacrosanct activities (and lifestyle choices) that peg you as a connoisseur of the culture. And don’t be afraid if these are considered too predictable, or too “touristy.”

Here are a few ways you can soak up the flavor of New Orleans:

Participate in Mardi Gras

The Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) celebrations in New Orleans is among the best in the world, but be prepared for crowds. This is one of the main reasons to book discount airfare and visit New Orleans during the year, and a time where the city comes alive with music, masks and merriment. It’s not that the party doesn’t go on during other times of the year; it’s just that Mardi Gras is extra special and people go all out on that evening.

Take a Walk Down Bourbon Street

It’s not a visit to New Orleans without walking through Bourbon Street, situated in the heart of New Orleans’ oldest neighborhood, the French Quarter. It’s famous for its bars and strip clubs, and features more Spanish than French influences on its architecture because although the French claimed Louisiana as a colony in the 1690s, a big fire broke out in 1788, destroying the city’s buildings. The Spanish rebuilt many of the damaged buildings.

Soak up the Jazz

New Orleans is not the sole birthplace of jazz, but certainly the most famous, with artists that include Jelly Roll Morton and others. Jazz still oozes from every corner on Bourbon Street, and nightclubs. It is part of feeling alive in the city, and Sunday Jazz brunches and dinners (e.g. the legendary ones at Arnaud’s Restaurant) are not to be missed.

Soak up the Creole Culture

This culture particularly sought to avoid Americanization, and while many people thought the culture was one of loose morals and such (hence the spread of several bars and brothels in the early period of New Orleans’ history), it’s really a great area for Creole food.

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