Believe all the good things you’ve heard about New Orleans. A hub of history, culture and great food, this city does not disappoint with plenty to keep you entertained – and for much longer than 48 hours if you’ve got the time. My visit to New Orleans in late April was booked as a time-filler en route to Cuba, so it was a hit the ground running 2 days. I stayed at the W Hotel in the French Quarter which I highly recommend. It was the perfect location, just a short stroll into the heart of the quarter. Its onsite restaurant and bar Sobou was also a delight, with some of the best service and cocktails.

If you’re heading to NOLA on a tight schedule, here’s a quick guide to a hard and fast good time.

1. Walking Tour Of The French Quarter

There’s plenty of tour centres spotted around, they all seem to offer a similar thing at similar prices so don’t waste too much time weighing up your options. We booked a walking tour which lasted approx 2 hours. It was a fantastic experience and meant we quickly got some insider info that was also immensely fascinating. Don’t forget to grab a super-sized takeaway cocktail pre-tour from Willies and really make like a local.

mississippi river
The Mississippi River

Wander through the French Quarter Market and be sure to pick up a Bloody Mary from the Organic Banana juice bar along the row of food vendors – they’re rated the best in town.

2. Cafe Du Monde

The iconic Cafe Du Monde is a must-do. Famous for Beignets & coffee (also the only two things on its menu), its a great place to stop by for a quick pick me up. Constantly jam-packed, don’t let that put you off, the table turnover is pretty quick, so you’ll likely get a seat after a short wait, or simply grab a takeaway en route back to your accommodation.


3. Watch Live Jazz on Bourbon Street

Take a stroll around Bourbon street after dinner and watch it come alive. Mardi Gras decorations, vibrant lights, buskers and a huge selection of jazz bars to stop by will keep you entertained into the late hours of the night.

Other places to enjoy music:

  • Preservation Hall in the Quarter
    Following that, Pat O’Brien’s, bar next door is also worth a look although can be very touristy.
  • Frenchman’s Street – The go-to neighborhood for some of the city’s popular live-music venues.
  • Tipitina’s – Rustic, black-and-white tiled warehouse space & landmark since ’77 for live music & Cajun dancing.
  • Fritzel’s on Bourbon St – a hub for old school jazz in the middle of the Quarter.

4. Eat authentic southern food

One of my absolute favourite things about New Orleans was the food –  and the quality of it. Grab yourself a Po’ Boy, fried chicken and ribs and your time in NOLA will instantly get that much better. While I didn’t get to try all the vendors on my hit list, I did get to experience the devine Cane & Table restaurant – which I can’t recommend highly enough. A gourmet take on southern classics, the ribs were so good we ordered a second round.


Some other dinner options that came recommended include:



  • Cochon – Stylish renovated warehouse serving elevated, pork-focused Cajun fare in a group-friendly setting.
  • Franklin – French Quarter eatery offering inventive New American fare & cocktails in a hip setting. New style NOLA cooking offering VERY good gumbo.
  • Boucherie – Updated Southern food, sandwiches, house-smoked meats & cocktails served in a cozy cottage setting.
  • Sylvain – Elegant gastropub with cocktails & American fare in a former carriage house with courtyard seats.



Thanks for reading christyle

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