Disclosure: Hotels.com asked us to share our travel experiences in New Orleans, while all opinions remain our own.
New Orleans, Louisiana is by far one of our favorite cities in the South. It is full of history, diversity, Cajun infused cuisine, and a huge French Creole Culture influence. I promise you will not have a dull moment in New Orleans. Regards of your interests and preferences, New Orleans has a broad range of activities, things to see and do from partying and drinking to relaxing and enjoying nature. You can choose and pick the activities that best fit you to create your own New Orleans itinerary.
It does not matter if it is your first time or your 10th time in the Crescent City, this New Orleans itinerary was made for you to enjoy the best things NOLA has to offer. In this complete 3 days in New Orleans Itinerary you will find all the information you need to start planning how to spend 3 days in New Orleans.
Where to stay in New Orleans?
Depending on what you are looking for there are so many options on where to stay in New Orleans. Some of our favorite places to look for hotels are around the French Quarter and the garden district. We always recommend to book a hotel with free cancellation in case you need to change your plans at the last minute.
How to spend 3 Days In New Orleans:
Day 1: Explore the French Quarter
The French Quarter is the heart and soul of New Orleans, with its stunning balconies, lively bars, and jazz music flow through the streets. Here you will find Saint Louis Cathedral, the famous Jackson Square and of course countless restaurants to try. You should start should start your 3 days in New Orleans itinerary at the French Quarter as it is the neighborhood with most things to do and see in New Orleans. Within the French quarter make sure to visit the following spots:
- Jackson Square: I will recommend using Jackson Square as a base for your New Orleans itinerary as it is in the heart of the French Quarter. Jackson Square is surrounded by street musicians and talented artists. Insider tip: Cross the street and go up the stairs at the Washington Artillery Park for a postcard perfect shot of the Jackson Square.
- Cafe Du Monde: Have breakfast at the famous Cafe Du Monde. This cafe is known worldwide for its delicious beignets, in fact it is considered the best place to have beignets in all of New Orleans. For a lot of people including me, this is something you must add on your 3 days in New Orleans itinerary regardless of how many times you have visited NOLA.
- The French Market: The French Market is the best place to buy souvenirs for your friends and family. It is a big market where you will find anything you want.
- Saint Louis Cathedral: Saint Louis Cathedral is not only a beautiful church but it’s also the oldest cathedral in the United States. It is free to go inside, so make sure to check it out. It is as beautiful from the outside as it is in the inside.
- Get lost on the streets of the French Quarter: Some of our favorite streets to take photos are Royal street, Decatur street, Conti street, Peters street, St Louis street, and Chartres street.
- Bourbon Street: It is known as the party street and where all the fun things happen in New Orleans. I recommend visiting during the day and at night to see the contrast in experiences.
Day 2: Exploring the Garden District and the Irish Channel
Start off your second day of your New Orleans itinerary in the Garden District, where you see beautiful and colorful homes, with the opportunity to ride the coolest public transportation in the city and eat delicious food at Magazine street.
- Colorful houses and beautiful architecture: One of our favorite things to do in New Orleans is taking photos of the colorful houses and cute balconies. The Garden District is home of some of the most beautiful and colorful houses in New Orleans, so make sure to add it to your 3 days in New Orleans itinerary. Please remember to be respectful and do not trespass into someone’s property. The colorful and traditional shotgun style homes line the street with many amazing mansions in between, especially in the Irish Channel and Garden District.
- Magazine Street: Walk down the quaint Magazine Street, with rows of boutique shops, delicious restaurants, lively bars and fantastic architecture to enjoy.
- St Charles Streetcar: Take a tour in public transportation. One of the best ways and cheapest ways to see the best of NOLA is by riding this public streetcar. The ticket is $1.25 per ride, you can hop in the Canal Street and just enjoy the ride down the street. You could also purchase a 24-hour pass for just $3. Without a doubt, riding the St Charles Streetcar must be on your 3 days in New Orleans itinerary.
For the rest of the day you could either visit a Historic Plantation outside the city or visit Tabasco Island. It takes about two hours to get down to Avery Island, the birthplace of TABASCO hot sauce. Take a tour of the pepper sauce factory, as well as Jungle Gardens and its Bird City wildfowl refuge.
Day 3: Enjoy your last day in New Orleans relaxing
This is your last day in your 3 days in New Orleans itinerary so make it count and have a blast!
- Steamboat Natchez: Go for a river boat ride down the Mississippi River on an authentic paddlewheeler or steamboat. The Steamboat Natchez is the oldest remaining paddle wheelers on the Mississippi, so what is better than finishing your 3 days in New Orleans than seeing the NOLA skyline from this steamboat?
- Horse Carriages Ride: It is a nice way to explore the French Quarter and re-visit some of your favorite spots. The driver offers a 90 minute tour ride for up to 4 people for $100. You can find the carriages in front of the Jackson Square.
- Frenchman Street: It is the perfect location to finish your visit to New Orleans listening to fantastic live Jazz music.
Disclosure: Due to the ongoing Covid pandemic some attractions maybe closed or limited at this time. Make sure to consult local authorities about current restrictions and guidelines. Please keep your safety and the safety of others in mind at all times. If you do decide to travel at this time, please wear a face mask, wash your hands regularly and bring hand sanitizer with you.