New Orleans

The lively city of New Orleans in the US state of Louisiana is known for its jazz and blues music scene, classic Southern architecture, and sensational Creole and Cajun food. Join us on an exciting trip through "The Big Easy"!

New Orleans facts

State: Louisiana
Size: 907 km²
Hot spots: Jackson Square, French Quarter, Garden District
Population: about 380,000
Nickname: The Big Easy, Crescent City, NOLA
Time zone: Central (UTC−6/−5)

New Orleans: location & population

Lively New Orleans is located in the Mississippi Delta in the Southern United States amid swamps, lakes, and nature preserves. Because of its location, "The Big Easy," as New Orleans is often called, half of the city consists of water.

The city of jazz and blues musicians is a fascinating mix of cultures. Around 60 % of the inhabitants of New Orleans are African-American, and you will encounter Afro-Caribbean culture on every corner here. The percentage of the Latino population has also increased significantly in the last 20 years.

New Orleans' French and Spanish colonial history gives the community a primarily Roman Catholic tradition. However, there is also a strong presence of Louisiana Voodoo, a mixture of African, Afro-Caribbean, and Roman Catholic beliefs.

The Creole and Cajun populations that emerged during colonialism now shape New Orleans, particularly in culinary terms. Thanks to its multilingual and cultural heritage, "The Big Easy" is also often called the most extraordinary city in the United States.

Jazz musician with a trumpet in New Orleans

The climate in New Orleans

In New Orleans, you will encounter a subtropical climate with hot and humid summers and short, mild winters. The highest temperatures from May to September are usually around 32 °C, but the 40° mark is also often reached. The best times to visit New Orleans are in spring and fall.

How to get to New Orleans

If you're flying into New Orleans, you'll most likely land at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY), located about 19 km West of the city.

Since all international flights to New Orleans were initially suspended after Hurricane Katrina, there are now only a few flights from other countries, such as Frankfurt am Main in Germany, Cancun in Mexico, London in the UK, and Toronto in Canada.

After your flight to New Orleans with airlines like Delta, United, Lufthansa, KLM, or American Airlines, you can easily take the Airport Express 202 to the city.

Flights to New Orleans


If you are not a US citizen or Green Card holder, you will need a US visa or ESTA to enter the US.

New Orleans streetcars

Quickly unload your suitcases at the hotel and embark on a discovery trip through colorful New Orleans! You can use the antique streetcars of the Regional Transit Authority New Orleans, which make the cityscape of "The Big Easy" a little bit prettier even today.

The most famous one is the St. Charles line, which takes you through the Garden District, where you can admire the majestic mansions from the 19th century. Another highlight is the red Riverfront Line, which runs along the Mississippi River to the French Quarter.

The streetcars of New Orleans

New Orleans hotels

If you want to stay overnight in New Orleans, it's best to choose a hotel in the French Quarter or Downtown. From here, you can easily explore the city on foot or get around by rental bike, bus, or streetcar.

We've picked out some great hotels that will make your New Orleans vacation even better:

Cambria Hotel New Orleans Downtown Warehouse District

With its spacious rooms, high-quality and tasteful decor, and perfectly connected location near the Riverwalk, the Cambria Hotel offers you all the amenities a great city hotel needs.

Spend the evening relaxing in a stylish wingback chair in the music lounge, enjoy a restful night in the soft king-size bed, work out in the morning in the hotel's fitness area, and then enjoy a hearty American breakfast in the diner before getting back into the city life!

Hotel with breakfast in New Orleans

La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham New Orleans Downtown

The La Quinta Inn near French Quarter is known for its exceptionally friendly staff and classic design. Enjoy quiet nights in your spacious room, freshen up in the hotel pool, grab your free breakfast, and you're ready for your next New Orleans tour!

Holiday Inn New Orleans-Downtown Superdome, an IHG Hotel

The great view, remarkably great food, and the hotel pool are good reasons for many New Orleans vacationers to stay at the Holiday Inn New Orleans-Downtown Superdome again and again

Also, the short walking distance to the French Quarter, the excellent room facilities with a coffee maker and microwave, the fitness center, and the very friendly staff will surely make your traveler's heart beat faster!

French Market Inn

The sensationally good location and super-friendly staff at the French Market Inn will quickly make you forget that the rooms are a bit smaller here than in the other hotels.

From the French Market Inn, you have direct access to many restaurants and stores, Jackson Square, Bourbon Street, and the Mississippi Riverfront. If you prefer peace, you'll find it within the hotel's confines: relax by the pool or enjoy hearty American food at the hotel restaurant.

  • District: French Quarter
  • Address: 509 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
  • Price: $$
  • Details: French Market Inn

Top sights in New Orleans

There's something for everyone in New Orleans. Look forward to great food, plenty of cultural offerings, brilliant musicians, an impressive history, and beautiful architecture! Here are our highlights in New Orleans:

French Quarter

The French Quarter is the vibrant heart of New Orleans, where you'll find cultural, culinary, and musical highlights around every corner. Walk along the Mississippi River, visit French Market, let the hustle and bustle lead you to Jackson Square and Bourbon Street, party until dawn in fashionable jazz bars, or listen to the best street musicians in the world while you stroll!

Jackson Square

Although it's part of the nocturnal French Quarter, the pretty Jackson Square near the Mississippi Riverwalk is more suitable for a daylight visit. The Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Louis sits atop the picturesque and beautiful square like a castle and is framed by late Baroque buildings that are now part of the Louisiana State Museum. Take a walk through the beautiful gardens in front of the cathedral, or treat yourself to an inside tour!

Bourbon Street

When you step onto Bourbon Street in the evening on your French Quarter tour, you'll notice it right away: Live music is jazzing and grooving from almost every store here! The party mile has partly broken with its classic obsession for jazz and blues music and now lets other musicians "have their say." However, it is still a gigantic experience for every New Orleans vacationer!

New Orleans City Park

When you've had enough of the hustle and bustle of the City of New Orleans, dive into the verdant jungle of New Orleans City Park! Here, you'll find ancient trees, flowering banks, water lilies, waterfowl, and historic buildings. Just enjoy the silence or treat yourself to a historic park tour!

Garden District

Speaking of green, the moss-covered Garden District is a must-see! This New Orleans neighborhood is full of elegant antebellum-style homes from the early and mid-19th century and looks like something out of a fairy tale with its old trees overgrown with "Spanish moss." The most fun way to tour this charming neighborhood is with one of the legendary tour guides.

Cultural highlights in New Orleans

Between concerts, great food, and extended tours of the architectural wonders of "The Big Easy," you'll probably want to get a little museum air, too. Here are the best museums in New Orleans:

  • New Orleans Museum of Art
  • Ogden Museum of Southern Art
  • Louisiana Children’s Museum
  • National World War II Museum

New Orleans music scene

Fancy a dance in the street? You'll have plenty of opportunities to do that in New Orleans, which is the heart and soul of the American jazz and blues scene.

Music legends like Allen Toussaint, James Booker, Fats Domino, and Louis Armstrong have their origins here. On a guided tour, you can visit their former homes, the most legendary jazz bars, and the original recording studios of New Orleans' music greats.

→ Book your music tour of New Orleans now!

The most popular venues for street and club concerts include the French Quarter and the Marigny and Treme neighborhoods. If you visit Royal Street or stroll down Frenchman Street towards the New Orleans Jazz Museum, you are guaranteed an impromptu jazz concert!

Don't miss a visit to the following clubs:

  • The Spotted Cat
  • Three Muses
  • Preservation Hall

Probably the most famous music event in New Orleans, however, is the Jazz and Heritage Festival (or simply Jazz Fest), which takes place over two weekends from late April to early May.

→ Book your trip to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival now!

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

A cultural and musical highlight in New Orleans is the annual Mardi Gras Festival. The gigantic and crazy parade rolling through New Orleans on "Fat Tuesday" is not to be missed if you happen to be in town!

People cheer the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans.

Food and drinks in New Orleans

The food in New Orleans is just legendary, with all sorts of fresh seafood and great spice blends used in the predominant Creole and Cajun dishes. Culinary highlights in New Orleans include:

  • Crawfish Étouffée (crab meat stew)
  • Jambalaya (pan-fried dish of rice, vegetables, and seafood)
  • Gumbo (seafood stew)
  • Po' boy (baguette with meat, fish, or seafood, and pickles)
  • Bananas Foster (a dessert made with bananas, vanilla ice cream, rum, and banana liqueur)
  • Beignets (packed doughnuts with powdered sugar)

You also can't go wrong with the good old "New Orleans Dog" and the special coffee roasts! Here are a few of the best places to dive into the culinary world of New Orleans:

  • Antoine's on St. Louis Street, French Quarter
  • Arnaud's on Bienville Street near Bourbon Street
  • Brennan's on Royal Street (not far from Antoine's)
  • Commander's Palace on Washington Avenue in the 11th Ward neighborhood

Instagram hotspots in New Orleans

While visiting the breathtakingly colorful New Orleans, make sure to bring your camera! Here are the best Instagram hotspots for your New Orleans vacation:

  • Jackson Square
  • Royal Street
  • Carousel Bar and Lounge
  • Frenchmen Street and the Frenchmen Art Market
  • French Quarter

The history of New Orleans

New Orleans was founded in 1718 as part of the Louisiana colony by French settlers in the middle of the swamps of the Mississippi Delta. When the place had about 10,000 inhabitants, Napoleon sold the entire colony to the United States of America. On December 20th, 1803, New Orleans officially became part of the USA.

In order to become buildable on a large scale, the future city first had to rise from the swamps of Louisiana. Beginning in 1910, inventor Albert Baldwin Wood drained the area piece by piece with large pumps.

Even today, a drainage system hundreds of kilometers long runs through New Orleans and drains the entire city. The swamp under New Orleans is several hundred meters deep and is compacting more and more under the weight, causing the area to sink about 8 mm per year.


If you want to see the original state of the New Orleans landscape, visit the swamps in the Barataria Preserve nature park on the South side of the Mississippi River.

From the beginning, New Orleans was considered a place for globetrotters, multilingual people, and culture lovers. However, this did not protect the city from becoming an instrument of the slave trade with its port. The city's past as the "slave market of the South" is still evident everywhere in New Orleans today and is a depressing part of any history tour you can take in the city.

Throughout history, New Orleans has been hit by a number of disasters, including the Great Fire of 1788, the severe yellow fever epidemic of 1853, the flood of 1927, Hurricane Betsy in 1965, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. However, New Orleans was rebuilt after each disaster, and today shines more beautifully than ever.

Without the optimism of its returning residents and many diverse cultures, "The Big Easy" would not be what it is today. Cajuns and Creoles, French and Spanish, Germans, Latinos, Irish, and Africans form the unique mix here that makes New Orleans a truly unforgettable place.

Coming to New Orleans with a Green Card

Have you acquired a taste for New Orleans and would like to stay longer? No problem: with a Green Card, you can live and work in the USA indefinitely.

Through the US government's Green Card Lottery, the US immigrant visa is quite easy to get. So be sure to enter the annual lottery today! Each year, 55,000 Green Cards are drawn to US immigrants worldwide.

Green Card Lottery

Win one of 55,000 Green Cards in the official Green Card Lottery of the US authorities!