New Orleans French Quarter Tour

February 5, 2018 48 Comments

New Orleans is probably best known for its French Quarter (after Mardi Gras, of course), so we couldn’t go to New Orleans without visiting that area! My mom and I actually went every day we were in New Orleans (we couldn’t get enough of the beignets!), and we did take a New Orleans French Quarter tour, which I highly recommend. I did enjoy all the colorful buildings in the French Quarter and the history was so interesting, but it was a little “grungier” than I expected. I never felt unsafe, but just be prepared for some dirt and puddles from construction and trash and bottles in the street in some areas. 

New Orleans French Quarter Tour

We stayed at Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery in the Warehouse District, but it was only about a fifteen minute walk to the French Quarter. If you’re visiting New Orleans and aren’t a fan of the nightlife, I recommend staying in the Warehouse District so you can get a good night’s sleep and also easily get to the French Quarter. After exploring the Warehouse District our first day there, we went to the French Quarter for dinner and a little exploring. And don’t worry, I’ll have an entire post about all the amazing restaurants we went to in New Orleans!

New Orleans Mardi Gras decorations

New Orleans

New Orleans trolley

New Orleans garden

New Orleans statue

New Orleans houses

New Orleans houses

New Orleans courthouse

The Courthouse

New Orleans houses

New Orleans

New Orleans museum

New Orleans museum

New Orleans apartments

The Pontalba Buildings

New Orleans street performers

We saw some pretty interesting sights!

New Orleans cathedral

St. Louis Cathedral

Jackson Square

Jackson Square

New Orleans cathedral

New Orleans galleries

I loved all the balconies on the colorful buildings!

New Orleans Jackson Square

New Orleans Jackson Square

New Orleans Jackson Square

Jackson Square

New Orleans river

New Orleans Mississippi River

New Orleans riverboat

We didn’t have enough time for a river tour, but I would have loved to have gone on those boats!

New Orleans

New Orleans homes

New Orleans

Jackson Square

We started the next day with a cemetery tour before going on our New Orleans French Quarter tour with Free Tours By Foot. We started off in Jackson Square, where we learned what I thought was the most interesting history of New Orleans!

Our guide told us about Baroness de Pontalba, whose father was a successful developer in New Orleans, and after he died when she was young, she inherited his fortune. She married and moved to France and her new father-in-law was after her fortune, but after she kept refusing to give it to him, he shot Baroness de Pontalba four times before committing suicide. She apparently lost a few fingers but wore her injuries like a badge. Needless to say, her marriage didn’t work out and she returned to New Orleans where she built the Pontalba Buildings around Jackson Square. Now, the Pontalba Buildings house the oldest continuously-rented apartments in the U.S., and our guide told us you would have to wait at least three years before getting an apartment there! I had never heard of Baroness de Pontalba before, but I thought her history and impact on New Orleans was fascinating! Learning these interesting tidbits about places I travel is why I always love doing tours with locals.

Spring flowers

Jackson Square

New Orleans homes

We learned that when the balcony is larger and supported with posts on the ground, it’s called a gallery, which were all over New Orleans. I loved seeing all the ornate designs and colors!

New Orleans homes

New Orleans French Quarter

New Orleans French Quarter

New Orleans French Quarter

New Orleans houses

New Orleans stores

New Orleans French Quarter

New Orleans garden

New Orleans houses

New Orleans voodoo

New Orleans is known for its voodoo culture, which I mentioned in my cemetery post since a voodoo priestess’s tomb kept getting vandalized. Apparently, voodoo practiced in New Orleans isn’t what you see in the movies and there aren’t curses and voodoo dolls resembling people, and it’s more of a spiritual religion that came from African religions. It was interesting to learn that it’s still widely practiced today, and our tour guide’s roommate is a voodoo priest.

New Orleans street performers

I can’t remember her name, but this is a famous street musician and there were crowds of people around listening to her!

New Orleans balconies

New Orleans houses

New Orleans French Quarter

New Orleans voodoo

New Orleans French Quarter

I was surprised to learn about the impact of the Spanish on New Orleans. I’ve only heard about the French impact, but the French Quarter seemed to be just as Spanish as French! New Orleans was French first and then it was owned by Spain for 40 years before the Louisiana purchase, and it changed nationalities three times in just a three year span! It was really interesting to see how all the cultures influenced New Orleans, and it’s one of the main things that makes New Orleans so unique. 

Our tour guide also told us about the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the area, and I thought it was interesting that there wasn’t much damage to the area because it’s closest to the river, but it was hard to get to the French Quarter because of all the floods surrounding it. And places like the famous restaurant Antoine’s lost things like their historic wine supply because the electricity was out for so long that it ruined all the wine.

I love doing tours and learning all these interesting tidbits that I wouldn’t learn otherwise, and I highly recommend doing a New Orleans French Quarter Tour with Free Tours By Foot! (The tours are free, but you are encouraged to give your tour guide a tip afterwards if you enjoyed the tour). Stay tuned for more posts about fascinating New Orleans tours and delicious food! 🙂 

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48 Comments

  1. Reply

    Cristiane

    February 28, 2018

    Oh I love it! Now I want to go pay a visit to New Orleans!!!

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 28, 2018

      It’s definitely worth a visit if you get the chance!

  2. Reply

    Emily

    February 10, 2018

    All these colourful photos are gorgeous!💗😘 xoxo

    http://www.beautynbrushes.co.uk

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 10, 2018

      Thank you!

  3. Reply

    Kaylene Isherwood

    February 10, 2018

    I actually just recently visited New Orleans. I absolutely fell in love with the city, so I really loved going through your photos! I also did a cemetery tour and walking tour of the French Quarter – such cool experiences!

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 10, 2018

      Yeah I loved all the tours I did, too!

  4. Reply

    Stephanie | thefantasia.com

    February 10, 2018

    What an incredibly vibrant city! I’ve heard tons of amazing things about New Orleans (food, and vibe among many) so I’m going to save this for reference when I do end up going!

    Stephanie | theFantasia.com

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 10, 2018

      I hope you get to go soon! It really is a vibrant place!

  5. Reply

    Harmony, Momma To Go

    February 10, 2018

    I havent been to NOLA in over 20 years! Need to get back! What a whacky shot of the guy sitting there with the giant snake, hes so nonchalant!

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 10, 2018

      I hope you can go back soon! Yes the guy with the snake was so strange!

  6. Reply

    Amy Poulton - Page Traveller

    February 10, 2018

    Love New Orleans! Spent two weeks there in the summer. The French Quarter is so beautiful, right? Hope to go back there again some day!

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 10, 2018

      Yes the French Quarter is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in the US!

  7. Reply

    Carmelatte

    February 10, 2018

    Aww I would love to visit <3

    http://carmelatte.co/dubai-tour-guide-firsttimers/

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 10, 2018

      I hope you’ll get to visit soon!

  8. Reply

    Kylie

    February 10, 2018

    Wow I love your photos! But 😮 at the guy with the snake!!! Was he a busker type person or just a guy taking his snake for a walk like a dog?!

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 10, 2018

      Thank you! I’m not sure what he was doing, I didn’t want to get too close to that snake, haha!

  9. Reply

    Ainsley

    February 10, 2018

    Wow you got some beautiful photos! I have a little obsession with New Orleans, I can’t wait to finally visit there one day!

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 10, 2018

      Thank you! 🙂 I hope you get to visit soon!

  10. Reply

    Isa

    February 10, 2018

    Your photos are amazing! This post was just what I needed – traveling to New Orleans in April for the first time and I can’t wait to see this beautiful city for myself! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 10, 2018

      Thank you! 🙂 I hope you have a great time there!

  11. Reply

    Ana @ Jaunting Trips

    February 10, 2018

    New Orleans is on top of my list for US travels. I just love the buildings, the mystery, the stories, the food and of course the music!

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 10, 2018

      Yes it’s such a fascinating city!

  12. Reply

    Kirstin

    February 9, 2018

    Perfect timing! I’m currently planning my birthday in New Orleans and the more I read about it, the more I just can’t wait! The stunning architecture and party scene, but tell me what’s the deal with the cemeteries? Can’t wait ’til your post about the restaurants, I’m already frothing at the mouth for it!

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 9, 2018

      I hope you have a fun time there! I highly recommend doing a cemetery tour, I thought they were fascinating!

  13. Reply

    Lynne

    February 9, 2018

    Nice images! I have yet to get to New Orleans but am as enamored with the architecture as you obviously are!

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 9, 2018

      Thank you!

  14. Reply

    Ruth

    February 9, 2018

    Julia, I am in love with this post. Your photos are awesome. I am not attracted to New Orleans because of its party reputation but because of its history and food. I hope to visit soon. And, yes, Free Tour by Foot is an excellent company. I did several tours with them during my last visit to New York.

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 9, 2018

      Thank you! Yes I was definitely a fan of the history and not the party scene!

  15. Reply

    Brittany

    February 9, 2018

    I love New Orleans– it feels like visiting another country while staying in the US! I’d never heard about Baroness de Pontalba either… I need to check out that tour next time i’m in New Orleans!

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 9, 2018

      Yes it does feel like another country in the US!

  16. Reply

    Caroline

    February 9, 2018

    Ahh I was just there earlier this week, and this post makes me miss it! I also loved the color and the historical charm of the French Quarter, but definitely surprised by all the puddles, etc. there too! I also wish I did more of an official tour, but I definitely had fun wandering around. Love your photos here!

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 9, 2018

      Thank you! I bet things were even crazier there for Mardi Gras!

  17. Reply

    Krista

    February 9, 2018

    Looks like such and interesting place to visit! I’ll have to add it to my list. Also, you’re photos are beautiful! You’ve got a great eye for shots!

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 9, 2018

      Thank you!

  18. Reply

    Sylvie

    February 9, 2018

    I worked in New Orleans during the carnival time and it was total mayhem but in a good way! I’ve never seen so many people do so many crazy things in one area! The energy was amazing and I did get to eat at my favorite restaurant… so all was good. You have an eye for grabbing that elusive moment!

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 9, 2018

      I would love to go then! I bet the city is so full of life!

  19. Reply

    Terumi

    February 9, 2018

    What beautiful pictures! I’m pinning this because I want to visit here one day!

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 9, 2018

      Thank you!

  20. Reply

    Alison Cicci

    February 9, 2018

    So beautiful! New Orleans is definitely a place where I want to travel too.

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 9, 2018

      It’s definitely worth a visit if you get the chance!

  21. Reply

    Jessica R

    February 7, 2018

    SO beautiful! I’ve always dreamed of going to the French Quarters in New Orleans and seeing these makes me just want to pack up and go there right now!

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 7, 2018

      You should go! It’s such a beautiful place!

  22. Reply

    Tonya

    February 7, 2018

    Love all the hanging plants from the building in the French Quarter!

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 7, 2018

      That was one of my favorite things!

  23. Reply

    Heidi

    February 7, 2018

    I love that you went on a crematory tour! Sounds fascinating!

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 7, 2018

      Thanks! It was really interesting!

  24. Reply

    Julia

    February 5, 2018

    (Sent the first comment by mistake, sorry!)
    The man with the snake though! It’s funny the things one can see sometimes haha.
    As a French person I’m always intrigued about the heritage our culture has left abroad. The architecture is beautiful and very unique, I’m curious to see if I find more of the French side of things in your post about restaurants!

    Julia x
    Last Post: On Long-Distance Relationships | http://juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/lifestyle-on-long-distance-relationships.html

    • Reply

      Julia

      February 5, 2018

      I did go to at least one French restaurant while I was there, and it was delicious! 🙂 I know the French had a lot of influence on Quebec City, so I’m dying to go there next!

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