Two Days in New Orleans, a Perfect Itinerary

Planning to spend 2 days in New Orleans one of the most culturally rich, vibrant, classy, and eccentric cities in the United States? There is so much history to discover in this city. Places like the French Quarter, Creole plantations, and Bourbon Street, will engross you in it, and it’s fair to say that after 2 days here, you really won’t want to leave.

Though a 2-day trip in New Orleans is short, you can still enjoy many of its historic sites in this timeframe. Here’s how you should plan your trip:

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Two days in New Orleans: Where to stay?

Hilton New Orleans Riverside: This 4-star hotel overlooks the Mississippi River and is 4 blocks away from the French Quarter. Rooms feature contemporary decor and custom-designed beds. There’s a full-service spa, a high-end seafood restaurant, and a cocktail bar. Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

New Orleans Guest House: This 3-star hotel will surely put you in a party mood. This funky, hot pink guesthouse is only a 5-minute walk from Bourbon Street. Its 14 chic decorated rooms include antique furnishings, cable TV, and free WiFi. Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

Loews New Orleans Hotel: Across the street from Harrah’s Casino, this 4-star hotel offers rooms with contemporary décor, original artworks, TVs with cable channels, high-speed Internet, and even CD players. Go to Loew’s restaurant to get a taste of modern Creole cuisine. Other benefits include a business center and free use of the fitness center with a saltwater lap pool. Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

Windsor Court Hotel: This luxury high-rise 5-star hotel is only a 3-minute walk from The Shops at Canal Place. The rooms boast an English-style décor, featuring Italian marble bathrooms, iPod docks, and free Wi-Fi. Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

How to spend 2 days in New Orleans: A Detailed Itinerary

Two days in New Orleans

New Orleans in 2 days: Day One

Steam Boat on the River

Steam Boat on the River -Two days in New Orleans

Start your day off with a romantic cruise along the Mississippi River aboard the Steamboat NATCHEZ, the last authentic steamboat in New Orleans. It will leave you in awe of the city’s beauty and its jazzy French quarter. No significant other? No problem! This two-hour cruise is great for family, friends and solo travelers too.

Here are some great tours I recommend. An evening and a day cruise with a steamboat.

Evening Jazz Cruise Aboard the Steamboat Natchez

Day Cruise Aboard the Steamboat Natchez

French Quarter

French Quarter- Two days in New Orleans
French Quarter

The historic French Quarter, also known as the Vieux Carré, is New Orleans’ oldest section. The beautiful architecture is one thing to see, but so are the music clubs. Whether you want to hear traditional New Orleans jazz, funk, or rock music, these streets have something for everyone. Take a walk around after the boat cruise to get a closer look at this lively district.

You might be interested in:

French Quarter, Cemetery, and Voodoo Tour

Jackson Square

Jackson Square -Two days in New Orleans
Jackson Square

After walking around the French Quarter, you might need to give your feet a rest. Come relax in Jackson Square—a park designed after the famous 17th-century Place des Vosges in Paris, France. It’s roughly the size of a city block and located right in the French Quarter.

Food Tour

Don’t just eat one thing for lunch. Instead, experience many diverse tastes of New Orleans on this popular food tour. You’ll learn about New Orleans history and try famous foods like Jambalaya and Fleur-de-lis Chicken.

Click here for more information and to book this food history tour.

The National WWII Museum

If you love history and have a little bit of time after your food tour, visit the National WWII Museum. Its features innovative, immersive activities detailing the story behind the war that changed the world. The museum is filled with exhibits, multimedia experiences, and an extensive collection of artifacts and first-person oral histories.

Live Jazz Performance on Frenchman Street

live jazz - Two days in New Orleans

You can’t take a trip to New Orleans without a night out on Frenchman Street. The venues here feature some of the best live music in the city. You’ll be dancing the night away to local musicians and ones from around the world.

Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street - Two days in New Orleans

If you’re looking to bar hop on your night out, the French Quarter’s vibrant Bourbon Street is surely the place to go. Though mostly quiet during the day, Bourbon Street comes alive at night, teeming with people. Bars, restaurants, souvenir shops and even strip clubs line what was once known as Storyville, New Orleans’ Red Light District.

New Orleans in 2 days: Day Two

French Market

The historic French Market in the French Quarter has served as a symbol of New Orleans pride for over 200 years. Individual vendors sell many different fresh foods, while cafés and bars offer New Orleans crawfish and other seafood, Cajun food, Creole cooking, desserts, fruits, vegetables, and more. Come here in the morning to get a bite to eat before you start your day.

Cafe Du Monde

Two days in New Orleans

Stop at this famous open-air coffee shop after the French Market. Try its renowned café au lait and beignets for a light breakfast. Bon Appetit!

Garden District

Garden District -Two days in New Orleans

After eating, see how the wealthy lived in this city during the 19th century. This New Orleans sub-district boasts some of the best-preserved historic mansions in the Southern United States. History-lovers will definitely enjoy.

I recommend booking this 2 -hour Garden District Tour that includes a visit to stunning mansions of the district and the Lafayette Cemetery.

Take a Plantation or Swamp Tour

Oak Alley Plantation Two days in New Orleans
Oak Alley Plantation

A visit to a plantation or swamp surrounding New Orleans makes a perfect day trip from the city. Swamps teem with all different kinds of wildlife including bald eagles, herons, egrets, mink, turtles as well as flora and fauna. On a plantation tour, you’ll get to learn more about Creole culture and take a closer look at the lives and living conditions of African slaves. At most plantations, you can visit slave quarters and go inside the plantation homes.

Here are some great tours I recommend:

Louisiana Bayous 2-Hour Swamp Tour

New Orleans Oak Alley Plantation Half-Day Tour

New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation & Airboat Swamp Combo

Lafayette Cemetery or St Louis Cemetery

St Louis Cemetery -Two days in New Orleans
St Louis Cemetery

Visit one of these cemeteries to see some historic 19th-century architecture and beautiful statues. Walkthrough Lafayette to see traditional Southern sub-tropical gothic structures shaded by lush greenery—or after you visit the French Quarter, walk just a few blocks to St. Louis, which is the oldest active cemetery in New Orleans.

Here are some recommended tours:

New Orleans: St. Louis Cemetery History 2-Hour Tour

New Orleans: Garden District Tour with a visit to Lafayette cemetery.

Check out more things to do in New Orleans

Two days in New Orleans: Where to Eat?

Two days in New Orleans

Bevi Seafood Co: If you’re ever in New Orleans’ Mid-City, make sure to stop here. This spot serves up some tasty po-boys, boiled seafood, and plate specials.

Compére Lampin: This Creole restaurant is one of a kind. Its Caribbean and Italian infused menu combines unique flavors and ingredients for dishes like conch fritters and curried goat with gnocchi.

Harbor Seafood and Oyster Bar: Anyone who loves seafood needs to go here. This restaurant offers traditional po’boys, fried seafood, boiled seafood, gumbo, raw oysters, chargrilled oysters, and so much more. Try the Swamp Platter to get all of the good stuff on one plate.

Mosca’s Restaurant: This restaurant adds some Sicilian flare to New Orleans Creole Italian food. Try the Chicken a la Grande and Oysters Mosca if you want to eat something deliciously satisfying.

How to get to and from New Orleans’ Airport

Bus: Two bus companies operate from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to the city center.

An express bus (202) operated by RTA runs from the airport with two city center stops, the first at Elk Place on Canal Street, the second at the Union Passenger Bus Terminal. This bus runs 9 times a day with the first service leaving the airport at 03.45 and the last at 19.00.

A slightly cheaper but slower bus, the Veterans E1 bus operated by JET (Jefferson Transit Authority) stops at major intersections (roughly every 2 blocks) including Veterans Memorial Blvd, City Park Avenue, and Canal Street and runs every 25minutes between 05:00-20.31 Monday-Friday, approximately every 45 minutes from 06.11-20.27 Saturday and holidays, and approximately every 45 minutes from 06.25-20.13 on Sunday. Price: $1.50-$2 Duration: 50-60minutes

Taxi: Taxi cabs wait outside of level 1. There is a flat fee for 1-2 passengers traveling from the airport to the central business district, or the French Quarter. For 3 or more passengers the fare is $15 per person. There is a $1 surcharge for each piece of luggage. Price: From $36.00 Duration: 20minutes

Ultimately, you can have a rich cultural experience here in New Orleans in just two days. Many of the sites previously mentioned are located right in the French Quarter, which is probably where you’ll spend most of your trip to begin with. Whether you want to eat French-Creole cuisine, listen to some jazz or relax on a boat cruise, New Orleans literally has it all. It’s safe to say that it’s one of the liveliest and most diverse cities in the United States.

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