Explore New Orleans
New Orleans Moon Walk

New Orleans Moonwalk

New Orleans Vacation Packages and Deals

Tour a historic New Orleans Cemetery, do a self guided swamp tour, visit the Chalmette Battlefield, cross the mighty Mississippi on the Canal Street Ferry! Visit Jackson Square, the Moonwalk and Woldenberg Park. These are just some of the free things to do in New Orleans. There are many more free things to do in New Orleans that are both interesting and fun. You will find that attendance is free at many New Orleans festivals as well. So come on down to New Orleans and stroll along the New Orleans Riverfront, tour the St Louis Cathedral and visit the Sculpture Garden in New Orleans City Park. There is a good time to be had doing the many New Orleans free things to do.

Canal Street Ferry New Orleans

Cross the mighty Mississippi on the Canal Street Ferry

One free thing to do is to take a ride on the Canal Street Ferry to Historic Algiers. The Canal Street ferry ride is a free thing to do in New Orleans that every visitor to the city should take advantage of.
The Algiers Ferry leaves the terminal every 30 minutes on the quarter hour and provides you with a sailor's view of the Crescent City and French Quarter. Don't miss this free view of New Orleans and the French Quarter.
The ferry terminal is located just outside the French Quarter across from Harrah�s Casino at the foot of Canal Street. The boats operate every day from 6am until 12:15am. Cars cost $1 to cross the river, pedestrians ride FREE! The ferry terminal does not offer parking but there are several pay lots near by.

Visit Historic Algiers Point

Disembark the Canal Street Ferry in Historic Algiers Point to visit New Orleans second oldest neighborhood. Walk the quiet streets of this 19th century village and discover the "Secret Jewel of New Orleans." Dinning in Algiers Point is available at the Dry Dock Café. Before you go check out the Algiers Point Association for details. Hop-On/Hop-Off Bus RouteNew Orleans Street Car Route

Historic New Orleans Cemetery

Tour a historic New Orleans Cemetery

New Orleans cemeteries are noted for their unique, above ground tombs required here because the ground water levels make burial impractical in New Orleans. As you explore New Orleans there are many cemeteries in the New Orleans area to choose from. The St. Louis Cemetery #1 is the oldest and most famous. It was opened in 1789 and is owned and maintained by the Archdiocese of New Orleans. It is 8 blocks from the Mississippi River, on the north side of Basin Street, one block beyond the the French Quarter. It is across the street from the Basin Street Information Center and it borders the Iberville housing project that was built over what was formerly Storyville. Admission to these cemeteries is FREE making them another free thing to do in New Orleans! However, tours to enhance your visit are available. See my Walking Tours page for more info.

New Orleans Riverfront a free thing to do

Stroll along the New Orleans Riverfront

While you explore New Orleans be sure to make time to enjoy the sights and sounds of the New Orleans Riverfront. The New Orleans Riverfront is made up of the Moonwalk, the Steamboat Natchez dock, Woldenberg Park, the Aquarium of the Americas, the IMAX theatre, the Canal Street Ferry Terminal, the Plaza de Espana, and the River Walk Marketplace.
To leisurely stroll this mile long stretch of riverfront will take you about 30 minutes. But why rush? Pick up a po-boy sandwich (of course I recommend Johnny's Po-Boys Restaurant only a block away) and relax on one of the many benches located along the riverfront. While you eat take in the beauty and majesty of the mighty Mississippi River and watch the Steamboat Natchez or the Canal Street Ferry depart or arrive. This makes for a great lunch experience in the French Quarter. Finally, if you are looking for great places to shop in New Orleans you can explore the dozens of shops in the River Walk Market Place, it is a unique shopping mall located right on the Mississippi River. This little walk is another one of the awesome free things to do in New Orleans.

French Quarter Street Band Doreen's Jazz

Relax and enjoy the New Orleans Street Performers

One of the many free things to do in the French Quarter while you explore New Orleans is to take time and enjoy the many New Orleans street performers that you will encounter. You will find street performers on Bourbon Street, Royal Street, in Jackson Square, and scattered else where throughout the French Quarter and sometimes along the river front. The most common street performers are musicians and human statues but I have also seen clowns, escape artist, puppeteers, and magicians in the French Quarter. While technically the street performer’s entertainment is free most of them are very good and make a living performing for the visitors to New Orleans. So if you enjoy their performance, or take their picture, or they some how enhance your visit to the Crescent City then please place a tip into their coffers.

St. Louis Cathedral New Orleans La

Vist the St Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter

It is a free thing to do and you can’t miss it; it is located next to Jackson Square in the French Quarter and is a landmark for locals and visitors alike. It is worth going inside the cathedral to see the architectural design, the windows, the murals and to catch one of the free docent tours. The St. Louis Cathedral is the oldest active Catholic cathedral in the United States. Although it is an active cathedral it is open to the public Mon-Sat 9am-5pm and Sun 2-5pm. Be sure to include the Cathedral as you explore New Orleans. Hop-On/Hop-Off Bus Route

New Orleans Streetcar on St Charles Avenue

Take a ride on a New Orleans Streetcar

Not exactly free but a great way to explore New Orleans. There are three streetcar lines to choose from. The St Charles Line, the Canal St Line, and the Riverfront Line. The famous St. Charles Line is the oldest continuously operating streetcar in the world! The route is a 13 mile long loop and runs from Canal Street to Carondelet Avenue. Traveling down St Charles Avenue you will get to see dozens of historic New Orleans mansions. For extra fun you should get off along the way and enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants along the route (of course I recommend Pascals Manale on Napoleon Avenue). For more information on restaurants and attractions along the St. Charles Streetcar line visit my St Charles Streetcar page.
The Canal Street Line opened in April of 2004. The Canal Streetcar takes you down Canal Street through downtown New Orleans and can take you to two destinations. One streetcar route ends at City Park Avenue at the historic city cemeteries (another free thing to do). The other street car route ends at the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park.
The Riverfront Line does exactly as it says in takes you along the New Orleans Riverfront. From Café Du Monde and the shops at the French Market to Waldenburg Park, the Aquarium of the Americus, and finally the River Walk Market Place.

Free New Orleans swamp tour

Do a FREE self guided New Orleans swamp tour

Can you imagine a swamp tour as a free thing to do? If you are adventurous, have a car and don't want to spend big dollars on a commercial swamp tour, yet you would like to experience the swamp, I recommend you visit the Jean Lafitte National Park Barataria Preserve. Just 30 minutes south of New Orleans the park offers 20,000 acres of bayous, swamps, marshes, and forests. Within it boundaries you will find a visitor center and several trails that wind through the preserve. These boardwalks and dirt trails are your free entrance into the Louisiana swamps. I have walked all of the trails and the Bayou Conquille Trail is my favorite. Along the trails I have seen alligators, turtles, squirrel, nutria, egrets, ducks, frogs, lizards and snakes. I never visit the park between June and September because of the heat and the humidity. If you decide on doing this self guided New Orleans swamp tour then don’t forget bug spray, bottled water, and rain gear because the mosquitoes can be plentiful and thunder storms can pop up in a hurry. In addition to the walking trails the Preserve offers canoe trails, picnic areas, ranger programs, a visitor center, and an environmental education center.Click here to locate Jean Lafitte Park

A walking tour is a free thing to do in New Orleans

Explore New Orleans on a FREE Walking Tour

Another free thing to do in New Orleans is to take a free walking tour. New Orleans offers several free walking tours that I know about which include the following: The Free French Market Guided Tour, a free French Quarter walking tour, a free Garden District walking tour, a free Lafayette Cemetery guided tour, and a free French Quarter Riverfront walking tour given by the National Park service. While these walking tours are free don�t forget that the tour guides spend a lot of time and effort to provide you with a memorable New Orleans experience. Therefore please tip them graciously. For more information on FREE Walking Tours visit my New Orleans Guided Walking Tours page.

New Orleans City Park

Visit New Orleans City Park

New Orleans City Park is the largest green space in New Orleans and it too is a free thing to do. The 1300 acre park consists of several lagoons, lawns, trees, and areas of dense growth. City Park offers visitors a wide range of both free and paid attractions and activities. These include birding, fishing, boat and bike rentals, a Botanical Garden, a Sculpture Garden, a golf course, tennis courts, and a small amusement park and Story land. Check out the New Orleans City Park website for hours and fees. A spur line along North Carrollton Avenue takes the Canal Street Streetcar to City Park.
For information on Celebration in the Oaks visit my Seasonal Activities page.

New Orleans Sculpture Garden, City Park

Visit the Sculpture Garden in City Park

The public is invited to relax and walk along the meandering footpaths Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, which is home to more than fifty sculptures by artists from around the world. The Sculpture Garden is comprised of five acres of footpaths, sculptures, and ponds. It is FREE to the public and open 7 days a week but closed on all legal holidays. NOMA has launched its first audio tour of the Sculpture Garden. The guide, which is accessible through visitors' cell phones, highlights twenty of the sculptures in the Garden. The tour is available free of charge. Dogs, bicycles, rollerblades, skateboards and picnicking are not allowed in the Sculpture Garden. A spur line along North Carrollton Avenue takes the Canal Street Streetcar to City Park. The Sculpture Garden another free thing to do in New Orleans.

Historic New Orleans Collection

Visit the Historic New Orleans Collection Museum

The Historic New Orleans Collection is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to the study and preservation of the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South region. Located in the French Quarter the museum is housed in the Merieult House at 533 Royal Street which was built in 1792. The museum has both permanent and changing exhibitions. The museum shop features Louisiana books, prints, and specialty gift items. A great free thing to do in New Orleans!

Chalmette Battlefield, New Orleans

Visit the Chalmette Battlefield

Just downriver, about a five mile drive from the French Quarter, in Chalmette is the site of the January 8, 1815, Battle of New Orleans and it is a free thing to do. It was here that General Andrew Jackson, and local volunteers, including Jean Lafitte and his band of pirates, defended the Crescent City from the invading British forces. You can learn about the War of 1812 from a visitor center film and exhibits. Each year, in January there is a reenactment of the battle, by volunteers, wearing authentic period uniforms, with exhibits of authentic armaments, tents, cooking utensils, and historical discussions about the battle. So take a couple of hours and go visit the Chalmette Battle Field you can drive there or go via the Paddle Wheeler Creole Queen Battlefield Cruise. The battlefield is located at 8606 W St Bernard Hwy and their website is Chalmette Battlefield.

For information on the Battle of New Orleans Reenactment at Chalmette Battlefield visit my Seasonal Activities page.

New Orleans Arts Market

Visit the Arts Market * On the St. Charles Streetcar line

If you are visiting the Crescent City on the LAST Saturday of the month then hop aboard a St. Charles Street car and head to the Arts Market. You will find it at Palmer Park which is the last stop on the St Charles Street car line. The Arts Market is presented by the Arts Council of New Orleans, is held the LAST Saturday of every month from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Arts Market features handmade, affordable art and crafts from local and regional artists and artisans. Styles of art include Painting, Photography, Ceramics, Glass, Jewelry, Wood, and Printmaking, plus handmade clothing, soap, candles, and other delights. Between 50 and 100 artists display and sell their wares each month. The Arts Market also features live entertainment, food and beverage booths, and a children's activities area. Be sure to check the Arts Market website for exact time and dates. New Orleans Street Car Route

Canal Street, New Orleans

Explore along Canal Street

Canal Street, New Orleans’ widest thoroughfare, has long served as the retail heart of the city. With its broad “neutral ground,” it is the traditional dividing line between uptown and downtown and represents two centuries of American commercial architecture. Canal Street has hosted carnival parades for almost 150 years, was the first city street to be illuminated with electric lights in 1882, and was the city’s transportation hub with as many as five streetcar tracks on the neutral ground. Canal Street from the river to Rampart Street runs the southern boundary of the French Quarter. Today Canal Street is host to hotels, restaurants, businesses, gift shops, fast food, Harrah’s Casino and still the street car lines, two tracks run down the neutral ground. Walking down Canal Street will take you to the Insectarium, The Shops at Canal Place , the Riverwalk shopping area, the river front, the Aquarium of the Americus, the IMAX Theater, the Canal Street ferry, and Harrah’s Casino. Hop-On/Hop-Off Bus Route New Orleans Street Car Route

Ride the Canal Street Ferry New Orleans * Visit a New Orleans Cemetery * Free things to do in New Orleans * Tour the St Louis Cathedral * Free things to do in the French Quarter * Spend a day in City Park New Orleans * Free attractions in New Orleans * Stop at the Art's Market * Explore along Canal Street * Visit the Chalmette Battle Field * Take in the Sculpture Garden * Take a Riverfront history stroll * Free Walking Tours