New Orleans is one of the liveliest, most vibrant and colourful cities in the United States. Home to Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street and jazz, it’s no wonder millions flock to this southern city every year.

But New Orleans is a massive city, and figuring out where to stay can be overwhelming. It’s made up of various neighbourhoods, each offering something unique to travellers.

To help you out, I’ve created this guide on the best places to stay in New Orleans. I’ve included something for every traveller, so whether you want to party all night long, explore the history of jazz, or indulge in Cajun food – I’ve got you covered!

Here are my top recommendations for best places to stay in New Orleans.

Where to Stay in New Orleans

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are my highest recommendations for places to stay in New Orleans including vacation rentals, New Orleans hotels for all budgets, and some hostels. This is particularly useful if you’re backpacking around the USA and need to save some dollars!

Best Airbnb in New Orleans: Townhome in the Heart of NOLA

Townhome in the Heart of NOLA

You can find this hidden gem bang in the centre of the French Quarter. It’s in an authentic historic Lousiana building giving you the feeling you expect to get when visiting this timeless city. The home is ideal for two guests is beautifully furnished, and has its own pool.

Best Hostel in New Orleans: Auberge NOLA Hostel

new orleans itinerary

The Auberge NOLA Hostel is ideally situated close to cafes, shops, eateries, and more. It has private and dorm-style accommodations, large common rooms, and a shared kitchen and bar. With top amenities and an awesome location, it’s one of the best hostels in New Orleans.

Best Hotel in New Orleans: Hotel Mazarin

Hotel Mazarin

The charming Hotel Mazarin is one of the best hotels in New Orleans. It offers a private patio and bar, stylish rooms, and an on-site gym. Situated in the French Quarter, you’ll be close to all the best bars, restaurants, and attractions of New Orleans.

New Orleans Neighbourhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN NEW ORLEANS
French Quarter, New Orleans
FIRST TIME IN NEW ORLEANS

French Quarter

The oldest and most famous neighborhood in New Orleans, there’s no better place to stay on your first visit than the French Quarter.

ON A BUDGET
Central Business District, New Orleans
ON A BUDGET

Central Business District

Don’t let the name fool you; New Orleans’ Central Business District isn’t all stuffy suits and quiet nights. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. This downtown neighbourhood is bursting with fun and excitement.

NIGHTLIFE
Bourbon Street, New Orleans
NIGHTLIFE

Bourbon Street

Home to Mardi Gras, big brass bands and plenty of colourful buildings, Bourbon Street is without a doubt the liveliest and craziest part of the city.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Faubourg Marigny, New Orleans
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Faubourg Marigny

If you’re looking for a dynamic neighborhood with a unique atmosphere, interesting history and wonderful culture, then Faubourg Marigny is for you!

FOR FAMILIES
Mid-City, New Orleans
FOR FAMILIES

Lakeview

North of the city center are the neighboring districts of Mid-City and Lakeview. These two charming neighborhoods are packed with lush landscapes, interesting art, and plenty of unique experiences. And, they are our pick for where to stay for families visiting New Orleans.

New Orleans is the largest city in Louisiana and is famous for its rich history, diverse culture, and its wild party scene.

When choosing a place to stay in the city, many people look towards the New Orleans downtown neighborhoods. Specifically, located in the city center is the French Quarter. The oldest and most famous area of the city, the French Quarter is bursting with tourist attractions and landmarks.

Here you’ll find everything from great New Orleans museums and interesting art galleries to charming parks and city squares.

The French Quarter is also home to notoriously fun and wild Bourbon Street, which is lined with bars, clubs, pubs, and music venues. If you’re deciding where to stay in New Orleans for nightlife, look no further.

The Central Business District (CBD) is ideal for travellers visiting New Orleans on a budget. More fun than its name suggests, the CBD is home to great food and cheaper accommodation options.

Faubourg Marigny is an up-and-coming neighbourhood in New Orleans downtown that boasts a relaxed vibe, cool bars, and plenty of hipster hangouts.

Head north and you’ll pass through Mid-City. One of the greenest areas in New Orleans, this is where you’ll find outdoor adventure, animal encounters, and lots of family-friendly fun.

Another popular neighborhood is the Garden District, so named because of the oak-shaded trees that line the streets. There’s everything from quaint cottages to grand historic mansions in this neighborhood and it’s perfect for long term travelers looking for a quiet area.

New Orleans’ 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Now, let’s take a look at each of New Orleans’ best districts in more detail. I’ve included my top accommodation and activity picks in each, so you know exactly what to expect.

1. French Quarter – Where to Stay in New Orleans for your First Visit

The oldest and most famous neighbourhood in New Orleans, there’s no better place to stay on your first visit than the French Quarter.

At the heart of the city, the French Quarter is where you can find great food, incredible music, and lively nightlife. Here you can enjoy good times, a laid-back attitude, and colourful surroundings.

The French District is a haven for foodies, packed with amazing restaurants offering dishes and delicacies from around the world. Whether you favour sweet or savoury, salty or sour, you’ll find endless options in this awesome district.

French Quarter, New Orleans

Best Airbnb in French Quarter: Townhome in the Heart of NOLA

Townhome in the Heart of NOLA

Smack dab in the middle of the French Quarter; you can find this hidden gem vacation rental in New Orleans. It’s in an authentic historic Lousiana building giving you the feeling you expect to get when visiting this timeless city. The interiors are modern and stylish, and you’ll have everything you’ll need for a great stay.

Best Hostel in French Quarter: IHSP French Quarter House

IHSP French Quarter House

Enjoy a dose of southern hospitality at IHSP French Quarter House. This great hostel boasts a fantastic location. It is surrounded by plenty of bars and restaurants and is a short walk to Bourbon Street.

Guests can enjoy free wifi, linens, and lockers. There’s even free Netflix in the common room!

Best Hotel in French Quarter: Hotel Mazarin

Hotel Mazarin

Located at the heart of New Orleans, the Hotel Marazin is close to shops, restaurants, and the city’s top tourist attractions. This stunning New Orleans hotel has an on-site gym and charming bar.

The rooms are large and spacious and come complete with tea/coffee making facilities.

Best Hotel in French Quarter: Place D’Armes

Place D'Armes

Situated in a historic building in the heart of the French Quarter, the Place D’Armes Hotel is one of the best places to stay if you’re visiting New Orleans for the first time. Rooms are beautifully furnished in a classic style, and each comes with an ensuite bathroom and seating area. Wifi is available throughout the hotel, and there’s even an on-site pool! You’ll be surrounded by the city’s top restaurants and attractions, including Saint Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square.

Things to See and Do in French Quarter

  • Enjoy the sights and sounds of New Orleans in central Jackson Square.
  • Wander along Chartres Street, a street famous for its historic sites, bustling bars, and its many souvenir shops.
  • Take a walking tour of the French Quarter and Jackson Square.
  • Browse the shops, stalls, and cafes at the Old French Market.
  • Watch the street performers in Jackson Square.
  • Visit the stunning St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in North America.
  • See the historic Preservation Hall, a renowned jazz venue.
  • Join a steamboat dinner cruise from the Natchez Dock.
  • Take a stroll through the lush and luxurious Jean Lafitte National Historical Park.
  • Eat, drink and enjoy a fantastic night out at Orleans Grapevine Wine Bar and Restaurant.
  • Walk Pirates Alley, a 182-meter long street packed with unique businesses and historic buildings.
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2. Central Business District (CBD) – Where to Stay in New Orleans on a Budget

Don’t let the name fool you – New Orleans’ Central Business District isn’t all stuffy suits and quiet nights. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. This downtown neighbourhood is bursting with fun and excitement.

It is a haven for sports fans and shopaholics, as well as foodies, culture vultures, and party animals. Whatever your interests, you’ll have a great time in this lively and colourful neighbourhood.

The Central Business District is also where budget backpackers will be able to stretch their travel dollars just a little bit further. This neighbourhood is home to a variety of affordable hostels and inexpensive hotels.

If you want champagne on a beer budget, the CBD is the place for you!

Central Business District, New Orleans

Best Airbnb in Central Business District: Sonder Jung Residences

Sonder Jung Residences

Sleeping up to four guests, this one-bedroom apartment is ideal for couples or groups visiting New Orleans on a budget. It’s bright and modern throughout and offers great value for money, situated within walking distance from top places of interest. The unit features everything you’ll need for a comfortable stay, including a full kitchen, spacious lounge area, and wifi.

Best Hostel in Central Business District: Auberge NOLA Hostel

new orleans itinerary

The Auberge NOLA Hostel is centrally located in New Orleans. It is close to cafes, shops, eateries, and more. It has private and shared dorms, large common rooms, and a shared kitchen. The hostel hosts parties and events each night, so you can kickstart your night out without spending a fortune!

Best Hotel in Central Business District: Drury Inn & Suites New Orleans

Drury Inn & Suites New Orleans

The Drury Inn & Suites is a classic and charming hotel located in New Orleans ’ Central Business District. It is surrounded by cafes and restaurants and is within walking distance to the city’s top attractions. Each room comes with a TV, free wifi, and an ensuite bathroom.

Best Hotel in Central Business District: MOXY New Orleans Downtown French Quarter Area

MOXY New Orleans Downtown French Quarter Area

With its sleek design, central location, and modern décor, the MOXY is one of the coolest hotels in New Orleans. It’s been recently refurbished and offers a gym, free wifi, and family rooms.

Things to See and Do in the Central Business District

  • Ride the historic St. Charles Streetcar line, the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the world.
  • See the opulent and ornate Immaculate Conception Church.
  • Sip and sample a range of fruit wines and smoothies at NOLA Tropical Winery.
  • Wander through Lafayette Square, the second oldest square in the city.
  • Enjoy a sweet and refreshing treat at Imperial Woodpecker Sno Balls.
  • Sink your teeth into delicious plates of southern comfort food at Commerce Restaurant.
  • Dine on local delicacies like po’boys and fried catfish at Hobnobber’s Varieties Bar.
  • Excite your senses at Juan’s Flying Burrito.
  • Eat amazing Cajun cuisine at Mena’s Palace.

3. Bourbon Street – Where to Stay in New Orleans for Nightlife

Home to Mardi Gras, big brass bands, and plenty of colourful buildings, Bourbon Street is without a doubt the liveliest and craziest part of the city. Bourbon street is lined with amazing hotels, so you can stay right in the centre of the action.

Located at the heart of the French Quarter, Bourbon Street is its own little world. Extending 13 blocks from Canal to Esplanade Avenue, this bustling thoroughfare is lined with bars, clubs, pubs, and restaurants. Here you can eat, drink, dance and party the night away.

Tucked within a city renowned for its music, Bourbon Street is also where you can see live acts from almost any genre. Whether you want to enjoy a night of smooth jazz, rowdy rockabilly, or techno trance, there’s something for everyone on Bourbon Street.

Bourbon Street, New Orleans
Bustling Bourbon Street
Photo: Lars Plougmann (Flickr)

Best Airbnb on Bourbon Street: Sunny & Quiet French Quarter Retreat

Sunny & Quiet French Quarter Retreat

This studio apartment may be on the smaller side, but it’s the ideal base for groups deciding where to stay on Bourbon Street. Other than the modern amenities and stylish interior, the location is the coolest thing about this property. Jackson Square is just two blocks away, and you’ll have plenty of bars, restaurants, and nightlife on your doorstep.

Best Guest House on Bourbon Street: Bon Maison Guest House

Bon Maison Guest House

Bon Maison is one of the cheaper places to stay on Bourbon Street. Situated in an old brick building, the pet-friendly property offers a terrace, free wifi, and a quiet location just a stone’s throw from the action. Each room has an ensuite bathroom, and some also come with a seating area.

Best Hotel on Bourbon Street: Homewood Suites By Hilton New Orleans French Quarter

Homewood Suites By Hilton New Orleans French Quarter

Located at the heart of New Orleans’ most vibrant and lively neighbourhood, this three-star hotel provides comfortable accommodation just steps from the action. It is a short walk to Bourbon Street and the city’s best bars, clubs, and restaurants.

Best Hotel on Bourbon Street: Hotel St Marie

Hotel St Marie

Offering a pool, restaurant, and bar, hotel St Marie is a great base for your trip to New Orleans. It’s ideally located close to top things to see and do in the city and is a stone’s throw from bars and clubs. Rooms are traditionally decorated and feature an ensuite bathroom.

Things to See and Do on Bourbon Street

  • Listen to Cajun and Zydeco banks as you enjoy strong drinks and a great atmosphere at Tropical Isle.
  • Eat well at Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak, which specializes in steak and seafood dishes.
  • Walk through Musical Legends Park and see all the statues of New Orleans jazz heroes.
  • Listen to smooth jazz and drink great cocktails at Fritzel’s European Jazz Club.
  • Dance the night away at Chris Owens Club & Balcony.
  • Bottoms up! Enjoy a round of shots at Rita’s Tequila House.
  • Party all night long at Oz, a 2-story gay dance club that plays the best music.
  • Sample unique absinthe cocktails at the historic Old Absinthe House.
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4. Faubourg Marigny – Coolest Place to Stay in New Orleans

If you’re looking for a dynamic neighbourhood with a unique atmosphere, interesting history, and wonderful culture, then Faubourg Marigny is for you!

This lively and laid-back district is home to a great mix of bars, restaurants, tattoo parlours, and boutiques catering to everyone from culture vultures to trendy hipsters.

It’s home to unique art galleries, cool craft breweries, and amazing live music venues. Tucked throughout the streets you’ll also find cafes, restaurants, and bars that attract people from all corners of the city.

So if you want to rub shoulders with locals and enjoy a raging New Orleans night on the town, this is the place to be!

Faubourg Marigny, New Orleans

Best Airbnb in Faubourg Marigny: Cozy Nest on Frenchmen Street

Cozy Nest on Frenchmen Street

This private and cosy private room is perfect for solo travellers, couples, or digital nomads visiting New Orleans. It’s modern throughout and offers wifi, a workspace, and free on-site parking. Staying here puts you 15 minutes from the French Quarter and right in the middle of the neighbourhood’s coolest cafes and eateries.

Best Hostel in Faubourg Marigny: Madame Isabelle’s House in New Orleans

Madame Isabelle's House in New Orleans

Tastefully decorated and bursting with New Orleans charm, you won’t find a better hostel in Faubourg Marigny. Set in the heart of the neighbourhood, this property offers private and dorm-style accommodations with comfortable beds. The hostel also boasts a garden, a large deck, ad a hot tub.

Best Hotel in Faubourg Marigny: Hotel Provincial

Hotel Provincial

Bursting with charm, Hotel Provincial is a great base for exploring New Orleans. It has a fantastic central location and is a short walk from landmarks, eateries, and nightclubs. On-site, there are a number of wellness facilities including an outdoor pool.

Best Hotel in Faubourg Marigny: Lamothe House Hotel

Lamothe House Hotel

The Lamothe House Hotel is a bright, colourful, and exquisitely charming property located near Faubourg Marigny. It has a sun-soaked terrace, a stylish lounge bar, and an awesome outdoor swimming pool.

This hotel is also a short walk to Bourbon Street, the French Market, and many of New Orleans’ most famous attractions.

Things to See and Do in Faubourg Marigny

  • Take a stroll along the bustling and lively Frenchmen Street, which is lined with bars, clubs, and great restaurants.
  • Sample great local beers at Brieux Carre.
  • Pick from a great selection of small-batch beers at Parleaux Beer Lab.
  • Check out the modern installations at the Art Garage.
  • Grab some small bites at the Rock Market.
  • Hunt for treasure at the Piety Street Market, a festive monthly flea market.
  • Enjoy a night of smooth jazz at The Spotted Cat Music Club.
  • Listen to live music at the bohemian Hi-Ho Lounge.

5. Mid-City/Lakeview – Where to Stay in New Orleans in Families

North of the city centre you’ll find the neighbouring districts of Mid-City and Lakeview. These two charming neighbourhoods are packed with lush landscapes, interesting art, and plenty of unique experiences. With so much to discover, it’s perfect if you’re deciding where to stay in New Orleans with your family.

Located just outside of the city centre, Mid-City/Lakeview are two well-connected neighbourhoods. They offer a nice reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter and Bourbon Street without being too far away.

From anywhere in Mid-City/Lakeview you’re just a short drive from New Orleans’ most famous landmarks and attractions.

Here you’ll also find some of the best outdoor adventures in the city. Whether you’re interested in animal encounters or riding airboats through the swamp, Mid-City/Lakeview is where you and your family can get back to nature.

Mid-City, New Orleans

Best Airbnb in Mid-City/Lakeview: Historic and Authentic Mid City Home

Historic and Authentic Mid City Home

Feel right at home at this awesome Airbnb in New Orleans. It’s got plenty of space making it ideal for families, with a backyard perfect for running around in. The classic cottage is as stunning on the inside as it is on the outside, with the guest suite providing cosy accommodation for up to four visitors.

Best Hostel in Mid-City/Lakeview: Nola Jazz House

Nola Jazz House

Fun, welcoming, and centrally located, Nola Jazz House is perfect for experiencing the best food, music, and culture in New Orleans. This hostel offers free breakfast and a great outdoor patio.

Guests will love the social atmosphere and the myriad of attractions within walking distance.

Best Hotel in Mid-City/Lakeview: Canal Street Inn

Canal Street Inn

The Canal Street Inn is a quaint bed and breakfast a short walk from the French Quarter. There are plenty of common spaces to relax in, including a living room, dining room, terrace, and garden. A full breakfast is provided each morning, and refreshments are available throughout the day. The property is ideally situated close to top attractions, bars, and cafes.

Best Hotel in Mid-City/Lakeview: Midtown Hotel Downtown New Orleans

Midtown Hotel Downtown New Orleans

The Midtown is a comfortable and quaint hotel located in central New Orleans. It comes complete with an outdoor pool and spacious rooms with cable/satellite channels. It boasts a delicious on-site restaurant as well as a relaxing lounge bar.

Things to See and Do in Mid-City/Lakeview

  • Explore the 1,300-acres of lush and magical landscapes that make up New Orleans City Park.
  • Visit the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park.
  • See the 64 incredible sculptures that are spread throughout The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at NOMA.
  • Visit the gilded statue of Joan of Arc, which dates back to the late-19th-century.
  • Stop and smell the roses at the New Orleans Botanical Garden.
  • Ride the colourful carousel at the Carousel Gardens.
  • See your favourite characters come to life at Storyland.
  • Play a round of 18 at City Putt.
  • Dine on delicious seafood dishes at The Blue Crab.
  • Eat incredible homestyle meals at Russell’s Marina Grill.

6. The Bywater – The Best Kept Secret in New Orleans

The Bywater is probably the most beloved neighbourhood in New Orleans among locals. It’s more laid back than almost anywhere in the city and is a great spot to just kick back and shoot the shit with friends.

Most appreciated is the fact that The Bywater is still pretty rough around the edges. This makes it a huge hit with hipsters and artists and because of their presence, The Bywater has a distinctly quirky vibe.

Of course, being New Orleans, there is plenty to do in The Bywater at night. Local legends like Music Box Village and Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits are among the most popular places to drink in the neighbourhood and come highly recommended.

Because of The Bywater’s long boulevards and leisurely pace, I’d actually say that this is one of the best areas in New Orleans to Stay without a car.  Just go outside and go for a stroll – who knows what you may find here.

bywater best areas to stay in new orleans without car
Photo: Infrogmation of New Orleans (Flickr)

Best Airbnb in The Bywater: Bywater Guesthouse w/ Tranquil Courtyard

Bywater Guesthouse w/ Tranquil Courtyard

This New Orleans cottage is built in true Creole-style, to be both comfortable and visually striking at the same time. Though the paint job screams at people passing by, the interior of this apartment is quiet and cosy. An excellent place to base oneself when visiting New Orleans.

Best Budget Accommodation in The Bywater: Olde Town Inn

Olde Town Inn

Olde Town Inn is the best place to stay in The Bywater on a budget, and is pretty hard to miss! With a bright blue exterior, the inn offers traditionally furnished rooms and suites perfect for any group size. Free parking and wifi are available, and the property is pet-friendly. Bourbon Street is one mile from the apartment, and the French Market and Washington Square are a quick walk away.

Best Hotel in The Bywater: Sonder – The Bywater

Sonder - The Bywater

The Sonder is like a hybrid between a hotel and an apartment, essentially combining the best of both forms. Their units are spacious, elegantly designed, and come fully equipped with a kitchen. One of the best places to stay in New Orleans’ most under-the-radar neighbourhood.

Things to See and Do in The Bywater

  • See colourful and quirky works of art at Dr Bob Art.
  • Visit the incredible Music Box Village, where each house in this contemporary art gallery is a different musical instrument.
  • Check out the massive art exhibitions at Studi BE.
  • Get a dose of local flavour at Elizabeth’s.
  • Take a long walk down Royal Street.
  • Enjoy the craft selections at Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits.

7. The Garden District – Where to Stay for Long Term Travellers

The garden district is an up-and-coming area, known for its oak trees that line the streets. You’ll find quirky and charming homes here, some small cottages to grand, lavish mansions.

It’s also home to many gardens (hense the name, Garden District) where you can sit back and enjoy the peaceful greenery.

What brings many people to the Garden District is the Mardi Gras parade, which makes its route through the neighborhood on St. Charles Avenue.

Another notable site in the Garden District is Leafy Lafayette Cemetery, a 19th-century cemetery filled with ornately designed tombs.

You’ll find many boutique stores, antique shops and high-end trendy restaurants, urban coffee shops, and bars in the Garden District, especially around Magazine Street, which makes it my top place to stay for long-term travellers.

Best Airbnb in The Garden District: Greek Apartment Two Blocks from St. Charles Av.

Greek Apartment Two Blocks from St Charles Av

This stunning apartment has tons of history and charisma but with modern fixtures and fittings. It’s the perfect place to stay in Garden District as it’s just two blocks from St. Charles Avenue, as well as minutes to the French Quarter, and Uptown area. Big enough for two, it has one bedroom, a fully equipped kitchen and free parking.

Best Hostel in New Orleans: Auberge NOLA Hostel

new orleans itinerary

The Auberge NOLA Hostel is ideally situated just outside of Garden District near the best cafes, boutique shops, eateries, and more. It has private and dorm-style rooms, a large common space, and a shared kitchen and bar. With top amenities and an awesome location, it’s the perfect hostel in Garden District.

Best Hotel in The Garden District: Club Wyndham Avenue Plaza

Club Wyndham Avenue Plaza

Nestled in the heart of Garden District is this comfortable luxury hotel. It has all the comforts of home including rooms with kitchenettes, an outdoor courtyard, a swimming pool, and a rooftop sundeck. There’s also an onsite restaurant if you don’t feel like going out, but with all the best gourmet restaurants and jazz clubs nearby, you’ll find it the perfect base for exploring.

Top Things to See and Do in the Garden District:

  • Check out the stunning design of the tombs in the Leafy Lafayette Cemetery.
  • Visit the grand Walter Grinnan Robinson House.
  • Shop for vintage items down Magazine Street.
  • Enjoy creole food at Commander’s Palace.
  • Have brunch at Ruby Slipper Cafe.
  • Watch the Mardi Gras parade on St. Charles Avenue.

FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in New Orleans

Here’s what people usually ask me about the areas of New Orleans and where to stay.

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in New Orleans

Wild and lively, colourful and bright; New Orleans is always a good time. It’s where you’ll find the roots of excellent music, a vibrant cultural scene, and plenty of good food and great times.

In this guide, I’ve highlighted my five favourite neighbourhoods in New Orleans. If you’re still not sure where to stay, here’s a quick recap.

For backpackers on a budget, my pick for the best hostel is the Auberge NOLA Hostel in the CBD. Not only is it centrally located, but it has large rooms and an on-site bar.

I also recommend the Hotel Mazarin. Set in the French Quarter, this hotel is packed with charm, elegance and southern hospitality.

Do you own or run a kick-ass hostel? Want to be featured in this list? Get in touch at [email protected]


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