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. That’s why we wrote this no-stress guide for where to stay in New Orleans.
Exclusive to The Broke Backpacker, this guide will walk you through the five best neighbourhoods in New Orleans.
Our expert travel writers will share their best-kept secrets and hidden gems so you’ll know exactly where to stay based on your interests.
Whether you want to party all night long, explore the history of jazz, or indulge in Cajun food – we’ve got you covered!
Here are our recommendations for where to stay in New Orleans.
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in New Orleans
- Where to stay in New Orleans first time – French Quarter
- Where to stay in New Orleans on a budget – Central Business District
- Best area to stay in New Orleans for nightlife – Bourbon Street
- Coolest place to stay in New Orleans – Faubourg Marigny
- Best neighbourhood in New Orleans for families – Mid-City/Lakeview
In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:
- Enjoy the sights and sounds of New Orleans in central Jackson Square
- Browse the shops, stalls and cafes at the Old French Market
- See the historic Preservation Hall, a renowned jazz venue
Table of Contents
- Where to Stay in New Orleans
- New Orleans Neighborhood Guide
- 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in New Orleans
- 1. French Quarter – Best Place to Stay in New Orleans for First-Timers
- 2. Central Business District (CBD) – Best Place to Stay in New Orleans on a Budget
- 3. Bourbon Street – Best Place to Stay in New Orleans for Nightlife
- 4. Faubourg Marigny – Coolest Neighborhood in New Orleans
- 5. Mid-City/Lakeview – Best Place to Stay in New Orleans for Families
Where to Stay in New Orleans
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in New Orleans.
Best Hostel in New Orleans: Auberge NOLA Hostel
The Auberge NOLA Hostel is centrally located in New Orleans. It is close to cafes, shops, eateries and more. It has private and dorm-style accommodations, large common rooms, and a shared kitchen and bar.
All of this combines to make this our recommendation for the best hostel in New Orleans.
Best Hotel in New Orleans: Melrose Mansion Hotel New Orleans
Our pick for the best hotel in New Orleans, the Melrose Mansion is bursting with charm, elegance and class. This great three-star hotel is centrally located and is a short walk to lively Bourbon Street.
It has a fitness centre, outdoor pool, and great art deco décor.
New Orleans Neighborhood Guide
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in New Orleans
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Central Business District
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New Orleans is a massive and sprawling city.
It is the largest city in the state of Louisiana and is famous for its rich history, diverse culture, great sports environment and its wild and crazy party scene.
Located along the mighty Mississippi, New Orleans is home to nearly 400,000 people. The city is divided into 14 different wards, each home to a number of distinct neighbourhoods.
At the centre of the city 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 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
To the East of the French Quarter is Faubourg Marigny. This up and coming neighbourhood boasts a relaxed and laid-back vibe, cool bars and plenty of hipster hangouts.
Travel west and you’ll arrive in the Central Business District. More fun than its name suggests the Central Business District (CBD) is home to good food, good people, and plenty of good times.
Head north and you’ll pass through Mid-City en route to Lakeview. One of the greenest areas in New Orleans, this is where you’ll find outdoor adventure, animal encounters and lots of family-friendly fun.
Still not sure where to stay in New Orleans? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in New Orleans
Now, let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighborhoods in New Orleans. Each is a little different from the last, so be sure to pick the neighborhood that’s the best fit for you!
The oldest and most famous neighborhood 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.
A haven for foodies, the French District is packed with amazing restaurants offering dishes and delicacies from around the world. Whether you favour sweet or savoury, salty or sour, your taste buds will be overwhelmed with the options available throughout this great district.
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.
– Browse the shops, stalls and cafes at the Old French Market.
– Visit the stunning St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in North America.
– See the historic Preservation Hall, a renowned jazz venue.
– Take a stroll through 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.
Best Hostel in French Quarter: 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
Located at the heart of New Orleans, the Hotel Marazin is close to shops, restaurants and the city’s top tourist attractions. This recently refurbished hotel has an on-site gym and charming bar.
The rooms are large and spacious and come complete with tea/coffee making facilities.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Best Hotel in French Quarter: Melrose Mansion Hotel New Orleans
Our pick for where to stay in the French Quarter, the Melrose Mansion is bursting with charm, elegance and class. This great three-star hotel is centrally located and is a short walk to lively Bourbon Street.
It has a fitness centre, outdoor pool, and great art deco décor.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
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!
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.
Best Hostel in Central Business District: Auberge NOLA Hostel
The Auberge NOLA Hostel is centrally located in New Orleans. It is close to cafes, shops, eateries and more. It has private and shared accommodations, large common rooms, and a shared kitchen.
All of this combines to make this hostel our pick for where to stay in the Central Business District.View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in Central Business District: Drury Inn & Suites New Orleans
The Drury Inn & Suites is a classic and charming hotel located in New Orlean’s Central Business District. It is surrounded by cafes and restaurants and is a short walk to the city’s top tourist attractions.
Guests can enjoy a fitness centre, outdoor pool and free wifi throughout.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Best Hotel in Central Business District: MOXY New Orleans Downtown French Quarter Area
Sleek design, a central location and modern décor – it’s no wonder we love the MOXY New Orleans Downtown Hotel. Composed of 100 recently refurbished rooms, this hotel has contemporary amenities, a fitness centre and free wifi.
There are also plenty of restaurants, bars and landmarks nearby.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
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.
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.
Things to See and Do in 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 legends.
– 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-storey gay dance club that plays the best music.
– Sample unique absinthe cocktails at the historic Old Absinthe House.
Best Hostel in Bourbon Street: City House Hostel New Orleans
For party animals and night owls, you won’t find a better hostel in New Orleans. This clean, comfortable and spacious hostel is set in the heart of the city’s most vibrant area. It is close to bars, clubs and plenty of restaurants.
This hostel has hot showers, clean facilities and a welcoming and fun atmosphere.View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in Bourbon Street: Homewood Suites By Hilton New Orleans French Quarter
Located at the heart of New Orleans’ most vibrant and lively neighbourhoods, this three-star hotel is just steps from the action. It is a short walk to Bourbon Street and the city’s best bars, clubs and restaurants.
It has comfortable rooms and breakfast is available.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Best Hotel in Bourbon Street: Hotel St Marie
A great location, spacious rooms, and plenty of activities nearby – it’s no wonder this is our pick for where to stay in Bourbon Street. This charming three-star hotel has an outdoor pool, on-site café, and a stylish lounge bar.
Each room comes complete with air conditioning and modern amenities.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
If you’re looking for a dynamic neighborhood 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!
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.
– 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.
– 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.
Best Hostel in Faubourg Marigny: 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 and clean linens.
It has an outdoor garden, large deck and a relaxing Jacuzzi.View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in Faubourg Marigny: Hotel Provincial
Bursting with charm, Hotel Provincial is a great base for your time in New Orleans. It has a fantastic central location and is a short walk from landmarks, tourist hot spots, eateries and nightclubs.
This hotel boasts a number of wellness facilities, including an outdoor pool.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Best Hotel in Faubourg Marigny: 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, 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.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
North of the city centre are the neighbouring districts of Mid-City and Lakeview. These two charming neighbourhoods 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.
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.
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.
– 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.
Best Hostel in Mid-City/Lakeview: Nola Jazz House
Fun, welcoming and centrally located, Nola Jazz House is perfect for experience the best food, music and culture in New Orleans. This hostel offers free breakfast, towels and linens, and a great outdoor patio.
Guests will love the social atmosphere and the myriad of attractions within walking distance.View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in Mid-City/Lakeview: Canal Street Inn
Delicious food, large rooms and comfortable beds are just a few of the reasons Canal Street Inn is our pick for where to stay in Mid-City. This hotel boasts a central location and is a short drive from the city’s top tourist attractions.
It has a gym, a library and a range of essential amenities and services.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Best Hotel in Mid-City/Lakeview: 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.
There are plenty of attractions and activities within driving distance.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in New Orleans
In this guide, we’ve highlighted our 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, our 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.
We also recommend the Melrose Mansion Hotel New Orleans. Set in the French Quarter, this hotel is packed with charm, elegance and southern hospitality.
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below.
Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
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