Suggested Itineraries for New Orleans
Suggested Itineraries for New Orleans

Suggested Itineraries For New Orleans:

While you can buzz through a lot of compact Prague in a day we have found that 4-5 day itineraries are the best to really experience everything.  Outside of the city center sites, there are also a couple of amazing day trips within an hour of New Orleans you really need to fit into your schedule including a swamp tour, plantation mansions, and a safari with giraffes & zebras.

It is usually more convenient and cheaper to have a rental car if you plan on doing these day trips.  Especially since most trips to New Orleans involve a lot of time at the bars, the trips are a great daytime refresher to contrast your time on Bourbon Street and feel all the Bayou has to offer.  We hope you find our planning tips and suggested itineraries for New Orleans to be helpful.

Suggested Stay: 4-5 full days.
Related Article: Top 10 Things To Do In New Orleans.

One Day In New Orleans:

If you only have one full day in New Orleans you need to focus your itinerary on the main sights.  In the morning you’ll have time to take the Saint Charles Street Car to visit the mansions and cemetery of the Garden District, moving on to the heart of town in the French Quarter.  While in the French Quarter for the rest of the day, you’ll be able to cover everything from Saint Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square through Bourbon Street at a nice comfortable pace.  You’ll also be able to take in some live music, as well as signature dishes and drinks during your one-day visit.  Having just 24 hours to work with isn’t much, but the French Quarter is compact allowing you to cover a lot of sights in just a day.

Suggested Itineraries For New Orleans - 1 Day, 24 Hours

French Quarter Walking Tour & Jackson Square.

Suggested Itineraries For New Orleans - 1 Day, 24 Hours

Cajun dinner & Bourbon Street bars.

Two Days In New Orleans:

Day one remains largely unchanged as you should still focus on the French Quarter with a little Garden District.  Having a second full day also lets you fit in a memorable bayou swamp tour after filling up on coffee and doughnuts at the famous Cafe du Monde.  Most swamp tours have pick-up times right in the French Quarter but a car helps your flexibility and saves you money.

If you are going in peak tourist season try to go with a swamp tour that caters to smaller groups so you don’t end up on a pontoon boat crammed with 200 people.   In the off-season, it is much less crowded.  You can always end any or all of your days on Bourbon Street, just make sure to work in some live music and authentic New Orleans food!

Suggested Itineraries For New Orleans - 2 Day, 48 Hours

Morning Cafe du Monde.

Suggested Itineraries For New Orleans - 2 Day, 48 Hours

Midday Swamp Tour.

Suggested Itineraries For New Orleans - 2 Day, 48 Hours

Live music on Frenchmen or Bourbon Streets.

Three Days In New Orleans:

Having 3 full days in New Orleans starts to make a visit awesome but you will have a tough choice either slowing down your pace or adding on one of our incredible day trip options on day 3.  We prefer to power travel, so we listed an alternative day 3 option below for people looking for the slower option.

Plantation Alley is an amazing day trip choice as the stretch of Mississippi River lying West of New Orleans has the best collection of Antebellum mansions in not just the South, but the entire United States.  The Global Wildlife Safari is another great day trip option and is the next best thing to doing a real African Safari.  At the huge preserve, you get to hand feed giraffes, zebras, and much more in an open natural environment. Consider the intimate private tour in a WW2 vehicle instead of the public wagon ride.

If you do decide to slow your pace down instead of the day trip option, then take more time for French Quarter sights on day one and move the Garden District to day three along with the nearby WW2 museum.

Suggested Itineraries For New Orleans - 3 Day, 72 Hours

Global Wildlife Safari day trip.

Suggested Itineraries For New Orleans - 3 Day, 72 Hours

Garden District Walking Tour with cemetery & National WW2 Museum.

Four Days In New Orleans:

Four days helps make your decision-making easier as you can fit in either the Safari or Plantations with no worries.  As you do these day trips, consider stopping at New Orleans City Park or a drive-through daiquiri shop on the way.  You can have the time of your life on Bourbon Street, but getting out of town for a few hours a day helps to put your trip over the top.  We also put an alternative 4-day suggested itinerary for power travelers who want to see it all which is easier if you rent a car.  While you won’t be able to survive being out until 5am each night on a compact schedule you can at least make a goal of having each of our top ten New Orleans signature cocktails.

Alternative 4 Days For Power Travelers

Five Days In New Orleans:

We feel that 5 days is the perfect amount of time to spend in New Orleans.  You still can’t quite see everything, but you leave just before you get sick of partying which will make you want to come back soon.  This extra time opens up a ton of flexibility as you’ll have time to stay overnight in one of the huge Antebellum mansions just outside of town.  We stayed at Nottaway and it was truly a highlight.  If you choose to do this we suggest doing the overnight the last night as it is easy to drive to the airport the next morning from there.  If you want to fit in more plantation mansions stay over in the middle of your 5 days stopping at different mansions on the way there and back.  We listed an alternative five day itinerary to give you an idea of what we mean.  We love having the extra nights to mix in either the House of Blues or a Natchez Steam Boat ride instead of only doing Bourbon Street each night.

Alternative 5-Day Itinerary