NEW ORLEANS: Cheap Hotels in New Orleans
Arguably the most celebrated city in the south and also the state of Louisiana's largest, New Orleans offers a shining example of people of differing race and culture living in harmony. As the home of the Mardi Gras festival and an important historical city, the "Big Easy" is packed with tourist attractions, places of interest, events and cheap hotels.
When to visit based on priceYour best prices can be found between October and January, June through September.
Key attractionsThe key attraction in New Orleans is by far the French Quarter, with its shops, clubs, restaurant and high level of activity both day and night. Where else can you walk the streets, in party mode, day and night, with a “hurricane” in hand?
The history of New Orleans is also a major attracting, with old homes, museums, Voodoo, and cemeteries to visit. You can find tours of the history of New Orleans by van and by horse drawn carriage. In the evening, there’s nothing quite like the buggy ride “Tombs and Graves Tours”.
Having funNew Orleans is all about having fun. If you visit during Mardi Gras, you will have more fun than just about anywhere on earth. Pop into any jazz joint and enjoy some of the best music ever.
This city is known for its food, especially Cajun and Creole cooking. The restaurants here are another reason to visit this city. For a fun time, try taking a Restaurant Walking Tour, where you visit four to six of New Orleans most famous restaurants in the French Quarter. Not only do you get to meet the chef, but also taste his featured dish. It’s also common and accepted to walk this tour with “beverage” in hand.
A visit to one or more of the “Big Easy” most famous bars and restaurants is in order for all visitors. Some of the more famous “haunts” you might visit are Pat O’Brian’s for their famous “Hurricane”, Arnaud’s for a “French 75”, and for the brave, a “Hand Grenade” at Tropical Isle.
Something you probably never thought of doing in New Orleans is taking a guided “Urban Kayak Tour”. That’s right, you can paddle through some of the old historic sections of New Orleans without fighting the crowds.
ShoppingWhile in New Orleans, you must visit Royal Street, famous for it’s shops and a great place to find a souvenir of this great city. Also a place for designer wears, jewelry, and of course shoes.
A visit to Magazine Street puts you on six miles of not only shops, but restaurants and attractions too. From antiques, clothing, home furnishings to your favorite cigars, you’ll find it here.
Another experience in shopping is the French Market in lower French Quarter, where twenty plus unique stores await you.
There’s no shortage of shopping in New Orleans, with stores of The Riverwalk, Canal Place and much more.
NearbyTake a drive to Baton Rouge and experience the mighty Mississippi River, with maybe a riverboat cruise. Another excellent adventure would be to explore the Biloxi area on the coast, where the casino’s, beaches and golf courses provide entertainment.
Visit the famous Louisiana bayou. What better way to experience this than taking a tour of Bayou Lafourche? Experience the wildlife, fauna and flora of the marshes of Louisiana. A National Park Ranger guides you on tour, for an exciting way to spend a day.
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Most popular hotels in New Orleans
The Blake Hotel New Orleans, an Ascend Collection hotelExperience the prime location coupled with the upscale luxury of an Ascend CollectionÂ® Hotel when you stay at the Blake Hotel New Orleans....ViewRooms from$85.00
Loews New Orleans HotelStep into the Loews New Orleans Hotel for your first immersion into that special vibe that is New Orleans, and experience the merging of modern comfort and Old World Charm....ViewRooms from$209.00
AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon/French Quarter AreaA stay at the Cotton Exchange gives you the historical appeal of a National Historic Landmark mixed with a touch of French Impressionism and that unequalled New Orleans hospitality for an unforgettable stay....
St. James Hotel, an Ascend Hotel Collection MemberStylish renovations, personalized service and a boutique experience will make sure you enjoy your stay inside an amazing 19th Century landmark....ViewRooms from$109.00
Hyatt Regency New OrleansStay at the Hyatt Regency for a Four Diamond experience that exudes sophistication, contemporary design, and amazing style - all without ever leaving the hotel....ViewRooms from$133.00
Royal St. Charles HotelExperience the vibrancy of New Orleans brought indoors with a stay at the Royal St. Charles, with a touch of history from the authentic Southern Federal Savings Bank vault located in the heart of the hotel....ViewRooms from$124.00
Top 150 rated hotels in New Orleans
Local expert's tips
New Orleans, the Best and Worst of Bourbon Street
You should try supplementing the readily available “ready cups” of booze with some of the fine foods available along your journey. This town is famous for its Creole and Cajun delights; there are no shortages of restaurants on Bourbon Street.
One of my favorites is Pier 424 Seafood Market, for fresh seafood as well as my reason for snacking there, the oyster bar. If you are seeking a place where you can relax, sample some of New Orleans tasty experiences and have a view, Le Bayou offers you second story seating, and a place to throw beads and enjoy the results of that view also.
Now for some of the best bars on Bourbon Street, which is quite the task, because there certainly isn’t any shortage. If you really want to boost your spirits quickly, head to the Tropical Isle Original bar and get into their specialty cocktails, the Hand Grenade. A stop that’s almost mandatory is the Old Absinth House, a favorite watering hole for many, with lots of history about it. The bar experience I look forward to every trip to NOLA is Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Tavern. This is the oldest bar in New Orleans and one of the oldest in the states. You never know who will sit down at the piano and play tunes. This hidden gem is an awesome place to relax by the candlelight and sip one of the frozen purple cocktails. Beware, sip slowly or suffer a thousand deaths of “brain freezes”! Try to get a window (open shutter) seat just for the excellent people watching.
Caution: After dark you may want to take a cab to the Blacksmith, because its at the very end of Bourbon Street, and the area is very “questionable”.
Ladies, there’s a bar recommended just for you, called the Cats Meow where he theme is “girls just wanna have fun”! It’s actually a very “un-serious” karaoke bar. Ladies take the stage, and the guy’s head up to the balcony to throw the girls below beads. Drink of choice, the hurricane.
As you probably are aware, or should be, prostitution is quite prevalent in the Big Easy, especially around the popular Bourbon Street and its strip clubs. The city has been working to clean this up, but beware, its still there.
If you are in the mood to have cocktails and watch the ladies on stage, or ones that look like ladies, we suggest Rick’s Cabaret on Bourbon, your safest bet.
Ricks is one of the cleanest men’s clubs on the street, and your best place if planning a bachelor party for a buddy.
As a general rule, it is highly suggested that if visiting Bourbon Street, especially at night, to stay on Bourbon Street. Don’t be tempted to wander down a side street, and you should never be alone.
Super reasons to visit New Orleans in the fall / winter months
And then there’s the food in this culinary palace, starting with the oysters. As with anywhere in the U.S., but especially here, the months ending with an “R” are the best months for shellfish, especially the oysters. If you are newbie to the world of oysters,
We have two suggestions for you. The first place is for the oyster affectionate, or someone who prides themselves as someone who “can eat anything”. The Sazerac Bar located in the Roosevelt Hotel has been serving the “coldest oysters in the city” since 1919. If the thought of cold slimy things sliding down you throat is just a nightmare, we have an option for you too. You can find many restaurants, like famed Drago’s Seafood Restaurant, where you can enjoy grilled oysters.
The fall and winter months also bring some excellent festivals, as if New Orleans has any shortage of those. One specific fun one that you should try to catch is the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival on November 13th, as well as the awesome Bourbon and Beer Festival. Here’s your golden opportunity to experience how Emeril Lagasse throws a party! He’s bringing fifty of his best friend chefs for this annual fundraiser, so you can experience a true taste of New Orleans. Top that with sipping some designer crafted bourbon cocktails, and that’s New Orleans.
Another interesting festival for those with a desire to stick pins in dolls is the Voodoo Fest 2016 in NOLA! Ok, so its not al about voodoo, but arts & crafts, food and music. The festival is located in City Park in New Orleans, Oct 28-30th, and this year features over 65 bands, and is considered New Orleans “Music Gumbo”.
And then there’s the food! You will be enjoying a “taste of New Orleans”, with some of the best chef’s in the town serving specialties from their booths, like Fried Duck Quesadillas and if your lucky, alligator cocktails.
Another tasty festival, and true to NOLA is the annual Treme Creole Gumbo Festival November 14 & 15. This signature dish of New Orleans has its own celebration; where you get to sample tons of variations of this perfect fall weather steaming delight, while dancing to the best live jazz in the world.
And then there’s Halloween, and spending it in one of the spookiest cities in the U.S.
Have you ever wanted to see a real “shrunken head”? We have the perfect place during this special holiday, in a very spooky place, the Museum of Death. That’s just one of the gruesome exhibits in this chamber of horrors, and perfect for Halloween.
If you love that feeling of shock and fear, a visit to the House of Shock open every Friday and Saturday in October is just the place. This place will definitely test your nerves.
Lastly, if you are lucky (or not), try to book a room in the Monteleone Hotel in the French Quarter for your stay. They say ghosts of former owners and guests can visit you. If you are lucky, the most popular ghost visiting rooms often, is Maurice Begere, a toddler who died in this hotel ages ago of yellow fever.
Vacation in New Orleans like a local not a tourist
Two additional haunts for some sweet Jazz are One Eyed Jacks and the Little Gem Saloon, where you can spot some very famous Jazz artists.
There’s another historic tavern located in an old blacksmiths shop called appropriately, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop that I discovered years ago. I never miss an evening there when I come to town. Its located way down on Bourbon Street, but off the main drag, If after dark be aware you will walk thru a “different” kind of neighborhood. Get a window seat (open shutters) for excellent people watching if possible. You just never know who will sit at the piano and bang on the ivories. My suggestion for your evening cocktail is their Purple Drank or Voodoo Daiquiri.
The best way to start your day like a local is a Bloody Mary with side of bacon at Elizabeth’s. Just yummy! Another “Bayou favorite” that you can sand in line with locals is the iconic fried shrimp Po’boy, and that line is at Guy’s Sandwich Shop on Magazine Street. Cheap eats for lunch, but bring cash. Another excellent place that has been serving oyster sandwiches for well over 90 years is Casamento’s on Magazine Street.
Tip: How to “fit in”. Instead of buying cheap plastic beads, pick yourself up a nice New Orland hat.
Visit one of the local haberdashers and get your “lid on”, like the famous Goorin Brothers shop on Magazine Street or Royal.
Here’s another “hot tip” for you involving the mouth watering and world famous New Orleans beignets. Everyone will tell you that you have to endure the crowds in the French Quarter for your beignet at Café du Monde. Do locals frequent there? No, only with friends and relatives who insist.
Instead, we suggest you go on an adventure, and hop on a streetcar to Canal Street and City Park. There you will find “Morning Call” where you can purchase an excellent beignet and superb coffee, better tan du Monde in my opinion. Instead of being crunched in that crowded outdoor patio, enjoy the majestic oaks and Spanish moss in City Park.
You can visit New Orleans on a “shoestring budget”
The nice thing about vacationing in New Orleans is you really don’t need to drain your bank account to experience all that is NOLA.
Of course the most famous and exciting district to visit is of course the French Quarter, with clubs, bars, restaurants and wild and crazy people. New Orleans has perhaps one of the most diverse populations of visitors as well as locals, to people watch. It’s not just about an evening of partying, tossing colored beads to “exposing ladies”, or drinking to oblivion, unless that’s what you are there for.
The French Quarter is also a packed with art, culture, history and the mysterious world of Voodoo. Starting your day off with an iconic hot beignet with café au Latté at the famous Café du Monde.in Jackson Square. Taking a stroll around the square you can experience the open-air market, bronze statues, and even sneak a peak inside the Louis Cathedral. During the day, you can enjoy the many art galleries on Royal Street, for free. Another area of New Orleans that has some of the best art museums is in the Arts & Warehouse District near Lafayette Square, a great park for a cheap picnic lunch. This area is also gaining popularity for its “happy hours”, in restaurants known for being “upscale”. Happy hour specials and cocktail prices can be the way to go for in-expensive dinner.
NOLA is also famous for its iconic and diverse sandwich, the Po-Boy, which is awesome for lunch or even dinner. Although you can get them in so many restaurants, if you want authentic and possibly the best, hit “Killer Po-Boys”.
Another great way to experience New Orleans is to jump on a streetcar (during the day) and head out to one or more of the areas outside of downtown. It only costs $1.25 for a one-way trip, and you just never know where you can end up. On a recent visit, I did this, and got off in a nice boulevard, mainly because there was a corner store, and I needed a beverage. They suggested I experience the laundry next door, which I did. Inside were two old pool tables, where they served beer and hurricanes to the regular “locals”. I spent about three hours there and learned tons of things about the city I never knew. Plus, I had the opportunity to get 1st hand recommendations on where to go, and eat, that proved to be priceless.
Must Do: Get a table seat in the world famous Pat O’Brien’s and order their Original Hurricane for $8. It’s well worth the price for the experience, and don’t forget to tip the piano player.
Another fun experience is to take a guided tour or walking tour of the cities famous above ground cemeteries. I highly suggest taking if your budget can handle it, a horse drawn carriage cemetery tour, and get the real story.
New Orleans Bars and Restaurants locals don’t want you to know about!
For something different, but a tasty adventure, how about something delicious in Vietnamese Cuisine at Roses Café on Conti Street? Roses place is well known as one of the best lunch spots in New Orleans, and offers excellent portions of fresh tasty treats.
Now everyone has heard of the New Orleans famous “Poboy” sandwiches, and if you have never enjoyed a bit into one of these, you need to. Have we got the place for you to get away from the crowds, and enjoy one of the best in town? Killer PoBoys located on Dauphine offers a great alternative for not only lunch but also breakfast sandwiches. Best local choice for a breakfast Poboy is their Cheese and Ham Poboy, and for breakfast and anything but especially beef with pickled beans for lunch.
Looking for someplace with a mystical dark and quiet atmosphere for maybe a cocktail and small plates? We highly suggest that you head over to the Cellar Door on Lafayette Street. They obviously have some of the very best “Mixologist” in New Orleans, because the cocktails are “to die for”. You may feel the presence of “spirits” not in a glass, but the experience is all New Orleans.
Another choice for some tunes, beer on tap and definitely some barbeque oysters is the Old Point Bar on Patterson Drive. It can get a bit smoky with occasional cigar puffers, but what the heck, it’s a dive bar, with pool tables and darts being thrown.
Now for the staple dish The Big Easy is known for, gumbo, and where do locals go for the best in town. Everyone has their favorite, but time and again, many living in the area will choose (but not tell visitors) they choose Liuzza’s by the Track, located on N. Lopez Street. Don’t expect anything fancy on the outside, but everything good on the inside of this restaurant/bar. This old time restaurant is the real deal, and
Eat your way through New Orleans French Quarter for less
First off for the experience of a lifetime and a terrific starter to a day following “one of those nights”, you have to experience a New Orleans “beignet” and cup of their awesome heavy coffee. There are two names that you will have to remember, and put a note in your cell phone, Café Beignet on Bourbon Street, and Café Du Monde on Decatur Street. Sitting in an outdoor Café, smelling that beignet coming fresh to your table from the oven will make you delirious, and as it melts in your mouth, you will be living the dream that is New Orleans.
Verdi Marte located on Royal Street is one of the places that might get a recommend from that bartender or hotel staff. Many locals pass through their doors for breakfast, lunch and dinners, to go. That’s right, all they serve is food to go, and not just food, but excellent and cheap food. This is where you get to taste New Orleans famous “Fried Shrimp PoBoy”, the sandwich of choice for locals. They also put out a killer Philly Cheese Steak PoBoy that will melt in your mouth.
Whether for lunch or dinner, if New Orleans style seafood is calling your taste buds, but your wallet is light from last nights partying, Café Maspero located on Decator Street is the place to check out. Whether it is a grab and go PoBoy, or a sit down seafood dish like étouffée, crawdads local fish dish, this is your “go to” place.
If last night has you crawling your way to find a nice greasy but tasty burger to bring you back to life, you’re heading to Port of Call on Esplanade at Dauphine. Most days you will find yourself waiting in line, but just know, everyone in line is there for the burgers and stuffed baked potatoes. In the words of famous chef Emeril Lagasse, these burgers “are the bomb”! If you are a couple, you probably can share a burger and potato, because they are mega! And if your head isn’t still pounding, and you are ready to “prime the system”, order their rendition of the “hurricane” their” Monsoon”, then be happy you are on foot.
Mardi Gras New Orleans, time to start planning now!
You won’t find many businesses open on Mardi Gras Day, because most shut down for the holiday. There’s no shortage of restaurants and bars to check out along Bourbon Street, which is usually “out of control” during late evenings. For those looking for nothing but parties, sometimes outrageous behavior, nudity, the by all means, head to Bourbon Street.
If the “real” Mardi Gras is what you’re looking for, where locals have spent mega dollars on their floats and attractions, they won’t be found there. These floats are actually too large for the Bourbon Street area. The mega and traditional parade, Mardi Gras krewes are the ones that bring the “Greatest Free Show on Earth” to the streets of New Orleans, and is the one to see.
A fun and free option for you is a visit to the Germaine Cazenave Wells Mardi Gras Museum on Rue Bienville St., where you can view collections of Mardi Gras costumes, gowns and other memorabilia.
There are some specific eateries that you must visit at least once while in town, and we have the list for you. The first is Café Beignet, located in the French Quarter and world famous for its beignets and cafe lait. This is a perfect place to start or end your day.
Although there are plenty of restaurants where you can grab lunch and dinner, and believe us, the New Orleans Gumbo is delicious and won’t break the bank. However, if you really want to taste the history of New Orleans once while visiting, you should make reservations well in advance at Antoine’s. This is New Orleans oldest French-Creole restaurant in New Orleans; with its doors open a d serving guests for over 175 years. Dining at Antoine’s is truly a experience that everyone should indulge themselves in if possible. If you are a seafood lover, you will certainly find heaven here.
Lastly for a down to earth taste of New Orleans, there’s none better than the Olde Nola Cookery located at 205 Bourbon St. in the French Quarter. From Catfish Po Boy, Crabcakes with crawfish sauce, to crawfish étouffée you won’t be disappointed with the depth of flavor. We will tell you that most locals will tell you that the Gumbo is the best, and you have to try it. Add to your plate a “side of Hurricane, the local favorite cocktail, and nothing but smiles will follow.