From the nightlife and the music to the culture and cuisine, New Orleans has everything you need for an unforgettable trip. There are so many things you’ll absolutely have to do in New Orleans. To guarantee you’re able to check everything off of your list, check out the best tours in New Orleans below. These tours have top-of-the-line service and expert guides who will lead you through the greatest sights in the city.
Editor’s Note: All tours listed here are bookable through GetYourGuide – our no. 1 choice when it comes to booking guided tours and excursions. They have an excellent reputation, great customer service, competitive prices, and free 24-hour cancellation. You seriously can’t go wrong by booking your tours with them.
Jazz Cruise Aboard the Steamboat Natchez
Depart from the French Quarter and head down the Mississippi River. Aboard the Sternwheeler Steamboat Natchez, the only surviving authentic steamboat in New Orleans, enjoy the smooth sounds of Dukes of Dixieland. Guests can even chow down on a southern-style buffet that can include foods like gumbo, bayou seafood pasta, and creole creamed spinach. Seating is available indoors and on the deck, so if you plan on bringing your travel camera then head to the deck to snap perfect pictures of the river and the city. You can’t beat a night of live music and dinner on the Mississippi River.
Louisiana Bayou Swamp Tour by Airboat
Hop on an airboat to explore the wetlands of Louisiana. Among the best swamp tours in New Orleans, this is your chance to experience the bayou like never before. The guide will share fascinating facts throughout the tour about everything from wildlife to the landscape. Along the way, expect glimpses of wildlife like alligators, fish, deer, turtles, native birds, and more. The trees and plant life are also super cool. Whether you are traveling solo, with friends, or with family, this adventure is a must-do.
2-Hour St. Louis Cemetery Walking Tour
It’s time for you to experience one of the city’s most famous cemeteries for yourself. If no one’s told you yet why the dead are buried above ground, you’ll surely learn on this tour. As you explore the ancient maze of tombs you’ll come across voodoo tombs as well as the burial places for some well-known people, including the voodoo queen Marie Laveau and Homer Plessy, the plaintiff for the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision that upheld the separate but equal doctrine. Along with seeing the tombs, you’ll also learn about the history of voodoo and how it connects to the French Quarter. It’s hard to pass up a cemetery tour when you’re in the most haunted city in the United States.
Garden District & Lafayette Cemetery Tour
Highlighting one of New Orleans’ more opulent neighborhoods, this tour is full of southern charm. The Garden District has one of the greatest-preserved collections of historic mansions in the Southern United States. The styles of these homes span from the Italianate to the Gothic, Romanesque, and Greek Revival, and they’re adorned with extensive front porches, colonnades, cast iron balconies, and more. Many celebrities have called the Garden District home, and you’ll even get to see the homes of greats like Archie Manning, Anne Rice, and John Goodman while learning about the history of the area. Continue through the area surrounded by impressive southern live oaks and arrive at the city’s oldest municipal cemetery. If you’ve seen Double Jeopardy or Dracula 2000, you may recognize this cemetery from those films. This is the perfect tour to escape the noise for a little bit and enjoy a quieter part of New Orleans.
2-Hour Ghosts & Vampires Walking Tour
While there are many great haunted tours, this one is definitely the best ghost tour in New Orleans. This tour is super intense as you’ll learn about the most haunted place in the French Quarter as well as the eerie tales of the Octoroon Mistress and the Ursuline Convent. The mysteries of the city really come to life with stories of characters like murderer Madame LaLaurie and the Mad Butcher. Your guide will truly be an expert on all things spooky in New Orleans, so get ready to be a little terrified.
3-Hour Segway Tour of New Orleans
Get ready to glide through the Big Easy to see its best highlights. If you’ve never ridden a Segway, no worries, they’ll teach you before the tour. The expert guide will teach riders about architecture, food, music, and more. This tour is a perfect way to experience a wider part of the city without being restricted by a tour bus. You’ll get to see all types of places from the Old U.S. Mint and Jackson Square to the Tremé neighborhood and the Mississippi River. As you roll through the renowned French Quarter and down Bourbon Street, you’ll fall in love with this historic city.
2-Hour Drunk History Tour of New Orleans
What do convicted felons, pirates, and prostitutes have to do with the founding of New Orleans? Take the Drunk History Tour of New Orleans to find out. Grab a drink and get ready to explore one of the oldest neighborhoods in the country, the world-renowned French Quarter. You’ll pass by historic places like the St. Louis Cathedral and the place where the Louisiana Purchase was signed in 1803 all while learning about everything from traditional burial rituals to voodoo. To learn the truth about this city’s dark past, this is absolutely one of the best tours in New Orleans.
Hop-On, Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour
This tour is a great way to experience the highlights of the city without committing to a day-long tour. The bus makes 18 stops near the greatest places in the city, from the National World War II Museum to the Superdome. While many hop-on hop-off tours have those cheap, uncomfortable headphones for their audio tours, with this one you’ll have a live guide leading you around New Orleans. Your ticket even includes some free walking tours, so you get the most info possible about your favorite parts of the city. To set your own tone for this trip, go with the hop-off hop-off tour because you decide what you see and what you skip.
Whitney Plantation Day Tour
Louisiana’s only plantation museum focusing on slavery, Whitney Plantation gives guests a firsthand look into the lives of slaves and owners in Antebellum Louisiana. This site is home to one of Louisiana’s finest surviving examples of Spanish Creole architecture, and it displays memorial artwork, exhibits, and firsthand slave narratives. You’ll learn tons of history, ranging from the evolution of the Louisiana working plantation to the plantation’s transition from indigo to sugar in the early 1800s. As a site of memory and consciousness that pays homage to slaves throughout the United States, this is one of the best New Orleans tours you can take.
French Quarter: Food History & Tasting Tour
This walking tour leads you through the most iconic neighborhood in New Orleans all while you get to taste some of the city’s best food. Prepare your taste buds for famous dishes like turtle soup, seafood gumbo, and shrimp remoulade. You’ll stop at several locations along the way, including Antoine’s Restaurant, the city’s oldest eatery. Your guide will share info about everything from architecture to ethnic influences. You’ll even learn the difference between Cajun and Creole cuisine :) The French Quarter: Food History & Tasting Tour is the absolute best new orleans tour for foodies.
Now that you know what to do while you’re in New Orleans, all you have to do now is let the good times roll!