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Fifty FREE Things to Do in New Orleans

New Orleans is like no other city in the world. With such an abundance of great music, great food and great attractions, a lifetime wouldn’t be enough to see and do it all. And a lot of it is FREE! It’s all out there just waiting to be taken in and enjoyed.

Listed below are fifty of the best free attractions in New Orleans.

  1. Art in Bloom
    Jackson Square
    Take in the sights and sounds of Jackson Square, a good spot to take a rest, too. 
  2. Gallery hop in the Arts District along Julia Street on the first Saturday night of each month.
  3. Join the parades during Carnival Season and Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
  4. Stroll Royal and Chartres streets and window shop the arts, antiques and boutiques.
  5. Enjoy French Quarter Festival every April, the South’s largest free music festival.
  6. Watch the ships pass on the Mississippi River from Woldenberg Riverfront Park and listen for the Steamboat Natchez’s calliope.
  7. Learn about local the beer-brewing scene with a complimentary tour of the NOLA Brewing facilities.
  8. Swing dance every Sunday with the NOLA Jitterbugs Dance School.
  9. Listen to free live Jazz every Thursday at Armstrong Park during Spring and Fall months.
  10. Let the kids run around in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden in City Park.
  11. Volunteer at one of the many organizations helping to rebuild New Orleans’ residences. 
  12. Catch an outdoor film screening at the Burgundy Picture House in the Bywater.
  13. Experience a cooking demonstration at the Crescent City Farmers Market.
  14. Jam out at the free Wednesday afternoon concerts in Lafayette Square throughout the spring season.
  15. Dance down Frenchmen Street at night, many clubs don’t have a cover charge.
  16. Watch the fireworks on the Mississippi River every New Year’s Eve and Fourth of July.
  17. Enjoy free oysters and music every Friday evening at Le Bon Temps Roule music club.
  18. Attend one of the many festivals that the Jazz and Heritage Foundation hosts throughout the year, like the BBQ and Blues Festival or Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival.
  19. Browse the shops and stalls
    throughout the French Market.
  20. Art in Bloom
    Saint Louis Cathedral
    Tour Saint Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square.
  21. The New Orleans Museum of Art and Ogden Museum of Southern Art both offer free admission to Louisiana residents on Wednesdays.
  22. Enjoy a free concert of opera arias and musical show tunes by Bon Operatit! on the second Wednesday of each month at the Four Points by Sheraton at the site of the Old French Opera House.
  23. Venture into our "Cities of the Dead" for a self-guided day tour of a unique cemetery, most of which are free to enter. Check out St. Patrick Cemetery No. 2, Lafayette Cemetery and St. Louis No.3.
  24. Bring your book on the Garden District and take a self-guided walking tour.
  25. Discover the hidden art scene on Frenchmen Street and spend an evening at the Frenchmen Art Market.
  26. Head Uptown and set up a picnic along the river at The Fly.
  27. Go upstairs at Arnaud's for a tour of their Germaine Cazenave Wells Mardi Gras Museum.
  28. Ask Antoine's for a tour of their 160-year-old restaurant.
  29. Watch artists demonstrate glassblowing at Rosetree Glass Studio, Studio Inferno, or Glassworks.
  30. Sit under 100 year old Oak trees in
    Audubon Park
    and/or City Park.
  31. Art in Bloom
    Cafe du Monde
    See beignets made through the kitchen window at Café du Monde in Dutch Alley.
  32. Sample a praline at a sweet shop.
  33. Take a free self-guided audio tour of downtown and the French Quarter with the National Park Service at 419 Decatur Street.
  34. Laugh away the evening at a free comedy show, available every night of the week in New Orleans. From local stand-up to open mic nights, there’s something for everyone.
  35. People watch on Bourbon Street.
  36. Take a picture with Fats Domino, Pete Fountain, or Al Hirt at Music Legends Park on Bourbon Street.
  37. Tour the Global Green house in the Lower Ninth Ward.
  38. Get a view of Jackson Square from
    Washington Artillery Park.
  39. Art in Bloom
    Spanish Plaza
    Make a wish in the fountain at Spanish Plaza in front of the Riverwalk Shopping Center.
  40. Watch looming at Louisiana Loom Works on Chartres Street.
  41. Check out the Fulton Street Mall near Harrah’s Hotel and Casino.
  42. Catch a concert at Wednesdays on the Point during the summer months taking place in Old Historic Algiers just a quick ferry ride across the Mississippi from the French Quarter.
  43. Window shop on Magazine Street.
  44. See the swans from the Peristyle in City Park.
  45. Tailgate outside the Superdome at a Saints football game or join the party before a Pelicans basketball game.
  46. Take a stroll along the beautiful historic mansions of St. Charles Avenue.
  47. Watch the sailboats race on Lake Pontchartrain from the Lakefront Park or watch the sunset from Lakeshore Drive.
  48. Experience the great outdoors at NOLA’s very own National Park with free admission to the Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve.
  49. Pay homage at the National Shrine of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos.
  50. Catch the holiday spirit with Cathedral concerts, cooking demonstrations and more during Christmas New Orleans Style, the entire month of December.
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