10 Things Not to Miss in New Orleans

French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana
French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana
French Quarter, New Orleans

If you are eager to visit the final resting place of a notorious voodoo priestess, set sail on a riverboat tour down a mystical river, or take history lessons riding in an old streetcar, New Orleans in southeastern Louisiana is the ideal place for you. Despite being struck by the famous Hurricane Katrina 13 years ago, this alluring city where the great jazz legend Louis Armstrong was born has not lost its charm. New Orleans, known for its vibrant live-music scene, wild street parties and gaudy costumed parades, proudly stands as one of America’s most culturally and historically-rich destinations.

Visit the Cornerstone of Jazz Music and Culture

Preservation Hall in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Preservation Hall, New Orleans. Photo by Katerina Papathanasiou/The Vale Magazine

Operating daily for more than 50 years, Preservation Hall is situated in the heart of the historic French Quarter on St. Peter Street. Since its opening in 1961, people from all over the world have been visiting this legendary venue to celebrate traditional New Orleans jazz music and culture. Make sure to bring your own beverage in a plastic container to enjoy a once in a lifetime experience for only $20. Some of the most talented local jazz practitioners successfully deliver jaw-dropping performances seven nights a week at 5:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m.

Buy the Weirdest Souvenirs Ever 

Voodoo Authentica in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Voodoo Authentica, New Orleans. Photo by Katerina Papathanasiou/The Vale Magazine

Located on the French Quarter’s picturesque rue Dumaine, Voodoo Authentica is a really cool place to buy eerie handmade voodoo dolls, potion oils, and gris-gris bags. Apart from interesting New Orleans, African and Haitian little oddities, Voodoo Authentica also offers its visitors readings, rituals and spiritual consultations. When you visit the shop, we advise you to look for the “JuJu Guardians,” which according to voodoo practitioners, can be placed anywhere you need protection from negativity and evil. For less quirky souvenirs, there are plenty of other more conventional options, including authentic New Orleans-style hot sauces, Cajun-inspired spices, Mardi Gras beads, CDs, vinyl records, and pralines.

Join NOLA’s Best Backyard Party

Bacchanal Wine in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Bacchanal Wine, New Orleans. Photo by Katerina Papathanasiou/The Vale Magazine

If you want to try amazing wines from all around the globe while relaxing with your friends in a beautiful backyard with live music, go to Bacchanal Wine at 600 Poland Avenue. We advise you not to leave this place without ordering the Bacchanal legendary cheese plate. Head to the wine room and choose the cheeses that you like and the Bacchanal people will serve them to you on a platter accompanied with fresh ciabatta bread, candied nuts, chutneys, cornichon pickles, and olives.

See the Greek Revival Style Tomb of a “Voodoo Queen”

Marie Laveau's tomb, St. Louis Cemetery No.1, New Orleans.
Marie Laveau’s tomb, St. Louis Cemetery No.1, New Orleans.

Saint Louis Cemetery No.1, dating back to 1789 and located at 425 Basin Street, is one of the oldest cemeteries in New Orleans. The cemetery hosts the burial place of Marie Laveau, one of the most notorious and powerful voodoo priestesses in the city. Laveau was born around 1801 as the illegitimate daughter of a white father and a Creole mother. She was known for selling charms and gris-gris bags, as well as using magic powers to save condemned prisoners from execution.

Try New Orleans Staple Pastry “Beignet”

Café Beignet at 311 Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Café Beignet at 311 Bourbon Street, New Orleans.

Choose between Café du Monde, the 1862 French Market coffee shop at 800 Decatur Street, or Café Beignet at 311 Bourbon Street to enjoy your morning cup of creamy and delicious café au lait accompanied with the delicious sweet pastries which locals call “beignets” (ben-yays). New Orleans is famous worldwide for its dusted with powdered sugar golden squares.

Pay a Visit to One of the City’s Most Iconic Sites

Saint Louis Cathedral, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Saint Louis Cathedral, New Orleans. Photo by Katerina Papathanasiou/The Vale Magazine

Saint Louis Cathedral, officially called “The Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France,” is the oldest Catholic Cathedral in the United States and one of the most visited places in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is located next to Jackson Square in the heart of the colorful city facing the Mississippi River.

Don’t Be Afraid to Admit That This City Always Makes You Hungry

Broiled crawfish, travelers' favorite food, in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Broiled crawfish, travelers’ favorite food, in New Orleans.

There is always an abundance of traditional food in New Orleans. Broiled crawfish, crawfish bread, and crawfish enchiladas, as well as oysters, crab cakes, fish tacos, and roast beef po’boys, are only some of the food options you should not ignore. However, we inform you that snowballs (or sno-balls) may be the best antidote to the hot and humid days of New Orleans.

Grab a Coffee From a Hipster Truck in Magazine Street

Mobile Espresso Bar in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Mobile Espresso Bar, New Orleans. Photo by Katerina Papathanasiou/The Vale Magazine

Should you find yourself in the southern part of town, get ready to explore a plethora of different shops such as Voodoo stores, art galleries and antique stores, independent book and music stores, local art markets, as well as Mardi Gras beads and costume shops. Magazine Street hosts lots of such businesses, along with charming restaurants such as Coquette and Surrey’s Café & Juice Bar. Grab a coffee from Mobile Espresso Bar and start your exciting journey to one of New Orlean’s most lively neighborhoods.

Enjoy Your Southern Meal Across New Orleans Most Filmed Cemetery 

Commander's Palace in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Commander’s Palace, New Orleans.

Commander’s Palace, nestled in the heart of the historic Garden District at 1403 Washington Avenue, has been a brilliant fine dining establishment since 1893. People visit NOLA’s iconic restaurant daily to try traditional Creole cuisine with a modern twist as well as delicious 25-cent martinis. Visitors should be dressed in business casual attire, so leave your shorts in your hotel room for the day. After your meal, we encourage you to explore Lafayette Cemetery No.1, the most filmed cemetery in New Orleans.

Order as Many Uber Rides as Possible 

Downtown New Orleans, Louisiana.
Downtown New Orleans. Photo by Katerina Papathanasiou/The Vale Magazine

Uber drivers and other local people in New Orleans are super friendly. For this reason, we insist that you interact with them as much as possible. Ask them questions about which bars and clubs to visit in Bourbon Street, the true highlights of New Orleans famous plantation tours, as well as the intimate life of their local jazz legends. If you are lucky enough, you can even gather chilling information about the mansion of the wealthy Creole socialite Madame LaLaurie, known for torturing and murdering slaves in her household in the 1800s.