Designated as a National Historic Landmark, the New Orleans French Quarter is like stepping into a time warp. Its historic buildings date back to the 18th century, with antique shop fronts, iron lamps and courtyard gardens lining its streets. The majestic Jackson Square serves as the riverfront entrance to the French Quarter, lined with historic buildings, Parisian style open air cafes and plenty of souvenir shops.
Rowdy Bourbon Street is the heart and soul of the city’s entertainment scene, dotted with live music bars, Creole restaurants and boutique hotels. For jazz fans, grooving the night away to a local quartet is a rite of passage. Beyond drinking, the French Quarter is alive with culture. It’s home to a string of fantastic art galleries, as well as quirky museums covering everything from voodoo to medicine.
Known by locals as Vieux Carré, the French Quarter is wonderfully walkable. Many of the streets are pedestrianised, though the occasional horse and carriage do roll by. Officially, the French Quarter stretches along the Mississippi River from Canal Street in the south to Esplanade Avenue in the north.
Historically fascinating, New Orleans was thriving long before it was acquired by the United States as part of the controversial Louisiana Purchase. Its European influence lives on to this day, with the city council passionate about preserving its unique architectural style and vibrant culture.