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In my opinion, New Orleans’ biggest draw is its food. While I can’t find you any of that for free, I can direct you to some frugal ways to enjoy your trip to the Crescent City.
With awesome architecture and a diverse culture, there’s tons to do in New Orleans for FREE!
25 FREE Things In New Orleans
Right in the middle of the French Quarter, you’ll get a great view of street performers, the St. Louis Cathedral, and Andrew Jackson riding high above New Orleans. Cafe Du Monde is only a block away!
To a piano bike combo playing throughout the French Quarter to drum circles around random corners, you will find some street performers somewhere in New Orleans. Enjoy them when you find them!
This park is a short walk from Jackson Square. A drumline was playing while I was there, so maybe you’ll see a free show!
On the corner of the French Quarter is the French Market. It’s a great place to grab authentic Cajun souvenirs.
This is a park near the Mississippi River and the French Quarter and a good place to recharge after a long trek through this part of town. Plus, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas or Entergy Imax Theater is near for entertainment.
This outdoor cinema screens cutting edge, art-house, and foreign films for free.
Grab a guidebook and take yourself on a walking tour through the historic Algiers Point!
Play Jumbo Jenga or Frisbee sized Connect Four at Barcadia on Tchoupitoulas Street.
9. City Park
In the middle of the city, City Park has paddle-boats, tandem-bikes and more for rent. Or set up a hammock in the trees near the lake to relax and enjoy the sun.
This garden is located in City Park and contains the work of artists from all over the world. The New Orleans Museum of Art offers a free audio tour of the Sculpture Garden, which is accessible through visitors’ cell phones and highlights all of the sculptures in the Garden.
See what local farmers are growing and pick up everything you need for a picnic at the local farmers’ market on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (check their website for specific hours).
Try out their hottest sauces for free before you make a purchase (or just see if you can survive their ghost pepper blends). Anyone who enjoys cooking spicy food will enjoy poking around their products.
Get out of the city bustle and wander through the Garden District to enjoy its historic architecture and old south greenery.
A site that must be seen on a New Orleans trip is one of its famed cemeteries. They are very interesting and unique in that they are all above ground.
Okay, so this isn’t free, but it is only $1.25 per ride and streetcars are a great way to see the city in a comfortable, historical way.
16. Dueling Pianos
Request a song or enjoy the music at Pat O’Brien’s Dueling Piano Bar.
17. Art Appreciation
Check out the galleries on Julia St. and what street vendors are selling at Jackson Square. There’s an Art Walk that occurs on the first Saturday night of every month: galleries open their doors to the public to premiere new exhibits.
If your trip is during the Spring and on a Wednesday, there’s a free concert series at Jackson Square. In 2019, it runs from March 20th through May 22nd.
Take free self guided tours of the Williams Gallery any day of the week (exhibition tours start at $5 a person).
Take a stroll next to the mighty Mississippi and listen for the Steamboat Natchez‘s whistle.
This is the oldest active congregation and church building in Louisiana. Pop inside and be awed by its antique architecture.
Head to the Barataria Preserve and grab a guidebook from the visitors center.
Visit the site of The Battle of New Orleans. About 5 miles from the French Quarter, you can see the battlefield and learn more about the War of 1812. If you’re visiting in January, you might even catch the reenactment.
On the last Saturday of each month, head to Palmer Park to view the featured works and enjoy live entertainment.
As you walk along the streets of New Orleans, enjoy the endless stream of jazz and blues music streaming out of every wide open window!
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