Churches in New Orleans, New Orleans (Self Guided)

New Orleans has some of the oldest and the most beautiful churches in Louisiana. Some of them, like St Louis Cathedral, have become iconic symbols of the city, others are considered to be "fresh air" to the busy business quarters. The churches here combine different architectural styles. The tour below includes some exquisite examples of places of worship in New Orleans.
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Churches in New Orleans Map

Guide Name: Churches in New Orleans
Guide Location: USA » New Orleans (See other walking tours in New Orleans)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.4 km
Author: ann
St Augustine Catholic Church

1) St Augustine Catholic Church

St. Augustine Catholic Church is the oldest African-American Catholic parish in the nation. It is located on Saint Claude Avenue near the French Quarter on the site of the old Claude Tremé plantation. The church is the location of the annual Jazz Mass that is held in conjunction with the Satchmo Festival, which pays homage to Louis Armstrong.

The place of worship was founded in 1841 and dedicated in 1842. Architect J.N.B. de Pauilly designed the church. The property was donated by Ursuline Sisters on the condition that the church be named after Saint Augustine of Hippo.

What makes the church special is that it was built by Free Persons of Color. Famous parishioners include Homer Plessy, Sidney Bechet, A.P. Tureaud, and Allison ‘Tootie’ Montana. One interesting note is that a war of the pews began when white people heard about the free people of color buying pews for slaves. The free people of color eventually won by buying three pews to every one pew a white person bought.

St. Augustine’s almost faced closure after Hurricane Katrina due to extensive property losses in the city. This was a shock to the parishioners since the church escaped major damage. In addition, the parish was also providing support to those affected by the hurricane. The locals rallied and barricaded themselves in the building. This response caused the archdiocese to reverse its decision.

In 2008, the church received a $75,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express to do much needed renovations. Mass is at 10 am on Sunday.
St. Louis Cathedral

2) St. Louis Cathedral (must see)

The Saint Louis Cathedral is one of the oldest cathedrals that is in continuous use in the United States. It was dedicated to King Louis IX of France in 1718. The place of worship is located in the French Quarter and features Spanish Colonial and Renaissance architecture. It is also a building that is most associated with the city of New Orleans.

Originally constructed in 1718, the church has over 6,000 members. The current cathedral was built in 1789. A renovation in 1850 completely changed the look of the house of worship to the design we see today.

The church was visited by Pope John Paul in 1987 and the plaza was renamed in the pope’s honor to celebrate his visit. The cathedral is a popular building and has been frequently photographed and featured in many movies, television shows, and other presentations. Mass is celebrated on Saturdays at 5 pm, on Sundays from 9 am to 11 am, and weekdays at noon.

Visitors will admire the Rococo-style, gilded altar and stained glass windows. Two gifts shops sell religious items and gifts with the proceeds going towards the upkeep and maintenance of the church.

Why You Should Visit:
The church is awesome to see, but all the happenings that take place in front of the church is also a treat. This area is treated like the town square because it basically is.
The stained glass windows are most representative of the best found in Catholic churches, but you don't have to be Catholic to come here to take photos and look around.

Tours are offered during the week, so be sure to check the schedule.
Getting breakfast across the street at Café du Monde before or after church would be a good idea, too, of course.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8am-4:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church

3) Our Lady of Guadalupe Church

Located on the corner of North Rampart Street, the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church is the oldest house of worship in New Orleans. Originally named the Mortuary Chapel of St. Anthony of Padua, the place of worship was built in 1826 to serve as a burial church for the victims of yellow fever. The current name of the church was received in 1918. Architects Gurlie and Guillot built the church. It is staffed by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

The church was a place of worship for the Italian community in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Although it fell into disuse in the 1860s, 1870s, and 1915, the church rebounded each time and returned to service. The church serves as the International Shrine for St. Jude, one of the 12 apostles. In addition, there is a statue of St. Expedite near the entrance who the locals claim can cure procrastination.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church has a community center that provides a range of services, such as counseling, to the community. In addition, the women’s shelter helps those who are down on their luck find jobs and housing. The church’s food bank program helps to feed the needy.

Mass is at 7:30 am, 9:30 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm (Spanish) and 6 pm on Sundays, at 7 am, 12 pm during the week, and at 7 am on Saturday. The Saturday Vigil is at 4 pm.
St Patrick's Church

4) St Patrick's Church

St. Patrick’s Church is located in the Central Business District on Camp Street. It was founded in 1833 and completed in 1840. The church was built to address the worshiping needs of the Irish community who could not understand the services conducted in French in the Creole churches. It is the second oldest parish in New Orleans and a church that is most respected.

The building was designed by Irish architects James and Charles Dakin and features Gothic style architecture, a 185 foot tower, a 40 foot vestibule, and an 85 foot nave. The interior design of the church was designed by James Gallier Sr. The church altar features beautiful murals designed by the artist Leon Pomarede. One mural depicts the Transfiguration, the other Christ walking on water, and the last shows St. Patrick baptizing King Laoghaire of Ireland’s daughters.

Although it received a major renovation from 1978 to 1990, it is one of the few buildings whose design hasn’t changed significantly since its inception. The church is also one of the few buildings that did not suffer any major damage from Hurricane Katrina. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975.

Weekday masses are from 11:30 am to 12 pm Monday through Friday. Sunday mass is at 8 am, 9:30 am, 11 am, and 5:30 pm. The Eucharistic Adoration is from 11 am to 1 pm Monday through Friday. The Benediction is from 11 am to 1 pm Monday through Friday.
St Theresa of Avila Church

5) St Theresa of Avila Church

St Theresa of Avila Church is a Roman Catholic church that was built in 1848-1849. The building was designed by T.E.Giraud in the Gothic Revival Style. The church stands on Erato Street. The interior is very simple but has, at the same time, some exclusive features like the mosaic windows, for instance.
Christ Church Cathedral

6) Christ Church Cathedral

The Christ Church Cathedral Episcopal is the first non-Roman Catholic Church in Louisiana. It was founded in 1803 as Christ’s Church. It is also a very popular tourist attraction and was designated as a cathedral in 1891.

The church was built for Protestant members of the community. The church we know today is actually the fourth version of the Christ Church Cathedral Episcopal. The first church was erected in 1816 on the corner of Canal and Bourbon street. It was designed by Henry Boneval Latrobe.

The second place of worship was erected in 1833. It was built by James Gallier Sr. and featured a Greek temple design. The third church was built by James Gallier Jr. and featured Gothic architecture. It was located on the corner of Canal and Dauphine streets.

The current church was built by Lawrence B. Valk in 1886. It was built to address the growing congregation and moved to an area closer to where its parishioners lived. It is located on St. Charles Avenue and Sixth Street and features Gothic design.

The cathedral has a feeding ministry in conjunction with the Restoration Embassy and the Advent House, which acts a spiritual retreat and education center. Sunday services are at 7:30 am, 10 am, and 6 pm. Weekday services are at 12:15 pm. Saturday services are at 9:30 am.
Our Lady of Good Council Church

7) Our Lady of Good Council Church

Located in the Garden District on Louisiana Avenue, the Our Lady of Good Council Church was named after the Our Lady of Good Counsel painting, which is purported to have miracle abilities, in Genazzano Italy. The church was established in 1894. It is said that the Marian altar was blessed by Pope Pius XI.

The church was closed in 2008 by the Archbishop of New Orleans due to a priest shortage after Hurricane Katrina and population changes. The church was then merged with St. Stephen Church on Napoleon Street and was renamed the Good Shepherd Parish. After many protests from the people, the church reopened for special events.

In 2011, the Center of Jesus the Lord, a charismatic Catholic organization moved into the former Our Lady Good Council Church building. They will use the space to celebrate Mass and to perform charitable works. In addition, the space is used for weddings and funerals.

Mass is at 4 pm on Saturday, 8 am and 10:30 am on Sunday, 6:30 am Monday through Friday, and 6 pm on Tuesday. The Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament happens at 5 pm and 6 pm on Tuesday and at 7 am and 8 am on Thursday morning.

Walking Tours in New Orleans, Louisiana

Create Your Own Walk in New Orleans

Create Your Own Walk in New Orleans

Creating your own self-guided walk in New Orleans is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Cultural Walking Tour in New Orleans

Cultural Walking Tour in New Orleans

New Orleans possesses a rich cultural and historical heritage and has a long and captivating story to tell. Whether you are interested in history and art or are intrigued by the mystical side of the world, the museums and the art galleries of New Orleans will never cease to impress you. Check out the Cultural Walking Tour below and discover the best museums the city.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
Garden District Tour

Garden District Tour

Dating back to the 19th century, Garden District in New Orleans is famous for its heritage mansions and cottages. Along with the heritage sites you will discover several great specialty shops. Take the tour below and discover the beauty and unique atmosphere of the Garden District.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km
The Voodoo Tour

The Voodoo Tour

Being a multicultural city, New Orleans provided an ideal setting for the practice of Voodoo. Some people get scared to death by the mystical rituals, others get easily tempted by the idea of achieving anything they want by the means of spells and incantations, but most are just curious to know what Voodoo is. If you'd like to find out by yourself, don't miss the chance to go on the tour...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 km
French Quarter Nightlife

French Quarter Nightlife

A city well-reputed for its never-ending party and carefree attitude, visitors to the French Quarter in New Orleans may not be surprised by the amount of great nightlife establishments found through the district but will certainly be impressed by the lively night of hot live music and ever-flowing drinks they experience once they are here. Take New Orleans’ Nightlife Tour in the French Quarter...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.3 km
Marigny Nightlife

Marigny Nightlife

A city well-reputed for its never-ending party and carefree attitude, visitors to the French Quarter in New Orleans may not be surprised by the amount of great nightlife establishments found through the district but will certainly be impressed by the lively night of hot live music and ever-flowing drinks they experience once they are here. Take New Orleans’ Nightlife Tour in the French Quarter...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 km
New Orleans' Nightlife

New Orleans' Nightlife

A city well-reputed for its never-ending party and carefree attitude, visitors to the French Quarter in New Orleans may not be surprised by the amount of great nightlife establishments found through the district but will certainly be impressed by the lively night of hot live music and ever-flowing drinks they experience once they are here. Take New Orleans’ Nightlife Tour in the French Quarter...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in New Orleans for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best New Orleans has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money visiting New Orleans's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the New Orleans Pass, New Orleans Sightseeing Pass, or the New Orleans Pass (by Musement).

A city pass combines all or multiple New Orleans's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip lines at major attractions, thus saving your precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of New Orleans hotels conveniently located for a comfortable stroll: Hyatt Regency New Orleans, Terrell House Bed and Breakfast, The Quisby.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as New Orleans, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of New Orleans typically costs somewhere between US$16 and US$65 per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker to enjoy sightseeing of New Orleans in comfort listening to a live on-board commentary (English only) from a local expert, and be able get on and off at any of the stops along the route as often as you like. The tickets are valid for one (24 hours) or three days (72 hours).

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour of New Orleans – this usually lasts about 2 hours (upgrade to 3 hours is possible upon request) and allows visitors to get a real sense of the city. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise could have done by walking.

- Taste your way through New Orleans' neighborhoods - the French Quarter and River area - on a gourmet tour of the city and find out if the fuss about its food scene is well justified. Check out some of the famous restaurants and hotspots under the guidance of a passionate and knowledgeable local.

- Summon your bravery and curiosity to explore the ghastly side of New Orleans on a ghost walk in the French Quarter set to reveal the stories of voodoo, vampires and witchcraft, bring light to the darkest corners of the city, and prepare you to hear the tales of its supernatural past and present.

- If you have a penchant for posh architecture and celebrity dwellings, make sure to take this morning walk in New Orleans' Garden District replete with impressive examples of Greek Revival and Italianate styles including the homes of Hollywood stars and other art celebrities. There are also quite a few historic locations waiting to be discovered on this tour as well.

- Whisk yourself away to the yesteryear New Orleans aboard the authentic paddle-wheel steamboat cruising along the Mississippi River. Feel the beauty and romance of the days long gone amid the sound of a live jazz band, lavish buffet dinner, and gorgeous sights along the way.

Day Trips

If you have a day to spare whilst in New Orleans, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like Cajun Country or Louisiana Plantations. For as little as circa US$170-180 per person you will get a chance to discover the Cajun and Creole cultures, visit some of the oldest and finest plantations on the Mississippi River, learn about the pre-Civil War history of American South, feel the taste of antebellum Louisiana, and more. For any of these tours you will be picked up either straight from your hotel or a designated place in New Orleans and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle (or even boat, whenever applicable) to the destination of your choice and back again.