Cultural Walking Tour in New Orleans (Self Guided), 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.
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Cultural Walking Tour in New Orleans Map

Guide Name: Cultural Walking Tour 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: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Author: ann
1
New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

1) New Orleans Pharmacy Museum (must see)

One might find it odd that a pharmacy is a national landmark. But, the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is no ordinary museum. It holds the distinction of being the site of the first pharmacy in the United States. Opened in 1823 by J. Dufilho, the first licensed pharmacist in the United States, the museum allows one to take a step back into the days of the past.

There are many items you will see when you visit, such as live leeches, apothecary jars, medical instruments, eyeglasses, wooden blenders, bloodletting devices, and prescription files. There is even a pharmacist’s work area that displays the microscope, mortal, and pestle that the doctor used to make his medicines. The nearby garden shows the herbs that were a part of the many prescriptions that the doctor wrote. There are literally hundreds of items to look at and discover. In addition, the display of New Orleans epidemics is fascinating.

In 1950, the pharmacy became a museum. In 1987, budget cuts almost caused the museum to close its doors. Luckily, a non-profit group known as the “Friends of Historical Pharmacy” took over the financial responsibility of the museum and saved the day.

Why You Should Visit:
To learn about the history of NOLA via medical history, health habits and beliefs of NOLA people; soda origin, old medical quackery, and much more.

Tip:
Get there just before 1 PM to take the one-hour 'tour' in the style of an entertaining lecture/presentation (Tuesday through Friday, for the same price as the self-guided tour but so much better).

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sat: 10am-4pm
2
Historic New Orleans Collection

2) Historic New Orleans Collection

Located in the French Quarter on Royal Street, the Historic New Orleans Collection focuses on the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South region. The collection was established in 1966 by General and Mrs. L. Kemper Williams.

The museum includes the Merieult House, William Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, a museum shop, and the Williams Residence. Other buildings on the site include the Counting House, Maisonette, Townhouse, Louis Adams House, and Creole Cottage.

In addition, the Williams Research Center on Charles Street allows researchers to view the documents, library items, manuscripts, photographs, prints, drawings, paintings, and other artifacts. The museum shop sells books, prints, jewelry, stationery, gift cards, and other items.

Displayed collections include the William Russell Jazz Collection, the William C. Cook War of 1812 in the South Collection, the Tennessee Williams Collection, and the Clarence John Laughlin Collection.

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm and on Sunday from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm.
3
The Cabildo

3) The Cabildo (must see)

One cannot visit New Orleans without seeing this. The Cabildo was the original seat of the New Orleans colonial government. Located along the Jackson Square next to the Saint Louis Cathedral, this building is an important part of American and Louisiana history.

The Louisiana Purchase transfer ceremonies were held at this location. The original building was constructed in 1769. The current structure was raised in 1798 to replace the old building that was destroyed by fire. The local government used the building until the mid-1850s.

Currently, the Cabildo is a museum that tells the history of Louisiana from the time of the Native Americans until the Reconstruction Era. Many of the exhibit’s displays give you a glimpse into the daily lives of the locals. The museum also holds an exhibit that tells the story of music. Visitors should make sure to view the death mask of Napoleon that was donated to the museum by his doctor.

Why You Should Visit:
3 stories packed with the 300-year history of Louisiana – from its indigenous beginnings to the French/Spanish influence, Battle of New Orleans, significant people in the state's past, and more.
If you like history and facts, this is a great place to go. The upstairs also provides great outdoor views of Jackson Square.

Tip:
They sell a combo ticket with the Presbytere on the other side of the cathedral (or any other Louisiana State museum) with a 20% discount.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10am-4:30pm
4
The Presbytère

4) The Presbytère (must see)

The Presbytere, originally named the Casa Curial, is located on the site of the former Capuchin monk’s residence. Although the building was supposed to house the clergy, it never did. Currently, it houses exhibits from the Louisiana State Museum. It is located in the French Quarter near the Saint Louis Cathedral along Jackson Square.

Construction began in 1791 and was completed in 1813. The building was originally used for commerce until 1834. In 1834, the building was used by the Louisiana Supreme Court. In 1853, the cathedral was sold to the city. In 1908, the city sold the building to the state. In 1911, the museum became part of the Louisiana State Museum. In 1970, the structure was declared a National Historic Landmark.

One of the most interesting displays is the Hurricane Katrina exhibit. Hurricane Katrina was a major hurricane whose effects are still seen and felt in New Orleans today. There is also a Mardi Gras exhibit that tells the story of Fat Tuesday and its many traditions from beginning to end. Two of the highlights of the Mardi Gras exhibit are the realistic costumes and the float recreations.

Why You Should Visit:
Lots of beautiful artifacts such as crowns, scepters, costumes, and party accessories related to the Mardi Gras tradition on the second floor. Of course, the first floor had powerful and compelling images, documentaries, news, interviews, and artifacts related to Hurricane Katrina and its effect on Louisiana.

Tip:
Go upstairs and visit the Mardi Gras exhibits first, and then go through the Katrina exhibit last, as doing it the other way around might prevent you from enjoying the MG exhibits fully.
The whole exhibition space is much larger than expected – be ready to take about 90+min to get through both floors (especially if you read each poster/artifact).

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10am-4:30pm
5
New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum

5) New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum

Strange, unique, spooky, fun and scary, the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum provides the curious an introductory look into the world of Voodoo. Established in 1972 by artist Charles Massicot Gandolfo, the museum is located in the French Quarter between Bourbon Street and Royal Street. The museum’s focus is Louisiana Voodoo which is also known as New Orleans Voodoo.

Voodoo is an ancient religion, of spirits, whose roots are based in Western Africa. When the slaves landed on the shores of Louisiana, they brought this mysterious and often misunderstood practice with them. The Voodoo religion eventually merged with native French and Spanish culture to create its own distinct branch of the faith.

Although the museum only consists of two rooms, it is jam packed with items. There are skulls, altars, and masks everywhere. The local priestess will even give you a psychic reading in person or by phone. For those who wish to take the experience further, ritual services with local practitioners can be arranged. These services range from blessings and curse removals to weddings.

The gift shop sells love potions, books, chicken feet, gris-gris (amulet) bags, snake oils, books, dolls, candles, and other mementos. There is also a Voodoo Cemetery Walking Tour that takes you to the tomb of the great Marie. They are open seven days a week from 10 am to 6 pm.
6
Old US Mint / Jazz Museum

6) Old US Mint / Jazz Museum (must see)

The Old US Mint is the only building in the United States that was used to manufacture money for the US and Confederate government. Architect William Strickland designed the Greek Revival building which opened in 1835.

During the Civil War, the mint was captured by Confederate troops and used to make their money. Once Federal troops arrived in New Orleans, the mint was returned to the US government and production of American currency resumed.

In 1966, the building became property of the state of Louisiana and was opened to the public as part of the Louisiana State Museum. Today, the museum holds several exhibits such as the Jazz Exhibit, the Newcombe Pottery and Crafts Exhibit, and the Mississippi and the Making of a Nation Exhibit. In addition, the first floor of the museum has a series of displays that honor the building's monetary beginnings.

The Jazz Exhibit tells the story of Jazz from its inception until modern times. Visitors will be able to view the instruments, sheet music, and other memorabilia of many artists. The Newcomb Pottery and Crafts Exhibit presents the pottery, paintings, metalwork, and book bindings of students from the H. Sophie Newcomb College at Tulane University. The Mississippi and the Making of a Nation Exhibit features displays based on the National Geographic book of the same name.

The Louisiana Historical Museum, which is also a part of the building, is open to researchers Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 10 am 12 pm and 1 pm to 4 pm. The Old US Mint is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 4:30 pm. They are closed Monday and state holidays.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the rare things in the French Quarter that is suitable for children; also one of the few buildings not likely to be overwhelmed by tremendous crowds – if you need a break from the noise.
Displaying a small collection of coins, scales and coin presses, the 1st floor is a compelling way to view a tidbit of southern heritage.
2nd floor has a lot of very cool stuff from 'The Gift', New Orleans' favorite son, Louis Armstrong, and a separate room that celebrates women in Jazz.
The 3rd floor is an intimate performance space where you can attend free Jazz concerts with lots of audience interaction (2pm on Tuesdays!).

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10am-4:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
New Orleans African American Museum

7) New Orleans African American Museum

Located in the Tremé community in Tremé Villa, the New Orleans African American Museum presents the life, culture, music, and history of the New Orleans African American community. Tremé is one of the oldest surviving black communities in the United States and it is only fitting that the exhibition hall be located there. The building design reflects West Indies and French-colonial architecture.

The museum was built between 1828 and 1829 by Simon Meilleur and is located on the site of a former plantation. The artwork of established and up-and-coming artists is beautifully displayed throughout the building. The site features three courtyards and a gazebo in the center of the yard that everyone will enjoy when they visit.

Variety is the theme at the museum with the exhibits changing frequently. One of the best exhibits is the Louisiana-Congo: The Betrand Collection that displays an assortment of jewelry, clothing, masks, artifacts, and musical instruments from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The exhibit allows visitors to see some of the parallels between African and African American culture. They are open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm and by special appointment on days they are closed. It is strongly recommended to take the bus tour offered by the museum.

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.
Uptown Walking Tour in New Orleans

Uptown Walking Tour in New Orleans

Dating back to the 19th century, Uptown represents a big area of New Orleans situated on the East bank of the Mississippi River. Major attractions are located in the Uptown New Orleans Historic District. Take the tour below and discover by yourself the best that Uptown has to offer.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 Km or 3 Miles
Churches in New Orleans

Churches in New Orleans

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.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.4 Km or 4.6 Miles
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 or 0.9 Miles
Cultural Tour in Business District, New Orleans

Cultural Tour in Business District, New Orleans

For most of the people living in New Orleans, the Central Business District is just a crowded area home to skyscrapers, malls and casinos. However the district is also home to a large number of heritage sites, including some well-known museums. The tour below takes in the cultural side of the Business District.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
French Quarter: The museums

French Quarter: The museums

French Quarter is well known as a historic area. Little wonder then that you can find a lot of good museums here that reflect the history and culture of the district. Also brought to your attention are several house museums, often overlooked by most of the tourists. So do not hesitate, take this tour and discover by yourself the museums of the French Quarter.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Architectural Tour in New Orleans

Architectural Tour in New Orleans

If you are looking to learn about the heritage sites of New Orleans you might want to take this tour. Widely known for its variety of unique architectural styles, the city has lots of fine examples of buildings in the Greek Revival, the American Colonial and the Victorian styles. Check out the tour suggested below for an orientation.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles