French Quarter Nightlife, New Orleans (Self Guided)

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 to see the best this happening district has to offer guests to its fair city after the sun goes down.
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French Quarter Nightlife Map

Guide Name: French Quarter Nightlife
Guide Location: USA » New Orleans (See other walking tours in New Orleans)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.3 km
Author: ann
Pat O'Brien's

1) Pat O'Brien's

Originally opening in 1933, serving as a speakeasy during Prohibition, then moving to its present location in 1942, Pat O’Brien’s can be found inside an historic architecture dating back to 1791. Hosting several bars as well as a popular outdoor courtyard area equipped with a flaming fountain. The famous hurricane drink is claimed to have originated at this establishment. In addition to this original location, Pat O’Brien’s features several other locations throughout the Southeast. This great bar offers an exciting dueling pianos performance where guests are encouraged to make requests. This raucous kind of interactive entertainment is thought to have originated at Pat O’Brien’s as well.

Operation Hours: Monday – Thursday: 12 pm – 2 am; Friday – Saturday: 10 am – 4 am; Sunday: 10 am – 2 am
Preservation Hall

2) Preservation Hall

Established in 1961 with an aim at preserving traditional New Orleans Jazz, Preservation Hall can be found in the heart of the famous French Quarter on St. Peter Street just a few blocks from the Mississippi River. Hosting live jazz performances nearly every single night of the year, Preservation Hall incorporates over one hundred expert musicians from around New Orleans and also offers an educational program for children interested in playing jazz music as well. In recent years the house band has collaborated for tours and recordings for a number of artists outside the genre, including gospel, hip hop, rock, and other inventive blends of styles.

Opening hours: Monday- Wednesday: 12 pm- 5 pm, 8 pm- 11 pm; Thursday- Sunday: 12 pm- 5 pm, 6 pm- 11 pm.
Maison Bourbon Jazz Cub

3) Maison Bourbon Jazz Cub

One of the few remaining establishments found on New Orleans’ world famous Bourbon Street that still offer live jazz, Maison Bourbon Jazz Club also features a lot of vocal music, while a majority of other city clubs usually focus on instrumental jazz. Maison Bourbon is able to accommodate larger groups of guests in its second level Jazz Parlor with a reservation as well. This famous club is also known to be where some modern jazz greats got their start, most notably Harry Connick, Jr. Popular with both tourists and locals, Maison Bourbon Jazz Club remains one of the best places in the city for authentic New Orleans jazz.
My Bar @ 635

4) My Bar @ 635

An exquisitely restored bar found in New Orleans’ French Quarter right on Bourbon Street between St. Peter and Toulouse, My Bar @ 635 features regional sports and live music, as well as great drink specials throughout the week. This beautiful bar includes both a ground level bar and a bar on the balcony which also sports a great view of the action on Bourbon Street below. Its signature Drink, the VOODOO Purple Daiquiri is a popular choice, and something newcomers absolutely must try. In addition to live regional music, including jazz, blues, zydeco, R and B, and more, My Bar @ 635 also has several large screens playing sporting events of local interest.

Operation Hours: Daily: 11 am – 3 am
Cat's Meow

5) Cat's Meow

New Orleans’ most popular karaoke bar, the Cat’s Meow can be found in the French Quarter right on the famous Bourbon Street. There is always a line to get in outside the bar, and the inside can get quite packed with guests crowding the dance floor listening to the entertainment and participating in the fun themselves. Guests can choose from a selection of over 1000 popular favorites across several genres and show off their stuff in front of the crowd on the elevated stage. For a pleasant respite from the crowd downstairs, guests can make their way to the second level which features a balcony overlooking Bourbon Street.
Bourbon Heat

6) Bourbon Heat

Located inside the historic Tricou House on Bourbon Street, Bourbon Heat opened its doors in 2011 and has steadily become a favorite of both locals and tourists to New Orleans. Offering three different spaces for guests to an enjoy their evening out, the indoor bar is decorated with marble floors and elegant chandeliers, while the fifty-foot balcony is a popular choice boasting a great view of the perpetual action down below on Bourbon Street. The second floor hosts the dance club where DJs spin club beats all night long accompanied by lasers and dazzling lighting effects to a packed dance floor.

Operation Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11 am – 1 am; Friday: 10.30 am – 6 am; Saturday: 10 am – 6 am; Sunday: 11 am – 1 am
The Gold Mine

7) The Gold Mine

A refreshing change of pace from the bourbon Street madness of tourists and college students, the Gold Mine is a friendly little bar located inside a former jazz club in an historic building on the corner of Dauphine Street and St. Peter Street. Old arcade cabinets can be found inside, as well as vintage posters on the walls. The Gold Mine features a variety of great drink specials throughout the week, including two-for-one Flaming Dr. Peppers, a house specialty. This fun bar also features special nights throughout the week such as retro evenings and the popular Wheel of Booze with random drink specials every hour.

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.
African American Heritage Trail in New Orleans

African American Heritage Trail in New Orleans

The Louisiana African American Trail includes 26 sights located along the Mississippi River. Our tour will take you to the places on this trail that are located within the boundary of New Orleans, the starting point of this cultural heritage trail. Though this is a car tour, most of the attractions are located within walking distance. So don't hesitate to take the tour below and learn the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
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
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
Unusual Shopping Tour in New Orleans

Unusual Shopping Tour in New Orleans

Sick and tired of big malls that are pretty much the same everywhere? New Orleans has a few shops to surprise you with. Whether you are looking for some interesting or weird souvenir to bring home to your friends or whether you would like to have a piece of New Orleans for yourself, the following tour will take you to the right places to find it.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 km
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
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

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.