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New Orleans French Quarter Walking and History Tour

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New Orleans, United States

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icon2 hours 30 minutes  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English

Overview

Immerse yourself in the best of the French Quarter on this 2.5‐hour historical walking tour. An entertaining local guide will lead you through the Vieux Carré, along the mighty Mississippi River, and to Louis Armstrong Park and Jackson Square, describing the city’s cultural history and diverse colonial heritage. See notable literary and cinematic landmarks, bustling scenes of local life, and architectural gems including some of the nation’s oldest buildings.
  • Visit St Louis Cathedral, the oldest continuously operating cathedral in the United States
  • Note the Spanish and French influence on New Orleans at the Cabildo, the Presbytere and the Pontalba buildings
  • See where literary greats like William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams wrote some of their famous works
  • Take in the Mississippi River and learn how the fertile delta gave rise to New Orleans’ growth
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Local guide
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Gratuities
Food and drinks

Departure Point

Cafe Beignet, Bourbon Street, 311 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Your tour of the enchanting French Quarter begins in Musical Legends Park. Choose a morning or evening start time and meet your friendly local guide for a 2.5‐hour educational promenade. You’ll set off first for the Mississippi riverbank. Admire paddlewheel steamboats drifting on the water and learn about the levee system that converted this sea‐level swampland to a livable space, ripe for agriculture and building.     

Along the way, visit the waterside French Market. Legend has it that this site – now the oldest open‐air market in the US – was once a bartering market for Native Americans. Wander through the stalls and check out local produce, fish and Creole delicacies. Then pass by the Ursuline Convent, the oldest building in the Mississippi Valley, en route to your next stop: Jackson Square. 

On the site of the original Place d’Armes, Jackson Square is an honorary landmark to New Orleans’ war hero Andrew Jackson. See Louisiana’s Cabildo and Presbytere museums and the Pontalba Apartments, the oldest apartment buildings in the United States! Pass by the origination point of the Great New Orleans Fire of 1788 as you head into St Louis Cathedral. 

Afterwards, you’ll have the rare opportunity to visit a Creole courtyard, generally cloistered from the public, and see a quadroon ballroom – both architectural symbols of the complexity and singularity of Creole culture.  

Between stops, enjoy some literary landmark spotting and performance art in the streets! You’ll pass the building where Tennessee Williams wrote A Streetcar Named Desire, visit William Faulkner’s home and stroll through Pirate’s Alley, the infamous location replete in legend of pirates, duels and covert negotiations.

Your 2‐mile (3.2 km) walk ends near the Mississippi River levee.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
French Quarter
Make your own way to Musical Legends Park to meet your guide for your walking tour. After introductions, stroll a short distance to the banks of the Mississippi River where you learn how levee construction transformed the swamp into fertile farmland, making New Orleans an important hub in the region.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
French Market
Continue by walking through the French Market, the oldest open-air market in the US.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Old Ursuline Convent Museum
Stand outside the Mississippi River valley’s oldest building, the Ursuline Convent, whose history provides a window onto early colonization efforts in Louisiana.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Jackson Square
Next, you will head to Jackson Square, the heart of the French Quarter
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Cabildo
See important sites including the Cabildo - built between 1795 and 1799 - this building once housed the center of government in New Orleans and it is now the Louisiana State Museum.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Pass By:  
The Presbytere
See the Presbytere - built in 1791 to match the Cabildo is a fascinating museum with 2 permanent exhibits telling of both the cities resilience and celebration.
Pass By:  
Pontalba Buildings
Learn about these block-long buildings which form two sides of Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter of New Orleans.
Stop At:  
St. Louis Cathedral
Your guide takes you inside St Louis Cathedral and shows you where the Great New Orleans Fire of 1788 started, explaining how rebuilding post-fire resulted in what is now considered the classic architectural style of the French Quarter.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Pirates Alley
Next, step into a lush Creole courtyard and learn about the complexities of Creole society and slavery in South Louisiana. Walk to the balcony of the former Quadroon Ballroom while your guide explains the former lives of Creole mistresses and the system known as 'placage.' During your tour, your guide points out film sites and literary haunts such as the building where Tennessee Williams wrote ‘A Streetcar Named Desire.’ You'll enter William Faulkner’s home before you stop at Pirate's Alley, where your guide recounts local legends about prison escapes and dueling. Also, enjoy the tunes of talented street musicians as you stroll.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Mississippi River
Choose from a morning or evening tour and expect to walk about 2 miles (3.2 km) at a leisurely pace before wrapping up near the Mississippi River levee.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 9 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Historic New Orleans Tours

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the maximum group size during New Orleans French Quarter Walking and History Tour?
A:
This activity will have a maximum of 9 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by New Orleans French Quarter Walking and History Tour.

Traveler Photos

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
109 Reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 109 reviews
star-5
GREAT Tours!
Michael_M
, Dec 2020
Anna was VERY attentive and knowledgeable. Would gladly take a tour with the company, the next time we are in the city!
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star-5
Amazing French Quarter Tour
Kim_W
, Nov 2020
Randy our tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly ! He made us laugh while being very informative. Thank you for the amazing tour of the French Quarter!
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star-5
French quarter history tour
Valentina_N
, Oct 2020
Dave did excellent job! Very professional and experienced! He gave us a lot of information about French quarter history. Will recommend
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star-5
French Quarter Tour
Patricia_L
, Feb 2020
Loved the tour! Our guide was so informative and I learned so many new things about New Orleans. Highly recommend.
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star-5
NOLA up close and personal
ejan0516
, Feb 2020
Our guide was fabulous - knew so much history and having grown up in NOLA was able to give those personal facts that added to the story. He took the time needed to answer all of our questions!
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Awesome Tour for History & Architecture Lovers
allisonxpreston
, Jan 2020
We had a fantastic tour with Tony, a local who grew up near the French Quarter. It was a slow day so we were the only ones on the tour and Tony went above and beyond to talk about the history and architecture in the area and how the French Quarter has changed throughout the years.
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star-3
Not as extensive as I expected
THERESAL257
, Jun 2019
Gwen was very nice but she really just skimmed the history of New Orleans. She really only talked about the difference in house design by Creoles vs Americans.
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star-4
Interesting history
2OHteachers
, Apr 2019
Antonino is a knowledgeable, affable guide. He answered all questions respectfully and was especially patient with a family with young children.
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star-5
Walking Tour
Silvia O
, Mar 2019
This tour was just right ,, very informative and interesting. I enjoyed the site seeing and went back to some of the places shown throughout the tour.
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star-5
Wonderful tour
betsbosak
, Dec 2018
My guide was Frank and he was a fountain of information. Really wonderful tour. Highly recommend it.
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Product code: 6830NOLAWALK

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