Located in the southeastern part of Louisiana, New Orleans is one of the largest cities in the state. Rich with culture and music, New Orleans is a must-visit city in the United States. But what if you will only have a 24 hour stopover in New Orleans? What are the top things to see and do within that very limited time frame? If you want to make the most of your 24 hours in New Orleans, we’ve created a layover guide to provide you with some of the top things to do and see.
Get to know the airport first
Before moving on to what to do during 24 hours in New Orleans, it would be best to familiarize yourself with the airport. The airport in New Orleans is called the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. There are four concourses (A, B, C, and D) in the airport, of which the C and D are the newest with better amenities and services.
Strong Wi-Fi connection is provided throughout the airport. There are some tax-free shops to cater for your shopping needs. If you need to get some rest, you can lay down for a little while (comfortable seats are available). There are no hotels in the airport, though there are a few near the airport. Also, you better have a sweater or a blanket with you because the airport is often a bit cold!
If you need to store your luggage, you can go to the luggage storage located on between Baggage Claims 5 and 6. Baggage storage is available for 24 hours upon request.
The last and probably most important thing you need to know is about transportation. The most affordable way to get to downtown New Orleans is by taking the Airport-Downtown Express bus. The fare is 2 USD/person. However, if you want to visit some other destinations, you can always grab a taxi. All taxis accept credit card, so you don’t have to worry about not having enough cash.
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)
Address: 900 Airline Dr, Kenner, LA 70062, USA
Prior to visiting to or traveling through the US, you should check with your home country to determine if you are eligible to enter without a visa. If you do need a visa, then you have to apply at the U.S. embassy in your country of residence. Our recommendation is to apply as early as possible because sometimes there may be quite a long queue to obtain a visa. If a visa is required for your country, but you just want to stay in the airport during your 24-hour layover in New Orleans, you might need a Transit © Visa. However, if you want to make the most of your 24 hours in New Orleans by traveling outside the airport, then you might need a Visitor (B) Visa.
Taxi2Airport is the easiest and most reliable way to get to and from the airport. Through secure online payments, you can book your airport transfers in advance, saving up to 35% on your journey.
1. Spend time at Jackson Square
Jackson Square in the French Quarter is a must-visit attraction in New Orleans, which means you have to go there! This historic square is a truly remarkable landmark of the city. There are a lot of historic buildings in the area that you can explore. As the most popular destination in New Orleans, you will find many shops, restaurants, merchants, and museums.
Address: 700 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Opening Hours: 8 am to 7 pm (during daylight savings time). 8 am to 6 pm (during winter).
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2. Visit St. Louis Cathedral
If you are already in Jackson Square, it will be easy to spot the St. Louis Cathedral because it is located exactly in front of the square. The cathedral represents the heart of old New Orleans. You can join a mass if you are interested or simply marvel at the exterior. Check the cathedral’s website to see the mass schedule.
St. Louis Cathedral
Address: 615 Pere Antoine Alley, New Orleans, LA 70116-3291
Website: St. Louis Cathedral
3. Shop at the French Market
Dining, shopping, or just taking a stroll … whatever you choose, you can do it at the French Market. The market has three centuries of history and six blocks of shopping.
Address: 1008 N. Peters Street, New Orleans, LA 70116
Opening Hours: 10 am to 6 pm (retail shops). 9 am to 6 pm (farmers’ market & flea market)
Website: French Market
4. Eat at Johnny’s
When you are in New Orleans, eating at Johnny’s is a must. Johnny’s is famous for its delicious po-boys (a meat and seafood sandwich) and is the oldest po-boy restaurant in the city. You must be patient if you visit Johnny’s, as the restaurant is always packed with people, so you may have to queue. But believe us, it is worth the wait. You may want to order more than one because the sandwiches are just so addicting! You can opt to take your po-boy to go to eat at the riverfront park that has the beautiful views of the Mississippi River.
Address: 511 St. Louis St., New Orleans, LA 70130
Opening Hours: 8 am to 4.30 pm
5. Shop or window shop at Fleur de Paris couture boutique
Stop by the Fleur de Paris couture boutique to see unique hats, bags, gowns, jewelry, and more. The boutique, which is the largest in the U.S., is located in the heart of the French Quarter. You can shop if you are interested, or you can just window shop.
Fleur de Paris couture boutique
Address: 523 Royal street, New Orleans, LA 70130
Price: from 299 USD
Website: Fleur de Paris couture boutique
6. Sip some handcrafted cocktails at Bar Tonique
If you are feeling thirsty and would like to taste some handcrafted cocktails, you should head to Bar Tonique. There is an extensive selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks served at the bar. A recommended drink to try is one of their daily specials, which costs about 5 USD per drink.
Address: 820 N. Rampart St.
Price: from 5 USD
Opening Hours: noon to 2 am
Website: Bar Tonique
7. Enjoy some jazz at the Spotted Cat Music Club
For jazz lovers, the Spotted Cat Music Club is an excellent place to hang out. You can spend about 50 minutes listening to jazz, New Orleans’ classic music. Did you know that sometimes people call New Orleans the Big Easy? There is a reason for this — the city is known for its laid-back attitude and easy-going nature, including the jazz musicians. Only those who are over 21 years old can enjoy the performances at this music club.
The Spotted Cat Music Club
Address: 623 Frenchmen St New Orleans, Louisiana 70116
Opening Hours: 2 pm to 2 am (weekdays). 12 pm to 12 am (weekends).
Website: The Spotted Cat Music Club
Be happy in New Orleans!
Even though you only have 24 hours in New Orleans, that should be enough time to feel that happiness that is all around you. You can enjoy the beautiful city, have some really good meals, shop, and listen to jazz. These are the best ways to make the most of your 24-hour layover in the Big Easy.
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