Top Seven Things to Do in New Orleans’ Historic French Quarter


The French Quarter, or Vieux Carre, is the heart and soul of New Orleans. Each historic building, hidden courtyard, and wrought-iron balcony exude timeless charm from years of preservation. Amidst Bourbon Street’s neon lights and Jackson Square’s colorful art lie centuries-old stories of the French Quarter’s past.

After Jean Baptiste Bienville founded the French Quarter in 1718, decades of rivalrous French and Spanish rule followed. The French Quarter’s diverse residents crafted a melting pot of architecture, decadent cuisine, and lively spirits that define the neighborhood.

Even after centuries of existence, the French Quarter holds so much, new and old, to discover. The Vieux Carre is a living testament to the city’s enduring narrative and knack for eclectic culture. There are endless things to do in the French Quarter, promising visitors soulful memories to keep forever.

Stroll through Jackson Square in the French Quarter

Take a stroll through Jackson Square, a distinguished National Historic Landmark at the center of the French Quarter. Within this iconic square of landmarks, museums, and vendors resides hours of exploration. Jackson Square is a top pick if there’s only room for one thing to do in the Vieux Carre.

Marvel at the bronze statue of Andrew Jackson, flanked by the square’s historic buildings. St. Louis Cathedral, North America’s oldest Catholic church, is the most recognizable. Completing the ensemble, the Cabildo and the Presbytère buildings house various museums, apartments, and shops. Buskers, card readers, artists, and street entertainers fill the open-air space with energetic entertainment at all hours of the day.

Visit Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter

While visiting Jackson Square in the French Quarter, a breakfast stop at Cafe du Monde is a top thing to do. Its world-famous namesake translates to “Café of the World” in French and has been a mainstay in the Vieux Carre since 1862. Visitors can indulge in an iconic café au lait with powdered sugar-coated beignets in an open-air setting. Cafe du Monde’s historic essence and aromatic delights make it a sweet New Orleans experience.

Listen to Live Music on Frenchmen Street in the French Quarter

Frenchmen Street is the self-proclaimed music district of New Orleans. Live jazz music echoes from the city’s many iconic venues like Snug Harbor, the Spotted Cat, d.b.a., Blue Nile, and Café Negril. The street is a staple in the New Orleans music scene and a treasured favorite of locals and visitors. Stopping by any club on Frenchmen Street is a fun way to experience the jazzy nightlife of the French Quarter.

Visit Preservation Hall in the French Quarter

One of the best things to do in the French Quarter is experience live jazz music. Preservation Hall in the Vieux Carre has kept traditional New Orleans jazz music alive since 1961. The historic music venue hosts live musicians seven days a week in an intimate, acoustic setting.

Celebrate on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter

Embrace New Orleans’ spirited party culture on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. Partygoers will find classic drinks like the Hurricane, French 75, and Sazerac at the street’s bustling bars. Beyond the cocktails and neon lights lie some of the oldest establishments in the city, like Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar and Galatoire’s.

Visit St. Louis Cemetary No. 1 in the French Quarter

New Orleans’ oldest cemetery, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, resides in the French Quarter. Established in 1789, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is one of the Vieux Carre’s most popular things to do. Wander through the labyrinth of above-gound tombs and meet some of the French Quarter’s most famous residents.

Shop at the French Market in the French Quarter

The French Market has been a premier shopping destination since 1791. Stretching five blocks along the Mississippi River, this flea market captivates visitors with its diverse vendors. Food vendors, artists, and skilled crafters showcase their offerings seven days a week. The addition of live music creates an atmospheric shopping experience full of New Orleans spirit.

Experience New Orleans at J Collection’s French Quarter Courtyard Hotel and Suites

The J Collection represents a portfolio of independent and branded hotels in New Orleans. J Collection’s vast destinations ensure a hotel for everyone and any occasion. One of the best hotels to experience New Orleans is the French Quarter Courtyard Hotel and Suites, located at 1101 N Rampart Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. Book a stay with the French Quarter Courtyard Hotel and Suites and create one-of-a-kind New Orleans memories.