The 19 Best New Orleans Tours for 2021
If you’re looking for unique ways to experience the Big Easy, New Orleans tours are a great place to start.
How do you typically tour a new city? Do you stop in front of iconic buildings and snap a quick pic or pose for a selfie? Forget all that. Whether it’s by bus, boat, bike or on foot, the best New Orleans tours give you a taste of history combined with a heaping helping of culinary favorites, cultural influences and local art.
So, what’s the best way to experience the sights, flavors and cultures of Crescent City? Keep reading to find New Orleans tours that are perfect for your travel style.
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- New Orleans Walking Tours
- New Orleans Swamp Tours
- New Orleans Cemetery Tours
- New Orleans Bus Tours
- New Orleans Bike Tours
New Orleans Walking Tours
Some of the best New Orleans tours are taken on your own two feet. With an expert guide, you’ll explore beloved eateries and famous locales where you’ll get to experience the eclectic flavors and scenery of NOLA.
1. Cozymeal: Food Tours in New Orleans
Food tours in New Orleans take you through the historic streets and alleyways of the French Quarter, the Garden District and the revitalized Bywater neighborhood. As you stroll past street art and famous landmarks, you’ll taste beignets, gumbo, crawfish, pralines and more of the best food in New Orleans while learning about the region’s historic roots, sugarcane crops and the role that food plays in Creole and Cajun heritage. You just might discover a thing or two about Voodoo and the mighty Mississippi River on these New Orleans tours. Tours typically last two to three hours and include food samples. Tickets range from $65-$95 per person.
2. Gray Line New Orleans: New Orleans Craft Cocktail Walking Tour
The New Orleans Craft Cocktail Walking Tour from Gray Lines New Orleans makes a fun experience for groups or couples (over 21, of course). Visit historic bars and restaurants while learning about the history and culture of famous New Orleans drinks like the Sazerac, hurricane, Pimm’s Cup and New Orleans’ own Southern Comfort from master mixologists. This New Orleans tour also stops at Antoine’s Restaurant, the oldest family restaurant in New Orleans, where you can check out the wine cellar. Alcoholic beverages are not included but are available for purchase. Tours start around 4:00 p.m. and last two and half hours. Tickets are $29 per person.
3. Two Chicks Walking Tours: Grand Garden District Walking Tour
Get an in-depth peek into the Garden District with this New Orleans tour from Two Chicks Walking Tours. Expect to see sites such as celebrity homes, Victorian and Italianate architecture, and the 1856 Buckner Mansion, which was featured in American Horror Story: Coven as Miss Robichaux’s Academy. Your guide will share Louisiana history, Civil War tales and architectural facts on this New Orleans tour. Tours last about two hours and tickets are $29.99 per person.
4. New Orleans Secrets: Magazine Street Foodie Tour
Go beyond the traditional gumbo to discover new and unique cuisine. This three-hour New Orleans tour from New Orleans Secrets is not for “tasters;” it’s for eaters. You’ll end up getting a full meal by the time you’re done. It includes six menu items, a pint of local beer or soda, gelato and a cup of coffee as you travel to four restaurants and a dessert boutique in the Garden District. There is a limit of eight guests on this New Orleans tour, which is a nice size to get a personalized experience. Tickets are $79 per person, or you can pay $475 for a private tour.
5. Livery Tours: Garden District and Cemetery Tour
Livery Tours’ guides are entertaining and informative as they share facts and tales about the Victorian mansions, celebrity homes and oak-lined avenues of the Garden District. This New Orleans tour ends with a look at Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. Sites along the way include the 1849 Briggs-Staub House, Louise S. McGehee School and the 1872 Bradish Johnson House. Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for children, and the tour lasts approximately two hours.
6. Two Chicks Walking Tours: Garden District Mansions and Magnolias
This New Orleans tour from Two Chicks Walking Tours meets at the Henry Howard Hotel (where you can order an adult beverage of choice beforehand) and lasts about two hours. It’s a nice way to learn about the mansions, gardens, flowers and trees of the Garden District as well as the region’s agriculture and crops. Tickets are $29.99.
New Orleans Swamp Tours
Take a break from the lively streets and jazz-filled sidewalks of the French Quarter with New Orleans tours of Louisiana’s swamps and bayous. You can take airboat tours in New Orleans, or explore via kayak or pontoon boat while you see towering bald cypress trees, egrets, gators and pelicans. Whether your visions of the bayou come from Interview With a Vampire or lean more toward Disney’s Princess and the Frog, these are New Orleans tours you won’t forget.
7. Gray Line New Orleans: New Orleans Swamp & Bayou Tour
The New Orleans Swamp & Bayou Tour from Gray Line New Orleans is a unique and informative tour for families and nature enthusiasts. Slow and steady flat-bottomed boats glide quietly through lush foliage of Honey Island Swamp, one of the state’s last protected wetlands. Expert guides share information about the trees and wildlife and point out bald eagles, turtles, alligators and more. You’ll also get to visit a Cajun village that’s only accessible by boat. This New Orleans tour lasts about three and a half hours. Tickets are $52 for adults and $29 for children.
8. Airboat Adventures: Airboat Adventure Tours
Nothing says New Orleans bayou tour better than an airboat ride. For a family-friendly adrenaline rush, check out the airboat tours from Airboat Adventures. Airboats zoom through the tidewater swampland near the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Keep an eye out for alligators, turtles, egrets and ibises. These two-hour New Orleans tours leave from the town of Lafitte, about 30 miles from Downtown New Orleans. Tickets are $79 per person for small groups, or $55 per person for large groups up to 30.
9. New Orleans Kayak Swamp Tours: Manchac Swamp
Kayaks have access to narrow waterways that can’t be reached by a traditional boat. This two-hour kayak tour from New Orleans Kayak Swamp Tours takes you through the Spanish-moss draped waterways of the Manchac Swamp. Learn about local wildlife, trees, plants and other ecology of the area. It’s suitable for novice or experienced kayakers. All gear is included in this New Orleans tour. Tours last about two hours and tickets are $59.
10. Cajun Encounters: Sunset Night Tour
Switch it up and take a sunset bayou tour with Cajun Encounters! This two-hour New Orleans tour offers a sunset look at Honey Island Swamp. It’s offered in the spring and summer at 7:30 p.m. Guides use a spotlight to get a look at creatures like wild boars, alligators, owls and more. If you provide your own transportation, tickets are $30.50 for adults and $20.50 for kids. If you have pickup arranged, tickets are $57.50 for adults and $37.50 for children.
New Orleans Cemetery Tours
If you’ve ever wanted to walk among the massive headstones and mausoleums depicted in Double Jeopardy, Easy Rider and Showtime’s Your Honor, you can’t miss a New Orleans cemetery tour at sites such as St. Louis and Lafayette Cemetery. In addition to being great for history buffs, these are also fun options for those looking for New Orleans ghost tours.
11. Witches Brew Tours: Voodoo, French Quarter & Cemetery Walking Tour
Experience the dark side of New Orleans during the day with the help of Witches Brew Tours. On this three-in-one experience, you’ll visit the shotgun homes and elaborate mansions of the French Quarter while learning about the city’s ties to Voodoo and its above-ground burial traditions. Attractions on this New Orleans tour include Louis Armstrong Park, Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, cemeteries, St. Louis Cathedral and a small Voodoo ritual shop specializing in oils, amulets and other items. Tours last approximately two hours; tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children.
12. French Quarter Phantoms: Canal Street Cemeteries & Katrina Memorial Tour
This engaging tour from French Quarter Phantoms takes you to the end of the Canal Streetcar line where you’ll get to explore the Charity Hospital Hurricane Katrina Memorial, Cypress Grove (also known as the Firemen's Cemetery) and Greenwood Cemeter6]y. You’ll also get to visit the entrances to the Dispersed of Judah Cemetery, Odd Fellows Rest and St Patrick's No. 1 and No. 2 Cemeteries. This New Orleans tour lasts around two hours. Tickets are $17 for adults and $2 for children.
13. Free Tours by Foot: St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 Tour
This fun New Orleans tour by Free Tours by Foot is a great way to explore the infamous “City of the Dead” without blowing your budget. You’ll visit the famous 18th century graveyard St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 — home to a labyrinth of tombs and the final resting place of several notable NOLA figures, including Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau. This New Orleans tour is two hours long, and admission is pay-as-you-like for small groups (plus a required $2 cemetery preservation fee). Groups of six to nine guests must prepay $12 per person.
New Orleans Bus Tours
Hop aboard New Orleans tours by bus and experience the French Quarter and surrounding areas in air-conditioned comfort. You’ll go beyond Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral to explore the monuments, architecture and post-Katrina neighborhoods of the Crescent City.
14. Louisiana Tour Company: New Orleans City & Katrina Tour
Tired of walking? The New Orleans City & Katrina Tour from Louisiana Tour Company offers an introduction to the city from the comfort of an air-conditioned mini bus. Professional guides go into the history, architecture and culture of the French Quarter and Garden District. You’ll also visit the lakefront area and the 9th Ward where you’ll learn about the ongoing recovery and what’s being done to prevent another event like Hurricane Katrina. This fun New Orleans tour lasts about three hours and tickets start at $25.
15. City Sightseeing: New Orleans Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour
Designed for travelers who don’t want to commit to a fully organized itinerary, City Sightseeing’s New Orleans Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour takes you to 19 different spots around the area. There’s onboard commentary, and you’ll have a live local guide when you decide to hop off at locations such as the Mercedes Benz Superdome, the French Market and more. These day-long New Orleans tours last from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. and tickets start at $39. Attraction entrance fees, food and beverages are not included.
16. Celebration Tours: New Orleans City Tour
See the sites aboard Celebration Tours’ 14-seat passenger van. It’s small enough to navigate the narrow streets of the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, making it one of the best New Orleans tours. Sites along the way include the French Market, Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, Tulane and Loyola Universities, and the Musician’s Village in the 9th Ward, where you’ll learn about reconstruction after Hurricane Katrina. This New Orleans tour lasts up to three hours and includes transportation to and from your hotel. Tickets are $49 per person.
New Orleans Bike Tours
New Orleans tours by bike are a unique alternative for couples, singles or families. Several tour companies offer fully guided tours of historic landmarks, gardens and Southern scenery to provide some of the best tours in New Orleans.
17. Confederacy of Cruisers: Creole New Orleans Bike Tour
This three-hour New Orleans tour from Confederacy of Cruisers takes you beyond the typical tourist sites of New Orleans. It covers six miles of sites and scenery at a leisurely pace. You’ll ride through the historic Bywater and Faubourg Marigny neighborhoods and past the brass bands, shotgun houses and social clubs of Tremé. Prices are $49 per person; $44 if you bring your own bike. There is a limit of eight guests and a minimum of two.
18. BuzzNola: Garden Quarter Combo Tour
See all the best of the French Quarter and the Garden District aboard BuzzNola’s easy-to-ride electric bikes. Local guides are fun and informative as they share facts and trivia on this three-hour guided Garden Quarter Combo Tour. You’ll pedal along the banks of the Mississippi and avenues lined with live oaks and Victorian mansions. There is a walking portion that goes through Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. Helmets and water are included on this New Orleans tour. Riders must be at least 12, and tickets are $50 each.
19. FreeWheelin’ Bike Tours: Original Creole & Crescent Bike Tour
On this New Orleans tour from FreeWheelin’ Bike Tours, you’ll spend about three hours leisurely pedaling along Esplanade Avenue, St. Louis Cemetery No. 3 and the Marigny, Tremé and Bywater neighborhoods. Energetic tour guides share Creole history and other Crescent City tales. With a maximum of 10 people, it’s a nice choice for couples or small families. This New Orleans tour includes bike rental, helmets, baskets and water. Tickets are $50.
Now that you have a collection of ideas, you’re all ready to start planning your next New Orleans tour adventure. Whether it’s discovering the bayou, trying local cuisine or strolling past the mansions, gardens and wrought iron gates of the Garden District and French Quarter, it’s time to let the good times roll.
For even more ways to explore exciting cuisines, check out other experiences happening on Cozymeal.