French Quarter, New Orleans

4.5 out of 5 stars 54 Reviews

90 blocks

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • French Quarter
    by Madasabull
  • French Quarter
    by Madasabull
  • Dirty Linen Night Sign
    Dirty Linen Night Sign
    by TravellerMel
  • jadedmuse's Profile Photo

    People Watching in the French Quarter

    by jadedmuse Updated Aug 7, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the 20 years I've been acquainted with New Orleans, I've yet to visit the French Quarter and NOT see some poor hapless idiot gripping one of those streetlamps (just like you see in the cartoon postcards), spilling his guts out onto the street.

    The weird thing about drinking in New Orleans is that the alcohol feels different - instead of throwing up and reading that as a sign that the night's over, you somehow become reborn, able to rededicate yourself to more obnoxious behavior on Round #2 toward Intoxication.

    Whether by day or night, you'll see street performers and mimes on the hustle, watch transsexuals catwalking down Bourbon to reach their area of town (past the 800 block), catch strippers in sleazy bar entrances (long mirrors are situated at the entrances so you can see them do their stuff - sometimes a single dancer is hired just to lie face down on the mirror), or simply observe your fellow visitor laying prone on the street or catching a few zzzzzzzs on a streetside curb, in presumably in between drinking sessions.

    If you're lucky, you'll even get to watch the police holding back hecklers as the Jesus Freaks quietly picket outside an establishment, condemning the revelers to an afterlife in Hell without a get-out-of-jail pass.

    Typical street scene in the Quarter

    Was this review helpful?

  • Cabana_Boy's Profile Photo

    The French Quarter Festival....

    by Cabana_Boy Updated May 10, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    French Quarter Festival signals the end of Lent and the return to booze and all out gluttony for so many people here in Nola...and FQ Fest 2004 was a barnburner indeed. Yours truly did his personal best to never be caught without a beer in his hand (not that I gave up anything for Lent either).

    This festival is the prelude to the big one, Jazzfest, but in a way, FQ Fest is New Orleans' own festival....most of the musical acts are local, so there aren't a lot of bands butting in from outta town.

    The only problem is that there are so many bands and stages that there's simply too many choices to choose from....but the weather is turning nice, not too hot, not too cold (as if it gets cold here), all the girls are breaking out their summer dresses, the beers are flowing and brass bands are pumpin' funky grooves.

    My highlights for FQ Fest 2004 were Bonerama. With more trombones than you can shake a stick at, Mark Mullins and the boys blew more hot air through their horns than Edwin Edwards did during his entire tenure as Governor of Louisiana. My favorite highlights of the show were Matt Perrine's cocky Sousaphone solo and Mark Mullins running his trombone through a wah-wah pedal....great stuff for any fan of the brass band....

    On Sunday, I caught Washboard Chaz, who is always fun to listen to. And over on the Satchmo Stage, the Treme Brass Band was in full swing, a classic act to watch. It does the heart of any music aficionado good to see these old dudes blowing their horns, beaten' their drums, strummin' their banjos and belting out lyrics from days gone by....
    Naturally, Coco Robicheaux and Spiritland was a must see in the late afternoon, but the night belonged to the charismatic Mr. Henry Butler and the Game Band.

    Henry Butler & the Game Band at FQF 2004
    Related to:
    • Festivals
    • Music
    • Beer Tasting

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bela_LUng's Profile Photo

    It's all true!!!!

    by Bela_LUng Written May 1, 2004

    Oh man. Going to New Orleans requires you to go to the French Quarter (also known as the "Vieux Carre" - french for Old Square).

    The bars are open 24hrs a day, you can drink in the streets, and you must have the cajun catfish.

    If you plan on heading to the French Quarter, you do not need to wait till Mardi Gras. The quarter is best handled when the crowds are not overbearing - and keep in mind, the crowds at Mardi Gras contain a crazy amount of drunk young kids who can't handle their booze so watch out for the puke. hahah.

    Anyways, great times, great place. Go!

    Was this review helpful?

  • French Quarter

    by peach93 Written Mar 31, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The French Quarter is the original part of the city of New Orleans. Its buidlings are all historic and it is home to most of the city's hotels and many restaurants. It is nearly impossible to drive and park here so walking is best. Spend a day or two walking the streets and visiting the many boutiques and shops, or just sit in a cafe and watch people go by while you listen to live music.

    French Quarter Wall Sign

    Was this review helpful?

  • Zarah's Profile Photo

    Le Quartier Francais

    by Zarah Written Jan 26, 2004

    The French Quarter is where you'll find most for the action. From Bourbon Street outward, the French Quarter is home to lots of bars, restaurants, hotels, shops that sell everything from voodoo artifacts, sex toys, beads and masks, and hotels.

    A stroll through the French Quarter can be enough to fill your afternoon. It's great for people watching and free jazz.

    Admire the architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • tompt's Profile Photo

    French Quarter

    by tompt Updated Nov 22, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When In New Orleans you have to go to the French Quarter. It is the neighbourhood where the bars and the distinctive buildings are.
    It is also the oldest neighbourhood of New Orleans. This is where the city was born .
    The area is authentic, not a reproduction of history. Many of the buildings here date back to the 1700's. But most of the architecture is Spanish, not French. That is because the city was destroyed by a huge fire and rebuilt in when it was in spanish hands.

    Was this review helpful?

  • gussymons's Profile Photo

    The All-American Circus

    by gussymons Written Jul 1, 2003

    NBC. ABC. New York Times. The Hill-Billy Gazzete. The one thing that unites America is their insatiable love of living vicariously through the eyes of the all-powerful media.

    Despised and loved in equal measure, it is hard not to miss them and as if to prove my point I stumbled upon a T.V. Press conference in the French Quarter totally randomly.

    Here I met the mayor - a reasonable guy from what I hear, despite being a politician (c.f. 'Utopia').

    A genuine TV Press conference
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • spartan's Profile Photo

    New Orleans French Quarter

    by spartan Updated May 30, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The magical name that conjures up images of history, architecture, food, drink, and fun in the minds of people throughout the world. New Orleans is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the universe. Visit and you will see why.

    It's easy to fall in love with New Orleans and be romanced by the world famous French Quarter. This 10 block square is a mosaic of colors, sounds, tastes, smells and feelings like no other place in the world. Nestled in the Mississippi River's crescent, the Quarter is a blend of old and new traditions, cultures and customs.

    Related to:
    • Music
    • Historical Travel
    • Food and Dining

    Was this review helpful?

  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Wrought-Iron in the French Quarter

    by yooperprof Written Apr 30, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The French Quarter is like no other neighborhood in the United States. They do things differently here. I love to pay attention to the rich architectural details - especially the abundant wrought iron which adorns houses, shops, restaurants. Isn't it amazing that a pre-modern, pre-industrial society could create a cityscape of wonderful design? Of course, they didn't have to accomodate the cursed automobile. The French Quarter is not car-friendly - do not drive your SUV here. So much of modern America is incredibly ugly - a place like the French Quarter is a deserved slap in the face to every W------T SuperCenter that blights the landscape.

    Genteel streetscape
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • The French Quarter

    by learndastronomer Updated Apr 21, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Walk the whole Quarter while there. Bourbon St is fabulous, but the crowds and con men aren't quite so bad on the side streets, which also offer great food. But if you want to find great music at any time. Hit Bourbon St!

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Music
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • seagoingJLW's Profile Photo

    Stroll Through the French Quarter

    by seagoingJLW Written Apr 1, 2003

    Stroll through the French Quarter. During the day, stop to shop (and enjoy lagniappe.) At night enjoy the activity along Bourbon Street and all the marvelous jazz music, especially at Preservation Hall.

    Bourbon Street is just as crowded during the day.

    Bourbon Street

    Was this review helpful?

  • goingsolo's Profile Photo

    Vieux Carr- The French Quarter

    by goingsolo Updated Mar 26, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The oldest part of the city -- The French Quarter, or Vieux Carr, which means "old square." The Quarter is the most historic area in all of New Orleans. The area it occupies is the same six by thirteen block area laid out in 1722 as the original . Established in 1718 by the French as a military outpost , the mile-square spent the first half-century of its existence as a French settlement. Unlike the English colonies, the original citizens of New Orleans proudly embraced and celebrated their French heritage.
    When New Orleans was acquired by the Spanish in 1763, the French settlers accepted their new Spanish cousins with a minor amount of revolt and bloodshed. From this melding of the 2 cultures, combined with a generous sprinkling of African influences from the slave population, that Creole society and cuisine were born. (The "French" architecture for which the Quarter is famous is actually Spanish, the entire city having burned in 1788 and much of it again in 1794.)
    The U.S. made the Louisiana purchase in 1803 and New Orleans became American. At that time, a physical and spiritual separation began, with the newly created Canal Street as the boundary.
    In time, the Creoles expanded beyond the Quarter as well, across and down Esplanade Ave, but the Quarter remained the heart and soul of New Orleans - a quintessentially European experience that has lost little of its old-world character and appeal despite the ravages of time and the influx of visitors that descend upon it.
    Today, the Quarter is a cross between Ocean Drive on South Beach, the Tiki Bar in Islamorada and an island tourist destination. By day, the Quarter and the French Market adopt a leisurely pace, in tempo with the smooth jazz rhythms played by musicians on outdoor patios at the numerous cafes or along the streets. The crowd meanders past shops selling beads, cajun specialties, voodoo charms and other NOLA paraphrenalia. Past the straving artists, plying their trade in music, art or performance.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    The French Quarter

    by keeweechic Written Oct 26, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This section of town is where most people choose to stay when visiting New Orleans as it is close to many things as well as having the feel of New Orleans. With the old wrought iron decorations on the typical Louisianan architectural designed buildings, it still retains a residential neighbourhood feel. A lot of the streets are named for saints and sinners from New Orleans past. There is so much charm and rooted tradition in this area.
    .

    Was this review helpful?

  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    Decatur Street - French Quarter

    by keeweechic Written Oct 26, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    At one time Decatur Street was quite an unsavoury area of seedy accommodation and dilapidated rowdy bars. Fortunately that has all changed and the street is now in keeping with the rest of the French Quarter with good restaurants and bars and stores.
    .

    Was this review helpful?

  • steph4867's Profile Photo

    The French Quarter.

    by steph4867 Written Sep 7, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The French Quarter (or Vieux Carré, as it's sometimes called) was the city's original focal point and remains its chief tourist draw. It houses nearly all New Orleans' signature tourist icons, and Bourbon Street alone, with its stormy nightlife and naughty sex shows, defines the city's bawdy character. Whether you're a teetotaler or a dipso, a walking tour of the Quarter is a must.

    What surprises most newcomers is that despite the name, the Quarter is noted for its Spanish, not French, architecture. With the exception of the Old Ursuline Convent - the oldest building in New Orleans, dating from 1745 - the district's French-designed buildings were destroyed by the tremendous fires of 1788 and 1794. The distinctly Spanish character that emerged in the rebuilt city is seen today in its broad window openings, crowned by graceful arches, and handsome fan-shaped transoms. Lacy ironwork railings on galleries overhanging the street are particularly emblematic.

    Royal Street, the 'Main Street' of the French Quarter, is the postcard image of the neighborhood: its cast-iron galleries and Greek Revival buildings make camera shutters click like locusts in heat. Jackson Square remains the central and most important starting point for visitors to the Quarter, with its nebulous assortment of street musicians, artists, fortune tellers and mimes doing their shtick on the sidewalk. On adjacent Chartres St, two notable history museums are the Cabildo and the Presbytère, the former emphasizing the external impact of New Orleans, the latter concentrating on its internal history.

    Even if you wouldn't give a nickel to see where the coins used to come from, the Old US Mint's Mardi Gras Museum exhibits on New Orleans Carnival history should get your attention. Upstairs, the memorabilia comprising the Mint's New Orleans Jazz Exhibit imparts a clear sense of how jazz evolved - from its roots in the rhythms brought by African slaves to recent Jazz Fest performances.

    Just inside the entrance to St Louis Cemetery No 1 sits the most visited gravesite in all of New Orleans, the purported resting place of voodoo queen Marie Laveau; you'll recognize it as the unkempt tomb covered with the chalkmarked X's of devotees. If you want the city's history in a nutshell, the National Park Service's free 'History of New Orleans' tour departs from their visitor center on N Peters St.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: New Orleans

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

37 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near French Quarter
4.5 out of 5 stars
3 Reviews
0 miles away
Show Prices
3.5 out of 5 stars
1 Review
0 miles away
Show Prices
3.0 out of 5 stars
1 Review
0 miles away
Show Prices

View all New Orleans hotels