Combined, New Orleans
Parking spaces are rare - parking tickets are abundant. Trying to drive through the Quarter has to be nerve wracking as there are people walking everywhere, the streets are narrow and short, and no one is watching for cars. If you're not staying in the Quarter and wish to visit, take a streetcar and then walk the Quarter.
The St. Charles trolley is a convenient, inexpensive and scenic way to get from downtown to Uptown and back. You must have exact change, $1.25 each way. St. Charles Street is also a parade route, so be on the lookout for beads and trinkets hanging from low branches of trees. Rumour has it that after each parade, Bourbon street vendors walk along the parade route and snag beads and such from trees, and then re-sell them in their shops.
The line starts at Canal/Carondolet Street in the Quarter and runs to Claiborne Avenue. It will take some time to ride the trolley from beginning to end as there are many stops along the way. Locals also use the streetcars to get to work/school.
Along the way, the trolley goes past part of the Garden District, Magazine Street, and then to the Riverbend shopping district.
The Canal Street trolley was recently revamped in 2004. It's air conditioned, so may be worth $1.25 if you're there in the hot months. I didn't use this trolley, but maps are available everywhere.
We walked a lot, you cant really enjoy a city without walking the streets of it and New Orleans is one of them
Our hotel was located at French quarter so even at night we walked around easily and safe but we saw a lot of taxis all the time. The guides suggest not to walk alone late at night and prefer to take a taxi to return back to your hotel. What’s more usually all the hotels will help you to find one, they will call and the taxi will be there in less than 10’
Locals buses and street cars
We didn’t use any local bus but we used some times the street cars which were interesting but not very helpful as they cover only a small part of the city. You will probably wont need it much but you can use a street car to go to Garden District and another one for the City park. The single ticket costs $1.25, you just put the exact amount at the machine behind the driver (he wont make change for you). If you plan to use it a lot buy a day pass for $5 or a 3day pass for $12 so you hop on and off as many times as you want.
These old vintage cars are really nice to see even if you don’t use them at all.
St.Charles route is the most popular line, it’s the oldest one and easily recognizable of the green cars, many of them were made back in the 20s!.
Canal Street line has some beautiful red cars and runs from Canal street up to City Park.
Finally, there is another one (short one) the riverfront line that starts from Aquarium at the foot of Canal St
use a car only to go away from NO for daytrips. You wont really need it inside the city, you can easily visit all the main sites by walking or using local transports. What’s more it’s very difficult to find a free parking spot and those that you have to pay they ask a fortune.
Many locals but also some tourists were cycling while there but we avoided due to traffic on the streets. If you want to rent a bicycle check Confederacy of Cruisers and Bicycle Michaels, there are some organized tours with bicycles too.
The free from at the bottom of Canal street will take you to Algiers, a nice (not a cruise but free) way to be on Mississippi river
New Orleans International Airport is a little messy but allright to get there. To get around in the city try the Street Car. It is an old tram that connects downtown with the Garden District. A wonderful maybe 15 minutes ride past skyscrapers in the downtown area and beautiful mansions, parks and gardens in the Garden District.
We flew Delta Air Lines between Boston and New Orleans, and took Greyhound buses between New Orleans and Alexandria which is near where our family lives. The Greyhound experience was a big disappointment because the buses on these routes were most definitely not the luxury coaches you usually see on routes in the Northeast. The last ride we took was horrendous because it was crowded and we got stuck next to the lavatory for 2 smelly, nauseating hours between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Ewww! Meanwhile, we met a couple who took the famous Amtrak 'City of New Orleans' train down from Chicago, but they did it without paying the absurdly high surcharge for a sleeping car and they were completely shot when they got to their destination. When I last saw the couple, they were trying to decide whether or not to phone the airlines for a return flight because they couldn't bear the thought of another 20-hour train ride back to Chicago.
We did it on foot. We took the two-hour Gray Line Super City Tour to see other neighborhoods beyond the French Quarter, where we were already based. We enjoyed the bus tour, which included a stopover at St. Louis Cemetery #3, but the most informative part of our journey was the ride back to the airport. The taxi driver took a similar route to the Gray Line bus and filled in lots of missing pieces. It was strange to learn the most information about New Orleans just as we were leaving! In the evenings, although you can hire them all day long, the French Quarter is filled with horse-drawn carriages where the drivers provide colorful narrated tours. To Nathalie's great dismay, I skipped this because we were at the end of our trip to Louisiana and I was starting to run out of money. Let's hope there's another chance to do it in the near future!
I've flown in every time. Interstate 10 comes into New Orleans from the East and West. The Mighty Mississippi runs North to South.
Public Transportation is readily available. There are a couple Streetcar lines, the St. Charles being the most famous. Pictured is the Riverfront Streetcar line.
We got a cheap flight from Buffalo. Cab from airport is $20 bucks US per person round trip.
The bus is amazing. For a buck you go from one end of the city to the next. Great way to meet locals and the drivers are very friendly and helpful.
We always drive in.( from Texas)
By all means, get a bed and breakfast or Hotel on St. Charles and use the streetcar. it's $1.25 per rider. Very inexpensive for the trip and very romantic. Also very practical
I watched Southwest Airlines fares and got a ticket from Phoenix to New Orleans for $200.00. The flight there was great! We got there and to take a taxi for 3 of us to our downtown hotel was only $21.00. It is a flat rate they charge from the airport to the city.
We walked everywhere excpet the St. Charles street car.
The city proper is reached by air.
Taxis and buses abound throughout the city. Horse-drawn buggies tranport visitors around the French Quarter. Cycles can be rented as well. Of course, by foot is good as well.
The french quarter is small and trolleys run all the way out to the Garden district. Only needed a cab to get to the museum. Better to take the shuttle to you hotel and walk around. Remember you are here to drink and be merry not be stuck in traffic looking for parking.
If you don't care to walk, or you find yourself too far out from the French Quarter, the easiest transportation is the Street cars/ or the Trolley. It's a very crowded area anytime. Not just for Mardi Gras, so driving you can do, but it may take you a while to understand the grid, and there is a lot of Jay walking going on.
New Orleans has a fine International Airport, about 12 miles from downtown.
New Orleans is served by Interstates 10, 55, and 59. Amtrak serves the city as well.