Getting from the airport to downtown or French Quarter could not be easier. The taxis are well organised immediately you leave the baggage claim area and the best part - its a fixed fee. From the airport to the French Quarter is $33 for 1 or 2 people (and the same on the way back) as of April 2013. The cabs will take cash or credit but make sure the driver's credit card machine is working.
Taxis in New Orleans are generally safe and reasonably priced. Many taxis are privately owned, so the quality of the car will vary from cab to cab, but all should have a meter!
A taxi from the airport to downtown (including the French Quarter) costs a flat-rate of $33 for up to two people, plus another $14 for each additional person, and about a buck per bag. Other trips in the city cost about $3.50 to start plus $2 per mile (.25 per one-eighth mile).
United Cabs Inc
1634 Euterpe St, New Orleans, LA 70130
New Orleans Carriage Cab
4431 Euphrosine St, New Orleans, LA 70125
201 N Claiborne Ave, New Orleans, LA 70112
Alliance Cab Service
1836 Saint Bernard Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116
Checker Yellow Cabs
3001 Conti St, New Orleans, LA 70119
Liberty Bell Cab
2927 Conti St, New Orleans, LA 70119
Sunset Cab Svc
2721 Frankfort St, New Orleans, LA 70122
Hawk & Jet Cab Company
1836 Saint Bernard Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119
White Fleet Cab
3300 Bienville Street, New Orleans, LA 70119
Veterans Cab Co
1010 Wagner St, New Orleans, LA 70114
One of the quirks of New Orleans is that the streetcars don't run during Mardi Gras. Of course there are parades during that time, and that's probably why.
I can't find Rocket among the taxi companies listed for New Orleans (at the site listed), so maybe it is one of the individual cabs that are under the aegis of United Cab Company.
We took cab only once - from in front of the Fairmont (next door to our hotel) when we had to get from the hotel down to board the Chalmette Riverboat trip and were in too much of a hurry to wait for the streetcar.
The prices for taxis have gone up a bit in the last year from $28 to $34 from the airport. But if you have at least 2 people it is still the best, quickest and most cost effective way to get into town. The shuttle buses take much longer and in some cases will only take you to certain stops downtown. Before Katrina, when we owned a B&B here, we looked down the street one day to see two of our guests hoofing it down the street hauling their luggage along. They told us the shuttle bus driver refused to take them the 6 blocks from Canal Street to our place, so they had to walk. I recommended the taxi to people after that.
For the few extra bucks (compared to the shuttle) the taxi is worth it.
As to renting a car, hardly worth it. You can walk everywhere in the French Quarter and there is virtually NO parking there. Oh, you might get lucky once in awhile but not worth it. If you figure the cost of renting a car and paying $30 a day to park it at your hotel to be at least $80 a day, you would be hard pressed to spend $80 a day on taxis. Even running back and forth to the Garden District and Uptown for some of the restaurants and tours, and certainly not for buzzing around the Quarter if you don't feel like walking. Particularly if you have at least a party of two to split the cost of the taxi.
Another consideration is drinking and driving, frowned on here even with our easy going view on drinking. In addition, I never recommend walking outside the French Quarter at night. Taxis here will not give you a hard time for taking a Taxi a few blocks from one side of the Quarter to your hotel that may be a few blocks outside.
Lastly if you happen upon a great cab driver who has lived here for a long time ask him for some recommendations for where locals eat/drink/hang out/hear music. We did on our first visit here and our driver recommended Maple Leaf Bar off Carrollton Avenue (a pretty far distance for most tourists from where we were staying). We probably would have discovered it eventually after we moved here, but God bless him for directing us to one of the top 3 places in New Orleans to hear some of the greatest music you will ever stumble across. We have been going there regularly for the last 6 years.
Enjoy your visit to New Orleans, we enjoy living here every day!
After about 1am it can be quite difficult to find a taxi in the French Quarter. If you walk towards the main streets - like Canal, South Rampart, Decatur, or Esplanade - you'll find that it'll be easier to catch a cab. Not only will there be less people attempting to catch one but you'll be further away from them, and closer to the main streets upon which these cabs maneuver.
United Cab is just LOVELY. Even during Mardi Gras, when we call from our B & B there's usually a cab there within 10 minutes. Post-parade, you want to take whatever cab you can get, but if you have a choice in the matter, I strongly recommend United.
You can stay just outside the city of New Orleans(Metearie) and take cab to the french quarter; and to and from the airport.
Excellent party town and excellent food; I can only hope is survived Kattina.
There's really no need to rent a car, if you stay in the right place.
If you take a cab from the Airport out to your hotel in the French Quarter or the Warehouse District, you'll pay about $30. It's about a 30 minute drive and the cabbies are very friendly!
You'll find cabs just sitting around waiting for people on Bourbon St, in front of your hotel, at the convention ctr, etc. Cabs-a-plenty in NOLA, so no worries.
Plus, you don't really want to drive drunk, do ya? Let them do the driving for you!
We used United Cab. Can't say it's better or worse, but it seems like our Hotel called them for us, and so did the Hospital and so did the fine folks at Club Colettes.
When I had to go to the pharmacy, the driver hung out waiting for a call (that never came, thankfully!) and he didn't keep the meter running.
The taxi fare for to/from airport is $18/person. A discount will apply to a group of 3 or more.
If you are traveling alone, the airport shuttle would be cheaper.
Depending on the time of the day, but it usually takes 25-35 minutes from airport to city centre.
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