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10 Almost Free Things to do in New Orleans

While vacationers can save virtually anywhere, New Orleans is not known as a savings capital; people are expected and expect to spend money in the Big Easy. Easy is the key word here – who wants to come, take it easy, and worry about money the entire time? However, nobody really expects visitors to go completely crazy and spend way more than needed. There are always ways to enjoy your good time and be mindful of the budget.
Traveling smart is just thinking about the best ways to explore everything without going broke. There are some obvious ways to do that. You can enjoy your bucket list of restaurants, but maybe instead of going out for dinner, come for lunch – it'll still be the same good food, but a lot less costly. Or come for the happy hour and fill up on those special priced drinks and appetizers. Most places host the happy hour from 4-6, but it can get a lot later in winter time. Check out Domenica in the Roosevelt for that and be ready to mingle with locals.
Enjoy the New Orleans on foot – it's free, you'll get up close to the history and architecture, and might even lose a pound or two. Take inexpensive street car rides, walk by the river or just relax at one of the city's beautiful parks and don't worry about overspending. Come to city's plentiful free festivals and have your fun your way.

10. French Quarter Festival

Come to New Orleans for 4 days in April and enjoy all the activities, live music, and fun local style absolutely free. Visitors and hosts alike camp out on the streets falling in love with the city, the good weather, and the music which is definitely plentiful with 20 stages to choose from. Listeners are delighted with every style imaginable – from jazz, gospel, and blues to funk and zydeco.
French Quarter Festival in New Orlean Guests will only pay for food and drinks, but those are very affordable during the festival. There are about 60 booths operated by city's famed eateries for just a few dollars per plate - Muriel's crawfish crepes and Antoine's baked Alaska can definitely be found here.
This event happens just before the Jazz Festival and is considered better by some people due to its downtown location and no cover fee.

9. Garden District

This is a totally free place for all historic architecture lovers. This is where the new-money American aristocracies settled and build their mansions after the Louisiana Purchase. The wealth was plentiful then and so was the style. Wrought iron balconies, beautiful gardens, and oak lined streets are the proof of that.
Garden District New Orlean This district is accessible by the St. Charles streetcar from the French Quarter. The best way to view it is to take a walk or a guided tour and see beautiful homes that belonged to some rich people up close. Famous Lafayette cemetery is close by and definitely worth a visit.

8. Satchmo Summerfest

This event happens in the middle of the summer and that Louisiana heat keeps some people away. Those who conquer it, win a chance to enjoy this local jazz event for just $5. This festival is a celebration of Louis Armstrong and his legacy, life, and music. He is known as Satchmo here.
Satchmo Summerfest Participants organize various bar crawls, exhibits, group panels, listen to music, enjoy local food booths, and definitely drink plenty of beverages to stay hydrated. The place to be during this festival is the French Quarter and Jackson Square. (see Satchmo Summerfest site)

7. Bourbon Street

Every New Orleans visitor should explore this street at least once. It is a mile of restaurants, bars, and clubs with a party going on somewhere for 24 hours. The street never sleeps. The visitors never sleep here either. Millions of tourists come here every year in search of fun and liberation. And fun they get with legendary Pat O'Brien's Tornadoes and the Hand Grenades.
Bourbon Street This is one of a few places in the U.S. where it's OK to drink on the street. It doesn't even have to be Mardi Gras to get beads tossed at you from the balconies stuffed with party people just as eager to have fun as the tourists below. Fritzel's and the Jazz Playhouse are two great places to hear wonderful music around here.

6. New Orleans Streetcars

This mode of transportation rules in New Orleans. The cars are slow, but airy and allow visitors to really take in all the sights. They offer a nice break from driving and sitting in traffic, so most tourists really enjoy them. $1.25 will get you in and sometimes even present you with a nice driver who will tell stories about important landmarks.
Streetcars in New Orleans The streetcars are museums themselves as they are historically significant to the city and have been in continuous operation since the 19th century. Only San Francisco cable cars come close to that.

5. Royal Street

This is the most European-like street that just invites you for a nice stroll. Many galleries and shops are located here for everybody's window shopping pleasures. People are accompanied by music here on the corners and in front of shops. Young musicians and little known bands can gather a nice size crowd here and make a few dollars doing what they love, so please tip.
New Orlean Royal Street This street, just like the entire French Quarter is a living neighborhood, so you will see elementary schools and post offices on the street. For some lucky people the constant party is their everyday life. The street is closed to traffic during the day, so there is plenty of space for walking.

4. Woldenberg Riverfront Park

This park is not the biggest green space around here, but one of the nicest. 16 acres of lawns and benches offer a nice break after a crowded street or a filling meal. The park features various artworks, riverside promenades, and frequent strolling bands, so there is always something going on.
Woldenberg Riverfront Park Tourists can enjoy beautiful views of the port while strolling on the Moonwalk paths, see the Crescent City Connection Bridge, and visit the Toulouse Street Wharf. French Quarter Fest takes place here. One other local attraction – Cafe du Monde and its famous chicory-laced coffee can be found here too.

3. City Park

This park is a dream for art and nature lovers alike. The 13,000 acre green park is surrounded by lagoons and ancient moss draped oak trees. Visitors can choose to just walk around, visit the Botanical Garden, marvel at the artwork, tour the New Orleans Museum of Art, attend multiple sporting events here, or just hang out.
New Orlean City Park The City Park is family friendly and has plenty to do for all – carousel rides, boating, biking, picnicking, or even golfing. The City Putt is very affordable and has 36-hole mini golf complex with two different courses.

2. The Fly

This area is a local secret. New Orleans residents love this riverfront strip right behind the Audubon Zoo. The Mississippi attracts people to hang out here on the weekends and grill, boil some crawfish, mingle, sun tan and play sports. Camping here all day is never boring as many big and small boats zoom by and navigate the beautiful waters of Mississippi for viewing pleasure. Friendly games take place here all day and everybody is welcome. Sunsets are spectacular here, so make sure to get there in time for it.

1. Canal Street/ Algiers Ferry

This ferry is not free since 2014, but is still very affordable at just $2 per adult; kids ride free. The rides are truly scenic and definitely worth the price. The river crossing is quite short and lasts only 5 minutes, but take it all in, and take lots of pictures from the water. The city is absolutely magnificent at sunset and at dawn.
New Orlean Canal Street Algiers is a quaint old town where visitors will find peace and tranquility after the hustle and bustle of New Orleans. Enjoy the quiet streets, beautiful Creole cottages and Greek revival mansions surrounded by lush gardens.