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New Orleans French Quarter Walking and History Tour

star-4.5151 Reviews
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New Orleans, United States
New Orleans French Quarter Walking and History Tour

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon2 hours 30 minutes  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English

Overview

Immerse yourself in the best of the French Quarter on this 2.5‐hour historical walking tour. An entertaining local guide will lead you through the Vieux Carré, along the mighty Mississippi River, and to Louis Armstrong Park and Jackson Square, describing the city’s cultural history and diverse colonial heritage. See notable literary and cinematic landmarks, bustling scenes of local life, and architectural gems including some of the nation’s oldest buildings.
  • Visit St Louis Cathedral, the oldest continuously operating cathedral in the United States
  • Note the Spanish and French influence on New Orleans at the Cabildo, the Presbytere and the Pontalba buildings
  • See where literary greats like William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams wrote some of their famous works
  • Take in the Mississippi River and learn how the fertile delta gave rise to New Orleans’ growth
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Local guide
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Gratuities
Food and drinks
Cafe Beignet on Royal Street , 334 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA

Departure Point: Royal Cafe Beignet, 334 Royal Street, next to the Police Station

Jackson Square , 701 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA

In and around Jackson Square in the middle of the French Quarter

Your tour of the enchanting French Quarter begins in Musical Legends Park. Choose a morning or evening start time and meet your friendly local guide for a 2.5‐hour educational promenade. You’ll set off first for the Mississippi riverbank. Admire paddlewheel steamboats drifting on the water and learn about the levee system that converted this sea‐level swampland to a livable space, ripe for agriculture and building.     

Along the way, visit the waterside French Market. Legend has it that this site – now the oldest open‐air market in the US – was once a bartering market for Native Americans. Wander through the stalls and check out local produce, fish and Creole delicacies. Then pass by the Ursuline Convent, the oldest building in the Mississippi Valley, en route to your next stop: Jackson Square. 

On the site of the original Place d’Armes, Jackson Square is an honorary landmark to New Orleans’ war hero Andrew Jackson. See Louisiana’s Cabildo and Presbytere museums and the Pontalba Apartments, the oldest apartment buildings in the United States! Pass by the origination point of the Great New Orleans Fire of 1788 as you head into St Louis Cathedral. 

Afterwards, you’ll have the rare opportunity to visit a Creole courtyard, generally cloistered from the public, and see a quadroon ballroom – both architectural symbols of the complexity and singularity of Creole culture.  

Between stops, enjoy some literary landmark spotting and performance art in the streets! You’ll pass the building where Tennessee Williams wrote A Streetcar Named Desire, visit William Faulkner’s home and stroll through Pirate’s Alley, the infamous location replete in legend of pirates, duels and covert negotiations.

Your 2‐mile (3.2 km) walk ends near the Mississippi River levee.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
French Quarter
Make your own way to Musical Legends Park to meet your guide for your walking tour. After introductions, stroll a short distance to the banks of the Mississippi River where you learn how levee construction transformed the swamp into fertile farmland, making New Orleans an important hub in the region.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
French Market
Continue by walking through the French Market, the oldest open-air market in the US.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Old Ursuline Convent Museum
Stand outside the Mississippi River valley’s oldest building, the Ursuline Convent, whose history provides a window onto early colonization efforts in Louisiana.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Jackson Square
Next, you will head to Jackson Square, the heart of the French Quarter
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Cabildo
See important sites including the Cabildo - built between 1795 and 1799 - this building once housed the center of government in New Orleans and it is now the Louisiana State Museum.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Pass By:  
The Presbytere
See the Presbytere - built in 1791 to match the Cabildo is a fascinating museum with 2 permanent exhibits telling of both the cities resilience and celebration.
Pass By:  
Pontalba Buildings
Learn about these block-long buildings which form two sides of Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter of New Orleans.
Stop At:  
St. Louis Cathedral
Your guide takes you inside St Louis Cathedral and shows you where the Great New Orleans Fire of 1788 started, explaining how rebuilding post-fire resulted in what is now considered the classic architectural style of the French Quarter.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Pirates Alley
Next, step into a lush Creole courtyard and learn about the complexities of Creole society and slavery in South Louisiana. Walk to the balcony of the former Quadroon Ballroom while your guide explains the former lives of Creole mistresses and the system known as 'placage.' During your tour, your guide points out film sites and literary haunts such as the building where Tennessee Williams wrote ‘A Streetcar Named Desire.’ You'll enter William Faulkner’s home before you stop at Pirate's Alley, where your guide recounts local legends about prison escapes and dueling. Also, enjoy the tunes of talented street musicians as you stroll.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Mississippi River
Choose from a morning or evening tour and expect to walk about 2 miles (3.2 km) at a leisurely pace before wrapping up near the Mississippi River levee.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 9 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Historic New Orleans Tours
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during New Orleans French Quarter Walking and History Tour?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
See all safety measures taken by New Orleans French Quarter Walking and History Tour.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during New Orleans French Quarter Walking and History Tour?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
See all safety measures taken by New Orleans French Quarter Walking and History Tour.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during New Orleans French Quarter Walking and History Tour?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by New Orleans French Quarter Walking and History Tour.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during New Orleans French Quarter Walking and History Tour?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by New Orleans French Quarter Walking and History Tour.

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Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
151 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 151 reviews
star-4
Good walking tour
Peg_C
, May 2022
If you were interested in architecture, this tour had a lot of interesting information. My preference would be a balance more towards history with architecture second but I learned a lot. Very friendly and accommodating guide.
star-5
humorist man
Junardi_S
, May 2022
he is like a humorist man who telling story about french quater - a good job man! we enjoy our day in nola!
star-5
Excellent tour
Michele_B
, May 2022
Very pleasant, entertaining and knowledgeable guide. Great way to learn a little history about all the things we had been walking by for days and hadn’t even noticed!
star-5
Definately Worth Going
Tony_B
, Apr 2022
David has good chemistry, good knowledge and answered all questions throughly....we were lucky to just have a small group
star-1
Poor
Nancy_S
, Apr 2022
Tour cancelled. No tour guide. Texted them but did not respond until late. Missed part of the day waiting to hear back from them
star-5
Fun!
Nathaniel_M
, Apr 2022
This tour was exactly as advertised. A great tour of the french quarter that was informative and fun.
star-5
Entertaining Gumbo
Kathleen_H
, Apr 2022
We enjoyed having David show us around the French Quarter and share some of the crazy history that became the foundation of the religion, the music, the architecture and the food that is New Orleans. He really helped us understand why New Orleans is truly a gumbo in every aspect.
star-5
Great history tour of the French Quarter
Louise_G
, Apr 2022
Excellent and knowledgeable tour guide spent two hours showing me the French Quarter! It was very enjoyable and I learned a lot.
star-1
Canceled tour no refund from Viator
Nataliya_L
, Mar 2022
The tour was canceled by the tour guide. Two days later and I still do not have my refund of $25. The attached photo is my ticket for the canceled tour. I e-mailed Viator directly, but no answer yet.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Fascinating French Quarter
Cynthia_M
, Feb 2022
David did an excellent job of pointing out various kinds of architecture and points of historical interest.

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