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25 Free Things to Do in New Orleans

If you’re headed to the Crescent City and are looking for some fun that won’t cost you a penny, check out our list of the best free things to do in New Orleans. You can have a great experience without it breaking the bank.

If you’re looking for more things to do, check out our perfect 2-3 day weekend in New Orleans itinerary and our 101 things to do in New Orleans bucket list.

25 Fun Free Things to Do in New Orleans // localadventurer.comPin

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Last Updated: September 13, 2022, by Esther & Jacob

Though it does cost $3 per day, we found the streetcar to be a perfect way to bring us to many of the neighborhoods throughout NOLA where you can work your way thru this list. The streetcar itself is a relaxing way to people/city watch, especially as the sun sets and lights inside the mansions on St. Charles Avenue come on.

25 Free Things to Do in New Orleans

1. Brewery Tour at Nola Brewing Co.

Check out the tour that runs every Friday at 2:00. It’s a great way to see how this local fave makes their beer. (3001 Tchoupitoulas St, 70115)

2. Browse art at the Frenchman Art Market / The Art Garage

If you enjoy checking out local gifts and art, this is a great place to browse. It’s always amazing to see the local style. (619 Frenchmen St., 70119; 504.941.1149)

3. Check out the mansions on St. Charles Avenue

Does anyone else like gawking at amazingly ornate mansions? The homes along St. Charles Avenue are spectacular and worth checking out.

4. Crescent Park

This is a favorite spot amongst photographers. You can see the city skyline. Bring a picnic and enjoy taking in the views. (1008 N Peters St, 70117)

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5. Eat Free Oysters and listen to live music at Le Bon Temps Roule

Sounds amazing, right? Every Friday, Joe Krown entertains guests on the piano while they chow down on some free oysters. (4801 Magazine Street, 70115)

6. Fairgrounds Race Course & Slots

Experience a live thoroughbred race at Fairgrounds Race Course & Slots. General admission is free from early November – late March except on Stakes Day, Starlight Racing & Specialty Programming, and Louisiana Derby Day. (1751 Gentilly Blvd, 70119)

7. Lafayette Square

Hang out in Lafayette Square and listen to a free concert. Young Leadership Council does a 12-concert spring music series every year. (S Maestri St, 70130)

8. Crescent City Farmer’s Market

Head to the Crescent City Farmer’s Market to see what’s being grown that week. Locations and times vary by day. Be sure to check their website for the most up-to-date information.

Tuesday – 200 Broadway Street at the River
Wednesday – 1235 N. Peters Street in the French Market
Thursday – 3700 Orleans Avenue at the Bayou
Saturday – 750 Carondelet Street at Julia Street

9. The Historic New Orleans Collection

Learn about New Orleans history at The Historic New Orleans Collection, which is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. (533 Royal Street, 70130)

10. Pack a picnic on the levee at The Fly, Uptown

If you’re looking to get away from the noise of town, head out to The Fly. Bring some food so you can sit and watch barges go by on the Mississippi. (Riverview Dr, Audubon Park, 70118)

11. New Orleans City Park

Read a book (or take a nap) at New Orleans City Park under the Singing Oak. (1701 Wisner Blvd, 70124). If you’re headed uptown, Audubon Park is also very beautiful, with many oak trees and Spanish moss.

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12. Jazz History Walking Tour

Take a self-guided Jazz History Walking Tour provided by the National Park Service at the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park.

13. Mississippi River Trail / Algiers Levee in Algiers

Ride your bike on a section of the Mississippi River Trail or Algiers Levee in Algiers (along Patterson St, 70112)

14. Southern Candymakers

Check out Southern Candymakers in the French Quarter for some free samples. (334 Decatur St, 70130)

15. See ships pass on the Mississippi River from Woldenberg Park

Woldenberg Riverside Park is another great spot to watch ships pass along the Mississippi River. There are also some great sculptures to check out. (1 Canal St, French Quarter, 70130)

16. See street performers in the French Quarter or Live Music on Frenchmen Street

Just a short stroll along the French Quarter, and you’ll quickly realize how much you can listen to and watch just on the streets! There are street performers everywhere. (Canal St to Esplanade, Mississippi River to N. Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116)

If you’ve been around, you’ll know that Frenchmen Street is actually where you go for live music. While we visited, some of the clubs had no cover, and we got to see an all-brass band.

17. People Watch at Bourbon Street

Although it’s more fun with a drink in hand, if you’re on a budget, just take a walk along Bourbon Street to people watch. (Bourbon Street, New Orleans 70112)

18. Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden

This free garden is open seven days a week and is full of sculptures to explore and take photos with. (1 Collins C. Diboll Circle, City Park, 70124)

19. St. Louis Cemetery #2 or #3

St. Louis Cemetery #1 requires a paid guide, but you can check out St. Louis Cemetery #2 or #3 to see all the amazing headstones.. (#2 – 300 N Claiborne Ave, 70112; #3: 3421 Esplanade Ave, 70119)

20. The French Market

This historic market is a great spot to check out to get a piece of history or just to browse through all the local goods. It’s not free, but it’s also a great spot to for a candlelit dinner overlooking the river. (2 French Market Pl, 70116)

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21. Visit Homes of Famous Writers

Here are a few:

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22. Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

Check out this nature reserve that houses the Mississippi Delta Region’s important natural and cultural resources. (419 Decatur St, 70130)

23. Walk the French Quarter

This iconic area of New Orleans is full of amazing architecture. The oldest family-owned restaurant (160 years) in the country, Antoine’s, is located here. Don’t be shy, ask them for a tour! (Canal St to Esplanade, Mississippi River to N. Rampart St, 70116)

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24. Cigar Factory New Orleans

Watch an expert roll a cigar at the Cigar Factory New Orleans. It’s an amazing craft and way harder than it looks. (206 Bourbon St, 70130)

25. Watch beignets being made at Cafe Du Monde

Watch them make these classic, local desserts at the most famous place to get them. The hard part is resisting getting some for yourself. (800 Decatur St, 70116)

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  • French Quarter Fest – The festival usually falls on the second full weekend in April. Sometimes, Easter will fall on that weekend, so be sure to check their website).
  • Mardi Gras! – Fat Tuesday is the biggest day, and the date moves around but is always during February or March.
  • Po-Boy Preservation Festival – Along the Oak Street business corridor (8100-8800 blocks of Oak Street) and Leonidas Street in the Carrollton Neighborhood. Admission is free but costs extra to access po-boy vendors

From this list, our favorites include hanging out at the Singing Oak in City Park, walking through the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, and roaming the French Quarter/Jackson Square for street performers. Go by yourself or grab and friend and check them out! We hope you have as much fun as we did! Also, be sure to check out our other list of 101 Things to Do in New Orleans.




Caroline + ErinPin


They are freelance web designers and photographers who love finding adventure, both big and small. The two make a daily practice of sharing vulnerabilities, truth telling, and side splitting laughter. They’ve honed the art of traveling fast and doing all of the things that an adventurer can do in a day or two. The couple lives in Asheville, North Carolina and spend as much time as possible in the mountains.

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