20 Famous Historical Sites And Landmarks In New Orleans To Visit

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When imagining the streets of New Orleans, people are often consumed by the delightful smell of warm beignets, loud cajun cooking, and partying as if it were Mardi Gras. However, what often goes unnoticed are the famous landmarks in New Orleans which disperse throughout the city.

The many historical sites in New Orleans are a reflection of the city’s diverse cultural heritage that brings all walks of life together. Known for its diverse blend of cultures, the city offers dozens of attractions for tourists to understand how its rich past has shaped its vibrant identity today.

From originating as a French colony to incorporating African American culture, several New Orleans historical sites accurately reflect the multicultural camaraderie you are bound to experience.

For those looking to take their Next trip to New Orleans, let’s dive in and take a look at some of the prominent New Orleans landmarks to visit during your stay!

Most Famous Landmark In New Orleans


The French Quarter

Arguably the heart of the city, the French Quarter is one of the most famous New Orleans landmarks. Since 1718, when the city became a key establishment of the Lousiana colony, the French Quarter is an area beaming with Spanish and French-inspired architecture.

With eye-catching buildings made from iron, brick, stucco, and distinct pastel colors, the French Quarter has retained much of its historical character. You can imagine just from the visuals, why this is a must-see attraction for many visitors.

However, that’s not all the area has to offer. In addition to its compelling architectural surroundings, the French quarter is also home to family-owned cultural restaurants, historic hotels, picturesque views of the Mississippi River, and lively entertainment.

Regardless of what your preferences are you are destined to find some form of entertainment, traditional New Orleans food, or interesting sites to enjoy as you traverse one of the famous places in New Orleans.

Religious Landmarks In New Orleans


St. Louis Cathedral

Developed in the 18th century, the St. Louis Cathedral is marked as the oldest catholic cathedral in North America. The cathedral embodies the rich, antiquated history of New Orleans as it has retained its towering steeples, majestic white paint, mosaic stained glass, decorated altar, and intricate artistic designs for over three centuries.

Its perfect combination of architectural significance and religious affiliation makes it a destination landmark in New Orleans. You can take a tour of the entire church for free. But with a small $1 fee, you can get a brochure with additional information about the historic, religious, and cultural impact it has.

St. Augustine Church

Quite similar to the St. Louis Cathedral, the St. Augustine Church is a notable 180-year-old establishment that is known for being the oldest African American catholic institution in the United States.

The religious affiliation and historical impact at St. Augustine reflect free people of color and their initiative to provide a religious opportunity to enslaved individuals. In addition, it is home to the Tomb of the Unknown Slave which is dedicated to the many forgotten slaves that have passed away.

Immaculate Conception Church

Created by French architects in the 1850s, the Immaculate Conception Church is another significant historical site in New Orleans that represents Roman Catholicism.

Inside the church, you can view the site’s incredible artistic works inspired by Moorish Design principles. You can visit the Immaculate Conception Church for free and are likely to be blown away by the beautiful interlacing structures, horseshoe arches, and story-telling stained glass.

Keep in mind that the church is still fully functional as it continues to host mass, confession, and even weddings regularly. Dress respectfully and note the visiting hours.

Natural Landmarks In New Orleans


Garden District

In uptown, the Garden District is another New Orleans historical site home to 19th-century victorian style mansions and sprawling oak trees that provide natural shade.

This area originated from the French Creole and has since been known as an opulent, grandiose, and wealthy region. It remains surrounded by walkable gardens, fine dining, and historic residences thus leaving nothing short of pleasurable activities to engage in during your stay. 

Consider adding the Garden District to your itinerary and take a look at some of the amazing activities this New Orleans landmark provides for visitors.

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

A park with no admission fees, the Jean Lafitte National Park provides a swampy landscape filled with wildlife and greenery.

Originally named after Jean Lafitte the French pirate who conquered the Gulf of Mexico, this New Orleans landmark is home to many outdoor opportunities for individuals looking to escape the urban bustle.

From fishing and hiking to camping and birdwatching, visitors can engage in many different activities that suit their interests. However, make sure you research whether or not you need to obtain a permit for these activities so you don’t violate any laws.


Audubon Park

Set in an urban area, Audubon Park is a favorite local sport for people looking to have a nice day outside without having to travel to the swap region.

It offers many different activities for visitors such as a pool, playgrounds for kids, picnic shelters, and even a jogging path if you are feeling open for a run or walk. Moreover, the park even offers a Zoo if you find yourself yearning to observe a variety of animals from around the globe.

Famous Landmarks In New Orleans – Museums and Galleries

Photo Credit: WAMorgan /Depositphotos.com

National WWII Museum

The National World War II Museum is a landmark in New Orleans known for its rich history. It provides visitors, such as yourself, with stories, artifacts, demonstrations, and even re-enactments of the American experience during the war.

You can truly learn about the many different people and events ranging from the Polish Invasion and the Holocaust to Winston Churchill and even Dunkirk.

Tickets for admission range from $7.00 to $31.50 depending on the package you choose from. Standard admission with no premium upgrades costs approximately $19.00 for those interested.

Louisiana State Museum At The Cabildo

The Cabildo, which was a Spanish colonial building built in 1795, is a museum that houses many rare artifacts and played an important role in many American events.

From being the site for the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, playing a role in the Civil War, and housing many landmark court cases over time, the museum features historically significant documents, artwork, and items that represent its impact.

If you are interested in visiting, the museum is open to the public and offers general admission for $10, while children under 6 get in for free.

Photo Credit: Quasarphotos /Depositphotos.com

New Orleans Museum of Art

This fine art museum is a historical site in New Orleans that demonstrates art from many different cultures. From offering seasonal exhibitions to setting stunning pieces of work on permanent display, you will be amazed by the talent of artists such as Picasso, Dufy, Miro, and more.

In addition to viewing wall art, you can talk a stroll through the Sculpture Garden where you will find over 90 breathtaking sculptures from Henry Moore, Joan Miro, and others.

While the Sculpture Garden is free, admission to the indoor museum is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, and free for those aged 19 and under.

Photo Credit: Wirestock /Depositphotos.com

New Orleans Jazz Museum

As a city widely known for its blues and jazz music, you can imagine there has to be an attraction that commemorates this.

New Orleans offers tourists a music museum in the French Quarters to get a better understanding of its jazz heritage. It celebrates many dynamic forms of jazz music by offering visitors the chance to attend a concert, explore artifacts, and attend an exhibit that shares details about Papa Jack Laine, David Batiste, John Boutte, and more.

Located in an old United States mint at the heart of the music district, the New Orleans Jazz Museum general admission starts at $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and students, and free for children under 6.

Old Ursuline Convent Museum

This pre-eminent New Orleans landmark preserves the decorated history of Ursuline nuns from as early as 1748. The museum itself is located inside the old Ursuline Convent that was constructed by talented French engineers.

Throughout the museum, you can learn more about the history of the convent nuns, Catholic Church, and New Orleans spiritual life that guides many religious practices today.

Famous Monuments In New Orleans

New Orleans Musical Legends Park

Like many other residents and tourists in New Orleans, if you find that you are heavily into music, more specifically jazz, then the New Orleans Musical Legends Park is a marquee place to stop.

The walkable outdoor park features thoughtfully constructed bronze statues of famous musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Al Hirt, Ronnie Cole, and more.

As you walk through the park you will be able to soak in the live music, hustle and bustle, dining options, and unique culture that New Orleans offers to its visitors. The park is open from 8 am to 10 pm throughout the week and stays open till midnight on weekends.

Famous Historical Sites In New Orleans

Chalmette National Historical Park

If you are a history buff, the Chalmette National Historical Park is a landmark in New Orleans that you should visit if you want to learn more about the War of 1812.

Home to the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, Chalmette Park is filled with antiquated cannons, a foggy open field, and statues commemorating Andrew Jackson and his troops.

The Chalmette Battlefield is a marquee location to visit for 1-2 hours if you are looking to brush up on your American history. It offers a visitor center, walkable grounds, and guided tours for its visitors.

Beauregard-Keyes House

A Creole and American-inspired home, the Beauregard-Keyes House is a longstanding landmark. It is one of the few monuments in New Orleans that has retained its original condition. The home was a residence for many prominent families throughout the Civil War and is more known as a paragon for its architectural detail.

Interested individuals should consider visiting the house to view its intricate wood furnishing, and historic French detail, and to get a better understanding of what houses used to look like in the region.

It is open for guided tours Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm.

Photo Credit: f11photo /Depositphotos.com

Preservation Hall

A perfect nighttime activity for those interested in a classic jazz performance is Preservation Hall. The building is a New Orleans historical site constructed in the 1950s and is located in the French Quarters. It is known for hosting concerts by local ensembles and practitioners almost every day throughout the year.

For more information, check out Preservation Hall’s calendar online to learn more about what performances they offer daily and at what time.

Hermann-Grima House

The Hermann-Grima House was originally the residence of the Hermann and Grima families. It is an embodiment of French Creole architecture that is commonly seen throughout the city.

This monument in New Orleans offers insightful guided tours that share the story of what it was like to be enslaved in an urban setting. You will find out how the African American culture ended up shaping many of the city’s cultural symbolism.

If you would like to visit and learn more about the Hermann-Grima House and its African American significance, be sure to reserve a spot in one of their guided tours online.

Famous Buildings In New Orleans

Long Vue House and Gardens

An estate built in the 20th century, Long Vue House and Gardens is a classic New Orleans mansion that was home to Edgar Stern, an American leader, and his family.

The mansion features a garden with fountains that shoot arches, a rectangular pool, a grand stairway with stunning white columns, and elegantly furnished rooms to bring the home to life.

Quite surprisingly, the home is available for rent, parties, and corporate events in addition to running guided tours throughout the week.

Mardi Gras World

By hosting one of the most popular party days in America, the city offers tourists the opportunity to visit the Mardi Gras World historical site in New Orleans.

You can visit this studio to obtain a better understanding of how Mardi Gras floats are created, the parade operates behind the scenes, and to learn about the celebration’s history. If you are lucky, you may be able to even view a float being constructed in real time!

Tickets range from $22 for adults, $14 for children aged 2-12, and $17 for military, students, and seniors.

Lalaurie Mansion

If you love ghost stories and are into haunted places, then the LaLaurie Mansion might be just the perfect place for you. A home that was built for Madame Delphine LaLaurie, the residence is known for its disturbing history of keeping slaves hidden in inhumane conditions inside the attic.

The story was such a widespread incident that many people believe it is the cause of paranormal activity sightings. So much so that the famous TV show American Horror Story even wrote a storyline behind it.

Discovering Famous Landmarks In New Orleans

Whether you decide to embark on a trek to the French Quarters for a multicultural experience, or visit the New Orleans Jazz Museum to learn about how music became a popular pastime, each landmark in New Orleans contributes to the city’s significance.

If you want to learn further about the impact the city has had on many traditions in the United States, many historical sites in New Orleans offer a unique perspective behind their own past stories.



Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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