Top five things to do in New Orleans

Rebekah Scanlan

New Orleans is known locally as ‘The Big Easy’ because of it’s totally chilled attitude, making it a hotspot for laid-back Aussies.

With it’s tantalising mix of casual cocktails and incredible music it was hard for Be to narrow down the best bits.

But here’s our five must do’s whilst on vaycay in New Orleans, or NOLA as the locals affectionately call it.

Explore the French Quarter

This suburb is the heart of city of New Orleans and as such it’s dripping in culture and history.

The French Quarter has heaps of history, including stunning buildings. Source: VisitNewOrleans/Instagram

You can explore the whole area by foot, taking in the sights of the stunning architecture and those oh-so quaint buildings you’ve seen in shows like The Vampire Diaries and flicks such as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

St Louis Cathedral dominates the skyline, but some of the more interesting strolls are down the smaller streets.

Be reporter Bex was stunned with St Louis Cathedral in the heart. Source: Be

Pirates Alley is a must-add to everyone's hotspot list, where you can sample spirits - both the lingering feel of them from times long gone and in a shot glass - with the pirates favourite drink being absinth.

No matter what time of the week, you’ll always see the streets lined with fortune tellers, artists and singers. It’s part of what gives New Orleans it’s vibrant buzz.

If you’re heading out at night, you can take advantage of the area’s takeaway drinking laws and grab a cocktail from one of the local bars, (we recommend the Pimm’s Cup from Napoleons) to sip on while you look around. How lush.

There are heaps of views to enjoy your cocktails, or you can get your drink to go. Source: Supplied

Boozy brekkie at Brennan’s

Our favourite part of NOLA is that it is acceptable to have a cocktail with your eggs benny. Yep, you read that right.

Brennan's is a local fave, known for their historic building and

At Brennan’s, a restaurant famed for it’s indulgent brekkies, they serve eye-openers, a rather Southern way of waking yourself up in the morning.

We tried the Caribbean Milk Punch, which had a pina colada feel to it, but was made with bourbon and rum. Yum.

Served alongside a lavish creole-inspired menu, that includes egg yolk carpaccio, baked apples and even fried chicken, it’s definitely a special way to start the day.

How can you say no to a breakfast cocktail whilst on your holiday? Source: Supplied

While breakfast at Brennan’s has been a thing since 1946, the restaurant is also known locally for Bananas Foster - a dessert made from bananas and vanilla ice cream, and served with a dark rum sauce.

After a renovation in 2014, the building still features all it’s old-fashioned characteristics, with an opulent ambiance that transforms you back in time.

It’s true what the locals say: “If you haven’t had breakfast at Brennan’s, you haven’t really been to New Orleans at all.” It really shouldn’t be missed.

Ride a streetcar

It’s impossible to visit NOLA and not hop on one of their historic streetcars. With routes that take you along the Mississippi River and veering through the city, you’ll feel like you’ve travelled back in time.

The city is famed for its streetcars, so hop on board. Source: Supplied

It’s also a very affordable way to get around - perfect for those on a budget.

Eat Beignets

Everywhere you go in NOLA, you’ll be able to get your hands on this deep fried dough dish that is served covered in powdered sugar. But if you want to get the authentic taste, you’ll need to head to Café du Monde, which is located in a pretty spot by the Mississippi River.

Here at Be we love food and couldn't wait to try the local cuisine, a beignets. Source: Supplied

The doughnut style dish has been served here for more than 100 years. For that reason, they keep their menu simple, only serving black or white coffee, hot chocolate and soft drinks to go alongside their tasty treats.

We loved it because it’s open 24-hours a day, seven days a week, making it the perfect spot to grab a late night pick-me-up after a long night of jazz on nearby Bourbon Street.

They've been serving the donut style dish, 24 hours a day, at Café du Monde for over 100 years. Source: VistNewOrleans/Instagram

Listen to live music

The area is the birthplace of jazz, so no trip would be complete without listening to some beautiful brass.

Preservation Hall is one of most famous venues to catch a soulful performance, as it’s an old-school setting smack bang in the middle of the French Quarter.

Music is part of what brings NoLa alive, and can't be missed. Source: VisitNewOrleans/Instagram

We love to enjoy our tunes over some nibbles so checked out the backroom at Buffa's.

As well as having incredible jazz on offer, they also offer a boozy brass brunch on Sundays, which is right up our street.

For those enjoying the vibe on a budget, you’ll be able to witness live street performances that will give you a taste of the magic too.

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