Is New Orleans Expensive to Visit? 2021 Attraction Prices & Info
February 20th 2021
Image Courtesy of f11photo via Shutterstock
New Orleans, Louisiana, is much more than a great destination for party lovers. This lively city has many other sides to its loud exterior! Outside of the roar of Bourbon Street, the area offers amazing wildlife to explore and a rich history to uncover.
With so many tours and activities to try during your trip to New Orleans, you may be wondering how you can possibly afford to experience it all. The good news is that all of the city’s activities are quite affordable. Travelers are surprised to find that prices for the most popular New Orleans excursions are lower than they think!
Is New Orleans expensive to visit, you ask? It doesn’t have to be! Check out highlights of 11 of the city’s most popular experiences below. To help you plan the perfect trip to the Big Easy for your budget, we have included the average prices for each!
Table of Contents
- New Orleans Aquarium
- New Orleans Zoo
- Bayou & Swamp Tours
- Bus Tours
- Carriage Rides & Tours
- Dinner Cruises
- Plantation Tours
- The National World War II Museum
- Cooking Classes
- Mardi Gras World
- Ghost Tours
New Orleans Aquarium
Image of children enjoying the aquarium by Jeff Strout
The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is the perfect place to spend an afternoon escaping the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter. This aquarium is anything but ordinary due to its 400,000-gallon Gulf of Mexico exhibit that features entrancing stingrays and gigantic sharks.
As a visitor, you will even have the unique opportunity to witness the magic of sea turtles preparing to be released back into the wild. Penguin enthusiasts will rejoice on their visit, as this aquarium is home to more than 20 African penguins! Ticket prices vary depending on if visitors purchase online or at the gate. Keep in mind that vendors, like TripShock.com, offer a variety of aquarium deals and discounts for any sea lover.
Average Prices: Adults - $27; Children - $19; Seniors - $22
New Orleans Zoo
Photo of a zebra at the Audubon Zoo courtesy of Audubon Nature Institute
The New Orleans Audubon Zoo, located in historic Uptown, offers you an abundance of wildlife without even leaving the city. It hosts award-winning natural habitat exhibits that will allow you to observe an array of animals such as Asian elephants, African painted dogs, and spider monkeys. You will also be able to meet highly endangered species including:
- Whooping cranes
- Amur leopards
Tickets can vary slightly depending on purchasing options, but a trip to the zoo is a great and affordable way to spend an afternoon. TripShock even offers bundling for the city’s variety of nature parks to keep you entertained, while keeping your wallet full!
Average Prices: Adults - $20; Children - $15; Seniors - $17
Bayou & Swamp Tours
Swamp and bayou tours are not only affordable, but also a great way to connect with nature
When searching for prices for the most popular New Orleans activities, you’ll definitely want to check out bayou and swamp tours. One of the most popular things to do while in New Orleans is to explore the bayous and swamps the area is famously known for. If you are yearning to experience wildlife up close, a tour of one or more of these areas would be a perfect addition to your upcoming trip!
These tours highlight beautiful parts of the region where you will be able to spot a variety of creatures, including wading birds and alligators. Bayou and swamp tours can vary greatly in price depending on if transportation is included and on the number of locations you will be touring. Regardless, with so many options to choose from, it doesn’t have to be expensive to visit New Orleans’ swamplands!
Average Prices: Adults - $80; Children - $60
Pictured above is the Hop-On Hop-Off Double Decker Bus Tour, through City Sightseeing New Orleans, stopping at Mardi Gras World, one of their 18 stops throughout the city
New Orleans has so much to take in that it can seem impossible to figure out a way to logistically see it all. Luckily, there are a variety of bus tours you can take on your trip! Whether you want to go sightseeing down Bourbon Street, are into the idea of visiting haunted cemeteries, or want to explore the history behind the areas most famous plantations, there is a bus tour for you!
The most popular option is to go on a general sightseeing bus tour of the city, which usually will last three or four hours depending on the company. Prices range, but typically are around $50 for adults and $30 for children.
Average Prices: Adults - $48; Children - $29
Carriage Rides & Tours
Seeing the city by carriage is more affordable than ever with carriage rides
If you are looking for a more romantic way to see the city, carriage rides are a great option to slow things down and really take in the culture of New Orleans. Once you get on your carriage, you can simply sit back and relax while you take in the city’s landmarks with a guided tour from your driver. NOLA carriage tours take place in a variety of locations, but the French Quarter is the most popular.
Most rides last about an hour, so you will have plenty of time the rest of the day for other activities nearby. You can even get your own private carriage if you are willing to pay just slightly more for your ride! There are even great deals on horse-drawn carriage rides in NOLA.
Average Price: Per Person - $40
Create memorable moments from a New Orleans steamboat tour without breaking the bank
Turn a great trip into a beyond memorable one by exploring the Mississippi River on one of the area’s magical dinner cruises. You will get to take in skyline views of the city while exploring New Orleans by water.
Many dinner cruises have meals as an optional add-on to your ticket, so even if you prefer to eat at one of the city’s many renowned restaurants instead of onboard, you can still soak in this new experience. New Orleans dinner cruises come in all sorts of themes, and their charm is sure to leave you feeling spoiled by the time you return to land!
Average Prices: Adults - $45; Children - $20
Photo of Houmas House in all its glory by Michael McCarthy
Take a trip back in time by exploring one of New Orleans’ many famous plantations. The history is so rich in the area that skipping a visit to one of these beautiful homesteads would be a true disservice. To get an authentic Cajun experience, book a tour of some of the most famous area plantations, including:
- Oak Alley Plantation
- Laura Plantation
- Houmas House
Many of these tours require either a half-day or full-day in order to truly whisk you away to another place in time. Many people searching for prices will assume plantations in New Orleans Plantation Country are expensive to visit, but are delighted to discover they often include transportation, tour guides, and even swamp tours! Purchasing a combo tour is also a great way to see more than one plantation in an outing, while also getting the best bang for your buck.
Average Prices: Adults - $66; Children - $38
The National World War II Museum
Photo Courtesy of The National World War II Museum
The National World War II Museum is a remarkable attraction in the area that tells the story of a war that truly changed the course of history. It is consistently ranked the #1 museum in the city due to its extensive artifact collections and interactive exhibits. Highlights include:
- Learning about the most successful submarine in World War II
- Retracing the gruelling trail that led from Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay
- Bringing to life the story of the Bomber Boys
According to a recent Traveler Story, the Jeri Nims Soda Shop and the 4D movie theater were especially delicious and captivating, as well. Purchasing your tickets online ahead of time is sure to help save you some cash, while also ensuring you do not miss such a must-see!
Average Prices: Adults - $28; Children - $18
Cooking classes are a great way to fill up on both food AND fun
One of the best parts of travelling anywhere is getting to eat all of the amazing local food. New Orleans is no exception with its famous Creole and Cajun cuisines. You will fall so in love with the local food that you are definitely going to want to learn how to recreate it at home! Lucky for you, the area has a ton of cooking classes to choose from!
The two to three-hour classes will take you through how to make some of the regions most famous dishes, such as gumbo and jambalaya. Not only will you pick up some new skills, but you will be able to have a taste of your creations at the same time! That is sure to be a win-win for everyone!
Average Price: Per Person - $80
Mardi Gras World
Pictured above are just a few of the MANY magnificent and incredible floats you’ll encounter when visiting Mardi Gras World
When you think of New Orleans, the first thing that probably comes to mind is Mardi Gras. The city hosts an insane celebration of the annual holiday, but do not fret if you are not going to be there for the big day! You can experience Mardi Gras in a different way at Mardi Gras World almost any day of the year!
With super affordable ticket prices, this New Orleans museum is not expensive to visit, and is a must for any trip to the Big Easy. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at how the holiday was created, and dives into how the spectacular parade floats are built from scratch every single year! One of the biggest bonuses is that this attraction is completely housed indoors, which is great for escaping rainy days in the French Quarter.
Average Prices: Adults - $21; Children - $13.50
Image of Jackson Square in New Orleans by Ty Alexander Photography
New Orleans is one of the most spiritual cities in the country, and is a host to many haunted sites. If you are someone who loves a good scare, you can scratch your itch for a more goosebump inducing activity by going on one of NOLA’s many ghost tours!
Taking a tour of haunted sites, such as the St. Germaine House, LaLaurie House, or local cemeteries is a great way to experience the spirits that are known to reside in the area in person. If you are intrigued by the paranormal, or simply want to explore another local tradition, be sure to check out a genuine New Orleans ghost tour!
Average Prices: Adults - $22; Children - $17
New Orleans is one of the most colorful cities in the world, which is why it is able to truly offer something for every visitor to enjoy. You are naturally going to want to fit in as much as possible while visiting. Luckily, you will not have to return home with a depleted bank account due to the affordability of New Orleans experiences!
So, is New Orleans expensive to visit? Prices for the most popular New Orleans attractions are more affordable than ever, so go ahead and dive into planning your next trip to the Big Easy!
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