11 free New Orleans experiences to enjoy year round

There's never a shortage of things to do in New Orleans. Plus, there's plenty of free to go around that includes a lot of fun. Here are some free attractions both locals and visitors can enjoy any time of the year.

Visit a local museum.

There are quite a few museums you can visit free of charge around the city like the Old U.S. Mint, the House of Dance & Feathers and the Historic New Orleans Collection. You can also catch a break with other museums that offer free admission on certain days. The New Orleans Museum of Art offers free admission to Lousiana residents on Wednesdays. The Ogden Museum of Southern Art offers free admission to Louisiana residents on Thursdays. The Contemporary Arts Center offers free admission to Louisiana residents on Sundays.

Photo courtesy: New Orleans City Park

Run free at the park.

Public parks around New Orleans are gorgeous places to spend an afternoon. Local favorites like Audubon Park, City Park and Lafreniere Park offer acres of free outdoor fun, adventure and exploration for both young and old. Photo courtesy: New Orleans City Park

Hop over to Frenchman Street.

Hop over to the local hot spot for live music. Many of the bars don’t have a cover charge.

Tour St. Louis Cathedral.

Stroll through Jackson Square to one of the city’s most notable landmarks. Check out some street performers along the way. Visitors can get an impromptu tour from volunteer docents when available at St. Louis Cathedral, open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Picnic at 'The Fly.'

The popular area tucked behind Audubon Zoo makes a great place to catch a beautiful view of the Mississippi River. The spot is commonly home to crawfish boils, frisbee barbecues and relaxation.

Window shop along Magazine Street.

The Garden District neighborhood is home to beautiful architecture, restaurants and landmarks. Magazine Street, central to the Garden District, gives six miles of interesting stops to visit along the way. If you’re looking for more insight into the area as you travel, there are numerous free self-guided walking tours you can find online.

Hit the French Market.

The daily gathering place of merchants also stands as an exciting piece of history. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., you can look around at some interesting items for free. (Hopefully, you can keep your money in your pockets.)


Stroll along the Riverfront.

Get a great view of the muddy Mississippi River and the Steamboat Natchez. You might even catch a show from a street musician during your walk.

Walk on the wild side at the Barataria Preserve.

Take a walk on the wild side at the Barataria Preserve at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. The area features several walking and hiking trails that put walkers right alongside Louisiana’s wild wetlands. If you’re feeling adventurous, the park offers a Pecan Grove Self-Guided Tour to help walkers get the most out of their experience.

People watch on Bourbon Street.

There’s never a dull moment on Bourbon Street. Between street musicians and some interesting sights, there’s plenty to experience at the “Disneyland for partying.” Pick a corner. Be safe, and enjoy. You can also get an even better view from a balcony. Pick a club with no cover, and make your way up top. We’ve also mapped out some things you have to cross off your Bourbon Street Bucket List whether you’re a tourist or a local.

Revisit history at the Chalmette Battlefield.

Troops stood on the front lines here during the Battle of New Orleans, and the landmark is open free to visitors. Learn about the War of 1812 from visitor center films and exhibits. Check out the outdoor exhibits at the Chalmette Battlefield that lead you through a self-guided tour.