Where to stay in New Orleans without a car: 5 Best areas

Wondering where to stay in New Orleans without a car? In this post, I will help you to find the best areas to stay in New Orleans without a car along with a helpful map and the best hotels to stay in New Orleans without a car for all budget travelers.

New Orleans is a popular tourist destination in the southeastern part of Louisiana. It is known for its rich cultural heritage, unique music scene, and diverse cuisine.

New Orleans is served by Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport situated 15 miles west of Downtown. To get from airport to the city center in Downtown, Uptown, and the French Quarter, you can take the airport shuttle, taxis, as well as Uber and Lyft.

Having a car as a tourist in New Orleans is not always necessary. If you plan to stay within the city’s main tourist areas and don’t intend to venture far outside, you might not need a car. Public transportation, walking, and occasional rideshare services can likely meet your needs. 

New Orleans has a relatively efficient public transportation system, which includes buses and streetcars (trams). The historic streetcar lines are particularly iconic and can take you to popular attractions and neighborhoods such as the Garden District, Audubon Zoo, and City Park.

The St. Charles Avenue streetcar is the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the world and offers a scenic route through beautiful neighborhoods. The Canal Street and Riverfront lines are also available for transportation.

You can cycling in areas like the French Quarter and Garden District. The city has dedicated bike lanes and bike share programs such as Blue Bikes Nola.

The French Quarter, Garden District, and other popular tourist neighborhoods are quite walkable. You can explore many attractions, restaurants, and shops on foot.

In popular tourist areas like the French Quarter, you’ll find pedicabs (bicycle-powered rickshaws) and horse-drawn carriage tours that offer unique transportation experiences.

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft operate in New Orleans, providing convenient transportation options. Taxis are also available throughout the city.

If you need to cross the Mississippi River, you can use the Algiers Ferry, which connects the French Quarter with the Algiers neighborhood on the West Bank.

While you’re looking to avoid using a personal car, you might consider renting a car for specific day trips or excursions outside the city if needed. Public transportation might be more cost-effective, especially if you’re only planning to explore the city.

Keep in mind that New Orleans is a walkable and lively city, so many visitors find it enjoyable to explore on foot or use a combination of the different transportation options to get around. 

If you’re looking to stay in New Orleans without a car, there are several neighborhoods that offer easy access to public transportation, as well as proximity to popular attractions.  

Where to stay in New Orleans without a car?

The best areas to stay in New Orleans without a car are French Quarter, Central Business District, Warehouse District, Garden District, Uptown, Faubourg Marigny. Each neighborhood offers a distinct experience, so choose the one that aligns with your preferences and interests.

When choosing accommodation, make sure to check the proximity to public transportation options like buses and streetcars. Additionally, consider using ride-sharing services, biking, and walking to get around the city. 

Overviews of best neighborhoods in New Orleans without a car

Here is an overview of recommended areas in New Orleans without a car:

French Quarteris a historic heart of NOLA, known for its iconic architecture, jazz music, and bustling nightlife. It’s a walkable area with many restaurants, shops, and attractions within close proximity.
Central Business DistrictJust adjacent to the French Quarter, the CBD offers a mix of upscale hotels, restaurants, and shopping options. It’s also well-connected to public transportation, making it easy to explore other parts of the city.
Arts-Warehouse DistrictAlso near the French Quarter, the Warehouse District has transformed into a trendy neighborhood with art galleries, museums. It’s relatively easy to get around on foot or by using public transportation.
Garden District This charming and picturesque neighborhood is known for its historic mansions and tree-lined streets. While it’s a bit further from the city center, it’s still accessible by public transportation and offers a quieter atmosphere.
Faubourg MarignyAdjacent to the French Quarter, the Marigny is known for its eclectic and bohemian vibe. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a more local and artsy scene, and it’s walkable to many attractions.

Below is the Map of areas and neighborhoods in New Orleans without a car:

Map of Best areas Where to stay in New Orleans without a car
Map of Best areas Where to stay in New Orleans without a car

5 Best areas to stay in New Orleans without a car:

1. French Quarter

The French Quarter, also known as Vieux Carré, is a popular and iconic area to stay in New Orleans, especially if you don’t have a car. It is best suited for first-timers and travelers seeking a location to experience the city’s history, culture, and vibrant scene. 

It is a historic neighborhood located along the Mississippi River and is bounded by Canal Street to the north, Rampart Street to the east, Esplanade Avenue to the south, and the Mississippi River to the west. 

The French Quarter is the heart of New Orleans, known for its historic architecture, cobblestone streets, and vibrant culture. Staying here offers an authentic experience of the city’s unique atmosphere.

The French Quarter is very walkable, making it easy to explore the area without needing a car. Many attractions, restaurants, bars, and shops are within a short walking distance.

Iconic sites like Jackson Square, Bourbon Street, and the French Market are all located in the French Quarter, making it easy to explore the city’s main attractions.

Bourbon Street is perhaps the most famous street in the French Quarter and is known for its lively nightlife, bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues. It’s particularly famous for its Mardi Gras celebrations and is a major tourist attraction.

Jackson Square is a historic park at the heart of the French Quarter. It’s surrounded by St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo (a former Spanish colonial government building), and the Presbytère. Street performers, artists, and musicians often gather in Jackson Square.

The French Quarter is rich in cultural attractions, including art galleries, live music venues, and street performers. You’ll find plenty of entertainment options without needing to travel far.

The French Quarter is home to a wide range of renowned restaurants, cafes, and eateries serving classic New Orleans dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, beignets, and po’boys. It has both traditional Creole and Cajun cuisine as well as modern dining options.

While the French Quarter itself is quite walkable, New Orleans also has a streetcar system that can take you to nearby neighborhoods and attractions, providing options for further exploration.

The French Quarter is known for its lively and often noisy atmosphere, especially in the evenings. If you’re sensitive to noise or prefer a quieter stay, this might be a concern.

Being a popular tourist destination, prices for accommodations, dining, and souvenirs in the French Quarter can be higher compared to other areas.

In conclusion, the French Quarter can be a fantastic area to stay in New Orleans without a car, especially if you prioritize walkability, historic ambiance, and easy access to major attractions. 

But, if you’re seeking a quieter atmosphere or are on a tight budget, you might want to consider other neighborhoods as well.

Best places to stay in French Quarter without a car:

Luxury ($$$): Four Points by Sheraton French Quarter, great boutique hotel located on Bourbon Street in the center of New Orleans’ French Quarter, within walking distance from Jackson Square and the French Market. It has an outdoor pool and 24-hour front desk.

Mid-range ($$): Omni Royal Orleans Hotel, 4-star hotel, located in a central location, on the most fashionable corner, St. Louis at Royal, featuring an Outdoor swimming pool and a bar. 

Budget ($): French Market Inn, 3-star historic hotel located in the heart of the French Quarter, one of the best places to stay in New Orleans without a car on a budget. It’s a short stroll from major attractions such as Jackson Square, Aquarium of the Americas, Bourbon Street and Harrah’s New Orleans Casino.


2. Central Business District

The Central Business District (CBD) is often considered one of the best areas to stay in without a car. It’s a walkable and well-connected district with a variety of amenities, attractions, and transportation options that make it convenient for visitors who prefer not to use a car.  

The CBD is a prominent commercial and financial hub located between the French Quarter and the Warehouse District, making it a strategic location for both business and leisure activities.

The CBD is highly walkable, with many of its attractions, restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues located within close proximity to each other. This makes it easy to explore the area on foot.

The CBD is well-served by public transportation options, including streetcars and buses. The St. Charles Avenue streetcar line, in particular, runs through the CBD and provides a scenic and historic way to travel to other parts of the city.

The CBD is located adjacent to the French Quarter, which is one of the most popular and historic neighborhoods in the city. You can easily walk from the CBD to the French Quarter, enjoying the vibrant atmosphere along the way.

If you’re attending a convention or event at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, staying in the CBD is particularly convenient, as the convention center is within walking distance.

The CBD is located along the Mississippi River, offering scenic views and the opportunity to enjoy riverfront walks and activities.

While the CBD has a wide range of dining options, shopping, and cultural attractions. It is quieter in the evenings compared to the French Quarter and some areas can feel more business-oriented. 

Overall, the CBD’s central location, walkability, access to public transportation, and proximity to key attractions make it a favorable choice for travelers who prefer not to use a car during their visit to New Orleans.

Best places to stay in Central Business District without a car:

Luxury ($$$): The Roosevelt Hotel New Orleans – Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, 5-star hotel, centrally located in Downtown New Orleans, ideal base for first-timers and travelers without a car, within walking distance from Louisiana Superdome, Mississippi River Cruises and the French Quarter. Easy access to the streetcar line on Canal Street.

Mid-range ($$): JW Marriott New Orleans, 4-star hotel, conveniently located on Canal St, where you can find many streetcar stops. It has a large outdoor pool with a sun terrace and 2 restaurants.

Budget ($): Drury Plaza Hotel New Orleans, 3-star hotel, located in the CBD, easy access to major attractions, restaurants, shops, and bars on foot and by public transportation, without relying on a car.

Hostel ($): HI New Orleans Hostel, great hostel, one of the best places to stay in New Orleans for backpackers and budget travelers with no car, located in Canal Street in Downtown New Orleans, convenient location to see major landmarks, enjoy shopping and dining.


3. Arts/Warehouse District

The Warehouse District is generally considered a favorable area for visitors who prefer to explore the city without a car and are drawn to art, culture, and walkable neighborhoods.

The Warehouse District, also known as the Arts District, is located just south of the Central Business District and is bounded by the Mississippi River, the Pontchartrain Expressway, and Calliope Street. 

The district is known for its vibrant arts and cultural scene, as well as its historic architecture and industrial past. It offers quieter nightlife but still has easy access to the famous French Quarter. 

The Warehouse District is known for its walkable layout, making it easy to explore many attractions, restaurants, and shops on foot. This can be particularly appealing to those who enjoy strolling around and discovering hidden gems.

Fulton Street is a pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare lined with shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. It’s a popular spot for both locals and tourists to enjoy outdoor dining and live music.

The Warehouse District has access to the streetcar system, providing an affordable and convenient way to reach places like the French Quarter, Garden District, and Uptown.

The Warehouse District is home to numerous art galleries, museums, and cultural institutions. The Contemporary Arts Center and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art are two prominent institutions showcasing a variety of contemporary and regional artworks.

The National WWII Museum is a major attraction in the area. It’s a comprehensive museum dedicated to World War II history and features a wide range of exhibits and artifacts.

Best places to stay in Warehouse District without a car:

Luxury ($$$): Maison de la Luz, 5-star hotel, situated in the arts district of New Orleans, a short walk to the French Quarter. Easy access to the St. Charles historic streetcar line, with links to Tulane University and the Garden District.

Mid-range ($$): Hyatt Regency New Orleans, 4-star hotel, located in a central location, adjacent to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and Smoothie King Center, within walking distance to restaurants and shops, and easy access to public transportation. It has a heated outdoor pool with a sundeck and bar.

Budget ($): The Mercantile Hotel, popular 3-star hotel for families and couples in the Arts- Warehouse District in Central New Orleans, featuring rooms with a seating area, air conditioning, and a TV.


4. Garden District and Uptown

Staying in the Garden District/Uptown area of New Orleans without a car can be a convenient and enjoyable experience, but it also comes with some pros and cons.

Garden District and Uptown are two safe and picturesque neighborhoods located to the southwest of the CBD. They are known for their historic mansions, lush gardens, oak-lined streets, and beautiful architecture. 

The Garden District is highly walkable. You can easily explore the neighborhood on foot, enjoying leisurely strolls along the tree-lined streets. Many attractions, shops, and restaurants are within walking distance.

Additionally, it is well-connected to St. Charles Avenue streetcar, offering trains to major attractions in you to downtown New Orleans without a car. 

Magazine Street is a vibrant commercial corridor that runs through the heart of the Garden District and offers a mix of shops, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, and cafes. It’s a great place for shopping, dining, and exploring local culture.

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, one of the city’s oldest cemeteries, is also located in the Garden District and is known for its above-ground tombs and historic significance.

Uptown is also home to Tulane University and Loyola University New Orleans, giving the area a youthful and academic atmosphere. Audubon Park and Audubon Zoo are popular recreational destinations in this neighborhood.

While there are some bars and restaurants in the area, the nightlife scene might be quieter compared to the French Quarter. If you’re looking for bustling nightlife, you might need to take transportation to other parts of the city.

The Garden District is also a popular spot to experience Mardi Gras parades. During the annual carnival season, several parades pass through the area, allowing residents and visitors to enjoy the festive spirit.

Best places to stay in Garden District and Uptown without a car:

Luxury ($$$): Pontchartrain Hotel St. Charles Avenue, 4-star hotel located in New Orleans Garden District, a short stroll from a streetcar station for transportation throughout the city.

Mid-range ($$): Maison Perrier Bed & Breakfast, great historic bed and breakfast, located in the Uptown/Garden District, 5 minutes walk from Magazine Street and only 3 blocks from St. Charles Avenue, where you can find streetcars to visit other popular attractions in the city.

Budget ($): St Charles Inn, Superior Hotel, 3-star located in the Garden District, 10 minutes from the French Quarter. It has a continental breakfast, free Wi-Fi and free on-site parking.


5. Faubourg Marigny

Faubourg Marigny is one of the best neighborhoods to stay in New Orleans without a car due to its walkability and proximity to popular attractions. 

Faubourg Marigny is adjacent to the French Quarter, one of New Orleans’ most famous and historic neighborhoods. This means you’ll have easy access to its attractions, architecture, music venues, and vibrant culture.

Faubourg Marigny is a highly walkable neighborhood with many amenities within easy walking distance. You’ll find a variety of restaurants, bars, cafes, shops, and art galleries.

The area is known for its lively music scene, with many local nightclubs and bars featuring live music performances, including jazz and blues.

Faubourg Marigny has its own distinct character with colorful Creole cottages, beautiful architecture, and a unique local vibe that’s less touristy than the French Quarter.

Staying in Faubourg Marigny gives you a chance to experience the city more like a local, away from some of the tourist-heavy areas.

Best places to stay in Faubourg Marigny without a car:

  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Peter and Paul, 4-star charming accommodation located in a great location, away from the noise and nightlife of Bourbon Street and French Quarter  but walking distance to all the main attractions. 
  • Mid-range ($$): Royal Frenchmen Hotel and Bar, great 4-star hotel, located in a quiet area within walking distance from French Quarter, great base to experience local vibe while still being located close to major sights.
  • Budget ($): Madame Isabelle’s House, budget-friendly hostel, featuring private rooms, dorm rooms, and a shared kitchen. Within walking distance to the St Louis Cathedral and St Louis Cemetery No 1.

Summary – Where is the best place to stay in New Orleans without a car?

In conclusion, the French Quarter, Central Business District, Warehouse District, Garden District, Uptown, Faubourg Marigny are the best places to stay in New Orleans without a car. They are well-connected and offer a range of attractions.

The French Quarter is the best area for first-timers and car-free travelers who want to be in the heart of the action, enjoy the nightlife, and be close to major tourist sites like Jackson Square and Bourbon Street.

The Central Business District is the best location for business travelers, those attending conventions, and tourists who want a mix of entertainment and a more relaxed atmosphere.

The Warehouse District, known for its art scene and culinary delights, is perfect for creatives and food enthusiasts seeking a trendy urban environment

The Garden District is the best place for car-free travelers who want a serene and picturesque neighborhood, architectural enthusiasts, and those looking for a more local experience. It is a safe and upscale area well-connected by streetcars.

Faubourg Marigny is the best base for music lovers, creative types, and travelers who want a mix of local flavor and proximity to tourist attractions.

If you travel as a family, you can check this article: Best areas to stay in New Orleans with kids. I also recommend reading this: Safe areas to stay in New Orleans for first time.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

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