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What Not To Do in New Orleans

You've done plenty of research on what you should do in NewOrleans, now here's a list of what to avoid so you can navigate New Orleans like a pro!

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New Orleans street at night
You've seen plenty of blog posts and articles telling you what to do and which sites to see during your trip to New Orleans, but knowing what not to do is equally important. We'll cover what not to do in three different categories: for safety, for a unique and native experience, and to optimize your time in New Orleans as a tourist.

For Safety

Like any big city, New Orleans can occasionally be dangerous if one doesn't take precautionary steps. Here are the top things not to do, that will increase your safety as you visit New Orleans.

Tip #1: Don't Walk Alone At Night

This one may seem obvious, but in a city that is well-populated with 24/7 bars, you never know what you could encounter. Better to be safe than sorry - always stick with a buddy and/or make sure you have a quick and easy way home that doesn't involve walking along the streets all alone!

Tip #2: Don't Keep Your Wallet in Your Back Pocket

Ladies, if you don't have front pockets, you may need to grab a purse or tote to hold your items. Keeping your wallet in your back pocket makes you an easy target for pickpockets.

Tip #3: Don't let scammers bet you about your shoes

It's not uncommon for people on the street to try and bet you $10 that they can tell you where you got your shoes. Choose not to engage. If you interact with them and don't pay them, they will likely follow you around until you cough up some cash.  
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a corner of new orleans

For a Unique and Native Experience

Sometimes when traveling, you want to visit more than just the typical Tripadvisor recommendations. Exploring New Orleans like a native can lead you to hidden gems that can often be the highlight of your trip! 

Tip #4: Don't limit your hotel search to the French Quarter

While the French Quarter is by far, the most popular place to stay, other small surrounding neighborhoods offer beautiful and charming hotels, such as the Degas House. In addition to this, the French Quarter can be quite noisy late at night, and it's likely you'll end up paying more for a French Quarter hotel than one outside of the French Quarter. If you're looking to have a unique and memorable stay at a beautiful hotel, consider The Degas House! One of the most charming boutique hotels in New Orleans, the Degas House has all the amenities you could need, in addition to a delicious complimentary breakfast. Check room availability here! 

Tip #5: Don't Eat at Chain Restaurants

New Orleans is known for its magnificent food - take advantage of every opportunity to try a new place to eat! Make sure to ask the host or hotel front desk for some can't-miss food recommendations. 

Tip #6: Don't Buy From VooDoo Gift Shops

These are often just a tourist trap. Voodoo is an important part of New Orleans culture, but you'll be better off exploring one of the Voodoo temples, and purchasing a souvenir there. 

Tip #7: Don't drink from glass bottles in public

While New Orleans has pretty relaxed rules when it comes to drinking, it's illegal to drink from glass bottles in public. Instead, if you need to finish your drink, ask your bartender or waiter for a plastic cup to take your drink to go, and they'll be happy to oblige. 

Tip #8: Don't Pick Up Beads From Off Of The Floor

If you're in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, chances are high that beads and other small trinkets will be thrown at you. While it's tempting to pick some up from off the ground as a keepsake of your Mardi Gras experience, this is frowned upon by the locals, and considered bad luck. Instead, try to catch some beads from the air! This may be a little more work, but it'll be worth it. 

Tip #9: Don't Be In A Hurry

People in the South tend to move a little slower and be a little more relaxed. Go with the flow! Just because New Orleans is a big city doesn't mean you need to be in a rush - there's a reason they call it the Big Easy. 
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a new orleans showboat

To Optimize Your Tourist Experience

Although you'll be looking to make sure you include things in your New Orleans trip to give you a native experience, that doesn't mean you should avoid the tourist-y things! New Orleans is a popular stop for tourists, and they do tourism extremely well. Here's some tips to optimize your experience as you navigate the tourism in the city.

Tip #10: Don't Go Sightseeing On Mondays

Almost everything is closed, as it's traditionally a day of rest and eating red beans with rice. Instead, use the day to take it easy and relax. Feel free to sleep in, enjoy the complimentary breakfast at your hotel, and head down to Bourbon Street to enjoy the live music and beat any Monday blues.

 Tip #11: Don't Rent a Car 

Like most other big cities, traffic is bad and parking is nearly impossible to find. Instead, navigate the city on foot, bicycle, or via street car. Uber and Lyft cars are also readily available to take you to your next destination. 

Tip #12: Don't Forget to Tip

Many people in New Orleans work for tips, so be generous if you can. This includes servers, bartenders, fortune tellers, tour guides, and musicians. Tipping is not only expected, but you're also likely to get better service if you tip. 

Tip #13: Don't Forget Cash and Your ID

If you look under 30, you're likely to be carded at a bar. It's also much easier to pay with cash at bars, opposed to running a tab on your credit card. However, make sure you're still wary of pickpockets if you're carrying cash!