Getting to and around New Orleans is pretty easy, from renting a car, biking, taxis, public transportation, or walking. You can tour and see the city as you like. We have put together a few ways to seeing New Orleans.
LOUIS ARMSTRONG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (MSY)
Millions of people from around the world visit New Orleans and the airport is a major gateway. Louis Armstrong International Airport can be accessed through several airlines; Delta, United, Frontier, Southwest, Air Canada, Spirit and many more. Getting from the airport to downtown New Orleans is pretty simple; NORTA (Airport Express Line) offers bus service from the lower terminal to downtown New Orleans, rent a car, take a taxi, or hotel shuttles, all available on the lower level of the main terminal. For more information: flymsy.com
AMTRAK - UNION PASSENGER STATION
Traveling to New Orleans by train can be fun and relaxing. Currently Amtrak has two trains; The Crescent (New Orleans to New York City) and the City of New Orleans (New Orleans to Chicago) offering service 7 days a week, and the Sunset Limited (New Orleans to Los Angeles) offering service 3 days a week. Amtrak is located at the Union Passenger Terminal located just west of downtown New Orleans. However, passengers can take the Rampart-St. Claude RTA streetcar downtown (you will have to make a transfer at Canal Street). Fare is $1.25 +.25 transfer fee. There are taxi's located just out front of the terminal. For more information: amtrak.com
New Orleans is not in short supply of taxis (except during Mardi Gras, Southern Decadence, Halloween, Gay Pride, and other major events). They can be hailed with ease on just about any street in the French Quarter and the CBD, outside of these areas you will have to call to have to come pick you up. Uber and Lyft do operate in New Orleans, this might be an easier way to get from one place to another (Uber and Lyft cannot pick up at the Airport at this time). Nawlins Cab (504) 522-9059, United Cab (504) 524-9606.
If you are planning to explore outside of the city this might this is a good idea; however, if you are not then forgo this expense. If you're planning on driving to the city just know that parking can be expensive, this includes most hotels. There is public parking throughout the city. Just be aware that downtown New Orleans has streetcars so you want to be careful and right turns on red is legal (unless posted otherwise). Several areas of the city use red light cameras, so observe the speed limits. Having open containers of alcohol (including "go-cup") is illegal to have in a car, and fines can be serious. You must have valid insurance and driver's license, this includes international drivers (in English) and remember to keep doors locked, never leave belongings, packages or gadgets visible in parked cars.
You really want to see New Orleans, then walking is the best way by far, you'll see many unique and sometimes amazing sights. If it is raining or just too hot and humid then use public transportation or a taxi.
The terrain in New Orleans is flat; therefore, seeing the city by bike is a great way to sight see, and believe it or not you can cover a lot of the city. Just be aware of traffic and our potholes. New Orleans does have a dedicated bike path that covers certain parts of the city, use them as bikes have the right-of-way. American Bicycle Rentals (504) 324-8257, Mike the Bike Guy (504) 899-1344. New Orleans in partnership with Social Bicycles created Blue Bike Share which offers online and on-the-spot opportunities to reserve and rent a bike that will take you where you need to go. At the end of a journey, just drop it off at the nearest bike share station. You can pick up another when you need it next.
Something new to the city Pedi-cab's operate mostly in the French Quarter and surrounding areas. This means is an easy way to move around the Quarter. This can be a costly way to get around the city, but if you're just looking to experience something new, then this is the way. Bike Taxi Unlimited (504) 891-3441, NOLA Pedi-cabs (504) 274-1300. Rates are about $5.00 for five blocks, then $1.00 per person after that (check with each company for rates).
CITY BUS/ STREET CARS
New Orleans has a vast and pretty good bus/streetcar system. If you are planning to spend some time going from place to place, then we would suggest using public transportation. General fare is $1.25 (.25 extra for transfer) one-way. You can also purchase a 1-day Jazzy Pass for $3.00, 2-day pass $9.00, 3-day pass $15.00 and this allows you to use any form of public transportation as many times as you like, and you can pay for bus passes at several ticket vending machines, or use the RTA GoMobile App. The RTA has more than 35 bus routes covering more than 14,000 miles. In the past decade the RTA of New Orleans has invested in streetcars, the historic St. Charles streetcar passes through the upper and lower garden district, two street car lines go down Canal Street, one to the cemeteries and the other to City Park, the riverfront line goes from the Ernest Morial Convention Center to the Frech Market, or the St. Claude/Rampart Line goes from Untion Passenager Station to Canal Street, then down St.Claude/Rampart Street. For more information, schedules, maps, and fares: norta.com
There are several ferry lines in New Orleans, the main one located at the end of Canal Street (Mississippi River). This is a great way to see the sky line of the city, and at night it is a beautiful sight. As a working ferry it carries bikes and pedestrians only (no cars) from Algiers Point to downtown New Orleans. You can catch the ferry every 30 minutes and cost $2.00 each way. For more information: nolaferries.com
Both Uber and Lyft can be ordered from Louis Armstrong International Airport to downtown New Orleans. It's important to know that during certain major events (Mardi Gras, Gay Pride, Southern Decadence) both Uber and Lyft cannot be order in the French Quarter and surrounding areas do to traffic and street closures.
Get around New Orleans with ease, for bus/streetcar schedules, maps and fares.