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Shopping in New Orleans

Shopping in New Orleans is very much geared towards the tourist, with an abundance of shops selling souvenirs. You can’t walk more than a block in the French Quarter without hearing the blaring zydeco music of the gift shops, though outside the main tourist areas are opportunities to pick up items which are a little less populist.

Key areas

In among the plethora of glitzy T-shirt and plastic bead shops that blast out bad zydeco music, the French Quarter has plenty of unique craft shops, galleries and other stores. It houses art galleries and antique shops on Royal Street, and boutiques and gift stores on almost every other street. The Central Business District (CBD) and Uptown are also good shopping areas, with most of the high-street chains having branches in and around the local businesses. For more upmarket items, there are the many antique shops on Royal and Magazine Streets.

Magazine Street is one of the city’s most thriving neighbourhoods, and has a mixture of fashionable and funky shops, hip boutiques and galleries. You can grab a cup of coffee and a pastry at a local café before rummaging through antique stores for trendy boutique purchases, toys and chocolates.


Running for several blocks along Decatur and North Peters Streets, the historic French Market, open daily 0800-1830, has been one of the most colourful spots in New Orleans for centuries. The large covered sheds house the Farmers’ Market, where fresh produce is sold, and the Flea Market, with clothes, jewellery, hot sauces and other souvenirs. There are also a number of food stalls, from local favourites such as po boys to organic stalls with smoothies and salads.

Shopping centres

The Shops at Jax Brewery is a large, newish mall on the waterfront in the French Quarter. Other shopping centres include the upscale Shops at Canal Place, where local artisans such as high-end jeweller Mignon Faget have outlets. The Riverwalk Marketplace is large but never seems to attract a high enough footfall to make it seem lively, though the food court has some good choice. New Orleans Shopping Center and Lakeside Shopping Center are a couple of other options for mall shopping.

Opening hours

French Quarter shops and galleries generally have the longest hours of operation, from Monday to Saturday 1000-2200, though on Sundays many close at 1700. General shopping hours in the city are daily 1000-1700.


The vast majority of out-of-town visitors are mainly interested in the (fairly tacky) T-shirts, carnival beads and New Orleans-branded souvenirs that permeate the hundreds of gift stores. There’s also a strong market for local produce, such as hickory coffee, hot sauce and rum.

Tax information

New Orleans’s sales tax is 9.5% and refunds for that percentage of the price of goods purchased in tax-free stores are available to overseas visitors at the international airport’s LTFS (Louisiana Tax-Free Shopping) Refund Centre. The LTFS voucher and sales receipt are required, as well as your passport and international air ticket. Refunds under US$500 are paid in cash, otherwise a cheque will be posted.

A digital image at https://illuminoto.com

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Featured Hotels


Hampton Inn

Formerly a 1903 'skyscraper' office building, the Hampton Inn is just two blocks from the French Quarter. Every Monday to Thursday 1730-1900, the lavish lobby is the scene for the complimentary manager's reception. Rooms are large and comfortable with high-speed Internet and king-size or two double beds. The hotel also has a gym, concierge, coffee shop and parking for a fee, along with access to Spa Atlantis, directly across the street. The daily hot breakfast buffet is included.

La Quinta Inn and Suites Downtown

This hotel has great facilities for bargain prices, such as guestrooms with either king-size or two double beds and large bathrooms, and some have microwaves. In-room business facilities include data ports, oversized desks, free high-speed Internet access and local calls. Add to that, cocktail lounge, business centre, a heated pool, and fitness centre, plus a free breakfast. The location is convenient for the French Quarter, Superdome, downtown, and the convention center.

Hotel Monteleone

One of the classic New Orleans luxury hotels, the Monteleone has been wowing visitors since 1886. Rooms are decked out with plush curtains, high-thread-count sheets and large flat-screen TVs. The lobby is suitably grand, and the Carousel Bar is something of a local haunt for cocktails and people watching.

Melrose Mansion

A tasteful, small property on the edge of the French Quarter, this luxury Victorian-era mansion dates back to the late 19th century. The interiors are suitably plush, with antique furniture, original artwork and all the mod cons you'd expect (iPod dock, LCD TV, Wi-Fi and minifridge). There's also a fairly large outdoor swimming pool.

Soniat House

Old books, fine artwork, Oriental rugs, American and European antiques: it is the little touches like these that make this hotel unique. The two restored 1830s townhouses have spiral staircases, balconies and patios. Sweet olive, magnolia, guava and ginger grow in the courtyards. Each of the 19 rooms and 14 suites are furnished with antiques that are accompanied by Frette Egyptian cotton bed linen, Wi-Fi, data ports and two phones.

Dauphine Orleans Hotel

This unassuming building on a quiet stretch of the French Quarter is recorded back as far as 1775, almost to the city's own beginnings. A former bordello site, the hotel now has 111 modern rooms and a host of old, atmospheric cottages. The pool and courtyard are nicely secluded and the hotel bar, May Baily's Place, also harks back to those hedonistic times.