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Travel to New Orleans

Flying to New Orleans

There are no direct flights from the UK to New Orleans. Airlines offering flights to New Orleans through their respective US hubs include American Airlines, Delta, United and US Airways. It's more or less a year-round destination, so it can be tricky to find cheap flights to New Orleans, though if you travel during the off-peak summer months, when it’s hot and humid, you may be able to find a bargain.

Flight times

From London - 12 hours 30 minutes (including stopover); New York - 3 hours 30 minutes; Los Angeles - 3 hours 40 minutes; Toronto - 5 hours (including stopover); Sydney - 19 hours (including stopover).

Travel by road

In Louisiana, the minimum age for driving is 16 years and cars drive on the right. Speed limits are generally 48kph (30mph) in town, 88kph (55mph) on highways and 105kph-121kph (65-75mph) on the interstate highways, unless otherwise posted.

Louisiana has strict laws against drinking and driving, and open containers of alcoholic beverages are not permitted in vehicles. Drivers may turn right at a red light, after a complete stop, if the way is clear. A flashing red traffic light is the same as a stop sign, which means that it is necessary to come to a full stop and proceed when safe.

All valid national licences are acceptable; however, your car hire company may require an International Driving Permit if your licence isn't in English. US insurance is mandatory and available from car hire companies, but it is costly so check to see if your insurance covers car hire.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) (tel: +1 800 222 1134; can provide information, and may offer reciprocal benefits to members of automobile clubs in other countries.

Emergency breakdown services

AAA (tel: +1 800 222 4357).


I-10 heads west to Houston (Texas) and Los Angeles (California), and east to Mobile (Alabama) and Jacksonville (Florida). I-55 heads north to Memphis, St Louis (Missouri) and Chicago. I-59 connects New Orleans to Birmingham (Alabama) and Chattanooga (Tennessee). Note that the exit for the French Quarter is marked 'Vieux Carré'.


Greyhound buses (tel: +1 800 231 2222; arrive at the 24-hour Union Passenger Terminal, 1001 Loyola Avenue, which is shared with rail services. There are frequent services from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Memphis and Mobile.

Megabus (tel: +1 877 462 6342; runs coach services from the same terminal to major cities in the region, including Atlanta and Houston.

Time to city

From Jacksonville - 8 hours; Los Angeles - 27 hours; Mobile - 2 hours 30 minutes; Baton Rouge - 1 hour 30 minutes.

Travel by Rail


Trains in New Orleans arrive and depart from the Union Passenger Terminal, 1001 Loyola Avenue.

New Orleans is the terminus for the City of New Orleans service from Chicago, Illinois via Memphis, Tennessee; the Crescent service from New York City via Atlanta, Georgia; and the Sunset Limited service from Los Angeles, California.


Amtrak (tel: +1 800 872 7245; is the national railway provider and its service is generally good, if not reliably punctual.

Journey times

From Los Angeles - 46 hours; Chicago - 19 hours 30 minutes; New York - 30 hours.

Book Accommodation

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.

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.

Grenoble House

Set in a renovated French Quarter property just a block from the action on Bourbon Street, Grenoble House provides modern suites with old-timey touches, such as exposed brick fireplaces, hardwood floors and crown molding. Full kitchens make for ease if you want to eat in, though the fabulous restaurants of New Orleans will always beckon. The central courtyard has a sparkling swimming pool and is a welcome respite from the heat.

Omni Riverfront Hotel

This historic former rice mill in the Warehouse District looks across at the mighty Mississippi River. Plantation shutters and exposed brickwork give the property its character, as well as up-to-date touches such as high-speed internet and ergonomic desks. There's also a restaurant, bar and fitness centre.