Louisiana’s swampy Mississippi Valley is one of the most scenic areas in the entire United States, and New Orleans, Louisiana’s largest city, is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. New Orleans is famous for its Dixieland jazz, architecture, great cuisine and unique French Quarter. There is also a wide range of museums and galleries to explore. Other places of interest in Louisiana include Lafayette, a city of lush gardens where the 25-mile Azalea Trail begins; the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest and most inaccessible wetland in the United States; the salt dome island of Avery; and the city of Alexandria surrounded by forests and parks. The 138 m high Capitol Building, made of limestone, is located in Baton Rouge. Louisiana was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and is still ravaged by Katrina today. Nevertheless, the population is always looking ahead and in 2018 the city of New Orleans celebrated its 300th birthday with great festivals, concerts, exhibitions and many other unique events.
- Travelationary: Covers basic information about Louisiana geography and economy.
Arriving by plane
Flights to New Orleans are offered by various airlines: Condor (DE): 2 times a week direct flights from Frankfurt/M.; Lufthansa (LH): from Munich and Berlin in cooperation with United (UA) via New York-Newark and from Frankfurt/M. via Washington; Austrian Airlines (OS): from Vienna in cooperation with United (UA) via Chicago, Washington or New York-Newark; Swiss (LX): from Zurich in cooperation with United (UA) via Chicago or Miami.
New Orleans – Atlanta: 30 minutes; New Orleans – Chicago: 1 hour; New Orleans – Los Angeles: 4 hours; New Orleans – Miami: 1 hour; New Orleans – New York: 2 hours; New Orleans – Frankfurt: 9 hours 45 minutes (direct flight); New Orleans – Zurich: 11 hours (pure flight time, stopover in Chicago); New Orleans – Vienna: 11 hours 34 minutes (pure flight time, stopover in New York-Newark).
The Jet Blue Airpass lets you book 3 or more flights across the entire Jet Blue network in the US at once. The Jet Blue Airpass is valid for 90 days, can be changed flexibly, and luggage is included. For more information on the availability of the limited contingents, please contact STA Travel, Tel. +49-69-255 150 000.
Arrival by car
Louisiana has an extensive and well-developed road network. The major interstate highways are I-49, which connects Louisiana to Arkansas to the north and runs southeast to New Orleans. I-10 runs through Louisiana to the south and I-20 to the north, from Texas to Mississippi. Bus: Greyhound serves a variety of cities in Louisiana and the surrounding states. Further information directly from Greyhound. Flixbus goes to Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Tolls: There are no toll roads in Louisiana.
Note on arrival by car
Average car travel times: New Orleans – Mobile: 3 hours; New Orleans – Houston: 6 hours; New Orleans – Birmingham: 7 hours; New Orleans – Memphis: 8 hrs. All travel times are non-stop within speed limits. Average bus travel times: New Orleans – Mobile: 4 hours; New Orleans – Houston: 8 hrs; New Orleans – Birmingham: 9 hours; New Orleans – Memphis: 10 hrs.
Arrival by train
Amtrak offers service to New Orleans. Passenger trains depart from Union Station (1001 Loyola Avenue). The Sunset Limited runs from Los Angeles to New Orleans, the Crescent connects New Orleans to New York (via Atlanta), and the City of New Orleans runs north to Chicago via Memphis. Contact Amtrak for more information.
The Amtrak USA Rail Pass is valid on the entire Amtrak network. Detailed information under Arrival USA.
Arrival by ship
The port of New Orleans is one of the most modern and important ports in the USA. Many cruise ships, including those to Mexico, the Bahamas and the Caribbean, depart from the port of New Orleans. The New Orleans Steamboat Company, Tel. 1-800-233-2628, operates the last true paddle steamer for cruising the Mississippi River and hosts various harbor cruises. Information and tickets are available in New Orleans at the kiosks behind the Jax Brewery in the French Quarter.
Cruises to and from or with a stopover in New Orleans are offered by Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean and AIDA, among others.
The Canal Street Ferry, also known as the Algiers Ferry, crosses the Mississippi River in New Orleans and connects the end of Canal Street with the borough of Algiers.
Routes across the rivers
American Cruise Lines offer cruises on the Mississippi River with stops in various cities, including the Lower Mississippi River Cruise, from New Orleans to Memphis, Tennessee. Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean also offer cruises on the Mississippi.
Passport and visa regulations
Entry with children
Since June 27, 2012, children need their own travel document (passport / children’s passport) for trips abroad (also within the EU). Entries of children in the parental passport are no longer possible.
Located on the Cane River, Louisiana’s oldest city was founded in 1714 as a fort and trading post to keep the Spanish from invading the French colony, and is now a farming center with an eerie feel. Most of the countless historic buildings offer bed and breakfast accommodation. The town is surrounded by pecan trees, cotton farms and 18th-century mansions. The area surrounding Natchitoches is known as the Crossroads region because it is where the Spanish and French cultures of the South meet the pioneering spirit of the North. It’s also a country music hotspot and has produced artists like Jerry Lee Lewis and Mickey Gilley. There is a violin competition held in Marthaville every year.
Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana, is located in the heart of the plantation region. The blues plays a significant role in the city’s history, having been sung by slaves harvesting cotton. Many famous American blues musicians were born in Baton Rouge. Numerous clubs, concerts and festivals pay homage to this melancholy music.
The 135 m tall marble Capitol Building is a 34-story building with an observation deck overlooking the 11-hectare landscaped Capitol grounds; the Old Capitol is a mixture of Norman, Gothic and Moorish architecture. The Governor’s Mansion features art, natural history and folklore exhibits. The 56 haBaton Rouge Zoo is home to over 400 animals. The Louisiana Arts and Science Center Riverside is housed in a replica train station; The open -air museum The Rural Life Museum on the site of a former plantation provides an insight into the working methods of the 19th century.
This region has many impressive old plantation houses, some offering bed and breakfast and sightseeing tours. The finest plantation house, Le Petit Versailles, belonged to 19th-century planter Valcourt Aimé, known as Louis XIV of Louisiana.
Lafayette, a beautiful garden town and Mardi Gras venue, is also worth a visit. 100,000 people live in the industrial and cultural center of »Cajun« country, many of whom speak French. The first settlers came here in 1764 from Nova Scotia (Canada) fleeing the British after refusing to renounce their Catholic faith and swear allegiance to the British Crown. They were originally called “Acadians,” which was later shortened to Cajuns. The country consists largely of swamps and swampy arms of rivers. Acadian Village and Vermilionville have faithful recreations of ancient Cajun villages.
From the city of Houma from there you can take numerous trips to the Atchafalaya area, the former delta of the Mississippi. This vast swamp area is criss-crossed by hundreds of canals, where you can get lost without a guide. Here you can see alligators, snakes, waterfowl and many other animals in the wild. New Iberia is home to the world famous Tabasco sauce. You can take guided tours of subtropical gardens, or visit pre-Civil War state mansions, rice mills, and the farms and factories that produce Tabasco. St Martinville is a quiet and elegant city, formerly known as »Le Petit Paris« as it hosted luxurious balls and grand operas. The Cajun Museum and Church are worth a visit, as is the Creole Nature Trail near Lake George, where you can see ducks, geese, alligators, coypu and musk rats in the wild.
Still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated and flooded the city in August 2005, New Orleans is world-renowned for its unique charm and is a melting pot of diverse cultures including French, Spanish, African, Caribbean and German. These influences are reflected in a fascinating mix of the city’s excellent cuisine, architecture and culture. There are countless museums and art galleries to visit. The city is the cradle of jazz and cocktails, typical of its lifestyle. The unique French Quarter is a very popular tourist destination with its colonial-era buildings, hidden courtyards, interesting wrought-iron railings and New Orleans jazz ringing through the streets. Jackson Square, hub of the French Quarter, is a meeting point for mimes, musicians, tap dancers and other performers. There are many excellent restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Located at the mouth of the Mississippi River, the city invites you to stroll along the river or on the Esplanade overlooking the Atlantic. Cabildo, a former Spanish monarchy, was the site of the historic Louisiana state purchase; Casa Hove is a fine example of Creole architecture. Other attractions are the International Trade Mart ; Dueling Oaks (duels were held here in the 18th century); the Conti Wax Museum; Audobon’s House, where the famous painter lived and worked; the Audubon Zoo and Zoological Garden ; the Aquarium of the Americas (four biotopes with different fish and plant life); Old Carre; Orleans Ballroom and St Louis Cathedral. French pastries are served in the riverside French Market’s excellent cafes. Pontalba House is an interesting state museum with antique furniture and decorations. Worth seeing are the Preservation Hall, where original New Orleans jazz is played nightly; and The Garden District, which features white-columned mansions surrounded by beautiful gardens of oak trees and elegant wrought-iron fences. At the end of Canal Street is the docking station for numerous ferries that cross or run up and down the Mississippi River. 1-11 day cruises are also offered. Steamboat Natchez offers harbor and evening cruises and John James Audubon offers a zoo cruise between the Aquarium and Riverfront Park to the Audubon Zoo. Cypress Swamp Tours offer specialty cruises through the Louisiana swamps. Information on Mississippi cruises is available from the New Orleans Steamboat Company (see International travel ).
- Usaers: Provides a full list of major rivers and mountains in Louisiana.
Nearby, Monroe is another riverside town with many historic homes and a museum. Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo (Monroe) is a 100-acre park with moss-covered oak trees, landscaped gardens, and meandering waterways. The 18-mile Dogwood Trail Drive climbs the highest hills in the state, past flowering dogwoods revealing the region’s beauty all its own.
Shreveport is a major natural gas and oil center near the Texas border and is considered quintessentially American. The city is also a well-known commercial and entertainment hub, with three major events per year drawing visitors from far and wide. Shreve Square is home to a variety of nightclubs, restaurants and shops. The Louisiana State Exhibit Museum features dioramas, an art gallery, historic murals, and archaeological finds, as does the RW Norton Museum, which exhibits Old West artists, and the American Rose Center.
This area is known as a sportsman’s paradise because of the many forests and lakes that offer excellent fishing, canoeing and hiking opportunities. Active holidays are offered. Toledo Bend hosts a Fishing Tournament every year. The Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred Racetrack, across the Red River in Bossier City, is open for horse racing late spring through fall. The Poverty Point State Commemorative Area is an ancient Native American settlement dating back to around 1700 BC. and one of the most important archaeological sites in the United States. The spa town of Hot Wells is also worth a visit.
There is excellent shopping in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Countless articles are suitable as travel souvenirs, e.g. B. Creole pecan chocolates, carnival masks, good hand-mixed perfumes in beautiful bottles and antiques from Royal Street. Other good shopping areas in New Orleans include Canal Place, the Esplanade, the French Market, and the Riverwalk and Uptown Square Mall. Northgate Mall in Lafayette and Lakeside Shopping Center in Metairie are also excellent. Foreign visitors can shop duty-free at certain stores, and a tax refund application can be obtained at any store with the Louisiana Tax Free Shopping (LTFS) sticker. The tax is refunded upon departure at the LTFS office at New Orleans International Airport upon presentation of the application, receipt and flight ticket. Anyone who does not take advantage of this option can also make the refund by post, enclosing the same documents and a notarized declaration (as to why the refund was not made on departure) and a declaration of the whereabouts of the goods.
Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré in New Orleans is one of the oldest theater companies in the country and comes highly recommended. The Little Theater in Shreveport is also home to a good theater company. Influenced by the rhythmic chants of boat crews and gospels by farmhands, Louisiana music produced jazz greats like New Orleans natives Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong. That’s why you can hear jazz, blues, gospel, rhythm ‘n’ blues, zydeco (played by French-speaking blacks), Cajun, and country music everywhere. Many concerts take place on river boats on the Mississippi. Nightlife is particularly lively in New Orleans. The variety shows and cabarets of the notorious Bourbon Street, where every third door is a nightclub, are world famous. A few minutes from the CBD is Fat City with many nightclubs and 24-hour cafes.
Creole cuisine is Louisiana’s specialty and a must-try. The cultural diversity in this state has produced a new cuisine that incorporates the best recipes from each nation. Due to the location by the sea, the range of fresh fish, shrimp, crabs, oysters and lobsters is particularly large. Venison is also very popular, including rabbit and wild turkey. Bananas, pineapples and other fruits are commonly used in Creole cuisine along with savory spices such as hot pepper and filé (a spice used to make gumbo). The Crescent City area of New Orleans is known for its excellent restaurants serving Creole specialties such as Oysters Rockefeller (oysters), Offer Bananas Foster and Pompano en Papillote. Oyster bars are common, especially on the riverbanks and coast. Creole cafes offer traditional fare such as gumbo with kidney beans and rice. Cajun specialties are etouffée, sauce piquante and jambalaya. Natchitoches specializes in hot boudin, a crescent-shaped meat pie made with a flavorful blend of beef and pork. The town of Henderson on the edge of the Atchafalaya Swamp is known for Cajun cuisine and its many seafood restaurants that draw visitors from afar. Southern cooking specialties in the Crossroads area of northern Louisiana include fried chicken, grilled meats, cornbread and peach pie. Drinks: Due to the southern climate, cold drinks (especially iced tea) are in high demand.
Best travel time
Humid and subtropical. It is quite hot in summer, mild in spring and autumn and cooler in winter. The hurricane season on the coast lasts from early June to late November.
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