Are you planning a Mardi Gras New Orleans 2024 trip? It’s no doubt one of the best carnivals in the world. We share the Mardi Gras New Orleans Itinerary for 2024 with details about famous parades and more! Moreover, we present the routes of the most essential and exciting parades and the best vantage points to watch and photograph. We advise you on how to prepare for Mardi Gras in 2024, where to stay, the best locations for watching the Mardi Gras Parades, and how to spend time in New Orleans.This article may contain affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.
Mardi Gras New Orleans 2024 – Introduction
New Orleans, Louisiana, is one of our favorite cities in the United States. It has a charm that is hard to describe. Perhaps it’s a mix of the mystery associated with the voodoo tradition, the ubiquitous jazz music, the history of slavery, the blocking of the Mississippi River, and the great food and drink. The atmosphere of New Orleans is unusual; the city is magical, especially during Mardi Gras. No doubt, Mardi Gras in New Orleans is one of the grandest carnivals in the world, with great traditions and history.
New Orleans is unique and worth a visit. The only question is, when should you visit New Orleans? In our opinion, the best time to visit New Orleans is Mardi Gras 2024. That’s why we have created this Mardi Gras New Orleans itinerary 2024 for you to prepare for. Check our detailed tips to prepare for your trip!
When is Mardi Gras New Orleans in 2024?
Mardi Gras Day 2024 is on February 13, 2024, with the main celebrations taking place in the two weeks leading up to the actual date. The biggest celebrations usually occur on the two weekends before Mardi Gras, which always falls on a Tuesday. It is a “Fat Tuesday,” which is the last day of the Carnival season.
The biggest New Orleans parades occur on Mardi Gras Day, February 13, 2024. This is related to the religious day and the cycles of the moon. February 13, 2024, is the Tuesday before the beginning of Lent, 47 days before Easter.
How long does Mardi Gras last in New Orleans in 2024?
The official start of the Carnival Season is Twelfth Night, January 6, 2024. Parades are in New Orleans throughout Mardi Gras season, but the biggest and most exciting parades occur through Fat Tuesday the last weekend of Mardi Gras. Make sure to plan your trip no later than Friday, February 9, 2024, to enjoy an extended weekend of festivities during Mardi Gras in New Orleans, 2024. However, any date between January 6, 2024, and February 13, 2024, will be great for a visit to New Orleans, as there will be Mardi Gras Parades and festivities almost every day.
What date is Mardi Gras in New Orleans in the following years?
In 2024, Mardi Gras falls on Tuesday, February 13th. Fat Tuesday is the last day of the carnival season and is always the day before Ash Wednesday – the first day of Lent.
Below you will find dates for subsequent years, Mardi Gras in New Orleans:
- Mardi Gras 2025 – Mar 4th
- Mardi Gras 2026 – Feb 17th
- Mardi Gras 2027 – Feb 9th
What is Mardi Gras New Orleans?
Mardi Gras (also known as Fat Tuesday) history reaches medieval Europe. It is the name of the events of the carnival celebration. It starts on or after Three Kings Day and progresses toward Ash Wednesday (Shrove Tuesday). The idea of Mardi Gras is to eat lavish last night before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season. On March 2nd, 1699, French-Canadian explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville arrived at a plot of ground 60 miles directly south of New Orleans. He named it “Pointe du Mardi Gras” when his men realized it was the eve of the festive holiday. The first celebration of Mardi Gras in America took place in Fort Louis (currently Mobile) in 1703.
Best Time to Visit New Orleans
The main question is, what is the best time to visit New Orleans? We have already mentioned the best time to visit New Orleans – it’s February 2024, when Mardi Gras happens in the city. In 2024, Mardi Gras Day is on February 13th. But if you can’t plan your visit during Mardi Gras 2024, try months like April or May when the weather is comfortably cool or December/January when the city is calm and it’s easier and cheaper to book your lodging. So, the best time to visit New Orleans is from December to May.
TRIP TIP PLANNING: If you can’t visit New Orleans during Mardi Gras 2024, check out our ultimate New Orleans 3 days Itinerary for any time of the year. Also, check our recommendations with the best plantation to visit in New Orleans, where you can learn about the area’s history, and with the best Bayou Swamp Tours, where you can admire wildlife.
Mardi Gras in New Orleans Weather
If you plan to visit New Orleans for Mardi Gras, you would like to know what New Orleans’ weather is like in February. We have prepared two weather charts for you – one shows average temperatures throughout the year and the other average precipitation in inches.
Mardi Gras New Orleans Itinerary 2024 – How to Get Around the City?
If you are visiting just the city, renting a car doesn’t make sense. Taking a taxi or Uber from the airport to the New Orleans city center is better. And if you are staying downtown, almost everything is reachable by walking distance, so it’s best to stay in this area.
If you would like to reach more remote city areas like a city park or some cemeteries, it’s good to take a taxi, Uber, or even a tram or bus. In addition, there are many more tourists during Mardi Gras, some roads are closed to cars due to parades and accompanying events, and there are traffic jams. It is not worth renting a car to move around the New Orleans center. There are also great city tours available, but book them in advance, as it’s a high tourist season.
Mardi Gras New Orleans Itinerary 2024 – Where to Stay in New Orleans?
The famous French Quarter is the best place to stay in New Orleans during Mardi Gras in 2024. It’s the most charming and luxurious option and within walking distance of the best restaurants and drink bars. You will be close to parades and other events. But it will also be a bit loud and crowded. But also it will be more usually more expensive than other parts of the city. And if you are traveling by car, expect a parking problem. On the map below, you can find the best deals with detailed hotels location.
Other good neighborhoods in New Orleans for Mardi Gras 2024 include Marigny, Central Business District, Treme, Arts District, and Warehouse District. You might also consider Algiers across the river, a little out of the way but lovely, Garden District, or even Lakeview near City Park. But you’ll have to commute by taxi or Uber for these last places.
PRO TIP: In 2024, Mardi Gras Day is February 13th. The most popular time to visit New Orleans is the extended weekend before Mardi Gras, when you can catch parades, like Endymion, Bacchus, Zulu, Rex, and all of the festive celebrations throughout the whole city. Mardi Gras Carnival is a popular time, so book your accommodation for several months in advance.
Recommended Hotels in New Orleans for Mardi Gras 2024
The best area to stay in New Orleans during Mardi Gras is the French Quarter. And we selected some of the lovely places to stay below.
Hotel Le Marais ($$$) – This hotel is one of our favorites in the French Quarter. It’s really well located (only 5 minutes’ walk to Bourbon Street) and has everything you need, including the gym, pool, and fantastic drink bar – Vive!. In the morning, you will have an excellent breakfast that you can eat inside or outside the lobby. Click here to book Hotel Le Marais.
Hotel Provincial ($$$) – Located closer to Marigny District, this charming hotel allows you to reach French Market or the fantastic Jazz Museum quickly. Still, the place is not far from the main action of the French Quarter or even a riverbank or Jackson Square. We love this hotel for its very stylish design, excellent boutique-style rooms, and amiable staff. Click here to book Hotel Provincial.
Hotel Monteleone ($$$$) – This hotel is a historic and more luxurious one. Located only one block from Bourbon Street, it also offers a charming rooftop pool and fantastic Carousel Bar and serves tasty food in Criollo Restaurant. So if you prefer such a luxury style and are ready to pay more to enjoy New Orleans, choose this hotel by clicking here to book it!
Use Deals Finder below to check the best offers for your stay!
Where to stay in New Orleans with Motorhome?
If you are traveling to New Orleans as a part of your more extended road trip and using your RV for it, we would like to give you some hints about where to stay. It’s not easy to find a place for your RV in this historic city. If you have a smaller motorhome (up to 22ft), you can try parking in the lovely New Orleans Courtyard Hotel (it will fit a small motorhome or camper truck up to 22ft), and it’s not very expensive to park there.
If your motorhome is longer, probably the best option is to stay at the rather expensive French Quarter Rv Resort. Everything else is far from downtown.
If you don’t plan to sleep in your motorhome and want to park somewhere in the city, try French Quarter Parking Lot (GPS 29°57’38.2″N 90°04’18.3″W) – it’s not cheap but might be one of the limited options to park your RV.
Where to stay in New Orleans to Watch Mardi Gras from Balcony?
If you are heading to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, you plan to see at least one parade. And from our experience, the best idea is to observe the parade from the balcony of your hotel. If you can’t find a hotel with a balcony, you can try to identify one with specially-prepared platforms in the front of the hotel. In such a case, access is limited to the people staying in the hotel only or keeping tickets. This is why we prepared some maps of the three selected parades and listed the best hotels to see Mardi Gras Parades from the balcony. Further on in the text, you will also find specific tips on where to enjoy the Mardi Gras parades if you don’t have access to the hotel balcony.
TRIP TIP: If you dream of watching Mardi Gras Parades from a balcony, hotel, or restaurant along the route, booking several months in advance is essential.
The advantage of observing the Mardi Gras Parades from the balcony is your safety, fewer crowds, and access to drinks and restrooms. The cons are less interaction with the celebrating people.
The Best Parades during Mardi Gras New Orleans 2024
A complete list of Mardi Gras Parades in New Orleans between January 6 and February 13, 2024, can be found on the official website. Below, we present some of the most exciting parades, with hotel recommendations worth booking to be in the heart of the event and have the best view.
Ancient Druids and Krewe Of Nyx Parade during Mardi Gras 2024
Ancient Druids and Krewe of Nyx will happen on Wednesday, February 13, 2024, beginning at 6:15 PM. Planned route of the parade is shown below (please be aware that it can be changed without notice):
- The Krewe of Druids parade will start at the intersection of Napoleon Avenue and Prytania St, where the krewe will head north.
- The parade will stay on Napoleon until St. Charles Avenue, where the krewe will turn east (right).
- The Krewe of Druids will follow St. Charles all the way to Lee Circle, around the circle and back on St. Charles northward to Canal Street.
- At Canal, the parade will turn east and proceed to the intersection at Tchoupitoulas St., where the parade will take a right turn.
- The parade ends on Tchoupitoulas and Poydras Street.
- The Krewe of Nyx parade will start immediately after the Krewe of Ancient Druids.
- The krewe will start at the intersection of Napoleon Avenue and Prytania, where the krewe will head north
- The parade will stay on Napoleon until St. Charles Avenue, where the krewe will turn east (right).
- The Krewe of Nyx will follow St. Charles all the way to Lee Circle, around the circle and back on St. Charles northward to Canal Street.
- At Canal, the parade will turn east (right) and proceed to Tchoupitoulas Street, where they head south (right).
- The krewe then heads to the intersection of Tchoupitoulas and Poydras Street, where the parade will end.
Recommended Hotels for Mardi Gras New Orleans 2024
Lafayette Hotel ($$) – Our favorite hotel for watching Mardi Gras parade without moving far from your room. If you missed booking a room with a view, there would be an exclusive platform in front of the hotel. The hotel itself is very comfortable, and the staff is friendly. Please check availability and book your room here.
Pontchartrain Hotel St. Charles Avenue ($$) – The hotel is very well located to see the parade from your room’s window or the platform. Just make sure to have the right room while booking. You can book this hotel by clicking here.
Hotel Indigo New Orleans Garden District ($$$) – However, located in Garden District, it is an excellent choice for watching Mardi Gras parade from your window. The parade is rolling through St. Charles Avenue just in front of Indigo. You can book this hotel by clicking here.
Endymion Parade during Mardi Gras 2024
Endymion parade will start on 4:15 PM on Saturday, February 18, 2024. The planned route of the parade is shown below (please be aware that it can be changed without notice):
- The Krewe of Endymion parade starts at the intersection of City Park Avenue and Orleans Avenue.
- From there they travel southeast down Orleans Avenue to the intersection with N. Carrollton Avenue.
- They take a right onto Carrollton and continue until it intersects with Canal Street.
- The Krewe then takes a left and travels down Canal Street through Mid City until they reach Elk.
- At Elk they continue onto Loyola and take a right onto Girod St.
- Continuing down Elk until reaching the Caesars Superdome where it fihises.
Recommended Hotels for Mardi Gras New Orleans 2024
Hotel Vinache ($$$) – This hotel is located on Canal Street just along the parade route. Please make sure you can book a room with a Canal Street view to admire the parade through your window. You can book the room by clicking here.
TownePlace Suites by Marriott ($$$) – This hotel is also located on Canal Street along the parade route. It has a fantastic rooftop bar. Try to book a room with a Canal Street view, and please make sure to book the right Marriott hotel on the Canal (there are more). You can check prices and availability by clicking this link.
Drury Plaza Hotel ($$$) – This hotel is located on Poydras Street along the parade route. It offers free breakfast and drinks. You should be able to find a room with a view of Poydras Street and admire the parade through your window. Please check the availability and prices by clicking this link.
Zulu and Rex Parade during Mardi Gras 2024
Zulu and Rex parade will start at 8:00 AM on Tuesday, February 21st, 2024. The planned route of the parade is shown below (please be aware that it can be changed without notice):
- The Krewe of Zulu begin at S. Claiborne and Jackson Avenue.
- They parade down Jackson to St. Charles Avenue where they take a left turn.
- They follow St. Charles Avenue around Lee Circle and then continue back down St. Charles to Poydras Street.
- At Poydras Street, the Krewe takes a left turn.
- They follow Poydras until Basin Street where they take a right turn.
- The continue on Basin Street to where it becomes Orleans Avenue.
- The parade follows Orleans Avenue until it concludes at Broad Street.
- The Krewe of Rex parade will start at the intersection of Napoleon Avenue and Carondelet St. in New Orleans.
- The parade will proceed south until St. Charles Avenue, where the krewe will turn east (left).
- The Krewe of Rex will follow St. Charles all the way to Lee Circle, around the circle and back on St. Charles northward to Canal Street.
- At Canal, the parade will turn southeast (right) and follow the road to the intersection of Canal and South Peters Street where the parade will end.
Recommended Hotels for Mardi Gras New Orleans 2024
Lafayette Hotel ($$) – Our favorite hotel for watching Mardi Gras parade without moving far from your room. There would be an exclusive platform in front of the hotel if you missed booking a room with a view. The hotel itself is very comfortable, and the staff is friendly. Please check availability and book your room here.
Drury Plaza Hotel ($$$) – This hotel is located on Poydras street along the parade route. It offers free breakfast and drinks. You should be able to find a room with a view of Poydras street and admire the parade through your window. Please check the availability and prices by clicking this link.
Mardi Gras New Orleans Itinerary 2024 – Is New Orleans Safe?
One thing to consider before selecting the place to stay in New Orleans is your safety. New Orleans is very often included on the lists of the world’s 50 most crime-filled cities. It, unfortunately, means NOLA is not among the cities considered entirely safe for tourists. However, there are no official warnings or travel advisories. Like with many cities in the world, it just depends on the area you are visiting or the security precautions you take to reduce the risk.
So is French Quarter New Orleans safe? As in most such places, you must be careful. It means you don’t walk alone too far from well-lit streets, don’t show your gear, and try not to leave area limits. Be careful with your documents, money, credit cards, and wallet. The French Quarter is considered somewhat safe, but neighborhoods have a higher crime rate.
Below we put the list of the city’s most dangerous parts. Try to avoid those New Orleans areas after dark to reduce the risk.
- Warrington Drive / Robert E. Lee Blvd
- Cleveland Avenue / S. Johnson Street
- St Bernard Street / Buchanan Avenue
- Port Street / Urquhart Street
- Saint Roch Avenue / N Galvez Street
- Tchoupitoulas Street / Jackson Avenue
Mardi Gras New Orleans Itinerary 2024
Below are some suggestions for spending time in New Orleans during Mardi Gras 2024. We include both watching exciting parades and visiting the city and its surroundings.
Where to Watch the Mardi Gras Parades 2024 in New Orleans?
In addition to the hotel’s balconies listed above, you have many other options to admire the parades.
Watching Mardi Gras from a Grandstand
There are plenty of grandstands in the city where you can celebrate Mardi Gras. Thanks to this, you will be in the middle of this event.
The best grandstand locations are on St. Charles Ave, in Lafayette Square, and two on the intersection of St. Charles and Poydras. But you must have a ticket for those locations. An advanced booking is required. Pricing varies depending on the Mardi Gras parade you choose, and you must pay per parade.
The Best Street Locations for Watching Mardi Gras Parades in New Orleans
If you fail to book a hotel in New Orleans with a balcony overlooking the parade and did not manage to reserve a seat in the grandstands at Mardi Gras, don’t worry. It’s still worth spending time between January 6 and February 13, 2024, in New Orleans and enjoying the Carnival!
You can watch and enjoy the Mardi Gras parades from anywhere along the parade routes themselves. New Orleans streets are full of life and music during Mardi Gras. Moreover, watching parades from the street is free. So choose those options if you have a limited budget for your trip. Even if you have booked a hotel with a balcony, it is worth going to at least one parade to the NOLA streets and feeling its rhythm and atmosphere. Check the parade route & schedule, and choose the best street location for you.
The Best Street Locations for Watching Mardi Gras Parades in New Orleans in 2024:
- St Charles Ave
- Canal Street
- Polymnia & St. Charles
- Lee Circle
How expensive is Mardi Gras in New Orleans?
The answer to this question isn’t simple – it depends on your needs. And it depends on when you book your travel tickets, when you book your loading, how you like to dine, where you would like to stay, and what events are interesting to you and you would like to participate in them.
PRO TIP: The earlier you book your accommodation and flight, the better prices you will get. Prices go crazy at the beginning of the year, and getting a hotel room during Mardi Gras may not be possible.
Our estimated costs based on previous years:
- Airfare from US – 400-900 USD
- Airfare from Europe – 1200-2000 USD
- Lodging – 250+ USD/night/room
- Transportation from the airport to the city – 50 USD (in the city we recommend walking – it doesn’t make sense to rent a car)
- Food and drink – from 90 USD/day
Mardi Gras New Orleans Itinerary – Must See in New Orleans
If you are coming for Mardi Gras New Orleans 2024, you probably would like to see more tourist attractions in this beautiful city. There is a lot of things to do in New Orleans. Except for visiting the French Quarter, you can stop by New Orleans cemeteries, take a tour at night or walk on famous streets in New Orleans.
Things to do in New Orleans
Hop-On, Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour – The hop-on, a hop-off sightseeing tour will allow you to enjoy and take in this beautiful city at your leisure. Hop on to the double-decker bus as many times as you want within the chosen time period and experience everything that makes this musical city so fantastic. The live onboard tour commentary will make your sightseeing experience even more enriching. It’s easiest to book your tickets here.
Day Jazz Cruise on the Steamboat Natchez – Spend 2 hours on the Steamboat Natchez and be transported back in time! Journey along the graceful current and learn why New Orleans was founded on the beautiful crescent of the lower Mississippi River on this two-hour jazz cruise. Book your seats here.
Things to do in French Quarter
French Quarter, Cemetery, and Voodoo Tour – You can do it yourself or go for an organized tour. It combines 3 tours in one and lasts 2 hours. You will explore the French Quarter and Armstrong Park in the district of Treme. You will visit the City of the Dead, the oldest cemetery in New Orleans (access is only with a guide, so it will be complicated to organize it on your own). On tour, you will learn burial customs and see the Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau’s tomb. You can book the tour here.
French Quarter Walking and Storytelling Tour – Join the fun on a 2-hour, story-filled stroll through the French Quarter, the oldest, most famous, and most unpredictable neighborhood in New Orleans. This tour has history, culture, architecture and is great for shopping and dining. Book here.
Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes & Culture Tour – It will take you less than an hour. If you are here for Mardi Gras, you must join this one of the most fun and unique tours in New Orleans to the Mardi Gras Museum. Learn about the history of Mardi Gras and dress up in the vast collection of Mardi Gras costumes. You can reserve your tickets here.
Mardi Gras New Orleans Itinerary – Things to do in New Orleans with Kids
If you are going to Mardi Gras with kids, below are some suggestions for spending time with them. Also, be careful with kiddos, so they do not get lost in the crowd during the Mardi Gras parades.
Spooky Family Ghost Tour – If you come here with the whole family and would like to spend 2 hours with them, visiting a spooky city is an excellent idea. This fascinating ghost tour is designed for both children & adults. You will learn historical facts that make the outing both educational & fun. You can check prices and book tickets here.
Audubon Zoo & Audubon Aquarium of the Americas – There is plenty of attractions for kids in the city. One of the favorites is the zoo and Aquarium, but you can also consider the butterfly garden and insectarium. You can have all those attractions on one multi-pass with over 25 other places. Please check the price and list of attractions here.
Mardi Gras New Orleans Itinerary – Day Trips from New Orleans
If you are visiting New Orleans for Mardi Gras 2024, extend your stay and take two trips to unique places near New Orleans: swamps and plantations. We present you here two of the best tours.
We have also prepared separate articles about the best New Orleans bayou swamps tours and the most educational and moving Plantation Tours in New Orleans. Please read them before you decide to go on any of the tours as we share our experiences, tips, and photos from several stays in New Orleans.
Mardi Gras New Orleans Itinerary – The Best New Orleans Swamp Tour
The best marshes near New Orleans are on Pearl River Bayou. The tour will take you at least 3 hours, and it will take some time to reach the river itself. On the excursion, you will admire not only swamps with magnificent cypress and tupelo trees but also many wild animals like alligators, turtles, birds, and even raccoons. You can also see the homes of the people who live along the river. It is an incredible experience. We recommend a 2-hour tour – you can check its details and pricing here.
Mardi Gras New Orleans Itinerary – The Best New Orleans Plantation Tour
Oak Alley and Laura Plantation are two of the best near New Orleans. You can also consider visiting Whitney Plantation, which focuses on slavery. Please check the pricing and details of the best plantation tours here. It’s also a great idea to combine a plantation tour with a swamp tour and make two trips in one day!
Do you like it? Pin it!