Mardi Gras

Accommodation:

  • French Market Inn

Transport:

  • Mardi Gras World offers a complimentary shuttle for people interested in taking its day tour, with designated pick-ups downtown and in the French Quarter. Click here for pick up points
  • The best way to navigate Mardi Gras is on foot, so wear comfortable shoes.
  • Many streets close down for parades, so taxis can only drop you off at certain points. Additionally, taxis may become hard to find, especially at night, due to it becoming very busy
  • Click here for New Orleans’ Regional Transit Authority (RTA), which has created tools for visitors to get around easily
  • Standard fares one-way on the RTA system are: Streetcar $1.25; Bus $1.25; Express Bus $1.50; 201 Kenner Loop $1.25; and the Ferry $2.00
  • You can purchase Jazzy passes for buses and streetcars but these cannot be used in the Jefferson Transit system. A 1-day pass costs $3, a 3-day pass costs $9 and a 5-day pass costs $15
  • An integrated ferry, bus and streetcar pass costs $7 for a 1-day pass and $30 for a 5-day pass

Things to see:

  • Bourbon Street
  • French Quarter
  • Mardi Gras World
  • The Germaine Cazenave Wells Mardi Gras Museum
  • Louisiana State Museum: Carnival

Tips:

  • Mardi Gras is always 47 days before Easter
  • Carnival season officially begins on 6 Jan or Twelfth Night. Most parades don’t start until a few weeks before Mardi Gras Day, which can fall as early as 5 Feb or as late as 9 March
  • The official parade schedule isn’t typically released until the first few weeks of each new year, but you can click here for routes of the parade when it goes lives
  • Click here for Mardi Gras dates up to 2050
  • The Mardi Gras parade is free to attend but get to the parade early, as numbers can fill quickly. For the biggest parades rolling in the evenings on the weekend before Mardi Gras, plan to get there about four hours ahead
  • If you have limited time, the weekend before Fat Tuesday is the prime time to visit New Orleans for Mardi Gras. This is the weekend of Bacchus and Endymion, two of the biggest parades of the season
  • Most of the Central Business District and French Quarter hotels require a four to five-day minimum stay, and steadily book blocks of rooms beginning in August. All hotels are normally booked by December
  • If you would like a hotel with balconies to view the parade, review hotels here
  • New Orleans weather can be unpredictable as well, so take warm clothing for the evening time. The parades roll in light rain and officials will only postpone if the weather is predicted to be severe
  • On Fat Tuesday, don’t forget to try the famous Hurricane cocktail
  • When walking around the French Quarter during Mardi Gras, look out as people throw beads and decorations from balconies
  • The Germaine Cazenave Wells Mardi Gras Museum is free to access
  • Family Gras is a free celebration of Carnival and family just 10 minutes from downtown New Orleans
  • The Modern Lundi Gras festival is a party with food, drink and music on three stages
  • For more on New Orleans, click here

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