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Where to Stay in New Orleans to Stay Safe

New Orleans is a magical place that everyone should experience at some point in their life. But it’s not the kind of city to take risks. If you watch the news at all, you've probably heard terrible things about crime in parts of the city, sometimes involving travelers. Unfortunately, New Orleans isn't the safest city in the US. But there are a few things you can do to stay safe on your New Orleans vacation. Knowing where to stay in New Orleans is the first step. The NOLA travel tips in this post are intended to prepare you to stay safe in New Orleans. These thoughts are all my own.


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New Orleans Travel Tips | Where to Stay in New Orleans | Where to Stay in NOLA | Best Hotels in New Orleans | Best Hotels in NOLA | Visiting New Orleans | Louisiana Travel Destinations

NOLA at Night

New Orleans is enchanting. The city can open your eyes to a world of intense fun and flavor. But those magical streets can hide a sinister side, which adds to the suspense the city of New Orleans seems to exude. One of the things I love most about New Orleans is the mystical quality of the city. The poorly lit streets, unusual smells, and uneven sidewalks all play a role in creating the dreamy, and sometimes otherworldly, feeling the city evokes. This special mixture of old and new world make New Orleans my favorite place to visit

But New Orleans is a tricky city. Streets can change quite quickly. Old neighborhoods are crammed together, sandwiched in between canals and boulevards. Sometimes it's impossible to know when you've crossed into dangerous territory. I'm not ashamed to say that there are places in New Orleans I wouldn’t be caught in after dark. Even the French Quarter can feel a little dicey at times.

Regardless of the risk, I love spending time on the streets of New Orleans, especially in the evenings. The city comes alive at night, and you come alive with it. The sounds, smells, and sights are intoxicating, not to mention the powerful fruity concoctions your bartender whips up for you. But stumbling back to your lodgings after a fun night out can make you vulnerable. Local criminals have been known to target tourists in moments of desperation. 

The Temptation to Say Yes to Vacation Rentals

Planning a New Orleans vacation can quickly get expensive. Finding a place to stay in New Orleans that's affordable and safe requires some research. Many people are tempted to use vacation rentals to save money, which makes sense in some cities. It's easy to believe that because someone lives there, it should be okay. But that's not always the case in New Orleans. How do you know that the person living in your vacation rental isn't scared to walk the streets themselves?

Pssst... are you looking for Mardi Gras tips!?

Just Say "NO" to Vacation Rentals

I read a lot of travel blogs and travel guides, so I hear many people talking about their wonderful experiences using vacation rental services like Airbnb and VRBO. And while I’ve used both services in the past with great success, I would NEVER use either of these services in New Orleans.

Want to know the number one reason why? Safety, my friends. I value my personal safety too much. Staying in a vacation rental in New Orleans could spell problems for some travelers. Not knowing the city well, some folks might unknowingly choose unsafe neighborhoods in an effort to save some cash. Without doing extensive research on the crime statistics of that particular area, I think it's impossible to know for sure that you'll be safe in your temporary vacation rental.

If you must stay in a vacation rental, please pony up the extra bucks for a place in the French Quarter. Staying in any vacation rental outside the Quarter could be a real gamble. No matter how many times I’ve visited New Orleans, it’s not a gamble I’d be willing to take.

Where I stay in NOLA

So what's my best advice on where to stay in New Orleans? Fork over the extra cash for a local hotel. Even though I know the city well, I still choose to stay in hotels, especially if I'm traveling alone.

Why pick a hotel, you ask? The on-site staff, busy entrances, and ample foot traffic help me to feel comfortable, especially when coming back late at night. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it seems less likely that you’ll become a victim of a crime outside a well-lit, busy hotel (as opposed to an un-staffed vacation rental on a poorly lit street).

which hotels are best?

Deciding exactly where to stay in New Orleans depends on your itinerary. It's really about what your interests are and what you hope to experience while you're in New Orleans. With so many different hotels in New Orleans, it's easy to find something affordable. There's something at every price range in and around the French Quarter, the primary destination for most New Orleans visitors.

If you're hoping to primarily explore the French Quarter, then staying somewhere inside the quarter is best. You might want to consider the Hotel Monteleone or the Royal Sonesta if you’ve got money to burn. If you're on a budget but still want some NOLA-flavor, then you ought to consider Hotel Le Marais, The French Market Inn, The Bourbon Orleans Hotel, or Hotel St Marie.

Looking for More New Orleans Hotels?

For safe Quarter adjacent digs, consider staying at the Sheraton New Orleans on Canal or the AC Hotel by Marriott on Carondelet. Both are ideally located for exploring the French Quarter, catching the street cars to Uptown or the Garden District, or hopping on the ferry to explore Algiers.

For easy access to jazz clubs on Frenchmen St, stay at the Frenchmen Hotel. This little gem is ideally situated for exploring some of the hippest areas of the city, including Bywater, the Marigny, and Frenchmen St.

If you're looking for Warehouse District lodging, check out the Old No. 77 Hotel. This hip new hotel is ideally located near all the cool art galleries and theaters in the Warehouse District.

And for the Garden District, don't miss the Historic Streetcar Inn, the Pontchartrain Hotel, or the Henry Howard Hotel. All three of these hotels are perfect for a locals-only experience during Mardi Gras. Just be sure to book WELL in advance.

Why I Wrote This

Firm believers in vacation rentals might find this post bit controversial. As I said before, I’ve used vacation rental services in the past with great success. It’s just not something I can recommend for New Orleans. So, my number one answer to the questions "where to stay in New Orleans" is always going to be "in a hotel"!

I want everyone to feel comfortable and have fun when visiting my favorite US city. More importantly, I want everyone to return to New Orleans and share their love of the city with all their friends and family. As I've said, New Orleans is special to me, and I will always promote NOLA tourism. I love the city, even with all her faults, for many reasons. And I want you to love her, too. So, please y’all, take my advice on where to stay in New Orleans.

Don't Miss My Other New Orleans Travel Guides!

Looking for a comprehensive New Orleans travel guide? Look no further than my Louisiana Girl's Guide to Visiting New Orleans! I've got something for everyone there.

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Happy wandering!


  • Reply
    Happy Coconuts Travel Blog
    August 17, 2016 at 6:37 am

    We are planning a trip to New Orleans, it has always been at the top of my list, thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      August 17, 2016 at 10:49 pm

      Oh you will have so much fun! Just please stay safe!!!

  • Reply
    Mindi Hirsch
    August 17, 2016 at 6:39 am

    You have some great tips here! We usually stay on the edge of the French Quarter where it’s easy to park and also easy to walk to other neighborhoods.

    • Reply
      August 17, 2016 at 10:49 pm

      It’s the best spot if you are visiting for the first time or a short stay. I love the Quarter, so I usually end up there. I have a personal connection to the Quarter, though. I can see how it wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea.

  • Reply
    Charles McCool
    August 17, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    My last trip to New Orleans I stayed at the Country Inn just outside of French Quarter. Great location and nice hotel.

    • Reply
      August 17, 2016 at 10:48 pm

      Sounds perfect! Glad you had a great time and a safe stay 🙂

  • Reply
    Lara Dunning
    August 17, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    This is great. I hope to go one day as I really want to have a New Orleans beignet.

    • Reply
      August 17, 2016 at 10:47 pm

      Oh Lara, they are simply the best things ever! Have a sno-ball too!

  • Reply
    Kevin Wagar
    August 21, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    I loved my short time in NOLA. Incredibly friendly people, wonderful architecture, and amazing history. A big part about picking your lodging that I found was the cost of getting around. By staying far from where you were visiting, you lose a lot of cash on transportation.

    • Reply
      August 21, 2016 at 10:34 pm

      You are so very right, Kevin. Another great reason to stay close to all the action.

  • Reply
    August 28, 2016 at 6:32 am

    Sounds like a great place. Thanks for the tips.The French Quarter does sound awesome.

  • Reply
    August 28, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Great tips and perfect information for when i visit New Orleans. Thanks.

    • Reply
      August 31, 2016 at 6:55 am

      Thanks for the great feedback, Kevin. I hope NOLA treats you well when you get there.

  • Reply
    Bart & Eena
    August 28, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    This is truly an interesting and informative read. Thank you for sharing this and for sure we will take this in to consideration when the time comes. 🙂

    • Reply
      August 31, 2016 at 6:54 am

      Gee thanks, Bart & Eena, for the lovely compliment. I’m glad you found the information helpful. Hopefully you make it to NOLA one day!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2016 at 12:16 am

    I agree with you 100%. A great city, but yes, can’t be a little dangerous, especially since you can openly drink alcohol on the streets. I would stay in a hotel as well.

    • Reply
      August 31, 2016 at 6:53 am

      Precisely my point! Things happen there when people get intoxicated and don’t pay attention. It’s unfortunate but true.

  • Reply
    Castaway with Crystal
    August 29, 2016 at 5:45 am

    This is really great information. I love the Frenchmen Hotel, looks like a cool place to stay 🙂

    Crystal recently posted… Spectacular Photos Of The NT That Will Make You Get The Next Flight

    • Reply
      August 31, 2016 at 6:52 am

      Staying at the Frenchmen Hotel was one of my favorite NOLA experiences!

  • Reply
    Evan Kristine
    August 29, 2016 at 6:46 am

    I did not know that you need to be careful where to stay in New Orleans! Thanks for sharing all of these great places to stay 🙂

    • Reply
      August 31, 2016 at 6:51 am

      You’re most welcome, Evan. It’s definitely somewhere I’d recommend people pay attention to their surroundings and make wise choices.

  • Reply
    August 29, 2016 at 7:52 am

    Thanks, bookmarked, one day I really do hope to take a trip here. It is very high up my list!

    • Reply
      August 31, 2016 at 6:50 am

      I hope you do get a chance to visit NOLA, Smidge! It’s a terrific little city.

  • Reply
    January 3, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    We are interested in staying either at the ponchutrain hotel on St charles or the Omni on the french quarter, both are lovely but any recommendations on which is safer?

    • Reply
      Carlie Dayle
      January 4, 2017 at 12:56 pm

      Hi Nicole, thanks for your comment. I think it depends a lot on what you want to do while in NOLA. If you are looking for a French Quarter experience, I would stay at the Omni. That way you all your activities are right out the door. While the Pontchartrain is in a beautiful area, there may not be very much within walking distance that you want to do. You would be totally reliant on car/trolley/taxi. That’s a primarily residential area. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    July 4, 2017 at 6:50 am

    Thank you for this list! I’m looking around for a hotel now and have NO idea where NOT to go. I pre-booked at the Hotel Royal at the corner of Royal St and St. Phillip St just to hold the room, but figuring I would cancel (free cancellation) if I found something better/in the better area. Would you say this area is a safe one?

    • Reply
      Carlie Dayle
      July 5, 2017 at 8:50 am

      Hi Emily, that is an ideal place to stay! You should be just fine as long as you stay aware of your surroundings! Have a great time!

  • Reply
    lauren soldano
    August 1, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Hello!! I LOVED this post, extremely helpful. My best friend and I are taking a trip there in about a month and currently have a room booked at Le Pavillon on Poydras St. Would you say this is a good location, or should we maybe look into something elsewhere??
    Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Tammy Pettis
    October 3, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    Where is a safe place to stay near the airport but still wanting to maybe see downtown for just 1 evening before flying out ?

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