Understanding your transportation in New Orleans is essential for a smooth stress free trip! Many of Nola's streets were originally made for horse carriages, and not the heavy traffic of tourist. The streets are packed full of people, cars, bikes, pedicabs, street performers, and horse carriages. This all contributed by the free-spirited culture that locals and tourist share alike, but can make transportation painful at times.
If you’re staying in the French Quarter, Downtown or in the Arts/Warehouse District, you may be able to walk to all of your destinations. If you need a ride, New Orleans’ has a charming streetcar, bike rentals, a bus, ferry, pedicab, horse carriages, Lyft, Uber, and taxis. Here is a guide to help you find what is best for you and your trip!
Driving + Parking
Driving or trying to park can be a nightmare. There are people everywhere, bikes darting around, and lots of one-way streets. It can get complicated and stressful, real quick. If you are driving into New Orleans by car; I highly suggest mapping out where to park before just jumping in the car and winging it. Ask your hotel, airbnb, friends, or google for details of where the best parking options are so you don't go around in circles looking aimlessly or getting lost.
I could overload you with info on airport parking, but the best way to navigate to and from the airport is at EZparker.com. -There is lots of options to plan ahead and make your trip less stressful!
Don't forget to check with your hotel to see if they have shuttles available that you can schedule. If you are staying at an Airbnb, ask the owners if they have a recommendation on the fasted shuttle routes or companies to their location.
There are several site that are designed just to help you find parking throughout Nola. You can even reserve your parking spot and pay in advance online or enter your destination address to see what your options are.
Premium Parking Reservations - you can reserve public parking that is closest to the destination address.
New Orleans Public Parking Garages - Find the Closest Parking Garage and pre-pay to reserve your parking spot in advance
French Quarter Parking - List and maps of all public parking in French Quarter
Once you have found parking then you may not want to move your car unless you are heading out of Nola. Join the locals and walk to your destinations!
Parking Meter 101 - Do and Don'ts
Most of the city’s meters accept dollar bills, credit cards and the Parkmobile app. Read the meters before you park. Parking is prohibited at meters in designated rush hour zones from 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. Broken meters are not free passes. They are technically off-limits and will land you a ticket.
Parking is free on meter holidays observed by the City of New Orleans.
- 3 PRO TIP WARNINGS -
1. Parking control measures and meter limits are strictly enforced. Meter inspection workers are always walking around and activity writing tickets to cars in violation. If you leave your vehicle in an illegal parking spot or without sufficient funds for the meter. it will be towed. This is not a might be... it WILL be!
2. If your staying for awhile and value your car, then don't park on the street! Your car might not look the same way you left it when you return. Find a parking lot or Garage at the links listed above!
3. Broken meters are not free passes. They are technically off-limits and might land you a ticket. It is a gamble.
Non Metered Street Parking
If you are looking for a space on the street, READ PARKING SIGNS CAREFULLY. The rules and violations consistently change from on road to the next. There is a think called, "neighborhood-only parking", in some places that are designated by signs. In those neighborhoods you can only park for two hours at a time until night. If you are staying at an Airbnb, check with the owner about the rules for their street parking.
Parking Violations You Might Not Know
I spent some time reading through the parking violations. I am a parking violation magnet. So, if you are like me then you will want to read over these not so common rules. No one wants to ruin their trip by receiving huge tickets or their car towed.
You Can't do the following.....
Park on the street for more than 24 consecutive hours
No parking on street cleaning days (usually Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 a.m. - Noon)
Leave vehicles longer than 22 feet overnight in the Central Business District
Park on a narrow street without allowing 10 feet of unobstructed roadway
Parking more than 18 inches from the curb
No parking on corners and crosswalks (within 20 feet)
In loading and service zones (buses and cab zones too)
On a parade route within two hours of a parade
During rush hours (7-9 a.m., 4-6 p.m.) on major streets
At bagged meters (during special events) and broken meters
Some Downtown stores offer free or discounted parking with purchase at nearby lots. Don't miss out on saving some cash where you can! Especially because parking can get expensive. Be sure to take your parking stamp, pass, or receipt with you to stores or restaurants in case they offer this service.
Two Central Business District lots offer Park-N-Ride shuttles.
Fulton Street Garage 901 Convention Center (504) 891-2897
Park-N-Ride 900 Howard Avenue (504) 307-5726
Numbers to Know
If all goes wrong and you have to make the dreaded calls and pay all the money.... here you go. Good Luck and Suck it up buttercup!
General Parking Questions & Parking Enforcement: (504) 658-8200 Administrative Hearing Center: (504) 658-8250 Booting: (504) 565-7451 Towing Information/Auto Pound: (504) 658-8284 Parking Enforcement: (504) 658-8200
Want More on What To Do and How To Do It in New Orleans!
Click the Graphic Above for our full Guide to Visiting New Orleans.
Do you have a crazy story or more helpful tips for parking and driving in New Orleans? Leave them in the comments below!
Hope these tips and recommendations help you navigate and plan your trip to New Orleans! Come back after your trip and share your experience in the comments below!