New Orleans French Quarter Bourbon Street dancing guide

The 82 Best Photography Spots In New Orleans In 2023 (With Map)

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In this post, I want to show you some of the best photography spots in New Orleans, both the quintessential NOLA spots and unique, off-the-beaten-path ones that will give you iconic photos of the city.

Though I’m not a born-and-bred local, I have a serious appreciation for New Orleans. I lived here for a total of nearly seven years.

Map of the Best Photography Spots in New Orleans

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The 82 Best Photography Spots In New Orleans

New Orleans is one of the best US cities for amazing street photography! From the colorful buildings, to the colorful outfits people wear here and the colorful beads hanging on trees after Mardi Gras, there’s never a lack of unique and fun photos to take all over the city! Here’s where to go to grab those fun shots:

French Quarter Best Photography Spots In New Orleans

1. Lafayette Square

This is one of the most popular photo spots in New Orleans, especially at sunset. Located in the Central Business District, it has a rich history – it was designed in 1788 – and is the 2nd-oldest public park in New Orleans.

This is a great place to get photos of the city skyline as well as candid shots of people enjoying the park. There are also statues of people like John McDonogh and Benjamin Franklin. Gallier Hall is across the street, which used to function as City Hall and is still used for events like inaugurations and concerts.

2. St. Charles Ave & The Streetcar

St. Charles Avenue is one of the main streets in New Orleans, and it’s where you’ll find the famous St. Charles Streetcar. The street is lined with beautiful old mansions and Southern Live Oak trees.

New Orleans St Charles St Best Photography Spots In New Orleans

3. The Bywater neighborhood

The Bywater is a historic neighborhood located just downriver from the French Quarter. It’s known for its colorful shotgun houses, street art, and lively music scene.

4. Doullut Steamboat Houses

The Doullut Steamboat Houses are a row of historic houses located in the Bywater neighborhood. They were built in the late 1800s for workers on the nearby steamboats.

5. Garden District

The Garden District is one of the most beautiful places in New Orleans, perfect for photography. This historic neighborhood is known for its gorgeous mansions, gardens and tree-lined streets.

6. Frenchman Street & Frenchman Art Market

Frenchman Street is THE street in New Orleans for live music. You’ll find all kinds of music genres being played in the clubs and bars lining this street – from Jazz to Blues to Rock. It’s also a great place to people watch and get photos of locals.

The Frenchman Art Market is a great place to get photos of local art as well as people enjoying the market. It’s held every Saturday and Sunday, and you can find everything from paintings to jewelry to sculptures.

7. Treme Neighborhood

Treme is the oldest African-American neighborhood in the US that is known for its lively music scene, colorful houses, and friendly people. You can get photos of the historic St. Augustine church and the Backstreet Cultural Museum here as well.

The Treme Brass Band often plays in the streets, and you can get photos of them as well as people dancing along. It’s right around the corner from Louis Armstrong Park and the French Quarter.

NOLA Treme house

📸 Book this Private Walking Tour of Treme and the French Quarter

8. Magazine Street

Magazine Street is a 6-mile long street that runs through several different neighborhoods. It’s known for its shopping, restaurants, and cafes.

You can take photos of the storefronts as well as people walking and biking along the street. Get photos of the murals and the tiled street names on the sidewalks.

Magazine Street on St Patty's Day NOLA

9. Freret Street

Freret Street is a historic street located in the Uptown neighborhood. It’s known for its lively music scene, bars restaurants and murals.

10. Warehouse District

The Warehouse District is a historic neighborhood located just downriver from the French Quarter. It has art galleries, restaurants, murals and lively nightlife scene.

Some of the places to photograph include the National WWII Museum, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Mardi Gras World, Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience, wine bars, outlets, art galleries, events like the First Saturday Julia Street art walk, the Convention Center and the River Walk.

Be sure to check out Fulton Street in this district for photos of the pedestrian walk and European atmosphere, and the Piazza d’Italia building for its post-modern architecture.

Make sure to get photos of the old buildings and details you’ll find hidden throughout this district!

Best Photography Spots In New Orleans: French Quarter

11. The French Quarter

This is the most popular tourist spot in New Orleans, and for good reason. It’s full of amazing architecture, great food, and there’s always something going on. If you want to take photos that scream “New Orleans”, this is the place! It’s known for its European architecture, wrought-iron balconies, and cobblestone streets.

📸 Book this Self-Guided French Quarter Tour

French Quarter New Orleans

12. Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street is the party street in New Orleans, and it’s always full of people. This is a great place to take photos of live music, locals, and all the action.

Be sure to get some photos of the iconic Bourbon Street signs as well as the famous bars on this street. Make sure to stop at Old Absinthe House and Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop.

New Orleans NOLA French Quarter Bourbon Street dancing Best Photography Spots In New Orleans

13. Jackson Square & Washington Artillery Park

Jackson Square is another popular spot for photographers, especially those who want to capture the iconic St. Louis Cathedral. This is also a great place to people watch and get photos of locals.

For a different perspective, head to Washington Artillery Park which overlooks Jackson Square. This is a great spot for photos of the entire square as well as the Mississippi River.

French Quarter New Orleans

14. St. Louis Cathedral

The focal point of many classic New Orleans photos, especially of the French Quarter, St. Louis Cathedral overlooks Jackson Square and is the oldest cathedral in the US that is still in use.

Make sure to get photos of the building from the elevated platform across the street; from closer to the building, where you’ll likely see live music and possibly second line parades; and inside, where you can find a museum along with the church itself.

15. The Cabildo

The Cabildo is a historic building that was once the seat of the Spanish government in New Orleans. It’s now home to the Louisiana State Museum, which has exhibits on the history of Louisiana. It’s in the attached building to the St. Louis Cathedral.

16. French Market (Shops of the Colonnade)

The French Market is the oldest public market in the US, dating back to 1791. This is a great spot for photos of the restaurants and surrounding garden. You can also get some great shots of the Mississippi River from here, as well as the French Quarter skyline.

17. Preservation Hall

This is a must-visit spot for music lovers and photographers alike. Preservation Hall is a historic jazz venue that has been open since 1961.

There’s usually a line to get in, but it’s well worth the wait! You can’t get photos during the concert, but you can get shots of the venue! Make sure to get a photo of the exterior of the building as well.

18. Royal St. Balconies

Royal Street is a historic street in the French Quarter that has art galleries, antique shops, and restaurants. It’s a great place to take photos of the many iconic New Orleans buildings and balconies.

French Quarter New Orleans

19. Pere Antoine Alley

This narrow alleyway is located in the French Quarter and is known for its voodoo shops and eerie atmosphere. It’s a popular spot for photos, especially at night when it’s lit up with lanterns.

20. The Mississippi River

No trip to New Orleans is complete without a visit to the Mighty Mississippi. You can get some great photos of the river as well as the French Quarter from across the water.

New Orleans Mississippi River

21. Exchange Alley

If you’re looking for a more off-the-beaten-path spot, head to Exchange Alley. This narrow pedestrian-only alleyway is located in the French Quarter and is known for its murals.

22. Louis Armstrong Park & Congo Square

Right outside of the French Quarter, you’ll find Louis Armstrong Park, which is named after the famous jazz musician who was born in New Orleans. This park is home to Congo Square, a historic spot where slaves would gather to dance and sing.

It’s a great place to take photos of the city skyline and the river. Take photos of the park itself, which has a lot of greenery, statues and sculptures. Make sure to get a photo of the park’s entrance sign, too!

New Orleans Louis Armstrong Park
NOLA Jazz National Historic Park

23. Jean Lafitte Visitor’s Center

If you want to get a good photo of the entire city, head to the Jean Lafitte Visitor’s Center, which has a rooftop observation deck that offers stunning views of New Orleans. You can also take photos inside the visitor’s center, which has exhibits on the history and culture of New Orleans.

24. Faulkner House Books

This bookstore is housed in a historic building that was once home to William Faulkner, and it still has many of the original features, including the staircase that he wrote about in his novel “Sanctuary.”

French Quarter New Orleans

25. The Old US Mint NOLA Jazz Museum

The Old US Mint is a historic building that was once used to mint coins. It’s now home to the NOLA Jazz Museum, which is a great place to learn about the history of jazz in New Orleans.

You can take photos of the exterior of the building as well as the interior, which has exhibits on the history of jazz. There are also often live jazz performances that you can photograph.

26. Madame John’s Legacy

Madame John’s Legacy is a historic house that was built in 1788. It’s located in the French Quarter and is open for tours.

While you’re there, be sure to take photos of the exterior of the house, as well as the interior, which has been preserved to look like it did in the 18th century.

27. The Presbytere

The Presbytere is a historic building that was once the home of the French government in New Orleans. It’s now part of the Louisiana State Museum and has exhibits on the history of Louisiana.

The Most Instagrammable Restaurants In New Orleans

New Orleans is known for its food, and there are plenty of Instagrammable restaurants here. Here are some of the most popular places to get photos:

28. Cafe Du Monde

No trip to New Orleans is complete without a stop at Cafe du Monde! This iconic coffee shop is known for its delicious iced coffees and beignets.

Photograph the exterior of the cafe, which has been featured in many movies and then get those classic photos drinking Cafe au Lait and eating beignets (just know, you’ll probably get covered in powdered sugar)!

French Quarter New Orleans Beignets and Cafe Du Monde

29. Napoleon House

The Napoleon House is a historic bar located in the French Quarter. It’s known for its Hurricane cocktails and has been featured in many movies.

Get photos of the exterior of the building, as well as the interior, which has a lot of character with art and a vintage feel, plus a courtyard.

Napoleon House NOLA

30. Jax Brewery

Jax Brewery is a historic brewery located in the French Quarter. It’s home to a shopping center, but you can get photos of the exterior of the building, which has been featured in movies. There’s also a great view of the Mississippi River from here.

31. Commander’s Palace

Commander’s Palace is a popular restaurant located in the Garden District. It’s known for its iconic blue and white exterior and delicious food. Get photos of the elegant dining room.

32. Tipitina’s

Tipitina’s is a popular music venue located in Uptown New Orleans. It’s known for its great concerts and has photographable design!

33. Dat Dog

Dat Dog is a popular hot dog place with multiple locations. It has all kinds of unique hot dogs (including a vegetarian option as well as crawfish and alligator dogs), beer and more.

The buildings are indoor-outdoor and have colorful, quirky local murals all over them!

Dat Dog New Orleans
Dat Dog New Orleans

34. Carousel Bar & Lounge

The Carousel Bar & Lounge is a popular and historic bar located in the French Quarter, in the Hotel Monteleone. It has a revolving carousel bar, just like the name implies!

35. Flamingo A Go-Go

Flamingo A Go-Go is a popular bar located in the French Quarter. The pink flamingo decorations are just photoshoots waiting to happen. Plus, the food and drinks are super instagrammable as well!

36. Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits

This wine bar embodies the spirit of New Orleans. It has an open courtyard and hundreds of wines. The bar is picturesque with its outdoor seating and string lights.

37. The Country Club (Bywater)

This restaurant and bar also has a pool so you can really get some amazing photos! You’ll need a reservation, and it’s a bit on the pricier side but the pool makes it worthwhile.

The Country Club has an elegant, vintage vibe and the pool is gorgeous with its turquoise water.

They also have a drag brunch!

38. Cafe Beignet

This place has four locations, all in well-known NOLA spots, but the one people talk about for photos is on Royal Street.

39. Rampart Treehouse

This pizza restaurant has an indoor magnolia tree that you can sit under while sipping cocktails at the bar, with over 500 hand-painted flowers, so it’s super unique. There’s other art inside as well, and apparently it was haunted by the ghost of the voodoo queen!

40. Hansen’s Sno-Bliz

This is the snoball place everyone tells newbies to go to, so it’s a great place for a photo of a New Orleans staple with a colorful snoball in front of the vintage-looking exterior!

41. Brennan’s

This award-winning, historic restaurant is inside a pink building. There are photo ops inside and outside with the design. For even more “extra” photos and lots of fun, go for one of their drag brunches – and they have other events as well.

42. Dooky Chase

Another favorite historic NOLA restaurant is Dooky Chase, which is family-owned and has served US presidents along with its many regular customers. The owners are very involved with the arts, so check out their amazing art collection, as well as the iconic restaurant, sign and creole cuisine!

43. Meril

Meril is Emeril Lagasse’s newest New Orleans restaurant, located in the Warehouse District. The contemporary space is great for photos, with its exposed brick walls and interesting art. The food is also instagrammable.

44. The Rusty Nail

This bar is located in the Warehouse District and is known for its dive bar feel and live music. The exterior of the building is covered in graffiti, which makes for a great photo op.

📸 Bonus: Head to Elizabeth’s on Gallier St for amazing food and photos! Plus, you’ll drive past a lot of colorful, classic NOLA shotgun houses along the way!

Elizabeth's NOLA - New Orleans Instagrammable breakfast spot for food + photos
Elizabeth's NOLA restaurant for breakfast and photos

Best Photography Spots In New Orleans: Skyline Views

For the best views of the New Orleans skyline, head to one of the following locations, or one of the other ones in this blog post that mentions the skyline.

New Orleans skyline photos riverfront

No matter which spot you choose, you’re sure to get some great photos of the cityscape!

45. Crescent City Connection Bridge & Park

Get photos of both the skyline and the rainbow-shaped bridge entrance, ships and the sunset!

46. Catahoula Rooftop Bar at Selina Catahoula

Located in the Central Business District, this rooftop bar has great views of the skyline as well as the Mississippi River.

47. Willie Mae’s Scotch House

This restaurant is located in the Treme neighborhood and has a patio with a view of the city. It’s especially pretty at night when the city lights are twinkling.

48. Rosie’s on the Roof (Higgins Hotel)

Go here (first come, first served) for the rooftop bar with skyline views, plus the Rosie-the-Riveter-themed decor and food.

49. Algiers Ferry Terminal

Why not get photos of one of the best New Orleans skyline views from the historic Algiers ferry? The free ride across the Mississippi River only takes about five minutes.

50. The Moonwalk Riverfront Park

This is a pedestrian path along the river that’s popular for both locals and tourists. It’s a great place to get views of the cityscape, especially at night.

51. Woldenberg Park

This 16-acre park has city views, plus art and sculptures. There are festivals and parades you may catch, plus it’s in the area of Audubon Park, Zoo and more so you can do this along with those attractions!

Best Photography Spots In New Orleans: Parks

52. City Park & Storyland

City Park is sprawling, and there are so many things to do and photo opportunities here it’s crazy! Photograph the magnolias when they’re in bloom, and the trees; get on a kayak in the pond and take pictures of the ducks and water; go to Storyland with life size children’s book character sculptures, or see the other art and sculptures here; and the Botanical Garden!

At Christmastime, take pictures at Celebration In The Oaks!

NOLA kayaking City Park bridge
City Park New Orleans Kayaking
Sarah NOLA flowers

53. Audubon Park & Zoo

There are several spots at this nature center with great views of the city, including the Audubon Zoo, Nature Institute, Aquarium of the Americas (which has a large glass atrium with sharks, rays and other fish that make for great underwater shots), and Butterfly Garden and Insectarium.

Audobon ParAudobon Park Zoo New Orleansk Zoo New Orleans

54. The Lafitte Greenway

The Lafitte Greenway is a 2.6-mile long linear park that runs through several different neighborhoods. It’s a great place to take photos of nature as well as people walking, biking, and running along the path.

There are also some great murals located along the Lafitte Greenway, and you can get skyline photos from here!

Best Photography Spots in New Orleans for the ‘Gram

55. Canal Place – With Love From NOLA sign

This is a greenery wall with a neon sign – super Instagrammable!

56. Greetings from NOLA Mural (Magazine & Josephine)

This mural is relatively new, and is perfect for a New Orleans pic for your feed!

57. Mural at 827 Tchoupitoulas St.

Photograph this mural on the side of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art!

New Orleans Mural at 827 Tchoupitoulas St.

58. Mural by Starbucks on S. Claiborne Ave.

This colorful mural by Brandan Odoms is SO New Orleans!

59. Love Wins Locks

These Paris-inspired locks can be found near the Steamboat Natchez.

60. Mardi Gras World

Mardi Gras World is a must-visit for anyone interested in photography. This is where they make all the floats for Mardi Gras, so you’ll get to see some amazing and colorful displays.

You can also take a tour of the facility to learn more about how the floats are made.

61. St. Louis Cemetery

This is one of the most popular tourist destinations in New Orleans, because the cemetery is full of above-ground mausoleums, and it’s definitely a place with a lot of history! Since New Orleans is swampland and has floods and hurricanes, the cemeteries have to have above-ground mausoleums – and they’re so cool-looking, and perfect for photos! Make them spooky or creepy, or just have a New Orleans’ historic vibe!

👉 Go on this NOLA Cemetery Tour

62. Milton H. Latter Public Library

This library is located in a historic, neo-Italian mansion.

63. Tulane University

This University campus is big and has beautiful buildings, so it’s a great place to go for photoshoots.

64. Ashley Longshore Gallery

Ashley Longshore has amazing, well known New Orleans and pop culture paintings, and the store has many Instagrammable spots for photoshoots.

65. Hotel Peter & Paul

This historic hotel is, admittedly, in need of restoration work but it’s still pretty cool – I definitely would recommend the restaurant/bar and hotel, plus the surrounding area for some great photos!

66. NOMA & The Besthoff Sculpture Garden

The Museum of Art is located in City Park and has a free sculpture garden, so it’s an amazing place for tons of photos.

NOLA Moma Art Museum

67. The Backstreet Cultural Museum

This museum highlights the history and costumes of the Mardi Gras Indians, which are a unique staple of New Orleans’ history – just go and you’ll learn so much!

Mardi Gras Indians New Orleans Jazz Fest NOLA

68. Roosevelt Hotel (Christmas decor)

Everyone, and I do mean everyone loves to go to the Roosevelt Hotel, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel, at Christmas to take photos because of the decor!

69. Swamp Tours

When going to a swamp, a tour will give you the best, safest and most immersive experience! Here are a couple I recommend:

🐊 Take this Swamp & Bayou Sightseeing Boat Tour

🐊 Go on this Small Group Swamp Tour Airboat

70. Ghost Tours

New Orleans has a multitude of ghost and Voodoo tours to check out! You can get photos of all the creepy, haunted NOLA spots.

👻 Go on this #1-rated Voodoo Tour

👻 Go on this Adults-Only Ghost, True Crime, Voodoo & Vampire Tour

Best Photography Spots In New Orleans: Festivals

71. Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is truly one-of-a-kind, as are many things in New Orleans, but this is the must-experience for everyone, and has amazing photo opportunities from the floats, to the people and music/performances. You should definitely get photos of the float throws!

Mardi Gras New Orleans
Mardi Gras New Orleans Photos

72. Treme Festival

This festival is so fun, with performers, people on stilts, food, and so much more!

Treme Fest New Orleans

73. French Quarter Fest

This festival takes place in, you guessed it, the French Quarter – so there are tons of great photo ops for this festival!

74. Satchmo Summer Fest

This festival is a tribute to Louis Armstrong, and includes multiple musicians, plus speakers, a museum, local food vendors and more.

75. Jazz Fest

Jazz Fest includes all kinds of musicians, plus many other things to photograph like parades by the Mardi Gras Indians!

Jazz Fest NOLA
Jazz Fest NOLA John Batiste
Mardi Gras Indians New Orleans Jazz Fest NOLA

76. King Cake Festival

Every year, during Mardi Gras season, there is a King Cake Festival where you can try king cakes from all over the city.

77. Bayou Boogaloo

This music festival includes people watching from floatees in the water!

78. St. Patrick’s Day Parade

I wouldn’t say this parade is up to par with Mardi Gras, but it’s in its own category, and it’s worthwhile – in true NOLA style, they throw potatoes and cabbages, so you can take home more than just great photos! Go in the French Quarter.

French Quarter New Orleans St Patrick's Day Parade

79. Running of the Bulls

New Orleans has a running of the bulls, but instead of bulls the runners are chased by the NOLA Roller Girls, complete with plastic horns attached to their helmets! Only in New Orleans, amiright?

80. Red Dress Run

Everyone, including men wear red dresses for this fabulous run that makes for excellent pictures!

Best Photography Spots Around New Orleans

81. Best New Orleans Plantation tours

🐊 Go on this Swamp Boat Ride + Oak Alley Plantation Tour

🏘 Go on this Tour of the Whitney Plantation

Plantation Tour New Orleans

82. Jean LaFitte National Historical Park & Reserve

Walk down the wooden walkway over the swamp, and the trails and look out to spot alligators. You can also ride in a kayak with a guide in the swamp! You can get amazing nature photos here.

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park NOLA
New Orleans best places for photography - Jean Lafitte nature preserve

Best New Orleans Photography Tours

📸 Go on this Instagram Photo Tour

📸 Go on this NOLA Historical Photography Tour

📸 Snag this Private French Quarter Photoshoot

What To Consider When Choosing The Best Photography Spots In New Orleans

👉 Time of day and lighting. Look at where the sun is rising and setting from, and make sure the light is facing towards your subject to avoid shadows.

👉 Composition and character. You’re in New Orleans, so don’t be afraid to get those crazy angles, like diagonal shots or shots from low angles – just make sure the photo tells a story and has a main point of focus!

👉 Plan ahead when needed. If you know there might be crowds, going early is always the best option! You can also plan what you’re wearing to match the background or theme of what you’re photographing – for instance, if you’re doing a ghost tour, wear a spooky costume or a white dress!

Where To Stay In New Orleans, LA

Below are some recommended options of places to stay on any budget while in NOLA:

✅Budget Option: Inn on St. Peter

The Inn on St. Peter is a non-smoking hotel that is perfect for getting quintessential New Orleans balcony photos with historic, preserved Spanish architecture – it’s even on the National Register of Historic Places (it was built in 1805 and has been restored)! There are also traditional courtyards where you can do photoshoots.

😴 Book Your Stay at the Inn on St. Peter

✅Mid-Tier Option: Hotel Monteleone

The Hotel Monteleone is a top-rated NOLA hotel with a bar, pool, evening entertainment, fitness center and much more. It’s perfect for photos with ornate architecture, and its neon sign is an icon in the city!

😴 Book Your Stay at the Hotel Monteleone

✅Luxury Option: The Ritz-Carlton

For top-rated luxury in New Orleans, stay at The Ritz-Carlton in the French Quarter. The building, built in 1908 is a Beaux Arts Maison Blanche antebellum mansion. You’ll be right next to places like Bourbon Street, and have the hotel’s courtyard where you can do photoshoots, experience special events and more. There’s also a spa, bar and more amenities!

😴 Book Your Stay at The Ritz-Carlton

What you’ll need for New Orleans Travel

👉 For flights, WayAway is a flight aggregator that helps you find the cheapest flights. Use the code MUKI-TRAVELS for 10% off WayAway Plus.

👉 If you rent a car, just be prepared, especially for driving in New Orleans. You’ll need to be an aggressive driver. To rent a car in New Orleans, RentalCars.com is a great tool to use.

👉 Find more tips on things like travel insurance, what to pack, and more on my travel resources page.

In Conclusion: Best Photography Spots In New Orleans In 2023

So there you have it! These are some of the best places to get photographs in New Orleans. Whether you’re looking for iconic images or just want to capture the spirit of the city, these spots will give you plenty of material!

For more cities to photograph, check out these guides:

👉 The 57 Best Places To Take Pictures In NYC (With Map)

👉 73 Best Photography Spots In London (With Map)

👉 The 53 Best Denver Photography Spots (With Map)

👉 The 55 Best Photography Spots In Maui (With Map)

Traveling to other USA hotspots? Check out more places to visit in the US here.

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