French Quarter Visitor Center

Exhibit wall about New Orleans food
Exhibits in the French Quarter Visitor Center highlight south Louisiana culture, nature, history, and (of course) food.

Construction alert:
Starting on Thursday, September 14, the carriageway entrance, courtyard, and public restrooms of the French Quarter Visitor Center will be closed for building rehab work. The visitor center will be accessible through the Decatur Street doors. The nearest public restrooms are at the Jackson Brewery, 600 Decatur Street (turn left when you exit the French Quarter Visitor Center's glass doors and walk two blocks down Decatur Street. The Jackson Brewery is the multistory building on the other side of the street).

Ranger talk - 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Join a ranger in the visitor center courtyard to discover New Orleans' history and culture. No talk on federal holidays when visitor center is closed. Free.

Film screening - 1:00-2:30 p.m., Saturday, September 23. "By the River of Babylon: An Elegy for South Louisiana" combines the delights of south Louisiana music with the history of the area's disappearing coastline and features performances by zydeco, Cajun, and swamp pop musicians and commentary by Pulitzer Prize-winning New Orleans journalist Bob Marshall. Free.

Shortly after the French founded New Orleans in 1718, engineers drew up a formal city plan for Nouvelle Orleans---the area that we now call the French Quarter. The city quickly expanded beyond those original boundaries to become an important American port. People arrived from all over the world, joining the early inhabitants of the area to create a distinct culture rich in food, music, and tradition.

Jean Lafitte's French Quarter Visitor Center shares the history and traditions of the city and the lower Mississippi River delta through visitor center exhibits and a film. Kids can earn a badge with the Junior Ranger program. The center's museum store has CDs, videos, collectibles, and books from history to cookbooks to children's stories. Admission is free. Follow these links for the park's calendar of events, exhibits, and programs; for directions and transportation options; and for accessibility information. Note that there is no parking available at the French Quarter Visitor Center but that there are several pay-to-park lots available within easy walking distance.

419 Decatur Street, New Orleans
504-589-2636 ext. 1
Open Tuesday-Saturday 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Closed on federal holidays and Mardi Gras (Tuesday, February 28, in 2017). Links to useful information like maps, public transportation, pets, permits for special uses, etc., are available on the basic information page.

Special programs by reservation:

For more about New Orleans, see

Image of men looking at exhibits
The French Quarter Visitor Center is full of maps, images, and interactive exhibits that share the Louisiana delta's history.

Last updated: September 8, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

419 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70130


(504) 589-3882

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