The New Orleans Central Business District attracts its fair share of business travellers, but this neighbourhood is so much more than just business. An important part of the city since the 1700s, it’s filled with office space and well-known brands, but also features lots of cutting-edge and fine-dining restaurants, family-friendly attractions and museums, luxury shopping and more.

Travellers will find a wealth of accommodation options in the Central Business District. There are offerings from most of the big international hotel brands within close proximity of both the lively French Quarter on one side and the quieter Central City on the other. So, whether you’re visiting The Big Easy for business or pleasure, you’re sure to enjoy your time in the Central Business District.

New Orleans Central Business District - one of the highlights of 10 Most Popular Neighbourhoods in New Orleans (Read all about New Orleans here)

What to see and do in the New Orleans Central Business District?

Probably the most well-known attraction in the Central Business District is the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Home to the NFL’s New Orleans Saints, the football stadium takes up a mammoth portion of the neighbourhood and is adjacent to another popular sporting venue – Smoothie King Center, home to the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans. However, if you're not interested in catching a game of any type, you’ll find plenty of other attractions and things to do nearby.

For those who enjoy a bit of gambling, Harrah’s Casino is a hot spot in New Orleans located in the southern portion of the neighbourhood. For those who’d rather spend their money on a little retail therapy, The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk is a Mississippi-side shopping centre filled with some of the most notable retail brands, from Nordstrom to Forever 21 to Journeys. For travelling families, the outlet stores are right next door to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.

Arts & Culture in the New Orleans Central Business District

Museums, art galleries, theatres – you can find it all in New Orleans’ Central Business District. Mardi Gras World is a museum unlike any you’ve ever seen, stuffed with Mardi Gras paraphernalia year-round. The National World War II Museum is a day-long experience that immerses you in just about every aspect of the United States’ involvement in the Second World War, with a wealth of displays and exhibits stretching through multiple buildings on the museum’s expansive campus.

Foodies will appreciate the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, while art aficionados will enjoy the Ashe Cultural Arts Center, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Contemporary Arts Center and the many art galleries that can be found on Julia Street. For those seeking live performances in a variety of genres, Orpheum Theater is the place to look.

Good to know about the New Orleans Central Business District

The Central Business District offers a wealth of activities, hotels, restaurants and more, so it’s important to do your research on the neighbourhood ahead of your visit. With the neighbourhood being one of the top choices for luxury experiences, you’ll want to make plans according to your travel budget (and if you simply want to splurge, you’ll have plenty of options).

As with most neighbourhoods throughout New Orleans, the Central Business District does have its shadier spots, so play it safe and use common sense when walking, especially after dark. Be alert of your surroundings and, if an area feels uncomfortable, hail a taxi or call for a rideshare service. As a rule, it’s best to stick to well-lit and more populated areas.

The Central Business District on its own is expansive, so visiting other, adjacent neighbourhoods may require you to take public transportation, a taxi or a rideshare service. The St. Charles Streetcar runs right through the district and can take you anywhere on its line, from the French Quarter to Uptown.

New Orleans Central Business District

Holly Riddle | Contributing Writer