Nightlife in New Orleans – 16 Amazing Things to Do After Dark

Ice-cold Sazerac cocktails, the sexy hum of a saxophone, and a whiff of voodoo magic come together to make New Orleans after dark an intriguing affair. Much more than Mardi Gras, nightlife in New Orleans covers everything from jazz clubs to burlesque shows.

Follow along to discover 16 amazing New Orleans nightlife activities.

Stop endlessly googling ‘woman New Orleans nightlife’ or ‘nightlife bourbon street New Orleans.’ We’ve done the dirty work to bring you the best of NOLA after hours.

Watch a classic jazz trio jam out at Preservation Hall. Or treat yourself to a special aperitif at Jewel of the South.

Enjoy the Big Easy’s haunted history from the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage, or party it up till the wee hours of the morning in the Warehouse District.

However you decide to get down in the Big Easy, you’re guaranteed a good time.

New Orleans Nightlife

Whether you’re craving a dive bar experience or looking to explore Crescent City’s clubbing scene, you’ll find a wide variety of after-dark action in the Big Easy.

From evening strolls that explore haunted cemeteries to raising a glass at one of the oldest bars in the country, there’s always something new to uncover in New Orleans.

crowd walking around street with various establishments with neon signs at night at French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
French Quarter nightlife.

Jazz Music

New Orleans isn’t called the Birthplace of Jazz for nothing! Pay homage to the musical heritage of the Big Easy when you swing by a cozy bistro or heralded historic music venue.

Related Post: New Orleans Jazz Brunch – Discount Prices and Reviews

From the Big Band sounds of Dixie to the croon of Satchmo, there’s just something about all that jazz:

  • Spotted Cat Music Club – open seven days a week this intimate venue boasts live music ranging from modern Jazz to Blues, Funk, and more. Watch local musicians tear it up on the stage, or cut a rug and show off those swing dancing skills.
  • Preservation Hall – located in the heart of the French Quarter this beloved establishment has served up intimate, acoustic jazz concerts for over 60 years. Jazz lovers from all over flock here to watch local masters show off their skills.
  • Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro – a healthy serving of live Jazz music plus some mouthwatering Creole eats? Yes, please! Feast on Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya, red rice and beans, and more as you watch talented musicians tickle the ivories at this beloved Frenchmen Street watering hole.
View of a band at The Spotted Cat building at night with crowds of people outside in New Orleans, Louisanna, USA
photo credit: Spotted Cat Music Club via Facebook

Dive Bars and Cocktail Bars

Frosty hurricanes, a heavy whiskey pour, or the classic comfort of an Absinthe forward Sazerac. If there is one thing New Orleans knows how to do it’s drink.

Related Post: New Orleans Ghost Tour – Discount Tickets & Reviews

Kickstart your evening of NOLA merrymaking when you head to any of the city’s top bars:

  • Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt – old-world elegance, a wealth of history, and some seriously good cocktails await guests at the Sazerac Bar. This restored landmark features Paul Nine murals, and an unforgettable rendition of the city’s official cocktail.
  • Jewel of the South – voted the best restaurant bar in America, Jewel of the South is a treasure trove of garden ambiance, seasonal flavors, and unparalleled cocktails. Opt for a tropical seasonal offering such as a Matcha Colada, or splurge on an upper crust Jewel Martini.
  • Erin Rose – casual fare in an Irish pub setting always hits the spot. Swing by Erin Rose for an unpretentious pint or two. Settle in to root on the Saints, or fuel up with one of their killer seared Gulf Shrimp or Pork Belly poboys.
  • Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop – reported to be the oldest structure used as a bar in the U.S., this Bourbon Street staple is well over 250 years old. For a rollicking good time try their infamous Voodoo Daiquiri which features grape juice, bourbon, and Everclear.
  • Old Absinthe House Building – ready to meet the little green fairy? Sample all number of absinthe varieties when you pay a visit to this landmark saloon. With a colorful history that includes Andrew Jackson, Prohibition, and the War of 1812, it’s a must-visit for any history buff.

inside view of night club with the back of the dj inside of Republic NOLA in New Orleans, Louisanna, USANightlife Spots

Dance floors packed with sweaty bodies, the thumping bassline of your favorite song, and lots of razzle-dazzle await after-dark revelers in New Orleans. Savor every minute of your late-night hijinks when you take in a cabaret or hit up the club:

  • Gold Mine Saloon – drawing an avant-garde crowd, creative night owls will be tickled pink by the Djs, drink specials, and late-night dance parties that frequent the Saloon.
  • Republic NOLA – revel in the opulent nature of this warehouse district club and live music venue, which features wooden beams, crystal chandeliers, and top-shelf hospitality. Opt for a VIP experience and enjoy bottle service and sparklers, or simply groove out to acts like Loud Luxury and Rusko.
  • AllWays Lounge and Cabaret – drag shows, burlesque, and cabaret oh my! Settle in for a night of funky live theater when you visit the AllWays Lounge and Cabaret. Watch sultry Victorian-themed strip teases or crank up the heat with Jockstrap Lube Wrestling Cabaret.
VUE Rooftop Bar with black chairs and tables, one set with food, and a beautiful sunset over the river in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
photo credit: VÜE Rooftop Bar -Claridge Hotel via Facebook

Ghost Tours

Nothing compares to the witching hour in the Big Easy. Thanks to an abundance of haunted hotels, bars, and cemeteries, this city of gumbo and Voodoo is home to an overflow of ghost tours. No matter if you’re in the mood to hunt vampires or chase poltergeists with a side of spirits, there’s a perfect ghost tour for you.

4 in 1 Witches, Ghosts, Vampires & Walking Tour

Calling all American Horror Story fans! Put on those walking shoes and prepare to do a deep dive into the ominous underbelly of the Big Easy on your two-hour 4 in 1 Witches, Ghosts, Vampires & Walking Tour.

Venture into the inky darkness of a New Orleans evening, as you stop by haunted structures and stroll through the gas lantern-lit streets of the French Quarter. Listen up as your masterful guide weaves legends and stories of intrigue.

Discover why one of the world’s oldest vampires spent his time in New Orleans. Or, go behind the small silver screen when you learn the real history behind Kathy Bates’ American Horror Story character, Madame Delphine LaLaurie.

people gathered together in a group with tour guide on sidewalk for Witches Ghosts Vampires Walking Tour in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
photo credit: Witches Brew Tours via Facebook

3 in 1 French Quarter, Cemetery & Voodoo Walking Tour

An integral part of New Orleans history, Voodoo has long captured the imagination of Big Easy visitors. This 3 in 1 French Quarter, Cemetery & Voodoo Walking Tour features 1.5 hours of fascinating history, sightseeing, and Voodoo culture.

From the famous Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau to the city’s oldest continuously operated above-ground Catholic cemetery, your tour will cover it all. Spot tombs of significance, learn about burial practices and dig into spine-chilling voodoo rituals and superstitions.

Most Haunted Stories – Night Ghost Tour

Who doesn’t love a hair-raising ghost story? Brace yourself for chilling tales regarding the French Quarter, LaLaurie Mansion, Jackson Square, Royal Street, and more with the Most Haunted Stories – Night Ghost Tour.

Learn why Crescent City is our nation’s most haunted mecca. As you hear yarns of unspeakable tragedy, gore, and twisted history. Don’t forget to bring along some extra cash to treat yourself to a drink at New Orleans Creole Cookery. Or Harry’s Corner Bar mid-paranormal adventure.

exterior view of St Louis Cathedral with the sunset in the background in New Orleans, Louisanna, USAHistory & Haunts Carriage Tours

Infuse your night of spooky specters and wandering spirits with some class, when you opt for one of the History & Haunts Carriage Tours. Enjoy the clippity clop of your majestic steed as you traverse the charming streets of the French Quarter.

Home to way more than crowded booze-soaked bars, this area is known as one of the most haunted places in America. Take pleasure in utilizing the same mode of transportation as New Orleans residents in the 1700s and 1800s. Pay attention, as your guide will enthrall you with over 300 years of frights, horror, and mayhem.

man in costume with vampire fangs next to horse attached to a carraige for the History and Hauntes Carraige Tours in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
photo credit: Royal Carriages via Facebook

Lewd Spirits Haunted Tour with Bar Stops

Searching for a sinisterly unique way to imbibe? Mix your spirits with some spooky companions, when you join the Lewd Spirits Haunted Tour with Bar Stops. Equal parts ghost walking tour and pub crawl. Macabre-loving guests will be in heaven as they devour bloodthirsty stories regarding the city’s most haunted locales.

You won’t believe your ears, as you are treated to urban lore and legends featuring adultery, prostitutes, and twisted doctors. In between each depraved story, you’ll have opportunities to wet your whistle with your favorite cocktail or beer.

angled shot of exterior of LaLaurie Mansion with view of street and surrounding establishments on cloudy day in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
photo credit: Lady Luna Photography via Facebook

New Orleans Hotels

Before you hit up your favorite happy hour or dance club, you’ll need to reserve the perfect NOLA lodgings. Make the most out of your big night out, when you book any of our premier New Orleans Hotels.

From luxurious historic boutique hotels rumored to have wandering spirits to modern amenities and stunning rooftop facilities in the Arts District. We provide lodgings to every budget and style. As always, make your reservation stress free, knowing you are guaranteed our lowest rates online.

Aerial view at the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience Grand Tasting in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
photo credit: New Orleans Wine and Food Experience via Facebook

Just like the mysterious Bayou, New Orleans nightlife is full of secrets and surprises. Visitors from all walks of life will find plenty to do in the Big Easy after the sun goes down.

Dig into Creole delicacies and a jazz piano exhibition at Snug Harbor. Or face your paranormal fears when you pay a visit to the St. Louis Cemetery.

Test your mettle with 138 proof Absinthe, or indulge in a deliciously caffeinated frozen Irish Coffee at Erin Rose.

From exposing the secrets of the Voodoo Queen to Burlesque Bingo. New Orleans after dark is as addicting as a fresh beignet.

Ready to Conquer Crescent City at Night?

Tell us, what’s your favorite thing about nightlife New Orleans?

Leave us a comment below!

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Written by Isis Maya Nissman

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central...

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