- Type: Sightseeing, Tours
- Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
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Some of New Orleans' must-see (albeit morbid) attractions are its cemeteries. Many of the tombs found in these "cities of the dead" are above ground to protect them from rising water levels, and they're embellished with ornate designs inspired by French and Spanish architecture. Though the city's older cemeteries are admittedly dilapidated, with crumbled tombs and patchy grass, the decaying grounds add to the ghostly atmosphere.
The St. Louis Cemeteries are some of the most popular, despite being located in somewhat dangerous parts of town. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 (the city's oldest graveyard) is the final resting place of some of New Orleans' more unique characters, including Bernard Marigny—former president of the Louisiana Senate and notorious playboy—and Marie Laveau, the Big Easy's very own Voodoo Queen. St. Louis Cemetery No. 2 shelters the graves of local musicians like Ernie K. Doe and Danny Barker, plus it's the burial site of the notorious pirate, Dominique You. Movie buffs will recognize the eerie walls of Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 from films like Interview with a Vampire and Double Jeopardy.
The best (and safest) way to see New Orleans' famous cemeteries is to tag along on a guided tour. Tour times and prices vary depending on the type of experience offered. For more information, check out the Save Our Cemeteries website.