The 10 Best New Orleans Cemetery Tours
These tours will enlighten you and frighten you in the best possible way.
Learn about New Orleans' unique past and Voodoo heritage during a cemetery tour.(Getty Images)
Of all the city's attractions, New Orleans' cemeteries are a one-stop shop for learning about history, Voodoo, jazz music and, of course, the burial practices for above-ground tombs. However, some of the cemeteries, such as St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, require you to join a guided tour to visit. To help you select which tour is right for you, U.S. News consulted both expert and traveler opinion to find the 10 best New Orleans cemetery tours. No matter which outing you choose, you're sure to have a ghoulishly good time.
Bloody Mary's Tours – Dead & Famous Tour
In addition to an educational walk through St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, the hourlong Dead & Famous Tour includes visits to the company's haunted museum, a mortuary chapel, Congo Square and an old Storyville brothel. You'll also see the final resting place of the city's famous Voodoo queen Marie Laveau and learn why New Orleans is considered the birthplace of jazz. Reviewers say tours are both educational and fascinating. Tickets start at $27 per person and tours depart at 2 p.m. daily. For even more thrills, check out the company's ghost hunt tour.
Save Our Cemeteries – St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 Tour
By signing up for a tour with Save Our Cemeteries, you'll play a small part in helping the nonprofit preserve the city's cemeteries. Proceeds from the tours go directly to cemetery restoration efforts. During the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 tour, guides lead you by the tombs of notable historic figures and former Portuguese, Spanish and French residents. Reviewers say this tour is led by knowledgeable guides who provide an informative and fun experience. Tourgoers also praise the guides' fact-based storytelling. Tours last 90 minutes and depart daily, generally at 10 and 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tickets cost approximately $25, although children ages 6 and younger can participate for free. Save Our Cemeteries also operates tours of St. Louis Cemetery No. 2, Metairie Cemetery and St. Louis Cemetery No. 3, among other options.
Storyville Tour Company – St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 Tour
See the tombs of Homer Plessy, Marie Laveau and the future resting place of Nicolas Cage along this tour of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. You'll spend 1 1/2 hours walking almost a mile while you learn about the area's Voodoo history and jazz funerals as well as the tombs' architectural styles. Tickets start at $18 for adults and $10 for kids. Travelers call this tour a great history lesson that's also awesome and interesting. Storyville Tour Company also offers combination tours of St. Louis Cemeteries nos. 1 and 2, the Garden District and more.
NOLA Ghost Riders – Cemetery Nightly Bus Tour
Explore the city's storied past under the cover of darkness with this nighttime cemetery and ghost tour from NOLA Ghost Riders. Unlike other tours that focus on a single cemetery, this bus tour takes you to several of the city's most famous cemeteries, and participants ages 21 and older can bring their own alcohol along for the ride. Patrons refer to this trip as a spooky, fun and creepy experience. With that in mind, this option may be best for people who don't mind the thrills and chills of a nighttime tour. Tickets cost approximately $40 per adult and $25 per child. Tours depart nightly at 8 p.m. with an additional 11 p.m. tour available seasonally. NOLA Ghost Riders also operates a ghost walking tour and a cemetery walking tour, among others.
French Quarter Phantoms Ghost Tours – St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 Walking Tour
Participants say this tour's highlight is the engaging guides who are excellent storytellers. This walking tour is another journey into the city's famous St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. Guides share stories about the cemetery's history, burial practices and more over the course of two hours. Tours depart daily at 11 a.m. (10 a.m. on Sundays) and 1 p.m. Tickets start at $17 for adults or $1 for children ages 7 and younger. French Quarter Phantoms also offers a ghost and vampire-themed tour, among others.
You'll see the final resting places of famous New Orleans residents and learn some history on Historic New Orleans Tours' excursion.(Courtesy of Historic New Orleans Tours)
Historic New Orleans Tours – Cemetery Voodoo Tour
An ideal option for history buffs, this two-hour walking tour of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 offers plenty in the way of New Orleans history, the inner workings of above-ground burial practices and the famous tombs the area's cemeteries are known for. In addition to stopping at the tomb of Voodoo queen Marie Laveau, you'll see the filming location for the movie "Easy Rider." Tickets start at $25 for adults; discounts are available for seniors, members of the military, students and children. Part of the tour proceeds go back to the cemetery. Reviewers say this tour is interesting and provides a fascinating history of New Orleans cemeteries. Other tours from this company include outings in the French Quarter and the Garden District.
Free Tours by the Foot – St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 Tour
Not only will you explore the maze of tombs in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, you'll also learn about its founding and hear stories about some of the city's most famous former residents. This walking tour lasts for 1 1/2 hours and individual travelers can pay as much as they wish at the tour's conclusion – although a $2 cemetery preservation fee is required for entry. Reservations for the tour are required. Reviewers mostly agree the low-cost outing is a good value and well-done. This company also offers a variety of New Orleans walking tours with different themes.
Two Chicks Walking Tours – Dead Sexy Storyville Cemetery Tour
This two-part tour takes you through St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 to explore the above-ground tombs before heading to the city's Storyville neighborhood, where you'll learn about prostitution, politics and New Orleans folklore. Reviewers call this tour enjoyable, low-key and educational, so you may want to book it if you're looking for a nontraditional cemetery tour. Tours, which last two hours, depart at 2 p.m. Thursday through Monday. Tickets cost approximately $30 per person. Two Chicks Walking Tours also operates tours of the Garden District and its mansions, among others.
TOURS by STEVEN - Saint Louis Cemetery Tour
Multiple guides from this company win praise for their informative narratives. Participants also appreciate that the tour groups are on the smaller side. As you walk through St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, you'll learn about New Orleans' history of Voodoo and burial processes for above-ground tombs. Tours normally depart several times daily. This hourlong walking tour is available for guests ages 6 and older and tickets cost around $20 per person, regardless of age. TOURS by STEVEN also runs a jogging tour of New Orleans and a tour of the French Quarter, among others.
New Orleans Ghost Adventures Tours – Voodoo & Cemetery Tour
If you have an interest in New Orleans' Voodoo heritage, consider this walking tour. You'll have the opportunity to visit a Voodoo museum and purchase potions from Marie Laveau's House Of Voodoo. Afterward, you'll head to St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 for a guided walk. Travelers say the two-hour tour has just the right amount of walking and provides ample information. Tours leave daily at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets start at $27 for adults and $15 for children 11 and younger. New Orleans Ghost Adventures Tours also guides a cemetery bus tour and a bus tour of the city, amongst other excursions.
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