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Solo Female Travel in New Orleans: What You Need to Know

Just like any other big city in the United States, New Orleans is dangerous; there is a ton of crime, and you can easily find yourself in a highly undesirable situation if you’re not careful. I’m not going to lie to you. But the real question is this: is solo female travel in New Orleans safe? Or should it be avoided at all costs?

And the answer, in short, is that solo female travel in New Orleans is safe enough, but there are some things you need to know*This post contains affiliate links.

solo female travel in new orleans

I traveled through New Orleans for a week all by myself, and as I look back on my misadventures (as well as some really lovely times) in New Orleans, there are a few tips I wish someone had told me.

So now, I’m going to tell you what I wish I’d known.

solo female travel in new orleans

Solo Female Travel in New Orleans Tip #1: Choose a hotel in a nice, touristy area.

Staying in a hotel in a nice, safe area where there are plenty of other tourists will help ensure that you won’t wander into trouble accidentally. I stayed at the Hyatt Centric French Quarter during my stay and I felt completely safe and comfortable.

Just as it sounds, the Hyatt Centric French Quarter sits right in the heart of the French Quarter, one of New Orleans’s safest, most touristy neighborhoods, and honestly, its location could not have made my first solo female travel experience in New Orleans any better.

Book your stay at the Hyatt Centric French Quarter here.

Solo Female Travel in New Orleans Tip #2: If you wander into the wrong neighborhood alone, you’re as good as gone.

That’s not meant to scare you.

Well, yeah, it actually kind of is.

Seriously, there are some wonderful places in New Orleans that should not be missed, and then there are others that should be completely written off. And I mean that literally too. On your map, ask a local to scribble out all of the city’s no-go zones.

There are areas that real New Orleanians won’t even pass through, so why should you?

solo female travel in new orleans

Solo Female Travel in New Orleans Tip #3: Give them what they ask for.

I’m not trying to freak you out with this tip, I’m just trying to forewarn you.

There are a lot of homeless people in New Orleans and there are also a lot of poor people. There are also a lot of people who carry serious weapons.

So knowing this, what do you think might happen?

Here’s the plan. Don’t call attention to yourself, don’t flash your wallet or your expensive camera, and mind your own business – hopefully everyone else will leave you to your business too. But in the event that they don’t, and they ask you to give them your money, do it.

If you want to take an extra precaution, you could always put some of your credit cards and money in one of your shoes, and keep some in your wallet. That way, if you’re forced to empty your wallet, you won’t be totally out of luck.

Solo Female Travel in New Orleans Tip #4: Don’t explore at odd times of day alone.

I figured this one out pretty damn quickly.

A short story: On my first day in New Orleans, I woke up very early, at about 5:30, ordered room service for breakfast, got ready, and left my room at about 7:00. I was incredibly eager to start exploring New Orleans, and once I stepped outside, I immediately realized that I should’ve been a little less enthusiastic. I should’ve slept just a few hours longer. Out on the street was me, a small girl with little to no knowledge of the city’s geography, armed with only an iPhone, and bunches of gangster-looking guys, uttering dirty, disgusting remarks at me that I have no interest in repeating, as well as drunk, homeless people passed out in all different nooks and crannies. Does this sound like fun to you? It certainly wasn’t fun for me. After about twenty minutes of walking around (very, very uncomfortably), I walked right back to my hotel room and slept a little bit longer. When I set out again at about 10:30, tourists and non-creepy locals alike were bustling about, jazz emanating from every street corner. Now that’s the New Orleans I hoped for.

As a female solo traveler in New Orleans, your best bet for safety is to not do what I did. Sorry, Mom and Dad. In other words, don’t venture out in New Orleans until you’re sure that the streets are filled with other nice people like yourself.

Don’t wander around in the middle of the night either, but that should go without saying… I hope.

solo female travel in new orleans
Solo Female Travel in New Orleans Tip #5: Be aware on Bourbon Street.

When the sun goes down on Bourbon Street, the freaks come out. Actually, even more freaks come out – there are plenty during the daytime too! While this makes for some pretty awesome people watching and very entertaining conversations, remember to keep your wits about you, be aware, and make sure you don’t get too caught up in the party scene.

If you’re easily distracted or get carried away easily, keep reminding yourself that you’re in New Orleans and you’re all alone. Bourbon Street is a raunchy, dirty, and trashy place (yet it can still be fun), and in this kind of setting, there is no easier target than a mildly drunk girl walking down the street all by herself. Agreed? Good.

I would rather have an amazing dinner, and directly after, head back to my room for the night. After a full day of exploring, I would rather blog, watch a show or two, and get a good night’s rest, instead of taking my chances out on the town alone. But that’s just me!

Solo Female Travel in New Orleans Tip #6: Pay attention to your surroundings.

While I’m not saying that you should look over your shoulder every few seconds to make sure that no one is following you, I am saying that you should at least pay attention to your surroundings and make note of where other people are around you!

If you notice that a street looks oddly quiet and deserted, should you walk that way? Probably not.

As a rule of thumb, only go where there are plenty of other people in sight.

solo female travel in new orleans

Solo Female Travel in New Orleans Tip #7: Hire a guide.

New Orleans’s cemeteries are unlike most others in the world. Because New Orleans is a swampland, the dead could not be buried underground, and instead were laid to rest in beautifully embellished, above-ground tombs.

As creepy as cemeteries are, there’s also something really cool and interesting about them, and that’s why thousands of tourists visit New Orleans’s cemeteries each year.

A word of caution though: creepy, and perhaps dangerous, people hang out in the New Orleans cemeteries, so you do not want to go alone. If you decide you want to check out a cemetery, I’d suggest taking the safer route and embarking on a City & Cemetery tour with Cajun Encounters.

solo female travel in new orleans

So is solo female travel in New Orleans safe?

Well, I wouldn’t exactly call it safe… How could I after everything I just said? However, that does not mean that you shouldn’t do it anyway.

After reading this, I hope I haven’t scared you out of your brave solo female travel in New Orleans idea. Despite everything you just read, I actually had a spectacular time in New Orleans by myself, and I felt completely safe most of the time. During my week in New Orleans, I met some friendly locals, I indulged in some really amazing food, and I found a new love for jazz music. I stayed in a beautiful hotel, I explored the swamp, and I totally left my comfort zone behind. And most important of all, I had an unforgettable week in New Orleans that I would never have experienced if I didn’t take the chance and go alone.

Be smart, be aware, and be safe. If you do those things and follow the tips I’ve just detailed for you, solo female travel in New Orleans should be a breeze.


Is solo female travel in New Orleans safe? Is it a good idea? Or a disaster waiting to happen? Well, there are a few things you should know before you go! This post includes our best tips for achieving a safe and fun solo trip to NOLA!

Over to you! Have you traveled to New Orleans alone before? Did you feel safe? Do you have any other tips for solo travelers in New Orleans (or anywhere else in general)? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

This post contains affiliate links. Travel Alphas visited New Orleans as a guest of both the Hyatt French Quarter and Cajun Encounters, but as always, all opinions are our own.

Maddy Cornelius

Maddy is the co-founder and editor of Travel Alphas. Mint tea, handmade pasta, gelato, and red wine are among her favorite treats. New York City, Budapest, Bali, and Florence are a few of her most-loved destinations.

  • Emily M.

    Though I’m not sure that I’ll ever visit New Orleans alone, these are some good solo travel tips!

    June 16, 2015 at 6:09 pm Reply
  • Courtney McClarey

    Thanks for sharing this post. This is a good article – especially for people who are apprehensive about visiting NOLA alone! I can see how it can be a nerve racking experience, but I bet it was rewarding too!!

    June 16, 2015 at 6:11 pm Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      I was pretty nervous before my trip – especially because it was my first ever solo trip! It was definitely rewarding though!

      June 16, 2015 at 6:16 pm Reply
  • Tim Tilden

    would you say you like solo travel or traveling with other people better? There are pros and cons to both I think.

    June 17, 2015 at 10:51 pm Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      I agree, there are pros and cons to both. Since I’ve only really traveled solo one time, I would say I feel much more safe/comfortable whilst traveling with others. But I do like to do my own thing and I’m a very independent person so I don’t have a problem with traveling solo. I don’t get lonely easily; I can have fun even when I’m all by myself. Traveling with someone else can be taxing if you’re always having to compromise on what to do, where to eat, etc. When you’re alone, there’s no one to disagree with. That said, of course I love to travel with Mauricio or my family or other friends and overall, I think I have a better time with them than when I’m on my own!

      June 17, 2015 at 10:56 pm Reply
  • Erin

    I actually agree with all of this, and that’s rare for me!~ Guess we travel similarly :)

    July 6, 2015 at 10:27 pm Reply
  • Caroline

    These are some great tips! Visiting NOLA alone as a woman is a bold move….

    July 8, 2015 at 7:53 pm Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      Glad you enjoyed it! It sure is, but it’s also very rewarding!!

      July 8, 2015 at 8:00 pm Reply
  • Natalie

    Good tips and an entertaining read overall. Good to see that you had a nice time alone but were careful & cautious :)

    July 8, 2015 at 7:58 pm Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it! Yes definitely careful and cautious but still had lots of fun all by myself!

      July 8, 2015 at 8:02 pm Reply
  • KaGee

    Hi there! What would you pack for clothing and shoes, when traveling in New Orleans? Obviously, a large part of it depends on weather, but what are the touristy things to do? I am debating if I should pack tennis shoes only or some pumps and dress sandals, as well. I’m unsure what the dress culture is like there or if it would even be appropriate to wear pumps and dress sandals on the street. Thanks for all your help (*_*)

    January 20, 2016 at 8:17 am Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      Hello! Yes, of course it will first depend on the weather. But if there’s one thing I learned while in New Orleans, it’s that anything goes. Literally. There is not one specific way that people dress. In the French Quarter, you’ll see EVERYTHING. People wear wacky costumes with wigs and bright colors, women wear nice dresses and heels, but they also wear dresses that barely cover anything on them… It’s all your preference. You can wear anything and get away with it. If you have room in your suitcase, I would pack all three options: heels, dress sandals, and tennis shoes. Tennis shoes for walking around in the daytime, because there’s a lot of walking to be done, and heels and sandals to go out at night. For my entire time in New Orleans, given it was hot, I wore different pairs of dress sandals, and nice summer dresses! I hope that helps. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!

      January 20, 2016 at 8:48 am Reply
      • KaGee

        Thank you so much! :-) I truly appreciate all your feedback.

        January 20, 2016 at 9:11 am Reply
  • Linda S

    I’ll be travelling to NOLA while my husband is there for a conference, so I’ll end up being alone most of the day. To top it off, I’ll be +5 months pregnant. I’ve been there over 10 yrs ago, but I’m still nervous about touristing alone while pregnant. any recommendations?

    February 19, 2016 at 4:35 pm Reply
  • Natalie Kay

    Hey Maddy,

    I booked a solo trip for 3 nights in New Orleans and am staying in the FQ. However now I am getting very worried about going as everyone is telling me it’s very dangerous and that it’s best to go with someone. I have tours booked during the day and planned on being in the hotel come sun down, haha. I talked with a friend who lives in NOLA and she too said it’s pretty dangerous but just to be aware. I don’t know what to do as my trip is next month. Maybe I should just cancel and go another time with someone? I was thinking to go to Nashville solo, instead.

    -So Confused

    April 10, 2016 at 2:37 pm Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      I would say 100% do NOT cancel your trip! I felt the exact same way before I went. I couldn’t find anyone to come with me, and my whole family was nervous about me going. But I went anyway, and it was a great trip. If you plan on being back at your hotel once the sun goes down — which is what I did as well — you will be fine. Don’t stress out about it. Once you get there, you’ll be having so much fun and eating so much amazing food that you’ll forget all about your worries. Like your friend said, just be aware and you’ll be totally fine! If you need any more tips or have more questions, just leave another comment and I’m happy to help. :)

      April 10, 2016 at 2:42 pm Reply
      • Natalie Kay

        Thanks so much for the reply!! People are making it sound like I’ll be in an episode of the Walking Dead!

        April 10, 2016 at 7:01 pm Reply
        • Maddy & Mauricio

          No, no, no. You’ll be totally fine! I’ve written other articles too on what to do and where to eat if you need them! Enjoy your trip :)

          April 10, 2016 at 7:55 pm Reply
    • Belem Rios

      Maddy – Thank you for this! I’ve walked around in NOLA once before during the day time until my boyfriend at the time plane landed and I was fine! However, now I’m going for 3 nights as well by myself and the guys at work are freaking me out!

      Natalie – How was your recent solo trip there? Do you have any other advice?

      Thank you both!

      July 27, 2016 at 4:15 pm Reply
      • Nancy

        I travel to NOLA alone at least once a year and have always felt perfectly safe. No one bothered me, and I didn’t feel any less safe than in any other large city. Use common sense and you will be fine, basically these tips here can be transferred to any city you are visiting.

        And certainly don’t stay in your hotel after sundown! You will miss so much!

        September 7, 2016 at 1:04 pm Reply
  • Ciara Johnson

    Great post! I’ve never traveled to NOLA alone but I’ve traveled there several times with friends. Like you said, it can be a very dangerous city, especially in certain areas & during certain times of the day. Like any other place, you really have to exercise caution. If you do, it can be really fun. There is a lot to explore and experience, as I’m sure you did!

    April 12, 2016 at 10:57 pm Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      Totally agree! It’s all about being aware. It really was an incredible solo trip, but next time the two of us want to go together! Thanks for your input :)

      April 13, 2016 at 7:29 am Reply
  • Lauren

    As a former New Orleanian, I complete agree with this list. In particular, just give them what they want and don’t be flashy!

    Another tip especially during Mardi Gras- don’t let ANYONE borrow your phone for any reason. People will just run off with it. Seen many a Mardi Gras ruined with too much trust lol.

    As long as you pay attention, like you said so eloquently, New Orleans is a wonderful city for a woman.

    April 21, 2016 at 2:10 pm Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      See, everyone?! This former New Orleanian agrees! Just be cautious and GO!

      April 21, 2016 at 2:36 pm Reply
  • Anne

    Thank you for the tips! I just booked my first solo trip to, guess where? New Orleans! I am staying with a verified host through Airbnb about two miles away from the French Quarter and it has a lot of public transportation near by. It was sort of impulsive and I worry that I will feel out of place and not meet people on my ventures but I am going to do it anyway. I am hopeful that it will be a great experience, as long as I am cautious.

    May 20, 2016 at 11:34 am Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      I think the best, safest place you could stay would be within the FQ, but yes, you’re right. As long as you’re cautious, you should be fine and have a great trip! :)

      May 23, 2016 at 4:59 pm Reply
    • audrey

      how was your trip?

      November 10, 2016 at 2:03 pm Reply
  • Julie

    Thanks for these tips! I am leaving today for my first solo trip ever and I chose New Orleans and everyone thinks I’m going to be kidnapped and murdered! I’ve always used common sense, so it baffles me why everyone would seek to scare me, but I’m going to be brave and do it anyway!

    November 13, 2016 at 4:48 am Reply
  • Stephanie Webb

    Hi, I’m traveling that way by myself on a road trip to Florida and was thinking about stopping in New Orleans along the way. I’d only be there for a few hours to a full day but my entire family keeps telling not to stop there at all which is definitely making me a little nervous.

    January 28, 2017 at 7:18 pm Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      I went there all by myself for a week when I was 18. You should absolutely go! New Orleans culture and food is completely different than anywhere else in the world and it’s something you won’t want to miss out on. Remember the tips I detailed above, stick to the busy areas, and don’t be nervous! You will love it! :)

      – Maddy

      January 28, 2017 at 7:48 pm Reply
  • neha yadav

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. It’s a great article and very helpful as well. I was planning a solo trip to NOLA in March and I’m glad I came across this :)

    February 9, 2017 at 10:55 am Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      We are glad that you enjoyed the article. When you do book your trip, we highly recommend the hotel we linked to above! :)

      February 9, 2017 at 11:08 am Reply
  • Elizabeth Rehm

    Ahhhh Thank you so much for this article. I’m actually planning my first solo trip to New Orleans (been a dream for years), and these are great tips! I’m more interested in the culture, history, music and FOOD than the party aspect (although I am looking forward to the many drinks that NO has made famous). I’m also staying with a local family in Bywater who have GREAT reviews about their knowledge of the city, so I will make sure to ask them their “no-go” zones. Thanks again!!!

    March 4, 2017 at 7:50 am Reply
  • Vandell James

    You people make me sick. There is nothing safe about anything or place spawned from the gluttony of the privileged. You’re so clueless! With everything that has happened to “NOLA” and the people that once lived decent lives there, what on earth did you expect?! After all of the post Katrina land grabbing that left a lot of Louisiana natives (people of color) without a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of! Damn right it’s a dark environment! So of course, do what you people do best…. Eat, drink, be merry, and stay the hell out of the way!

    March 16, 2017 at 10:16 am Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      Thanks for your comment. Nobody’s questioning that what happened to New Orleans and its residents in 2005 was absolutely awful, and sadly, still affects a lot of people there today. I doubt people who didn’t experience it personally can even imagine how awful it really was; I know we can’t. Further, nobody is questioning the fact that desperate times call for desperate measures; we can appreciate that, too. What’s at question here, however, is whether or not it’s safe for women to travel alone to New Orleans. What we’re discussing here is how female travelers can avoid falling victim to the aforementioned desperate measures that some people have to take. This post was not at all an attack on New Orleans or the people who live there. As you read, I stated that New Orleans is no different than any other big city in the States, in that there’s a lot of crime and you simply need to be vigilant. In my opinion, that’s not a good enough reason not to go. In my experience, New Orleans was a beautiful city full of history, awesome food and culture, and very kind, boisterous locals. It’s also my view that locals should want tourists to visit, as it helps boost the local economy. However, you’re obviously free to disagree. Thanks again for your input!

      March 16, 2017 at 6:34 pm Reply
      • Letitia

        I agree with you Maddy. What happened during Katrina was devastating – I was quite young at the time so I don’t even know the full details but women who travel alone have a very specific set of considerations wherever we go, but especially places where crime is high. It’s not that we’re “privileged people” who don’t know what to expect and are judging New Orleans, rather we are just trying to make people aware so they can enjoy this place to the fullest.

        I found this post very helpful – I’m solo travelling across the states as a small woman in her twenties. I would love to go to New Orleans, it’s my dream – so I need to make sure I know all the facts!

        May 8, 2017 at 7:25 am Reply
        • Maddy & Mauricio

          Hi Letitia!

          Thank you for your comment. We completely agree with you.

          We’re also happy to hear that you found this post helpful. We wish you safe travels, and hope you do make it to New Orleans. It’s by far one of my favorite places in the States!


          May 8, 2017 at 12:13 pm Reply

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