Bourbon Street: The Heart of the French Quarter, New Orleans

Bourbon Street is where the party never stops – people (mainly tourists) spend hours, days, and even years on this street and never get bored.

There’s plenty to do on Bourbon Street, regardless of one’s taste in clubs, food, music, or people.

Bourbon Street sits in the heart of the French Quarter, the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana. It’s lined with clubs, bars and nightlife that makes a perfect place for all kinds of parties -- birthdays, bachelor parties, girls night out and so on.

The historic street is packed with the best bars, DJs, Burlesque, and endless celebration opportunities.

In addition to the thrilling nightlife and celebrations, Bourbon Street has a deep history, a beauty, and folklore that all trace back to the 18th Century.

Bourbon Street's History

After the French took Louisiana as a colony in the 1690s, they appointed Director General Jean Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville to be in charge of building a colony in the territory.

In 1718, Jean Batiste founded New Orleans, and three years later, Adrien de Pauger, a royal engineer designed the layout of the city streets and named them after Catholic saints and French royal homes.

Rue Bourbon, was in honor of the ruling family in France, the House of Bourbon. Later on, in 1763, the Spanish took over New Orleans after seven years of war.

In 1803, the Americans gained control of the colony, and translated the street names into English; hence Bourbon Street (from Rue Bourbon), extending 13 blocks from Esplanade Avenue to Canal Street.

Getting to Bourbon Street

One can easily walk from any point in the French Quarter to the Bourbon Street. The street is also a few steps away from the famous Frenchmen Street.

Those coming from uptown can use the St. Charles Streetcar, and turn at the Canal St., Bourbon Street is just a few blocks down from there.


For the entire stretch of the French Quarter, the famous street runs parallel to the Mississippi River, from Canal St. to Esplanade Avenue.

Most of the nightlife happens on the upper side of the river stretch of Bourbon Street – near the Canal St. The lower side of the river (St. Philip Street) is mainly residential.

The commercial Bourbon  (the St. Ann to St. Philip stretch) houses lots of gay bars, which is ideal for singles who are hoping to meet someone – though anyone is invited.

Many tourists use their time between Bienville and Orleans, where almost every storefront is a souvenir shop or a bar. The pedestrianized streets are also full of street performers and revelers.

Nearby Attractions

Bourbon Street is the heartbeat of the French Quarter; there’s plenty of things to do and see along the street, whether walking, riding a bike, or by cab. Just a few blocks from the street is the Café du Monde, known for tasty coffee and beignets.

Saint Louis Cathedral is also nearby and presents beautiful scenery for photographers. In front of the cathedral, one can catch a ride on a carriage drawn by a mule. Those who are into modern transportation can hop into one of the many famous street cars.

Other attractions nearby include the IMAX theatre, Audubon Aquarium and the zoo.

The Best Bars & Nightclubs on Bourbon St.

Babe's Cabaret
Bayou Burger & Sports Company
Beach on Bourbon
Big Daddy's
Bourbon Cowboy
Bourbon Heat
Bourbon Pub/Parade
Bourbon Street Blues Company
Cafe Lafitte In Exile
Cat's Meow
Daiquiri Delite Shop
Deju Vu Showgirls
Fat Tuesday
Fritzel's European Jazz Pub
Funky 544
Funky Pirate
Howl at the Moon
Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse
Jester Mardi Gras Daiquiris
Johnny White's Pub & Grill
Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop
Larry Flynt's Hustler Club
Little Darlings
Maison Bourbon Jazz Club
Mystick Den Lounge
Old Absinthe House
Old Opera House
Patout's Cajun Cabin/ Five O'Clock Grill
The Puccini Bar
Sho-Bar Club
Tropical Isle Bourbon


All About Frenchmen Street, New Orleans




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