The birthplace of jazz
Creole and Cajun food
Whether you’re on a road trip across Louisiana, or only have time to visit one city, New Orleans is a must. Start in Congo Square, in the Treme neighbourhood, one of the only places where people of colour could gather publicly to play music and dance before the Civil War.
This is where jazz was born, and where the world was introduced to countless jazz legends such as Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, Pete Fountain, Jelly Roll Morton and Professor Longhair. Today, visitors can listen to their successors play live at Preservation Hall, Little Gem Saloon, and Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro.
Though the terms “Cajun” and “Creole” are often used interchangeably, a few meals in Louisiana will help you distinguish the two cuisines. While Cajun food combines French and Southern cuisines in scrumptious meat-heavy dishes, Creole cuisine mixes European, African and Native American influences to create seafood-rich meals.
Visiting Louisiana without eating gumbo is like going to Japan without trying sushi. In New Orleans, get the official state dish at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, a local Creole-food favourite. Order Jerry’s Jambalaya, a one-pot rice dish that blends Spanish, French and African influences, at Mother’s, known for a delicious combination of chicken and andouille sausage. To satisfy your sweet tooth, look no further than beignets, a fried cousin of the doughnut sprinkled with generous amounts of powdered sugar. Café du Monde, the first beignet shop in the French Quarter and undoubtedly the most iconic, is unmissable.
Step into the past
On the road from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, you'll find sprawling estates of the antebellum South. Many plantations are now open to the public for tours, and some have paid special attention to reconciling with their history of slavery.
Also running along Louisiana’s River Parishes is the Andouille trail. Make sure to sample some of this famous smoked pork sausage on your way to Louisiana’s capital.
Great River Road
All things Voodoo
We’d be remiss if we didn’t bring up New Orleans’ historical connections to Voodoo. To learn more about the history of this religion, which combines West African rituals and practices with aspects of Catholicism, head to the French Quarter’s New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum.
The Voodoo Spiritual Temple and Voodoo Authentica offer a more hands-on approach, complete with tours, consultations, potions and séances. Consider a tour of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 (only accessible through authorized groups), which dates to 1789. There, you’ll see fascinating above-ground crypts and the graves of famous residents including Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans.
In Wallace, on the road between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, lies Whitney Plantation, a museum with the mission of educating the public about the history and legacy of slavery in the United States. Guided tours take visitors through the twelve historic structures on the plantation while underscoring the property’s troubling history of slavery.
Laura Plantation, in on the banks of the Mississippi river in Vacherie, also offers a tasteful tour of a typical Creole Louisiana plantation. Laura Locoul’s 1936 memoir about growing up there has been mined for personal stories about the lives of the owners and slaves who lived on the plantation.
The Andouille trail
The Andouille trail — devoted to the famed smoked pork sausage — runs along the Great River Road through Louisiana’s River Parishes.
While in Vacherie, home chefs should stop at Spuddy’s Cajun Foods, where Spuddy himself teaches the art of making andouille and the gumbo and jambalaya that it flavours.
Though the sausage itself originated in France, the town of LaPlace, Louisiana is considered the Andouille Capital of the World. At Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse and Restaurant, you are invited to tour the kitchen and the smokehouses before choosing which andouille dish to order.
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New Orleans I Great river road i Baton Rouge i Lafayette i Bayou Teche i North Louisiana
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If you're looking for the best panoramic views of the city, then look no further than Germany's highest building. Berlin's TV Tower has a 203-metre high observation deck, a swanky bar, and a revolving restaurant. You can also go on Berlin's highest sightseeing tour, as well as a culinary journey through the history of the past 50 years of both the tower and the city.
Find out more here.
Dinner with a view
What better way to explore a city, than with the help of a local guide? Original Berlin Walks was founded by a pair of historians in 1993 as a fun side project, and has since blossomed into one of Europe's leading walking tour companies. They run multiple tours every day, and were even voted as the best thing to do in Germany on TripAdvisor.
Find out more here.
Go on a walking tour
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You've probably heard of the world-famous Blue Man Group, but did you know you could watch them in Europe? Berlin currently has the only show on the continent, and it's been running for over 16 years, making it one of the most successful long-running shows in the city.
Expect a concert atmosphere fused with comedy and incredible special effects to create a uniquely thrilling stage show.
Find out more here.
See the Blue Man Group
Having undergone a €650 million refurbishment in July 2021, what was once a Prussian palace is now the Humboldt Forum: a space for art, science, and culture. Learn about the site's chequered history, as well as the ideas of the Humboldt brothers, and Berlin's position on the global stage.
Many of its exhibitions and events are free of charge, so have a look at what's on before you go. Top it all off with a meal and city views on the rooftop terrace.
Find out more here.
The Humboldt Forum
The Daily Express calls the ARISE Grand Show "the most spectacular show in Europe" - and if you head to the Friedrichstadt-Palast, you'll see why. Watch over 100 dancers, musicians, and artists perform on one of the world's biggest theatre stages, with extravagant costumes, breathtaking stage sets, and artistic excellence aplenty.
Find out more here.
Catch a cabaret show
© Visit Berlin
To make the most of your trip, we recommend getting a Berlin Welcome Card. You can snap up discounts of up to 50% on top attractions, plus it doubles as a travelcard that you can use on buses, trams, and trains, so you can get around the city with ease.
You can buy different durations of passes depending on how long you're in the city for (passes range between 2-6 days).
Find out more here.
Experience it all for less
Louisiana is the perfect destination for foodies, music aficionados, history buffs and nature lovers, and it's best discovered with a road trip.
Begin in iconic New Orleans, discover the estates and antebellum plantations of the Great River Road and stop over at Baton Rouge, Louisiana's capital city. Don't miss the Bayou Teche, and check out the activities, sights and food in North Louisiana.
Read on to find out where to go, what to do, and of course, what to eat in the Bayou state.
Plan a road trip packed with soul food
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Locals rave about Parrain’s authentic Louisiana fare: charbroiled oysters, alligator bites, crawfish etouffee, and po’boys aplenty. Here, they’re usually paired with a Bloody Mary.
You can’t miss out on Louisiana’s oysters! Acme Oyster House has become a franchise with locations throughout the southern US, but Baton Rouge’s location was the first one opened in 1910.
If you want top-notch dessert after your seafood, head over to Elsie’s Plate & Pie, a true pie heaven. Sweet pies range from apple to s’mores to coconut cream, while savory options (great to take away for a midnight snack) include crawfish hand pies and crustless crab pies
Steeped in history
You can tour both the old (circa 1852) and the “new” Louisiana State Capitol, a 1932 art deco stunner that remains the tallest capitol in the US. Visit the Capitol Park Museum for exhibits ranging from a Civil War submarine to a collection of instruments that belonged to Louisiana music legends such as Pete Fountain and Buddy Guy.
For those interested in Louisiana history with more…intoxicating applications, Oxbow Rum Distillery offers tours that explain the rum-making process, from the sugar cane to your cocktail glass.
As with any capital, Baton Rouge’s identity is intrinsically tied to its politics. By the Mississippi River, you can visit landmarks such as the Old Louisiana State Capitol and the (new) Louisiana State Capitol.
Museums, galleries and theatres line the streets of downtown Baton Rouge, but the biggest attraction is undoubtedly the city’s cuisine, which ranges from traditional Creole and Cajun to fine dining. One thing is for sure: Baton Rouge will welcome you with Southern hospitality.
Lafayette is at the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun and Creole Country. The area encompasses the cities of Scott, Eunice, Opelousas, Breaux Bridge and of course Lafayette, which also goes by the title of "happiest city in the US."
You can learn about Cajun and Creole cultures and their history through living museums, their music and their food. Classic fares such as crawfish, boudin and cracklins (deep-fried fatty pork skins) can be found throughout the region, but Best Stop Supermarket is a local favourite.
What better way to learn about a place’s history than immersing yourself in the past? Around the city of Lafayette, two attractions offer this opportunity. The Acadian Village transports you back to the 1800s, when the Acadians expelled from Nova Scotia made their way to Louisiana. You can also visit the Vermilionville Living History Museum, a historic village that gives visitors a glimpse of what the 1800s were like for Native Americans, Acadians, Creoles and peoples of African descent who were interacting on this land.
Cajun and Creole roots
Capital of Cajun music
Welcome to Cajun Country!
On your drive down to Lafayette is Mamou (the “Cajun Music Capital of the World”). If you happen to be there on a Saturday morning, catch live Cajun music at Fred’s Lounge. And although you can find live Zydeco performances throughout the Lafayette area, Buck and Johnny's in Breaux Bridge is probably your best bet, with multiple Zydeco music events every week. While you’re at Buck and Johnny’s, order some crawfish — it’s rumored to be the best in Breaux Bridge.
Blues, food and nature
While our guide to the southern parts of Louisiana is already jam-packed with attractions, travellers with more time on their hands should undoubtedly add North Louisiana to their itinerary.
Its stunning landscapes, wildlife refuges and heritage sites make it a welcoming destination for nature lovers. It's also noteworthy for typically southern cuisine and a rich history of blues music.
Nature lover's paradise
Monroe and West Monroe are probably the most attraction-dense areas of North Louisiana. Get your nature fix by visiting the Chemin-A-Haut State Park, home to the giant cypress “Castle Tree," a thousand-year-old cypress that towers over the bayou. Or visit the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, a 4,500 acre national reserve with lake, swamp and uplands to explore.
To learn about the region’s Native American history, add a stop in Poverty Point, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, National Monument and National HIstoric Landmark.
Welcome to the swamp
The Atchafalaya Basin is the largest freshwater swamp in the country. Explore the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area the way that suits you best. There are pontoon tours, speed boat rides and kayak rentals for those who want to be right on the water. For wildlife lovers, the birding is some of the best in the US, with almost 400 bird species waiting to be sighted. You can also rent a houseboat in Morgan City for an overnight immersion in nature.
If you’re driving back to New Orleans to wrap up your road trip, consider one last stop at Gibson’s Greenwood Gator Farm and Tours, where you can learn about American alligators and get up close and personal with the toothy reptiles.
The hot stuff
Tabasco sauce was created by Louisiana’s McIlhenny Company, established in 1868 on Avery Island in Iberia Parish. More than a century and a half later, the business remains family-owned and runs out of Avery Island. During the Tabasco Brand Factory Tour & Museum, you will learn the history and process behind the making of Tabasco. (We hear you can even taste Tabasco-flavoured ice cream!)
In New Iberia, you can tour the Conrad Rice Mill, home of Konriko Rice. Established in 1912, it's the oldest rice mill in America. You probably won’t leave empty-handed — the company store sells Konriko’s iconic products for home cooks, such as creole seasoning, cajun-style shrimp and crab boil seasoning, brown rice crackers and — of course — various rice mixes.
The bayou with heart
The Bayou Teche National Water Trail begins in Port Barre and flows southward to finally meet the lower Atchafalaya River in Berwick. Along the way are the parishes of St. Landry, St. Martin, Iberia and St. Mary.
The Iberia Parish stands out, with many factory tours that foodies will undoubtedly relish. And at the convergence of the Bayou Teche and the Atchafalaya River, nature lovers will find the swamp experiences they’ve been craving.
The Bayou Teche
Make sure to sample some Southern soul food, a staple of the area, during your time in North Louisiana. You can't go wrong at Big Momma's Fine Foods and Restaurant Cotton.
North Louisiana is known for the blues — there’s even an official Northeast Louisiana Music Trail. For great live blues music, the Noble Savage in Shreveport hosts jams and local bands Thursdays-Sundays every week.
Food for the soul
The "happiest city"
Great River Road