Best Way to Travel Around New Orleans During Mardi Gras

Just as the vibrant beads of a Mardi Gras parade are strung together, so too are the eclectic neighborhoods of New Orleans, each offering its unique charm and challenges during the city's most famous festival.

To fully immerse yourself in the celebration, navigating these districts efficiently is vital. Now, you might be thinking, 'What's the best way to travel in New Orleans during Mardi Gras?' Well, between the city's public transit, pedicabs, bicycles, and your own two feet, there are various options to consider.

But which one will help you weave through the sea of revelers, avoid traffic snarls, and still let you catch the most exciting parades? Let's explore this further, shall we?

Key Takeaways

  • Consider using public transportation options like buses and streetcars provided by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) for reliable and affordable transportation during Mardi Gras.
  • Use the GoMobile app to buy tickets, plan routes, and track your ride in real time.
  • Be prepared for crowded buses and streetcars during peak times, especially during parades.
  • Alternative transportation options like taxis, rideshares, renting a bike, or walking can be good options, especially if you're staying close to the action.

Understanding Mardi Gras Transportation

While you're immersing yourself in the vibrant culture of Mardi Gras, understanding the transportation options in New Orleans is key to ensuring you don't miss any part of the festivities. The city's transportation system is diverse and efficient, but it can be a little confusing if you're not familiar with it.

First off, you've got the streetcars. They're an iconic part of New Orleans and a fun way to get around, but they don't run 24/7 and can be crowded during Mardi Gras. Make sure you have a backup plan.

Next, there are the buses. They cover more ground than the streetcars, but they also have their own quirks. You'll want to familiarize yourself with the routes and schedules before relying on them.

Taxis and rideshares are also available, but be prepared for surge pricing during the festival. You might also consider renting a bike or walking, especially if you're staying close to the action.

Navigating Public Transit Options

Now that you're familiar with the various transportation options, let's get you comfortable with navigating New Orleans' public transit during Mardi Gras.

The city parades may cause street closures, but don't let that deter you. The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) provides buses and streetcars that are a reliable and affordable way to get around.

Buses run 24/7 on most major routes, and the streetcars are a charming way to see the city. Use the GoMobile app to buy tickets, plan routes, and track your ride in real time. Be aware, though, that during Mardi Gras, schedules may change and routes may be altered due to parades.

If you're planning to use public transit frequently, consider purchasing a Jazzy Pass for unlimited rides. These are available for 1, 3, 5 or 31 days and can be a real cost-saver. Just be prepared for crowded buses and streetcars during peak times, especially during parades.

Utilizing Pedicabs and Bicycles

eco friendly transportation options

If you're looking for a more personalized travel experience during Mardi Gras, pedicabs and bicycles can be a fun and efficient alternative to public transit.

Pedicabs, much like a rickshaw, let you experience the vibrant city streets up close while a driver navigates the sea of revelers. They're perfect for short distances and offer a more intimate, scenic route through the heart of the Mardi Gras celebrations.

Renting a bicycle, on the other hand, gives you the freedom to explore New Orleans at your own pace. Bike rentals are plentiful and can be a cost-effective way to travel. However, remember that you'll be sharing the road with a mix of pedestrians, cars, and floats, so be sure to ride carefully.

Both options offer an eco-friendly alternative to taxis or cars. Plus, you won't have to worry about finding parking! Pedicabs and bikes can also help you bypass the heavy traffic usually associated with Mardi Gras. So why not give them a try?

Embrace the festive spirit of Mardi Gras and travel around New Orleans like a local.

Mardi Gras Parade Route Strategies

Navigating the kaleidoscope of Mardi Gras parade routes can be quite the challenge, but with the right strategies, you'll master the art of parade-going in no time.

The first rule of thumb? Start early. The best spots get filled up fast, so you'll need to stake out your territory ahead of time.

Bring folding chairs and a cooler of refreshments. You'll be there a while, and comfort is key. Don't forget to pack binoculars too. They'll come in handy when the floats start to roll by.

Check the parade schedule and map religiously. They're your best friends when it comes to planning and maneuvering. Keep an eye out for changes, as routes can and do change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

Lastly, be patient and enjoy the experience. It's not just about catching beads or doubloons. It's about soaking in the vibrant atmosphere, the music, the costumes, and the camaraderie. Remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint.

With these tips at hand, you're ready to tackle the Mardi Gras parade like a pro. Enjoy the spectacle and let the good times roll!

Tips for Safe and Efficient Travel

safe and efficient travel tips

While immersing yourself in the Mardi Gras revelry, it's crucial to keep a few safety and travel efficiency tips in mind. Remember, the city swells with crowds during this time, making navigation tricky. So plan your routes ahead of time, and be ready for detours.

Public transportation and walking are often your best options. But be prepared – buses can be crowded and streets packed. Ensure you're comfortable and have plenty of water on hand.

Safety is paramount. Stick with your group, and decide on a meetup spot in case you get separated. Keep your belongings secure and avoid flaunting expensive items.

Mardi Gras is known for its spirited atmosphere, but it's essential to keep your wits about you. Watch your alcohol intake and stay hydrated. If you're drinking, arrange for a designated driver or use a taxi or rideshare service.

Lastly, respect the city and its residents. Follow the rules, dispose of your trash properly, and remember that you're a guest in their home.

With these tips, you'll not only enjoy Mardi Gras, but you'll also travel safely and efficiently through the vibrant city of New Orleans.


Traveling around New Orleans during Mardi Gras can be as tricky as catching a greased pig, but it's doable. From public transit to pedicabs, your options are diverse.

Use parade route strategies to avoid gridlock and always prioritize safety.

With these tips, navigating the city becomes a thrilling part of your Mardi Gras experience.

So, dive into the festive chaos with confidence, knowing you're prepared to conquer the transit challenges that come your way.