The French Quarter is the oldest and most famous and visited neighborhood of New Orleans. It was laid out in French and Spanish colonial times in the 18th century. While it has many hotels, restaurants, and businesses catering to visitors, it is best appreciated when you recall that it is still a functioning mixed-use residential/commercial neighborhood where locals live.
The French Quarter or “Vieux Carre” (“old section” in French) stretches along the Mississippi River from Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue (14 blocks long) and back from the Mississippi to Rampart Street (7 blocks wide).
“The Quarter” is compact. One can spend an enjoyable vacation here without leaving it for several days. If the French Quarter is your headquarters, consider leaving your car behind and not bothering to rent one if your health permits a few blocks walk. Parking is difficult, expensive, or both. Occasional trips to other parts of town can be made by streetcar or cab. The neighborhood is pedestrian friendly.