7 places like New Orleans that have soul
Colourful and fun with a wash of romance, these places like New Orleans are guaranteed to steal your heart.
The Louisiana city of New Orleans is like no other. Built on a rich fusion of European and African cultures and bred in The Deep South, it’s an unparalleled world where you could be chilling to soulful jazz music one moment and bar hopping down its infamous Bourbon Street, iconic bead necklace in hand, the next.
Are you searching elsewhere for the kind of relaxed or raucous fun that can be had in New Orleans? We know a few places with a European touch that have soul just like New Orleans does.
1. French Canada
From Montreal to Quebec City, French Canada is an area of European culture, language and history that was founded by French colonists otherwise known as Cajuns.
If you’re thinking that Cajun culture is a Louisiana thing, you’re not wrong. During the British conquest in the 1700s the French colonists, aka Cajuns, were forced to flee their home in Arcadia, Canada. Many settled in Louisiana where they thrived and helped develop the state into what it is today. So if you’re searching for a touch of New Orleans in another city try Montreal, New Brunswick or Quebec.
- Must eat: French-Canadian creton, pudding au chomeur, French pea soup and doughboys.
- Where to party: Crescent Street in Downtown Montreal.
Check the price of flights to French Canada
Having been colonised by the French, one of the best places for a New Orleans experience outside North America has to be Paris.
From its architecture to its cuisine, which includes the famous deep-fried choux pastry dessert beignets, Paris can feel like a blown-out version of New Orleans. Jazz bars are riddled throughout the city and, like New Orleans, its capital hosts one of the most iconic Mardi Gras in the world.
- Best for: Partying.
- Must eat: Gougère, coq au vin, escargot, bœuf bourguignon and fois gras.
- Where to party: Oberkampf.
Check the price of flights to Paris
If there’s one Mardis Gras party that could even hold a candle to that in New Orleans, it’s Brazil's Carnival.
Hedonism and celebration go hand in hand when Carnival is in town. Like New Orleans, it’s one of the biggest days on the calendar and rings full of the love of music that is at the heart of New Orleans.
- Must eat: Churrasco, pão de queijo and feijoada.
- Where to party: Copacabana Beach.
Check the price of flights to Brazil
4. St. Lucia
Across the Gulf of Mexico is where you’ll find this nation of beautiful people with laidback agendas that are similar to those in the Big Easy.
Those who believe that variety is the spice of life will eat up the Caribbean with an insatiable appetite. Comprising of 30 territories, each has at one point or another been colonised by Europeans. For a touch of France, Saint Lucia is a must. It’s a luxurious getaway with a heavy dose of colour and flair.
- Must eat: Green fig, saltfish, pouille dudon and banana cake.
- Where to party: Gros Islet.
Check the price of flights to St. Lucia
5. St. Louis
Travel further up the Mississippi and you’ll feel as though you’ve entered New Orleans in the future when you stop off at St. Louis.
The French colonised city of St. Louis feels remarkably similar to New Orleans in parts. Despite not sharing its Cajun and Creole history, it too features a French Quarter complete with historic, French-style homes and speakeasies that play live blues and jazz into the wee hours of the morning.
- Must eat: St. Louis-style barbecue, toasted ravioli and a Gerber sandwich.
- Where to party: Downtown and on Broadway.
Check the price of flights to St. Louis
Berber, Arabian and European cultures come together in the breathtaking country of Morocco.
Exotic is the word you’re thinking of as all colours of the spectrum capture your eye as you attempt to negotiate the maze-like medinas in Morocco. While more confronting than the sensory exploration on Bourbon Street, the fullness of the culture and the energy of the people will remind you of the atmosphere in New Orleans.
- Must eat: Tagines and Moroccan tea.
- Where to party: Marrakesh.
Check the price of flights to Morocco
7. The Murray Darling River
Do as the New Orleanians do and paddle down the river on a relaxed steamboat cruise.
Live music included. For a taste of New Orleans in your own backyard, unwind on a paddlewheeler down the Murray Darling River. Like the wheelers that roll down the Mississippi, they’re a once-in-a-lifetime experience where you can shoot the breeze on an iconic river surrounded by the green of the natural landscape.
- Must eat: The onboard buffet.
- Where to party: The onboard live entertainment room. Oh, and on deck. Definitely on the deck.
Check the price of cruises to The Murray Darling River
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