When you touch down in New Orleans, chances are you’ll be landing at Louis Armstrong International Airport (MSY) in Kenner. Here’s what you need to know to get from the airport to the French Quarter or CBD.

Do You Need a Car?

While having a rental car can be handy in some cities, in New Orleans it can be more trouble than it’s worth. Parking is pricey and driving can be a headache. Plus, the French Quarter and CBD – where you’ll likely spend most of your time – are easy to explore on foot. So unless you have a specific reason to rent a car, we say skip it.

Choosing Your Ride

The best way to get from MSY to the French Quarter or CBD depends on your group size and budget. Here are your options:

Airport Shuttle

For solo travelers, the airport shuttle is the most wallet-friendly way to go (aside from public transit). Rates are $24 per person one way or $44 round trip. Kids under 6 ride free. But for groups of two or more, the per-person price can add up quickly.

To catch a shuttle, head to the baggage claim area and look for the shuttle kiosks. The friendly folks there will help you arrange a pick-up and point you to the right shuttle stop.


If you’re traveling with a partner, a taxi is often the quickest, easiest, and most cost-effective option. Cabs charge a flat rate of $36 for one or two people. For groups of three or more, it’s $15 per person.

To snag a taxi, just follow the signs to the designated taxi stand and wait your turn in line. When a cab pulls up, hop in and you’ll be on your way.

Public Bus

For the ultimate budget option, consider taking the bus. The JeT E-2 bus costs just $2 per person, but service is limited and the ride can take up to an hour depending on traffic.

To catch the E-2, head to the bus stop outside door #7 on the upper level of the airport. The bus will drop you at the corner of Tulane and Loyola (weekdays only). From there, you can connect to an RTA bus or hoof it to your final destination.

Another option is the RTA #202 Airport Express, which also picks up outside door #7 on the upper level. This bus drops you at Cleveland Avenue and Elk Place. The fare is $1.25 for a single ride or $3 for a Jazzy Pass, which is also valid on the streetcar. But with only 9 trips per day and a 40-minute journey, it’s not the most convenient choice.

For both bus options, you can buy your ticket right on board.

Our Two Cents

While we’re big fans of public transit in Europe, in New Orleans we think the convenience and reasonable cost of shuttles and taxis outweigh the savings of the bus. But the choice is yours!

Navigating the Airport

Once you’re off the plane, follow signs for “Ground Transport/Taxi” and take the escalator down to baggage claim (unless you’re hopping straight on the bus). From there, you’ll be able to easily spot the shuttle kiosks and taxi stand.

French Quarter Fun

Once you’ve made it to the French Quarter, get ready to laissez les bons temps rouler (let the good times roll)! Stroll down Bourbon Street, take in the jazz at Preservation Hall, and chow down on some gumbo at Dooky Chase’s. And don’t forget to grab a coffee and beignet at Café du Monde – it’s a NOLA must.

CBD Sights

If you’re staying in the CBD, you’ll be just a stone’s throw from some of the city’s top attractions. Check out the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, the Insectarium, and the National WWII Museum. And for a taste of local flavor, hit up Cochon or Pêche for some seriously good eats.

No matter where you stay or how you get there, New Orleans is sure to charm you with its unique blend of history, music, food, and fun. So what are you waiting for? Book that flight and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the Big Easy!

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