With many nicknames - The City that Care Forgot, the Crescent City, the Big Easy - New Orleans has a style of its own. It is famous for its cuisine, architecture, music (the birthplace of jazz) and its laidback residents. The annual Mardi Gras and the other celebrations and festivals that dot the city's events calendar bring travellers on cheap flights to New Orleans from around the world.
New Orleans was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 but its spirit never wavered. The historic, cultural and business districts, as they were on higher ground, came through in good shape and things are now mostly back to normal, but lower-lying residential areas suffered greatly. Just half of the pre-Katrina population is back living in the city, but the welcome for tourists is as great as ever.
The oldest, most visited, part of New Orleans is the French Quarter. This is the place to sample Creole food, listen to the music, visit the museums and antique shops and sink a hurricane, a red rum mixture. Nearby is the Central Business District, an area of hotels, restaurants, museums and galleries.
Faubourg Marigny, a hip, Bohemian neighbourhood, offers a taste of non-touristy nightlife.
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