Royal Street
Royal Street © ~MVI~

New Orleans is a quirky city with a unique character quite incomparable to any other city in the US or the world. Situated on a swamp, surrounded by the sea, Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River, the city chose to swim rather than sink by constructing levees, pumps and canals to protect the city. But this is an ongoing battle.

Despite hit by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, a tragedy which left 75% of the city flooded, the proud residents of New Orleans rebuilt their one-of-a-kind home with determination. And for tourists, it's once again the vibrant destination it was before the disaster.

The jazz, the extravagant celebrations and the Big Easy lifestyle once again make New Orleans one of the party capitals of the US. Nightlife options are burgeoning and strains of local jazz and blues rhythms are once again echoing through the streets of the atmospheric French Quarter.

Legendary Bourbon Street continues to host carnivals and parades, including the annual Mardi Gras, which has a reputation for being the most scandalous and sensational event on the world's festival calendar.

Besides all the partying, New Orleans has still has serious opportunities for sightseeing. The city is full of picturesque buildings, lush parks, riverboats, vintage streetcars and museums displaying everything from voodoo culture to modern technology.