Two of my favorite neighborhoods in New Orleans are Faubourg Marigny and Bywater. Both are within reasonable walking distance to the French Quarter and the Mississippi River, so the location is solid.
These ‘hoods include a lot of long-time residents plus artists and bohemian types, and the area reflects that mix with older houses featuring tons of character and lots of the bright and colorful houses that are characteristic of New Orleans.
Scroll down to see a photo essay of some of the most colorful and interesting houses and sights in the Faubourg Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods of New Orleans. Before that, let’s answer a few frequently asked questions from folks who are interested in visiting Marigny or Bywater.
Where are the Marigny and Bywater Neighborhoods Located?
They are just northeast of the French Quarter, along the Mississippi River. Expect at least a 20-minute walk to the heart of the French Quarter from the Marigny, possibly longer depending where you’re located. It is certainly walkable, or you can always Uber or Lyft.
I mostly walked when I stayed in this area, although some days it was so hot that I took the bus instead. Bike riding is also extremely popular here since the streets are flat. You’ll see lots of young hipsters riding grandma bikes. Nobody tries to look too cool here, which is refreshing!
How Do You Pronounce Marigny?
It’s “mare-uh-nee” with the emphasis on the first syllable. Faubourg is a French word meaning “suburb,” so Faubourg Marigny just means the Marigny neighborhood.
Are There Any Hotels in Marigny or Bed and Breakfasts?
Yes, but not a ton, since most hotels are located in more touristy areas such as the French Quarter and downtown. When I visited the Marigny, I stayed at an Airbnb, which was the best option at the time for someone who wanted to really get to know the character of the neighborhood.
In recent years, Airbnb has come under fire for becoming far less customer-friendly, and for perpetuating an environment where locals are being priced out of their own neighborhoods. So you may want to consider a hotel or local B&B.
Places like Lamothe House Hotel, Royal Frenchman Hotel, and the Balcony Guest Bed & Breakfast are good options. The best way I’ve found to find cheap lodging is to use booking.com’s search feature, since they do the best job of aggregating all local properties into their search engine. Click to search booking.com for hotels and properties in the Marigny neighborhood.
What are the Best Marigny Restaurants in New Orleans?
Taste is subjective and everyone has their favorites. Local favorites among locals and tourists can also vary, but in terms of reviews, Bamboula’s and Mimi’s in the Marigny both rate highly.
Both offer food and live music depending on the time of day. Here are more bar and restaurant picks from Eater.
Photos of the Colorful Houses of Faubourg Marigny and Bywater
Most New Orleans visitors spend a lot of time on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. And that’s understandable! But visiting Faubourg Marigny and Bywater is one of my favorite off-the-beaten-path New Orleans activities!
Check out the cool and colorful houses of these neighborhoods. I find it enjoyable to take an hour and just walk around the residential streets to see the cute homes!
When you’re in New Orleans, by all means go off and check out the other famous attractions, such as Mardi Gras World, the World War II Museum, the Jazz Walk of Fame, and the tomb of Marie Laveau, the voodoo queen. But save some time and love for the Marigny Bywater area too so you can see these colorful houses and vibrant streets!
And if you’re up for a drive, consider the New Orleans to Nashville road trip. It’s a fun route that goes through lots of other historic small towns, plus some big cities and major attractions.