As in any cemetary or religious site you are abserving as a visitor, you need to be respectful and courteous, as there will be family members visiting at the same time you are there.
Hot Tip-The tour is in the morning so make a reservation for lunch at Commander's Palace (just across the street from the main gate of cemetary). Lunch there is a more economical way to take advantage of some world class food at more reasonable prices.
At any rate, taking a guided tour of a "City of the Dead" is an interesting way to explore one of New Orleans' most famous sites.
Results 1-9of 9 Reviews
by Gabriel Marie
New Orleans, Louisiana
December 10, 2010
Goose Creek, South Carolina
July 6, 2006
From journal Pre-Katrina New Orleans
July 14, 2003
From journal a rainy week in nawlins
February 26, 2003
FYI: Lafayette is the cemetery Anne Rice features in her Vampire Chronicles.
From journal Cookie's adventures
Auckland, United Kingdom
January 5, 2003
We wandered on around the avenue of white tombs by ourselves--it is a spooky experience. The tombs are set out in rows and are mostly taller than you. You wander down one row alone, and you don't know who else is around. Although there are still recent burials in Lafayette, a lot of the tombs are run-down and neglected, adding to the atmosphere. To make it even more perfect, we came across a black cat, sunning itself on one of the graves.
From journal Good Times in New Orleans
August 2, 2002
From journal Spending "Joyeaux Noel" in the Big Easy!
Sea Girt, New Jersey
March 22, 2001
No trip to the Garden District is complete without a visit to Lafayette Cemetery—a veritable museum of above-ground tombs. Since New Orleans is below sea level, it is necessary to bury the dead in these vaults. The close proximity of each sarcophagus to its neighbor makes for an interesting several hours exploring the silent history of 19th century New Orleans. Lafayette Number One is the resting place of denizens of the New Orleans suburb known as "Uptown." The names of the residents of this strange tourist attraction are mostly of Irish and German extraction rather than French. For older tombs, try the St. Louis cemeteries that service Vieux Carré’s Francophone residents.
Be warned that New Orleans is not a safe town (although the Garden District is a good as it gets) and aboveground cemeteries are prone to crime since the unique architecture can easily provide cover for less than upstanding citizens. Don't go there at night.
From journal Eat, Drink and Be Merry
March 8, 2001
Note of caution- Guide books recommend that you not explore the cemeteries alone. I found them to be safe and never felt any danger. However, I'd say to use good judgemnt and if you're not as adventurous, join a tour group or make one up with some other motel guests.
From journal New Orleans for the first time
January 10, 2001
The city lays perilously close to sea level, requiring in the past that all graves had to remain unburied. Those that were foolishly placed in the earth floated right back up when rain or flooding occurred, often spilling out the deceased passengers of these makeshift boats. Because of this, many of these tombs have been enriched with finer design elements that may otherwise not have been bestowed on something headed below ground.
It's not entirely safe to visit the cemetery by yourself any time of the day, as muggings have happened far more frequently here than anywhere else in town. You might want to stick near groups of other people who are also meandering through the maze of tombs and mausoleums. Uncomfortable looking tour groups wander through the cemetary with regularity, as black clad teens lean up against tombs with a cigarette in hand posing as distraught artists or misunderstood vampires.
From journal Louisiana: New Orleans