Las Vegas and New Orleans are two of America’s most iconic party cities. But beyond the gambling, neon lights, and wild nightlife, they offer very different lifestyles, cultures, and amenities. If you’re trying to decide between these two beloved destinations, this deep dive has everything you need to know.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: New Orleans wins for history, culture, food and architecture while Las Vegas takes the lead for entertainment, nightlife, shopping and affordability.

In this extensive guide, we’ll compare essential factors like cost of living, job market, weather, crime rates, schools, and more. You’ll learn insider tips from locals on the best neighborhoods, hidden gems, and overrated attractions. We’ll also cover pros and cons of living in each city long-term. Whether you’re planning a vacation or relocating, read on to discover if the Big Easy or Sin City is a better fit for you!

Cost of Living

When comparing the cost of living between Las Vegas and New Orleans, it is important to consider various factors such as housing, transportation, and daily expenses. Both cities have their unique aspects that can significantly impact your budget.


In terms of housing, Las Vegas tends to have a higher cost of living compared to New Orleans. The booming real estate market in Las Vegas has led to an increase in property prices and rental rates. On the other hand, New Orleans offers a more affordable housing market, with a variety of options ranging from historic homes in neighborhoods like the French Quarter to modern apartments in the downtown area.

According to a report by Numbeo, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Las Vegas is around $1,200, while in New Orleans, it is approximately $1,000.


When it comes to transportation, both Las Vegas and New Orleans have their own advantages. Las Vegas has a well-developed public transportation system, including buses and the Las Vegas Monorail, which provide convenient options for getting around the city.

However, owning a car is still common in Las Vegas due to the spread-out nature of the city.

New Orleans, on the other hand, is known for its walkability and bike-friendly streets. The city’s compact layout makes it easy to navigate on foot or by bicycle. Additionally, New Orleans has a reliable streetcar system, which is a popular mode of transportation for locals and tourists alike.

Daily Expenses

When it comes to daily expenses such as groceries, dining out, and entertainment, both Las Vegas and New Orleans offer a wide range of options to suit different budgets. Las Vegas, being a popular tourist destination, may have slightly higher prices for dining and entertainment compared to New Orleans.

However, it is worth noting that Las Vegas also has a variety of affordable dining options and entertainment choices that cater to locals.

On the other hand, New Orleans is known for its vibrant food scene and affordable local cuisine. From delicious po’boys to mouthwatering gumbo, there are plenty of affordable dining options to explore in the city.

Additionally, New Orleans is famous for its lively music scene and numerous festivals, providing plenty of entertainment options without breaking the bank.

According to the Expatistan cost of living index, the overall cost of living in Las Vegas is approximately 6% higher than in New Orleans.

Ultimately, the cost of living in Las Vegas and New Orleans depends on your individual lifestyle and priorities. Both cities offer unique experiences and attractions, so it is important to consider your budget and personal preferences when choosing the right city for you.

Housing Market

When it comes to the housing market, Las Vegas and New Orleans offer different options for potential residents. Las Vegas is known for its booming real estate market, with a wide range of housing options available.

From luxurious high-rise condos on the Strip to spacious suburban homes, Las Vegas has something for everyone. The city has experienced significant growth in recent years, attracting many buyers and investors.

New Orleans, on the other hand, has a unique charm when it comes to its housing market. The city is famous for its historic architecture and vibrant neighborhoods. From colorful shotgun houses in the French Quarter to elegant mansions in the Garden District, New Orleans offers a wide range of housing options with a touch of Southern charm.


When it comes to affordability, Las Vegas tends to be more budget-friendly compared to New Orleans. The cost of living in Las Vegas is generally lower than the national average, making it an attractive option for those looking to buy a home or rent an apartment.

In contrast, New Orleans has a higher cost of living, especially in popular neighborhoods like the French Quarter and Uptown.

Rental Market

The rental market in both cities is competitive, but Las Vegas typically offers more affordable rental options compared to New Orleans. With the influx of tourists and a growing population, Las Vegas has a high demand for rental properties.

This has led to a wide range of options, from budget-friendly apartments to upscale condominiums, catering to different budgets and preferences.

New Orleans, on the other hand, has a more limited rental market, with a smaller inventory of available properties. The city’s unique charm and cultural appeal make it a popular destination for tourists, which can drive up rental prices in certain areas.

Investment Opportunities

Both Las Vegas and New Orleans offer great investment opportunities in the real estate market. With its growing population and booming economy, Las Vegas is an attractive option for real estate investors.

The city’s strong rental demand and potential for appreciation make it a favorable market for those looking to invest in rental properties or fix-and-flip projects.

New Orleans, on the other hand, has a unique market that appeals to investors looking for historic properties and long-term rental income. The city’s rich cultural heritage and tourism industry make it a popular destination for tourists, ensuring a steady stream of rental income for investors.

Job Market and Economy

When it comes to the job market and economy, both Las Vegas and New Orleans have their own unique characteristics to offer. Let’s take a closer look at what each city has to offer in terms of employment opportunities and economic stability.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas is known for its thriving tourism and hospitality industry, which plays a significant role in the city’s economy. With a large number of world-renowned hotels, resorts, and casinos, there are abundant job opportunities for individuals interested in the service industry.

From hotel management to entertainment, the hospitality sector provides a wide range of employment options.

Additionally, Las Vegas has also seen growth in other industries such as healthcare, technology, and finance. The city’s proximity to California has made it an attractive location for companies looking to expand or relocate, resulting in increased job opportunities in various sectors.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Las Vegas has been steadily declining over the years, indicating a positive job market outlook. This is great news for individuals seeking employment in the city.

New Orleans

New Orleans, on the other hand, has a diverse economy that is not solely reliant on tourism. While tourism does play a significant role in the city’s economy, there are also job opportunities in industries such as healthcare, education, technology, and manufacturing.

The healthcare sector in New Orleans has experienced substantial growth, with the city being home to world-class hospitals and medical research facilities. This has created a demand for healthcare professionals, making it an attractive destination for those in the medical field.

In recent years, New Orleans has also seen an increase in tech startups and entrepreneurial ventures. The city has become a hub for innovation, with organizations such as the New Orleans Business Alliance actively supporting and promoting economic development in the region.

While the unemployment rate in New Orleans may be slightly higher compared to Las Vegas, the city’s diverse economy offers a range of job opportunities for individuals with different skill sets and interests.


Las Vegas New Orleans
Thriving tourism and hospitality industry Diverse economy with opportunities in healthcare, education, and technology
Growth in industries such as healthcare, technology, and finance Growing healthcare sector and increasing tech startups
Positive job market outlook with declining unemployment rate Diverse job opportunities, although slightly higher unemployment rate

Ultimately, the choice between Las Vegas and New Orleans in terms of the job market and economy depends on your specific career goals and interests. Both cities offer unique opportunities and have their own strengths.

Consider factors such as industry preferences, cost of living, and lifestyle when making your decision.

Weather and Climate

When considering a trip to either Las Vegas or New Orleans, it’s important to take into account the weather and climate of each city. Both cities offer unique experiences that can be greatly influenced by their weather patterns.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas is located in the Mojave Desert, which means it has a hot desert climate. Summers in Las Vegas can be scorching, with temperatures often reaching triple digits. However, the city is known for its dry heat, which can make it more bearable than other humid destinations.

Winters in Las Vegas are mild, with temperatures averaging around the 60s (Fahrenheit).

If you’re planning a visit to Las Vegas, it’s essential to pack light, breathable clothing, sunscreen, and a hat to protect yourself from the intense sun. It’s also a good idea to stay hydrated and seek shade when needed.

Despite the heat, Las Vegas offers plenty of indoor attractions, such as casinos, shows, and shopping malls, where you can escape the scorching temperatures.

New Orleans

New Orleans, on the other hand, has a humid subtropical climate. The city experiences hot, humid summers and mild winters. Summers in New Orleans can be quite sultry, with temperatures in the 90s and high humidity levels.

It’s not uncommon for brief afternoon thunderstorms to occur during the summer months.

During the winter, temperatures in New Orleans are more comfortable, ranging from the 50s to the 60s (Fahrenheit). However, the city can experience occasional cold fronts, so it’s advisable to pack layers and a light jacket.

If you’re planning a trip to New Orleans, be prepared for the humidity and consider bringing lightweight, breathable clothing. Don’t forget an umbrella or raincoat in case of sudden showers. Despite the weather, New Orleans is known for its vibrant culture, music scene, and delicious cuisine, making it a city worth exploring regardless of the temperature.


Las Vegas New Orleans
Summer Temperatures Hot, often reaching triple digits Hot and humid, in the 90s
Winter Temperatures Mild, averaging around the 60s Mild, ranging from the 50s to 60s
Precipitation Low rainfall Higher rainfall, occasional thunderstorms
Climate Hot desert climate Humid subtropical climate

It’s important to consider the weather and climate when deciding between Las Vegas and New Orleans. If you prefer dry heat and mild winters, Las Vegas might be the better choice for you. On the other hand, if you enjoy a more humid climate and don’t mind occasional rain showers, New Orleans offers a unique atmosphere and cultural experience.

Remember to check the weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly, ensuring your comfort and enjoyment of either city.

Crime Rates

When considering a move or a visit to a new city, safety is often a top concern. Both Las Vegas and New Orleans have their own unique characteristics when it comes to crime rates.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas is known for its vibrant nightlife and bustling tourist attractions, but it’s also important to consider the city’s crime statistics. According to the latest data from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the overall crime rate in Las Vegas has been decreasing in recent years.

While the city does have its fair share of property crime, such as theft and burglary, violent crime rates have remained relatively low. It’s always a good idea to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded tourist areas.

New Orleans

New Orleans, on the other hand, has a reputation for higher crime rates compared to other cities in the United States. According to the New Orleans Police Department, the city has experienced higher rates of violent crime, including homicides and robberies.

However, it’s important to note that crime rates can vary depending on the neighborhood you are in. Some areas of the city, such as the French Quarter and Garden District, are generally considered safer than others.

It’s advisable to research and choose your accommodations wisely, and take necessary precautions to ensure your safety while exploring the city.


City Overall Crime Rate Violent Crime Rate Property Crime Rate
Las Vegas Decreasing Relatively low Fair share of property crime
New Orleans Higher rates compared to other cities Higher rates of violent crime Varies depending on the neighborhood

It’s important to keep in mind that crime rates can fluctuate over time and are influenced by various factors. It’s always a good idea to stay informed about the current situation in any city you plan to visit or move to.

Check official crime statistics, consult reputable travel websites, and consider reaching out to locals or residents for their insights and recommendations.

For more information on crime rates in Las Vegas, you can visit the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department website. To learn about crime rates in New Orleans, you can refer to the New Orleans Police Department website.

Education and Schools

When it comes to education and schools, both Las Vegas and New Orleans offer a variety of options for students of all ages. However, there are a few key differences to consider.

Public School Systems

Las Vegas is part of the Clark County School District, one of the largest school districts in the United States. The district serves over 300,000 students in more than 350 schools. It offers a wide range of educational programs and has a diverse student population.

On the other hand, New Orleans has a decentralized school system with a mix of charter schools and traditional public schools. After Hurricane Katrina, the city underwent significant education reforms which led to an increase in the number of charter schools and a decrease in the number of traditional public schools.

Private Schools

Both Las Vegas and New Orleans have a variety of private schools to choose from. These schools often offer smaller class sizes and specialized curriculum options. In Las Vegas, you can find prestigious private schools such as Bishop Gorman High School and The Meadows School.

In New Orleans, schools like Isidore Newman School and Lusher Charter School are well-known for their academic excellence.

Higher Education

Las Vegas is home to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), which offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs. UNLV is known for its hospitality and gaming management programs, as well as its research in various fields.

New Orleans is home to several renowned universities, including Tulane University and Loyola University New Orleans. These universities offer a diverse range of academic programs and have a strong presence in the community.

It’s worth noting that both cities have a vibrant arts and culture scene, which can be a great opportunity for students interested in pursuing creative fields.

When choosing between Las Vegas and New Orleans for education, it ultimately depends on your preferences and the specific needs of you and your family. Consider factors such as the school district, private school options, and higher education opportunities to make an informed decision.

Transportation and Commuting

When it comes to transportation and commuting, both Las Vegas and New Orleans offer various options for residents and visitors to get around the city. However, there are some key differences between the two cities that might influence your decision.

Public Transportation

New Orleans is known for its iconic streetcars, which provide a unique and nostalgic way to explore the city. The streetcar system covers several routes and is a convenient option for getting around the major tourist areas.

In addition to streetcars, New Orleans also has a bus system operated by the Regional Transit Authority (RTA), which serves different neighborhoods and destinations across the city.

On the other hand, Las Vegas has a public bus system operated by the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC). The buses cover a wide range of routes and can be an affordable way to travel within the city.

However, it’s important to note that the public transportation system in Las Vegas is not as extensive as in New Orleans, and it may not be as convenient for exploring the entire city.

Driving and Parking

If you prefer driving, both cities have well-maintained roads and highways. In Las Vegas, you’ll find wide boulevards and easy-to-navigate streets, making it relatively simple to get around by car. However, traffic can be heavy, especially on the Las Vegas Strip, particularly during peak tourist seasons.

In New Orleans, driving can be a bit more challenging due to the city’s narrow streets and intricate road network. Parking can also be a hassle, especially in the French Quarter where spaces are limited.

It’s worth noting that New Orleans has several paid parking lots and garages, so if you’re planning to drive, it’s a good idea to research parking options in advance.

Ride-Sharing Services

Both Las Vegas and New Orleans have ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, which can be convenient for getting around the city, especially if you don’t want to drive or navigate public transportation. These services are widely available and can be accessed through mobile apps.

Just be aware that surge pricing may apply during peak hours or busy events.

Biking and Walking

If you prefer a more active and eco-friendly way to explore the city, both Las Vegas and New Orleans offer options for biking and walking. Las Vegas has been expanding its bike lanes and making efforts to become a more bike-friendly city.

There are also several pedestrian-friendly areas, such as the Fremont Street Experience downtown.

New Orleans, on the other hand, has a unique charm for walkers and bikers. The city’s historic neighborhoods, such as the French Quarter and Garden District, are best explored on foot. There are also bike lanes available in certain areas, and bike rental services are available for those who want to explore further.

Entertainment, Nightlife, and Tourism

When it comes to entertainment, nightlife, and tourism, both Las Vegas and New Orleans are renowned for their vibrant and lively atmospheres. Whether you’re a party animal, a food lover, or a culture enthusiast, both cities offer a plethora of options to suit your interests.

Las Vegas: The Entertainment Capital of the World

Las Vegas is widely regarded as the entertainment capital of the world, and for good reason. The city is home to some of the most famous and extravagant casinos, hotels, and resorts, where visitors can indulge in gambling, world-class shows, and dazzling performances by renowned artists.

The famous Las Vegas Strip is a vibrant hub of entertainment, featuring iconic landmarks like the Bellagio Fountains, the Venetian canals, and the High Roller observation wheel.

Aside from its casinos, Las Vegas also offers a wide range of entertainment options for all tastes. From live music performances and comedy shows to magic acts and Cirque du Soleil extravaganzas, there’s something for everyone in this dazzling city.

The nightlife in Las Vegas is legendary, with numerous nightclubs, bars, and lounges that cater to all tastes, ensuring that the party never stops.

New Orleans: The Birthplace of Jazz and Mardi Gras

New Orleans, on the other hand, is a city steeped in history, culture, and a vibrant music scene. Known as the birthplace of jazz, this city pulsates with the rhythm of soulful melodies and lively street performances.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the lively atmosphere of the French Quarter, where jazz music fills the air and street performers entertain passersby.

New Orleans is also famous for its annual Mardi Gras celebration, a carnival-like festival that attracts tourists from around the world. During Mardi Gras, the streets come alive with parades, vibrant costumes, and a sense of revelry that is unmatched anywhere else.

The city’s rich cultural heritage is also evident in its cuisine, with world-renowned Creole and Cajun dishes that will tantalize your taste buds.


Las Vegas New Orleans
Iconic Landmarks The Bellagio Fountains, The Venetian canals, High Roller observation wheel The French Quarter, St. Louis Cathedral, Garden District
Entertainment Options World-class shows, gambling, live music performances, comedy shows, magic acts, Cirque du Soleil Jazz clubs, street performances, Mardi Gras celebrations, cultural festivals
Nightlife Numerous nightclubs, bars, and lounges Jazz clubs, lively bars, and vibrant street music scene
Cuisine A wide variety of international cuisines Creole and Cajun dishes, seafood delicacies

Ultimately, choosing between Las Vegas and New Orleans for entertainment, nightlife, and tourism depends on your personal preferences. If you’re seeking a high-energy, glamorous experience with a focus on gambling and world-class shows, Las Vegas may be the perfect choice for you.

On the other hand, if you’re drawn to the rich cultural heritage, vibrant music scene, and unique festivals of New Orleans, then the Big Easy might be your ideal destination. Whichever city you choose, both Las Vegas and New Orleans are guaranteed to provide you with an unforgettable experience.

Dining, Food, and Drink

When it comes to dining, food, and drink, both Las Vegas and New Orleans offer a wide array of options that will satisfy even the most discerning palate. Let’s take a closer look at what each city has to offer:

Las Vegas

Las Vegas is known for its extravagant dining experiences and celebrity chef restaurants. From upscale steakhouses to international cuisine, you can find it all on the famous Las Vegas Strip. The city boasts a remarkable collection of Michelin-starred restaurants, offering exquisite dishes prepared with the finest ingredients.

If you’re a foodie looking for a luxurious dining experience, Las Vegas won’t disappoint.

Additionally, Las Vegas is home to numerous buffets that offer a wide variety of cuisines at affordable prices. These buffets are perfect for those who want to try a little bit of everything without breaking the bank.

Don’t forget to indulge in the city’s famous cocktail culture too, with numerous bars and lounges serving up creative and delicious drinks.

New Orleans

New Orleans is a food lover’s paradise, renowned for its unique culinary traditions and vibrant food scene. The city is famous for its Creole and Cajun cuisine, which blends African, French, and Spanish influences. Be sure to try iconic dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and po’boys during your visit.

One of the highlights of dining in New Orleans is exploring the city’s diverse range of local eateries. From hole-in-the-wall joints to fancy establishments, there is something to suit every taste and budget.

Don’t forget to visit the famous French Quarter, where you’ll find a plethora of restaurants serving classic New Orleans dishes.

In addition to its food, New Orleans is also known for its lively bar scene. The city is famous for its cocktails, including the famous Sazerac and the refreshing Hurricane. Whether you prefer a cozy dive bar or a trendy cocktail lounge, New Orleans has it all.


Both Las Vegas and New Orleans offer unique dining experiences that cater to different preferences. While Las Vegas is known for its high-end, celebrity chef-driven restaurants, New Orleans prides itself on its rich culinary heritage and local eateries. Here’s a quick comparison:

Las Vegas New Orleans
Upscale celebrity chef restaurants Local eateries with a focus on Creole and Cajun cuisine
Michelin-starred dining experiences Iconic dishes like gumbo and jambalaya
Buffets offering a variety of cuisines Famous French Quarter with diverse dining options
Luxurious cocktail bars and lounges Lively bar scene with signature cocktails

Ultimately, the choice between Las Vegas and New Orleans for dining, food, and drink depends on your personal preferences. If you’re looking for a luxurious and extravagant experience, Las Vegas is the place to be.

On the other hand, if you’re craving authentic local flavors and a vibrant food scene, New Orleans won’t disappoint. Whichever city you choose, prepare to indulge in a culinary adventure that will leave you wanting more.

Culture, People, and Lifestyle

Las Vegas and New Orleans are both cities with vibrant cultures and unique lifestyles. However, they differ in many aspects, catering to different types of people seeking different experiences.


Las Vegas is known for its glitz and glamour, with a culture centered around entertainment, casinos, and nightlife. The city is home to some of the most extravagant hotels and resorts in the world, offering a wide range of entertainment options from world-class shows to high-end dining experiences.

The Las Vegas Strip is a famous cultural landmark, attracting millions of visitors each year.

New Orleans, on the other hand, has a rich and diverse cultural heritage. The city is famous for its jazz music, Creole cuisine, and Mardi Gras celebrations. Walking through the streets of the French Quarter, you can feel the history and charm that New Orleans is known for.

The city is also home to numerous museums, art galleries, and historical sites, showcasing its unique cultural identity.


The people of Las Vegas are often described as energetic and adventurous. The city attracts a diverse crowd, including tourists from all over the world and locals who work in the entertainment industry.

The fast-paced lifestyle and the constant influx of visitors contribute to a dynamic and lively atmosphere in Las Vegas.

New Orleans, on the other hand, is known for its friendly and welcoming residents. The locals, often referred to as “New Orleanians,” take pride in their city and its traditions. They are known for their laid-back attitude and love for good food, music, and festivities.

The sense of community and hospitality in New Orleans is something that visitors often appreciate and remember.


The lifestyle in Las Vegas is centered around entertainment and luxury. The city offers a wide range of activities and experiences, from gambling at world-class casinos to attending extravagant shows and concerts.

Las Vegas is also a popular destination for shopping, with numerous high-end boutiques and shopping malls. The city is constantly evolving and reinventing itself, always offering something new and exciting to its residents and visitors.

New Orleans, on the other hand, has a more laid-back and relaxed lifestyle. The city is known for its love of music, food, and celebrations. Residents and visitors alike can enjoy live jazz performances, indulge in delicious Creole and Cajun cuisine, and participate in colorful festivals throughout the year.

The slower pace of life in New Orleans allows people to savor the moment and fully immerse themselves in the city’s unique culture.


Both New Orleans and Las Vegas offer plenty of indulgence, from famous cuisines to wild nightlife. But beyond the surface, important factors like jobs, schools, weather, and costs determine day-to-day quality of life.

While New Orleans wins on historic charm and cultural immersion, Las Vegas takes the lead on entertainment, affordability, and opportunity. Weigh your priorities to pick the city that’s right for you. Whatever you choose, embrace the magic and make the most of your time in two of America’s most fascinating destinations.

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