Mardi Gras

How much does Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras Cost?

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Article Summary

  • We got over hotel prices for Fat Tuesday, the closing party of Mardi Gras
  • Our biggest tips are to book far in advance as the cheapest prices are in February to April
  • Prices rise quickly in the weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday, at worst book before January and Mardi Gras beginning

Party time! Mardi Gras is undoubtedly on the bucket list of every twenty something in the country looking to have a good time in New Orleans. Mardi Gras is actually nearly a month long beginning in early January (January 6th to be exact) and goes until Fat Tuesday, which is always the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. That said, most people who are going to New Orleans to indulge in some debauchery are looking to go for Fat Tuesday – the day that goes on in party lore generation after generation. This article will go over how much you can expect to pay in New Orleans for Fat Tuesday, based on over a year of data on New Orleans hotel prices during Fat Tuesday.

Useful Fat Tuesday Quick Facts

Let’s first go over some quick tidbits you should know before booking for Fat Tuesday.

  • Fat Tuesday is the final day of the Mardi Gras celebration, with a changing date every year as it is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday (it changes yearly because Easter varies annually)

  • Fat Tuesday is free to attend; the parades go down public streets and you do not need any sort of ticket to attend. The same can be said for the party in the streets on Bourbon Street / in the French Quarter.

  • Most of your expenses for Mardi Gras / Fat Tuesday will be on the hotel and the drinks

  • Note that no real Mardi Gras parades go through the famous French Quarter (and Bourbon Street) because of restrictions on the size of floats. The only parades will mostly be foot parades.

  • It is essentially impossible to get a hotel for Fat Tuesday (or Mardi Gras in general) with a balcony and a view of the major parades. Very few hotels have balconies with views and those that do are bought by corporations years in advance.

  • If you don’t want to go to a parade we suggest just going to Bourbon Street, where you can party freely in the streets – parades be damned!

How much do hotels for Fat Tuesday cost?

For Fat Tuesday in New Orleans we check hotel prices every day and keep track of them in our database. If you are interested, you can see all of our hotel data at our Mardi Gras Hotels Page. Anyways, the point is we have over 2 years of data on Fat Tuesday hotels.  Here’s how prices vary throughout the year for Fat Tuesday from last year and this upcoming year.

Fat Tuesday Holiday Costs

What the graph above shows is the average price of hotels for each day of the year for the dates of Fat Tuesday in New Orleans. In layman’s term, we look at the hotel prices each day in New Orleans, calculate the average price, and chart it daily. The dark blue line shows our price data for Mardi Gras last year and the teal line shows it for the upcoming Mardi Gras.  

So what does this graph tell us?

  1. Hotels for Fat Tuesday are fairly expensive, with the average price of hotels being around or above $250 a night for most of the year. This isn’t surprising as New Orleans is notoriously expensive for hotels even when Mardi Gras isn’t going on

  2. It seems you can save money by booking early in the year, especially in February right after Fat Tuesday has taken place. The cheapest months to book for Fat Tuesday were February, March and April.

  3. Prices stayed pretty steady after June; you may be worried about hotels filling up and the prices rising, but we didn’t see that happen.

  4. Prices for Fat Tuesday / Mardi Gras hotels did rise quickly during the Mardi Gras celebration. Again, Mardi Gras runs from early January to Fat Tuesday and last year we saw prices increasing rapidly in January. This indicates a lot of people are booking Fat Tuesday trips late / impromptu.

  5. If you book a hotel for Fat Tuesday late you should try to book before Mardi Gras begins (January 6th) and it’s on the minds of other people to book


Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday specifically is free to attend, and drinking in New Orleans is usually pretty cheap compared to other areas. Most of your costs will be on the hotel. We suggest booking early if you can, but if that’s not possible at least book before the Mardi Gras festivities begin and there is a mad rush to book Fat Tuesday hotels!

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