IELTS Listening Online – Sample 20

Listen to this travel guide to New Orleans and complete the quiz below.

Then, scroll to the bottom of the page for the answers and a transcript of the recording.

New Orleans


1. On which river does New Orleans stand?

    a)  Mianus River

    b)  Missouri River

    c)  Mississippi River


2. What type of music originated in the French Quarter of the city?

    a)  Blues

    b)  Jazz

    c)  Soul


3.  Which army commander defeated the British in a battle in this area?

    a)  Andrew Simpson

    b)  Andrew Jackson

    c)  Andrew Benson


4.  What have the old grain stores and sugar presses been converted into?

    a)  galleries and boutiques

    b)  cafés and restaurants

    c)  souvenir shops


5.  Which area of the city is it recommended to travel to on a St Charles Streetcar?

    a)  Arts District

    b)  Lakeview

    c)  Garden District


6.  Which animal is a particular attraction at the zoo?

    a) gorilla

    b) alligator

    c) giraffe


7.  What is the characteristic of much of the local food?

    a) spicy

    b) vegetarian

    c) seafood

Answers & transcript

Scroll down for the answers and recording transcript.


   1 c  Mississippi River

   2 b  Jazz

   3 b  Andrew Jackson

   4 a  galleries and boutiques

   5 c  Garden District

   6 b  alligator

   7 a  spicy


New Orleans

Located 105 miles upriver from the Gulf of Mexico, New Orleans is the largest city in the US state of Louisiana. Straddling the lower reaches of the Mississippi River, this port city has long been at the crossroads of exploration, trade and commerce.

New Orleans is a melting pot of cultures that has happily simmered away since 1718. So, what's in the pot? Cultural influences from France, Africa, Brazil and the Deep South mix with Catholicism, Voodoo, Cajun zydeco and Dixieland jazz to make New Orleans one of the most lively and popular destinations in the USA. "Let the Good Times Roll"; that's the motto New Orleans lives by. And newcomers usually waste no time in heading to where the good times roll the loudest, The French Quarter, the birthplace of Jazz! Lined with bars, clubs and restaurants, "The Quarter" is home to one of the most party-friendly streets in the world, Bourbon Street.

But the French Quarter is more than just a good time. It's also where you'll find many of the city's prime attractions. Start your day in "The Big Easy" with a Cafe au Lait in Jackson Square. Riding tall in the saddle is Andrew Jackson, the General whose rag-tag army of locals humiliated the British in the Battle of New Orleans.

Jackson Square is lined with many of the city's grand old buildings, like St. Louis Cathedral. On either side of the Cathedral are the Cabildo and the Presbytere, just two of several historic French Quarter buildings which make up the Louisiana State Museum. Across the square is the 1850 House, which recreates life in a row-house from the Antibellum era.

Just around the corner, The Old U.S. Mint preserves the city's mercantile and musical treasures. While it's tempting to spend your entire visit in the French Quarter - and some folks never leave - New Orleans offers plenty of other flavours too. Cross over Canal Street into the Warehouse district, an area of renovated grain-stores and sugar presses, now packed with galleries and chic boutiques.

A little further Uptown in Memorial Hall, the faces and voices from the American Civil War reach out across the cannon-smoke of time. Just nearby, discover why the National World War Two Museum has been hailed as the most important Second World War repository in America. Then, climb aboard a St Charles Streetcar bound for the Garden District. Here, amid the Victorian cottages and stately plantation homes, you'll find Lafayette Cemetery. Join a tour run by local volunteers or explore the crypts on your own. But be warned; the cemetery is regarded as one of the country's most haunted!

When it's time to rejoin the living, follow your nose across the road to another New Orleans institution, Commanders Palace Restaurant. Ride the streetcar a few stops further west to Audubon Park. The park is home to the charming Audubon Zoo which features a quaint southern touch, an alligator-filled swamp. The zoo is part of the Audubon Nature Institute which includes the Insectarium and The Aquarium of the Americas. While at the nearby New Orleans Museum of Art, explore paintings, ceramics and sculptures from across the ages and from around the world.

Visiting New Orleans outside the Carnival Season? No problem. Just head across the river to the Mardi Gras Museum which brings one of the world’s greatest festivals to life all year round.

New Orleans' distinctive and sometimes fiery cuisine will ensure you never miss a beat. Local specialities like gumbo, po' boys, and praline are available everywhere. But it's the music here that truly feeds the soul. So when the sun starts to set, head for one of the many jazz or blues clubs on Frenchman Street, before heading back to Bourbon Street where the New Orleans good times roll on, and on, and on.

Source: Expedia Travel Guides - New Orleans

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