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Fun Things to do in Albuquerque

New Mexico

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city guide

Albuquerque's cost of living is slightly below the national average, but the city has one of the highest property tax rates in the state. The average rent tends to be lower than the national average. Albuquerque residents also pay slightly less than the average American for groceries, utilities and transportation.


Best time to go

The best time to visit Albuquerque is from September to November. The fall season sees pleasantly warm temperatures (ideal for a stroll on the Paseo del Bosque Trail) and many a party as festival season goes into full swing.


Fun city facts and activities

    New Mexicos largest city is known for vast, gorgeous skies, a massive river, a burgeoning film and television business, and amazing restaurants. Its these categories that inform the best things to do in Albuquerque. Whether you greet the dawn with a ride in a hot air balloon, go for a bike ride along the Rio Grande or take a tour in Walter Whites van, use our guide to check off all the best things to do in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
City facts

Neighborhoods to explore

    Academy Hills Park
    Bear Canyon
    Glenwood Hills
    Heritage East
    Kachina Hills
    North Valley

Food Specialties

    Southwestern food is a unique mash-up of hearty ranchero fare, Mexican food and Native American cuisines with one very important distinction: New Mexicans put Hatch green chili on everything. Whether you're dining in charming Old Town or modern downtown while exploring the top things to do in Albuquerque, be prepared to answer how you want your spicered, green or Christmas (a mix of the two)at any of the best restaurants in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque Offbeat activities

Free or cheap things to do

1. Visit the Petroglyph National Monument: Explore the ancient petroglyphs carved into the rocks by Native American cultures over a thousand years ago.

2. Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride: Enjoy the stunning views of Albuquerque from up high in a hot air balloon.

3. Visit the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science: Explore the museums interactive exhibits and displays of dinosaur fossils, minerals, and more.

4. Explore the Bosque: Wander along the Rio Grande and spot local wildlife in the bosque ecosystem.

5. Soak in a Hot Spring: Relax in the therapeutic hot springs of Jemez Springs and take in the natural beauty of the surrounding area.

6. Take a Hike: Enjoy the outdoors and explore the many hiking trails around the city.

7. Visit the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum: Learn about the history of ballooning and see the museum

Offbeat activites
Offbeat activites
Kid friendly

Fun things to do in with kids

Free or cheap things to do

1. Anderson-Abruzzo International Museum Balloon Fiesta Park/N 1-25
The Anderson-Abruzzo International Museum was opened in 2015 right outside the grounds for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta as a museum dedicated to the science and history of all types of hot air balloons in the world.

2. National Institute of Flamenco Sawmill Area
The National institute of Flamenco is a nonprofit organization founded in 1982 by Eva Encinias for the preservation of the Flamenco Art with an international reach.

3. Ristras
Ristras are chiles strung together on a pod to dry. In New Mexico, they are one of the most used house decorating items. When lacquered properly, they can last up to 3 years.

4. Casa Flamenca West Old Town
Casa Flamenca is a non-profit organization founded in 2000 as a center for preserving Flamenco artistry and soul.

5. Old Town Albuquerque Old Town
Old Town Albuquerque is a 10-block area that was founded in 1706. It has more than a large number of shops, museums, and restaurants, which specializes in exotic New Mexican cuisine.

6. Sandia Peak Sandia Heights North
The Sandia Peak is home to a tram line that is 7,010 feet above ground level. The tram line was built in 1966 by Robert Nordhaus with Ben Abruzzo as his partner.

7. ABQ BioPark Zoo Barelas
The ABQ BioPark Zoo was founded in 1927 under the name, Rio Grande Zoo, and has over 200 species of animals.

8. ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden West Old Town
Opened in 1996, the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden is built on 36 acres of land with two greenhouses where plants from similar regions are grown together.

9. ABQ BioPark Aquarium West Old Town
The ABQ BioPark Aquarium is a facility right beside the ABQ BioPark Zoo, which is dedicated to taking care of sea creatures and educating visitors on the behavior, lifespan, and care of water species from various habitats.

10. New Mexico Museum of Natural History Sawmill Area
This museum of natural History and Science was founded in 1986 as a subsidiary of New Mexicos Department of Cultural Affairs. The museum also has a planetarium where the stars and space can be observed using large telescopes.

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City data and FAQ 

What is Albuquerque famous for?
Actually, Albuquerque is famous for a number of things. Probably the biggest is that Albuquerque is home to one of the largest International Hot Air Balloon Festivals in the world. Because of the citys unique placement between mountains and mesas, the wind currents, called the Albuquerque Box are considered perfect for flying hot air balloons.
Additionally, Albuquerque is home to the worlds 3rd longest tramway, spanning 2.7 miles up. The Sandia Peak Tramway starts at the foothills to the east of the city and ascends the mountain reaching 10,378 ft at the peak of the Sandia Mountains.
Albuquerque is a wonderful melting pot of Spanish, Mexican and Native American cultures and boasts some of the best foods, music, education and arts in the world because of this rich heritage. It is famous for its green and red chilies, grown in and around the valleys surrounding Albuquerque and giving the food a very unique and most delightful taste.
Mary Moeller Lived in Albuquerque

Do you need a car to visit Albuquerque?
Maybe not quite need, but Id recommend it. Albuquerque has an okay-ish bus system and is pretty bikeable, so its possible to visit the city without a car. If you only want to see Downtown, Knob Hill, and Old Town it might even be perfectly pleasant. But, like most western cities, its definitely designed around the assumption that residents and visitors are gonna have cars: many place are a huge pain to visit on transit.
Kevin Baker Lived in Albuquerque

Is Albuquerque worth visiting?
New Mexico is certainly worth visiting, and if youre arriving by air theres no way to do that without going through Albuquerque. But Id think of it more as a base of operations than a destination. While there are plenty of perfectly interesting places in the city to visit, given limited time in the state the only things Id really recommend in the city are the Sandia Peak Tramway and Petroglyph National Monument.
Kevin Baker Lived in Albuquerque

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