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top 10 things to do in albuquerque

albuquerque to do market old town

Albuquerque is a city full of surprises, with a rich culture, fascinating history, and natural beauty. Whether you’re interested in exploring the art scene, indulging in the local cuisine, or experiencing the outdoors, there’s something for everyone in Albuquerque.

Let’s dive into some of the best things to do in Albuquerque to help you best plan your next visit.

When in Albuquerque, make sure to visit the charming Old Town, check out cool galleries, hop on the Sandia Peak Tramway, and then reward yourself with some mouthwatering New Mexican eats—think green chile stew and sopapillas. And if you're there in October, catch the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, where the sky fills up with all sorts of colorful hot air balloons!

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visit the albuquerque international balloon fiesta

visit the albuquerque international balloon fiesta

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is one of the most iconic events in the city, held annually in October. The fiesta features over 500 hot air balloons from around the world and is a breathtaking sight to behold.

Visitors can watch the balloons launch at sunrise, take a ride in a balloon, or attend one of the many events and activities throughout the week. The Balloon Fiesta also hosts the Balloon Glow, where hundreds of balloons are inflated and illuminated at night, creating a magical display.

 

explore old town albuquerque

explore old town albuquerque

new mexico albuquerque old town

For a glimpse into Albuquerque’s rich history and culture, head to Old Town. This historic district is home to numerous adobe buildings, charming shops, and art galleries.

Visitors can stroll through the colorful streets, enjoy live music and street performers, and sample traditional New Mexican cuisine. Old Town is also home to the San Felipe de Neri Church, which dates back to 1793 and is one of the oldest buildings in the city.

Plus, Native American vendors will have displays of some of the most beautiful turquoise jewelry along the walkways that you’ve got to check out!

visit the sandia peak tramway

visit the sandia peak tramway

The Sandia Peak Tramway is a must-see attraction in Albuquerque, offering breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding Sandia Mountains. Visitors can take a scenic ride up to the top of the mountain, which reaches an elevation of over 10,000 feet.

At the top, visitors can enjoy hiking trails, restaurants, and panoramic views of the surrounding area. The tramway is open year-round, with seasonal events like sunset dinners and Oktoberfest celebrations.

Heading to New Mexico soon?
Check out this blog to learn about some of the best things to do in Santa Fe!

discover the art scene

discover the art scene

new mexico art

Albuquerque has a vibrant art scene, with numerous galleries, studios, and public art installations. The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History is a must-visit for art enthusiasts, with exhibits showcasing the history and culture of the region.

Visitors can also explore the street art scene in downtown Albuquerque, where murals and installations are scattered throughout the city.

Additionally, if you’re in town at the right time, the city hosts the annual ARTScrawl, where galleries and studios open their doors for a night of art, music, and food.

experience the local cuisine

experience the local cuisine

new mexico albuquerque old town art

New Mexican cuisine is a unique blend of Native American, Spanish, and Mexican influences, and Albuquerque is the perfect place to indulge in this flavorful cuisine.

Visitors can sample traditional dishes like green chile stew, posole, and carne adovada at local restaurants like Mary and Tito’s Cafe and The Range Cafe. For a sweet treat, try the city’s famous biscochitos, a cinnamon and anise-flavored cookie.

Also, I highly recommend trying out the Sawmill Market–they have a wide range of food vendors featuring many different cuisines including some of the best noodle bowls I’ve ever had.

 

explore the outdoors

explore the outdoors

Albuquerque is surrounded by natural beauty, with the Sandia Mountains to the east and the Rio Grande to the west. Visitors can explore the outdoors by hiking in the mountains, kayaking on the river, or visiting one of the many parks and nature preserves in the area.

The Petroglyph National Monument is also a popular destination for hiking and exploring ancient rock art. In the winter, visitors can hit the slopes at the Sandia Peak Ski Area or try their hand at snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Roadtripping as a solo female traveler?
Check out this blog post for my top tips!

attend a cultural event

attend a cultural event

Albuquerque is a city rich in culture, with numerous festivals and events throughout the year. The Gathering of Nations Powwow, held annually in April, is the largest powwow in North America and is a celebration of Native American culture and traditions.

Other cultural events include the New Mexico State Fair, the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s Festival Flamenco Internacional, and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

The city also hosts the Route 66 Summerfest, a celebration of the historic Route 66, which features live music, food vendors, and a car show.

take a hot air balloon ride

take a hot air balloon ride

new mexico hot air balloon art

In addition to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, visitors can also take a hot air balloon ride any time of the year.

Several companies offer balloon rides over the city and the surrounding area, providing a unique perspective of the landscape. Balloon rides typically take place in the early morning or evening, offering stunning views of the sunrise or sunset.

visit the indian pueblo cultural center

visit the indian pueblo cultural center

The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is a museum and cultural center dedicated to preserving the history and traditions of the Pueblo people.

Visitors can explore exhibits on the history, art, and culture of the 19 Pueblo tribes of New Mexico and Arizona. The center also hosts cultural events, including traditional dances and performances.

relax at a hot springs

relax at a hot springs

new mexico hot springs

The natural hot springs located in and around Albuquerque provide a relaxing way to unwind after a day of exploring.

Visitors can soak in the mineral-rich waters at locations like the Jemez Hot Springs or the Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa. Some hot springs are free and open to the public, while others require a fee for admission.

Looking for Things to do in Albuquerque?

Albuquerque is a city full of surprises, with something for everyone to enjoy. From the breathtaking views at the Sandia Peak Tramway to the colorful streets of Old Town, visitors can experience the rich culture and natural beauty of the American Southwest.

Whether you’re interested in exploring the art scene, indulging in the local cuisine, or experiencing the outdoors, Albuquerque has it all, and you’ll be able to make some unforgettable memories in this vibrant city.

Happy travels!

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albuquerque to do market old town

Whether you’re interested in exploring the art scene, trying local cuisine, or experiencing the outdoors, there are so many fun things to do in Albuquerque.

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