10 Must-See Places in Albuquerque That You Cannot Miss
Albuquerque is one of the cultural centers of the Southwest and the largest city of New Mexico. Founded in 1706 as a Spanish colony, you will find a diverse culture, lively traditions, and original art today.
You can taste traditional New Mexican cuisine and explore the historic adobe buildings of this city.
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
From ancient times, the region was home to numerous tribes of Pueblo. Now, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is responsible for preserving the cultures of these aboriginal tribes.
Owned and operated by the 19 Indian Pueblos of New Mexico, it aims to preserve and perpetuate the culture, history, and art of the Pueblo Indian Culture. Take your time to learn about the Pueblo culture in the museum and exhibition galleries.
You can also tour the inspiring collection of murals by Pueblo artists. Shop at the Indian Pueblo Store which offers traditional and contemporary pottery, jewelry, and rugs made by renowned artists and other emerging talents. Then, you can go and dine at the Indian Pueblo Kitchen where you will experience the best native American cuisine.
Check out for events where you can witness and participate in the cultural dances, learn about the relocation, migration, and family ties of the different tribes, attend the Pueblo Book Club, and experience other unique indigenous activities.
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Come to Albuquerque in October for the International Balloon Fiesta, which happens to be one of the largest ballooning festivals in the world.
This is a nine-day affair where special-shaped balloons fill the skies with a breathtaking backdrop view of the Rio Grande Valley.
Balloon enthusiasts from all over the world come for this once-a-year event to join the sights and sounds of this amazing place.
Sandia Peak Tramway
Take a ride on the aerial tramway to get a glimpse of the magnificent views of Albuquerque and the nearby Sandia Mountains.
The Sandia Peak Tramway is the longest aerial tram in the U.S. where the cable cars carry passengers for about 3 miles along a suspended cable between eastern Albuquerque and the summit of Sandia Peak.
Once you reach the peak, you will enjoy the amazing views of the Rio Grande Valley, better known as the Land of Enchantment. The summit of Sandia Peak has several restaurants where you can enjoy your meal and have drinks while admiring the spectacular views including the sunset.
Paseo del Bosque Trail
Paseo del Bosque Trail is a several miles-long walking and biking trail along the Rio Grande River through central Albuquerque. “Bosque” means forest or woods in Spanish.
This type of gallery forest is found along the river banks which provides an oasis of natural resources that sustains animals and plants in that area.
A variety of wildlife abounds along the trail making it an ideal place for nature lovers. The trail is open every day and charges no fee.
Tingley Beach is a recreational place ideal for families where you can teach your children about the rudiments of fishing.
The manmade setup consisting of multiple ponds in which you can catch fish such as rainbow trout and catfish then throw them back into the water again.
You can take a walk around the beach or rent a paddleboat. There is also a local restaurant where you can take a bite.
Albuquerque Old Town
The Albuquerque Old Town is where you will find the century adobe houses. These buildings are made of clay in the form of sun-dried bricks. You can see the extraordinary kind of architecture of olden times that is still in use today.
It is utilized for all kinds of businesses like restaurants serving sopaipilla pastries and enchiladas, artisan shops selling pottery, jewelry, and rugs, and museums featuring the rich history of New Mexico.
It also has the San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church which was built in 1793 and is the only building in Old Town proven to date to the Spanish colonial period. It has remained in continuous use for more than 200 years.
New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
A visit to this museum will give you the chance to see the advancements of the world, from the dawn of civilization up to the time of microcomputers.
The permanent exhibits of the museum showcase the journey through time, from the birth of the universe to the age of volcanoes until New Mexico’s ice age. The exhibits also include an interactive planetarium where programs are held daily.
A floor is dedicated to astronomy and space explorations and the fossil works exhibit shows people removing material from fossilized dinosaur bones. In the museum is a “Naturalist Center” that is home to live insects and other animals.
Not to be forgotten is the geologic exhibit on the minerals found in the region.
The Albuquerque Museum
Explore the Albuquerque Museum to get a comprehensive look at Albuquerque’s rich cultural heritage. Located on the eastern part of Old Town, it features an impressive collection of artifacts that includes armor used by the Spanish conquistadors and a 19th-century chapel.
This museum has a large permanent collection that gives visitors a better understanding of Albuquerque’s history.
Nob Hill of New Mexico
Patterned after San Francisco’s nob hill but without the hills, it is a lively district with diverse shops, trendy nightspots, and sumptuous dining.
This place is brimming with activities from the nightlife, food, arts, and upscale shopping. In Nob Hill, there is a fusion of the old and the new along Route 66, where antique neon lights line the streets offering you an abundance of things to do.
Luminarias in Old Town
Visit Albuquerque in December to join the holiday festivities. Glowing brown sacks called luminarias adorn the walkways, churches, and homes in that city.
You will witness hundreds of people walking into the cool night and wandering through the twinkling paper lanterns.
This tradition dates back more than 300 years ago when the Spanish villages displayed luminarias to welcome Jesus Christ into this world.
The city of Albuquerque is an interesting place to visit, where the old and the new merge together coming up with attractions from all walks of life to appreciate.