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Best Things To Do in Albuquerque

Start your visit off with a tour of Old Town, the epicenter of Albuquerque. This 10-block neighborhood is a living tribute to the city's Native American and Spanish heritage. Explore the Southwestern art galleries housed in ancient adobe structures and stop by the stunning San Felipe de Neri Parish, the city's oldest building. If your history quota isn't filled, spend some time at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History or the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Just don't miss your chance to enjoy New Mexico's great outdoors: Devote a few hours to strolling the Paseo del Bosque Trail or relishing the views from the Sandia Peak Tramway.

How we rank Things to Do.

#1
Old Town Free

#1 in Albuquerque

Free
For more than 300 years, both Native American and Spanish cultures have been shaping this neighborhood (this is the site of the original city settlement in 1706). Anchored by the central plaza, Old Town's cobblestone streets are filled with brightly colored adobe huts that now house galleries, restaurants and souvenir shops. The stunning San Felipe de Neri Church – Albuquerque's oldest building – can also be found here.
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Sightseeing Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Old Town
For more than 300 years, both Native American and Spanish cultures have been shaping this neighborhood (this is the site of the original city settlement in 1706). Anchored by the central plaza, Old Town's cobblestone streets are filled with brightly colored adobe huts that now house galleries, restaurants and souvenir shops. The stunning San Felipe de Neri Church – Albuquerque's oldest building – can also be found here.
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#2

#2 in Albuquerque

The city's dry climate is ideal for hot air ballooning, and so during the first week of October every year, thousands flock to Albuquerque to experience the International Balloon Fiesta. For a full week, the sky fills with almost 600 brightly colored balloons, which launch every morning from the 78-acre Balloon Fiesta Park in northern Albuquerque. Festival attendees witness the mass launch just before sunrise and the "Balloon Glows," during which the balloons are illuminated against the night sky.
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Festivals Type
More than Full Day Time to Spend
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
The city's dry climate is ideal for hot air ballooning, and so during the first week of October every year, thousands flock to Albuquerque to experience the International Balloon Fiesta. For a full week, the sky fills with almost 600 brightly colored balloons, which launch every morning from the 78-acre Balloon Fiesta Park in northern Albuquerque. Festival attendees witness the mass launch just before sunrise and the "Balloon Glows," during which the balloons are illuminated against the night sky.
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#3

#3 in Albuquerque

Sitting along the Rio Grande River just southeast of Old Town, the ABQ BioPark is the ideal venue for a relaxing day spent outdoors and a must-see, according to recent visitors. This massive park is home to four distinct attractions: an aquarium, a botanic garden, a zoo and Tingley Beach. The aquarium is a particular hit with children thanks to its 285,000-gallon shark tank, while the zoo's 200-plus species (snow leopards, kangaroos and polar bears included) are sure to keep their attention. If you're not really interested in the animal kingdom, spend an afternoon exploring the 36-acre botanic garden, which features numerous exotic plant species, meticulously manicured grounds and serene walking paths. You can also enjoy the many opportunities to hike, bike and fish at Tingley Beach during a summertime visit.
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Parks and Gardens Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
ABQ BioPark
Sitting along the Rio Grande River just southeast of Old Town, the ABQ BioPark is the ideal venue for a relaxing day spent outdoors and a must-see, according to recent visitors. This massive park is home to four distinct attractions: an aquarium, a botanic garden, a zoo and Tingley Beach. The aquarium is a particular hit with children thanks to its 285,000-gallon shark tank, while the zoo's 200-plus species (snow leopards, kangaroos and polar bears included) are sure to keep their attention. If you're not really interested in the animal kingdom, spend an afternoon exploring the 36-acre botanic garden, which features numerous exotic plant species, meticulously manicured grounds and serene walking paths. You can also enjoy the many opportunities to hike, bike and fish at Tingley Beach during a summertime visit.
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#4

#4 in Albuquerque

Free
Sitting on the north edge of Old Town's plaza, the San Felipe de Neri Church, originally founded in 1706, was the first Roman Catholic Church erected in Albuquerque. The structure that stands today was completed in 1793 (one year after the original building collapsed) and has expanded over the centuries to include a rectory, a convent and a school. There is also a museum here that displays religious art and artifacts that once hung on the church's walls.
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Churches/Religious Sites Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
San Felipe de Neri Church
Sitting on the north edge of Old Town's plaza, the San Felipe de Neri Church, originally founded in 1706, was the first Roman Catholic Church erected in Albuquerque. The structure that stands today was completed in 1793 (one year after the original building collapsed) and has expanded over the centuries to include a rectory, a convent and a school. There is also a museum here that displays religious art and artifacts that once hung on the church's walls.
... more

#5

#5 in Albuquerque

Long before the Spanish conquistadors made their way to New Mexico, the region was home to numerous tribes of Pueblo people. Today, the cultures of these indigenous tribes are preserved at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Located about 2 miles northeast of Old Town, this educational facility of Pueblo art and history also hosts a variety of cultural events, including lectures and workshops. 
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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
Long before the Spanish conquistadors made their way to New Mexico, the region was home to numerous tribes of Pueblo people. Today, the cultures of these indigenous tribes are preserved at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Located about 2 miles northeast of Old Town, this educational facility of Pueblo art and history also hosts a variety of cultural events, including lectures and workshops. 
... more

#6

#6 in Albuquerque

For an in-depth look at Albuquerque's rich cultural heritage, take a few hours to explore the Albuquerque Museum. Sitting on the eastern edge of Old Town, this spaceis home to an impressive collection of historic artifacts detailing the city's past; some of the more notable objects include a 19th-century chapel and armor used by the Spanish conquistadors. The museum also features approximately 7,000 pieces of art, including work by renowned local artists, such as Georgia O'Keeffe and Peter Hurd.
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
The Albuquerque Museum
For an in-depth look at Albuquerque's rich cultural heritage, take a few hours to explore the Albuquerque Museum. Sitting on the eastern edge of Old Town, this spaceis home to an impressive collection of historic artifacts detailing the city's past; some of the more notable objects include a 19th-century chapel and armor used by the Spanish conquistadors. The museum also features approximately 7,000 pieces of art, including work by renowned local artists, such as Georgia O'Keeffe and Peter Hurd.
... more

#7

#7 in Albuquerque

For excellent views of Albuquerque and the nearby Sandia Mountains, take a ride on the Sandia Peak Tramway. Cable cars carry passengers nearly 3 miles along a suspended cable between eastern Albuquerque and the 10,378-foot-high summit of Sandia Peak. Once at the top, visitors relish the views of the Rio Grande Valley and the Land of Enchantment – you can see up to 11,000 square miles on a clear day – not to mention some excellent hiking trails and, during the winter, snow-covered ski slopes. Sandia Peak's summit hosts several restaurants that offer dinner with a side of spectacular views.
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Recreation Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Sandia Peak Tramway
For excellent views of Albuquerque and the nearby Sandia Mountains, take a ride on the Sandia Peak Tramway. Cable cars carry passengers nearly 3 miles along a suspended cable between eastern Albuquerque and the 10,378-foot-high summit of Sandia Peak. Once at the top, visitors relish the views of the Rio Grande Valley and the Land of Enchantment – you can see up to 11,000 square miles on a clear day – not to mention some excellent hiking trails and, during the winter, snow-covered ski slopes. Sandia Peak's summit hosts several restaurants that offer dinner with a side of spectacular views.
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#8

#8 in Albuquerque

Neighboring the Albuquerque Museum on the outskirts of Old Town, this museum educates visitors on 12 billion years of natural history. Highlights include the display on the Jurassic era that features life-size replicas of dinosaur skeletons, and "The Hall of the Stars," which attempts to explain how the night sky is organized via a tapestry that's equipped with UV reactive thread. Along with several temporary exhibits, the museum is home to a planetarium and a 3-D movie theater.
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
Neighboring the Albuquerque Museum on the outskirts of Old Town, this museum educates visitors on 12 billion years of natural history. Highlights include the display on the Jurassic era that features life-size replicas of dinosaur skeletons, and "The Hall of the Stars," which attempts to explain how the night sky is organized via a tapestry that's equipped with UV reactive thread. Along with several temporary exhibits, the museum is home to a planetarium and a 3-D movie theater.
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#9

#9 in Albuquerque

If you're interested in (very) early American history, take a trip to the west side of the Rio Grande River where you'll find Petroglyph National Monument. This 7,236-acre park is home to more than 24,000 carved images left behind by New Mexico's first settlers. 
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Hiking Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Petroglyph National Monument
If you're interested in (very) early American history, take a trip to the west side of the Rio Grande River where you'll find Petroglyph National Monument. This 7,236-acre park is home to more than 24,000 carved images left behind by New Mexico's first settlers. 
... more

#10

#10 in Albuquerque

Free
This 16-mile-long walking and biking path traces the Rio Grande River through central Albuquerque, passing major sites like Old Town and the ABQ BioPark. It also features public art and a variety of wildlife. The trail is uninterrupted by road crossings, making it a great option for exploring the city sans traffic.
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Recreation Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Paseo del Bosque Trail
This 16-mile-long walking and biking path traces the Rio Grande River through central Albuquerque, passing major sites like Old Town and the ABQ BioPark. It also features public art and a variety of wildlife. The trail is uninterrupted by road crossings, making it a great option for exploring the city sans traffic.
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Open since 1993, The Turquoise Museum is a fantastic place to go and learn all about the history of mining and crafting turquoise. The museum has a lot of information on the best turquoise mines in the country, how to tell different types of turquoise apart, how to tell fake turquoise from the real thing, the history of turquoise and more.
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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
The Turquoise Museum
Open since 1993, The Turquoise Museum is a fantastic place to go and learn all about the history of mining and crafting turquoise. The museum has a lot of information on the best turquoise mines in the country, how to tell different types of turquoise apart, how to tell fake turquoise from the real thing, the history of turquoise and more.
... more

2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
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