I described Albuquerque as an leaved wasteland with little or no tourist attraction. I am a little wary of such a description because honestly, I think there is something interesting in every destination you go to that is far from home.

That said, Albuquerque is one of the least visited places in New Mexico, especially compared to Santa Fe.

However, skipping Albuquerque can be a mistake, if you want to taste the art, cuisine and nature of New Mexico. To give you some travel inspiration, here is a list of things to do, where to eat and where to stay:

The best things to do in Albuquerque

1. Visit the filming locations of Breaking Bad

If you are a fan of the popular TV series Breaking Bad or the spin-off Better Call Saul, you will not want to miss the opportunity to visit some filming locations of both. From the typical underwear scene to the combos corner, it’s a pleasure to trace and find each of these neat places.

Watch the video above to find out where the filming locations are. If you prefer a tour rather than finding the locations on your own, you can travel by Winnebago RV on this Breaking Bad tour.

2. Take a hot air balloon ride

Albuquerque is famous for its hot air balloons and even organizes a festival, the International Balloon Fiesta, every October. If you can’t make it, consider a hot air balloon ride over Albuquerque with Rainbow Ryders. The walk itself is a thrill and the view of the city and the surrounding mountains is breathtaking.

3. Discover the Botanical Garden of the ABQ BioPark

The botanical Garden of the ABQ BioPark is a whimsical and charming place that you don’t want to miss. There are more than 1.5 km of trails to explore, with a few different greenhouses, a butterfly pavilion, a pond and even a Japanese garden. There are also frequent events with local artisans who demonstrate traditional embroidery, carpet making, quilting, etc.

4. Discover the Spanish influence from Albuquerque to San Felipe De Neri

A visit to the Parish Church of San Felipe De Neri should definitely be on your list of things to do in Albuquerque. The parish began in 1706, so it has more than 300 years of history. Although much of the church itself had to be restored, some of the original structures still remain.

Today, the church is still functioning, where masses and other religious events are regularly held, but you can visit the museum on site at any time during opening hours or even request a guided tour.

5. Attend a show at the historic KiMo Theater

The KiMo Theater is not only an important landmark in Albuquerque, but it is also a great place to spend an evening watching a show. It is a hub for art, shows and music in the city.

The style of the building is Pueblo Deco, an ephemeral architectural style originating in the southwest that has Native American and Spanish influences. The exterior has typical New Mexico ornaments; the interior has lush details carved into almost every surface. Throughout the theater, you can find Native American motifs unique to this part of the country. It’s definitely worth a visit, even if you don’t intend to see a show there.

6. Enjoy a 360° view of the Sandia Peak Aerial tramway

The Sandia Peak Tram climbs to the top of the Sandia Mountains over 10,000 feet high and takes you to the absolute best panoramic views of Albuquerque and the surrounding area. The journey itself only takes about 15 minutes and is very special at sunset, when a golden glow seems to turn the mountains red with fire. (This is actually how the mountains got their name, because sandia is the watermelon in Spanish.)

The tram will take you to the top of the ridge, where you can take time to explore the hiking trails before heading back down. This brings me to the next item on the list…

7. Take a walk in the Sandia Mountains

From Sandia Peak you can access a few different nature trails. These vary in length, the shortest being only 0.5 miles and the longest 7.5 miles (one way). The trails in the Sandia Mountains are part of the Cibola National Forest; here you will find an excellent hiking guide in the forest.

Be sure to bring plenty of water, snacks and sun protection when you hit the trails here, as there can be long stretches without shade. This is especially true in the summer, when temperatures sometimes exceed 100 degrees, so be sure to plan your hike accordingly.

8. Snowshoeing through the Cibola National Forest

If you plan to visit Albuquerque during the winter months, consider heading to the Cibola National Forest for snowshoeing. This tour will take you on an adventure through the powder forest to learn more about the flora and fauna of the area. You can get a glimpse of the adventurous hinterland just minutes from Albuquerque.

9. Take a class, have a meal or spend the night at the historic hostel and organic farm Los Poblanos

Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm is a wonderful place to spend a day in Albuquerque, covering 25 acres and a working lavender farm. Not only is it a spectacular place to stay, but there is a world-class restaurant on site that serves what they call “fine field-to-table” cuisine.

Los Poblanos also hosts classes and workshops, which is perhaps the most interesting thing to do here. From yoga classes in a yurt to gardening workshops and pop-up artisan classes, you will find a wide variety here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.