trips planned today
out of 5
Trustscore rating

Best things to do in Albuquerque

Itinerary planner
+ Add destination
2 adults
- +
- +
- +
Where in the world: USA  /  New Mexico  /  Albuquerque

Top 15 things to do in Albuquerque

1. Balloon Rides

Soar above the magnificent landscapes of the Rio Grande Valley on a balloon ride from Albuquerque. Kept safe by trained professionals, you will be able to learn about the natural history of the New Mexico region and basic principles of hot air ballooning. Sunrise and sunset flights allow you to experience the captivating gorge with its rugged mountainous surroundings at its most enchanting--and most photogenic--hour. You'll be able to admire unsurpassed aerial views of Albuquerque with its landmarks and even dip low enough to skim the very surface of the Rio Grande. On completion of your hour-long flight, a glass of sparkling wine and some light refreshments will await you to celebrate the successful landing.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Balloon Rides

2. Albuquerque Old Town

Take a stroll through Albuquerque Old Town, the city's historical district, which dates back to the Spanish founding of Albuquerque in 1706. The plaza is the focal point and the location of the San Felipe de Neri Church, built in 1793. Pop into one of the shops selling traditional Southwest crafts, art, and other items. You can treat yourself to ice cream on a shaded, wrought-iron bench or dive into the area's famed Mexican cuisine for something more substantial. To learn more about the rich history of the area, take a guided walking tour.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Albuquerque Old Town
Tours including Albuquerque Old Town:

3. Loretto Chapel, Santa Fe

Loretto Chapel, a former Roman Catholic church, is known for its unusual spiral staircase. Called the Miraculous Staircase, it makes two 360-degree turns and is 6 m (20 ft) tall--but has no visible means of support. It's not only an engineering mystery; no one knows for certain who built it. The Sisters of Loretto credit St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters, with its construction. After examining the staircase, give yourself enough time to appreciate the Gothic Revival architecture of this late 19th-century building. It features imposing spires, buttresses, and stained-glass windows imported from France.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Loretto Chapel
Tours including Loretto Chapel:
Plan your trip to Albuquerque
  • Get a personalized trip
    A full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place. Everyone on the same page.

4. Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Operated by 19 Indian Pueblos, the 1,000 sq m (10,000 sq ft) Indian Pueblo Cultural Center presents history, art, and culture of the Pueblo people. Inside you'll experience wall murals and have the chance to compare traditional Native American styles with works of up-and-coming contemporary artists. Browse through collections of historical artifacts, arts, and crafts. Check out native fusion cuisine at the cafe.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
Tours including Indian Pueblo Cultural Center:

5. Explora Science Center and Children's Museum

Explora Science Center and Children's Museum is dedicated to hands-on science, math, and art learning. Its two floors of display space are home to more than 250 interactive exhibits designed for visitors of all ages. Experiment with a laminar flow fountain, get creative with crafts, and play with giant bubbles. The center is also home to a theater featuring science-based shows.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Explora Science Center and Children's Museum

6. Routes Bicycle Tours & Rentals

Local experts offer fun, easy & safe bike rentals & tours throughout ABQ & Santa Fe. See the sites, learn the history, & make memories. Enjoy your ride!
Suggested duration: 4 hours
Learn more about Routes Bicycle Tours & Rentals
Tours including Routes Bicycle Tours & Rentals:

7. Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, Cochiti Pueblo

Set at 1,700-2,060 m (5,570-6,760 ft) elevations, Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument features tall, cone-shaped rock formations, canyons, and hiking trails. The geological formations--the tent rocks or hoodoos--have been created by volcanic ash accumulation and sculpted by wind, water, freezing, and thawing, through millions of years of erosion. Take the 1.9 km (1.2 mi) trail, through canyons and overlooking the tent rocks, which can stretch as high as 27 m (90 ft). Another trail passes along the base of the rocks, on a 2 km (1.3 mi) loop; hike it to see them up close.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

8. Petroglyph National Monument

Stretching 27 km (17 mi) along the West Mesa, Petroglyph National Monument is one of the largest petroglyph sites in North America. It is home to thousands upon thousands of petroglyphs carved in volcanic rocks by Native Americans and Spanish settlers 400 to 700 years ago. The carvings are all outside and can be accessed via walking trails. Begin your trip at the visitor center, where staff will advise you on what walks are best-suited for you, as they vary in length and difficulty. Each route reveals an array of petroglyphs and the park's impressive natural features. The trails are not paved, so wear appropirate shoes.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Petroglyph National Monument

9. ABQ BioPark Zoo

As a part of Albuquerque Biological Park, ABQ BioPark Zoo houses over 200 species of animals, such as gorillas, bears, sea lions, giraffes, koalas, camels, jaguars, wolves, and rhinos. Separated into geographical areas, the animals reside in their natural habitats. Reserve one of the activities and get to feed giraffes, pet llamas, and play with lorikeets. Seasonally you can watch one of the educational shows with mammals, birds, and reptiles, or glide through the trees of the zoo down a 100 m (320 ft) zipline.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about ABQ BioPark Zoo
Tours including ABQ BioPark Zoo:

10. New Mexico Steam Locomotive and Railroad Historical Society

SANTA FE 2926 puts steam back on the map again! Monday, August 20, 2018, New Mexico Steam Locomotive and Railroad Historical Society fired up the boiler of the AT&SF No. 2926 steam locomotive for the first time since the early 1950s. Over the next two days tests and inspections were performed as the boiler was gradually pressurized to 240 pounds per square inch. The Federal Railway Administration inspector was in attendance. The steam was used to clean out the inside of the rebuilt boiler taking away decades of grit and dirt from the three miles of steel boiler tubing and passage ways inside the locomotive. The fire was killed on the morning of Wednesday August 22 and the public invited to tour the still warm locomotive as guests of the NMSL&RHS. Hundreds visited along with local and national media interested in this story. For the past 17 years, the all-volunteer organization has functioned as a skilled industrial team - a team utilizing (and often fabricating) a variety of equipment, instruments, tools, and machines. They have worked outside in a dirty, sooty, greasy environment, exposed to a variety of weather conditions. Many milestones could not have been reached without the dedication of the volunteers and the generosity of loyal supporters from the US and around the world. As 2926 nears operation, the society will begin to focus on its next goal - steam rail excursions and becoming a major tourist attraction in the state of New Mexico. The challenges and costs are many for this goal! SANTA FE 2926 is on its way!! NMSL&RHS is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and is listed on both the City of Albuquerque and State of New Mexico historic registers. (www.2926.us)
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
Learn more about New Mexico Steam Locomotive and Railroad Historical Society

11. The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe

Recognized as a basilica by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi was founded as a parish the same year as the city was founded, in 1610. The current building featuring Romanesque revival architecture was dedicated in 1887. Note the round arches and Corinthian columns. The rose windows in the front of the church depict the twelve apostles. The best view of the windows is from the chapel where services take place. In the exterior porticos, several statues commemorate saints. The statue of Kateri Tekakwitha pays homage to the first Native American to be beatified. Notice the bronze doors leading back inside the church. The panels on the outside tell the story of the church in Santa Fe history.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi
Tours including The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi:

12. Canyon Road, Santa Fe

Nestled in the heart of the city's historical quarter, Canyon Road hosts more than 100 art galleries, shops, studios, and restaurants in addition to traditional Pueblo-style adobe homes. The district's origins date to the Spanish colonization of the Southwest and the surrounding area more than 1,000 years ago. Despite its archaic architecture, the neighborhood is a popular hot spot. You'll discover traditional Hispanic crafts, modern art, and sculptures intermingled with storefronts, courtyards, and cafes. Pick up a piece of regional Native American handiwork, such as pottery or a handmade rug.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Canyon Road
Tours including Canyon Road:

13. The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Learn about the scientific advance that shaped the modern world, and see related historical artifacts at The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History. Through the museum's exhibits, you'll easily see how nuclear science influences all aspects of life, from medicine, warfare, and energy production to pop culture. Find out about the use and disposal of radioactive material and the impact it has on the environment. A robotic puppet of Albert Einstein helps kids understand the basics of physics through amusing experiments. In addition to nuclear science-oriented medical and scientific instruments, displays feature nuclear weapons, including replicas of the Little Boy and Fat Man bombs. The museum's collection of aircraft is one of the largest in the state.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History
Tours including The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History:

14. Bandelier National Monument, Los Alamos

At Bandelier National Monument the dwellings and territory of the Ancestral Pueblo people are preserved along the Rio Grande River. At elevations between 1,500 m (5,000 ft) and 3,000 m (10,000 ft), the park has over 110 km (70 mi) of hiking trails, abundant wildlife, forests, and caves. See the remains of the houses, pottery, and the tools that the locals used. Learn about their community structure, farming practices, and trading techniques. Many trails interconnect villages of the area, as Pueblo people liked to trade, hold ceremonies, and socialize. Learn about their history and culture at the visitor center.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Bandelier National Monument

15. San Felipe de Neri Church

Originally constructed by colonial Spanish authorities, San Felipe de Neri Church represents an integral part of the state's cultural heritage and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Visit the European-style church, finished in 1793 to replace an earlier building on the same spot, and admire its construction featuring two bell towers and stout adobe walls. Once inside, notice its understated decor, including a metal ceiling and intricate altar at the front. Take the opportunity to browse the on-site museum's displays of artifacts, which date as far back as the 17th century. As it's still an active church, you can join in on the regularly-held services during your visit.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about San Felipe de Neri Church
Tours including San Felipe de Neri Church: