"?Hot dog, jumping frog?" Albuquerque by toonsarah

Albuquerque Travel Guide: 773 reviews and 1,599 photos

In the Old Town

Albuquerque struck me most as a very liveable city, one I would be happy to call home.

It has a picturesque, if over-touristy, Old Town (where despite the presence of an attractive old church, shopping appears to be something of a religion), a recently revived and increasingly buzzy Downtown district, and is surrounded by beautiful mountains, a glimpse of which can be had at almost every corner.

Although it is the largest city in New Mexico, Albuquerque surprises by not being the state capital ? Santa Fe has that honour. The city was established as the Villa de San Felipe de Alburquerque in 1706. Initially a small farming community clustered around the church of San Felipe de Neri, it expanded rapidly when the Camino Real, the main trade route north from Mexico, was developed to run through the area just a few decades later. Later came the railroad, which triggered expansion to the eastern side of the Old Town, in what then was known as New Town but today is Downtown. This was followed by Route 66, which ran through the city on its Central Avenue, and later still further expansion out into the surrounding desert.

Thus Albuquerque has always been a city for travellers, a stopping point on a journey, and so it was for us. Despite its many attractions, we decided to spend only one night here, preferring to have more of our limited time in more scenic parts of the state. Nevertheless we had time to explore the Old Town and see something of the Art Deco style of the Downtown area too.

If we were to find ourselves in New Mexico again I think we would stay longer here as there was a lot we would have liked to have seen and missed, including the highly-regarded Indian Pueblo Cultural Centre, and it would be a good base for trips to the surrounding area. But Santa Fe beckoned, and that did indeed deserve more of our time ...

And to continue with us on our road trip through New Mexico, please visit my Madrid page

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:Somewhere I think I would be happy living
  • Last visit to Albuquerque: Sep 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (11)

Comments (6)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Mar 19, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    New Mexico seems to be the perfect place for taking photos with brilliant dark blue sky. Fantastic shots. :-)

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Dec 31, 2011 at 5:07 AM

    I like the name of the city, Albuquerque! Sounds like you had a a very nice evening at Central Avenue!

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    I am considering a hiking adventure out that way-maybe. Thanks for the tips of these cities (also saw Sante Fe). Your detail commentary is excellent

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Dec 12, 2011 at 8:53 AM

    I?m glad to hear there is some New Urbanism going on in Albuquerque. In a French bicycle website I read a sarcastic motto: A pedestrian is a man looking for his car.

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Nov 26, 2011 at 8:19 AM

    Would love to visit Tinkertown! So, this is the "ID" town :-) and also the town that gillybob visited recently. Thanks for showing it to me!

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Nov 19, 2011 at 6:35 AM

    Mavellous :-)) Such an enchanting town! I was here only briefly to drop my sister at the airport decades ago. But I love the concept of downtown, this sounds excellent, a pedestrian devoted part in US :-) Also inside photos of KiMo theatre! And Tinkertown... my god... I would never be able to leave this place, so fantastic! Hungry for a lime pie now, and still smiling about the ID story, but a nice touch that you got the pie on the house!


“I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust (Joni Mitchell, "Amelia")”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 0 7
Forum Rank:
0 0 0 6 4

Badges & Stats in Albuquerque

  • 11 Reviews
  • 48 Photos
  • 2 Forum posts
  • 915PageViews

Have you been to Albuquerque?

  Share Your Travels  

Latest Activity in Albuquerque

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (12)