18 Fun Things To Do In Albuquerque | 2024 (with Photos)

Ana Dimic

Ana Dimic - Travel Writer

Published: August 1, 2023

Hey there! My name is Ana, and I'm thrilled to share with you some of the most entertaining activities in Albuquerque. Having explored this vibrant city extensively, I can't wait for you to discover the countless fun things it has to offer.

18 Fun Things To Do In Albuquerque, New Mexico

Located in the southwestern region of the United States, Albuquerque is the largest city in the state of New Mexico.

Also known as Duke City, the city is one of the highest metropolitan areas in the country, at an elevation of 5,312 feet above sea level.

Albuquerque is known for its rich history, diverse culture, stunning natural landscapes, and amazing cuisine. The traditional dishes in the area are influenced by a blend of Native American, Mexican, and Spanish flavors.

When you visit Albuquerque, New Mexico, don't miss the opportunity to visit some of Albuquerque's main attractions.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Top Choice Hotel

Hotel Albuquerque At Old Town

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Best Time to Visit

Sunny springs, mild falls, vibrant culture, hot summers.

Average Temperature

The average temperature in Albuquerque is temperate.

Transportation Options

Bus, Rapid Ride, Taxi, Rental Car, Bicycles, Walking

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

When exploring Albuquerque, don't miss out on the picturesque Sandia Peak Tramway, where you'll soar above the city with breathtaking views of the Sandia Mountains - it's simply an unforgettable experience!

After taking in the stunning cityscape from above, make your way to Old Town Albuquerque, where you can stroll through charming adobe buildings, shop for unique southwestern handicrafts, and indulge in delicious New Mexican cuisine - a true immersion in the vibrant culture of the city.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Comfortable walking shoes
  2. Sunscreen
  3. Hat or cap

What Not to Miss

  1. Old Town Plaza
  2. Sandia Peak Tramway
  3. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
  4. Petroglyph National Monument
  5. Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

What to Avoid

  1. Avoid traveling during the hot summer months
  2. Avoid leaving valuable belongings unattended
  3. Avoid venturing alone into unfamiliar neighborhoods

1. Explore Old Town Albuquerque

Old Town Albuquerque

The best way to explore the Old Town Albuquerque is to take a walk through the charming streets. This historic district dates back to the 1700s when Albuquerque was founded as a Spanish colonial outpost.

There are more than 150 shops, galleries, and restaurants housed in historic buildings. While walking through the streets of Old Town Albuquerque, the traditional Spanish and Native American architecture can be seen, with its distinctive rounded corners and flat roofs.

The Old Town Plaza, the San Felipe de Neri Church, and the unique souvenirs and gifts from local artisans are all highlights of the area. The San Felipe de Neri is a historic Catholic church located in the Old Town of Albuquerque.

Built-in the 1700s, this is one of the oldest surviving buildings in the city. San Felipe de Neri is still an active parish, offering regular mass services to the community.

A unique shopping and dining experience can only be found in the Old Town. Visitors can enjoy in traditional New Mexican cuisine, including red and green chile dishes, enchiladas, and sopapillas.

2. Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

For anyone interested in the history and culture of Native American tribes of New Mexico, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is a must-visit attraction. The center is owned and operated by the 19 Pueblo tribes of New Mexico, making it a unique and authentic experience.

In the center, visitors can explore exhibits and displays that showcase the art, history, and culture of the Pueblo people.

In their courtyard, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center regularly puts on a show of traditional Native American dances performed by members of the Pueblo tribes and other cultural events.

3. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is held every year in October and lasts 9 days.

This is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world and hot air balloon rides are available year-round in the city.

Rides in hot air balloons will begin early in the morning, and typically last about an hour, depending on wind and weather conditions.

From your vantage point in the basket, you can see the Sandia Mountains rising in the east, and the Rio Grande River flowing lazily through the city.

While in the air, the pilot will share some interesting facts and stories about the city and the surrounding area. Learn about the history of Albuquerque, the geology of the Sandia Mountains, and the ecology of the Rio Grande from this unique vantage point.

4. The Sandia Mountains

The Sandia Mountains

The best way to experience the Sandia Mountains is by taking a ride on the Sandia Peak Tramway, which is the longest aerial tram in North America.

The tramway takes visitors on a 2.7-mile journey from eastern Albuquerque, to the top of the mountain, offering stunning panoramic views of the city and the surrounding landscape.

The Sandia Peak Tramway ride takes approximately 15 minutes each way. At the top, there are many hiking trails that offer views from various lookout points.

The hiking trails go from easy walks to strenuous climbs. Located on the top of Sandia Peak, there is a Sandia Peak Restaurant for a meal with an amazing view.

5. Explore Albuquerque Museum

Albuquerque Museum

The Albuquerque Museum is a New Mexico museum of art and history with a diverse collection of artwork and artifacts that showcase the rich history and culture of the city and the surrounding region.

It has several permanent exhibits that highlight different aspects of Albuquerque's history, including the city's founding and growth, its Native American heritage, and the impact of Spanish colonization.

The Albuquerque National Museum also offers a variety of educational programs for visitors of all ages. These programs include lectures, workshops, and classes on topics such as art, history, and culture. The museum also offers tours for school groups and other organizations.

6. The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History is dedicated to preserving the history of nuclear technology and science. Some of the popular exhibits are the Manhattan Project and Nuclear Medicine exhibit.

The Manhattan Project was a top-secret research that led to the creation of the first atomic bomb and marked the beginning of the Atomic Age.

This New Mexico museum offers visitors an immersive experience of the atomic age, from the history of nuclear science to current developments. The museum has a gift shop that features unique and educational items related to nuclear science and history.

The Nuclear Medicine exhibit explores the use of radiation in medicine, and visitors can learn about the history of nuclear medicine.

7. The Rio Grande River

The Rio Grande River

The Rio Grande River is a popular spot for hiking and bird-watching, with several trails and overlooks providing stunning views of the river and its surrounding landscape. This river connects Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

The river flows for over 1,800 miles, beginning in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado and passing through the heart of Albuquerque and Santa Fe before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico.

The Rio Grande Valley is a lush, fertile region surrounding the Rio Grande River as it flows through Albuquerque. The Pueblo Indians, who have inhabited the Rio Grande Valley for centuries, have a deep spiritual connection to the river and its surrounding landscape.

8. Fun day with the kids at Hinkle Family Fun Center

The Hinkle Family Fun Center

The Hinkle Family Fun Center has something for everyone - from go-karts and laser tag to miniature golf and bumper boats. A favorite outdoor activity is the outdoor amusement park, which includes rides like bumper cars, a Ferris wheel, and a roller coaster.

If you are visiting Albuquerque with kids, this is an unmissable attraction.

9. The ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden

ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden

Located near Central Avenue, the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden is a beautiful oasis that has over 36 acres of exhibits and gardens, showcasing a wide variety of plant life from around the world. Within one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world, visitors can find a butterfly pavilion.

This pavilion has a variety of butterfly species in its natural habitats. Visitors can watch the butterflies emerge from their cocoons, feed on nectar, and flutter around the pavilion.

The ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden is home to a stunning Japanese Garden, complete with a traditional teahouse, koi pond, and rock garden. Other garden exhibits include the Desert Conservation Garden, the Mediterranean Garden, and the Children's Fantasy Garden.

While exploring the Botanic Garden, visit also the Albuquerque Zoo and have a family fun day. The Albuquerque Zoo is located within the larger ABQ BioPark complex, which also includes a botanical garden, aquarium, and beach.

The zoo is home to many animals, including lions, zebras, snow leopards, and polar bears. Within the zoo, there are several dining options, including a café and several snack stands.

10. Paseo del Bosque Trail

Paseo del Bosque Trail

The Paseo del Bosque Trail is a scenic path that runs through the heart of Albuquerque's Bosque, a 4,300-acre forest that lines the banks of the Rio Grande. The trail stretches for over 16 miles and it's uninterrupted by roadways.

This is a popular destination for runners, walkers, and cyclists looking to enjoy the great outdoors. While walking through several parks and open spaces, along the way the visitors can see a variety of wildlife, including birds, coyotes, and even beavers.

The trail is paved and mostly flat, making it easy for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy.

11. The American International Rattlesnake Museum in New Mexico

The American International Rattlesnake Museum in New Mexico

This is a unique and educational museum dedicated to promoting the conservation of rattlesnakes and educating visitors about the important role that these reptiles play in the ecosystem.

The American International Rattlesnake Museum has a wide variety of live rattlesnakes from around the world. It has several exhibitions, such as "Rattlesnakes: The Beautiful and the Deadly", "Snakes in Myth and Legend" and "The Fangs of the World."

Visitors can purchase rattlesnake-themed souvenirs, jewelry, books, and other unique items at the museum's souvenir shops.

12. Cheer for the Albuquerque Isotopes

The  Albuquerque Isotopes

The Albuquerque Isotopes are a minor-league baseball team based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This a perfect event to bring younger kids to have some fun. The team's mascot is a character named Orbit, who is a furry green alien.

The team's name is a nod to the popular TV show "The Simpsons", and is widely considered one of the best minor league ballparks in the country.

13. A day in the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque New Mexico offers a journey through New Mexico’s past, from the formation of the universe to the present.

Located near downtown Albuquerque, the interactive, high-tech New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science features an active volcano, an Ice Age cave, and dinosaurs galore, including the enormous Tyrannosaurus Rex and Seismosaurus.

14. Tingley Beach Fishing Ponds

Tingley Beach Fishing Ponds

Tingley Beach is also home to the ABQ BioPark's Rio Grande Botanic Garden's Heritage Farm, which showcases a variety of farm animals such as sheep, chickens, and cows. Visitors at Tingley Beach can also spot ducks, geese, and other waterfowl at the ponds.

Tingley Beach boasts fishing ponds that are open to the public, free of charge. It has three fishing ponds, which are stocked regularly with rainbow trout, catfish, and other fish species.

Visitors can bring their own fishing gear or rent equipment on-site. In addition to fishing, Tingley Beach also offers paddle boating, walking trails, and picnic areas.

Kids can enjoy spotting the many different animals and plants at Tingley Beach, and families with kids can also enjoy racing boats on the Tingley Beach model boat pond.

15. The Turquoise Museum

The Turquoise Museum

Albuquerque, New Mexico, is home to the Turquoise Museum dedicated to showcasing the history and cultural significance of turquoise. This gemstone has been prized for centuries by indigenous peoples in the region and beyond.

The museum features a wide range of exhibits that showcase turquoise in its various forms and uses, including jewelry, sculpture, and decorative objects.

Visitors can learn about the history of turquoise mining and the techniques used to extract and work the stone.

16. The Unser Racing Museum

The Unser Racing Museum

The Unser Racing Museum is dedicated to showcasing the history and evolution of racing in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the Unser family's legacy in the sport.

The museum houses a collection of race cars, trophies, photographs, and other artifacts. Visitors can see everything from classic Indy cars to modern dragsters, and learn about the evolution of racing technology over the years.

The Unser Racing Museum offers interactive experiences, such as the chance to race in a state-of-the-art simulator or take a ride in a vintage race car.

17. Cliff's Amusement Park

The Cliff's Amusement Park

The Cliff's amusement park is a family-friendly amusement park that offers a wide range of attractions and rides, including roller coasters, water rides, family rides, and kiddie rides.

The New Mexico Rattler is a wooden roller coaster that reaches speeds of up to 75 mph and has a 120-foot drop. This roller coaster is the main attraction in the park that offers a thrilling experience.

The Rocky Mountain Rapids is for visitors who prefer water rides. This attraction offers a white water rafting ride that simulates the thrill of a real river, and the Tsunami, a giant wave pool that creates waves up to six feet high.

The park also has family-friendly rides such as the Ferris Wheel and the Carousel, as well as kiddie rides like the Tea Cups and Frog Hopper.

18. Petroglyph National Monument

Petroglyph National Monument

Petroglyph National Monument is home to one of the largest collections of ancient rock art in North America.

The monument spans over 7,000 acres and contains thousands of petroglyphs created by the Puebloan people and other indigenous cultures.

Visitors can hike through the various trails and see the petroglyphs up close, including images of animals, people, and symbols that tell stories about the lives and beliefs of the ancient people who created them. Visit the Visitor Center to get more information about these ancient carvings.

In addition to the petroglyphs, Petroglyph National Monument also offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

While visiting the museum, visitors can learn about the history and culture of the Puebloan people through the monument's educational exhibits and programs.

FAQs About Things to Do in Albuquerque

Now, let's take a look at some frequently asked questions about fun things to do in Albuquerque.

How do I spend a day in Albuquerque?

Spend a day in Albuquerque by visiting some of the city's top attractions. Start the day at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History. After the museum, head downtown to explore Albuquerque's historical attractions and take a stroll through Old Town Albuquerque.

Then, visit San Felipe de Neri Church, an Albuquerque historic landmark, and visit the Albuquerque Museum, which offers exhibits on the city's history, culture, and art.

What is the coolest thing in New Mexico?

New Mexico has plenty of cool attractions to offer, and some of the top attractions include Cliff's Amusement Park, the American International Rattlesnake Museum, Wildlife West Nature Park, the Rio Grande Nature Center, and the Casa Rondeña Winery in North Valley. You might also find it cool to watch a baseball game while in town.

What is special about Albuquerque?

The city's historical attractions, such as the Hispanic art at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, as well as Albuquerque Old Town and the Natural History Museum, are what make Alberquerque special.

Moreover, the La Luz Trail and its steep inclines reward hikers with special and magical scenery. The Sandia Peak Ski Area is also special for winter sports enthusiasts, offering skiing and snowboarding on some of the best slopes in the New Mexico region.

Is Albuquerque worth seeing?

Yes, Albuquerque is worth seeing. Its historic old town, native American culture, and stunning surroundings are unique and should form part of your trip to the Southwest. The city expertly blends old and new and gives a whole other perspective of what New Mexico represents.

And, of course, if you are a Breaking Bad fan, you will also think it is worth taking one of the many Breaking Bad-themed tours.

Summing up: Fun Things To Do In Albuquerque

There are plenty of fun things to do in Albuquerque, New Mexico. You can explore the National Hispanic Cultural Center, learn about local Native American culture, and take a trip into the desert.

With its plethora of museums, fun activities, and walking tour options, this New Mexico city is unmissable. Moreover, the New Mexico rattler roller coaster, located in Cliff's Amusement Park, is another brilliant Albuquerque attraction.

Whether you decide to explore Albuquerque Old Town, visit a gift shop, an art museum, or an amusement park, you are sure to have fun in Albuquerque.