Welcome to Albuquerque
Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller knows a lot of reasons to visit or live in the Duke City. As New Mexico’s largest city with more than 300 years of history, there’s a lot to discover here in Albuquerque.
Albuquerque was founded in 1706 when it was part of Spain, but Native Americans have lived in the area for about 12,000 years. Early settlers passed through here on the Santa Fe Trail, bringing cultures from around the world to Albuquerque. The flags of Spain, Mexico, and the United States have flown over Albuquerque.
Visit the Albuquerque Plaza in Old Town for a feel of the city as a Spanish settlement. Take a walk to find adobe buildings that were made by early settlers with materials that were available before the railroad came to town. Explore pueblos in the area to learn about the important Native American history and their rich cultures then and today.
Millions of visitors come to Albuquerque drawn by the spectacle of thousands of hot air balloons floating over the Rio Grande Valley during the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in October.
Many of those visitors take advantage of the skies around Albuquerque by flying into the state’s largest airport, the Albuquerque International Sunport. The city’s public transportation system includes buses and a light rail system, and Interstate 25, running north-south, and Interstate 40, running east-west, intersect in the city. Read more about getting around Albuquerque in this story.
Others come because of Albuquerque’s natural beauty and diverse landscapes. The Sandia Mountains are not only beautiful to look at when the sunset reflects on them, but they provide popular recreational opportunities such as hiking, mountain biking, and even skiing in winter.
Because Albuquerque is in the high desert, at an average altitude of 5,000 feet, summers are milder than lower parts of the state, and winters, while colder, are nothing compared to what you’d experience in more northern climates. Our climate is a reason many visitors have decided to make Albuquerque their home.
In addition, Albuquerque’s pleasant climate and beautiful scenery along with the State of New Mexico’s generous rebates to filmmakers has drawn many to the area. The popular television show Breaking Bad and its prequel, Better Call Saul, were both filmed here, as was In Plain Sight. Scenes from movies such as The Avengers, Sicario, and Terminator: Dark Fate all featured Albuquerque. Netflix has even developed a film studio here.
What to Eat in Albuquerque
You’ve got to try the delicious and delectable offerings of Albuquerque’s restaurants. And one thing you must be sure to try is chile, spelled with an “e” at the end, not an “i.” New Mexico grows the best chile and you can find it on the menu in restaurants throughout the state. If you order enchiladas, for example, you’re going to be asked, “Red or green?” Learn the difference and how to answer the question here. But suffice it to say, when in New Mexico, try New Mexican cuisine, and be sure to order a margarita to go with it!
Albuquerque Places to Explore
In addition to the wide range of outdoor activities you can enjoy in and around Albuquerque, as the state’s largest city, it offers entertainment options like museums, galleries, and casinos with top-rated entertainment. Many shopping districts offer everything from big-name brands to unique boutiques to browse.
History abounds in and around Albuquerque. Take a walk at the Petroglyph National Monument to see thousands of pieces of rock art left behind by some of the area’s earliest residents.
Students and faculty come to Albuquerque to be part of the University of New Mexico, a public research university. Visitors are welcome to visit the campus. You may find yourself sitting beside the duck pond and enjoying the scenery or attending a Lobos game and cheering on the home team.
If you enjoy sports, be sure to check out the Duke City’s other options, like the Albuquerque Isotopes baseball team and New Mexico United for thrilling soccer games. Enjoying a home game win with burqueños is a great way to feel like a local!
Why is Albuquerque Called the Duke City?
Yes, that’s what lots of folks from Albuquerque call themselves: burqueños. And why, you may wonder, is it called the Duke City? That’s one of the city’s nicknames and this one goes back to the original naming of the city in honor of Spain’s Duke of Alburquerque (with two Rs). If your city is named after a duke, well, then it must be the Duke City! Other monikers related to Albuquerque include the area code, 505, and the airport handle, ABQ (so much shorter and easier to write!).
So, as Mayor Keller says, Albuquerque is a great place to visit and a great place to live. Click around Albuquerque.com for many more reasons why!