Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico, a state in the south of the United States. Despite its status, it is very cozy and colorful. There are very few high-rise buildings, while there are preserved buildings of the Spanish colonial era in the center and a desert and rocky mountains around the city. The sun shines almost all year round in Albuquerque as well as hot-air balloons fly, which mainly attracted tourists here. Everything changed with the release of the popular series "Breaking Bad", which won the love of critics and viewers. Nowadays, travelers come here not only to fly in a balloon but also to visit the places where their favorite characters lived and found themselves in incredible situations — Walter White, Jesse Pinkman, Saul Goodman, and Gus Fring.
Attractions of Albuquerque
Albuquerque is an unusual city that attracts tourists, not with its historical and natural monuments. Fans of the cult series and fans of hot-air balloons come here. This is what sets Albuquerque apart not only from its American brothers but also among other cities in the world.
The majority of Albuquerque residents are Christians. Besides them, there are representatives of Eastern religions (Buddhism, Hinduism), Jews, and Muslims in the city.
A brief history
The city was built according to the standard Spanish plan — there were government buildings, residential houses, and a church around the central square. Despite the defense function, farming was the main activity of the inhabitants. Thus, Albuquerque became a western sheep breeding center.
At the beginning of the XX century, the city was inhabited by about eight thousand people. A tram ran here, and the campus of the University of New Mexico had already been established. After the opening of the famous Highway 66 in 1926, travelers went to Albuquerque. New motels were built for them; restaurants and souvenir shops were opened.
In the 1960s, many of the city's historic buildings were destroyed because of government programs aimed at improving and renovating infrastructure. Modern skyscrapers and parking lots were built instead. In 2010, the authorities in Albuquerque began restoring the historical appearance of the center.
Throughout its history, the city's population has steadily increased. In 2007, Albuquerque was ranked sixth among the fastest-growing cities in America.
Before the trip, you should calculate the approximate budget that you will require for the travel:
The best time to visit Albuquerque
The annual Wine Festival takes place in May and brings together representatives of over 100 wineries. The festival features live music concerts, delicious food, and a variety of wines.
In October, the most significant event in Albuquerque is the Balloon Festival. Over 500 colorful giants are launched into the sky for nine days. It is the largest similar event in the world, which attracts tourists from all over the globe.
Albuquerque Airport and the Old Town have tourist centers, where everyone is provided with information about excursions, museums, useful services for travelers and places to eat. The center at the airport is open 24 hours a day.
One trip on the bus will cost $1. But it is more advantageous to take a travel card with unlimited trips. You can do it right on the bus. The cost of a one-day pass is $2, a two-day pass is $4, and a three-day pass is $6.
The official Albuquerque tourist website has a handy map with all the places associated with the "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul" series.
What should a tourist do in Albuquerque?
- Visit the locations of the filming of the legendary "Breaking Bad" series. There are about three dozen of them all over the city, while the majority is concentrated in the center. Anyone can visit the restaurant "Twister", which played the part of "Los Pollos Hermanos" of Gus Fring, see the car wash "Octopus", owned by the family of White, see the houses of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. And in "The Candy Lady" store, you can buy caramels in the form of those blue "crystals". You can also take a tour showing locations where Avengers, Transformers, Logan, Terminator, and many other films were shot.
- Enjoy the panorama of the city from a bird's-eye view. It is best to do it in a balloon — it is not for nothing that Albuquerque is called the capital of aeronautics. The flights are made every day if weather conditions allow.
- Try New Mexico cuisine at the restaurant "El Pinto", which is over fifty years old. It is a family business, where they cook not only traditional dishes from organic products but also sauces according to the author's recipes. In "El Pinto", you can taste delicious chili ribs, classic guacamole and nacho, steaks, enchiladas and, of course, tacos and burritos. You should definitely try the Margarita cocktail.
- Learn about the traditions and history of the Pueblo Indians at the eponymous cultural center. It hosts exhibitions and meetings with artists, as well as Native American folk dance events. The restaurant, which is also located here, serves traditional Indian cuisine.
- Climb Mount Sandia (3163 m) with the help of the cable car of the same name, which is approximately four kilometers long. It goes over a deep picturesque canyon. There is an incredible view from the observation deck at the top of the mountain. It is best enjoyed at sunset when the desert lights up with such colors that it takes your breath away.
- Walk around the Old Town, where colonial buildings of the XVIII century have been preserved. Here you will find the main square, administration building, and cozy restaurants. In this part of the city, you can not pass by the church of San Felipe de Neri, which is the oldest building in Albuquerque.