Where to Stay in Albuquerque (A Local’s Best Places & Areas)
Albuquerque, New Mexico has a lot to offer visitors if you know where to look. While the city itself has a relatively small downtown area and is essentially one large suburb, countless hidden gems are waiting to be discovered.
As an Albuquerque local, I am here to help you find exactly where to stay in Albuquerque for your situation. I want you to make the most of your trip to the Land of Enchantment!
Let’s start by taking a look at the best places to stay:
Table of Contents
- Best Places to Stay in Albuquerque
- 7 Best Neighborhoods and Areas to Stay in Albuquerque
- Tips for Staying in Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Answers to FAQs About Albuquerque
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Best Places to Stay in Albuquerque
Looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Albuquerque? Here are my top picks:
- 🌟 Best Overall Hotel – Hotel Chaco
- 🍸 Best Luxury Hotel – Hotel Parq Central Albuquerque
- 👪 Best for Families – Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn
- 💻Best for Business – SpringHill Suites by Marriott Albuquerque North/Journal Center
- 🏨 Best Boutique – El Vado Motel
- 🏙️ Best Near Old Town – Hotel Albuquerque
- 🛏️ Best Budget Hotel – Sandia Peak Inn at Old Town Albuquerque
👉 Browse all top hotels in Albuquerque on Booking here.
Ok, let’s do a deep dive into the best areas and neighborhoods in Albuquerque, New Mexico:
7 Best Neighborhoods and Areas to Stay in Albuquerque
Albuquerque is split into four parts by two major lines: the Rio Grande river and Interstate 40. The river divides the city into the east and west, while I-40 splits it into north and south.
Towering over the east side of the city are the Sandia mountains. You can always orient yourself by looking at the mountains. Here is a helpful map of the major neighborhoods in the city.
Historic Old Town Albuquerque
👉 Best Area For Families and Overall Location | ✨ Best Old Town Hotels: Hotel Albuquerque • Hotel Chaco • El Vado Motel
If the name “Old Town” doesn’t tip you off, this is the oldest part of the city, with several buildings dating back to the 1700s. Considered by many to be the heart of Albuquerque, some of the richest histories in New Mexico lie within these few city blocks. Here, you can weave in and out of local shops and restaurants or stop by the nearby museums. You might even spot a celebrity or two, especially if you stay at Hotel Albuquerque or Hotel Chaco.
With so many activities available in a small geographic area, historic Old Town is well-suited for families. Though not quite walking distance, the Botanic Garden and Aquarium are both pretty close by.
Overall, Old Town offers some of the best hotels in Albuquerque, with options to suit every budget.
Pros of Staying in Old Town Albuquerque:
- Everything you need is within walking distance
- Excellent balance of old-world charm and modern amenities
Cons of Staying in Old Town Albuquerque:
- Many shops close early
- Can get busy during peak seasons and days
📚 Old Town Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Families and Overall Location
- ✨ Best Hotels – Hotel Albuquerque • Hotel Chaco • El Vado Motel
- 🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Old Town
- 🍽️ Where to Eat – Seasons Rotisserie and Grill ($$$), Antiquity Restaurant ($$$), Church Street Cafe ($$)
- 🍸 Where to Drink – D.H. Lescombes Winery and Bistro, Noisy Water Winery, The Taproom at Old Town
- 🎟️ Top Attractions – Sawmill Market, Historic Old Town Plaza, New Mexico Museum of Natural History, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
👉 Best Area For Nightlife | ✨ Best Downtown Albuquerque Hotels: Hotel Parq Central • Hotel Andaluz • Hyatt Regency Albuquerque
If you are looking for a fun, party atmosphere and are looking to stay in some of the top luxury hotels in Albuquerque, Downtown is the place for you. The area is ideally located near the Albuquerque Convention Center and within walking distance of many bars, clubs, and restaurants.
One of Albuquerque’s top luxury hotels, Hotel Parq Central, has a breathtaking rooftop bar that you have to visit, even if you aren’t planning to stay there. Many of the other luxury hotels in the area also offer an on-site restaurant and include amenities such as spacious rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, and a fitness center.
Pros of Staying in Downtown Albuquerque:
- Vibrant nightlife
- Close to Albuquerque International Sunport
- Luxury hotel options
Cons of Staying in Downtown Albuquerque:
- Many restaurants and shops are closed on Mondays
- Hotels can be more expensive
📚 Downtown Albuquerque Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Nightlife
- ✨ Best Hotels – Hotel Parq Central • Hotel Andaluz • Hyatt Regency Albuquerque
- 🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Downtown Albuquerque
- 🍽️ Where to Eat – 505 Central Food Hall ($$), Sister ($$), Slate Street Cafe ($$)
- 🍸 Where to Drink – Marble Brewery Downtown, Hollow Spirits Distillery, Founders Speakeasy
- 🎟️ Top Attractions – ABQ BioPark Zoo, Downtown Growers’ Market, Tingley Beach
Midtown / Nob Hill
👉 Best Area For Foodies | ✨ Best Midtown / Nob Hill Hotels: SpringHill Suites by Marriott University Area • Hampton Inn – University/Midtown • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites
Just east of Downtown Albuquerque, this eclectic, hip university area is perfect for the young and restless or the ultimate foodie (or both!). Not only does this area have more affordable accommodations, but it is also brimming with trendy shops and restaurants.
Take a stroll around the University of New Mexico (UNM) campus or grab some late-night ice cream in this laid-back neighborhood. This is one of the most unique environments in the city and is a great place to visit at any time of day; there are some amazing brunch spots and some equally enticing dinner and drinks spots.
Pros of Staying in Midtown / Nob Hill:
- Many local restaurants and shops
- Very walkable area and young adult-friendly
- Budget hotel options
Cons of Staying in Midtown / Nob Hill:
- Not family-oriented
- Fewer hotel options
📚 Midtown / Nob Hill Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Foodies
- ✨ Best Hotels – SpringHill Suites by Marriott University Area • Hampton Inn – University/Midtown • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites
- 🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Midtown / Nob Hill
- 🍽️ Where to Eat – Two Fools Tavern ($$), Tia B’s La Waffleria ($$), El Patio De Albuquerque ($$)
- 🍸 Where to Drink – Lizard Tail Brewing Nob Hill, The Copper Lounge, Salt and Board
- 🎟️ Top Attractions – Nob Hill Business Center, University of New Mexico, ChocolateDude and Coffee Too
👉 Best Area For Quick Trips | ✨ Best Airport Hotels: Hampton Inn and Suites • Baymont by Wyndham • Residence Inn by Marriott
The airport is the southernmost neighborhood in Albuquerque. While it is technically part of the city, it feels very deserted and set apart. You’ll find that staying by the airport is great if you aren’t as interested in seeing any sights or you need a brief landing spot before heading to your next destination.
Staying close to the Albuquerque International Sunport is a good idea if your visit to Duke City is a short one. Each of the top hotels in the area provides airport shuttles for hassle-free transportation.
Pros of Staying Near Airport:
- Great location for airport access
- More budget hotel options
Con of Staying Near Airport:
- Remote location, farther away from restaurants and other activities
📚 Airport Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Quick Trips
- ✨ Best Hotels – Hampton Inn and Suites • Baymont by Wyndham • Residence Inn by Marriott
- 🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Airport
- 🍽️ Where to Eat – El Sabor De Juarez ($), Frank’s Famous Chicken & Waffles ($)
- 🍸 Where to Drink – The 377 Brewery ($$)
- 🎟️ Top Attractions – National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, Puerto Del Sol Golf Course
👉 Best Area For Up-Scale Shopping | ✨ Best Uptown Hotels: Homewood Suites by Hilton Uptown • Hyatt Place Uptown • Sheraton Uptown
Uptown is the furthest east neighborhood before the residential areas begin. It is considered more high-end than many other spots in Albuquerque and is very pristine and put-together. The buildings are modern and inviting.
If you are looking to treat yourself or have a shopping spree, Uptown provides some fabulous options. If you’re looking to get some steps in but aren’t able to spend a lot, walk around and window shop at ABQ Uptown or Coronado Center.
Pros of Staying in Uptown:
- High-end stores and restaurants
- Centrally located to other activities
Cons of Staying in Uptown:
- Most of the restaurants are popular chains and not local
- Can be expensive
📚 Uptown Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Up-Scale Shopping
- ✨ Best Hotels – Homewood Suites by Hilton Uptown • Hyatt Place Uptown • Sheraton Uptown
- 🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Uptown
- 🍽️ Where to Eat – Fork & Fig ($$), The Jealous Fork ($$), Christy Mae’s Restaurant ($$)
- 🍸 Where to Drink – Louie’s Pub & Grill, Alien Brewpub
- 🎟️ Top Attractions – Coronado Center, Winrock Town Center
North Valley / Los Ranchos / Corrales
👉 Best Area For Luxury Relaxation | ✨ Best North Valley Hotels: Morning Star Bed & Breakfast of Corrales • Casa La Huerta • Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm
Staying in the North Valley is arguably one of the most beautiful spots in the city, with stunning mountain views. This area is my favorite place to spend my time due to its close proximity to the Rio Grande trails, sublime food, and other attractions. Located in the center of Albuquerque, it is the perfect place to stay if you’re hoping to visit multiple places across the city.
Even if you can’t afford to stay there, I recommend visiting Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm. It is worth walking around their grounds and seeing one of the best things to do in Albuquerque; they also have an on-site restaurant you can check out.
If you would like to have a more peaceful, restorative vacation, Los Ranchos is an excellent option. You can take quiet strolls through the neighborhoods or rent a bike and sightsee along the river. Grab a coffee and curl up with a book or enjoy some time at a spa. The hustle and bustle of the city won’t touch you here if you don’t want it to.
Pros of Staying in the North Valley:
- A relaxed, serene atmosphere
- Fantastic for a weekend getaway or couple’s retreat
Cons of Staying in the North Valley:
- Not budget-friendly
📚 North Valley Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Luxury Relaxation
- ✨ Best Hotels – Morning Star Bed & Breakfast of Corrales • Casa La Huerta • Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm
- 🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in North Valley
- 🍽️ Where to Eat – El Pinto ($$), Campo at Los Poblanos Historic Inn ($$$), Farm & Table ($$)
- 🍸 Where to Drink – Casa Rondeña Winery, Steel Bender Brewyard, Ex Novo Brewing Company
- 🎟️ Top Attractions – Rio Grande Nature Center State Park, Alameda Open Space, Farm Shop at Los Poblanos Historic Inn
Albuquerque North / Balloon Fiesta Park
👉 Best Area For Business Travelers and Nature Lovers | ✨ Best Albuquerque North Hotels: SpringHill Suites by Marriott Albuquerque North/Journal Center • Staybridge Suites Albuquerque North • Courtyard by Marriott
If you’re traveling for work, the northeast neighborhood is one of the most ideal spots to stay in Albuquerque. It is close to the city’s professional centers and is centrally located for easy access to anywhere in the city. For those wishing to spend their vacation in nature, this is the closest area on this list to Cibola National Forest. You’ll also experience the most unobstructed mountain views.
There are many premier choices for local restaurants, breweries, and wineries. This is also one of the safest areas of Albuquerque, so you can rest easy and truly enjoy your time here in New Mexico.
Interested in taking a day trip to explore the many things to do in Santa Fe? Staying in Albuquerque North means that it is only a 45-minute drive away and you won’t have to deal with rush hour traffic on your way out in the morning!
Pros of Staying in Albuquerque North:
- Great location to stay if you’re wanting to ride the Sandia Peak Tramway
- Lots of restaurant and bar options
- Close to Balloon Fiesta Park if you’re visiting during October
Cons of Staying in Albuquerque North:
- A vehicle or ride-sharing service will be needed (low walkability)
- Some traffic during rush hours
📚 Albuquerque North Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Business Travelers and Nature Lovers
- ✨ Best Hotels – SpringHill Suites by Marriott Albuquerque North/Journal Center • Staybridge Suites Albuquerque North • Courtyard by Marriott
- 🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Albuquerque North
- 🍽️ Where to Eat – Vintage 423 ($$$), Tin Can Alley ABQ ($$), Restoration Pizza ($$)
- 🍸 Where to Drink – Gruet Winery and Tasting Room, Boxing Bear Brewing Co. Firestone Taproom and Brewery
- 🎟️ Top Attractions – Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, Bust Out Escape Room Albuquerque
Tips for Staying in Albuquerque, New Mexico
If Traveling for Balloon Fiesta, Book Early
The Balloon Fiesta occurs the first week of October each year, drawing thousands of tourists. Due to the large influx of visitors, hotels tend to fill up quickly. If you are planning to experience one of the greatest attractions in New Mexico, make sure to book accommodations as soon as possible.
👉 Browse hotels in Albuquerque on Booking here.
Avoid the Chain Restaurants
Wherever you choose to stay, you will have access to some of the best restaurants in Albuquerque. There are so many local options to choose from that you will have no reason to visit a chain restaurant.
New Mexico is Not Warm Year-Round
It’s important to remember that New Mexico is a high desert, meaning that it is a dry climate with high elevation. Subsequently, we do experience all four seasons here in New Mexico. Average winter temperatures in Albuquerque reach around 39 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to plan for this and check the weather forecast before your trip.
👉 Read Next: Best Places to Travel in New Mexico
Fall is the Best Time to Visit
While each season is special in New Mexico, many locals will tell you that fall is their favorite time of year. The weather is perfect and the air is crisp but still comfortable. Whether you roast some green chiles or walk along the Bosque and admire the changing leaves, there are plenty of things to do in Albuquerque in the fall.
Prepare Your Transportation Plan
Trust me when I tell you to avoid Albuquerque’s public transportation options. If you plan to visit more than one neighborhood in Albuquerque, you will need to rely on a rental car or other ride-share options such as Uber or Lyft. You could also try renting a bike to get around the city.
Stay in Albuquerque Proper
Although it may be tempting to stay in Rio Rancho or other cities surrounding Albuquerque in exchange for cheaper hotels, I do not recommend it. You will be farther away from most of the fun things to do in Albuquerque and you will be heavily car-dependent. These suburbs are not ideally located for easy connection to the city and all it has to offer.
🌇 Read Next: Where to Stay in Phoenix, Arizona, Things to Do in Phoenix
Answers to FAQs About Albuquerque
Where should you not stay in Albuquerque?
When choosing where to stay in Albuquerque, it is generally best to avoid neighborhoods south of Central Avenue. The exception to this rule is if you choose to stay by the airport. Do not stay in the South Valley and avoid staying in the part of Albuquerque east of Uptown.
Which part of Albuquerque is the safest?
The North Valley, Los Ranchos, Corrales, and northeast areas of Albuquerque are safer and tend to have lower crime rates. The northwest side of Albuquerque (such as Taylor Ranch and Paradise Hills) is also considered safe.
What is the nicest area in Albuquerque?
Among the many beautiful spots in Albuquerque, the Westside is one nice area that offers sweeping views of the Sandia mountains and the accompanying sunsets. The Northeast side has many upscale amenities and is closer to the mountains. If you are looking for quick access to anywhere in the city, the North Valley is a great spot to stay.
Is it better to stay in Albuquerque or Santa Fe?
Compared to Albuquerque, Santa Fe is a better place to stay for art lovers with a bigger budget. On the other hand, if you are looking for a more affordable New Mexico vacation but still want to experience the history and culture, Albuquerque is the better option. Ultimately, both destinations are worth visiting and each offers something different. See our guides to where to stay in Santa Fe or in Albuquerque for the best places.
No matter what brings you here, and no matter your travel style, I hope that this guide has helped you know where to stay in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Be sure to stay tuned for my forthcoming guide to the best things to do in Albuquerque.
Have some fun while you are here, relax, and soak up some sun!
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Agree with you on the good areas to stay in ABQ. And the only chain place to eat would be Blake’s lottaburger, and as far as an “only in Albuquerque” place would be the range cafe. I would gladly do the 10 hour drive from where I am in San Antonio Texas, to have a meal at the Range.