Looking for a Southeast USA city break? For adobe buildings, Native American culture, and fantastic gastronomy, look no further than Albuquerque, New Mexico’s largest city. With such a variety of areas, neighborhoods, and hotels, though, deciding where to stay in Albuquerque can be a tough choice.
Albuquerque isn’t the easiest city to get around on foot, so picking the perfect neighborhood is essential. For visitors, the best areas to stay are Old Town, Downtown, Uptown, Midtown/University, and North Valley. These districts are home to the best hotels in Albuquerque and a variety of attractions suited to different types of tourists.
Ready to dive into planning your New Mexico vacation? Find amazing accommodations in the perfect neighborhood with this complete guide to the best places to stay in Albuquerque, NM!
Best places to stay in Albuquerque, NM
Filled with unique Southwest charms, the main districts in Albuquerque offer travelers plenty. All the areas are easy to get around on foot or by public transport, but visiting other neighborhoods often requires driving. That’s why finding the ideal location for your Albuquerque trip is essential.
Albuquerque’s cultural hub of Old Town offers fantastic food and the chance to buy unique handmade goods. Want to squeeze in some extra retail therapy? Open up your wallet in Uptown, offering a colossal choice of upscale shopping and dining.
If you like to party, Downtown buzzes with nightlife. The central area also has a great theatre and live music scene, so it’s perfect if you want to catch a show during your visit.
Located east of Downtown ABQ, the Midtown/University area, home to the University of New Mexico, offers cheap accommodation and a lively student atmosphere. Stay here if you love friendly cafes and intellectual conversations.
On the other hand, people who want to relax and are open to staying out of the city will love the vineyards and village feel of North Valley.
The best areas to stay in Albuquerque, NM, are:
✓ Best place to stay in Albuquerque for unique food and shopping
Old Town is brimming with New Mexico style. Independent restaurants and boutiques spill out of classic adobe houses and onto red brick streets. Distinct architecture has created some of the most unique hotels in the city.
This was Albuquerque’s first neighborhood, and some 300 years later, Old Town is still the buzzing cultural hub of the city. Ten blocks of narrow twinkling streets revolve around the idyllic Old Town Plaza.
With over 150 independent businesses, no two visits to Old Town will be the same. It’s an emporium of vintage stores, galleries, and artisan goods. Check out Silver Sun for authentic Native American turquoise. Or pick up a spicy treat at Salsa Saint, offering the world’s largest stock of New Mexico salsas and sauces.
Feast on some of the best food in New Mexico. Indigenous and Spanish influences have created authentic and mouth-watering Southwest cuisine. From sizzling fajitas in the 200-year-old Church Street Café to buffalo burgers at the haunted High Noon Restaurant and Saloon, eating in Old Town will be a whirlwind for your senses.
Sample it all at Sawhill Market. The former lumberyard building has blossomed into an airy space where local chefs and mixologists can shine. Head to Botanic Bar for a greenhouse full of greenery and innovative botanical cocktails.
As it’s the heartbeat of the city and home to some of the top Albuquerque attractions, expect hotels in Old Town to come at a premium. Still, compared to other cities in the Southeast, prices in ABQ are, on the whole, quite reasonable.
This immense resort hotel is at the heart of Old Town. It’s steps away from Sawhill Market and has a fantastic on-site drinking and dining scene. Stay here to add some flair to your Albuquerque experience. Dine by the fountain on a regal patio, listen to live jazz from a leather sofa, or catch a show at the flamenco tableau.
The perfect lodgings for the modern free spirit. Trendy desert style and a touch of neon lightning give off the classic motel feeling. Large modern rooms have funky textiles and colorful artwork. While away the days in the heated outdoor pool and quench your thirst with a craft cocktail.
Lay down your head at one of the first motels in New Mexico. This central old town location has blue and white buildings and an outdoor pool for a Greek island vibe. Foodies will have a great time here, with its rotating line-up of food pods, helping guests to support new businesses.
To immerse yourself in Old Town, spend your nights at this 1938 adobe-style compound. This historic inn is on the National Register of Historic Places and three blocks from the Old Town Plaza. Book a night in one of the traditional casitas sprinkled around the pretty courtyards, gardens, and patios.
A luxury experience in the center of Old Town. A resort pool, gym, and three on-site eateries meet your every need. Ultra-modern interior design includes features to honor indigenous artisans. See the quality of design for yourself in the impressive grand lobby. Regional artwork weaves throughout the hotel and is available for purchase.
✓ Top place to stay in Albuquerque for nightlife
Looking to experience Albuquerque’s crazier side? Downtown is a favorite for travelers, thanks to its busy restaurants, upscale shopping, and lively entertainment district. Whether you want to catch a show in the theatre district or grab fancy cocktails, you’ll find plenty of ways to fill your evenings here.
The iconic Route 66 runs through the center of the Duke City and offers endless entertainment opportunities. If you get bored, the Alvarado Transportation Center is in East Downtown and will take you anywhere you want to go in the city.
Downtown ABQ constantly evolves as investment pours into the area. Old buildings are reimagined as trendy apartments and unique live music venues. The KiMo is part historical landmark and part working theatre. The pueblo deco style building is reminiscent of an ancient palace. Catch a great variety of shows, from Spanish guitar to burlesque.
This area is also the hub for Albuquerque’s bustling nightlife. Rooftop bars, breweries, and casinos come to life as the sun sets.
Gravity Bound is a 100% electric brewery inside a modern garage. Sit on the art-covered patio, where they host food trucks and regular events.
Sister Bar is a local favorite for video games and live music. Uptown Funk Dueling Pianos is a night out with a difference. Every evening, talented pianists will play any song that the audience requests.
As Albuquerque’s tallest hotel, this huge property uses a pueblo deco design to transport you to ultimate glamor. Sip a cocktail in the prohibition-style bar or have it delivered to you by the rooftop pool. Spend afternoons unwinding in the hot tub and sauna.
This 1926 hotel is glistening with elegant Italian design. Soak up the sun on the gorgeous outdoor patio or from the Apothecary Lounge, a creative, vintage-style rooftop bar. Maintain your routine in the modern fitness room with an outdoor jacuzzi. The complimentary breakfast includes gourmet quiche, pastries, and eggs.
Transport yourself to the Spanish hills of Andalucía in this 1939 hotel. Grand balconies, wooden columns, and white archways lead you to a delicious tapas bar. After dinner, grab drinks with friends in a private lobby casbah or head up to the Ibiza rooftop bar for city and mountain views.
Based on Route 66, this modern hotel has large studio suites with full kitchenettes. You’ll have the privacy of an apartment with the luxuries of a hotel. Enjoy pretty Downtown views from the patio. Start your day in the modern gym before fueling up with a complimentary hot breakfast.
✓ Recommended neighborhood to stay in Albuquerque for shopping
Uptown is the heart of Albuquerque’s business and retail centers. The neighborhood is a little further out of the city but has regular bus services running from San Pedro Drive. Modern high-rise buildings light up at night with opportunities. Here you’ll find a fantastic variety of stores, restaurants, and chain hotels.
The most popular attraction in Uptown is the ABQ Uptown. This 222,000 Square foot mall has everything from designer clothing to high-end homeware. Explore the sparkling open-air space, marked with an iconic lit-up Q sign. If you need to refuel you can feast on pizza, sushi, and fondue and the many popular restaurants on site.
EXPO New Mexico is a huge events space that hosts sports, art, and trade show events. You might not be able to snag a ticket for a big show, but every weekend they host a flea market. Endless stalls are full of colorful bargain deals. Spend an afternoon rummaging for knick-knacks and hidden gems.
This large hotel sits opposite ABQ Uptown. Clean and modern suites are complete with fully equipped kitchens and separate sleeping and living spaces. As well as a hot complimentary breakfast, every night, you’re treated to an evening reception with drinks and a light meal. Amenities include a fitness center and outdoor pool to maintain your routine during your stay.
Colorful spaces and New Mexico style make this a cozy accommodation option for your time in Albuquerque. Large rooms come complete with ergonomic workstations and floor-to-ceiling windows with city and mountain views. Take a dip in the indoor saltwater pool before sipping on award-winning draft beer in the lounge.
This modern hotel in a prime Uptown location has everything you need for a comfortable stay. Art deco-style spaces with pops of color welcome you into a lounge area and friendly lobby bar. With an outdoor pool, on-site convenience store, and 27/7 dining, you’ll have everything you need at your fingertips.
This towering hotel is close to the shops, restaurants, and surrounding public parks. Serene rooms have floor-to-ceiling views of the Sandia Mountains. Sleek indoor and outdoor pools, a welcoming lounge, and a casual restaurant give you plenty of spaces to relax and socialize.
✓ Top place to stay on a budget
Just across from Downtown is the super cool Midtown/University neighborhood. Centered around the University of New Mexico, this area has great attractions and a spirited student vibe. Spend your days in the buzz of the city center, then come back to a low-key feeling of laid-back cafes, quirky shopping, and friendly bars.
Take some time to visit the University of New Mexico. The 1889 campus is full of unusual buildings, pretty outdoor spaces, and public art. There are also some great museums based here. The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology has wonderful exhibitions exploring the history of humanity. Get stuck into the history of Southwestern people or explore the art of basket weaving.
The hip Midtown/University area caters well to students and visitors. Far from dive bars and fast food, you’ll find hip and unique places to eat, drink, and shop.
To get your caffeine fix and buy cute gifts at the same time, check out Chocolate Dude and Coffee Too! The handmade chocolate shop also sells an overwhelming selection of lattes and hot chocolates.
For a stylish dinner and drinks, head to Copper Lounge. Sit in a plush booth and share elegant bites alongside cocktails made by expert mixologists.
The groovy Hotel Zazz will be one of the most unique motels you have ever stayed in. Unique artwork and kitschy rooms have you itching to get out and explore more Albuquerque vibes. Enjoy nights in at the heated swimming pool and outdoor theatre or head to the speakeasy for food trucks and live music.
Spacious rooms and home comforts make this a great lodgings option in Midtown. All rooms come with a microwave and refrigerator and you can enjoy a free hot breakfast every day. Amenities like a large outdoor pool and fitness center give you lots of ways to stay active on your trip.
This central hotel puts you within walking distance of Downtown Albuquerque and New Mexico University. Casual suites come with self-catering amenities, and you get a complimentary daily breakfast. There’s also a desk and coffee-making facilities in every room if you need to catch up on emails.
✓ Recommended neighborhood for outdoor activities
North Valley stretches out of the city center, giving you easy access to both the buzz of town and the surrounding nature. Lush greenery runs along the Rio Grande River to the backdrop of the Sandia Mountains. This peaceful area has a village feel, with wineries, farmers’ markets, and an outdoor lifestyle.
Spot over 250 different species of birds on the trails of Rio Grande Nature Center State Park. Explore peaceful forests by the river and watch out for porcupines in the trees.
On the easy Piedras Marcadas Canyon hike, you’ll spot up to 400 petroglyphs. Wrap up your visit by looking at Alberquerque from above at the Balloon Fiesta Park. Glide over the New Mexico landscape or have a round of golf and watch the colorful balloons floating above.
Among the top-rated Albuquerque day trips is to retreat into part of the oldest wine-producing area in North America. Wander gorgeous vineyards and sample delicious food and wine in paradise.
Stock up on fresh veggies and local honey at the Los Ranchos Growers Market. Or pick up ceramics, wind chimes, and textiles at their Saturday art market. Taste the food of the North Valley area at Farm to Table, a gourmet seasonal dining concept.
These cozy suites give you the privacy of home and lots of opportunities to create a community. Meet fellow travelers at a BBQ in the courtyard or while practicing your swing on the outdoor putting green. Or break a sweat in the indoor pool and 24/7 fitness center.
This welcoming hotel has lots of spaces to relax, including amenities like a terrace, indoor pool, and hot tub. Modern rooms maintain a welcoming feel with warm textiles and simple décor. You won’t go hungry staying here, with a wonderful choice of hot breakfast. Enjoy complimentary dishes and beverages at their nightly kickback event.
This sleek hotel is a relaxing place to spend your time in North Valley. It’s aimed at long-stay travelers, so your stay here will have extra home comforts. Spend time in the seclusion of your luxury suite, socialize by the fire pit on the patio, or laze in the indoor pool.