It has been almost five years since the last episode of Breaking Bad was broadcasted, but Albuquerque, the largest city of New Mexico, still owes its fame around the world to this TV show. I must admit I hadn’t seen even one episode of Breaking Bad when we went to New Mexico with my sister and her friends from university. I had only heard of it. But the moment we arrived in Albuquerque, I noticed that each and every shop in town had something related with the Breaking Bad, like t-shirts, postcards, stationeries and “Walter White-Wanted” signs, that’s how I realized that it was such a big deal. It was actually nice to watch it after coming back from our New Mexico trip and to recognize some of the places they shoot at.
Nob Hill, where the New Mexico University is located, is the modern part of the city with nice restaurants, coffee shops and movie theatres. The famous 66 Diner(1405 Central Ave NE) is also in this neighbourhood. As you can imagine, there is nothing really original or interesting to discover in this part of the city. So let’s focus on the old town.
As in the other cities in New Mexico, in the centre of Albuquerque’s old town, there is a square surrounded by adobe buildings similar to Spanish ex colonies. These squares are called “plaza”. It’s easy to visit the town by making the plaza your starting point.
When the Spanish arrived in New Mexico in the 1500s, they also brought their religion with them and they kind of forced the locals to accept their religion. One of the first buildings made by the Spanish in Albuquerque was a chapel, which was destroyed and a new church, San Felipe de Neri Church was built on the same location in 1793. This is the oldest building in town.
It’s not hard to feel the influence of the Hispanic culture with all the small and colourful details that you notice while wandering around the old city. There is something waiting for you to make you smile one each corner, especially if you like taking photographs. I remember feeling like I was in a movie, with the locals wearing their cowboy hats, a band playing Mexican music in the park near the Plaza, shops owned by Native Americans and other things that really make the whole New Mexico trip a great adventure.
There are lots of nice shops in Patio Marketwhere you can buy nice souvenirs.
Velvet Coffee House(206 1/2 San Felipe NW, Suite 8) is a good choice to have an iced tea or coffee.
If you like t-shirts as much as I do, I recommend you to check out the Guerrilla Graphix(223 Sierra Drive SE), where I bought three or four t-shirts for myself.
Back Street Grill(1919 Old Town Rd NW) is a nice spot to have a nice dinner accompanied by local beer or wine. If you order Backstreet Nachos With Guacamole, the waitress prepares the guacamole at your table in front of your eyes. Keep that in mind if you are curios about how to make a nice guacamole.
We stayed at Hotel Albuquerque at Old Townand I can say that it is the most convenient and comfortable hotel to visit the old town. It’s walking distance from the Old Town and we felt safe even when we walked back to the hotel at night. I don’t want to ruin any surprises but just know that the breakfast is beyond imagination. Don’t expect a regular continental breakfast.
Albuquerque is also known for its International Balloon Fiesta that happens each year during the month of October. This is one of the most photographed events in the world. You can also take a balloon ride all year around with one of the balloon ride companies.
If you are planning a trip to New Mexico, don’t forget to read the post about “Santa Fe”.
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