Known for its international hot air balloon festival, Spanish, and Native American-inspired cuisine, and home of the global phenomenon Breaking Bad, Albuquerque deserves a spot on your travel bucket list.
Though as a travel nurse, you might also be wondering, is Albuquerque a good place to live?
The short answer? Yes! Saddle up and settle in because you’re about to get the 411 on life in Albuquerque—from some of the best places for travelers to live to the must-see attractions.
Where To Live: Finding the Right Neighborhood for You in Albuquerque
Wherever you travel, it’s important to get the lay of the land to help you find a neighborhood that complements your lifestyle. On your night off, do you enjoy a quiet night in with a glass of wine and a novel? Or do you prefer to be a little closer to the action on a bustling street lined with delectable scents wafting from open restaurant windows?
In Albuquerque NM, you can get to know yourself as a travel nurse more and find the best of both worlds in some of the city’s most homey neighborhoods.
If you’re traveling (or moving) to Albuquerque, you’ll need the lay of the land. Here’s a breakdown of some of the best neighborhoods to stay in while you’re living in Albuquerque:
This might be the ultimate area to live if you’re looking for an eclectic neighborhood with a wide selection of dining options and a vibrant nightlife. See for yourself how old and new blend together seamlessly, with the famous Route 66 flowing straight down Central Avenue, surrounded by modern boutiques, and funky artwork dripping with color.
Uptown is the shopping hub of Albuquerque, with a whopping 222,000 square foot retail center available for your purchasing pleasure. 1Whether you’re looking for brand-name stores or locally-owned shops, you’re sure to find more than enough of both.
Uptown also boasts the EXPO New Mexico, an event center that plays host to the New Mexico State Fair every September. It’s also home to other exciting events throughout the year, such as:2
- Boxing matches
- Horse and pony shows
Many consider the historic Old Town Alburquerque to be the heart of the city. Founded in 1706, this district offers cultural enrichment to locals and travelers alike.3 Here you can find museums and cultural sites such as:
- American International Rattlesnake Museum
- Albuquerque Museum
- New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
This Albuquerque neighborhood is home to the ABQ BioPark.4 Part botanical garden, part zoo, part aquarium, this institution showcases a world of flora and fauna for all ages to enjoy.
Cost of Living in Albuquerque
Whenever you move to a new city, it always helps to know what to expect of your budget. Thankfully, Albuquerque’s priceless charms don’t require a hefty price tag. Here are a few indicators of the cost of daily living in Albuquerque:
- Rent – Part of learning how to find housing as a nurse to consider the cost. The average cost of an apartment is $1,170 per month, which is significantly more affordable than the national average of over $1,800.5
- Groceries – Groceries in New Mexico are pretty comparable to the rest of the country. Milk costs about $.79 a quart, eggs around $2.67, and bread about $2.47.6
- Utilities – For necessities like gas, water, and electricity, Albuquerque residents can expect to pay about $103 every month.6
- Childcare – Childcare such as preschool or daycare in Albuquerque averages at about $650 per month.6
Exploring Albuquerque: Things To Do
We know you spend a lot of your energy helping your patients, which is all the more reason to recharge your batteries and explore your local surroundings and even make friends as a travel nurse on your day off. From destinations in your own neighborhood to day trips filled with fun outdoor activities, here are some must-see places to explore in Albuquerque NM:
- Carlsbad Caverns – Find a reprieve from the heat in the underground hideaway of Carlsbad Caverns. Take a tour through multiple caves and see the intricately hung limestone formations thousands of years in the making. If you’re at the caverns at dusk, you can watch in awe as a plume of bats exits the caves for their nightly feed.
- Jemez Springs – Surrounded by red rocks and grasslands, you can spend your day rejuvenating your mind, body, and spirit in the comforts of Jemez Springs’ hot springs. If you’d rather work up a sweat, you might opt for a hike instead. That way, you’ll have worked up an appetite for a tortilla burger and homemade ice cream at Jemez Stage Shop.
- Valles Caldera – This two-hour drive from ABQ is a nature lover’s paradise. Take in the beauty of this 13-mile wide preserve, created over a million years ago after a volatile volcanic eruption.7 Once you’re there, hike or bike your way through the serene mountain meadows and trickling streams. Be on the lookout for a wealth of wildlife along the way—prairie dogs, black bears, and coyotes, oh my!
Try a Taste of Top Albuquerque Restaurants
Albuquerque does not disappoint when it comes to food. In fact, its food scene can turn even the most play-it-safe of food eaters into a chile-eating honorary Burqueño.
Although the list is endless when it comes to restaurants we love in Albuquerque, here are a few staples we recommend:
- Vegan Vato – Offering a healthier alternative to your traditional Mexican food, this 100% vegan food truck hits the spot with every menu item. From their Vato burger, complete all of the mouth-watering toppings—including New Mexico’s signature green chiles—to the BBQ sandwich made with perfectly cooked jackfruit carnitas, you really can have it all.
- Sadie’s – For an authentic taste of everything New Mexican cuisine has to offer, this is a can’t-miss place to snag a bite to eat. They’ve been open for over 50 years and have had an ample amount of time to perfect everything on the menu.8 If you’re debating between the house specialty (enchiladas) or the chile relleno, we say it’s not even a competition. Go for both.
- Farina Pizzeria and Wine Bar – Located in East Downtown Albuquerque, this gem bakes artisanal pizzas and housemade pastas while shelling out major downtown vibes with its local art display. It was also voted as one of the top 20 pizzerias in the country.
Check Out Abluquerque’s Must-See Attractions
In addition to savoring the New Mexican cuisine and busting outside the city limits for a few day trips, there is a lot of fun to be had just minutes from your apartment. Here are a few of our favorite things to see while you’re in the active city of Albuquerque:
- Visit Sandia Peak – Take a break from the buzzing of the Duke city and inhale the fresh air at an elevation of 10,378 feet.9 Ascend to the crest of the Sandia Mountains in a mere 15 minutes with the help of their tramway (although you might wish it was longer with the majestic views of aspen forests passing below). At the top, give yourself a moment to take a mental picture of the National Geographic-worthy panoramic views.
- Experience hot air balloons – Enjoy magical balloon-filled skies in October when Duke city hosts its world-renowned Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Over 600 balloons take flight in little over a single week’s time.10 If you’re not here in October to catch the fiesta, not to worry. You can take a hot air balloon ride any time of year. Rainbow Ryders is happy to give you a tour of the city from above.
Top Tips When Relocating to Albuquerque, New Mexico
Looking for great advice for moving to a new city? It can be helpful to have a few pointers ahead of your move to this vibrant city to help you get acclimated. Here are a few helpful hints:
Bring an Assortment of Clothes
In addition to multiple pairs of scrubs, be sure to pack for a variety of other occasions as well. During your time here, you’ll find your favorite hangouts and places to go, so consider bringing a few of each of the following:
- Bathing suits
- Fitness apparel
- Semi-formal attire
- Shoes for various occasions
- Heavy winter coats for New Mexico’s chilly winters
Pack For the Right Season
If you plan on staying in the summer months, definitely pack for summer weather. However, if you plan to be there in December, you’ll want to be sure to bundle up. Despite its dry climate and persistent sun, Albuquerque does have four distinct seasons.11 In the winter, you can even expect a little snow when the elements line up just right.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
Here comes the sun (310 days a year, to be more precise) and when you mix that with the city’s low humidity, it becomes essential to stay hydrated throughout the day. Consider bringing a reusable water bottle with you to work each day. It’s more cost-effective than buying drinks each day, and you’ll use less plastic.
Don’t Forget Your Sunscreen
With so many days of sunshine, it’s important to slather on the sunscreen before you leave the house. Keep in mind, at Albuquerque’s higher altitude, the UV rays are even sharper. Make sure to add a sunscreen with 30 SPF to your skincare routine and reapply throughout the day.
Experience The Country With Host Healthcare
Living in Albuquerque New Mexico has plenty of appeal, whether it’s the first stop on your travel journey or one of many adventures.
Travel nursing can open a whole new world for your career. Travel far and wide, discover all of the country’s nooks and crannies—including Albuquerque—while working and doing what you love. With Host Healthcare, your nomadic dreams can come true.
Once you’ve been matched with a position based on your work history and interests, the assistance doesn’t stop there. We’re here to offer you 24-hour support and a personal career consultant to work with you and offer guidance throughout your travel nurse jobs and assignments.
Apply today and get the ball rolling to turn your dreams into reality.
- Visit Albuquerque. Uptown. https://www.visitalbuquerque.org/about-abq/neighborhoods/uptown/
- Expo New Mexico. Events. https://www.exponm.com/events
- Visit Albuquerque. Old Town Albuquerque. https://www.visitalbuquerque.org/about-abq/neighborhoods/historic-old-town/
- City of Albuquerque. ABQ BioPark. https://www.cabq.gov/artsculture/biopark/garden
- Rent Cafe. Albuquerque, NM Rental Market Trends. https://www.rentcafe.com/average-rent-market-trends/us/nm/bernalillo-county/albuquerque/
- Cost Of Living. Cost of Living in Albuquerque, NM. https://livingcost.org/cost/united-states/nm/albuquerque
- National Park Service. Valles Caldera. https://www.nps.gov/vall/index.htm
- Sadie’s of New Mexico. About Us. http://www.sadiesofnewmexico.com/about-us/
- Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway. About. https://sandiapeak.com/about/
- Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. How It Started. https://balloonfiesta.com/History
- Visit Albuquerque. Albuquerque Weather. https://www.visitalbuquerque.org/about-abq/weather/