How Safe Is Albuquerque for Travel?

Albuquerque, United States
Safety Index:

Albuquerque the largest city in New Mexico; it is, actually, a large, high desert metropolis, often overshadowed by Santa Fe lying in the north.

Albuquerque has a lot of things to offer like amazing scenery, rich history, and even a magical hot-air balloon fiesta in the fall.

Also, it’s often forgotten or overlooked, but Albuquerque has vibrant arts and cultural attraction scene.

The BioPark, Aquarium, and Zoo are nationally recognized, and the annual International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is amazing and is one of those events, like the Grand Canyon, that simply must be experienced in person to understand and appreciate.

Warnings & Dangers in Albuquerque

Overall Risk


When compared to nearly all other American cities, Albuquerque has an extremely high crime rate, so no - it cannot be considered a safe city. Use caution on the streets of this city both when it comes to petty crime and violent crime.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Albuquerque is ranked highest in the nation for auto theft. If you need to stop mid-drive for any reason, always secure your vehicle with an anti-theft device. Never leave valuables unattended in your vehicle.

Pickpockets Risk


Pickpockets do operate in Albuquerque and tourists are commonly the victims of pickpocketing or bag snatching. Be careful in crowded places such as bus and train stations and keep your valuables in your accommodation.

Natural Disasters Risk


When outdoors, always use a lot of sunscreens. The elevation of the city is 5000 ft or higher, so you can get a bad sunburn very fast. Albuquerque also has a somewhat higher lightning risk during thunderstorms.

Mugging Risk


You should be careful when it comes to violent crime in Albuquerque. Even though they mostly have nothing to do with tourists, but there have been some kidnappings involving foreigners. Traveling in groups is recommended in the city.

Terrorism Risk


Excluding isolated mass shootings, Albuquerque hasn't been the target of any terrorist attacks recently, but the attacks shouldn't be ruled out. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Scams Risk


Scams exist in Albuquerque and you should use your wits while in this city. Double-check your change, never pay anything upfront and negotiate everything in advance. Be very careful around ATMs and be wary of people trying to distract you.

Women Travelers Risk


Albuquerque isn't dangerous for women particularly, but it is advised for tourists in general, regardless of their sex, not to roam around unaccompanied by someone who knows the safe and unsafe parts of the country.

So... How Safe Is Albuquerque Really?

There are plenty of great things about Albuquerque, but they are overshadowed by the bad.

There’s a lot of poverty, the school system is poorly rated, and wages are low.

This combination of factors leads to a high level of crime, with auto theft and burglary being serious problems throughout the city.

Albuquerque is number 1 in the nation for auto theft, with an incident where even a truck was stolen while the crew was out reporting on crime.

The police are so short-staffed, that it is common practice for drivers to completely ignore all traffic laws because everyone knows that the likelihood of being pulled over is null.

The biggest problem in Albuquerque, however, is the random crime.

It consistently ranks in the top 10 nationwide for various classes of crime, although generally, property crime outranks violent crime in the city.

Albuquerque also has one of the largest interstate traffic interchanges in the Southwest where I-25 and I-40 meet: and, like any other commodity, drugs follow the highway.

The bad neighborhoods are mostly in the southeast and southwest; the south valley is the worst for gang activity.

Violent crime is mainly confined to a few small areas, as in most cities where it exists.

Useful Information

  • Visas - The US is famous for its harsh policy for acquiring a tourist, let alone a resident visa. The US embassies usually ask for interviews before granting tourist visas, and tourists usually have to pay up to 160 USD to get a visa. If you are not sure about your visa status, contact your local US embassy for further information.
  • Currency - The United States dollar is the official currency in Albuquerque. Credit and debit cards are accepted nearly everywhere, and ATMs are widely available. The prices vary but you can plan on spending about 100 dollars per day.
  • Weather - Albuquerque, a mentioned, is in the high desert and has a generally warm and dry climate characterized by sunny and windy springs, and somewhat chilly nights. Summers are very hot and dry.
  • Airports - Albuquerque International Sunport is an international airport located 5 km southeast of downtown Albuquerque, in Bernalillo County, New Mexico.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Albuquerque, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Albuquerque Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 2° C
Feb 5° C
Mar 8° C
Apr 13° C
May 18° C
Jun 23° C
Jul 26° C
Aug 24° C
Sep 20° C
Oct 14° C
Nov 7° C
Dec 2° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Where to Next?

37 Reviews on Albuquerque

  1. R
    Ron Walker says:

    The Albuquerque review is 100% incorrect. Not sure why.

    1. Albuquerque is dangerous but New York City is safe? Whoever made this was either paid or out of touch.

      1. U
        Ur du** as f*** Sara says:

        Or just joking

        1. A
          Anonymous says:

          Must be from Burque

    2. They’re not gonna mention that the cartel runs this city lol..

      1. V
        Venae Warner says:

        Albuquerque is safe.

        Wow I have been living here for 12 years. The description given here sounds unrealistic. I live in Old Town, right next to downtown. The only crime I have experienced is getting my bikes stolen out of my backyard. We didn’t have a gate. There is crime but its more likely to be non violent crime. Stolen Cars, and petty thieves. You are perfectly safe to walk on the streets during the day, and a few neighborhoods that I would’t walk down at night. But doesn’t every city have a neighborhood like that? I don’t know what experience the writer had in Albuquerque, but its 98% incorrect.
        If the cartel runs this city, they certainly keep it on the down low. No evidence of that in my life here.

        1. P
          Penny Wolf says:

          Have lived here for nine years and have had the same experience as Venae. Statistically, we do have a lot of property crime. But I have never felt unsafe walking in any area of this city. I would avoid Southeast because of gangs. But every city has a “bad” area. And I’ve actually delivered for Meals on Wheels in Southeast and had NO trouble. I’ve had nothing stolen in 9 years. No break-ins, have not been the victim of any crime. So, I know it’s out there but I think, like most large cities, the victims of violent crime tend to know one another. Instead of writing this bullshit, the person should actually visit the city.

        2. M
          Michael says:


          You really need to watch the local news.

        3. G
          Graz Bail says:

          Disgusting place to live

          Totally wrong. They are ABSOLUTELY correct. God, I’m more than glad I moved out of the shithole.

          1. Why would you give a 5 star rating then?

  2. A
    Atlean Martin-Holloman says:


    I suggest from my reading the information listed here: Research your visits, Ask questions, Network, with others, and Always Pray for guidance; Protection, wherever you go!
    Remarks By: A. M. Holloman

  3. T
    Trish Logan says:

    Albuquerque is wonderful!!!

    I live in Albuquerque, but hike at the Rinconada Canyon Trail, which is a popular tourist attraction. I make it a point to talk to tourists, and always hear glowing reports of their stays in Albuquerque. They comment on the friendliness of the people, the wonderful food, and the interesting things to do here. Everywhere you visit has challenges, and you need to be sensibly vigilant, but Albuquerque is a great place to visit.

  4. Not Accurate!!

    Natural disasters?? No hurricanes,no tornadoes , no earthquakes , no flooding,
    So lightening is a problem? Stay out of the weather!!! The sun ? They have it in Florida as well. Use common sense, you’ll be fine!!

  5. D
    Deidre Mengedoht says:

    god help us all

    Everything here is completely true Albuquerque is the devil’s realm on our holy earth. Avoid this hellscape by all means. The local government has completely capitulated and aides terrorism to neighboring North Dakota. I will destroy them.

    1. E
      Ernesto G says:

      On my way to Denver Co

      Nah, I just love how not only food it’s great, but driving in and out of the City and neighborhood is another thing, I’m saying is very low traffic, exception of (rush hour)
      7 am -9:30 am
      And in the evening same 4-6:30
      Also ppl not in a hurry, it’s just not in their every day life, places to visit are not that many, but it is worth visiting
      (Just avoid casinos)
      Try Old Town
      Also the wonderful Mesa (coming from the East towards the west)
      In the evening is so nice , specially Spring and Fall.

    2. N
      Nm resident says:


      Since when do we neighbor North Dakota??

      1. Geographically challenged

        Exactly! Clearly a nonsense reply.

  6. A
    A customer says:


    The Pizza which is sold at the Hut on Lomas is a truly wretched place. There was no greater fear for my safety nor that of my cabbage patch dolls hidden in the truck of my 95’ Chevy Camaro. I have never wanted more in my life to contract the black plague than during my time in Albuquerque. If I ever see a Hut of the pizza I will wrap my limited edition hello-kitty Backpack chain around it’s slimy corporate neck and strangle it like Princess Leia in Star Wars. There is something truly depraved happening in this God Forsaken place. BE WARNED! That being said the homeless man I met was very polite and even helped to carry some of my bags. Unfortunately I haven’t found the luggage depot which he had said I could find my bags at following the complimentary bag polish.
    A Customer has spoken!

  7. Good fiction for those who really get into Breaking Bad!!

    Albuquerque crime, doesn’t seem as bad as other cities I’ve visited, including here in Chicago. I think the review that Albuquerque has one of the highest crime rates in the country and is unsafe, is really a crock.

    Sure there is crime in Albuquerque, just as there is in most cities, and I’ll even say the property crime in Albuquerque is just a bit higher than some similar sized cities in the U.S., but the review on this web page is frankly a work of complete fiction, obviously written by an armchair traveler who either has never been to Albuquerque, or was there for a very short time, and relied on outdated sources of information.

    I was really upset until I read that terrorism in Albuquerque was medium…then I began to laugh at how ridiculous this page is.

  8. Abq. Is an amazing place.

    I was born and raised in Albuquerque. This is totally inaccurate. You make it sound like its terrible. Its actually a beautiful place to live in. The south valley is where you want to stay away from. Theres no natural disasters. It’s hot and windy. The weather provided is inaccurate also. Sounds like whoever wrote this has never been there .

    1. Well if you only been to ABQ, you have nothing to compare it too. I travelled and lived in 6 cities the past 10 years for work. ABQ was definitely the worst.

      1. Small little big town with a crime problem

        I agree. I lived in Albuquerque for 25 years and have seen it go downhill. Every week on the news there is a report of a car theft and especially at hotels along I-40 and I-25. Car break-in’s and car theft are prevalent during major events in the city. Drivers are rude and rules are ignored, lots of road rage. It is a routine event to see drivers going through stop lights long after the light has turned red. Lots of road accidents and uninsured drivers. The main streets are not well taken care of and many parts of the city look run down. The statistics for 2020 show Albuquerque is #2 in car thefts after holding the record at #1 for three years, and #1 in burglaries/thefts.
        We have since moved out of Albuquerque and New Mexico and the only thing we miss is the green chile enchiladas. It’s a cool name and the climate is pretty nice but not enough to overlook the problems that will continue to plague Albuquerque. The poverty rate is high and wages are low, housing and food are expensive. and there are not enough law enforcement, there never was in all of the 25 years I lived there. It’s sad, but Albuquerque could be so much better if people would just venture out to see other cities and how they are run.

  9. ABQ is alright if your smart!

    Moved to Santa Fe in 1982 and traveled the whole state for the USGS ! Moved to Edgewood the Sandia Park! Love the culture and food! I have really never had a problem but I head to the barn when the sun sets! Don’t go to bars!

  10. Albuquerque is lovely

    Albuquerque has so many parks, different kinds of cuisine and breweries. All food and drink is at a great price. I’ve lived here my whole life and not had a problem with crime. The balloon fiesta every October is a sight to behold. Whoever wrote this literally based it off of “breaking bad.”

  11. Life long resident

    I was a lifelong resident of Albuquerque for 50 years. The review is NOT 100% accurate, it is way WORSE. The crime is extremely bad, homeless on every street cornerAnd if you do not have any anti-theft device on your car sleep with one eye open or just say goodbye to your vehicle it will be stolen. Murders are printed on the back pages of the newspaper because they are so common. The food is EXCELLENT but keep in mind it could be your last meal. Albuquerque is the armpit of the United States and for this reason I got my family and myself out of there.

  12. D
    Dale..... says:

    Albuquerque is a **** hole ……

  13. A
    Anonymous says:

    ABQ is terrible do not move here

    This article is 100% spot on. From someone who has lived here for 25 years (and planning a move out of here). Though I can say that we’re no longer #1 for car thefts (still at #2) yay! New Mexico is the worst in the nation for children, worst when it comes to drugs, crime, suicide, rapes and ABQ is littered with transients. The police are basically non-existent and expect long wait times if you call and for whatever you report not to ever be investigated. We have rape cases sitting in storage for years, judges who let repeat offenders free, and the criminals know this state is a safe haven for them because there are no consequences. Take my advice, do not move here. The FOOD is the ONLY good thing about this city but if you stop take it to go cause odds are your car will be gone before you’re done eating.

  14. S
    Shut up says:

    Albuquerque Is The Land Of Enchantment

    This idiot probibly never even been here
    I’d love to know what natural disasters this
    guy thinks are here except for a stray tornado
    every 25 years or so the only weather here you
    have to worry about is fire season and some killer
    winds as far as crime everyone has crime neighbor
    hoods there no safe city and if you think there is
    Your stupid

  15. S
    Shirley Reese says:

    Unique city

    I have lived all over the world. Albuquerque is unique but not unsafe. Common
    sense keeps you safe as is true in any other place. The difference in Albuquerque is
    the easy living. There is always something interesting to do, never any stress and
    a gorgeous day every day. The government is progressive and competent. Police
    are easy to contact and responsive. People who live here do so because they want to
    be here which produces a very simpatico culture. Ask the Breaking Bad stars about
    their experiences while filming and you will only get positive responses. Some even stayed after the production was over.

  16. I
    Im pissed says:

    All of u shut up

    Your all just arguing i bet you all havent been here

  17. M
    Michael says:

    Scum City!

    One of the worst places I have ever been. I’ve been to 46 states and other than Detroit, this is the worst. A guy pulled a gun on me in a campground because I took too long crossing the street.

  18. Not Breaking Bad

    Who wrote this article, Jessie Pinkman?

  19. D
    David B. says:

    That review is hilariously wrong. Yes, Albuquerque (and New Mexico in general) does have higher than average crime rates, but it’s hardly the Mad Max dystopia this review makes it seem like. My parents live in the ABQ area, and they almost never feel unsafe (and neither do I, when I visit).

  20. C
    Craig F. says:

    Don't live here. Just don't.

    The people that say GOOD things about this place, have probably never been outside of it. When you’re in one of the worst places in America, you’ll obviously think it’s good. Why? Because you’re used to it. Because you have never been anywhere else. These people that write these KNOW what they’re talking about. They do this by statistics, surveys, hundreds of thousands of people TELLING THEM that this place sucks total balls. You people need to grow a brain. Seriously. I lived here for 2 years and it was the WORST 2 years of my existence. Never would I have thought that I would be mugged 5 minutes away from my house in broad daylight. And that happened three times. THREE. No, I was not in a gang, and no, I talked to literally no one and knew maybe two people, which were my manager and my coworker. I have traveled to way over 20 states and I can say this town.. no, this STATE, is complete shit. It is hopeless. The wages are shit. The environment is shit. The people are worse than shit. All of you need to travel elsewhere because you have NO IDEA what you guys are talking about. Or you do, but you’re one of the lucky few that does not endure what most people do. Like, come on. Look it up online. Do some RESEARCH. It isn’t that hard.

  21. A
    Albacrazy says:

    Weather is good, Food is amazing, best culture(s) and great people for the most part. BUT… Not, repeat Not a place to raise a family or visit. Crime is bad and happens all over the city, not just the Southside. Any one that says its not that bad is full of it. I LOVE my shity city (lived in and/or visited 10 other states) because i was born here and lived here for 30+years but its a shit city, with crooked you know who’s.. who are just as bad as the illegal gangsters. This place is the land of Entrapment not Enchantment. Come on vacation leave on probation. If you choose to visit, stay in groups, get in early. Stay off Central. Now of course this is not Vietnam of the 60s or Chicago.. but if your asking, is ABQ safe.. hell NO!

  22. Why do they not mention that.

    The cartel runs this city

Rated 3.65 / 5 based on 37 user reviews.

Share Your Experience