A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Durango vs. Albuquerque for Old Town, Attractions, Food, and Hiking

Should you visit Durango or Albuquerque?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Durango and Albuquerque. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Durango

Durango is a nature-filled, historic, and charming small town. Since it offers so much small town charm with a variety of activities, it attracts plenty of visitors, too. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Since it has a quaint atmosphere, you'll want to spend time soaking it all in. Other reasons to visit include hiking and museums.

Albuquerque

Albuquerque is a traditional, cosmopolitan, and cultural town. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. Other reasons to visit include food, hiking, and shopping.

Durango and Albuquerque: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
  • Quaint atmosphere
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular old town
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with couples
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Durango or Albuquerque?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Albuquerque. Although Durango and Albuquerque are both popular with visitors, Albuquerque has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Albuquerque is more popular for its museums, food, nightlife, historical sights, and shopping, while Durango is known for its skiing, hiking, small town charm, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere. Durango is popular for its historic narrow gauge railroad, its charming small town atmosphere, and its many family-friendly activities. Albuquerque is popular for its adobe architecture, artisan shops, fascinating cultural venues, and surrounding desert landscapes. It is also home to The Old Town.

How is Durango different from Albuquerque?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Albuquerque and Durango. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Durango or Albuquerque Better for Skiing?

Durango
Albuquerque

Durango is adequate for skiing. However, Albuquerque is not a skiing destination.

Locals like to visit Durango to take advantage of their winter sports. Purgatory Ski Resort is about 20 minutes from town and it's a family-friendly mountain with beginner and intermediate runs. It's small, and geared specifically to the beginner and younger crowd.

Albuquerque is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Durango or Albuquerque?

Durango
Albuquerque

Albuquerque is a very popular place for its museums and history. Also, Durango is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Albuquerque. The old town has a lot of history including the San Felipe de Neri Church. Also worth visiting is the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Unser Racing Museum, and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

Durango offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Most visitors come to town specifically to ride the Silverton & Durango Narrow Gauge Railroad. There's also the D&SNGRR Railroad Museum, and the Fish Hatchery and Wildlife Museum.

Is the Food Better in Durango or Albuquerque? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Durango
Albuquerque

Albuquerque is a very popular place for its restaurants. However, Durango is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Albuquerque. The city's local cuisine combines Native American and Spanish flavors to make a variety of unique specialties. You should try the green chili stew, breakfast burrito, sopaipillas, and blue corn pancakes.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Durango. Most of the restaurants are casual and family-friendly, serving up burgers or sandwiches for a reasonable price. You'll also find some coffeeshops and even a few food trucks and international restaurants.

Is Durango or Albuquerque Better for Nightlife?

Durango
Albuquerque

Albuquerque is a good destination for nightlife. However, Durango is lacking in good options for nightlife and partying.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Albuquerque. Head downtown and to the Nob Hill neighborhood for wine bars, breweries, and billiard halls. These areas have the best nightlife scene and they're also compact enough to explore on foot.

Things get quiet in the evenings in Durango. It's a small town that attracts tourists mainly for its train, so you won't find much in the way of a nightlife scene.


Is Durango or Albuquerque Better for its Old Town?

Durango
Albuquerque

Albuquerque is a world-class destination for its historic old town. Also, Durango is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its old town.

The historic old town of Albuquerque is revered around the world. There is a wonderful old town where the city's first neighborhood was established. It dates back to the early 1700's and has its roots in Spanish colonial history. The area has many adobe houses, great local restaurants, and artisan shops.

Many people head to Durango to see the old town. Filled with character, the downtown feels like you've stepped into a Western. The town has a long history as a mining and railroad community, which you can see throughout the historic area. It really feels like you're in the "Wild West."

Is Durango or Albuquerque Better for Hiking?

Durango
Albuquerque

Durango is a great small town for hiking. Also, Albuquerque is not as popular, but is still a nice town for the nearby hiking options.

Many visitors go to Durango for the hiking trails. It's surrounded by plenty of natural beautiful and there is an endless supply of hikes in the region. Popular nearby hikes include Animas Mountain Trail, Falls Creek Trail, and Purgatory Trail.

Albuquerque is a good destination for hiking. The desert landscape is varied and beautiful. Popular trails in the area include Tree Spring Trail, Birdhouse Ridge, and West Ridge.

Is the Shopping Better in Durango or Albuquerque?

Durango
Albuquerque

Albuquerque is a very popular place for shopping. However, Durango is lacking in good options for its shopping opportunities.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Albuquerque. The city's old town has many cultural artisan shops where you can buy local items. It's a fun and unique shopping experience, and though it sometimes feels a bit touristy, there are many local shops that offer an authentic experience.

If you're looking to go shopping, Durango has some nice offerings. The charming town has some boutiques that sell beautifully made Native American jewelry and other interesting items. There are also souvenir shops and other venues that target tourists specifically.


Is Durango or Albuquerque Better for Christmas?

Durango
Albuquerque

Durango is a good destination for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Albuquerque does not offer Christmas activities.

Plenty of visitors enjoy Christmas activities while in Durango. It is a great Christmas town where you can meet Santa, go skiing, and even take the Polar Express.

Albuquerque does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Durango or Albuquerque Better for Families?

Durango
Albuquerque

Durango is a great small town for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Albuquerque is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its family-friendly activities.

Durango is a very family-friendly destination. In the area you'll find ziplining, alpine slides, and plenty of outdoor areas to explore - and of course there's the railroad.

Albuquerque is a family-friendly place to visit. The city has a number of nature centers as well as the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo. Outside of town there are many parks and natural areas to explore.

Is Durango or Albuquerque Better for Couples?

Durango
Albuquerque

Albuquerque is a very popular place for romance. However, Durango is lacking in good options for its romantic activities.

Albuquerque makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Surrounded by natural beauty, and filled with culture and charm, this city makes a great romantic getaway. It's particularly wonderful during the famous International Balloon Fiesta.

Most people don't think of Durango as a couple's destination. The town may not be the first romantic destination that comes to mind, but the railroad combined with wandering the downtown can make for a great couple's getaway.


Is Durango or Albuquerque Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Durango
Albuquerque

Durango is a good destination for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Albuquerque is not known for backpackers.

Plenty of backpackers visit Durango. With plenty of parks and outdoor areas nearby, backpackers will have plenty of places to explore.

Albuquerque is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. There are campgrounds around that offer affordable and fun places to stay, but in general this town isn't particularly backpacker friendly.

Is Durango or Albuquerque Better for Students?

Durango
Albuquerque

Albuquerque is a good destination for its student-friendly activities. However, Durango is not popular with students.

Plenty of students visit Albuquerque. It offers a unique cultural environment that students can appreciate. There are also many outdoor recreational opportunities.

Durango is not popular with students.

Is Durango or Albuquerque Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Durango
Albuquerque

Albuquerque is a decent place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Durango is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Public transit is mostly limited in Albuquerque. ABQ Ride is the bus system around town, but most visitors prefer to have their own car.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Durango. It's a small town with no real public transit options so a car is a must.


Is Durango or Albuquerque a more walkable city?

Durango
Albuquerque

Albuquerque is a good destination for its walkability. However, Durango is lacking in good options for its high level of walkability.

Albuquerque is somewhat walkable. Walkable areas include the old town, the area around the University of New Mexico, and the uptown area.

Durango is generally not very walkable. While the Main Street through town is walkable, it's not as pedestrian-friendly as some small towns.

For even more information, also check out Is Durango Worth Visiting? and Is Albuquerque Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Albuquerque or Durango?

How long in Durango or Albuquerque?

It's fun to spend time in either Durango or Albuquerque. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Albuquerque due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Durango, and 2-4 days is enough time in Albuquerque.

Families should spend more time in Durango than Albuquerque. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Durango, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Albuquerque than Durango. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Albuquerque that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Albuquerque than Durango if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Albuquerque.


  • How many days in Durango or Albuquerque? Ideal Length of Stay
    Durango 2-3 
    Albuquerque 2-4

One day in Durango or Albuquerque?

Durango is a small town with plenty to do. Hikers are also drawn to this area. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

In Albuquerque, you'll find nightlife and food. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This town offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Durango or Albuquerque?

Durango might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. This small town offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

In Albuquerque, you'll find food and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Visiting the old town is also a must. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Albuquerque has to offer.


Five days in Durango or Albuquerque?

Because Durango is a small town, it's easy to explore in a short amount of time. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Albuquerque is a great place to explore. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

A week in Durango or Albuquerque?

Since Durango is a small town, it's easily explored when your time is limited. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Albuquerque. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Albuquerque. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


Which place is cheaper, Albuquerque or Durango?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Durango is $153, while the average daily cost in Albuquerque is $135. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Durango and Albuquerque in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Durango $79
    Albuquerque $69
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Durango $158
    Albuquerque $138
Compare Hotels in Durango and Albuquerque

Looking for a hotel in Durango or Albuquerque? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Durango


Hotels in Albuquerque


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Durango Hotel Prices and Albuquerque Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Durango $27
    Albuquerque $37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Albuquerque

Also for Albuquerque, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Departure Transfer To Albuquerque Airport ABQ: $40
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Albuquerque Airport (ABQ): $40
  • Albuquerque to Albuquerque Airport (ABQ) - Departure Private Transfer: $40
  • Albuquerque International Airport One Way Transfer : $48
  • Albuquerque Airport to Truth or Consequences Round-Trip Transfer: $253
  • Albuquerque Airport to Truth or Consequences Private Transfer: $126
  • Albuquerque Airport (ABQ) to Pagosa Springs Private Transfer: $176
  • Albuquerque Airport (ABQ) to Albuquerque - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $79
  • Albuquerque Airport (ABQ) to Albuquerque - Arrival Private Transfer: $40

Is it cheaper to fly into Durango or Albuquerque?

Prices for flights to both Albuquerque and Durango change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Durango $50
    Albuquerque $41

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Albuquerque

For Albuquerque, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show - Albuquerque, NM: $79

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Durango $46
    Albuquerque $24
Typical Entertainment Prices in Durango

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Durango's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Hot Springs (for 2)
    $50
  • Tubing (for 2)
    $40

Tours and Activities in Durango

For Durango, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Scenic Waterfall's & Ghost Town Jeep Tour La Plata's~ 2.5 hours: $84
  • 12-Zipline Adventure in the San Juan Mountains near Durango: $173
  • 12-zipline Adventure in the San Juan Mountains near Durango: $173
  • 4 Hours Durango Colorado - Jeep Tour : $102
  • 6-Zipline Adventure in the San Juan Mountains near Durango: $140
  • 6-zipline Adventure in the San Juan Mountains near Durango: $140
  • 700 Year Tour - Half Day Mesa Verde Cultural Tour: $108
  • Colorado: Million Dollar Highway Self-Driving Audio Tour: $17
  • Durango Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Durango Rafting - Animas River Adventure Day: $185
  • La Plata Canyon Exclusive Access Jeep Tour: $99
  • La Plata Canyon Scenic Waterfalls Jeep Tour: $84

Tours and Activities in Albuquerque

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Albuquerque.

  • 12pm - Public High Noon History, Legends & Lore Tour - Guided Old Town Stroll: $35
  • 4pm - 75 Minute Private Ghost Tour Up To 5 People For All Ages in New Mexico: $108
  • 6pm PRIVATE GHOST TOUR of Old Town - 90 Minutes: $135
  • ABQ Beer Tour: A Curated Craft Beer Experience in the Land of Enchantment: $105
  • Albuquerque Old Town Art Tour with Wine & Museum Admission: $85
  • Albuquerque Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Albuquerque Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $49
  • Albuquerque Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Albuquerque Snowshoe Experience: $135
  • Albuquerque’s Family Adventure of A Journey of Discovery: $290
  • Albuquerque’s Family Adventure: A Journey of Discovery: $612
  • Old Town Culture & Heritage Walking Tour: $86

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Durango $30
    Albuquerque $20


When comparing the travel costs between Durango and Albuquerque, we can see that Durango is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Durango Expensive? and Is Albuquerque Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Durango or Albuquerque?

Albuquerque has a larger population, and is about 30 times larger than the population of Durango. When comparing the sizes of Durango and Albuquerque, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.