Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the largest ballooning festival in the world, with close to 600 hot air balloons taking to the sky during the weeklong festival. Thousands of people – kids and adults – come to the festival to watch the balloon-filled sky over Albuquerque. Bring your camera — you’ll want to capture the wondrous sights of this festival for posterity.
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Dates and Location
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is held at Balloon Fiesta Park, which is located north of Alameda Boulevard, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 5th – 13th 2019.
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Activities
The festival is set in a 365-acre park, with plenty of space for you to bring a blanket and watch the amazing spectacle of hundreds of hot-air balloons in the sky. If you want a break from balloon-watching, other activities include children’s acts and bands, street food stalls and the chance to walk around the balloons (before they take off) and chat with the balloon pilots. If you’re feeling flash-with-the-cash, you can even book your own private ride in a hot-air balloon.
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Tickets
General admission tickets are available from April 5th 2019 and cost $10 per person per ‘session’.
There are 14 ‘sessions’ during the week, broken into morning and evening blocks across nine days. When you buy a ticket, you are buying it for an individual session. For example, a Saturday morning session.
The park opens at 4:30 am for morning sessions (so you can see the sunrise) and re-opens at 3:30 pm for the evening sessions, with doors closing at 9 pm.
Getting To and From Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
Taxi or Car — The easiest way to get to the site is by car. There is plenty of parking at the north and south ends of the park and parking costs $15 for each session that you are at the park.
Shuttle — There isn’t an official shuttle to the site. Ask whether your hotel provides an individual service.
Pro Tip: Check the Albuquerque Fiesta Express Park & Ride for the best transportation solution!
Where to Stay for Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
There is space for RV camping near to the festival site. An RV-pass is $35 a night.
If you’re not coming in an RV, we suggest staying in a nearby hotel, hostel or home rental. For example, this cute townhouse in the city center sleeps two and starts at $84 per night. Or, enjoy a unique experience by staying in a converted 1880s brothel, from $202 per night.
1. Be an early bird gets to watch the balloons set off – and see the sunrise. Festival grounds open at 4 am for morning sessions, and enthusiasts say it’s worth it.
2. Walk around and talk to the pilots — this is one of the only ballooning events that allows festival-goers to do so.
3. Visit at night to see the balloons glow in the dark and light up the night’s sky.
4. If you’re coming to a night session – bring a flashlight and take note of where you parked your car — when you leave the site at 9 pm it might be difficult to locate your car in the dark.
5. Take pictures! The festival is one of the most photographed events in the world. Bring your best camera and make sure it is fully charged and that you’re carrying spare batteries.
6. Remember that balloon take-off is completely weather dependent — so be patient!