Your Guide to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2018

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
Photo by Paul D deBerjeois

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.

(Read: Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Tips)

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 6-14, 2018.

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
Photo by Paul D deBerjeois

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 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. 

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
Photo by Paul D deBerjeois

Getting To and From Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Air – The nearest airport is Albuquerque International Airport. Bus services are available, be sure to check the timetable. You can also take a shuttle or a train to the city center.

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!

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
Photo by Angelina Peace

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.

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