As soon as you rent an apartment in Albuquerque, you’ll be part of a vibrant culture that’s unlike anywhere else. If you want to make the most of your time here…

…Learn to look up!

A quick glance towards the sky will give you an incredible view of the Sandia Mountains (especially at sunset when they take on an incredible pink glow!), but that’s not the only above-ground wonder you’ll experience. The International Balloon Fiesta is held every fall, and during the nine-day event, you’ll see hundreds of hot-air balloons taking off into the Albuquerque sky. The Fiesta is so popular — with both locals and tourists alike — that the City of Albuquerque has used it to showcase other high points of the city’s history and culture.

…Don’t assume you’re moving to the desert

Yes, technically, Albuquerque sits in the desert. However, if you think that means you’ll see nothing but dust and cacti, think again! Albuquerque has plenty of lakes, rivers, and green spaces. In fact, the Sandia Mountains are home to some lush greenery, but if you’d rather experience it on the ground, head over to the BioPark Botanic Garden. Or, grab Fido and head to one of the many dog parks around town.

…Don’t panic if you feel a bit off at first

Depending on where your last apartment was, the air in Albuquerque can take some getting used to. That’s because this city sits nearly a mile above sea level (5,200 feet to be exact, and obviously, much higher in the mountains themselves!). So if you’re moving here from a sea level state, give yourself at least a few days to get used to the change.

One other thing you may need to get used to? The dryness. There’s very little humidity in the air here, so you may feel parched when you first arrive. Make it a habit to drink plenty of water. Your body will thank you for it!

…Have your own car

Albuquerque has a great infrastructure for bicycles, but if you’re planning on traveling any significant distance, you’ll need your own car. Unlike other big cities, there’s basically no public transportation to speak of here. The only exception? The shuttle buses that travel in and around the University of New Mexico campus.

…Enjoy the art

Albuquerque is home to a number of museums and art galleries, but you can enjoy all kinds of art simply by taking a walk! That’s because the city has an entire public art program, so you’ll see murals, sculptures, and other unique pieces all over the place. It’s just proof that Albuquerque really is different!