Fodor's Expert Review Old Town Plaza
Tranquil, with the lovely 1793 San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church still presiding along the north side, Old Town Plaza is a pleasant place to sit on wrought-iron benches under shade trees. Roughly 200 shops, restaurants, cafés, galleries, and several cultural sites in placitas (small plazas) and lanes surround the plaza. During fiestas Old Town comes alive with mariachi bands and dancing señoritas; at Christmas time it is lit with luminarias (the votive candles in paper bag lanterns known as farolitos up in Santa Fe). Mostly dating back to the late 1800s, styles from Queen Anne to Territorial and Pueblo Revival, and even Mediterranean, are apparent in the one- and two-story (almost all adobe) structures. An abundance of guided walks through Old Town are available (see Albuquerque Planner, Guided Tours).