Santa Fe


"The City Different"


Santa Fean





European Union:



National Capital:

RegionalState Capital:

Population (City):

87 000

Population (Urban):

155 000

Population (Metro):

1 146 000

Population Density (km2):


Population Density (mi2):

1 700

4th Largest City in New Mexico

Oldest State Capital in the United States





Avg. Summertime High:

30 °C

86 °F

Avg. Summertime Low:

13 °C

55 °F

Warmest Month:


Coldest Month:


Avg. Wintertime High:

6 °C

43 °F

Avg. Wintertime Low:

-8 °C

18 °F


Number of Galleries

More Blog Posts

The architectural style in which most of Santa Fé is built is called Adobe and it's unique for a city of this size. The area around Santa Fé Plaza in Old Town Santa Fé has several good examples of this style and this area is where you'll spend most of your time as a tourist.

United States of America

United States


Estados Unidos



North America


9 525 067 km2

Ranked 4 out of 195



331 500 000

Ranked 3 out of 235


83 %

Ranked 36 out of 194


Washington D.C.

Population: 6 385 000

Largest City:

New York City

Population: 21 140 000

Major Cities:

New York City
Los Angeles

Economy & Development:

Human Development Index:

Very High

Ranked 17 out of 189

Inequality-Adjusted HDI:

Very High

Ranked 28 out of 189

GDP (PPP) Per Capita:

Very High

Ranked 15 out of 225

Democracy & Freedom:

Democracy Index:

Flawed Democracy

Ranked 25 out of 167

Freedom House:


83 points out of 100 possible

Press Freedom:


Ranked 42 out of 180

Economic Freedom:

Most Free

Ranked 5 out of 162

National Identity:

Independence Since:


Independence From:

United Kingdom

National Day:

4th of July

What Is Celebrated On The National Day:

The signing of the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July 1776 where it was declared that the Thirteen Colonies were no longer a subject under the Monarch of Britain (United Kingdom).

Facts & Codes:

Driving Side:



Time Zone:



Country Calling Code:

+ 1


Country Code:


ISO 3166

US State

New Mexico



Southwestern United States


121 591 km2

Ranked 5 out of 51



2 120 000

Ranked 36 out of 51

Population Share:

<1 %

Of National Population


Santa Fe

Population: 144 000

Largest City:


Population: 915 000

Major Cities:

Las Cruces
Santa Fe


GDP Per Capita::

$52 291

Lower than national average


Subtropical Highland Climate

Köppen: Cwb

Time Zone:

UTC −7 (MST)

Summer: UTC -6 (MDT)

US State Information:

Statehood Since:



"The Land of Enchantment"




Santa Fe


Santa Fe






Shèng Fēi


Santa Fe

Flag of Santa Fe
Seal of Santa Fe

Meaning of the Name:

Santa Fe means "Holy Faith" in Spanish. The full name of the city is "Santa Fe, La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asís" (The Royal Town of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi)

Former Names:



"The City Different"


Santa Fean (English)
Santafesino (Spanish, Masculine)
Santafesina (Spanish, Feminine)

Palace of the Governors

Historic Seat of Government

Pueblo Architecture

Adobe Architecture

Loretto Chapel

"Miraculous Stair"

Santa Fe Regional Airport

IATA Code:


ICAO Code:


Passenger Volumes:


16 km / 10 mi (SW)

Located In:

Santa Fe

Named After:



Even in 2019, the airport had less than 300 000 passengers. Likely, you won't find any good or cheap tickets into SAF and I would probably recommend looking at another alternative and then driving to Santa Fe.

Transfer To/From:

Driving is basically your only option.

Albuquerque International Sunport

IATA Code:


ICAO Code:


Passenger Volumes:


100 km / 62 mi (SW)

Located In:


Named After:



The largest airport in New Mexico. The Albuquerque Sunport is still considered as a minor airport with little scheduled traffic.

Transfer To/From:

It's possible to take a shuttle bus from ABQ to Santa Fe, but the best way to transport yourself will always be with a rental car in this part of the United States. There's a free shuttle bus service between the terminals and the rental car center which takes about five minutes.


Neither of the two airports in New Mexico are great alternatives, even though Albuquerque (ABQ) would be prefered as it is much larger. The drive is around an hour so you will have to arrive by car anyways. If you're arriving from outside of the US it might be better to fly into Denver ( DEN | 550 km | 342 mi ) and drive from there. It's a scenic route and takes five hours.


US Dollar







Cash Or Credit:

Cash is still common in the US, but in recent years cards have become the dominant form of payment and, nowadays, you can survive a trip to the US with only a minor amount of cash in smaller denominations for tips. In 2022 was the first time I was able to go an entire trip to the US without spending a single paper bill.

Good To Know:

Everyone is expecting tips for everything in the United States. It can be a good idea to have some one-dollar bills available, but nowadays it's often possible to give tips on card transactions as well. Only a few years ago that was not the case and even if you paid by card you had to give tip, which was expected, in cash.

Local Language:


Language Family:

Germanic (Indo-European)

Writing System:

Latin Alphabet

What About English?


Other Common Languages:

Spanish is widely spoken and in most situations, you will be able to get by with only speaking Spanish. A lot of signage is bilingual in English and Spanish.

Santa Fe Plaza, and the surrounding blocks, are the center of Santa Fe and the area where you as a tourist will spend most, if not almost all, of your time. Santa Fe Plaza is often known as "The Heart of Santa Fe", which commonly was the case with the plazas of Colonial Spanish-American towns and cities. Most of the sights and landmarks of the city can be reached on foot from the Plaza. The prices for hotels are quite high in this area though. I found accommodation outside of the Historic Downtown area, near the Railyard Art District. It is possible to walk from there into Downtown, but it is a long walk that you might not feel encouraged to walk several times a day. I did it once back-and-forth. If you value location at any price, then look for a hotel as close to Santa Fe Plaza as possible. If you want more value for your money I would look for a hotel, or motel, somewhere between the Plaza and the Railway Art District. Try to look for one that is along Cerrillos Road.

Santa Fe is one of few cities where I've had an incident regarding safety. While strolling the streets southwest of Santa Fe Plaza, I had a homeless man come up to me asking for money. When I declined and tried to walk past he got increasingly aggressive and tried to throw a punch into the air. This happened in broad daylight.

Homelessness was a slight safety issue in Downtown Santa Fe. Apart from that, it felt reasonably safe in the Downtown part of the city. Santa Fe Plaza is very crowded and safe, but you don't have to walk far to get into streets that feel completely empty even in the middle of the day.

Note: My assumption is of the basis that you will always take normal precautions when you're out traveling, just as you would do at home. Even the safest cities have bad elements and no matter how safe you might feel you must always take basic precautions. I'm always aware of my surroundings when I walk around, both with and without the camera. I am however a very typical tourist and it shows so I am a person that will undoubtedly draw the attention of those who targets tourists. If you can you should of course always try to blend in as much as possible, but with my big camera around my neck, it's impossible. That's two things that are good to know when reading my assessment of how it felt from a safety point of view.


Do I Recommend You To Visit?

If you find architecture and beautiful buildings interesting. The core of Santa Fe is very small, and the area that is interesting for a visitor can be covered in a few hours. Santa Fe was for many years at the top of my list of places I wanted to visit. I'm happy that I've visited and I enjoyed it very much, but it's not a city that has something for everyone. If you're not into looking at buildings I don't think you'll find much interest here.

Will I Come Back Again?

It's not easy to get to Santa Fe from Europe and I don't feel an extreme urge to visit again. But if my path takes me close to the city again I'll definitely want to visit again.

Weather During My Stay:

Mostly sunny and warm, without being too hot. Perfect weather for sightseeing!



Not As Good:



Adobe Architecture at New Mexico Museum of Art

Santa Fe features are known for the Adobe Architecture that makes up most of the buildings in Old Town. Here is the New Mexico Museum of Art.

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.

Santa Fé Plaza

The center of town is the Santa Fe Plaza. Many cities and towns in New Mexico feature a traditional Spanish Plaza as the main square.

Old Santa Fe Trail

Old Santa Fe Trail in downtown.

Road and motel building

Cerrillos Road is one of the main roads leading into the Old Town.

Canyon Rd

At Canyon Road, you'll find a high concentration of art galleries.

Street and building

Adobe architecture is found everywhere.

Palace of the Governors

The Palace of the Governors, at the Northern side of Santa Fe Plaza, is both a very unique architectural building as well as a museum of the history of Santa Fe and New Mexico. This is a must when visiting!

Burro Alley and street art

Burro Alley is a small street a block from Santa Fé Plaza.

Santa Fe Trail

Building along the Santa Fe Trail.

Loretto Chapel

Loretto Chapel is the location of the famous "Miraculous Stair", a spiral staircase built without any supporting newel or central pole.

Street, architecture and greenery

There's a lot of trees and greenery in Santa Fe.

A food stand

A food-stand in Santa Fe Plaza.

Santa Fé Streets

A street in Santa Fe.

Adobe Architecture

Yet another great example of the unique Adobe Architecture.

Santa Fé Plaza

Santa Fe Plaza are filled with street life.

Trees and architecture

Tree-lined streets are a common feature in this beautiful city.


Skyline of Old Town, with the mountains in the background.

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi as viewed from Santa Fe Plaza.

Adobe Architecture

Adobe Architecture continues even outside of Old Town. This is a side street to Cerrillos Rd.