Like most top tourist destinations, Old Town has a commercial veneer, but beneath this layer of tchotchkes lies a roadmap through Albuquerque's history. The plaza has been the town's focal point since its 1706 founding. San Felipe de Neri Church sits on the northside of the plaza and is notable for its more than 300-year-old parish. Formed as a defendable square against invaders, Old Town's adobes extend several blocks that were once private homes but now compose shops, galleries, and restaurants. Tours of Old Town operates history walking tours of the plaza, as well as specialty ghost tours.
Old Town is also a gathering place for seasonal events, the most notable of which is the lighting of luminarias (paper bags with candles inside) on Christmas Eve—a New Mexican tradition and an iconic sight.