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Albany State Capitol

Albany is the capital of New York. Albany is an interesting showcase of several centuries' worth of architectural styles, including the modernistic Empire State Plaza.



It is home to just under 100,000 residents (2020), most of New York State's key government offices, seven colleges and universities, and is the seat of Albany County.

Before the first European settlement by the Dutch in 1614, Albany and its surroundings were home to the Iroquois Five Nations group of indigenous Americans. Albany is the longest continually chartered city in the United States, the original eastern terminus of the Erie Canal, and was a center for the smuggling of alcohol from Canada during the U.S. Prohibition.

Writer and journalist William Kennedy, an Albany native, uses the city and its history as the setting for most of his novels, plays and nonfiction books.

Tourist information


Get in


By plane

  • 1 Albany International Airport (ALB  IATA), 737 Albany Shaker Rd, +1 518-242-2200. Classified as an international airport due to a handful of flights from Canada. Several expansion projects since 1995 have transformed this formerly spartan little airport into a very attractive port of departure/arrival. Airlines that operate are American, Delta, Southwest, United, Air Canada, and Cape Air. Getting from the airport to the city is best done by pickup from a friend or by taxi; in 2019, a taxi to downtown Albany costs about $35. See also "By bus" below. Albany International Airport (Q1430745) on Wikidata Albany International Airport on Wikipedia

By train

See also: Rail travel in the United States
  • 2 Albany-Rensselaer station, 525 East Street, Rensselaer. The Albany-Rensselaer station is Amtrak's 10th busiest. It is not in Albany itself but directly across the river in Rensselaer. Taxis from the train station are pricey due to a cab company monopoly, so get a ride if you can. Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) bus route 214 connects downtown Albany to the station M-Sa 6AM-11PM, Su 9AM-7PM. An additional bus route 114 connects downtown Albany, the University at Albany, St. Rose College and Crossgates Mall. Albany–Rensselaer (Q3097403) on Wikidata Albany–Rensselaer station on Wikipedia See Rensselaer for details about train services.

By car

Empire State Plaza: Corning Tower, left; New York State Museum, center.
  • Interstate 90 (I-90), the strip of highway that crosses the upper United States, cuts right through the north side of Albany. There are many exits into Albany from I-90, and a lovely view of the skyline between exits 6 and 7. It connects to Buffalo and Erie, Pennsylvania to the west and Springfield, Massachusetts and Boston to the east.
  • Interstate 87 (I-87), which connects New York City and Montreal, intersects with I-90 in Albany. South of Albany, I-87 is a toll road called the Thruway. North of Albany, it is a toll-free highway known locally as the Northway which leads through Montréal (as Québec's autoroute 15) into the Laurentian Mountains. It connects to Montréal and New York.
  • Taconic Parkway This 4-lane, rural limited-access highway winds from the Bronx River Parkway and NY-22 in Westchester County up to Interstate 90 near the Massachusetts Border. It can be a pleasant road to travel on to Albany, since there are no trucks or toll plazas.
  • Interstate 88 (I-88), which connects Albany to Binghamton, Scranton, Elmira, and Jamestown, intersects with I-90 in Schenectady, just west of Albany.

By bus

  • 3 Greyhound Bus Lines, 34 Hamilton St, +1 518-434-8461. The Albany Greyhound station is downtown near the waterfront. Boston, New York City, Buffalo and Montreal are all well connected by bus. The NYC-bound Greyhound is invariably cheaper and more punctual than Amtrak.
  • 4 Megabus, North Surface parking lot off of East Street, Rensselaer (the entrance to the lot is on East St., just north of Wendell St.). Megabus connects Albany with New York City. Fares start at just $1 when reserved far in advance. Parking is available in the surface lots adjacent to the stop.
  • Capital District Transportation Authority, +1 518-482-8822. CDTA offers very limited bus service to the Albany International Airport. Routes 610 operates from around 6AM to around 11:30PM every 25–30 minutes during the day and almost every hour at night. Weekend service is very infrequent. Route 737 serve the airport during weekday rush hours only and is infrequent as well.
  • Chinatown bus (multiple operators), Multiple Companies on Central Avenue in Albany (search for list of Current bus operators). Multiple Chinatown bus companies run from stops near SUNY Albany and near Lark Street on Central Avenue to New York City Midtown and Chinatown with connections to further destinations (US Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states). $15-20 to New York City.

Get around

Map of Albany (New York)
Schuyler Mansion

Getting around Albany and the Capital Region entirely depends on where you are staying and what you want to see. If you plan on spending most of your time within the city of Albany, most downtown sights are within walking distance of each other.

By car


Most residents and visitors get around by car. By the standards of larger cities, traffic is light and traffic jams are rare. Finding parking in some neighborhoods, particularly the Center Square area around Lark Street, can be a challenge.

By taxi


Taxi cabs in Albany are not metered and go by a zone fare within the city limits. Some places are geographically not in the city limits but still may be referred to as "Albany" such as Colonie Center which is in the town of Colonie and Crossgates Mall which is in the town of Guilderland. This may at times leave you open to getting ripped off by the driver. It's best to call the company and ask for the fare prior to getting into the cab.

  • Yellow Cab, +1 518-434-2222. Offers a flat fee between different areas of the city.

By bus (CDTA)

  • Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA), +1 518 482-8822. Many sights outside of downtown and even outside of the city of Albany can be reached by the public bus system, the Capital District Transportation Authority(CDTA). CDTA local fares are $1.50 each way or $3.90 per day with a Navigator card, no matter the distance traveled, and can be paid in $1.50 notes, coins or with a Navigator fare card that can be issued by the transit authority, through participating area retailers, or through the Navigator mobile app at no additional cost. Navigator fares are discounted to $1.30 each way, and after 3 trips, automatically converts to a day pass. There is a bus rapid transit (BRT) route named BusPlus that runs from Albany to Schenectady 7 days a week. Cash fares for the BusPlus route is $2, while Navigator fares are the same at $1.30 per ride (or $3.90 for the day). CDTA tends to operate M-F 6AM-midnight. Saturday bus service is much more limited, depending on which route is taken (some routes do not run on Saturday). Sunday bus service in Albany is extremely limited is a few routes that run in the city, and between Albany and Schenectady & Albany and Troy. Most places are on bus lines that run about every 20 minutes or less during the day on weekdays and every 30 minutes at night, while on weekends buses run about every 20 minutes or more. It is highly advisable to go the CDTA web site, check Google Maps, and/or get a bus schedule before trying to get a bus that does not run where you want go or when you want to catch it. $1.50-4.00. Capital District Transportation Authority (Q5035551) on Wikidata Capital District Transportation Authority on Wikipedia


Great Western Staircase, State Capitol building.

Albany is an architectural haven, from historic buildings to newly built high-rise skyscrapers to churches and temples, Albany has got it all for architectural buffs out there.


  • 1 Albany City Hall, 24 Eagle St, +1 518-434-5075. Designed by renowned architect H.H. Richardson in the Romanesque style he popularized. Albany City Hall (Q3146112) on Wikidata Albany City Hall on Wikipedia
  • 2 Empire State Plaza, Madison Ave, +1 518-474-2418. The Empire State Plaza is something to behold. It lies between the New York State Capitol building and the New York State Museum. While many critics have found that the Plaza is architecturally intimidating, at best, it can be quite beautiful. Free concerts are often held on the plaza during the summer, ranging from Blues Festivals to Rock concerts. And the Fourth of July fireworks are spectacular. Empire State Plaza (Q5374148) on Wikidata Empire State Plaza on Wikipedia
  • 3 New York State Capitol, +1 518-474-2418. Free guided tours, M-F 10AM, noon, 2PM, and 3PM; Sa & Su 11AM, 1PM, and 3PM. Free self-guided audio tours M-F, 9AM-3PM (driver license or passport must be left as collateral for audio player). Plaza Visitor Center, Rm. 106 Concourse, Empire State Plaza. Security screening will confiscate pocket knives and other sharp objects. New York State Capitol (Q1510431) on Wikidata New York State Capitol on Wikipedia
  • 4 New York State Education building, 89 Washington Ave (between Hawk and Swan Streets). Impressive neo-classical colonnade. New York State Education Building (Q7014096) on Wikidata New York State Education Department Building on Wikipedia
  • 5 State Street. The main street that runs to the Albany Waterfront. Though much of the lower portion is decayed and empty, it retains a regal air and is well worth a visit, particularly as revitalization of the area takes hold. State Street is home to may of the stately 19th-century homes that can be seen in Albany and was once home to writer Herman Melville. Nearby lies Pearl Street, which has undergone a renewal, and which caters to the 20-something bar and club scene. During the summer, the Alive at 5 concert series is an open festival on Broadway near the base of State Street. It draws quite a large crowd, and is generally a fun time for all. You can no longer bring your own beer, however—you must purchase it on site.
  • 6 State University of New York (SUNY) System Administration Building, The Plaza on State St. Formerly the Delaware and Hudson Railroad Building SUNY Plaza (Q7395015) on Wikidata SUNY System Administration Building on Wikipedia
  • 7 Van Ostrande-Radliff House, 48 Hudson Ave, +1 518-465-0876. Built circa 1728, it is the oldest remaining Dutch building in the city. 48 Hudson Avenue (Q4638646) on Wikidata 48 Hudson Avenue on Wikipedia


  • 8 Corning Tower Observation Deck, Erastus Corning Tower, +1 518-474-2418. daily 10AM-4PM, closed on holidays. The view from the 42nd floor Corning Tower Observation Deck encompasses not only the city of Albany but the foothills of the Adirondacks, the Catskills, and the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. Check-in at the security desk in the concourse under the Corning Tower, photo ID required. Plaza information office. Free. Erastus Corning Tower (Q5385008) on Wikidata Erastus Corning Tower on Wikipedia
  • 9 USS Slater (DE-766), Broadway, Waterfront, +1 518-431-1943. Retired World War II US Navy Destroyer Escort, offering tours W-Su during the summer. Recommended ability to climb and descend stairs.
  • 10 New York State Museum, Madison Ave, +1 518-474-5877. Daily from 9:30AM-5PM, closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day. The largest state museum in all the 50 states, has some really nice collections. Admission is free; donations are welcome. New York State Museum (Q3875588) on Wikidata New York State Museum on Wikipedia
  • 11 Albany Institute of History and Art, Washington Ave. Another nice museum well worth a visit. Albany Institute of History & Art (Q4709330) on Wikidata Albany Institute of History & Art on Wikipedia
  • 12 Shaker Heritage Society, 25 Meeting House Rd, +1 518-456-7890. February to October, Tu-Sa 9:30AM-4PM. November and December, M-Sa 10AM-4PM.. Watervliet was the first Shaker community in the United States. Shaker leader Ann Lee is buried here. Guided tours June through October, Sa at 11:30AM and 1:30PM, when available. Other tours available by appointment; two weeks notice required. See other Shaker villages in the northeast United States through the itinerary Touring Shaker country. Admission is free, donations accepted. Guided tours: adults $3, children under 12 free.
  • 13 Irish American Heritage Museum, 370 Broadway, +1 518-427-1916. W-F 11AM-4PM, Sa Su noon-4PM. Irish American Heritage Museum (Q14706547) on Wikidata Irish American Heritage Museum on Wikipedia

Parks and preserves

  • 14 Washington Park, Madison Ave (located in the Center Square area). A delightful, and for the most part safe, park (care should be taken at night). In the park's center is the Park Playhouse, which offers free, good musicals and plays throughout the summer. May offers "Tulip Fest" a nod to Albany's Dutch heritage that consumes Washington Park with (mostly) tulips as well as a craft fair.
  • 15 Lark Street. A center of Albany youth culture and an interesting place to visit. Lark Street is between Washington Park and the Empire State Plaza and is the main drag for a vibrant residential neighborhood. In September, Lark Street hosts one of Albany's most treasured events, "Larkfest", a popular street fair.
  • 16 Albany Pine Bush Preserve, 195 New Karner Rd, +1 518-456-0655. Western edge of the city. It's a 3,000-acre inland pine barren maintained by controlled fires (which clear out invasive plant species and cause the native pine cones to release their seeds). Trails through the preserve are open to non-motorized uses year-round (except during burns, of course



Albany for free

  • Public concerts. Held at the Empire State Plaza, Washington park and in the Corning Preserve/Albany Riverfront Park on the Hudson River during the summer.
  • Playhouse, Washington Park. Plays held at the park playhouse during the Summer.
  • First Fridays, +1 518-426-3501. 11AM-2PM, 5-9PM. Held every First Friday of the month, this event aims to bring to a wider audience the local artists and local shops of Albany. Artwork exhibitions, live entertainment and gallery openings bring Albany to life. For transportation; A trolley will stop at participating venues throughout Albany. The trolley leaves from the Upstate Artists Guild at 5PM and duration of the round trip is approximately 30 minutes. After the First Friday event, live music and original films are played from the Capitol Region Film Makers and people dancing.


  • 1 Mohawk Hudson-River Bikeway. A 86-mile-long trail for biking, walking, jogging or skating which starts in the Corning Preserve in downtown Albany, right along the Hudson River, and stretches out to Rotterdam Junction in Schenectady County. Mohawk Hudson Bike/Hike Trail (Q6893778) on Wikidata Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail on Wikipedia
  • 2 Corning City Preserve. Trails for biking, skating, jogging and walking in the 5-mile long park along the Hudson River, with picnic areas and a boat launch.

Albany has one professional sports team, the Tri-City ValleyCats (baseball). The city has lost its teams in arena football, basketball, and ice hockey.

  • Tri-City Valleycats, Troy. The Valleycats are nearby Troy's minor league baseball team. The team is an independent team that competes in the Frontier League (it was in the New York-Penn League until 2019 and was at the time associated with the Houston Astros, but the NYPL was dissolved when the minor leagues were reorganized before the 2021 season). The Valleycats play at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium. Tickets range in price from $5–15. Tri-City ValleyCats (Q7839688) on Wikidata Tri-City ValleyCats on Wikipedia

The city also boasts an NCAA Division I athletic program:

  • Albany Great Danes, 1400 Washington Ave (ticket office), +1 518-442-DANE (3263), . M–F 10AM–4PM. Sports teams of the University at Albany (locally called UAlbany), competing in 8 men's sports and 10 women's sports, mostly in the America East Conference. The football team plays in FCS, the second level of D-I football, in the Colonial Athletic Association. Most venues are on campus, with the highest-profile ones being Casey Stadium (football) and SEFCU Arena (basketball). Prices vary by sport. Albany Great Danes (Q4709317) on Wikidata Albany Great Danes on Wikipedia


The Egg

There are also the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy and the Proctor's Theatre in Schenectady


  • Pick apples. Autumn is always a good time for apple-picking at any one of the orchards in the area
  • Ice-skating. The reflecting pool of the Empire State Plaza becomes a skating rink during the winter, which might be an equivalent of the Rockefeller Center rink.
  • Captain JP Cruise Line, 278 River St., Troy, +1 518-270-1901. The Captain JP can accommodate up to 600 passengers and is by far the most lavish vessel in the Capital District. The Capt. JP II has three climate-controlled enclosed decks, along with full service bars and dance floors on each deck. They regularly feature live entertainment on the music cruises and also hold private events.
  • The Linda - WAMC's Performing Arts Studio, 339 Central Ave. The Linda is on Central Avenue in Albany. Visit the venue for many kinds of events or rent out the space for your own event
  • Huck Finn's Playland, 25 Erie Blvd. small amusement park designed for younger ages primarily.


  • Tulip Festival. Mid-May. Showcases the beauty of American tulips, and not to mention the feast on food and art.
  • Capital District Scottish Games, Altamont Fairgrounds (20-30 minutes West of Albany). Labor Day weekend (first weekend in September). Scottish culture get showcased this time of year from pipes and drum bands to feasting and drinking over Scottish delights or just viewing an exhibition of horses, going back to your routes through genealogy information or maybe getting fashionable through tradition Scottish clothing. Though far from Scotland, this festival might give you an introduction to what your next destination may like be.
  • The Albany Chefs' Food & Wine Festival. Regional chefs, restaurants, wines and beers. mid-April.
  • Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival. mid-September (Sep 9 in 2023)..


South End-Groesbeckville Historic District
  • Lark Street. It has a few gift shops and other unique stores with an alternative vibe. If you're downtown take a gander and support local shopkeepers by buying a glass pipe, a bustier dress with cherries on it, or a rainbow flag to hang in your front window.
  • 1 Stuyvesant Plaza, 1475 Western Avenue, Westmere (between Western Ave. and Washington Ave), +1 518-813-4959. The most upscale shopping venue in the area. Independent boutiques and brand stores like Crabtree & Evelyn dominate, with a few chain staples; there is a TGI Friday's right next to the Starbucks. Color Me Mine is a neat little DIY craft shop where you can paint your own ceramics. Stuyvesant Plaza (Q7629275) on Wikidata Stuyvesant Plaza on Wikipedia
  • 2 Crossgates Mall, Westmere, +1 518 869-9565. Otherwise referred to as "the mall," it's the biggest shopping center in the region and at one point was among the top ten largest shopping malls in the United States. The best spot to park is by Best Buy, which is in the center of the mall. Flagship stores include Macy's, JC Penney, a Forever 21 superstore, Best Buy, H&M, Borders and the Apple store. Crossgates has a Regal Cinemas complex with 17 standard stadium-seating theaters and one IMAX Experience theater. Because local hooligans, after 4PM on Friday and Saturday you must be 18 or older to enter the mall unsupervised, with the exception of the movies. Crossgates Mall (Q5188617) on Wikidata Crossgates Mall on Wikipedia
  • 3 Crossgates Commons, 161 Washington Avenue Extension. An overflow of chain stores located across Washington Ave Extension from Crossgates Mall. Here you'll find the largest Walmart in the US, which looks unremarkable until you realize there is an entire underground level devoted to groceries and toiletries. Worth a visit if you've never seen a shopping cart escalator.
  • 4 Colonie Center, +1 518-459-9020. Remodelled in an effort to combat its former reputation as a ghost town mall. CC has a new Regal Cinemas complex with 13 stadium-seating theaters. Major stores include Macy's, FYE as well as Boscov's, LL Bean, Barnes & Noble and Christmas Tree Shops. Eat at PF Chang's or the Cheesecake Factory, which are conveniently adjacent to one another between Sears and LL Bean. Colonie Center draws a more suburban crowd than Crossgates due to Crossgates' better accessibility by public transportation.
  • 5 Latham Farms Shopping Center, 579 Troy Schenectady Rd. Retail part includes Wal-Mart, Dick's sporting goods, Home Depot and restaurant chains.

In the suburbs surrounding Albany, particularly on the drive down Central Ave toward Schenectady, you can find a strip mall wherever you go with chain stores like Target and Marshalls. Some of the larger ones are Westgate Plaza, Northway Mall, and Mohawk Commons which used to be an indoor mall (Mohawk Mall)



Downtown area

  • 1 Cafe Cappriccio, 49 Grand St, +1 518-465-0439. An upscale NYC-Style restaurant. Wonderful staff, beautiful live jazz. Dress accordingly, you won't be disappointed.
  • 2 C.H. Evans Brewing Company (Albany Pump Station), 19 Quackenbush Square, +1 518-447-9000. A restaurant and brewpub in downtown Albany. It serves American style fare burgers, fish and some upscale dishes as well. The highlight is their microbrew, of which they make upwards of 10 styles and types. The Hefeweizen is outstanding as is their American Brown Ale, Belgian Style Ale and Pale Ale (honestly, all of their beer offerings are good). The building itself is the old Albany Pump Station, which used to pump the water from the Hudson River up to the reservoir, so the building has a ton of atmosphere and history. This place is a local favorite - no trip to Albany is complete without a visit here.
  • 3 Fresh N' Pressed, 456 Madison Ave (just west of Lark St), +1 518-463-3829. M-F 8AM-4PM, Sa 8AM-3PM. Superb for healthful, super tasty and interesting sandwiches and wraps. Beautiful desserts to tempt you if you have room after their generous salads and sandwiches. Highly recommended, an outstanding value.
  • 4 El Loco, 465 Madison Ave, +1 518-436-1855. A good Mexican restaurant, loved by locals. The food can sometimes be a bit expensive for what's being offered.
  • 5 El Mariachi, Hamilton St (corner of Swan St), +1 518-432-7580. Authentic Mexican cooking. It's not expensive, and the food is exquisite. Recommended!
  • 6 Gandhi, 1 Central Ave (corner of Henry Johnson Blvd and Central Ave), +1 518-449-5577. Indian restaurant boasts the best weekday lunch buffet in the area.
  • 7 Jack's Oyster House, 42 State St, +1 518-465-8854. An Albany classic, its walls are adorned with misty photos of Albany's interesting past. The quality and prestige of Jack's has gone down, though it still may be the best place to get fresh seafood at a place that has defined downtown for almost one hundred years. Don't dress like a slob.
  • 8 Mamoun's, 206 Washington Ave (near Lark Street), +1 518-434-3901. A wonderful Middle Eastern restaurant. The dim lighting and brick walls gives this place a unique classy atmosphere. Food is healthy and reasonably priced.
  • 9 Wolff's Biergarten, 895 Broadway, +1 518-427-2461. Wolff's offers authentic German food and beer selections and there is always a futball game on.

New Scotland and Pine Hills area

  • 10 Honest Weight Food Co-op, 100 Watervliet Ave, +1 518-482-2667. For health food shopping, has a variety of health-minded dishes and baked goods made daily. Grab a "meal deal" for under $5. Check out the amazing cheese selection.
  • 11 Cafe Italia, 662 Central Ave, +1 518-459-8029. An upscale Italian restaurant.
  • 12 Junior's, 1094 Madison Ave, +1 518-935-2025. A good bar and restaurant. Many will argue their wings (as opposed to Wings Over) are the best in the city. Great burgers and grilled sandwiches.
  • 13 Cafe Madison, 1108 Madison Avenue # 1, +1 518-935-1094. This is a wonderful restaurant that serves a brunch that is unparalleled in the capital region. Enjoyable patio dining is available during the warm months. Try their breakfast cocktails (their bloody mary is unmatched.) Part of the menu is on a weekly rotation which features creative takes on eggs benedict.
  • 14 Pepper Jack's, 192 North Allen St, +1 518-426-5505. Pepper Jack's has a large variety of inexpensive delicious food. College students and professionals alike love this place. Try their breakfast wraps, simply amazing!
  • 15 The Point, 1100 Madison Ave, +1 518-729-5383. Restaurant and lounge. Great beer selection and food.
  • 16 Mr. Pio Pio, 160 Quail St (between Washington and Western), +1 518-217-2037. Columbian and Ecuadorian cuisine.
  • 17 Ragonese Italian Imports, 409 New Scotland Ave, +1 518-482-2358. This is an excellent Italian and Greek deli. You can get sandwiches, subs, soups, and even lasagne. There isn't really any place to sit down, so virtually every customer gets take-out.
  • 18 Salsa Latina Restaurant, 315 Central Ave, +1 518-426-7050. A well-established Mexican restaurant. Great food, worth a visit.

Colonie, Westmere and Latham areas

  • 19 Swifty's, 95 Everett Rd (about a 10-minute drive from downtown). They have really good Irish and American pub food. Very relaxed professional and working class crowd.
  • 20 Karavalli Restaurant, 9 Johnson Rd (Route 9R in suburban Latham), +1 518-785-7600. For spicy south India cuisine, this is a nice place to visit. Many will say the atmosphere is lacking but the food will keep you coming back.
  • 21 Koto Japanese Steak House, 260 Wolf Road, Latham, +1 518-869-8888. A hibachi (teppan-style cooking) and sushi restaurant located right by Albany Airport, and is probably the most popular of its kind in the area.
  • 22 Peaches Cafe, 1475 Western Avenue, Westmere (Stuyvesant Plaza), +1 518-482-3677. A local favorite, reasonably priced and has excellent breakfast food. Try their Irish Eggs Benedict. Careful, this place can be very busy around lunchtime or weekend mornings, although weekdays aren't too crazy.
  • 23 Professor Java's Coffee Sanctuary, 217 Wolf Rd, +1 518-435-0843. This is a wonderful cafe and a local favorite. Great atmosphere, the walls are filled with photography or paintings from local artists, all of which are available for sale. The food is excellent. The baked goods are divine. And their coffee and tea selection is endless. Try the Russian Caravan Tea if you dare! Java's typically hosts the indie-college crowd, many of whom come here to write papers and leech off their free Wifi. Very friendly staff. Sometimes, Java's hosts open-mic nights.
  • 24 Saati Deli and Catering, 586 New Loudon Road, Latham (Newton Plaza), +1 518-783-1600. Excellent homemade salads, soups and sandwiches. Prices are comparable to places like Panera Bread, but you have much better atmosphere and quality here.
  • 25 Smokey Bones BBQ & Grill, 1557 Central Ave., Colonie, +1 518-464-9971. Large place with plenty of TVs for watching whatever sporting event happens to be on.
  • 26 Sushi Tei (Sushi Yokohama), 1800 Western Ave (in Cosimos Plaza), +1 518-218-0388. An excellent place with wonderful food and a relaxed atmosphere. Serve lunch and dinner. Many different choices of sushi and Japanese dishes.



Albany's bar scene is alive and well and, due to crackdowns with ID checks, the face of local nightlife has changed a lot. Make sure you have your license, passport or ID handy.

SUNY Albany is no longer considered the #1 party school in the United States, but between its 11,000 students and the College of Saint Rose, you will meet lots of sloppy and belligerent 18- to 21-year-olds on a typical night out. Muggers and other opportunists capitalize on vulnerable drinkers, so avoid Washington Park after dark.

The most popular and concentrated place to barhop is probably Lark Street, where more than a dozen bars from cocktail lounges and dives are crowded between Ontario Street and Central Avenue. Good bets include:

  • 1 Oh Bar, 304 Lark St, +1 518-463-9004. A popular gay and lesbian bar that is friendly and has a nice happy hour. Check out Karaoke night on Thursdays.
  • 2 Bombers, 258 Lark St, +1 518-463-9636. Popular burrito bar operates a pub upstairs. Its reputation has declined, but the burritos remain huge.
  • 3 The Lionheart, 448 Madison Ave, +1 518-436-9530. Good on weekends when the Romans come down for their orgy, good happy hour specials, a good selection of beer, and they have dartboards and pool tables. Very crowded on summer weekend nights.
  • 4 Susies, 8 Delaware Ave. A fun subterranean bar with several great microbrews, darts and a great patio during the summer.
  • 5 Hollywood Tavern, 275 Lark St. Attracts an average looking and refreshingly unpretentious crowd. It's more "meet your friends" than "see and be seen." Albany's largest patio in the summer and a large upstairs for the winter.

Pearl Street is another good place to go out. Closer to the large state offices, these bars draw a large after-work crowd, and after the Thursday afternoon waterfront concerts in the summer - Alive at 5 - the streets are cordoned off, made pedestrian-only, and overflow with revelers.

  • 6 Albany Pump Station, 19 Quackenbush Square (just below Pearl St. toward the Hudson), +1 518-447-9000. Dine with a few beers.
  • 7 Blue 82, 82 North Pearl St, +1 518-445-8082. A trendy but nice place to get a martini, or some other fancy drink, and look hot
  • 8 The Hollow Bar + Kitchen, 79 North Pearl St, +1 518-426-8550. Craft beer and American fare and bands. Another good after-work crowd. Fills with older hepcat college students later in the evening, especially on weekends. Good live music.
  • 9 McGeary's, 4 Clinton Square, +1 518-463-1455. Often has bands playing Celtic folk and/or bagpipe rock and they have an outdoor area for eating, drinking and listening to live bands during the summer.

Some places of interest:

  • 10 Waterworks, 76 Central Ave, +1 518-465-9079. Another popular gay and lesbian bar.
  • 11 The Fuze Box, 12 Central Ave, +1 518-703-8937. A club/event space. Here you find Thursday swing dancing lessons, goth nights, and best known for the weekly Saturday '80s nights. Excellent music, mixed and unpretentious crowds. Dance to Cyndi Lauper with your friends. LGBT friendly!

For the College Crowd:

  • 12 The Washington Tavern (WT's), 250 Western Ave, +1 518-427-0091. An upper classmen bar. It's usually pretty busy.
  • 13 The Pub, 869 Madison Ave. A nice place to hang out on weekends. It's very busy with the typical college scene, but slightly more subdued than some of the others.



Downtown area

  • 1 The Hilton Albany, 40 Lodge St, +1 518-462-6611. It is close to the State Capitol, Times Union Center, and a burgeoning downtown area on Pearl Street (Pearl, Jillian's, Skyline, Mad River, the Victory Cafe, McGeary's and the Bayou Cafe are all on or just off of Pearl Street).
  • 2 Holiday Inn Express Albany - Downtown, 300 Broadway, +1 518-434-4111, . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Guest rooms and public areas are renovated. Shuttle service and hot breakfast daily. Free parking. $109-159.

New Scotland and Pine Hills area

  • 3 Morgan State House - Luxury Inn, 393 State St, +1 518-427-6063. The Morgan State House is an excellent example of late 19th-century elegance and design. It has been restored to provide the most unique accommodations in the Capital District. Voted "Best in the Capital/Saratoga Region", The Morgan State House is an inn in the European tradition. It is centrally located in downtown Albany, on a quiet, tree-lined residential street overlooking Washington Park and was the longtime home of the artist and suffragette Alice Morgan Wright (1881—1975), who lived here from 1888 (when she was 7 years old) until her death. The house was designed by R.W. Gibson, the architect of the Cathedral of All Saints, for her father, Henry Romeyn Wright, who made a fortune in dry goods during the Civil War. The multiple peaked gables and intricate interior details reflect the Japanese-influenced aesthetic of the 1880s. Alice Morgan Wright was a leading figure in the American suffrage movement and once was jailed in London with Emmeline Pankhurst. In 1921 she helped found the New York League of Women’s Voters. An influential artist of the Art Deco style, Wright maintained a studio on the fourth floor of the house, and her works can be found in museums and private collections throughout the country.
  • 4 TownePlace Suites Albany, 22 Holland Ave. Downtown/Medical Center.

Colonie, Westmere and Latham areas

Stay safe


Like most cities, Albany has blighted areas with crime problems. Use precautions that one would use in any big city. The areas between Washington Ave. and New Scotland Ave. are generally safe to walk, especially east of Lark Street. However, there have been physical assaults near the SUNY Albany downtown campus. Arbor Hill near Henry Johnson Blvd. is known as one of the most dangerous areas, though it holds no particular interest to travelers. Occasional muggings and armed robberies have been known to happen to drunk suburbanites on Lark, Madison and other bar streets.





Radio stations serving the Albany area include:

  • News/Talk: WAMC 1400 AM/90.3 FM (NPR), WGY 810 AM/103.1 FM (conservative)



Television stations serving Albany include:

  • WRGB Channel 6: CBS.
  • WTEN Channel 10: ABC.
  • WNYT Channel 13: NBC.
  • WMHT Channel 17: PBS.

Go next


The Albany metro area, the Capital District, has many more attractions.

  • The city of Troy offers well-preserved 19th-century architecture (making it a location for period films) and fine antique shopping downtown.
  • About a 20 minute drive north of Albany is Watervliet and the military arsenal museum.
  • The Cohoes Falls are the second-largest in the state (a distant second to Niagara Falls, but impressive nonetheless).
  • The area in and around the city of Saratoga Springs (about 40 minutes north of Albany) features wonderful shops, restaurants and bars, a national park (about 15 miles from Saratoga proper) at the site of the Battle of Saratoga (the turning point of the Revolutionary War), a lovely state park with a mud and mineral bath spa run by the state, a par 29 and two championship 18 hole courses as well a stately restaurant.
  • Just across the river is Rensselaer.
  • Visitors to the Albany area should consider day trips to destinations in the Berkshires of western Mass., including Tanglewood, Mass MoCA, and the Clark Art Institute.
  • The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
  • Adirondack mountains.
  • Catskill mountains.
  • Several state parks are within easy driving distance, among them Thacher State Park. A scenic 30-minute drive west on route 85, it tops an escarpment and has great views of the city and several beautiful hiking trails, including a lower trail which winds and turns near the bottom of the escarpment and actually goes behind two waterfalls. Spring is the best time to view these falls due to the thaw and increased water volume. Steep inclines and rocky paths on the lower trail could challenge less robust hikers.
  • Albany is at one end of the very scenic, and historically important, Erie Canal which runs all the way to Buffalo.

With its impressive industrial heritage, Albany is a part of the American Industry Tour between Boston and Chicago.

Routes through Albany
BuffaloSchenectady  W  E  RensselaerSpringfield
MontrealCohoes ends ←  N  S  SaugertiesNew York City
TroyWatervliet  N  S  Merges into New York City
MontrealCohoes  N  S  RensselaerNew York City
END  N  S  SaugertiesFort Lee
AuburnSharon Springs ← Jct W E  W  E  RensselaerPittsfield
UticaSchenectady  W  E  END

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