4.3 out of 10


42.6556390624779 -73.8103407624182
Great for
  • Eating Out
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Internet Access
  • Medical Facilities
  • Nightlife
Not great for
  • Lack of Traffic
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists


2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 4/5

"The Capital City of New York State"

The capital city of New York is Albany, another Northeastern city which has flourished, declined, and is now on the rebound. Its eastern border is the Hudson River, and it is at the crossroads of two major interstates, I-90 and I-87, which makes it easy to head into and out of. It’s almost exactly halfway between New York City and Montreal, as well as Buffalo and Boston. It has classic Upstate New York weather, with hot summers, snowy winters, lovely springs and eye-popping fall foliage.

Albany has been the state capital since 1797, so politics have always played a major role here. The city was originally a center of transportation, as it was on the Hudson River, part of the Erie Canal, crossed by railroad lines and home to one of the first commercial airports in the country. Government eventually became its biggest employer, although construction was certainly going strong during former Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s creation of the Empire State Plaza, a 98-acre collection of marble and steel buildings built between 1959 and 1976. Today most of its jobs are in government, healthcare, higher education, and a growing technology industry.

During the 1970s and 1980s many of the city’s wealthier residents moved to the suburbs, leaving the poorer population behind. Today there is redevelopment going on in the downtown areas, and the controversial Albany Convention Center – a proposed 300,000 square-foot space – is still in the works. Albany received the “All-American City Award” in 1991 and 2009, which “recognizes communities whose citizens work together to identify and tackle community-wide challenges and achieve uncommon results.”

Anyone wanting to look around Albany should start at the Visitor’s Center on Broadway. There’s a Planetarium with shows about the city’s history and its entertainment, and you can take a walking tour, ride the trolley, or survey the city from a boat on the Hudson River. Albany has a trove of historic buildings, with 57 listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Head for Lark Street, the village-within-the-city often likened to New York City’s Greenwich Village, for cool little shops, restaurants, and clubs. Downtown’s Center Square has galleries, more restaurants, shops and nightlife; Pearl Street and Broadway have restaurants, theaters and pubs. Every first Friday of the month many museums and galleries open free to the public from 5-8, where you can view all kinds of works of art.

Albany is an eat, drink, and be merry kind of place, with wineries and breweries, tours and tastings, 15 wine and/or beer festivals during the year, and a 4 AM closing time for bars and clubs (this is true for the entire Capital District, which includes the counties of Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, and Saratoga. It is usually explained as a holdover from the days when bars stayed open to accommodate the late-shift factory workers.) Speaking of liquids, Albany tap water is rated the best in New York State.

Albany is a culturally busy city. It has its own symphony orchestra, and musicians and actors flock to the Palace Theatre, the architecturally-unique Egg, and the Capital Repertory Theatre. The Times Union Center hosts sports and concerts, and the Albany Riverfront Park at the Corning Preserve hosts summer events in its 800-seat amphitheatre. There are over 60 parks and recreation areas.

There are all kinds of festivals from which to choose, including Albany Chefs’ Food and Wine Festival, LarkFest (Upstate New York’s largest one-day street festival), Fabulous Fourth Fireworks Festival, African American Family Day Arts Festival, Albany Jazz Festival, Winter WonderLark (featuring the annual Santa Speedo Sprint), and the early May Tulip Festival, where you can see thousands of every kind of tulip in bloom, all in honor of the city’s Dutch heritage.

The city itself is 21 square miles and has a population of about 98,000, with the metro area home to about 877,000. In the city public school system there are 12 elementary schools, three middle schools, and one high school. Albany high school is not highly ranked either in New York State or the country.

The University of Albany (founded in 1905 as the “New York State Normal School”) is here, as are the Albany Medical College, Albany Law School, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Science, SUNY Albany, as well as seven other colleges within the Albany-Troy area.

Median city income is $37,505, median house/condo value is $181,800, median rent is $813. Albany is 57.0% white, 30.8% black, 10.6% Latino, the remainder comprised of various other races.

Author William Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Ironweed” was set in Albany, where he grew up.
  • culturally vibrant
  • good job market
  • college communities
  • you need a car
  • schools not good
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • LGBT+
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish

Travelling to Albany?

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Unranked Neighborhoods in Albany

"Best street I've ever lived on"
42.6538456920083 -73.7635232987311
"Lark is Alive!"
42.6508940201947 -73.7663549869185


"Get the best of both worlds"
42.6454884441465 -73.7584280114377

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