The capital of the state of New York in the USA, Albany is a major commercial, educational, cultural and touristic hub for the region. Founded by Dutch immigrants who settled here in the early 17th century, Albany has been influenced by Scottish, English and indigenous cultures throughout the following years. Today, people come here to explore the local countryside, among other things. Albany is a major seat of education in the North East, lending the city a youthful vibe which is evident in its nightlife. Meanwhile, it’s a good place to shopping and see several different architectural styles, all influenced by the different waves of immigration heading the city’s way. Spirituality is pretty big here too, as proved by its many churches.
For driving around the city centre and through the New York countryside, a hatchback offers the best of both worlds for motorists in the mood to explore.
Driving in Albany
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Parking spaces can be a little on the scarce side in the Center Square district and around Lark Street. Elsewhere, spaces are pretty easy to find.
When compared to cities of a similar size in the US, traffic is light in Albany. However, the downtown area can have a few jams from time to time.
Aside from the I-87 and I-90 highways, the best route into and out of Albany is the Taconic Parkway, as it has no toll plazas to speak of.
Highlights & Hotspots
Arguably the most intriguing part of Albany is Empire State Plaza. The square is lined by five imposing tower blocks, but in the right light is one of the city’s most beautiful sights, with the square ponds shimmering and the trees looking vividly green.
At the southern end of the Plaza is New York State Museum. The largest museum in Albany, it’s free to enter and has a huge range of exhibits exploring the state’s history before and after the War of Independence.
Another museum worth visiting is the Irish-American Heritage Museum. The Northeast is home to many people with Irish backgrounds, something the museum celebrates by marking the achievements of many famous Irish-Americans.
The Times Union Arena is Albany’s largest and most popular concert venue. It hosts the Albany Devils, the city’s ice hockey team and plays host to sell-out rock and pop concerts, as well as a few other events.
Albany International Airport lies seven miles northwest of the city centre. The airport is a major hub for domestic flights, although nowhere outside of the US is served. It has three concourses for passengers with a fourth being considered.
The airport is on Peter J. Dalessondro Boulevard, which goes south to the I-90. The interstate goes southeast towards the city centre, which can be reached by the 787 highway.