Albany is the state capital of New York and was actually settled before the larger metropolis of New York City. But, despite being small in comparison, Albany still contains four centuries of history, lots of culture, and great places to eat.
Albany makes for the perfect break from the Big Apple or an ideal vacation spot for anyone who doesn’t like the hustle and bustle of bigger cities. Plus, when it comes to choosing where to stay in Albany, you’ll be greeted with accommodation to suit every travel type.
In this guide, we’ve figured out the best places to stay in Albany for any travel style and budget. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, family vacation, or anything in between, we’ve got you covered.
Where to Stay in Albany
Not too fussed which area you stay in? These are our top picks for accommodation in Albany.
Best Airbnb in Albany: Quiet 2 Bedroom Condo
This condo offers all the luxuries of home, making it an ideal base for your trip to Albany. It sleeps four guests in two bedrooms and is beautifully furnished throughout.
Shops, restaurants, and some of Albany’s top places to visit are all just a short walk away.
Best Hotel in Albany: Hilton Albany
This 3-star hotel is easily one of the best places to stay in Albany if you want to be close to everything. It’s right in the heart of the city and a short walk from the Capitol building and local shops.
With an indoor pool, restaurant, and fitness center on-site, this hotel has everything you’ll need for a comfortable stay.
Best Luxury Airbnb in Albany: The Perfect Getaway
This unusual and beautiful apartment can sleep up to 6 guests. The unit has a small kitchen and dining area, a bathtub, laundry facilities, and free parking on-site. It’s surrounded by shops and sits in a quiet neighborhood.
The Perfect Getaway is one of our favourites in Albany but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Albany Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Albany
Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Albany for your first visit or on a return trip, the Downtown area is the most convenient and the most packed with attractions. You’ll find everything in this area, from great restaurants to lots of little neighborhoods that you can explore on foot.
Mansion Historic Area
The Mansion Historic Area is just a little way from Albany’s Downtown, so it offers the same easy access to all of the Downtown’s shops and restaurants without the crowds and tourist prices. This makes it a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Albany on a budget.
When you’re trying to decide where to stay in Albany with kids, you want somewhere quieter, so they can sleep, but also close to lots of things to keep them busy during the day. Center Square satisfies both of these needs.
Albany isn’t a large city, so no matter where you stay, you’ll probably be in reach of places to eat and shop. These are the coolest neighborhoods to stay in, whether you’re passing through on a road trip or are planning a longer stay.
Albany’s Downtown is easily one of the coolest places to stay. It offers all the best restaurants and bars as well as easy access to the city’s many historical monuments.
If you’re on a tight budget, then try the Mansion Historic District. This area is far enough from the center to be a bit cheaper in terms of accommodation, but still offers easy access to all the center’s attractions.
Finally, Center Square is the best choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Albany with your family. This is a quieter area close to a large park but is still close enough to Downtown that you can enjoy all of its charm and amenities.
Albany’s 3 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Now, let’s take a look at each of these areas in more detail. We’ve included our top accommodation and activity picks in each, so you know exactly what to expect.
1. Downtown – Where to Stay in Albany for your First Visit
- COOLEST Thing to Do in Downtown – Take a tour of New York’s seat of power at the New York State Capitol building.
- BEST Place to Visit in Downtown – The New York State Museum for one of the largest collections of historical artifacts around.
Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Albany for your first visit or on a return trip, the Downtown area is the most convenient and the most packed with attractions. You’ll find everything in this area, including great restaurants and lots of smaller neighborhoods that you can explore on foot.
There are also plenty of historic attractions in the Downtown area. So, if you’re in Albany to learn more about the area’s history, you won’t have to go much further than this district.
Best Airbnb in Downtown: Downtown Albany 1 Bedroom
Located right in the heart of Downtown, this apartment is a good choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Albany for nightlife. It’s located on a historic street that dates back to the 17th century and sleeps two people. It has a custom kitchen and has been newly renovated to modern standards.
Best Luxury Airbnb in Downtown: Trendy 1 Bedroom Apartment
This cozy apartment is very reasonably priced, providing a comfortable base close to city amenities. It offers two bedrooms with enough space for up to five guests.
Boasting top-quality appliances and modern furnishings, the apartment is perfect for a short- or long-term stay in Albany.
Best Hotel in Downtown: Hampton Inn Suites
This hotel must be part of any good Albany neighborhood guide. It’s located right in the heart of the city and boasts free hot breakfasts, spacious rooms, a bar, and a restaurant. It’s also close to the motorway, so you’ll find it easy to get out of the city and enjoy the surrounding natural area.
Things to See and Do in Downtown:
- See a show at The Egg Performing Arts Center.
- Check out the iconic Empire State Plaza.
- Head out for a night on the town at popular spots like Wellington’s or the Pearl Street Pub.
- Learn more about Irish American history at the Irish American Heritage Museum.
- Have a meal at The Spinning Gyro or Rosanna’s.
- Take a look at the city’s creative heart at the Albany Center Gallery.
- Get out in nature and go hiking or running in Corning Preserve.
- Marvel at the pre-Revolutionary houses in the nearby neighborhood of Schenectady.
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2. Mansion Historic Area – Where to Stay in Albany on a Budget
- COOLEST Thing to Do in Mansion Historic Area – Take a tour of the Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site
- BEST Place to Visit in Mansion Historic Area – The USS Slater for a slightly hair-raising tour of a WWII gunship
The Mansion Historic Area is just a little way from Albany’s Downtown, so it offers the same easy access to all of the area’s shops and restaurants without the crowds and tourist prices. This makes it a great choice for anyone traveling in the USA on a budget.
This small area also has its own collection of attractions and restaurants, so you definitely won’t have to go far for a meal or something to do!
Best Airbnb in Mansion Historic Area: Charming 1 BR State Capitol
Located in a historic mansion, this apartment really is one of the coolest places to stay in Albany. It’s walking distance from the State Capitol building and has a full kitchen, laundry, and street parking.
Best Luxury Airbnb in Mansion Historic Area: 3 Levels of Living Space
If you like a little extra room to spread out when you travel, this apartment is perfect. It’s beautifully decorated, has a fully stocked kitchen, and comes with a Jacuzzi tub! It’s close to shops and restaurants and offers free parking.
Best Hotel in Mansion Historic Area: Holiday Inn Express Albany
This hotel in Albany is located close to the Mansion Historic area and to downtown. It has a 24-hour gym and provides free breakfast every morning. There’s also a pool, steam room, on-site parking, and a business center.
Things to See and Do in Mansion Historic Area:
- Have a meal at the Betty Boop Diner or Shabamz Grill.
- Tour the 19th Century New York State Executive Mansion.
- Take the kids to swim or play sports in Lincoln Park.
- Have a few drinks at the Excelsior Pub.
- Head into the Downtown area for nightlife and shopping.
- Check out five centuries of history at the Historic Cherry Hill.
3. Center Square – Best Neighborhood in Albany for Families
- COOLEST Thing to Do in Center Square – Head over to Washington Park for sports fields, gardens, playgrounds, and 136 acres of natural landscape.
- BEST Place to Visit in Center Square – Lark Street, for a trendy collection of restaurants, shops, and art galleries.
When you’re trying to decide where to stay in Albany with kids, you want somewhere quieter, so they can sleep, but also close to lots of things to keep them busy during the day. Center Square satisfies both of these needs. This is a lively neighborhood, filled with restaurants and close to the huge Washington Park.
When you stay in Center Square, you can easily walk to the Downtown area. But why would you want to, when this area contains cool Lark Street with its funky shops and restaurants and lots of events in every season.
Best Airbnb in Center Square: Completely Renovated Center Square Unit
This apartment sits in a historic building right in the middle of Center Square. With one bedroom, it’s ideal for couples visiting Albany. The apartment has been recently renovated to contain all the modern comforts.
Best Airbnb in Center Square: Purified Air 2-Bedroom Home
This gorgeous two-bedroom home is perfect if you want to take the stress out of planning your vacation. The house comes with a stocked kitchen, spacious living area, free parking, laundry facilities, and more. It’s within walking distance from shops and restaurants, and downtown is also closeby.
Best Hotel in Center Square: Washington Park Inn
Things to See and Do in Center Square:
- Try some African dishes at Keobi or Mexican food at El Mariachi Restaurant.
- Head out for burritos, margaritas, and game nights at Bombers Burrito Bar.
- In the summer, make sure you attend Larkfest and Tulipfest.
- Look out for the Santa Speedo Sprint in winter.
- Check out the artwork at the Albany Institute of History & Art.
- Have a drink at the Waterworks Pub or the Lark Street Poke Bar.
- Buy some fresh fruit or hot food at the Washington Park Farmers Market.
- Head out of the city for hiking and nature at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve.
- Go golfing at the Shaker Ridge Country Club or Albany Country Club.
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FAQs About Finding a Place to Stay in Albany.
Here’s what people usually ask me about the areas of Albany and where to stay.
What To Pack For Albany
Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.
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Hanging Laundry Bag
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Sea To Summit Micro Towel
Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.
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Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Albany
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SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!
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Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Stay in Albany
Albany is a relatively small city, but there’s so much to discover. If you’re visiting New York, then it’s well worth spending some time here as well.
Hopefully, by now, you’ve got a clearer idea of where to stay in Albany. Each area has its own charms, but its small size means you’ll be able to easily explore the whole area.
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!