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.

Albany to Lake Placid New York

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Quiet 2 Bedroom Condo | Best Airbnb in Albany

Quiet 2 Bedroom Condo Albany

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.

Hilton Albany | 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.

The Perfect Getaway | Best Luxury Airbnb in Albany

The Perfect Getaway Albany

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.

Albany Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Albany

FIRST TIME IN ALBANY
Empire State Plaza Albany
FIRST TIME IN ALBANY

Downtown

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.

ON A BUDGET
Schuyler Mansion Albany
ON A BUDGET

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.

FOR FAMILIES
Washington Park Albany
FOR FAMILIES

Center Square

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

Empire State Plaza Albany
  • 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.

Downtown Albany 1 Bedroom | 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.

Trendy 1 Bedroom Apartment | Best Luxury Airbnb in Downtown

Trendy 1 Bedroom Apartment Albany

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.

Hampton Inn Suites | Best Hotel in Downtown

Hampton Inn Suites Albany

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:

Corning Preserve Albany
  1. See a show at The Egg Performing Arts Center.
  2. Check out the iconic Empire State Plaza.
  3. Head out for a night on the town at popular spots like Wellington’s or the Pearl Street Pub.
  4. Learn more about Irish American history at the Irish American Heritage Museum.
  5. Have a meal at The Spinning Gyro or Rosanna’s.
  6. Take a look at the city’s creative heart at the Albany Center Gallery.
  7. Get out in nature and go hiking or running in Corning Preserve.
  8. 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

Schuyler Mansion Albany
  • 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!

Charming 1 BR State Capitol | Best Airbnb in Mansion Historic Area

Charming 1 BR State Capitol Albany

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.

3 Levels of Living Space | Best Luxury Airbnb in Mansion Historic Area

3 Levels of Living Space Albany

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.

Holiday Inn Express Albany | 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:

Lincoln Park Albany
  1. Have a meal at the Betty Boop Diner or Shabamz Grill.
  2. Tour the 19th Century New York State Executive Mansion.
  3. Take the kids to swim or play sports in Lincoln Park.
  4. Have a few drinks at the Excelsior Pub.
  5. Head into the Downtown area for nightlife and shopping.
  6. Check out five centuries of history at the Historic Cherry Hill.

3. Center Square – Best Neighborhood in Albany for Families

Albany Center Square
  • 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.

Completely Renovated Center Square Unit | Best Airbnb in Center Square

Completely Renovated Center Square Unit Albany

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.

Purified Air 2-Bedroom Home | Best Airbnb in Center Square

Purified Air 2 Bedroom Home in Albany

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.

Washington Park Inn | Best Hotel in Center Square

Washington Park Inn Albany

Located close to the best neighborhood to stay in Albany, this lovely little inn has free WiFi, a terrace, and a shared kitchen you can use. There’s parking on-site in case you hire a car and each room has a private bathroom, air conditioning, and cable channels. There are also free bikes available in case you want to see the city with some pedal power!

Things to See and Do in Center Square:

Albany Pine Bush Preserve
  1. Try some African dishes at Keobi or Mexican food at El Mariachi Restaurant.
  2. Head out for burritos, margaritas, and game nights at Bombers Burrito Bar.
  3. In the summer, make sure you attend Larkfest and Tulipfest.
  4. Look out for the Santa Speedo Sprint in winter.
  5. Check out the artwork at the Albany Institute of History & Art.
  6. Have a drink at the Waterworks Pub or the Lark Street Poke Bar.
  7. Buy some fresh fruit or hot food at the Washington Park Farmers Market.
  8. Head out of the city for hiking and nature at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve.
  9. 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.

Product
Description
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
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Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
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Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

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Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Albany

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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.

Looking for more info on travelling to Albany and New York?