Albany Tourist Attractions

There are many tourist destinations for those considering a trip to Albany, New York.

With the history of being the capital of New York State since 1797, there are plenty of attractions to see, from the iconic New York State Capitol Building to the newly remodeled Empire State Plaza, and many more.

Tourism is a thriving industry in this city. Aside from hundreds of festivals throughout the year, the city is a mix of locals and tourists from different parts of the world visiting Albany each day.

New York State Capitol

Address: Washington Ave and State St, Albany, NY 12224

The New York State Capitol was built in 32 years. When completed in 1899, the cost of constructing the complex exceeded $25 million.

Built between 1867 and 1899 under several governors, the ground floor features Classical Romanesque Style, the second and third floor in Renaissance Classical style, and the fourth and roof floors, Victorian Romanesque style.

The New York State Capitol has served as the seat of government for New York since the 1880s. Today, the New York State Capitol houses the New York State Legislature.

It is a National Historic Landmark and listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Tours are available Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 12 noon. Tours last between 45 and 60 minutes.

New York State Museum

Address: 222 Madison Ave, Albany, NY 12230, USA

The New York State Museum in Albany explores the cultural and natural history of New York State’s cultural diversity through its significant collections, unique exhibitions, programs, and publications in history, science, art, and anthropology.

The facility has more than 300,000 square feet of exhibition space, superb collections, and public program facilities.

It offers a variety of history, science, and art exhibitions. Millions of scientific specimens such as fossils, minerals, gems, plants, insects, are housed in this institution. It also holds tools, pottery, furniture, Iroquois objects, and farm tools, among other artifacts.

The main exhibit halls feature Adirondack Wilderness, Birds of New York, Beneath the City: Albany Archeology, Black Capital: Harlem in the 20s, The Cohoes Mastodon, Fire Engine Hall, Minerals of New York, Native Peoples of New York, and The World Trade Center: Rescue, Recovery, Response. There’s also a working full-sized carousel on the 4th floor of the museum.

While the entrance is free, donations are also accepted.

The New York State Museum is open from Tuesday until Sunday from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. It is closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

The Egg Performing Arts Center

Address: Agency Building 1, South Mall Arterial, Albany, NY 12203, USA

Built between 1966 and 1978, the Egg Performing Arts Center is a performing arts center in the Empire State Plaza. It is one of the most popular attractions in Albany and is named for its unusual shape.

The Center is an icon of New York’s Capital District and appears from a distance to be a piece of sculpture rather than a building.

It is dedicated to providing audiences with the best art offerings and providing a showcase for artists.

It has two theaters including Kitty Carlisle Hart Theatre for large productions such as dance performances, music concerts, and musical theater, and the Lewis A. Swyer Theatre, which is used for smaller events such as chamber music concerts, lectures, and solo performances.

Albany Institute of History & Art

Address: 125 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12210, USA

The Albany Institute of History & Art was founded in 1791. The museum collects, preserves, interprets, and promotes history, art, and culture of Albany and the upper Hudson Valley region.

Located on 125 Washington Avenue, the institute is one of the oldest museums in the U.S. In 1926, it merged with the Albany Historical and Art Society to form the Albany Institute of History & Art.

The museum is housed in three buildings: the Rice Building, a late 19th-century Beaux-Arts mansion; the main building, a 1920s Classical Revival structure; and a modern glass building that connects the Rice Building and main building.

It boasts a collection of over 20,000 objects, including drawings, furniture, ceramics, paintings, sculptures, historical artifacts, and many more.

Opening Hours:

  • Wednesday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Thursday: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
  • Friday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Saturday: 10:00 am-5:00 pm
  • Sunday: 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm

The Albany Institute of History & Art is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The Empire State Plaza

Address: 279 Madison Ave, Albany, NY 12242, United States

The Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza is one of the most spectacular capital centers composed of state government buildings on Madison Avenue.

Built between 1965 and 1976, the vast complex includes the Egg Performing Arts Center, the Legislative Office Building, the Robert Adams Building for Law and Justice, the Cultural Education Center, the Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd Tower, and the Swan Street Building.

Since its completion, the Empire State Plaza has become a cultural center for thousands of visitors each year.

The Plaza features trees, water fountains, memorials, and a skating rink. Many special events are held here, including craft fairs, night markets, school performances, and summer and winter festivals.

Albany City Hall

Address: 24 Eagle St, Albany, NY 12207, USA

The Albany City Hall is a historic building and the seat of government for the city of Albany. This Romanesque structure was built in 1883 by Henry Hobson Richardson, which features a 62-meter tower.

A carillon was added to the tower in 1927 to honor the soldiers who lost their lives during World War I.

The City Hall houses the office of the mayor, city and traffic courts, and other city government service offices. It is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Corning Tower Observation Deck

Address: Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12242

The Corning Tower Observation Deck offers breathtaking views of Albany, the Plaza, and surrounding areas.

Located on the 42nd floor, Hudson River Valley, the Port of Albany, large portions of the city and its government, the foothills of the Adirondacks, the Catskills, and the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts are all visible from the deck.

This 42-story building was dedicated in 1983 to the memory of the late Albany Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd, who played a role in the creation of the Plaza as the center of state government.

The Corning Tower Observation Deck is open from Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. It is closed on weekends and holidays.

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