New York's state capital - 2½ hours north of New York City - is a governement town, but it boasts several interesting attractions clustered around Rockefeller Empire State Plaza that are worth a look if you're in the area.
25 Quackenbush Square, Albany
Tel (518) 434 0405
Open Mon-Fri 9am-4pm, Sat-Sun 10am-4pm
There are several places in Albany that provide free Wi-Fi access including Muddy Cup Coffee (1038 Madison Avenue, Albany, NY 12208; website www.muddycup.com) and Panera Bread (161 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12205; website www.panerabread.com). There is also free Wi-Fi - and computers that you can use - at the Albany Public Library (Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12201).
Albany has goo transport connections with Amtrak (website www.amtrak.com) trains to Buffalo and New York City from the station at 525 East Street.
The bus station at 34 Hamilton Street has Greyhound (website www.greyhound.com) buses to Buffalo and New York City and Adirondack Trailways (tel 1800 776 7548; website www.trailwaysny.com) buses to Kingston and Lake Placid.
Chinatown bus operators AA Bus and Dragon go to New York City from stops at 120 Central Avenue and 640 Washington Avenue.
Search and book "Chinatown Bus" routes in the USA
Local buses, run by the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA; tel (518) 482 8822; website www.cdta.org), run throughout the Albany area. Single fares are $1 and a day pass costs $3.
Dominating the city centre, the Erastus Corning Tower is the tallest building in New York State, outside of New York City. The observation deck on the 42nd floor offers brilliant views of the city and the surrounding area. Photo ID required.
Empire State Plaza, Albany
Tel (518)474 2418
Open 10am-4pm daily, last entry 3.15pm
Free tours (your choice of guided or self-guided tours) of the state capitol provide an insight into New York's state politics.
Empire State Plaza, State Street, Albany
Tel (518) 474 2418
Tours depart Mon-Fri 10am, noon, 2pm, 3pm, Sat-Sun 11am, 1pm, 3pm; self-guided tours Mon-Fri 9am-3pm
This excellent museum features a wide range of exhibits about the history and culture of New York. Don't miss the exhibits dedicated to the World Trade Center tragedy.
Empire State Plaza, Madison Avenue, Albany
Tel (518) 474 5877
Open 9.30am-5pm daily