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City of Syracuse

Syracuse University is located in the heart of New York state, resting atop a hill overlooking the City of Syracuse. The sprawling campus is just a short walk, drive or bus ride away from downtown.

A fountain in summer in front of historical buildings in Clinton Square

Syracuse Facts

The fifth-largest city in the state, Syracuse offers the cultural and business advantages of a midsize city surrounded by expanses of open space and wilderness. 

  • #3 most secure large metropolitan area in the nation
  • 144 hotels and other accommodations
  • #17 greenest city in America 
  • #1 in snowfall for metropolitan areas in the nation
  • 662,000 residents in the greater Syracuse metropolitan area

Things To Do in Syracuse

Arts and Entertainment

Syracuse is a regional hub for entertainment and is home to museums, art galleries, performance spaces and more. The city hosts multiple events each year, including The Great New York State Fair—a student favorite. Some of our students’ other favorite entertainment venues are the go-carts and movie theater at the local mall, Destiny USA. 

The city’s squares and parks host food, music and cultural festivals throughout the year. Some favorites include the Taste of Syracuse, Winterfest, Polish Fest, Greek Fest, and the NY State Blues Fest and the AmeriCU Syracuse Arts and Crafts Festival. 

Dining

Outdoor dining area with people eating outside of a brick building

Experience local, national and international dining options in Syracuse and the surrounding villages. Whether you are looking for a diner, coffee shop, food court or fine dining experience, Syracuse has a variety of restaurants that will satisfy your craving.

My favorite place to go for Sunday brunch is Mom’s Diner. My friends and I are regulars, so we have developed a relationship with the owner.

- Julia Short ’21

Shopping

Syracuse is home to the third largest mall in America, Destiny USA, with familiar large retail chains and a wing of discount outlet stores. If you step off campus or take a short trip downtown, you’ll find a wide variety of local boutiques and shops. Close to campus, you’ll also find supermarkets, as well as small grocers and international food markets.

The Great Outdoors

Students pick apples during a visit to Abbott’s Farm.

More than 170 parks and natural areas surround Syracuse. Residents enjoy a variety of outdoor activities like skiing, hiking, ice skating, swimming, apple picking, rafting, biking, camping and horseback riding. For those who want to escape into nature, the six-million-acre Adirondack Park is just a two-hour drive northeast, and the Catskill Mountains are less than two hours southeast.

No matter the season, my friends and I are always doing stuff outdoors. Some of my best memories at Syracuse have been made skiing at Song Mountain, hiking at Green Lakes, and having picnics in Thornden Park.

-Gina Bouza ’22

Outdoor Activities Organized by Syracuse University

The Barnes Center at The Arch offers exciting ways for students, faculty and staff to enjoy outdoor recreation activities across all seasons.

Day Trips

Syracuse is surrounded by many incredible towns and tourist destinations that are perfect for a day trip. Whether it’s swimming in the gorges in Ithaca, exploring the lakeside shops in Skaneateles, visiting the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown or going to Niagara Falls, there are so many places nearby to explore!

Transportation

There are many ways to get out and explore Syracuse. Many spots popular with students—including parks, restaurants and shops—are just a short walk or bike ride away from campus. 

  • The campus shuttle has direct routes to Destiny USA, Tops Supermarket, Target and the downtown area. 
  • The on-campus Zipcar program provides cars on demand.
  • Taxis and major rideshare companies operate in and around the city.
  • Other transportation resources can be found through Parking and Transit Services.