I grew up in Buffalo, but moved away after college for work twenty years ago. Buffalo has great architecture (City Hall tour, Frank Lloyd Wright Museum/House, plus many more great architects), Shea's Theatre. There are a total of twenty-two theatre companies in the Buffalo area. Check out the Buffalo Museum of Science, Kleinhans Music Hall, Delaware Park bike or walk, sailing in the Erie Base Marina, skiing, Elmwood Village, kayaking on Buffalo River, Thursday Night Concerts in Lafayette Square. Take a bike ride over the Peace Bridge and ride to Niagara Falls on the Canadian side, take a day trip to Niagara-On-The-Lake. Visit the Shaw Festival, Shakespeare in the Park, Taste of Buffalo, Allentown Art Festival, Buffalo Wing festival, Italian festival. There are seventeen 17 wineries and ice wine just over the border and thirteen wineries south of Buffalo. See the Buffalo Zoo, Botanical Gardens, and Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
Buffalo is the most boring city ever. Unless you're a drinker there's not much to do. Every weekend I find myself frustrated trying to find something to do.
The people I knew in the Toronto area fashioned their opinion of the States based upon Buffalo -- an ugly area whose main attraction is suburban shopping plazas. I drank way too much when I lived there because there was nothing to do. Actually, there is something to do -- drink Canadian beer and smoke cigarettes while driving through road salt puddles in crappy, rusted-out, muffler-less cars. The road through Niagara Falls to and from Canada had an atrocious chemical stench as it passed by the toxic landfills and miles of chemical companies. The food can be pretty good actually -- buffalo finger subs, wings, and some of the best pizza I've ever had at Bocce's Pizza. However it's highly caloric -- just look at the populous. You see people sitting watching Bills games in bars devouring deep fried wings covered in chicken skin soaked in a mixture of butter and hot sauce smothered in bleu cheese dressing in one motion of inserting the wing into the mouth and chewing/sucking it while slowly extracting the bone which is cleaned of all meat/fat/skin/little chicken hairs as it exits the face and gets deposited in a heap of bones on the well-supplied, beer-mugged/pitchered table. Brings back memories.
Buffalo is a city with that hometown feel. Besides six months of winter, I don't see a reason to complain. I love the winter. We have blizzards maybe once every five or seven years, unlike the rumors you hear. The people here are the friendliest around. They don't call us the "City of Good Neighbors" for no reason. The fall of big industries sandwiched with corrupt city officials have led to the demise of Buffalo over the last few decades. But there has been a recent awakening in Buffalo. Old abandoned building are being completely refurbished into NYC-style lofts. You can get astonishing views of the city and the lake for an average of $900 a month for a two-bedroom loft apartment! Compare that rate to other big cities. Buffalo also has million-dollar lakefront apartments. Chippewa is a bustling party area. Allentown is a happening area for the more chill/artsy crowd, offering house/techno/trance and other neighborhood bars along the strip. Hertel/Elmwood area offers an even more relaxed environment with classy bars/clubs/restaurants and an endless variety of shopping/dining spots. Elmwood was voted best neighborhood in the country! In Buffalo, you're just a half-hour from five beaches. Check out Sunset Bay USA. Rent a cottage there for a week on the lake with some friends or family. The spring/summer activities are endless. Thursday in the Square. Rock @ The Boat Harbor and countless other festivals, concerts. We have a former Six Flags, Darien Lake, home to seven roller coasters. Take your camper there for a weekend or just rent one on site. Buffalo is truly a great place to live, which is why people from all over the world who were born here almost always come back.
I grew up in South Buffalo in the sixties and early seventies. It was a great place to call home. Everyone knew everyone. I went back last year. The place is a dump -- nothing but boarded up business, drugs, and lowlifes. What a shame.
I've lived in Buffalo for most of my life, but have visited and lived around the world and back. But back I always come. And when I say Buffalo, I mean the city of Buffalo -- not the suburbs, the city is the place to be. It's true that if you're looking for an NYC this is not the place to go. This city has a small population and covers a big area. It's filled with the friendliest people you will meet, trust me, I know. Almost anyone will help you. And yes, there are crazies in the city. But I'm not scared when walking around downtown at night. Go out on Chippewa at night, and then have some Mighty Taco (which by the way every Buffalonian knows dominates Taco Bell), or some Jim's Steakout. This city has the most amazing food and chill spots from Pano's to Spot Coffee. Don't overlook all the historical spots and do not miss all the festivals and shindigs. The Elmwood Art Festival, The Chicken Wing Festival, The Italian Festival, The St. Patrick's Day Parade and Shakespeare in the Park are some. Visit the Albright-Knox, the Botanical Gardens, the Basilica, the Science Museum, Delaware Park, and the Waterfront. Go to a Bisons, Bandits, Sabres, or Bills game. We're close to Niagara Falls, Six Flags, Clifton Hill, Fantasy Island, Lake Erie beaches, and great skiing. Basically what it comes down to is give the city a chance. The people who live there love it despite what others say, so there is something special about it. It's not your typical place, so just maybe you'll see things there that you can't find in every other big city. Take a good look.
I have lived in Western New York for all my life -- twenty years in the suburb of Cheektowaga. I moved out on my own for the first time ever to downtown Buffalo. I don't know why but I had an impression living in the city would make me feel like I was -- I don't know -- living in a city. After you wore out everything you can do -- zoo, parks, museums -- there's nothing to do. Downtown on the weekends is dead until the bars get going at 10 or 11 or if a Sabres game is on. They are improving city life a little with the brass shop and more modern apartments but still. I would like to walk out of my apartment and see some action going on, not a bum asking me for 45 cents to catch the metro. But no matter how rough and gritty, tough and shi**y Buffalo gets I will always love my city. If you're not from around here, you wouldn't understand.
I visited Buffalo whilst traveling in the states. It is a strange town and was fairly deserted. The bus station was certainly full of characters although none menacing. In general, I found the people to be super, super friendly. People would just strike up conversation on public transport, which to me, coming from London, was very nice to hear. From speaking to locals it's a big University/drinking town. I did see several other tourists visibly nervous walking around at night, but I think this is due to the surreal, deserted nature of the place.
I heard someone say Buffalo is the third cleanest city -- third cleanest air, not cleanest as in street cleanliness. I hated Buffalo. All I need is one word to describe it -- depressing.
I moved from the Bronx. Now I am older -- my kids are seventeen and eighteen and it's time I see another part of New York. Buffalo reminds me of the south -- slow, but not slow to me. It's like a family town in the Bronx. I know everyone but here as a black woman I am scared to death. In NYC, every race is there and we get along. But here, white people rule and that's so scary. I don't know what to do -- I like this here town. As a black person, I live on the west side of Buffalo where the Spanish do not like black people and their kids call other kids the n-word.
I love living here. I spent the first twenty-five years of my life on Long Island -- hated that and wanted to move to NYC but couldn't afford that. I considered NY's second largest city, and here I am today. I can get around without a car (though most Buffalonians do drive). The food is great (especially on Elmwood and Hertel). The people are much nicer than Long Islanders. The housing is incredibly cheap (I'm looking at a house that needs work for sale for less than $3,000!). And it's true -- we're minutes from snowboarding/skiing, Niagara Falls, and beaches on Lake Erie. The word here is value, folks. For the buck, I can't imagine it being much better of a place to live.
I lived in Buffalo -- Depew -- for eight months and could not take another day. It is segregated, ugly, and not growing at all -- a very flat, dismal place to live. Everyone says the cost of living is so great -- that's because no one wants to live there! People who choose to stay need to get out more. There is no culture!
I lived in the Buffalo area for the majority of twenty-two years. I recently moved back from Atlanta because I missed Buffalo and its culture so much. Buffalo may not be some big, booming city, but it has its own characteristics that only someone from Buffalo would appreciate.
I grew up in Buffalo and lived there for almost twenty-four years. Buffalo is a city of suburbs and the people of the suburbs if asked will not say the name of the suburb they are from but they'll say Buffalo. This is because a city of such rich history exudes pride. Yes the people are rough and tumble. But, you stand on the streets of Buffalo in the middle of winter and tell me if it doesn't harden you. True, the entire western New York region is racially segregated but it is first and foremost an immigrant city. To avoid the culture shock, the different nationalities that move here ease into American life by being around people from their own country. I can't agree with people stating that Buffalonians are mean and will mug you. Sure certain sections you might not want to walk in at night if you are white, or even black for that matter. But being a Polish American, I found that most sections are cool. Irish run South Buffalo, Puerto Ricans run the west side, Italians consume alot of the city central and the Poles run most of the east sides. Each of these groups takes care of their own and takes pride in each respective community. But this all needs to be on the back burner, for there are a lot of things to do in Buffalo and everyone skips these things. Here is a list -- Albright Knox Art Gallery, Science museum, Sabres games, Bills games, Bisons games, Darien Lake,casinos, a zoo, Darien Lake, mountain biking/hiking at Hunters Creek park, Zoar Valley(hiking/climbing), Kissing Bridge/Holiday Valley(skiing), amazing nightlife, food festivals, art festivals, and if anyone was looking, Buffalo has one of the best music scenes in the country. People, please do not put down a city that has been destroyed by corruption in politics. Only the people themselves help Buffalo and that is why we take care of our own and expect no one else to do it for us. The people will love and honor you as a visitor, just give them a chance. We will consider you one of our own.
Today as I went online looking for something to do as I sit in my house being bored once again in Buffalo. I realized there is absolutely nothing to do in Buffalo. The list of attractions or events in Buffalo are slim and not up to par with other cities. In Buffalo, fun is associated with drinking and without drinking there is nothing to do that is really fun. The lack of things to do in Buffalo really can get you down and be quite frustrating. Yeah, you can go to the beach during the summer but it’s not something you have the time or money to do more than one or two times a week. So it's true, us Buffalonians are or can be a mean population, if you lived in a city of depression for over fifteen years you would develop the same sort of aggravation. Plus all the sport letdowns, wide right, no goal and home run throwback, no wonder. But the best thing about Buffalo is the food -- home of the chicken wing and about everything else Italian and Polish and everything in between. Chippewa is where most people resort to when they once again realize there is nothing better to do in Buffalo. But don’t forget there is always the zoo, the botanical gardens, Darien Lake, Fantasy Island, Niagara Falls-Clifton Hill, or if you’re already broke and depressed, I suggest the Seneca Niagara casino or go over the border to Canada.
As a Canadian who has visited several U.S. destinations, Buffalo is definitely the most depressing. On my first trip there to visit the shopping center, I found the city to be mostly deserted. What is most sad is that as I visitor, I could see remnants of a proud past, but what is left now are boarded up homes, abandoned buildings, and empty streets.
Spent 8 days in buffalo, queen city of the great lakes and discovered a brass mark by the "lady's vanishing party" in a lobby. The political hags were very active around the time of President McKinley's 1901 assassination by a Balkan malcontent. View art deco City Hall from LaFayette Square as it is one of the most eerie sights in the world. Take the buffalo walking tour. Hold your ears on the free downtown trolley as it chronically rends the air with an offensive high frequency fascist government pitch at every stop. There are many wonderful relics and landmarks to witness scattered among the ugly communist architecture. Although Syracuse is more notorious for behavior-medicated zombies, avoid making eye contact with the local mutant population in this unique city. Do not extend a "hand of courtesy" to strangers in buffalo.
As a Buffalonian, I can understand how many are not impressed with the city. However, we were ranked number 3 for the most cleanest city in america. It was a shock. But as far as things to do, but has a different festival every weekend during summer. It is a great place to live with all four seasons!! Going to the beach and then skiing in winter! Buffalo isn't more then a 30 min drive from any of those attractions, including Niagara Falls! there are a lot of bars too if you like the night life. As far as any place really good, you just have to know where to go, try asking the locals, after all this is the city of good neighbors. (PS also the home to the original buffalo wings: Anchor Bar right in the middle of downtown.)
I lived in Buffalo for a few years. I felt it was dangerous and had many friends mugged at gunpoint or their houses broken into. On the surface, the city seemed surreal and depressing, but in retrospect, I can see that it has a lot of character and beauty. There is also something very genuine about the city, that you just don't find in more commercial cities. If your travel goal is to be safely entertained and impressed with typical tourist stuff I would not recommend Buffalo, but if you are traveling for experience of a deeper sort, I would.
I have lived in the Southern Tier of New York State near Hornell most of my life. I now live in Charlotte, NC where A LOT OF WNY people are moving to. Its a shame. The Pataki screw me tax, the government corruption, the welfare, and the crappy weather. When I come home to visit relatives who live in Rochester, NY... it's depressing and I can't wait to get "home." NC home that is. Buffalo has always been known as the armpit of the earth. The only thing I like about Buffalo is KB1520 AM and Danny Neaverth. I have been reading about the corruption of Niagra Falls. Just make that city a complete landfill!!! You people are crazy to continue to live there. Get out.
I was born in Buffalo, moved to Texas at 19 and I have just recently moved back to Buffalo. I have read everyones comments and I have to agree with Ibby the most. If you're looking for trouble in Buffalo you can find it... but for the most part Buffalo is full of history and culture and the city was built by hard working individuals who cherish family and tradition. The dividing lines are clear... unfortunately... but some of the nicest people live here. There is always a festival or carnival going on.. .and there are 4 seasons. The fishing is great and Buffalo is close to some of the most fantastic mountains and lakes in the country. 3 of the 5 Indian Nations are in this region. Buffalonians will treat you with respect and they make great neighbors. Yes, Buffalo has it's "bad" areas but all cities do... it's a city with a small town feel who takes care of their own. Buffalo has economic problems... a lot of cities do, however, Buffalo's rich heritage and strong sense of community helps Buffalonians overcome obstacles. I'm glad I'm back home. May God Bless all of you.
Buffsters like to give the impression that they are scary as a filtering technique to weed out the yuppies and bourgoisie from their social circles. To the first guy, "Buffalo is a weird town, not much going on" yes it is true that is a rather nail on the head description I will not lie. Let me help you folks with full clarification of what is really going on in Buffalo from the source. Traveloony yes very true, buffalo has a menacing attitude, and people generally feel more uneasy here than in those giant metropolises you mentioned. it is because those big cities are full of money and therefore, they have a lot of bark and little bite, money helps them to spread far and wide this "dangerous" perception so that they can seem cool and exciting, but in the end, a dirty, run down, economically devastated snow ridden working class city like Buffalo, naturally very bitter in nature, is where the real menacing attitudes are. Anyway Trav come on back and be confident that its not you they hate. It is just the government. The guy who said good food, good scene and good people has obviously been only very briefly here, if he was ever even within the city limits. The economy is garbage because of a severe corruption in the local govt, so with taxes high, roads beat up, police sold out, racially segregated neighborhoods, high tension basically, people are going to be a little bit more street smart/rough edged. but consequently we have great depth of character. to Jill Cohen, BIG DEAL teenagers chased you. In Buff thats a compliment. teenagers do that stuff, have some sand. You must be from Utah or never left your house or something. to the guy 3 lines before her, yes most people are whipped in&out thru downtownbut unless you are scared by the very sight of minorities, the east and west are certainly not a "death hole" tho they may appear rough to those who are from areas without holes in the street and where some city money actually goes into the community. However If you talk to them friendly, they will respond likewise and then some. If you are the sheltered type that gets intimidated by a lot of minorities in 1 place, then just be aware that the east and west sides will scare you. And yes, intimidating such people is the intention. Otherwise we have the king chicken wing, and we can survive the most horrible weather in the nation. We are great but weathered people, and we just dont fit in to everyone elses little mainstreams is all (which we are FINE with). Just don't be shallow with Buffalonians and they will revere you. Thanks for letting me speak it peoples, and God Bless, Peace.
There's no getting around the reality that Buffalo has ben in rapid decline for the last 70 years. That being said, I can't wait to go back. The people in Buffalo are the nicest I've ever met - helpful, polite, generous, and fun to be around. How people can be so nice while their city crumbles around them is dumbfounding. I will definitely be going back, just to chill with Buffalonians.
Buffalo is underrated in my book. If you look away from their criminal and economical problems, you will find shining jewels like the italian festival and the taste of buffalo. Don't miss them if your passing through.
In addition to being the most depressed economy in the country, danger lurks. Most tourists are whipped into downtown and back and never get a taste for what is really going on in Buffalo. The East Side (over 1/2 the city) is a death hole and the west side isn't doing much better.
Buffalo has a slightly menacing attitude, especially late afternoon. Compared with NYC, New Orleans, and LA which are all supposed to be dangerous, I felt more uneasy in Buffalo. That was in '02. I'm going to stay a couple days in '04 to see if I change my view. (Gotta give 'em a chance!)
Buffalo is a small, quaint city. Good food, good scene, and great people!
Buffalo is boring only to those who are boring. There is a load of cultural things to do but be aware, it isn't NY City. It's got it's own pace and is a small town with big city things to do.
Buffalo is a weird town, not much going on. It seemed strangely deserted when we arrived on a Saturday night. But I would recommend a stay in the Buffalo hostel if visiting Niagara Falls (a short bus ride away).
Buffalo is the second-most populated city in the whole of New York, with a population of more than a million individuals, but just a limited number of hostels. Originally a thriving and burgeoning industrial city in the past, Buffalo is known for being the seat of the Erie County, and for being one of the first cities to benefit from the height of the Industrial Revolution. Initially a small trading community with a limited population, Buffalo began to expand sometime in the early nineteenth century, and by the early twentieth century, it soon became the eighth-largest city in the United States.
Initially known for being a hub for trade and industry, Buffalo also holds its ground when it comes to the academia, with a good selection of non-denominational, Christian, and Islamic schools situated within the heart of the city itself. In the world of the academe, Buffalo is well known for the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, and for the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
Because it is a melting pot of diverse cultures, Buffalo is an excellent place to pig out and enjoy a vast array foodstuffs from a wide range of different cultures. Home to a dizzying array of restaurants, eateries, food stands, pubs, and bars, Buffalo is the place to be if you’re hankering to try the best of local and even ethnic foods. Whether your tastebuds long for a whiff of good Italian roast or a filling Italian meal, the multifarious grub-stops in Buffalo are sure to keep you happy, sated, and content. If you’re a drinking person, the place is also known for its excellently brewed beers and ales, with a brewing tradition that stretches way back to the early days of the city. When staying at a hostel in Buffalo, you should never miss the world-renowned Buffalo chicken wings, a highly imitated but never rivaled local specialty.
Buffalo is an excellent place to be for good nightlife. Home to some fifty art galleries (both public and private) as well as an excellent range of places that feature live bands, and even an impressive theatre district (the Buffalo Theatre District), you can experience the best of Buffalo’s art and music scene every day or night. For those of us who enjoy a good lively festive scene, Buffalo has its share of local festivities, like the Allentown Art Festival every second week of June, the Taste of Buffalo (a gigantic outdoor food-fest!), and the notorious Dyngus Day Buffalo during the wintertime.
Buffalonians (as the locals are called) are also known throughout the country as a highly hospitable and peaceable lot of individuals, making Buffalo not only a perfect vacation spot, but also a great place to settle down! While there is a nearly unlimited means to find a place or land yourself in a cozy nook in Buffalo, advanced hostel reservations (literally months in advance at times!) are in order when you’re planning to visit during peak seasons such as in July or August.
Hi, I'm Angelica Burrage,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Buffalo hostels. Welcome.