Written by Selina

Modified & Updated: 07 Mar 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument and Syracuse Saving Bank Building at Clinton Square in downtown Syracuse, New York State, USA. Syracuse Savings Bank Building was built in 1876 with Gothic style.

Nestled in the heart of upstate New York, Syracuse stands as a testament to the rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty. From its ancient origins as a Greek colony to its vibrant present as a thriving city, Syracuse has captivated visitors with its charm and allure. In this article, we uncover 19 intriguing facts about Syracuse, delving into its historical significance, iconic landmarks, and the unique experiences it offers to both residents and visitors.

Table of Contents

Ancient Greek Origins

Syracuse traces its roots back to the 8th century BCE when it was founded by Greek colonists from Corinth. Named after the ancient city of Syracuse in Sicily, it became a prominent center of Greek civilization in the Western Mediterranean.


One of Syracuse’s most celebrated residents was Archimedes, a renowned mathematician, physicist, and engineer. Born in the city around 287 BCE, Archimedes made significant contributions to mathematics and science, including the discovery of Archimedes’ principle.

Greek Theater at Syracuse

The Greek Theater of Syracuse, built in the 5th century BCE, is one of the largest surviving ancient theaters in the world. It stands as a testament to the city’s cultural heritage and continues to host performances, showcasing Syracuse’s enduring artistic spirit.

The Legend of the Ear of Dionysius

Within the ancient city’s archaeological park lies the Ear of Dionysius, a limestone cave renowned for its impressive acoustics. Legend has it that the tyrant Dionysius used the cave to eavesdrop on prisoners, amplifying even the faintest of sounds.

Erie Canal

Syracuse played a vital role in the development of the Erie Canal, a historic waterway that connected the Great Lakes to the Hudson River. The canal’s construction brought economic growth, turning Syracuse into a thriving hub of trade and industry.

Salt City

Syracuse earned the nickname “Salt City” due to its historical association with salt production. The region’s natural salt springs were a valuable resource, attracting early settlers and driving the local economy.

The Great New York State Fair

Great New York State Fair 
Image from Facebook

Syracuse hosts the annual Great New York State Fair, a beloved event showcasing agriculture, entertainment, and culinary delights. Dating back to 1841, the fair is a celebration of New York’s vibrant culture and heritage.

Syracuse University

Syracuse University, founded in 1870, is a renowned educational institution known for its academic excellence and diverse programs. The university’s campus adds to the city’s vibrant atmosphere, fostering a spirit of learning and innovation.

Destiny USA

Destiny USA, one of the largest shopping centers in the United States, offers a unique shopping and entertainment experience in Syracuse. With its diverse range of stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues, it attracts visitors from near and far.

Green Spaces and Parks

Syracuse boasts a multitude of green spaces and parks, providing residents and visitors with tranquil retreats amidst the urban landscape. From the picturesque Onondaga Lake Park to the scenic trails of Clark Reservation State Park, nature enthusiasts are spoiled for choice.

Syracuse Crunch

The Syracuse Crunch, a professional ice hockey team, has been a beloved part of the city’s sports scene since its founding in 1994. The team’s energetic games at the Upstate Medical University Arena bring the community together and ignite the spirit of competition.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, a famous restaurant chain originating in Syracuse, is a mecca for barbecue lovers. Its mouthwatering ribs, pulled pork, and flavorful sauces have garnered a loyal following both locally and beyond.

Everson Museum of Art

everson museum
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The Everson Museum of Art, designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei, houses a diverse collection of American art and ceramics. Its striking modernist architecture and thought-provoking exhibitions make it a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts.

Carrier Dome

The Carrier Dome, Syracuse University’s iconic sports venue, is a symbol of Orange pride and tradition. Hosting basketball games, football matches, and other events, it creates an electric atmosphere that reverberates with the passion of dedicated fans.

Salt Potatoes

Salt potatoes are a beloved Syracuse culinary tradition. These small potatoes are boiled in heavily salted water, resulting in a unique and flavorful dish that perfectly complements a variety of meals.


Syracuse is a city steeped in history, culture, and captivating stories. From its ancient Greek origins and architectural wonders to its vibrant arts scene and culinary delights, Syracuse offers a delightful blend of experiences for visitors and residents alike. Explore the city’s museums, wander through its parks, savor its culinary delights, and immerse yourself in its rich heritage. Syracuse is a destination that never fails to leave a lasting impression.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best time to visit Syracuse?

Syracuse experiences four distinct seasons, with summers being warm and winters being snowy. Spring and fall offer pleasant temperatures, making them ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the city’s attractions.

Can I visit the Greek Theater of Syracuse?

Yes, the Greek Theater of Syracuse is open to visitors. You can explore the ancient ruins and witness the grandeur of this historic theater.

Are there any festivals or events in Syracuse?

Syracuse hosts a range of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Great New York State Fair, the Syracuse Jazz Fest, and the Taste of Syracuse. These events showcase the city’s vibrant culture and offer opportunities for entertainment and culinary delights.

How do I get around Syracuse?

Syracuse offers various transportation options, including buses, taxis, rideshares, and bike-sharing programs. The city is also pedestrian-friendly, with many attractions within walking distance.

What other attractions are near Syracuse?

Near Syracuse, you can explore the beautiful Finger Lakes region, renowned for its wineries and scenic landscapes. The charming town of Skaneateles, located by Skaneateles Lake, is also worth a visit for its shops, restaurants, and scenic beauty.

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