AustinUnited States of America

Image for Lady Bird Lake which includes a city, skyline and a skyscraper

A big Southern city that prides itself on ‘keeping Austin weird’, Texas’ capital and fourth largest city combines high tech industry with a fierce independent spirit.

A true hub for live music and unconventional art, it’s no surprise that Austin is one of America’s fastest growing cities and one of the most interesting places to visit in the United States. This is a city that sets out to surprise you!

Despite being home to countless high tech companies which earned the city the nickname ‘Silicon Hills’ in the 1990s, Austin is a city that considers itself to be something of a maverick. The ‘keep Austin weird’ initiative is an unofficial one, but is hugely popular within the city.

Thankfully Austinites don’t mean ‘weird’ in the conventional sense, but a desire to celebrate the city’s eccentric nature and diversity, whilst supporting local people and businesses – a great example of this is the popularity of the city’s SoCo shopping district on South Congress Avenue which is home to countless quirky coffee shops, unusual shops and food stalls.

If there is one aspect to Austin that genuinely is ‘weird’, it’s the role that live music plays in the city – partly due to the success of PBS’ live music TV show ‘Austin City Limits’. Per capita, Austin has more live music venues than anywhere else in the United States. Centred around 6th Street’s countless small bars and nightclubs, live music can be heard all over the city. Indeed, Austin has become something of a festival town with the aforementioned TV show’s annual three day festival in Ziker Park and the urban/punk Fun Fun Fun Fest held in Auditorium Shores.

Austin isn’t only about music though. Live theatre and filmmaking are also huge draws for visitors to the city. The Austin Film Festival attracts big names each year whilst the growing influence Department of Radio-TV-Film at the University of Texas, Austin is helping more and more films be made in the city – many of which are premiered at the Paramount, a historical movie theatre in Downtown.

For lovers of live performance, Austin is hope to dozens of professional and semi-professional theatre companies. Performing their work at live performance venues such as the Zachary Scott Theatre Centre and the Hyde Park Theatre, Austin makes it easy to see anything from a cutting edge one-man show to a major Shakespeare production. If you just fancy a good laugh, Austin also features a well-developed improve scene centred around small clubs and theatres such as The Hideout and New Movement Theatre.

Of course, there’s plenty of more traditional things to do in Austin – such as visit the city’s excellent symphony orchestra – but when there’s so much fun to be had just getting lost in the city itself, why not just go weird?

Austin Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Austin

Downtown Austin showing street scenes and an administrative building

Downtown Austin

4.5/5Wonderful!(35 area reviews)

Downtown Austin is popular for its fantastic nightlife. Explore top sights like Sixth Street and Texas State Capitol, and you can get around town on the metro at Downtown Station.

Downtown Austin
Lady Bird Lake showing central business district, a high-rise building and a lake or waterhole

East Austin

3/5(3 area reviews)

East Austin is a destination travellers like for its live music, and you might hop aboard the metro at Plaza Saltillo Station or Martin Luther King Jr Station to explore sights like Lady Bird Lake.

East Austin
South Congress showing signage and shopping

South Congress

4/5Very Good!(10 area reviews)

The abundant dining options and stunning river views are top of the list for many visitors to South Congress. A stop by Lady Bird Lake or South Congress Avenue might round out your trip.

South Congress
North Austin, Austin, Texas, United States of America
trover photo by Andrew Lucchesi

North Austin

3.5/5Good!(4 area reviews)

If you're spending time in North Austin, check out sights like The Domain or McNeil Crossing and hop on the metro to see more of the city at Kramer Station or Howard Station.

North Austin
Central Austin, Austin, Texas, United States of America
trover photo by Daniel Detscher

Central Austin

Central Austin is well liked for its restaurants, and you can visit sights like Bass Concert Hall and Texas State Capitol if you have time to explore the area.

Central Austin
Rainey Street Historic District, Austin, Texas, United States of America
trover photo by Mark Ghazal

Rainey Street Historic District

The abundant dining options and lake views are top of the list for many visitors to Rainey Street Historic District. A stop by Lady Bird Lake or Rainey Street might round out your trip.

Rainey Street Historic District

Top hotels in Austin

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Fairmont Austin
Fairmont Austin
4 out of 5
101 Red River St, Austin, TX
£204
per night
Mar 5 - Mar 6

This spa hotel is located in Austin (Downtown Austin), close to Austin Convention Center, Sixth Street and Paramount Theater. Also nearby are Moody Theater and ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (2,335 reviews)

"Food in casual restaurant needs to improve. Terrible pizza!"…"

Reviewed on 16 Feb 2020

Fairmont Austin
The LINE Austin
The LINE Austin
4 out of 5
111 East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, TX
£218
per night
Feb 23 - Feb 24

Located in Downtown Austin, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Lady Bird Lake and Austin Convention Center. Sixth Street and Moody Theater are also within ...

4.3/5Excellent! (462 reviews)

"As many people have already noted, the design of the lobby is phenomenal. It’s expansive - and inviting. I liked all the original art. Since we were there during winter, we appreciated the fireplaces as well. The pool area is lovely. Having multiple dining options - one fancy, one casual, and a coffee ..."…"

Reviewed on 15 Feb 2020

The LINE Austin
Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark
Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark
4 out of 5
4140 Governors Row, Austin, TX
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
£96
per night
Feb 28 - Feb 29

Located in McKinney, this hotel is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from St. Edward's University.

4.2/5Very Good! (3,945 reviews)

"The staff were kind and very attentive. They sent up champagne and cake for my husbands birthday! The hotel was a little bit dated but clean. The pool and gym area were also very clean and organized."…"

Reviewed on 10 Feb 2020

Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark

Popular things to do in Austin

Sixth Street
Image for Sixth Street

Sixth Street

4/5(24 reviews)

Austin’s answer to Bourbon Street really comes alive when the sun goes down. Enjoy live music, delicious food and refreshing drinks here any time of day.

Lake Travis
Image for Lake Travis

Lake Travis

4.5/5(9 reviews)

Explore the great outdoors at Lake Travis, a popular spot to commune with nature in Leander. Stroll along the lakeside or visit the spas in this relaxing area.

Texas State Capitol
Image for Texas State Capitol

Texas State Capitol

4.5/5(24 reviews)

An architectural marvel that rivals anything you might see in the great cities of Europe. 

Zilker Park
Image for Zilker Park

Zilker Park

4.5/5(12 reviews)

Perched on the banks of a beautiful lake, this centrally located park is an idyllic spot to relax in thermal springs or hike along extensive trails. 

Circuit Of the Americas
Image for Circuit Of the Americas

Circuit Of the Americas

5/5(9 reviews)

Catch an event at Circuit Of the Americas during your trip to Del Valle.Amble around this vibrant area's university campus and enjoy its top-notch restaurants.

Lady Bird Lake
Image for Lady Bird Lake

Lady Bird Lake

4.5/5(14 reviews)

Try a water sport or relax by the shoreline at this major feature in the Austin landscape. 

Top activities in Austin

Downtown to Barton Springs Guided Kayak Tour
Image for Downtown to Barton Springs Guided Kayak Tour

Downtown to Barton Springs Guided Kayak Tour

£25

We have a fun 2-hour tour that leads guests on a kayaking adventure on Lady Bird Lake with amazing downtown views! The tour also paddles into Barton Creek and arrives at the beautiful spring-fed waters of Barton Springs, the natural wonder of Austin! Our fun and informative guide will give you tons of information on our city, culture, natural features, and wildlife.

Austin City Highlights Tour
Image for Austin City Highlights Tour

Austin City Highlights Tour

£29

Embark on an adventure to some of Austin’s major landmarks, quaint neighborhoods, and hidden gems that only the locals can show you. Ride through town in a comfortable van, and even get a tasty treat from one of Austin's signature food trucks.

Kayak Rental at Lady Bird Lake
Image for Kayak Rental at Lady Bird Lake

Kayak Rental at Lady Bird Lake

£13

Paddle through the waters of Lady Bird Lake, scoping out views of downtown Austin's skyline, visiting quiet islands, and cruising past parks that line this sealed section of the Colorado River. Along the way, explore secluded beaches perfect for a refreshing swim and snap photos of native wildlife.

Texas Hill Country & LBJ Ranch Tour from Austin
Image for Texas Hill Country & LBJ Ranch Tour from Austin

Texas Hill Country & LBJ Ranch Tour from Austin

£84

Cruise through the rolling, tree-flecked landscapes of Texas Hill Country to check out the former home of a US President, and explore colorful towns made famous by country musicians. Visit LBJ Ranch, Fredericksburg, and Luckenbach on this full-day excursion.

The Brunch Bus
Image for The Brunch Bus

The Brunch Bus

£69

Brunch. The one thing that can drag every sleepy (and possibly hungover) soul out of bed. Brunch is the best thing about the weekend, so it is our absolute delight to show-off the best of Austin’s brunch scene.

Historic Austin Segway Tour
Image for Historic Austin Segway Tour

Historic Austin Segway Tour

£46

Tours start with rider orientation and training. You will get some help fitting your helmet then off we go for an exciting tour. Feel the wind in your hair while we cruise to the State Capital of Texas, the Driskill and to other hot spots around town.

Reviews of Austin

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
32
5 - Excellent 58.18181818181818%
4 - Good
17
4 - Good 30.90909090909091%
3 - Okay
5
3 - Okay 9.090909090909092%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 1.8181818181818181%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Jan 29, 2020

Austin is an incredible city with a lot to offer. We booked this hotel out of convenience but I’ve stayed in a lot of airport and budget hotels and this was by far the worst.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

Jan 4, 2020

Hardly any celebrations in the city for New Years.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

Nov 13, 2019

To much traffic

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Nov 10, 2019

Austin itself is a great place. This hotel is on the outskirts. With no way of getting in or out unless you drive

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Nov 9, 2019

Vibrant city with welcoming people

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Nov 9, 2019

Easy to get around and people friendly and helpful. Service everywhere was great...

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