Austin travel guide

City of the Violet Crown

Austin Tourism | Austin Guide

You're Going to Love Austin

Austin is an incredible place and one of America’s true cultural capitals. It’s the place to go for anyone who loves indie music, independent films, comedy, quirky theater, puppet shows, jazz, and dance. Actually, if you love almost any form of culture, Austin is the ideal destination.

It’s an ideal place to build your vacation around a specific festival. Visit during South by Southwest festival and check out established and new music acts from every corner of the globe, organize a fall trip to watch major bands in the Austin City Limits Festival, or head to the Out Bounds Festival to watch leading global comedy performers.

However, you can visit this laid-back bohemian city at any time of year and spend your days enjoying Tex-Mex cuisine, shopping for art and craft souvenirs, or cheering on the Longhorns.

There’s plenty of reasons to head to the Texan capital. From sport and comedy to shopping and music – Austin is one of America’s greatest city break destinations.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Austin

What to do in Austin

Texas State Capitol
Zilker Botanical Garden
Bullock Texas State History Museum
Lady Bird Lake
Top activities & attractions in Austin

When to Visit Austin

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Austin in {1}

2 travelers Flight to Austin 3 nights at hotel
Median hotel rate + Median airfare from United States

Spring is the best time to visit Austin. High summer can be uncomfortably hot, but the weather is just right between March and May. It’s also the cultural season of the year thanks to the massive SXSW music festival and a great time to get outdoors. Fall is almost as attractive, with similarly comfortable temperatures and the Austin City Limits Festival, which attracts big music names like the Cure and the Kings of Leon.

Average temperatures
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When the weather is nice in Austin

How to Get to Austin

Airports near Austin

Airlines serving Austin

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Where to Stay in Austin

Most of the best accommodation options in Austin are to be found in the Downtown area, but there are good options in most of the city’s neighborhoods. The W Hotel Austin is the best luxury hotel in the center of town, while mid-range and cheaper Downtown alternatives include the Radisson Hotel and Firehouse Hostel. If you want to stay in a more rustic location, check out the massive Hyatt Lost Pines Resort and Spa near McKinney Falls. If you are staying near the University of Texas, Drifter Jack’s Hostel is a good budget choice.

Popular Districts

Most popular hotel in Austin by neighborhood

East Austin

Where to stay in popular areas of Austin

Most booked hotels in Austin

How to Get Around Austin

The Cost of Living in Austin

Shopping Streets

Austin’s great appeal for shoppers is the wide variety of strange and off-beat boutiques. It’s a bohemian place with a huge community of music fans, so record shops like Waterloo Records or End of an Ear are worth a look. You’ll find unique, vintage toys at Hogwild and plenty of apparel boutiques on South Congress Street, including Blackmail and Parts & Labor. There are also conventional malls, including Barton Creek (with a Macy’s and J.C. Penney) and Prime Outlets San Marcos, where 200 cut-price stores offer a huge selection of bargain clothing.

Groceries and Other

Austin has a lower cost of living than most other U.S. cities of its size, partly thanks to lower state taxes on groceries. This means that shopping for food and drink is affordable almost everywhere in the city. Major supermarkets include independent stores like Central Markets and chains like Wal-Mart, Safeway and H-E-B.

Cheap meal
Cheap meal
A pair of jeans
A pair of jeans
Single public transport ticket
Single public transport ticket

Where to Eat in Austin

If you love Tex-Mex food, Austin is crammed with great places to eat. Don’t miss the fajitas rancheras at Habanero Café, the beef fajitas at Pappasito’s, or the shrimp tacos at Matt’s El Rancho. There are also authentic Italian restaurants like La Traviata in Downtown, traditional southern food pubs like Roaring Fork, and Japanese restaurants like Uchi. Street food is another attraction. Fill up on the sausages at Best Wurst or the burgers at Casino el Camino for great food on the move. Expect to pay $15-20 for a medium range meal and anything above $40 in the most up-market restaurants.

Most popular restaurants in Austin

Driskill Grill - Driskill Hotel
Contemporary American
Excellent (3,140 reviews)
Uchiko Austin
Excellent (2,547 reviews)
Uchi Austin
Excellent (2,404 reviews)
Perry's Steakhouse & Grille - Downtown Austin
Excellent (2,168 reviews)
Carillon Restaurant
Contemporary American
Excellent (2,059 reviews)
Red Ash Italia
Excellent (1,784 reviews)