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Austin, TX
Travel Guide

Lady Bird Lake showing a city, a lake or waterhole and skyline

One of the new music capitals of the world, this Texas city also has a great presidential library, handsome Capitol building and pretty parks.

The city of Austin is the home of South by Southwest (SXSW), a huge festival of music, film and other performances by new and established talents. Come for the weeklong festival in March or explore the city’s attractions at any time of year.

Zilker Park is a large public space just west of Downtown Austin. During Austin’s warm spring to fall seasons, swim here in Barton Springs. The stream travels through the city, with a 900-foot (270-meter) long pool created between limestone sides before Barton Creek empties into the Colorado River. The pool itself is a massive 3-acre (1.2-hectare) expanse of water, surrounded by grassy areas for sunbathing and picnicking. Watch closely along the shoreline for several species of endangered salamander.

Visit Austin’s varied museums. The French Legation Museum, an 1841 wooden structure, was once a diplomatic residence. Show your kids your favorite childhood playthings at the Austin Toy Museum, with more than 20,000 pieces from the 1900s onward. Let them have hands-on fun at the Texas Museum of Science and Technology, which features a planetarium and a T. rex skull, among other attractions. Learn about Texas history at the Texas Memorial Museum and the free Brush Square Museums.

Tour the beautiful red-granite, domed Texas State Capitol building. The LBJ Presidential Library reveals the life and times of the 36th president, Lyndon Baines Johnson. A portion of the Colorado River is named Lady Bird Lake, honoring LBJ’s wife. Follow the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail for 10 miles (16 kilometers) along the lake.

While SXSW is one of the city’s biggest musical events, Austin earns its title of Live Music Capital of the World with more than 250 live music venues and 1,900 music acts. Enjoy everything from ballet to blues, rock, Latino, jazz, country, handbell, Gilbert & Sullivan and Indian classical music.

Fly to the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport or drive here in just 2.5 hours from Houston or 1.5 hours from San Antonio.

Austin Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Austin

Fairmont Austin
Fairmont Austin
4 out of 5
101 Red River St, Austin, TX
The price is $185 per night from Apr 26 to Apr 27
This eco-friendly hotel is located in Austin (Downtown Austin), close to Austin Convention Center, Sixth Street, and Paramount Theater. Also nearby are Moody ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (3,334 reviews)
"Staff was extremely friendly and accommodating, hotel was clean and pool was fun"

Reviewed on Apr 19, 2021

Fairmont Austin
Courtyard by Marriott Austin Downtown/Convention Center
Courtyard by Marriott Austin Downtown/Convention Center
3 out of 5
300 East 4th Street, Austin, TX
The price is $129 per night from Apr 25 to Apr 26
Located in Downtown Austin, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Sixth Street, Austin Convention Center, and Rainey Street. South Congress Avenue and Texas ...
4.3/5Excellent! (969 reviews)
"Very nice hotel with friendly staff"

Reviewed on Apr 20, 2021

Courtyard by Marriott Austin Downtown/Convention Center
Omni Austin Hotel
Omni Austin Hotel
4 out of 5
700 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX
The price is $149 per night from Apr 27 to Apr 28
Located in Downtown Austin, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Paramount Theater and O. Henry House Museum. Downtown Station is 7 minutes by foot and Plaza ...
4.1/5Very Good! (1,346 reviews)
"Hotel was being remodeled. The lobby bar was closed. The restaurant was closed. The pool bar was closed. No in room food. We had to eat off property and locate a liquor store for drinks in our room. The bed was very comfortable."

Reviewed on Apr 21, 2021

Omni Austin Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
HYATT house Austin/Arboretum
HYATT house Austin/Arboretum
3 out of 5
10001 N Capital Of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX
The price is $113 per night from May 17 to May 18
Located in Gateway, this aparthotel is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from The Domain and within 9 mi (15 km) of University of Texas Tower and University of Texas at Austin. ...
4.3/5Excellent! (1,709 reviews)
Nice location
"Check in process was quick and easy. Hassle free the entire time."

Reviewed on Apr 6, 2021

HYATT house Austin/Arboretum
Sonesta ES Suites Austin The Domain Area
Sonesta ES Suites Austin The Domain Area
3 out of 5
10201 Stonelake Blvd, Austin, TX
The price is $106 per night from Apr 28 to Apr 29
Located in Gateway, this aparthotel is 2 mi (3.2 km) from The Domain and within 12 mi (20 km) of University of Texas Tower and LBJ Presidential Library. Blanton ...
4.6/5Exceptional! (606 reviews)
"Good location in the Austin area. Property condition was under construction, so difficult to assess."

Reviewed on Apr 19, 2021

Sonesta ES Suites Austin The Domain Area
Studio 6 Buda, TX
Studio 6 Buda, TX
2 out of 5
5163 Overpass Rd, Buda, TX
The price is $85 per night from Apr 25 to Apr 26
Situated in Buda, this aparthotel is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Buda and 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from Stagecoach Park. Ascension Seton ...
3.6/5Good! (373 reviews)
"It was right off the Hwy.Rooms where okay and no breakfast was a bummer."

Reviewed on Mar 22, 2021

Studio 6 Buda, TX
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Austin

Austin has an excellent public transportation network that covers all its neighborhoods, so renting a car isn't necessary unless you plan on doing a lot of travel outside of the city. Capital Metro runs buses throughout Austin, while MetroRapid express buses run between the north and south of the city. The MetroRail train line has stations along a 26-mile (42-kilometer) route. Biking is popular too. Visit the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority website.Browse Austin rental cars.

Best time to visit

Book your trip to Austin for spring or fall to see the city at its best. During these seasons, you can expect pleasant temperatures in the 70s to 80s F (20s C) during the day. Avoid the summer if you don’t like heat or are planning on spending lots of time outdoors. In the warmest months, temperatures can reach well into the 90s F (30s C), and the air gets very humid.

Popular places to visit in Austin

Top things to do in Austin

Reviews of Austin

4.3

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
4701
5 - Excellent 51.06452313708451%
4 - Good
3349
4 - Good 36.37844883771454%
3 - Okay
891
3 - Okay 9.678470562676516%
2 - Disappointing
164
2 - Disappointing 1.7814468824679557%
1 - Terrible
101
1 - Terrible 1.0971105800564849%

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveler

Jun 6, 2020

Cost of living extremely expensive and don't do enough for minorities and Austin is to greedy to feed the needy. Not really impressed when your city sucks the life out of you and wants you to accept it and be happy.

1/5 - Terrible

Verified traveler

Jun 6, 2020

I was thrown off the property for a reason that was not legit.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jun 3, 2020

Outside of Austin city limits is beautiful, but downtown Austin was terrible, dirty and I wouldn't stay downtown.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jun 2, 2020

We went when things were still pretty much shut down so there wasn't much to do. This was the day the protests and rioting/looting started as well. Luckily, we left 6th St minutes before a car was set on fire

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Jun 2, 2020

I love Austin overall but this hotel is in Cedar Park area.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Jun 2, 2020

Expensive

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