Austin city skyline

A break-down of all that’s great in Austin, Texas, including the best museums and landmarks.

Essential Sights

Texas State Capitol: The commanding building at the hilltop end of Congress Avenue – designated a National Historic Landmark – celebrates Texas history
(with paintings of both Davy Crockett and Dawn of the Alamo, for example) as well as offering insights into the works of the state justice system. Tours are free.

Bullock Texas State History Museum: The Texas tales here hail from the days when the city’s founders settled in ‘Tejas’. There’s discounted admission for advanced-reservation group tours of 20 or more.

Ann W Richards Congress Avenue Bridge: Crowds gather every night between April and late September on the bridge to watch as between 750,000 and 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats from North America’s largest urban bat colony head out from under the bridge on the hunt for food.

Best for groups

Take a tour: Companies like AO Tours offer guided tours of the city that include places like the Hill Country. Custom itineraries are available for large groups.
Go on a Duck Adventure: Duck Adventures’ amphibious vehicles let groups take in the land and lake of Austin.

Grafitti in Austin

Pictured: wall art in Austin.

Visit the Broken Spoke Club: A banner in the Broken Spoke club describes it as “The Last of the True Dance Halls in Texas” and your group can have Texas two-step dance lessons between sessions from Wednesday to Saturday.

Food and drink

With an estimated 1,000 food trucks in the city to pick from, there’s no end of choice, many with such marvellous names as Naan Sequitur, Bananarchy, Doggie Style (hot dogs, before you ask) and the Best Wurst.

The Via 313 Pizzeria truck behind the Craft Pride bar in Rainey Street offers delicious Detroit-style deep-pan pizzas. There’s also one in East 6th Street.

The legendary Stubb’s Bar-B-Q on Red River Street serves up smoked meats – brisket, pulled pork, chicken and turkey – on rectangular tin plates, with cold beer and a side of music from a range of visiting bands. 

The Veracruz All Natural Food truck in Austin

Pictured: The Veracruz All Natural Food truck in Austin.

Where to stay?

Hotel Van Zandt: Smart, modern hotel that overlooks Lady Bird Lake and the Austin skyline. Handy for the bars and food trucks in nearby hip Rainey Street.

The Driskill Hotel: This well-located, historic hotel, which dates back to the 1880s, is where President Lyndon Baines Johnson and future wife Lady Bird had their first date.

Hyatt Place Austin Downtown: Only three blocks from the Sixth Street entertainment district, and a five-minute walk from walking/biking paths along Lady Bird Lake.


Currency: US dollars.

Flight time from London to Austin: British Airways flies direct to Austin in just over ten hours.

Best time to go: Summers can be very hot, with temperatures around 35 degrees and upwards, so aim for early spring or late autumn.