Overview

Austin, the capital of Texas, is the 11th-most populous city in the United States of America and the fourth-most populous city in the state of Texas.The history of Austin can be traced back to the 1830s and the city has been the capital of Texas since 1839. The establishment of the University of Texas in the late 19th century made Austin a regional center for higher education. In the 20th century, Austin's music scene had earned the city the nickname "Live Music Capital of the World”.


Population: 885,400 (In 2013)
Size: 271.8 Sq Mi
Language(s): English, Spanish, French

Things to do in Austin!

Check out exciting tours, activities & things to do in Austin!

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Guide to Austin
Curated information about the event

Neighborhoods

Ranked as the second most livable city in America by CNN/Money Magazine, Austin is by far the most diverse and lively city in Texas. If partying on Sixth Street until the wee hours of the morning isn't your scene, Austin is also a sanctuary for mountain bikers, cyclists (Lance Armstrong is a native), hikers, kayakers, and anyone who enjoys a good game of Frisbee golf.

Some of Austin’s neighborhoods are:

  • Downtown: Downtown Austin by day has well-dressed business folk walk with a purpose between its capitol building, towering condominium complexes, and sophisticated banks, and by night, new energy emanates from America’s countless bars, clubs, and music venues as live bands turn up their amps along Sixth Street. Bars, restaurants, galleries, boutiques, and record stores round out this neighborhood’s harmonious repertoire. Austin's Texas' state capitol is a prominent landmark that outsizes the U.S. State Capitol.
    • Sixth Street: Sixth Street is a historic street and entertainment district in Austin, Texas. E. Sixth Street (known locally as Dirty Sixth), has many bars, clubs, music venues offering live music at one time or another during the week; plays host to a wide variety of events each year, ranging from music and film festivals (such as South by Southwest) to biker rallies (such as The Republic of Texas Biker Rally) and the Pecan Street Festival.
  • Central Austin: The George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, located in Central Austin, is the first museum in Texas devoted to African-American history.
  • Highland: Highland is located near Windsor Park, six miles north of the University of Texas and seven miles north of Downtown Austin.  Highland in North Austin is a quiet, multigenerational neighborhood.
  • Riverside: Riverside is located near Lady Bird Lake & Downtown.
  • South Congress: Directly across the lake from Downtown, South Congress is the Alternative Austin with organic markets, taco stands, and craft coffee-and-brew bars, thrift stores, with the largest congregation of Austin's mobile eateries. Austin's reputation centers on its musical prowess, and SoCo (as South Congress is fondly known) showcases some of the city's biggest acts, with American legends like Muddy Waters and Janis Joplin gracing the stage at The Continental Club.
  • West Austin: West Austin is generally considered to be the wealthy part of town, extending from the Mopac Expressway (Loop 1) all the way to Lake Travis.
  • East Austin: East Austin not only touts some of the most highly rated Mexican eateries in the country but also coffee shops, a farmers market, and food trucks like the East Side King parked outside of bars and music venues every night.
  • North Loop: North Loop is the new East Side, with tons of restaurants, like Foreign and Domestic, vintage stores like Room Service Vintage, bars and coffee shops like Epoch.
  • Hyde Park: Hyde Park traces its origins back to 1891 and is considered to be Austin's first suburb. The Hyde Park Historic District includes Victorian architecture, Tudor Revival architecture and Bungalows.
  • Highland Park /West Balcones: Located between the downtown area and Lake Austin, Highland Park offers an enchanting mix of urban fun and natural beauty. Some great attractions in this area are Camp Mabry, Brightleaf Nature Center, Mayfield Park and Perry Park.

Getting Around

General info

Airport:

The Austin Bergstrom International Airport is approximately eleven miles from downtown Austin. You can use the following services to reach Austin:

  • Bus: 100-MetroAirport, Inbound takes 30 minutes to Trinity  & 15th.
  • Shuttle: Shuttle services can be booked at the airport and online.
  • Taxi: Minimum fare for taxi customers is USD 13.10; this includes a USD 1.00 airport surcharge. All taxis have a 4 passenger maximum limit, excluding children 12 years and under. All taxis accept major credit cards. . Taxi fare from the airport to Downtown costs approximately USD 25.00.
  • Rental car companies are available at the airport:
  • For private/shared car hire:
    • You can hire a private/shared car here.
    • For limo hire, visit here.
  • It will take you approximately 20 minutes to reach Austin from the airport.
  • Refer here for the schedules.
  • Refer here for shuttle fare information.

Taxi

  • Taxis are available at bus stations, airport, city centre.
  • Minimum fare is USD 2.65 for first mile and fare above minimum fare is USD 2.3 per mile.
  • Taxi agencies with their contact numbers:
    • Yellow Cab: 512-452-9999
    • Austin Cab: 512-478-2222
    • Lone Star Cab: 512-836-4900

Bus

  • Refer here for the Metro Bus schedules and for the Metro Rapid schedules refer here.
  • Refer here for fare information.
  • Bus tickets can be purchased online.

Shuttle

  • UT Shuttle provides limited stop service from student living centers and the UT campus.
  • Refer here for the UT Shuttle schedules.
  • Refer here for fare information.
  • UT Shuttle tickets can be purchased online.

Boat

  • Boat Tour Services are available for Sightseeing and as Water Taxi Service.
  • Refer here for information.

Eat and drink

Local

Varied as the topography from coast to plains to mountainous desert, Texas is a fusion of 27 ethnic or cultural groups, each stirring their own ingredients into timeless Texas recipes.

Texan cuisine has Southern, Mexican and Western influences. African Americans deserve at least half of the credit for the Texas legacy of Southern cooking. Sopapillas and strudel are the official state pastries of Texas. Tigua Pueblo Indians planted, harvested and ground wheat for use in meals prepared for Franciscan friars. Known by the Tigua as “Indian fry bread,” the pastry, made of wheat dough and fried in lard, evolved into what we know as Sopapilla.Strudel came to Texas via European immigrants: English, French, Welsh, Scottish, Irish, German, Polish, Scandinavian and Austro-Hungarian.

Popular dishes include Chicken-fried steak, Barbecue, Chili, Tex-Mex cheese enchiladas, Chile con queso, Brisket tacos, Pecan pie, King Ranch Casserole, and Tortilla soup.

Places where one will be able to taste some popular dishes include:

Gourmet

  • Eastside Cafe
    • Cuisine: Continental & Mexican, Gluten-free items are available
    • Awards
      • 2014 Best Austin Brunch Restaurants (Gayot)
      • 2014 Best Austin Heart-Healthy Restaurants (Gayot)
  • Uchi
    • Cuisine: Japanese
    • Awards
      • Bon Appétit Magazine – Top Ten Sushi Spots April 2009
      • Rare Magazine – Best Sushi 2008-2010
      • Rare Magazine – Best Fine Dining June 2010
      • The Zagat Guide – Best Food in Austin 2008-2010 Fearless Critic – Best Restaurant in Austin 2008, 2010
      • Austin Chronicle reader’s poll Favorite Restaurant in Austin 2006-2010
      • Houston Chronicle - Top Restaurants in Texas

    • La Condesa
    • Cuisine: Mexican
    • Awards
      • James Beard Foundation Award for 'Best New Restaurant’ 2010
  • Congress
    • Cuisine: American
    • Awards
      • Esquire Magazine named Austin's Congress as one of the nation's best new restaurants of 2011
      • Bon Appétit’s "Top 10 Best New Restaurants in America’ 2011
      • 2014 Austin Chronicle First Plates Awards for New American Restaurant

Vegetarian

Drink

Austin is America’s Live Music capital and 6th Street with its music venues, bars and restaurants is the pulse of Austin’s nightlife.

Tipping

Tipping is expected in most places and should always be done unless the service provided was completely unsatisfactory.

  • Hotels: Tip your porter USD 1 to 2 per bag depending on the weight. A doorman who helps you hail a cab should be paid USD 1 to 2 as well.
  • Restaurants: Tip your server 10 to 15% of the bill for average service. Restaurants will add a service charge for groups of five or more.
  • Bars: Tip the bartender USD 1 to 2 per drink.
  • Counter Service: Tips are not generally required.
  • Taxis: Tip your driver 10 to 15% of the fare; an additional USD 1 to 2 for help with bags.

Staying Connected

  • There are two main GSM service providers in the USA - AT&T and T-Mobile.
  • Both offer 3G services across the 850 MHz / 1900 MHz bands which supported by most modern quad-band phones.
  • If you have an “Unlocked” phone then you can purchase a prepaid / Pay As You Go SIM card for your phone. Check this link for tariff rates.
  • Prepaid SIM cards are readily available – both at the airport as well as at convenience stores like Walgreens.
  • You could consider purchasing a SIM from either of the two bigger players, which might have a broader coverage, or from Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) like Ultra Mobile, Black Wireless and H2O, which might have a more flexible pricing.

Blogs

Banner credits : Ed Schipul