Austin Travel Guide

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  • Located in Texas, Austin has a population of 820,000 spread out over 276 sq. miles. 
  • Sometimes dubbed “Silicon Hills,” for its high number of techcompanies.
  • Known for its liberal values (in an otherwise conservative state).
  • Official slogan: “The Live Music Capital of the World.” Unofficial: “Keep Austin Weird.”
  • Nicknames: ATX, Music Capital, Silicon Hills, Bat City, Cap City, City of the Violet Crown.


  • Currency: US Dollar (USD).
  • Spoken languages: English.
  • Best time to visit: from September to May. Gets extremely hot in the summer months.
  • Arriving via airport: Capital Metro (public transit) runs the Airport Flyer for $1.00 every 30 minutes (on the hour and half hour). Taxi: minimum $12.85, plus $2.30 per mile.


Hotels in downtownSouth Austin, and North Central Austin (near The University of Texas) are more upscale (and priced appropriately, ranging from $100-$400 a night). Hotels in Northwest Austin (near The Arboretum) average between $65-$150 a night. For a unique and local experience, you can find a hostel room for about $30 a night.


  • Capital Metro is the local transit authority. A single ride costs just $1.00, while a day pass is $2.00. Tickets can also be purchased online, and at most HEBs and Randall’s grocery stores.
  • Taxi companies: Yellow Cab: (512) 452-9999 and Austin Cab: (512) 478-2222. Taxis are available 24 hours a day.
  • Renting a bike is one of the most enjoyable ways to see Austin – various rental companies are available downtown. 
  • Tip: If you choose to rent a car, look into ZipCar (there are over 12 pickup locations in downtown Austin alone).


  • Drinking age is 21, last call is 2 AM (though some bars and clubs stay open till 4 AM).
  • Most people go to Sixth Street for bars, stores, and music acts of all kinds. Sixth Street is a hot tourist destination.
  • Hip/local scene: Rainey Street is a hot spot among the locals, with houses turned into bars. Start at one end of the street and just walk. You’ll find something awesome.
  • Places to party with the locals: Lustre Pearl, The Whip In, Antone’s, Roadhouse Rags (a BYOB music venue and consignment clothing shop), Flipnotics, Elephant Room, East Side Showroom, and Brass House.

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