Once a laidback college town, Austin has since undergone a cultural awakening to become one of the most important hubs for music, film and food. Besides being home to a wealth of music venues, galleries and theatres, it also hosts many renowned festivals, such as South by Southwest, an annual film, art and music showcase which attracts an eclectic mix of devotees from all over the world.

It was at the elegant Paramount Theatre where Austin found its cultural roots. Since its establishment in 1915, it has remained downtown Austin’s entertainment hub. First constructed for vaudevillian acts and silent films, it is now a popular venue for plays, musicals or blues performances. From here, you are just a few blocks from the Texas State Capitol, a National Historic Landmark overlooking the city from one of its highest points.

Just north of downtown in the University of Texas, you’ll find interesting attractions that keep everyone in the family entertained. See dinosaur fossils and discover the natural history of Texas at the Texas Memorial Museum. Nature lovers will enjoy the thousands of native plants at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. See more than 17,000 pieces of art, including works from greats like Rubens, and admire one of the largest collections of Latin American art in the U.S. at the Blanton Museum of Art. Cross the street to the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, where history buffs can learn the “Story of Texas” from engaging exhibits and artefacts.

Explore contemporary art by Texan artists at The Contemporary Austin, which is spread over two locations: the Jones Center in downtown Austin and Laguna Gloria located eight kilometres away.

Immerse yourself in nature right in the middle of the city at the Zilker Metropolitan Park, which sits on the banks of the Colorado River near downtown. Stop to smell the roses at the Zilker Botanical Garden, jump in for swim at the one-hectare Barton Springs Pool and paddle a canoe out on Town Lake.

Just outside the city are more options for outdoor enthusiasts to indulge in nature. Drive 20 minutes from downtown Austin and you can hike, picnic and fish to your heart's content at McKinney Falls State Park. Or get up close and personal with more than 300 animals at the Austin Zoo.

Downtown Austin is easily navigated on foot. Here, the streets are lined with many shops, bars, cafés and restaurants. Munch on some authentic Southern soul food at Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill, dig into a juicy burger at Hut’s Hamburgers or tuck into a heart-warming brunch at the Old Pecan Street Café. After the sun sets, enjoy some live music in intimate venues like Momo's and The Parish Room on the historic Sixth Street. For some great alternative music, head to one of the city's best-loved venues, Stubb's Bar-B-Q, on the corner of East 8th Street and Red River Street, where you can also savour some scrumptious barbequed ribs, fried green tomatoes and ice-cold beer.

Known for

Live Music, Entertainment and Dancing

Explore map

Where to stay in Austin

Downtown Austin
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Downtown Austin

Live Music, Entertainment, Dancing

A business district by day and an entertainment hub by night, Downtown Austin never sleeps. The landmark Texas State Capitol overlooks it all.

Franklin Park
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Franklin Park

Live Music, Dining, Entertainment

Franklin Park’s historically low rents have made this slice of industrial suburbia in Austin a cultural melting pot.

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Top hotels in Austin

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Omni Austin Hotel
Omni Austin Hotel
4 out of 5
700 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin
4.2/5Very Good! (1,960 reviews)

"Close to food and fun... great staff.. wonderful weekend stay!"…"

Reviewed on 22 Jul. 2019

Omni Austin Hotel
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Fairmont Austin
4 out of 5
101 Red River St, Austin
AU$266/night
9 Aug. - 10 Aug.
4.7/5Exceptional! (1,689 reviews)

"Most amazing weekend brunch I have ever been too. The nicest rooftop pool in Austin with a great rooftop bar and grill next to it,"…"

Reviewed on 21 Jul. 2019

Fairmont Austin
Image for The LINE Austin
The LINE Austin
4 out of 5
111 East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin
AU$293/night
4 Aug. - 5 Aug.
4.3/5Excellent! (255 reviews)

"Very modern and beautiful. Great staff, especially Marcy! Room service food from their restaurant was incredible. I manage a restaurant and am typically disappointed by room service, as are a lot of guests, so this was another lovely bonus! Very refreshing. Only downside was the cost of parking (which ..."…"

Reviewed on 22 Jul. 2019

The LINE Austin

Popular activities in Austin

Texas State Capitol
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Texas State Capitol

A glorious, sunset-red granite structure that overlooks the city on one of Austin's highest points.

Zilker Park
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Zilker Park

Paddle a canoe, hike along the extensive trails or unwind in the thermal springs of this idyllic park on the banks of a beautiful lake.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
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Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

This centre preserves the natural beauty of Texas through vast wildflower gardens, award-winning architecture and a web of nature trails.

Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
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Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum

Follow the story of Texas through three floors of fun exhibits that are constantly rejuvenated with new artefacts.

Blanton Museum of Art
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Blanton Museum of Art

A magnificent gallery featuring an impressive variety of art, from European paintings to contemporary sculptures.

Zilker Botanical Garden
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Zilker Botanical Garden

A leafy space of tranquillity located right in the heart of the city.

Top activities in Austin

Bat Bridge Segway Tour
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Bat Bridge Segway Tour

AU$107

Ride into an evening of spooky sightseeing as you cruise the old streets of Austin after the sun goes down. From a Segway, hear chilling stories about the city’s past from an experienced guide who knows the favorite haunts of local ghosts, and see flying creatures of the night—bats.

Tour Austin on Electric Minibikes
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Tour Austin on Electric Minibikes

AU$107

You can be a part of an electric minibike biker gang! Our fat-tire minibikes are fun and super easy to ride. See the sights and have a blast! We believe that riding is more fun with others, so bring a friend as each minibike seats TWO! If you can ride a bike, you definitely can ride our minibike, as long as the driver is at least 16 years of age and the passenger is at least 48” tall.

Austin City Highlights Tour
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Austin City Highlights Tour

AU$48

Embark on an adventure to some of Austin’s major landmarks, quaint neighborhoods, and hidden gems that only the locals can show you. Ride through town in a comfortable van, and even get a tasty treat from one of Austin's signature food trucks.

Kayak Rental at Lady Bird Lake
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Kayak Rental at Lady Bird Lake

AU$25

Paddle through the waters of Lady Bird Lake, scoping out views of downtown Austin's skyline, visiting quiet islands, and cruising past parks that line this sealed section of the Colorado River. Along the way, explore secluded beaches perfect for a refreshing swim and snap photos of native wildlife.

Spy Adventure: Operation Mindfall - at The Domain
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Spy Adventure: Operation Mindfall - at The Domain

AU$43

Calling all spies! Do you have the training, ninja skills and spidersense to save the world. The insidious tech company, Spider Technologies, has released a sinister mind-control virus to take control of the world. It's already infected 20 percent of the world's population.

Comic Book Trivia - GPS Scavenger Hunt (Augmented Reality)
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Comic Book Trivia - GPS Scavenger Hunt (Augmented Reality)

AU$43

Calling all heroes! Test your comic book nerd knowledge on this fantasy-themed augmented-reality scavenger hunt. Move around the Capital city while answering fun trivia question about the most popular superheroes before time runs out.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Austin

Artful Austin
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Artful Austin

Soaking up Austin's hot hotels, shopping, and festival life

48 hours to eat and drink in Austin
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48 hours to eat and drink in Austin

How to see Austin on a short jaunt

The music scene of Austin
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The music scene of Austin

The Sixth Street music scene is what makes Austin wonderfully weird

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