Best attractions and sights in Austin, TX



Austin is a unique city and a liberal oasis in conservative Texas. The state capital is one of the sunniest cities in America and a veritable heaven for lovers of the outdoors and succulent BBQ. Built on the banks of the Colorado River, it is an exciting blend of a vast parkland area and playful architecture, albeit it is essentially a high-rise city.

Dubbed the City of the Violet Crown by O. Henry, Austin is a vibrant metropolis constantly on the move. With its bustling high-tech arena, endless lists of conferences, sports events, and sparkling live music scene, it attracts people from all over the world. Besides, if you have a penchant for thrilling artistic and cultural experiences, visiting it is a no-brainer. Here is a pick of the best attractions and sights in Austin, TX that, along with some commendable city tour guides, will help you fall in love with it quickly.

The pick of the bunch attractions and sights in Austin, TX

While there are numerous worthwhile landmarks in Texas, its captivating capital certainly should find its priority on the bucket list of anyone eager to explore the best of The Lone Star state. Austin is a relatively compact and pleasingly walkable city. Whether you are moving permanently to the Live Music Capital of the World or visiting for a few days, the following list of noteworthy attractions and sights in Austin, TX, will guide you to some memorable experiences. Choose what suits your liking best, and embark on an adventure to expand your horizons.

Start with the essentials

Known for outstanding food, vibrant nightlife venues, and friendly locals, Austin is quickly gaining popularity as a place to live and visit. If you are a first-time visitor or on a scouting trip before moving to Austin, the following landmarks are a must-visit and will help you get to know the city better.

The Texas State Capitol

Built in an Italian Renaissance Revival style, the golden dome of the Texas State Capitol is more than 6 meters taller than its iconic counterpart in Washington, D.C. This classic Austin attraction has a historical and architectonical significance, and it is located in the middle of a lovely, stroll-inviting park. Art aficionados will be delighted to discover several sculptures and monuments here. You can learn more about the history and legislature of Texas in a brief 30-minute tour for free.

The University of Texas in Austin

This is one of the most renowned public schools in the world. The campus offers beautiful landscapes and a great deal of inspiring artful and architectonical pieces. Take a leisure stroll around, and get to know the emblematic Tower, the Littlefield Fountain, and the students' favorite Turtle Pond while listening to some audio tour guides to complete your explorative experience. 

The Congress Avenue Bridge bats colonies

Residents and visitors line up the bridge as the sun sets to watch the surreal dark cloud of bats performing a nightly show as they leave for the night. Approximately 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats call the bridge home, making Austin one of the biggest urban bat colonies in the world. You can catch a glimpse of the spectacle from late spring until early fall. One of the mottos that the city prides itself on is Keeping Austin Weird, and the locals certainly are fond of their winged nocturnal neighbors.

Best outdoor adventures and attractions to enjoy

One of the best ways to enjoy Austin is by exploring its splendid outdoors. By all means, it offers a plethora of fun things to do, and it certainly caters to anyone's taste. However, the following attractions and sights in Austin, TX, offer an exceptional opportunity to make lasting memories, even if you are the less active type.

Mount Bonell

The highest point in Austin at 236 meters offers spectacular views of the city, Lake Austin, and the surrounding natural landscape. Mount Bonell is actually located in Covert Park, and it is one of the most prominent attractions in Austin. Getting there will require you some effort, like climbing steps and walking an elevated gravel trail. The entire operation will take you up to 10 minutes, after which you will enjoy some incredible vistas. So, it is well worth it.

Hamilton Pool Preserve

Take a bath in the waters of this natural preserve created thousands of years ago. Hamilton Lake is one of Austin's main attractions, and it accepts visitors year-round, as the body of water remains leveled even in case of drought. Needless to say, the water is not chemically treated, and this natural gem is a blissful refreshment for the senses, especially in the hot and humid summer months. Besides, you will enjoy great scenic views, including some beautiful waterfalls.


Explore Austin’s artistic side

While Austin offers a world-class of museums and galleries, the artistic spirit of the community is reflected in the beautiful murals created by renowned artists. These exuberant art pieces render the city a unique feature in its overall character and are some of the finest, unique attractions in Austin, TX, to give your attention to. There is plenty of them, so you can easily spend an entire day hopping from one to another, but the most iconic is the Welcome to Austin Mural on the 1st Street. Austin’s tallest public artwork, Tau Ceti Mural, is an impressive spectrum, deriving its name from a star in the Cetus constellation. It looms over the corners of Brazos and the 2nd Street, and it is sure to turn your head twice.


Experience the fantastic nightlife scene

Famed for its vibrant nightlife and lively music scene, Austin is often branded as one of the coolest cities in America. It is becoming an increasingly popular destination for hosting bachelorette parties and memorable wedding events.

To get a feel of the lively vibe, head to Rainey Street and explore the numerous atmospheric bars favored among the local young professionals.

The 6th Street or Dirty Sixth is the favorite party place for younger crowds and college students, and Sunday nights are particularly busy here.

As the live music capital of the world, your visit to Austin is not going to be complete without visiting a live music show. The Continental Club on South Congress Avenue has a strong reputation of being the best venue in the city. It hosts a great selection of music shows each night, and it is an attraction in Austin that you should not miss.

Moving to Austin, TX

The capital of the second largest state in the US is an increasingly sought-after location for permanent relocation, especially among young tech professionals. The friendly locals, exciting cultural environment, and excellent career prospects are among the major factors that make Austin an attractive place. On average, about 150 people move to Austin daily. If you contemplate making it your future home, the above list of the best attractions and sights in Austin, TX, will help you make the best out of your scouting trip. Besides, plan thoughtfully ahead of time and get all the help you need for a smooth and easy transfer to this fantastic city.

In summary, whether you are on a road trip and looking for fun activities to enjoy, or you are moving to Austin and starting a new life chapter, the city will undoubtedly impress you. Enjoy the sunny weather, exceptional food, and the compelling stories behind the best attractions and sights in Austin, TX.


Meta description: Here are some of the best attractions and sights in Austin, TX, to help you experience the city in its full splendor.

Photos used:

Best attractions and sights in Austin, TX (1)

Best attractions and sights in Austin, TX (2)

Best attractions and sights in Austin, TX (3)

Best attractions and sights in Austin, TX (4)