sunset in downtown Austin, mustang iand the sun reflecting on the buildings
How to experience Austin — city guide
This was our first time in Austin and it was amazing! We didn’t spend much time here, but in 48 busy hours we did and discovered a lot. This city reminded us of Auckland, New Zealand, a city that conquered our hearts and that we love. We are going to tell you how to get the most out of Austin in two days so you include this place in your bucket list next time you plan a road trip around Texas.

View of the Frost Bank Tower seen from north Congress Street at sunset

Feel the mood of the city

People are friendly in Texas, they will make you feel at home. Walk around the streets of the city center and enjoy the view of the Capitol up on Congress Street. Check the corners, there are lots of murals or cacti to take pictures of. Everywhere you look there are nice little details, which make this place special.

Neon sign at sunset Frost Bank Tower on the background

Chairs and tables on the poolside of San Jose hotel in Austin Texas

Cacti on concrete pots and a concrete background

graffiti on the wall reading i love you so much, Austin Tx

Sugestive sign of the Austin Motel

Hunt all kinds of neon signs

The city is full of them. You will find neon signs of all shapes and colors, funny or suggestive. Get creative with the frames you want to shoot! Of course we had our favorites, like the one of the Paramount Cinema in downtown or the one of Austin Motel on South Congress Street.

Austin motel's neon sign shining bright at night

Close up of the neon sign of Austin motel reading let love in

Paddle at the middle of the buildings

The Colorado River runs along the city center and gives you amazing views of the skyline from a different and original angle.There are a few canoe, kayak, and paddleboard rentals along the river. We recommend the ones by Zilker Park, a green area, very close from downtown where you can chill, do exercise, and swim in the river and natural springs pool! Don’t miss spotting out the turtles.

Outdoor lovers

Austin has a lot to offer, it is the perfect mix between nature and urban. There are lots of trails around the city as well as parks and hills to climb up. We went on a hike along the Green Belt Trail, where you can do activities such as running, cycling, climbing, or swimming if there is water in the natural ocurrying pools along the river. There is no need to get extreme, you can go for a picnic or just to hang out.

We recommend to climb up Mt. Bonnell to see views of the river and skyline. Try to make it there for the sunset, it is a great spot.

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View of te Colorado River from the top of Mount Bonnell
People swimming in the natural springs of Zilker Park and Basilio cofounder of Cobalt State
Tree on the first ground, on the background the river blurred

Graffiti wall at Castle Hill

An original landmark that is soon going to be demolished! Get there as soon as you can. People are allowed to graffiti and paint the walls of this unfinished structure, giving street artists a chance to express themselves. Walk to the top of the Graffiti Hill and you will have one of the best views of Austin’s skyline.
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Basilio taking a photo of Austin's skyline from the graffiti wall
Basilio cofounder of Cobalt State and a graffiti on the graffiti wall at Castle Hill
graffiti of Kennedy holding El Chavo del Ocho

Meet the bats for sunset

A special phenomena happens seasonally, from March to November- a huge migration of Mexican bats fly from south of the border to live under Congress bridge, located on Congress Street, one of Austin’s busiest streets. From here, every day at sunset time, a colony of 1.5 million bats comes out from under the bridge to fly into the night to find food for themselves and their newborns. It is so impressive to watch, go early because it gets really crowded.

View of the Colorado River from Congress Bridge and the bats flying in an almost horizontal line

Eat eat eat !

Austin is packed with amazing restaurants and food trucks.
The food scene in this city is crazy, so if you are a foodie like us,
be prepared to eat as much as you can.
These are the venues we visited that we loved :
→ Bouldin Creek Coffee for breakfast or brunch, vegan or vegetarian meals,
tasty, very well served and good coffee!
Two red cups of espresso coffee and a sandwich for breakfast
Home Slice Pizza for a real big american style pizza.
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in crust we trust sign and a can of El pato sauce
A cupcake from the lovely food truck of Hey Cupcake !
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Strawberry cupcake in front of the Hey Cupcake food truck
An amazing ramen at Ramen Tatsu-ya, be sure to add the extra cooked bamboo.
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Our favorite donuts in the world, go experience: Gourdough’s Public House.
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A vegan or veggie burger at P.Terry’s burger stand, simple,
quick and so delicious, fries here are a must!
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We did not have time to try, but we have very solid recommendations for Torchy’s Tacos
and Magnolia Café. Maybe you can tell us about your experience there.
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Try the famous fried pickles
and the endless locally brewed beers

Doesn’t sound right? We didn’t believed it and were very skeptical when we first heard about this, but after dipping that deep fried pickle in the special sauce and having the first juicy bite, we found the holy grail of bar food. Is there anything else we can say?

The beer scene in Austin is something special. You have so many good options, we have to say that we tried the finest beers ever during our stay there. Whatever your taste, you will find a beer that pleases you here. Go for beers from the local brewery, Austin Beerworks, there will be no mistake.

Go to downtown and Enjoy the bars
and live music on 6th St.

6th Street is full of bars and live music for several blocks, an important scene for Austin nightlife. During the weekend it is closed off to cars and becomes pedestrian only, which makes it even cooler. There are bars and music for all tastes. For sure you will find something you like! We even found a sake bar (that was a first for us)!
We liked the bar Easy Tiger for its chill mood next to the river and good cocktails.
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View of buildings and the Colorado River from Congress Bridge

Visit Fredericksburg

Not Austin, but only an hour and a half away, this german settlement is worth it and has a lot to offer. Admire the lovely architecture on Main Street, have a local beer at Fredericksburg’s brewery, or better yet, drink it walking down the street (yes, it is legal here)!
For the ultimate Texan experience go to the shop Texas Jack Wild West, be sure to buy your cowboy hat.
Taste Texan wines. Yes, there is wine in Texas and pretty good ones! We went to Becker Vineyards and had a wine tasting for $20 bucks which included 6 different wines and a souvenir glass.
To finish, we advise you take the time to visit Enchanted Rock for sunset and enjoy its 360° view of the forest. To get there you will have to drive 25 minutes from Fredericksburg.
Glass of red wine and the bar of Becker's Vineyards
View while climbing Enchanted Rock
View of the forest from the top of Enchanted Rock at sunset
Thanks to Camille for all these beautiful discoveries and to Sara and Cristy for hosting us in their home. 

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9 comments

  1. Wah la photo des chauves-souris ! Et j’adore le cupcake of course ! Cet article est agréable à lire et donne envie de découvrir la ville ! Je suis en train d’écrire un article sur le Vietnam. J’espère que vous aurez l’occasion d’y aller car je suis sur que vous adoreriez! Bisous amigos!

    1. Coucou Athi,
      Les chauves-souris, c’était assez fou, ça a duré dix bonnes minutes et plus d’un million en est sorti du pont !
      Merci pour tes encouragements, oui je pense que tu aimerais cette ville. C’est une juste milieu très sympa. Et en plus on peut manger de partout !! haha.
      On ira lire ça. Bisous !

    1. Gracias, ahí ya tienes una guía para cuando vayas a visitar por allá. La pared de los graffitis está increíble.

  2. Que padre el artículo, muy completo, y las fotos muy padres como siempre!! Felicidades Basi y Florian

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