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Austin Travel Tips

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The Texas capital is eccentric, friendly, and thrillingly diverse. It’s the self-proclaimed Live Music Capital of the World, with more concert halls and dive bars than you could ever hope to visit. It’s also increasingly a major player in the film and technology industries, ensuring a cosmopolitan, forward-thinking vibe throughout the city. With a host of awe-inspiring cultural attractions, and a deliciously unpredictable restaurant scene, you’ll never run out of exciting new things to see and do.

 

Best Time to Travel

 

Austin enjoys a subtropical climate, with long, hot summers, mild winters, and no small amount of blazingly bright sunshine throughout the year. Rainfall is also pretty evenly spread across the months, so there’s really no bad time to visit. Some may find the high summer heat a little relentless however, so may want to consider visiting in spring or fall, when it’s slightly less scorching.

 

Not to Miss

 

The imposing Texas State Capitol should be top of the list for first-time visitors. This opulent, Renaissance Revival-style government building is a National Historic Landmark, and is almost 15 feet taller than the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. Afterwards, you could happily while away days roaming the corridors of world-renowned museums like the Blanton Museum of Art, which is home to an extraordinary collection of European Renaissance and modern American artworks. Each March, Downtown Austin is taken over by the incredible South by Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Festival, which boasts a mind-bogglingly diverse programmed of live music performances, film premieres, tech conferences, and panel discussions.

 

Getting around

 

Austin Bergstrom International Airport is conveniently located just 6 miles from the city center, and is served by regular flights from many major US cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, and Washington, D.C. There are also flights from international destinations such as London and Mexico City. Rental cars, taxis, public buses, and private shuttles are all readily available at the airport. Downtown Austin is very pedestrian-friendly, but you can use the Capital Metro bus network and Capital Metrorail commuter train to explore the city more widely.

 

Cuisine

 

Texas is world-renowned for its mouth-watering barbecue dishes like tender, slow-cooked beef brisket, and wood-fired rib racks. Tex-Mex is the region’s other major contribution to world cuisine, and you’ll find restaurants all over town serving lip-smacking favorites like decadent cheese enchiladas, and sizzling chicken fajitas. The Frito Pie is a quintessentially Texan fast-food staple – a moreish mound of chili con carne and melted cheese served on a bed of corn chips.

 

Customs and etiquette

 

Austin locals are proud of their city’s reputation as laid-back, tolerant, and quirky. It’s also ethnically diverse and LGBT-friendly, so everyone can expect a warm welcome. As is the case throughout the United States, tipping for services is customary. There are no set rates, but you can follow these rough guidelines: 15 to 20 percent of the total bill for restaurant service; around 15 percent for taxi rides, food delivery, and haircuts, $1 per bag to hotel bellhops, and $1-2 per drink in a bar.

Fast Facts

 

Population: 885400

Spoken languages: English, Spanish

Electrical: The USA runs on 120V, 60 Hz current

Phone Calling Code: +1 512/737911