Austin is a good place to live

Austin, Texas, Top Tips - Traveling With Locals

Out and about in Austin with a local

Austin, Texas. An impressive skyline, street art, live music. It is no coincidence that Austin is sometimes referred to as the “Live Music Capital of the World”. The city's motto also describes the individual character of this crazy American city: "Keep Austin weird.“

Especially the many bars, good live music, festivals such as the “South by Southwest” or the “Austin City Limits Festival” and the culinary offerings speak for a visit to Austin in Texas.

But not only the city itself but also the surrounding area have a lot to offer. In the following lines I would like to share with you a little bit about my experiences in and around my trip to Austin best tips for Austin Imagine in Texas.

Why Austin?

Austin is probably not on every travel bucket list and probably never would have found its way onto mine.

However, that changes when you know someone there and you are invited to come over. So I came to the unusual destination of Austin, Texas.

Visa and entry

The preparations typical for the USA apply here: ThatESTA form should be filled in and the Passport valid be.

As the trip usually no longer than 90 days takes, the ESTA procedure is sufficient here. If you want to stay in the USA for a longer period of time, you have to apply for a separate visa.

Getting there: Flight to Austin

There are many airlines that fly to Austin via various stopovers. However, at the moment only Condor offers a direct flight (Frankfurt - Austin). This was a time-limited offer for the summer. Condor flies the route on Mondays and Thursdays without a stopover.

To find cheap flights, you can also use the flight search engine of Skyscanner look up.

→ You can find tips for booking cheap flights here.

Start of the trip to Austin

From the airport to Frankfurt, checked in luggage and through the security checks to the gate.

The trip has started very well. Because this is the first direct flight from Frankfurt to Austin - a new route for Condor - there will be cakes, drinks and of course one or two small speeches about how great and important this route is and how good it is that Condor now has it introduces.

Oh yes, there was also live music: man with cowboy hat and guitar. There are worse ways to start a trip. The cake was good and thanks again to Condor for the party at the gate.

When we arrived in Austin, we first went to one of the city's street art landmarks, Greetings from Austin.

In general, the city is littered with street art as one could not imagine in Germany, but more on that later.

Everything you need to know about Austin

In general, the Austin people place a high value on local or Austin manufacturing. In restaurants like the Pacha, this is expressed, for example, by the fact that behind the ingredients there is the local shopping market from which the products come.

The city's slogan "Keep Austin Weird" can be found practically everywhere and is lived very strongly by the residents of Austin.

You can do that in Austin

The highlights and insider tips in Austin are really numerous. That's why I am listing the most beautiful places on my trip!

Mayfield Park - Peacoks

A park as a community project, which is very nicely laid out and invites you to stroll. The highlights are the free-roaming peacocks and the beautifully landscaped ponds.

Big Top Candy Shop

"Take me to the candy shop"

There was even quite a bit of art to be seen in the Candy Shop in Austin. You should only go in there if you are really ready to suffer a sugar shock.

Graffiti Park - Hope Outdoor Gallery

A place that I visited several times during my stay in Austin and that really fascinated me. An open space in the middle of Austin, which is made available to the graffiti artists.

One finds practical Daily changing motifs and great art. If you ever go on a trip to Austin, be sure to go there!

Texas State Capitol

The Texas State Capitol, definitely worth seeing. At the time of construction (1882 - 1888) it was the seventh tallest building in the world and is 6 meters higher than the Capitol in Washington D.C.

When I was there, I was able to witness how it was repainted within a few days. As a result, it was dark gray / anthracite for a day, which looked extremely impressive. It is definitely worth a visit.

Allen's boots - cowboy boots and hats

A great experience! Even if you don't buy boots or hats, Allen's boots shop is definitely worth a detour! I was totally stunned by the many cowboy boots and the different hats that were displayed and offered there.

Numero 28 Austin - best pizza

One of the best pizzas in town. Fresh and local ingredients and a nice atmosphere invite you to eat. The restaurant is located in the heart of Austin and can be easily combined with a visit to the Capitol.

Fredericksburg

A German town in the middle of Texas, which is approx. two hours drive from Austin away. As a German, you can definitely feel at home in Fredericksburg. It starts with the street names such as Schubert Street or Goehmann Lane.

Many of the signs for the restaurants and shops in the city are written in German and the little town conveys that its roots lie in Germany.

The inhabitants of the city are very proud of their German ancestry and if you come out as a German, you get into conversation very quickly. I was there at the time of the peach harvest. There are many plantations around Fredericksburg. You should definitely have a fresh one "Peach Cobbler" try. Make sure, however, that it is "homemade" and also ask. This is important!

Guadalope River - RiverInn

If you just want to relax and leave the big city flair in and around Austin behind you, there is a local recreation area on the Guadalope River about 3 hours by car from Austin. This can be easily combined with Fredericksburg and Luckenbach, as you practically pass through both places on the way to the Guadlope River from Austin.

Luckenbach - festival location

A fascinating place: founded by German settlers and if you look closely, it's actually just a festival location.

It is one Kind of ghost town, in which the dance hall and that Post office, which operates a saloon and shop, the only buildings that are managed.

When I was there, a stage was set up to celebrate the 4th of July in style. I got to enjoy live music by two Texans with guitar behind the post office.

There was also a cold beer and a sausage sandwich. The ATM ATM was stalked integrated into the overall picture, very nicely done.

El Arroyo

I didn't notice the El Arroyo, a TexMex restaurant in Austin, from a culinary point of view, because I never went to eat there. It fell to me through that quote of the Day on the billboard. Because the slogan changes daily and the makers are really very creative.

So you should be in Austin, go to El Arroyo and check out the saying of the day, maybe there will be something to eat there too.

Mount Bonell

An interesting “hiking trip” to Mount Bonell that you should definitely do. Completely in the American style, you can drive your car almost to the top and park there. You just have to go up a few steps and you are right at the top.

From there you have a wonderful view of the Lake Austin, the city of Austin itself and some really nice mansions. There are various hiking trails at the top, but I haven't tried them.

Greenbelt - Barton Creek

There are several greenbelts around Austin. These offer hiking trails, climbing and mountain biking. The Greenbelt - Barton Creek is one of the most popular and offers about 10 km of hiking trails with swimming opportunities on its main route. Highly recommended, especially on hot days.

However, you should be careful not to get lost. Because there is no signage. At least I didn't find any. Dogs are allowed and welcome here, a great piece of earth.

Sixth Street - Mechanical Bullriding

Well, what can I say, mechanical bull riding was one of them for me most concise experiences in Texas. So with new cowboy boots on, we went to the bull.

It was $ 5, and if you tip, the cop's helmsman won't make you look all that bad. An experience worth having. But watch out, it's more difficult than it looks.

I tried it myself on Sixth Street at the Trophy Club. Many Austin guides describe Sixth Street as a nightlife and party area. The natives call them that "Dirty 6th". A lot of cops are out late in the evening to keep everything under control.

It felt a little "trashy" to me and it had a hint of Ballerman flair. I was recommended to go out on 4th Street downtown. Everything there should be a bit more pleasant for the evening.

The Little Longhorn Saloon

The Little Longhorn Saloon is an absolute insider. A very special kind of event takes place here every Sunday. Apart from the live music and the other events, there is this every Sunday from 4 p.m. "Chicken Shit Bingo".

In principle it is like a normal bingo game. Only with the modification that two chickens are placed under a cage. There are numbers on the floor and the number that the pile of chickens lands on is used for bingo.

The place is packed. The air conditioning doesn't manage all that and the chickens can only be seen with a lot of crowding and effort. But it is a worth seeing event that one has certainly not experienced before. Outside behind the saloon there is a festival atmosphere and drinks are being sold. Of course there was also live music inside.

Congress Avenue Bridge

A spectacle of a different kind is when many people gather on and on a bridge to watch bats take off at dusk. If it were only about 20 bats, that wouldn't be really interesting either.

But there are approx. 1.5 million batswho live under the Congress Avenue Bridge and always go hunting at night. Definitely worth seeing and conveys a bit of the “Batcave feeling”.

4th July Round Top Parade

I was fortunate enough to witness the 4th of July National Day in America. Independence is celebrated and the Americans really celebrate it. A little outside of Austin there is one of the biggest parades in the area and that's exactly where I was.

The small town is about 1.5 hours by car from Austin Round top. Once there, the search for a parking space started. There were really a lot of visitors. The parade itself will - how could it be otherwise - open with the national anthem.

What you can hardly experience in this country is the following: With the start of the national anthem everyone stands still, is quiet and the majority of people actively sing along. A Goosebumps moment, even for a non-American.

The parade itself consists of local fire engines, horses, many crowned homecoming queens from the surrounding schools of all ages, tractors, war veterans, politicians and company owners in open cars.

It is driven with and without music, everything is mixed up and sweets are thrown out of the vehicles, which the children catch and collect in buckets they have brought with them. Everything, of course, very patriotic and American.

4th July Rooftop Party Austin - Fireworks

After the parade in Round Top, we went back to Austin to celebrate a rooftop party with friends and acquaintances on the occasion of “Independent Day”. I was lucky enough to live in an apartment complex (including the rooftop), from where you have a great view of the small Austin skyline.

The fireworks in the middle of the skyline looked really great and lasted surprisingly long. Of course, the party itself was great too.

JuiceLand - delicious drinks

I definitely have to recommend JuiceLand to you. Delicious, healthy, freshly made vegetable and fruit drinks. A real dream! Sure you won't get warm with every combination there, but there really is something for everyone.

My favorite was that "Recovery Punch" with watermelon, pineapple, coconut water, sugar beet, lime and Himalayan sea salt…. delicious!

Barton Springs

What I can definitely recommend is a visit to the Barton Springs Pool. This is an outdoor swimming pool in Austin that is filled from natural sources. A pool that is partly built with natural banks and partly in concrete. The complex itself is large and clearly arranged, the pool is very large and there are plenty of sunbathing areas.

What is interesting is that the entrance fee for adults who are from Austin is $ 3, while adults who are not from Austin are allowed to pay $ 8. Oh yes, I should mention the water temperature. Even when outside temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius prevail in midsummer, the pool felt a refreshing 20 degrees.

Stand Up Paddeling Town Lake

I tried stand up paddling for the first time on Lake Austin. I chose a very windy day for it. You can get the boards at SUP ATX rent directly on Town Lake. Costs are $ 15 per hour or $ 35 per day on weekdays and $ 20 per hour or $ 40 per day on weekends.

After a short briefing, we set off on the river. First kneeling and then actually standing. You struggle with your balance for the first few minutes, but then just do it Fun paddling. I then paddled upstream against the current to the first bridge and then vice versa.

You are on the road for a good hour, but you have to paddle. I highly recommend it though. I had a lot of fun on the trip. The next day you will notice which muscle groups you haven't used for a long time.

Donn`s depot

Now I like to admit that I am not a country or western fan and neither musically nor dancing. But the visit to Donn's Depot in Austin was a lot of fun. Good live music and a nice atmosphere including very nice people make for a great mix.

If you are not completely free from the rhythm, under the guidance of the Country dance "Two Step" learn quite quickly and at least in this environment it is very good fun.

Food and drink in Austin

Hillside Farmacy

A great restaurant with an old pharmacist flair. I had a delicious sandwich and a grapefruit jalapeno margarita, a taste sensation that has to be experienced once.

Pacha - breakfast

Pacha, a small restaurant in Austin that would be more likely to be overlooked as a tourist. The concept is also rather unusual for the USA. You clear your seat yourself after eating. It's worth it, though.

Because there you will be very tasty PanCakes with Chocolate Chips and great coffee. I've been here for breakfast many times. Everything is freshly prepared, with great emphasis on regional products.

Spiderhouse Café and Ballroom

A different kind of café. I recommend the cappuccino and nachos. The Spiderhouse has a lot of street art around the entire building. If you want to enjoy a good coffee in a special ambience, go to the Spiderhouse.

VertsKebab in Austin

As a German in Austin you can also support your compatriots a little. While I'm pretty sure the founders of VertsKebab didn't really take advantage of my visit, I didn't want to miss the opportunity.

The VertsKebab was founded by two Germanswho brought the healthy version of the kebab to Texas in 2011. The guys have now opened 25 restaurants and the Texans obviously love their kebab. I can agree with the Texans' judgment. Because I found the type of kebab very tasty and would recommend a visit there.

Salt & Time

The Salt & Time in Austin is a Butcher with an attached restaurant or the other way around. The important thing is: The meat there is a dream and I definitely recommend a visit there (unless you are a vegetarian or vegan).

You should make a reservation, however, as the restaurant is very busy. The meat can practically be selected at the butcher's counter and is then served directly freshly prepared. A very tasty experience that I will gladly repeat again.

What I did wrong there was my beer choice. I chose a local draft beer: “Blue Owl”, it wasn't my taste for beer. For Kölsch fans there is Reissdorf there.

More tips for a trip to Austin

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