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Sonnenaufgang in Austin, Bild: Roschetzky Photography / shutterstock

Austin – the cosmopolitan city with a musical soul

In the Texas capital of Austin, modern innovation meets charmingly idiosyncratic down-to-earthness. “Keep Austin weird” is also the city’s self-proclaimed slogan. The typical Texan cliché of cowboy hat, truck and broad southern accent is rather less found in Austin. Young career-conscious people from one of the many large local companies, over 50,000 students who will later claim to have had the best time of their lives here and a strong creative and alternative scene provide a pulsating, lively energy.

Art and culture are omnipresent

There’s always something going on in Austin. In addition to the state museums, there are countless small themed exhibitions by associations and private individuals, galleries and art in public spaces.

The University of Texas campus is home to the nation’s largest art museum and is home to over 17,000 paintings, prints, drawings, and sculptures from the fields of art and architecture. There are days when admission is free.

The Bullrock Museum is the official state historical museum of the state of Texas. The exhibition is designed for a wide audience and is also suitable for children. The topics range from early Indian cultures to the settlement of Europeans to special exhibitions on civil rights or sports and music in Texas.
Built from 1882 to 1888, the Texas State Capitol is six feet taller than the Capitol in Washington, D.C., a fact that residents like to proudly mention. Guided tours of the seat of government take place every half hour and are free of charge.

Music – Austin’s Soul

In the 1970s, country singer Willie Nelson returned to his hometown and founded Austin’s musical history. Times have changed, the hippie atmosphere is no longer immediately noticeable and in addition to country, blues and jazz, all musical styles can be found on the countless live stages today. Nevertheless, its status as the self-proclaimed capital of live music has been retained to this day. Nowhere else in the world is there such a density of clubs with live performances, music pubs and stages as in Austin. Musicians still come to the city and present themselves on one of the countless stages, on street corners or parks, and many a national career has still started right here: on a small, simple stage in a pub in Austin.

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The famous 6th street is home to the city’s entertainment district. Here, the bars with live music, where singing, dancing and partying are lined up close together.
Regular festivals and events such as the Pecan Street Festival, the Texas Bikers Rally and the popular Halloween celebration are visitor magnets and known beyond the Texas borders.

Austin’s Parks and Bats

Texas State Capitol, Austin
Texas State Capitol, Image: Roschetzky Photography / shutterstock

Numerous parks and recreational areas can be found all over the city, Austin has an impressive green infrastructure.

Popular with locals and tourists alike is the inner-city Zilker Metropolitan Park. The well-kept 14-hectare park offers a wide range of opportunities for outdoor activities. Especially in the early evening hours, you can find peace and relaxation while paddling, swimming or walking along the extensive paths with beautiful views of the Austin skyline. The outdoor pool “Barton Springs” on the grounds of the park is supplied by water from natural hot springs and provides refreshment with a year-round bathing temperature of 21 – 23 °C.

Peacock lovers will feel at home in the small Mayfield Park. The not-so-well-known 2-hectare gem in the middle of Austin offers beautiful photo opportunities with the cottage gardens around a historic cottage and numerous peacocks.

The Austin Zoo is home to special animals. On the southwestern outskirts of the city on Highway 290 West, domestic and wild animals as well as exotic animals from confiscations, experimental laboratories and private households live.

The flight of the famous bats, which have now become the symbol of the city, is spectacular. America’s largest urban bat population breeds under the Congress Avenue Bridge at Ladybird Park between March and September each year. At sunset, millions of bats fly out from under the bridge at the same time, offering the spectator on the bridge and in the boats a breathtaking spectacle.

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The city of short distances

Music, Austin
Music plays a big role in Austin, Image: GSPhotography / shutterstock

Compared to other major American cities, Austin is the city of short distances. All central points in Downtown Austin can be reached quickly on foot or by public transport. The best way to experience the energy of Austin is through direct contact with its open-minded residents. The locals meet visitors with typical southern friendliness and are happy to share one or two insider tips.

Parking spaces in the city are scarce. It is a good idea to use the parking garage at the Bullrock Museum in the city center for 10 USD all day. Nearby are the University of Texas campus, the Blantom Art Museum and the Capitol, as well as parks and the downtown area with its many small shops, coffee shops and restaurants.

Austin has grown rapidly in recent years and the transport infrastructure in the outskirts of the city still has room for improvement. The attractions here are difficult to reach by public transport.

Cheap rides are available through the ride-sharing services Faster or the non-profit provider RideAustin.

The best time to travel is spring with mild temperatures. In summer it will be very hot and dry with sometimes over 30 °C, in autumn milder again with cool nights. With 300 days of sunshine a year, Austin has few rainy days and even these short periods are perceived as more of a refreshment