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The Best Places to Stay in Austin, Texas

There are definitely many factors to consider when researching the best places to stay in Austin

I mean, Austin is a city that continually tops the list of places to visit, thanks to the city’s reinvention of itself in recent years. 

More and more, unique coffee shops, restaurants, and boutique stores are opening up all around Austin as the city embraces its renewed gentrification. 

These businesses help give each of Austin’s neighborhoods their unique vibe and feel.   

With this in mind, we have done our best to narrow Austin down into five areas to stay in that will help you to know exactly where to stay in Austin, Texas based upon your needs.

As one of America’s fastest-growing cities, it is easy to get “lost” in the hustle and bustle that surrounds you in Austin.

The city has over 59 neighborhoods, each with its own distinct personality.

While you are exploring, check out several of Austin’s neighborhoods to get a good feel for what Austin is really about.

Austin is one of our favorite cities to visit.  Surrounded by bustling nightlife, great food, and plenty of things to do, Austin checks all of the boxes for a fun getaway

We especially love visiting Austin during Christmas to enjoy all of the fabulous lights.

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a girl’s weekend or a romantic getaway; Austin has something for you. 

Austin is so close to so many of our Texas small towns that you can easily take a day trip to visit Wimberley to see the Blue Hole, or head to Fredericksburg to tour some fabulous wineries. 

While you are visiting Austin, you will definitely want to check out the bats that emerge from the Congress Avenue Bridge and spend some time outdoors.

Popular outdoor activities include spending the day at Lady Bird Lake or exploring the Zilker Botanical Garden.

Those of you who love culture and museums will find plenty to do in Austin as well.

Check out the LBJ Presidential Library, Bullock Texas State History Museum, and the quirky Museum of the Weird while here.

Really, Austin has it all!

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Best Places to Stay in Austin, Texas

Downtown is a Great Stay in Austin For First-Timers

Downtown Austin

If you stay in Austin downtown, you stay in the city’s heart

We love staying here because you can easily walk to museums, restaurants, and bars.

The downtown area has so much to offer.

Since the downtown area is brimming with hotels, it is usually pretty easy to get a good price for a nice room in the downtown area as well.

In addition to the good prices on hotels, the downtown area is very accessible to the other neighborhoods that we are mentioning in our guide, making downtown Austin an all-around winner!

Downtown is bursting with history, charm, and a unique atmosphere. 

No matter what time of day it is, you are bound to hear live music from somewhere in this area. 

History lovers will enjoy visiting the Texas State Capital building and seeing the Paramount Theatre during their time in Austin, Texas.

The Texas State Capital is open to visitors and is one of the free things to do in Austin.

Come to think of it, downtown Austin has so much to offer. Loads of great galleries, museums, and unique shops call this area of Austin, Texas home.

Head over to the Second Street District (just a few blocks from Lady Bird Lake) to get a feel for local living in downtown Austin.

You will find places such as the cinema bar Violet Crown Cinema, a great place to have drinks while watching a movie.

When night hits, head to the popular Rainey Street.  Lined with colorful houses––turned bars, Rainey Street thrives on outdoor patios made especially for drinking. 

Rainey Street is really like one big playground for adults. Many of the bars are old Austin homes that have been converted, making them perfect to hang out in.

Start your night out at Bangers, an Austin eatery specializing in beer and bratwurst. 

We enjoy sitting in their Biergarten sipping a craft beer and noshing on a delicious bratwurst before heading off to one of the bars on Rainey.

Don’t miss the speakeasy and Bar Illegal while in this area.

You will find Bar Illegal open Thursday-Saturday. It is located just behind Clive Bar.

Austin’s 6th Street in the downtown area is also popular for nightlife. Sixth Street has bars and nightclubs, so just take your pic.

We love visiting the Iron Cactus for great Mexican food and margaritas. You will definitely want to check out Maggie Mae’s rooftop as well while in this area.

Downtown is one of the go-to areas to stay!

Downtown Austin Hotels

Fairmont Downtown

If you love being spoiled while traveling, the Fairmont Downtown Austin is for you. 

Not only does the staff make you feel like royalty, but the fabulous pool and the luxurious rooms will make you never want to leave. 

You can’t beat the location of the Fairmont as well.

They are located right across the street from the Austin Convention Center and only a few blocks from Rainey Street and Sixth Street.

The Fairmont is where to stay in Austin near Rainey and Sixth Street!

Hilton Garden Inn

Consider the Hilton Garden Inn Austin Downtown for travelers looking for a nice hotel at a reasonable price. 

This hotel contains 254 rooms, an outdoor pool, a great workout area, and a delicious on-site restaurant. 

Also, the Hilton Garden Inn is in a great location for several of Austin’s attractions, including Sixth Street and Rainey Street.

The W

The W Hotel in downtown Austin, Texas, is in the heart of downtown. 

Boasting modern rooms and spacious suites, the W might just be the perfect place to stay in Austin, Texas.

You will find the W attached to the iconic Moody Theatre.

A great place to visit if you are a fan of the Austin City Limits Live!

This hotel has you right in the middle of the action, as so many attractions are within walking distance. T

he homey feel will make you never want to leave! 

The W also has a tequila bar and a record room packed with vinyl to check out during your stay in Austin.

Check Reviews on TripAdvisor     Check Prices on Hotels.com     Check Prices on Booking.com

The Driskill Hotel

You can’t make a list of downtown hotels and not mention The Driskill Hotel.

Built in 1886, this iconic Austin Hotel will make you feel like you have been transported back in time.

The historic brick exterior welcomes you into the gorgeous lobby area.

Visitors enjoy well-appointed and recently renovated bright rooms that each pay tribute to the hotel’s history.

Of course, you can also enjoy the many hotel amenities.

One of our favorite traditions is participating in The Driskill’s afternoon tea service.

While visiting, don’t miss a slice of the famous 1886 chocolate cake when visiting the hotel’s 1886 Bakery and Cafe.

The Driskill is a delightful piece of history that will spoil you during your stay in Austin!

East Austin is The Best Neighborhood for Food and Live Music Lovers

Downtown Austin

Away from the hustle and bustle of downtown but still close enough to everything is the less refined neighborhood of East Austin.

One of the facts about Texas we love is that Austin is the music capital of the U.S. 

If you want to stay in Austin close to the live music and food scene, then East Austin, TX, will be great for you. 

In East Austin, visitors will find everything from speak-easy style bars to amazing food trucks, all within walking distance.

Less touristy than Sixth Street, East Austin is where locals go to hang out. 

In this funky area, you will find some of Austin’s best happy hours, gardens, and patios to pass your time away in Austin.

This is definitely one of the areas to stay in if you want to explore if you are into these things.

For a great patio in the East Austin area, visit The Vortez.

This funky bar has great cocktails, an eclectic atmosphere, and a great outdoor area.

East Austin is also home to loads of unique shops.

Here, you can find vintage clothing and bookstores, fun hand-made jewelry, and furniture.

East Austin is one of the best neighborhoods to be immersed in Austin’s history and culture.

Best Hotels in Austin-East Austin

Hotel Eleven

Located rightfully on Eleventh Street in East Austin, Hotel Eleven boasts spacious rooms and a great casual vibe. 

Guests can enjoy the great rooftop lounge and the hotel’s casual café. 

We love that so much of the hotel (like the woodwork, the hand-crafted metalwork, and more) was all crafted by local Austin artists.

At a late-night home, grab food from the food trucks across the street!

A great place to check out during your stay in Austin.

Guild East 6th Street

Guild East is the place to stay if you want a bright and cheery modern property in East Austin. 

Located near some of Austin, TX’s top tourist attractions, Guild East 6th Street houses an outdoor terrace, fitness center, and pool.

Heywood Hotel

Heywood Hotel is a boutique in East Austin just off East Cesar Chavez Street. 

Guests staying at the Heywood Hotel enjoy uniquely decorated rooms in an area easily within walking distance of your desired attractions.

The Heywood looks more like someone’s home than a hotel; honestly, that is what so many people love about it.

If you stay here, you will be surrounded by comfortable furnishings, fabulous bedding, and awesome mini-bar amenities.

They have a great mini-bar offering, and the items are reasonably priced, with the most expensive item being $5.

Check Reviews on TripAdvisor     Check Prices on Hotels.com      Check Prices on HotelsCombined.com

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South Congress is Perfect for Young Travellers

South Congress, ‘SoCo’ to the locals, is a funky neighborhood centered around South Congress Avenue in South Austin.

This area has a fun, artsy feel, making it one of the areas to stay in for young travelers

South Congress is one of the best neighborhoods for people who desire to meet people, eat, make connections, and absorb some of the trendy culture that is Austin.

Visitors love snapping photos of the murals and street art scattered around the South Congress neighborhood, including the “I Love You So Much” mural.

Shopping the specialty stores on South Congress Avenue also draws visitors to the South Austin area.

You will also find some amazing food in the South Congress area.

A must-visit spot is Home Slice Pizza. Home Slice has been an icon in this neighborhood for years.

Trust me when I tell you their pizza is worth waiting in line for.

Another fun food establishment in this area is the Big Top Candy Shop. Here, you will find loads of carnival-style sweets you can’t live without!

SoCo is also a great area to stay in if you want to rub elbows with the locals from Austin.

Best Hotels in Austin, TX-South Congress

South Congress Hotel

South Congress Hotel prides itself on catering to its customers. 

This luxury hotel will spoil you with posh rooms containing everything you need, from comfy bathrobes to luxurious toiletries. 

Don’t let all of that fool you, though; this hotel is not a stuffy feeling.

It is just the opposite. It is a hip, modern, and sleek feeling.

That can be attributed to mid-century modern furniture and the minimalist style you will find throughout the decor here.

Combine that with the hotel’s amenities; you might never want to leave.

A sunroom, clothing boutique, and six restaurants and bars are on site.

Allow the staff to cater to you while you lounge around the gorgeous pool, soaking up some Texas sun before you wander out to explore the great South Congress neighborhood during your stay in Austin.

SoCo Hideaway

SoCo Hideaway is a two-bedroom holiday home perfect for couples or families visiting SoCo. 

Visitors love the keypad entry, safe property, and spacious digs in this hip neighborhood.

Check Reviews on TripAdvisor     Check Prices on Hotels.com      Check Prices on HotelsCombined.com

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Red River District is Perfect For Austin Nightlife Lovers

It is a well-known fact that many people spend time in Austin for nightlife!

The Red River District has about 3 blocks packed with nightclubs, bars, and diners

This thriving community prides itself on its lively music scene, making it one of the awesome areas to stay in Austin, TX.

It is here that you will find everything from rock to cabaret. 

During the day, you are close to downtown Austin, TX, and Zilker Park, so there is plenty to keep you busy during daylight hours.

Of course, you will need to eat while staying here, so don’t miss Stubb’s Bar-B-Q.

Stubb’s has a melt-in-your-mouth barbecue and an outdoor stage that showcases some great live music.

For some awesome Southern comfort food, you have to go to Moonshine. Moonshine serves unique southern dishes that pair perfectly with their extensive cocktail menu.

Other local favorites in the Red River District include Barbarella. People especially love Barbarella’s theme nights and multiple dance floors.

Read Next: 50+ Free Things To Do In Dallas-Fort Worth

Best Hotels in Austin-Red River District

Hotel Indigo

This colorful, modern hotel makes guests feel at home when they walk in. 

Located a short walk from the State Capital building, guests will find cozy rooms, a fun cocktail bar, a fitness center, a rooftop pool, and a great breakfast.

Guild Red River

The Guild Red River is an apartment hotel 5 minutes from all the fun on 6th Street. 

Guests here love the hotel’s hip vibe and the living/dining room rooms, kitchens, and washer/dryers. 

There is an outdoor pool with a sundeck, a lounge, a gym, and a picnic area complete with BBQ grills!  What more do you need?

Check Reviews on TripAdvisor     Check Prices on Hotels.com      Check Prices on HotelsCombined.com

Check Prices on Booking.com

Zilker is Great for Families

Zilker is one of the best places to stay in Austin for families

Notated as one of the best neighborhoods in Austin, Zilker’s abundance of outdoor activities makes it a great place in Austin for families.

The main attraction in this area is Zilker Park, an urban oasis that covers more than 350 acres. 

Zilker makes hiking, cycling, kayaking, or enjoying a lazy day outside easy.

Tucked inside of Zilker Park is the Zilker Botanical Garden.

Encompassing more than 26 acres, the botanical garden has a rose garden and many native Texas plant species.

Here, you will also find the Japanese Garden, which houses Japanese maple trees, a tearoom, and more!

Don’t worry, though; there is more to Zilker than just a great park. 

Zilker is home to numerous shops, restaurants, and cafes. 

One of our favorite spots in Zilker is Chuy’s. Chuy’s is the place to go for delicious TexMex and cold margaritas.

Be warned, though, that their portions are HUGE!

Zilker is also close enough to other major Austin tourist attractions that you can easily visit anywhere you would like, making this one of the fabulous areas to stay in Austin, Texas.

Best Hotels in Austin-Zilker

Guild Lamar Union

The Guild Lamar Union is an ultra-modern property that will provide you with the ideal location for exploring Austin. 

Close to Zilker Park and the local attractions, this apartment-style hotel is fitted with everything you need, including a pool and free wifi, making this a great place to stay!

The Carpenter Hotel

The Carpenter Hotel is a short walk to Zilker Park and the train station. 

Guests are surrounded by hip bars and restaurants when staying at The Carpenter. 

Their bright rooms feature minifridges, balconies, and sitting areas. 

The property boasts a pool, restaurant, furnished terrace and garden, free parking, and free wifi.

Check Reviews on TripAdvisor     Check Prices on Hotels.com      Check Prices on HotelsCombined.com

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Final Thoughts on Where To Stay in Austin

peacock

Austin is just an overall cool city!  The hip, trendy culture exudes out of every ounce of Austin. 

Whether you immerse yourself in awesome music, fun nightlife, and amazing food or just get to know Austin, Austin has something for you!

Choosing one of the areas to stay in Austin is half of the battle, as each neighborhood is unique and brings its own personality to the city.

No matter where you choose to stay, venture into Austin’s neighborhoods to get a true feel for the city!

You will notice that throughout the city, there is a distinct hip vibe that seems to permeate everything.

This is one of the many reasons so many people are attracted to Austin.

No matter what you choose, always remember to ‘Keep Austin Weird’!

Suggested Tours in Austin:

Don’t forget to check out some of our other Texas:

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Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight:

We love using CheapOAir, Kayak, and Kiwi to search for the best flight prices. We love using these search engines because they search the web for airlines worldwide to ensure you get the best deal! In addition to flights, you can also find great hotel prices on Kayak and Kiwi.

Book Your Vacation Package:

If you want to book an entire vacation package, we suggest using Expedia. We love how easy Expedia is to use, and we always find good deals on entire vacation packages on their site.

Another great site for vacation packages is BookVIP. BookVIP offers super cheap vacation packages to incredible destinations. You are sure to save money using their site!

For full guided vacations, including hotels, some meals, transportation, and guides, then we book with Trafalgar. Trafalgar is a trusted tour company that will meet all your needs while ensuring a great experience.

Trip.com allows you to book flights, hotels, train tickets, rental cars, airport transfers, tours, and more all on one site. Owned by the parent company that also owns Skyscanner, this is a trusted resource for travel booking and a great “one-stop shop.”

Book Your Accommodations:

We always begin our search by checking out honest reviews on TripAdvisor hotels. This allows us to narrow our search for specific properties once we are ready to book. Of course, you can also book directly on the TripAdvisor site!

There are several accommodation sites that we like to use. One of our favorites is Booking.com because it offers a wide variety of hotels and guesthouses at a good price.

Another “go-to” hotel booking site for us is Hotels.com. We love their loyalty program that allows you to earn free nights, and their “secret prices” for members are fabulous deals!

HotelsCombined is another cool site. They allow you to compare all the top travel sites with one search to ensure you find the best deal out there. Kayak works in this way as well.

If you want a luxurious all-inclusive vacation, consider checking out the Sandals/Beaches properties. Sandals properties are for couples only and Beaches are for families. We have visited Sandals in the past and absolutely love the attention to detail and the service they provide.

Tour Companies We Trust:

We love taking guided tours when visiting new places. Our go-to tour companies are Viator.com and Get Your Guide. Both of these companies have been in business for years and provide excellent customer service. You can trust booking tours from their sites for sure!

For a guided city tour, check out City Sightseeing and BigBus Tours. These bus tours are so much fun and easy to hop on and hop off at top attractions in cities around the world.

CityPass is a great way to save money when visiting large cities. CityPass allows you to get free admission to major attractions once you buy their pass. The savings add up quickly with this pass, often saving 50% with combined admissions.

Another great pass to save money in larger cities is the Sightseeing Pass. This pass allows you to save valuable time and money by combining admissions to major attractions. They also have a handy app that keeps everything you need at your fingertips.

Looking to Save Time and Money?

Check out our resource page for all of our favorite vendors. These companies help us to save time and money on our travels!

Michelle Snell-Founder That Texas Couple

About the Author

Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through creative content creation and her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel and accompanying social media accounts.  She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.

Erin

Sunday 8th of January 2023

The Driskill is my favorite. It is also where President LBJ had his first date with Lady Bird.

thattexascouple

Friday 13th of January 2023

You are so right, Erin. Another piece of fun history!

kmf

Wednesday 5th of August 2020

It’s been too long since I visited Austin. We were planning a girls trip there before the pandemic so pinning this for later when we are able to travel.

thattexascouple

Thursday 6th of August 2020

That sounds fun!! Thanks for reading and for pinning our post for future reference!

Kelly

Monday 18th of May 2020

This is great! I love how you've broken down the different areas and who each area would best be suited for. I've never thought of visiting Austin as im not much of a big city girl (although I love all the restaurants offered), but I love how Austin is a short drive to the smaller towns making it the perfect location to stay.

thattexascouple

Tuesday 19th of May 2020

You are so right, Kelly. Austin is actually a fun city to use as a 'home base' to explore the other small towns around it.