Visiting Austin, TX, on your next vacation? You’re in the right place! I’m here to help you decide where to stay in Austin!
I’ve compared all the MOST incredible hotels in Austin in all the neighborhoods and have come up with the ultimate list of the best areas and accommodations in the city! Let me make planning your trip easy!
The best area to stay in Austin is Downtown. This is the heart of the city and where most of the historic and cultural landmarks are located!
Although many accommodation options are available, booking your Austin hotel in advance is essential to secure the best deals!
If you are in a hurry
These are the absolute top choices where to stay in Downtown Austin, TX, where most of the tourist attractions in Austin are located:
- If you are in a hurry
- 1. Downtown Austin – where to stay in Austin for first-timers
- 2. East Austin – the best area to stay for foodies
- 3. South Congress – an Instagrammable neighborhood
- 4. Zilker – where to stay in Austin for families
- 5. North Loop – where to stay in Austin on a budget
- BONUS: Where to stay in Austin without a car
- BONUS 2: Best hotels in Austin for a bachelorette party
- FAQs about staying in Austin
Check out this map of the best neighborhoods to help you visualize where to stay in Austin:
Watch my video, it will give you a visual explanation of all the areas:
1. Downtown Austin – where to stay in Austin for first-timers
Downtown Austin is the city’s beating heart, known for its live-music venues, buzzing nightlife, and the beautiful Lady Bird Lake. It’s a hub for foodies, with an array of top-notch restaurants and food trucks serving up everything from Texas BBQ to international cuisine.
The area is also home to the historic Texas State Capitol and the lively Sixth Street district, where there’s always something going on. Plus, it’s super walkable, so you can easily soak up the vibrant atmosphere and discover why Austin’s motto is “Keep Austin Weird.”
Austin’s motto “Keep Austin Weird.” was initially used to encourage people to buy local and help Austin’s small businesses.
Downtown also includes historic landmarks such as the Paramount Theatre and the Frost Bank Tower.
Being a busy district with everything nearby, Downtown Austin is among the best places for first-time visitors or for those staying just for the weekend.
While here, visit the Red River Cultural District and Rainey Street to experience the best of Austin’s nightlife!
The Stephen F offers incredibly spacious rooms, 24-hour fitness facilities, an indoor pool, and an on-site restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner—the perfect choice for an elegant and spotlessly clean hotel.
Other accommodation options in Downtown Austin
Offering family rooms, sun terraces, an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, and a buffet breakfast, this hotel is excellent value for money in the city
This hostel is located close to all the famous sightseeing spots and Austin city’s top entertainment places, making it the perfect budget choice
A one-bedroom oasis for 4 people near restaurants, shopping, bars, and the nightlife
Things to do in Downtown Austin, TX
- Learn history at the Texas Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
- Go to the world-famous Texas State Capitol building
- Dine at the delicious Hestia for live-fire cooking
- Visit the Austin Downtown Museum of the Weird
- Catch a comedy show at Esther’s Follies
2. East Austin – the best area to stay for foodies
East Austin is one of the city’s fastest-growing and most diverse neighborhoods. It has a lot to offer at every corner, so if you are without a car, it’s one of the best places to stay.
The neighborhood boasts a great selection of vintage shops, restaurants, clubs, and live music venues. Plus, it is the place to find all the coolest hipster hangouts and iconic music venues, like Historic Scoot Inn for Indie bands and draft beer!
If you’re a food enthusiast, then East Austin is a great place to discover food from around the world. This area actually has the highest concentration of food trucks (shout out to the Doughminician Trailer for awesome Caribbean snacks!)
East Austin is haven for foodies and art lovers in a single, vibrant neighborhood!
Artistic and creative people can feast their eyes on the many art galleries, incredible street art, and outdoor displays to see in the area. E. 11th Street has some of the best murals in town, so be sure to stroll past it!
This area has some of the coolest hotels in Austin, it’s close to downtown but feels more relaxed and is a great place to see what makes Austin unique.
Clean, comfy, and cozy, the rooms at this hotel ensure you get a restful night’s sleep during your Austin visit. Complete with a modern but fun, decorative touch, just like the neighborhood, Arrive Austin is your go-to spot for some luxury living in one of the coolest spots in town!
Other accommodation options in East Austin
Centrally located hotel with an outdoor pool, stunning décor, and 3 restaurants on site; family rooms are available
A cozy minimalist condo for up to 4 people with smart-home features, tall ceilings, and free bike rental
A gorgeous tiny home in the middle of Austin city, with a private kitchenette and bathroom
Things to do In East Austin
- Explore African-American history and culture at the George Washington Carver Museum
- Indulge yourself with some cocktails by candlelight in Whisler’s
- Take some snaps of the colorful and vibrant street art
- Take your kids to the Austin Children’s Museum
- Have a picnic in the Boggy Creek Greenbelt
3. South Congress – an Instagrammable neighborhood
Across the Colorado River lies South Congress Avenue, also known as “SoCo.” Along with East Austin, this is one of the most popular places to stay in Austin.
Austin is home to 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats! The Congress Avenue Bridge in South Congress is a major tourist attraction because there is a unique opportunity for bat watching here!
NOTE: For bat-watching, Just make sure you visit from late March to October!
South Congress is the spot in town for nightlife. Don’t miss out on the Continental Club. It’s one of THE best places to go for live music!
Also, if you’re wondering where to stay for Formula 1 in Austin, South Congress is the closest area to the Circuit of America (of the ones I covered in this article). You can also search for hotels in the Southeast area.
It’s a great spot to experience Austin’s quirky charm, with the iconic “I love you so much” mural and stunning views of the Texas State Capitol and downtown skyline.
There are no luxury hotels in the very center of South Congress, but the Colton House Hotel is the closest to it. It is your ultimate luxury retreat within walking distance from bars and restaurants. Rooms are spacious and stylish and feature a kitchen. A fitness center and swimming pool are also available on-site.
Other Accommodation Options in South Congress, TX
Features an outdoor swimming pool, spacious rooms, and a daily buffet breakfast, perfect for long stays
Ideal budget-friendly option for 4 travelers, conveniently located, featuring a swimming pool and a fabulous backyard
A colorful, light, and breezy tiny home with a modern design and small outside area perfect for summer nights
Things to do In South Congress, Austin, TX
- Snap a picture of the South Congress Cathedral of Junk
- Visit the creepiest wax museum, Sfanthor House of Wax
- Enjoy some wine tasting at The Austin Winery
- Check out the murals and graffiti walls around South Congress
- Visit the Yard Dog Art Gallery for contemporary American folk art
4. Zilker – where to stay in Austin for families
Being southeast of Downtown Austin just a short trip across the Colorado River, Zilker is the perfect mix of busy and calm for families.
The many outdoor activities in the area for all ages make it a fun place to stay in Austin for families. In the 350-acre Zilker Metropolitan Park, you can go hiking, biking, canoeing, and kayaking.
It also has a big natural pool called Barton Springs where you can swim a natural habitat with fish and turtles. Beware though, the water is called!
The Zilker neighborhood is one of the greenest areas in the city and the safest place to stay in Austin.
Don’t forget to check out the Hartman Botanical Gardens, which showcases ancient species of plants and plenty of dinosaurs in the dino pit!
This is also one of the best neighborhoods for couples due to its proximity to the romantic Lady Bird Lake, where you can have a nice picnic or spend a day in nature on your anniversary!
This charming hotel is just steps from Lady Bird Lake, with free parking, Wi-Fi, and spacious rooms. Their modernly-furnished suite can sleep up to 4 people and is ideal for families!
Other accommodation options in Zilker
With spacious rooms and an incredible outdoor swimming pool, this lovely hotel can sleep up to 7 people
Excellent choice for large families on a budget with Zilker Park within walking distance; a dedicated workspace is available too
Perfect for a family of up to 6 people, featuring 2 bedrooms and a small patio
Things to do In Zilker, Austin, TX
- Be one with nature at the Zilker Botanical Garden
- Delight yourself with hearty Texan-Mexican dishes at Chuy’s
- Enjoy the miniature railway rides of the Zilker Zephyr train
- Go swimming at Barton Springs Municipal Pool
- Check out the art at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum
5. North Loop – where to stay in Austin on a budget
North Loop is an easily accessible neighborhood between Austin Downtown and Texas University. The area attracts locals and visitors because of its eclectic shops, affordable movie theaters, and restaurants. It’s further from Downtown and primarily residential, making it more affordable.
North Loop is quirky, fun, and full of hidden gems! It’s known as the place that keeps Austin weird and wonderful – so you’ll love it!
Although North Loop is peaceful, Hyde Park, Windsor Park, and Mueller are all neighboring areas just a block away, where you can easily access shopping malls, fancy eateries, and wine bars.
It is about 15 mins driving away from the city center or 35 min by public transportation, so plan your time accordingly!
Considering the limited accommodation options, this is the closest you can get to a luxury stay in the North Loop! Rooms can sleep up to 4 people. Breakfast is available for an additional fee.
Other accommodation options in North Loop
Excellent choice with deluxe queen rooms close to everything; rooms are spacious, and there’s also an outdoor swimming pool
Your small oasis of privacy in the North Loop, ideal for relaxation. It’s fully furnished with a dedicated work space (monitor included!)
Another affordable Airbnb for 2 guests within walking distance of restaurants, ideal for short stays
Things to do in North Loop, Austin, TX
- Go on an antiques shopping spree
- Explore the old bookshops and record stores
- Explore vintage gems at Room Service Vintage
- Hang out with the locals at Workhorse Bar
|👑 Luxury price:
|📍 Best area:
|🛎️ Best luxury hotel:
|The Stephen F
|🧳 Mid-range hotel:
|Holiday Inn Express
|👛 Best budget hotel:
BONUS: Where to stay in Austin without a car
Visiting Austin without a car? The Downtown, East Austin, and SoCo areas above are all walkable, but I have picked 3 centrally-located sub-areas of Downtown that are the absolute best places to stay in Austin without a car.
This is the best place to stay without a car if you’re in town for partying. The area is pedestrian-friendly and has many entertainment options, from clubs, bars, restaurants, and art galleries.
Stay in West 6th Street for an upscale, chic stay with trendy bars. The central part, also known as Dirty Six, is more energetic and suitable for young people, while East 6th Street is the most hipster with a galore of art galleries and quirky shops.
There are many hotels near 6th Street for all tastes and budgets.
Red River Cultural District
Red River Cultural District is a great area for visitors without a car because it’s very walkable.
The area is conveniently located, and numerous bus stations are situated nearby. You’ll also be surrounded by museums, churches, and parks within walking distance, so there’s always something new to see.
Rainey Street Historic District
If you wish to experience bohemian Austin, Rainey Street is the perfect place to stay. It is just as urban and packed with bars and restaurants as the 6th Street and the Red River District, but it does come with a unique atmosphere.
The perk of staying near Rainey Street is proximity to Austin city attractions like the Congress Avenue Bridge. You can walk everywhere!
Food trucks and bungalow-style eateries with delicious meals are available throughout the area.
BONUS 2: Best hotels in Austin for a bachelorette party
Planning a bachelorette/bachelor party in Austin city? Here are the best hotels for the occasion!
All the hotels below have premium amenities (think pool or on-site bar) or are conveniently located in the areas with the best parties.
Luxury (US$250 and up)
- Fairmont Hotel – located in the heart of Downtown, this hotel is perfect for bachelorette parties with style! It’s just across the street from Rainey Street, so the options for partying are endless!
They also have 6 bars and restaurants on-site, an outdoor swimming pool, and a wellness center for some serious relaxation the day after!
- Canopy by Hilton – Canopy by Hilton has an outdoor pool where you can sit back and relax, sipping cocktails all day! You can even play billiards, and you’ll be within walking distance from where the best parties are!
Mid-range (US$180 – US$250)
- East Austin Hotel – situated in East Austin just by 6th Street, this hotel is the best value for money if you’re in town for a bachelorette party! Bars and restaurants are just a step away, while the rooms are incredibly clean. You can also spend a day by the outdoor pool!
- Holiday Inn Express – stay close to where the action is while enjoying fabulous amenities (fitness center, pool, free Wi-Fi) without breaking the bank!
Budget (up to US$180)
- Staybridge Suites South Congress – an excellent budget-friendly option with an on-site pool, BBQ facilities, and a good breakfast! They offer a free airport shuttle if you need to organize airport transport for the invitées!
- Modern Home in South Austin– why not rent a whole home to fit all guests on one property? This lovely South Austin home can fit up to 14 people and has a super fast internet connection!
FAQs about staying in Austin
🏙️ What is the best area to stay in Austin for a weekend?
⚠️ What are some areas to avoid in Austin, TX?
It’s advisable to steer clear of East Riverside and Rundberg Lane but also be cautious in Downtown Austin‘s entertainment district late at night.
📅 What is the best month to visit Austin, TX, for a live music experience?
March, during the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, is when Austin comes alive with diverse musical performances across the city.
😎 What is the coolest neighborhood in Austin?
East Austin is the coolest neighborhood to stay in Austin. It’s where all of the iconic BBQ restaurants (BIG thing in town!) are located. You can also find tons of cool hotels in this area. The walkability rating is high here, too!
✅ What is the safest area of Austin to stay?
Overall, Austin is very safe for a big city, especially when compared to Chicago or NYC. Hyde Park (just next to North Loop) is considered the safest, but it’s not the most touristy area. You’ll be safe enough in Downtown or any other neighborhood.
🚙 Do i need a car in Austin?
A car is optional in Austin! If you’re traveling without kids, the best way to get around is by bus or light rail. The city has a public transportation system and plenty of rideshare companies, so a car is useful but not necessary, especially if you stay at the centrally-located Fairmont Hotel.
🎸 Where is the best area to stay for live music in Austin?
Red River Cultural District! This is the place to be to enjoy live music in the city! This area is part of Downtown Austin, which is the top lively spot in town!
👨👩👧👦 Which is the best neighborhood to stay for families?
I hope this guide helped you to decide where to stay in Austin. I have carefully picked the 5 best areas and accommodation in town to match different travel tastes, needs, and budgets.
Remember to book your hotel as soon as possible as the accommodation here sells out fast, and you wouldn’t want to miss your dream stay or price!
If you still haven’t decided between the great options on my list, here are my absolute top 2 favorites:
- The Stephen F – spacious luxury rooms with an unbeatable location
- The Carpenter Hotel – A warm and homey hotel with a swimming pool and free wifi
Now, all left to do is pack your bags and have the trip of a lifetime during your Austin stay!
Feel free to leave me a comment if you have any other questions or suggestions about the city!
Have fun and stay safe!
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