Central Austin, Austin Travel Guide

Central Austin Summary


  • Plenty of restaurant options, from standard American rib houses to authentic Mexican cafes
  • Close to Downtown, but less busy and more relaxed
  • Low-key, but fun nightlife (think open mic nights at coffee shops, lounging at wine bars, taste-testing at breweries)
  • Several cultural activities in the area, like museums and art galleries
  • Easy access to Downtown via I-35
  • Sporting events and activities at University of Texas campus
  • Some of the best hospitals in the state within walking distance (hey, you never know!)


  • Lack of public transportation
  • Bad traffic going into Downtown
  • Less of a happening nightlife and restaurant scene than Downtown
  • Large student population (a pro for some!)
  • Not as pedestrian-friendly or compact as Downtown

What It's Like

Central Austin is a zig-zag-shaped area just north of Downtown, eoncompassing the University of Texas and surrounding areas towards the west. Although it isn’t nearly as residential as North Austin, it still is less compact and urban than Downtown.

Slight remoteness aside, the area still offers visitors a decent number of restaurants and cultural activities, especially around and within the University’s campus. Poor public transit and traffic can make getting into Downtown somewhat nightmare-ish, though.

Where to Stay

Visitors seeking to tap into Austin’s cultural attractions will want to stay near the University, which houses the Texas Memorial Museum and plenty of sports games at Darrel K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Many restaurants can be found just west of the University along Guadalupe Street, which runs north in Central Austin, through the North University neighborhood. Travelers hoping to find some true shelter from the busy city life may want to look north of the University, bordering Hyde Park. The large and popular Pease Park can be found west of the University, as well.


View all Central Austin Hotels


Language: English
Airports: Austin Bergstrom International Airport
Peak: March-May; October-December
Off-Peak: January-February; May-September
Visa: No
Vaccines: No
Currency: U.S. Dollar
Electricity: 120 V, 60 Hz
Tipping: 15-20% at restaurants

Oyster Travel Guides

Austin Travel Guide
Austin Travel Guide
A rapidly evolving yet mellowed-out metropolis, Austin draws a diverse crowd -- from inked artists… Read More
Downtown Travel Guide
Downtown Travel Guide
Downtown Austin is really the birthplace of Texas -- the first Texas settlements were in… Read More
Hyde Park Travel Guide
Hyde Park Travel Guide
Established in 1891, Hyde Park maintains its old-town charm -- many of the 19th-century homes… Read More
North Austin Travel Guide
North Austin is relaxed and highly residential, but decent shops and restaurants can still be… Read More
South Congress (SoCo) Travel Guide
South Congress (SoCo) Travel Guide
South Congress (commonly referred to as SoCo) is known for vintage clothing boutiques and a… Read More
Southeast Austin Travel Guide
Southeast Austin Travel Guide
Southeast Austin isn't exactly a hub of activity. This mixed business and residential sector is… Read More

Like Us on Facebook And Have the Best Vacation Ever

Loading Live Rates