Ready to enjoy the hippest, coolest, most happening gems in the Austin nightlife scene?
We’ve got you covered!
Here are the top 10 Austin neighborhoods where you can discover trendy bars, stylish dives, swanky clubs, and the most exciting nightlife that Austin has to offer.
With a legendary music scene that truly comes to life after dark, Downtown is arguably the go-to destination for glittering and exceptionally diverse Austin nightlife.
In fact, no matter what type of music, venue, or experience you’re looking for, Downtown Austin has options to delight and excite groups of all sizes, with:
- More than 250 live music venues
- Iconic watering holes, dives, and themed-out bars
- Popular stages that routinely feature small and big-name acts alike
- Late-night food options, from after-hours restaurants to 5-star food trucks and more
2. South Congress (SoCo)
Minutes outside of Downtown, SoCo is another spot for dazzling Austin nightlife. From blues clubs and favorite local dives to laid-back outdoor bars with stages, SoCo has plenty of fun and unique options for:
- Taking in some live music
- Enjoying trendy and super tasty cocktails
- Playing pool
- Belting out your favorite tunes during some festive late-night karaoke sessions
3. University of Texas
Party it up college style when you hit up UT Austin for some down-to-earth nightlife fun!
With pubs, dives, sports bars, college bars, late-night eats, and a whole lot more, UT Austin can be the ideal choice when you’re looking for chill vibes and low-key nightlife options that aren’t going to drain your wallet or come with a fancy dress code.
4. South Lamar
With a unique, funky vibe all its own, South Lamar is known for its downhome feel and several local nightlife favorites, from inviting breweries and cozy pubs to lively honky tonks, hip watering holes, and more.
When you party in South Lamar, you can get a real taste and feel for what Austin nightlife is all about.
5. East Cesar Chavez
When you want a night on the town in an artsy, diverse area of Austin, hit up East Cesar Chavez. It’s home to an array of industrial-chic brewpubs, craft cocktail lounges, and luxe live music stages that really get going after dark.
In fact, from happy hours at local Mexican restaurants and BBQ joints to art gallery shows, wine tastings, and more, there’s plenty of exciting times to be had out in East Cesar Chavez.
Trendy, stylish, and brimming with distinctly exciting nighttime fun, Zilker is teeming with both low-key and upscale options for partying it up in Austin after dark. Start your night off with an amazing meal and cocktails at one of Zilker’s popular eateries, which include local gems, chef-driven hot spots, and even food trucks and drink trailers.
After that, you can keep the party going at one of the area’s super hip music venues. You can also party outdoors under the stars at one of Zilker’s beloved patio bars.
And in the summertime, Zilker’s nightlife turns up even more, spilling over into its many green spaces, with BYOB park picnics at dusk where you can take in classic movies or enjoy the best of Austin’s local music scene.
7. Central East Austin
As one of Austin’s fastest up-and-coming areas, Central East Austin has a thriving, diverse nightlife scene, complete with crowd-pleasing bars, bites, drinks, and entertainment from across the globe.
You and your group can satisfy your cravings for authentic Texas BBQ and then pop over to a pocket of trendy watering holes and popular local theaters that feature all sorts of shows and specials. After that, stop by locals’ go-to dives for some nightcaps and spur-of-the-moment late-night fun!
8. Bouldin Creek
Exemplifying the “Keep Austin Weird” mantra, Bouldin Creek is a treasured hot spot for Austin nightlife, offering a fantastic and delightful blend of quirky local realness and one-of-a-kind excitement.
From themed-out cafes and belly-up-to-the-bar dives to old-school speakeasies and upscale bars, Bouldin Creek is the place to be for some funky, fun nightlife, along with food truck favorites, gorgeous skyline views, and waterfront venues where you can party until the wee hours of the morning.
9. Triangle State
Nestled next to Downtown and UT Austin, Triangle State is another thrilling place to party when you’re looking for the best nightlife in Austin. Some of the finest local tastes, cocktails, and handcrafted brews await you in Triangle State’s restaurants and bars, which include a delightful mix of high-end options and super-chill, best-kept secrets.
Plus, if you’re looking to really light it up on the town, you can bar hop across several Austin neighborhoods, hitting up popular watering holes in Triangle State, Downtown, and beyond!
10. Rainey Street
Southeast of Downtown and right next to Lady Bird Lake, the Rainey Street Historic Distict is a hot spot for beer gardens, whiskey bars, local music, and sports bars. As a hip scene that’s known for its outdoor patios and unique bars built out of older homes, Rainey Street is the place to be for big-time fun and a happening party scene that’s full of excitement, rad shows, hand-crafted beverages, and some of the best music that Austin has to offer!
Beyond Austin Nightlife: Where to Live in Austin, TX
From Downtown and Old West Austin to South Lamar, SoCo, and beyond, there’s no shortage of ultra-exciting nightlife in Austin. And no matter when, where, or how you like to party, you’re going to want to go home to a comfortable, welcoming space.
Whenever it’s time to find that place to call home in Austin, here’s how to figure out the best neighborhoods and apartments to start looking at:
- Figure out your budget.
- List out your must-haves in terms of space and amenities.
- Consider your commute and transportation needs, including whether you need easy access to electric vehicle charging stations, public transportation, or other options.
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