No matter the time of year, Austin is always buzzing with activity. The Texas capital attracts visitors all year round, who flock here to enjoy its many festivals, pleasant weather and scenic landscapes. For these reasons, the city has become increasingly expensive, but it doesn’t have to be if you stay at a hostel.
Hostel 512’s yard features benches and chair swings | Courtesy of Hostel 512 / Booking.com
This Central East Austin hostel is built with travelers in mind. Perfectly situated for easy access to all parts of the city, Hostel 512 caters to the weary, with chair swings and benches dotted around its gated yard, which is also filled with built-in games for visitors to enjoy. The impeccably clean rooms feature large beds with super-solid frames.
Filled with adventurous travelers who are staying the night, as well as locals, this hostel cultivates curiosity and encourages wanderlust. Native is a kinetic collision of music, the arts, warm beds, food and spirits. The sleeping arrangements are communal, and downstairs, visitors can mingle with locals in the Native Bar & Kitchen, which hosts a happy hour and music acts that are worth staying awake for.
HK Austin’s beds are scattered throughout the rooms of an elegant Victorian mansion originally constructed in 1892; it is a registered historic landmark in the City of Austin. The modernized interior of this old home features a co-living space where you can stay for a day, a week or a month. No matter how long you stay, make sure to take advantage of the two white wraparound porches, where you can sit and admire the city while sipping a Lone Star beer.
Just off 6th Street – Austin’s liveliest stretch for nightlife – is the very affordable Firehouse Hostel. Once a firehouse built in 1885, it now serves as an updated hostel and lounge. It provides free breakfast, free Wi-Fi and various room options. Depending on how much you’re looking to pay, it offers rooms with both shared and private bathrooms, deluxe dorm-style accommodations and economy dorms.
Known locally as DJ’s, this hostel is located right across from the University of Texas campus, and its decor is everything you would expect from a place situated right next to a college. Local artists were commissioned to paint murals throughout every room, and the result is a vibrant and lively space where ideas flow. Next door is The Hole in the Wall, where you can get budget-friendly beers and cocktails.
When you want to think beyond the guidebook, HI Austin is a perfect choice. Part of Hostelling International USA (HI USA), this hostel is a non-profit member organization founded on an enduring belief in the power of travel to foster a deeper understanding of people, places and the world around. The Austin branch lies on the shores of Lady Bird Lake and caters to the laid-back community of the Lone Star State’s capital. This tranquil setting with beautiful views is only a 25-minute walk to Downtown or South Congress Street. The hostel also rents out yoga mats and bikes, so guests can keep fit while on holiday.