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How Much Money Do I Take To Austin For A 2-Day Trip


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Athene Delafuente



Planning a trip to Austin, Texas? Get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, warm hospitality, and diverse attractions that this exciting city has to offer. Whether you’re a music lover, a foodie, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply looking to explore a new destination, Austin has something for everyone.


Austin, known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” boasts a lively music scene with venues and bars showcasing local talent each night. From blues and country to rock and indie, you can find a variety of genres playing in the city’s iconic music venues, such as the historic Continental Club or the iconic Broken Spoke.


But Austin is more than just music. It’s also home to a burgeoning food scene that will satisfy even the most discerning palates. Try mouthwatering Tex-Mex dishes, indulge in delicious barbecue, or opt for farm-to-table cuisine at one of the many trendy restaurants scattered throughout the city.


Aside from the culinary delights, Austin offers a multitude of outdoor activities. With its stunning parks, hiking trails, and Lady Bird Lake for kayaking and paddleboarding, nature lovers will find ample opportunities to reconnect with the great outdoors.


Additionally, Austin is known for its lively festivals and events. From South by Southwest (SXSW) to the Austin City Limits Music Festival, there’s always something happening in this city. So, make sure to check the event calendar and see if you can time your visit to coincide with one of these exciting events.


In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how much money you should take with you for a 2-day trip to Austin. From accommodation and transportation options to food expenses, tourist attractions, shopping, and other miscellaneous expenses, we’ll help you plan your budget effectively so that you can make the most of your time in this dynamic city.


Choosing Accommodation

When it comes to choosing accommodation for your 2-day trip to Austin, there are plenty of options to suit every budget and preference. Whether you prefer luxury hotels, budget-friendly motels, or the cozy ambiance of a bed and breakfast, Austin has it all.


If you’re looking for a luxurious stay, consider booking a room at one of the upscale hotels in downtown Austin. These hotels offer top-notch amenities, convenient locations, and stunning views of the city skyline. Expect to pay around $200 to $400 per night for a high-end hotel room.


For those on a tighter budget, there are affordable options available as well. Look for budget hotels or motels in the outskirts of the city or near major highways. These accommodations may offer basic amenities but can be a great option if you’re not planning to spend much time in your room. Prices for budget hotels range from $100 to $150 per night.


If you’re seeking a unique and charming experience, consider booking a bed and breakfast. Austin has a variety of cozy B&Bs scattered throughout the city, offering a more personalized touch and home-like atmosphere. Prices for bed and breakfast accommodations typically range from $150 to $250 per night.


Alternatively, if you’re traveling with a larger group or prefer a more independent experience, you can opt for vacation rentals or Airbnb properties. These provide the opportunity to have an entire house or apartment to yourself, with amenities such as a kitchen and living space. Prices for vacation rentals vary depending on location, size, and amenities but can be a cost-effective option for groups.


When choosing your accommodation, it’s important to consider its proximity to the attractions and areas you plan to explore in Austin. If you’re mainly interested in exploring downtown and the bustling nightlife, look for accommodations in the downtown area. However, if you prefer a quieter and more relaxed environment, consider staying in a neighborhood like South Austin or East Austin.


Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on the time of year you visit Austin. During popular events or festivals, accommodations may have higher rates and limited availability, so it’s advisable to book in advance.


Overall, Austin offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. Take the time to research and compare prices, read reviews, and choose the option that best fits your needs and preferences for your 2-day stay in Austin.


Transportation Options in Austin

Getting around Austin during your 2-day trip is a breeze with the various transportation options available. Whether you prefer to drive, use public transportation, or rely on ride-sharing services, there are plenty of convenient ways to explore the city.


If you’re flying into Austin, you can start your journey by renting a car at the airport. This gives you the flexibility to explore the city at your own pace and easily reach different attractions. Rental car prices can vary depending on the vehicle type and rental duration, but expect to pay around $40 to $80 per day.


Alternatively, Austin has a well-connected public transportation system that includes buses and trains. Capital Metro operates an extensive network of buses that cover the city and surrounding areas. Fares for a single bus ride start at $2.50, and day passes can be purchased for $7. Additionally, the MetroRail provides a convenient way to travel between downtown Austin and northern suburbs, with fares starting at $3.50.


For a more eco-friendly option, consider renting a bicycle to navigate the city. Austin has an extensive network of bike lanes and trails, making it a bike-friendly city. Many rental shops offer hourly or daily bike rentals, with prices ranging from $5 to $20 depending on the duration.


If you prefer the convenience of ride-sharing services, both Uber and Lyft operate in Austin. This allows you to easily hail a ride with just a few taps on your smartphone. Prices for rides vary depending on the distance and demand, and surge pricing may apply during peak times.


In addition, Austin is known for its electric scooter rentals. Companies like Lime and Bird offer electric scooters that can be rented by the minute. These scooters provide a fun and efficient way to explore the city, especially for shorter distances. Prices for scooter rentals typically start at $1 initial unlock fee, plus a per-minute fee.


When planning your transportation in Austin, keep in mind that the city’s traffic can be congested, especially during peak hours. If you choose to drive, allow extra time for travel and be prepared for potential delays. Additionally, parking may be limited and expensive, especially in downtown areas, so it’s advisable to check for parking options in advance.


Overall, Austin offers a variety of transportation options to suit different preferences and travel styles. Whether you choose to rent a car, take public transportation, ride a bike, or use ride-sharing services, getting around the city during your 2-day trip will be convenient and hassle-free.


Dining and Food Expenses

Austin is a food lover’s paradise, with a vibrant culinary scene that offers a wide range of dining options to suit every taste and budget. From food trucks and casual eateries to upscale restaurants, you’ll find a plethora of delicious choices to satisfy your cravings during your 2-day trip to Austin.


When it comes to dining in Austin, one of the must-try cuisines is Tex-Mex. Indulge in mouthwatering dishes like breakfast tacos, fajitas, and enchiladas, infused with the flavors of Mexico. You can find these delectable Tex-Mex treats at food trucks, casual cafes, and dedicated Tex-Mex restaurants throughout the city.


In addition to Tex-Mex, Austin is also known for its mouthwatering barbecue. Sink your teeth into tender brisket, pork ribs, or smoked sausages at one of the infamous barbecue joints in town. The flavors and aromas of slow-cooked meat will surely leave you wanting more.


If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, Austin has plenty of trendy restaurants that offer farm-to-table cuisine and innovative dishes. These establishments often showcase the culinary talents of local chefs and focus on locally sourced ingredients. Prices at upscale restaurants can range from $30 to $60 per person for a full meal.


For those on a budget, food trucks are a popular option in Austin. These mobile eateries serve up a variety of cuisines, from tacos and burgers to Asian fusion and gourmet sandwiches. Food truck prices are generally more affordable, with meals averaging around $8 to $15 per person.


Keep in mind that dining expenses can add up quickly, especially if you plan to sample a variety of dishes and try different restaurants. To manage your food expenses during your 2-day trip, consider setting a daily food budget and researching affordable dining options in advance.


Additionally, don’t forget to factor in the cost of drinks. Austin has a thriving craft beer and cocktail scene, with numerous breweries, brewpubs, and bars scattered throughout the city. Prices for alcoholic beverages can vary, but expect to pay around $5 to $10 for a craft beer or mixed drink.


To save on dining expenses, consider opting for lunch specials or prix-fixe menus that are often offered at certain restaurants. Another option is to explore the local grocery stores or farmers’ markets to buy snacks, fresh produce, or picnic supplies. This can be a budget-friendly way to enjoy a meal outdoors while immersing yourself in the beautiful Austin surroundings.


Overall, Austin’s dining scene provides a wide range of choices to suit different tastes and budgets. From Tex-Mex and barbecue to upscale dining and food trucks, you can explore the city’s culinary delights and indulge in memorable dining experiences during your 2-day trip.


Tourist Attractions and Activities

Austin is a city full of vibrant attractions and exciting activities that will make your 2-day trip truly memorable. With a perfect blend of cultural landmarks, natural beauty, and unique experiences, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the capital of Texas.


One of the most iconic and must-visit attractions in Austin is the State Capitol. This stunning building is not only the seat of Texas government but also a historical and architectural gem. Take a guided tour to learn about the state’s history and admire the beautiful interior and grounds.


Music enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to the legendary music venues along 6th Street. From intimate bars to larger concert halls, this lively street is the heart of Austin’s music scene. Listen to live performances ranging from blues and rock to country and indie, showcasing the incredible talent that earned Austin its title as the “Live Music Capital of the World.”


For nature lovers, a visit to the Barton Springs Pool is a must. This natural swimming pool, fed by underground springs, offers a refreshing escape from the Texas heat. Enjoy a swim or relax on the grassy areas surrounding the pool and soak up the sun.


Another outdoor gem in Austin is the Lady Bird Lake. Take a leisurely stroll, rent a kayak or paddleboard, or bike along the scenic trails that wind around the lake. You’ll have the opportunity to enjoy stunning views of the city skyline and immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature.


If you’re interested in history and culture, visit the Bullock Texas State History Museum. Explore the exhibits that showcase the rich history of Texas, from its early days to the present. Learn about the state’s diverse heritage, influential figures, and pivotal events that shaped Texas into what it is today.


No trip to Austin is complete without experiencing the vibrant food scene. Take a food tour to sample a variety of cuisines and explore popular local eateries. Discover the flavors of Texas, try the famous breakfast tacos, indulge in mouthwatering barbecue, and sip on craft cocktails at hip bars and breweries.


For a more offbeat and unique experience, visit the Cathedral of Junk. This quirky attraction is an eccentric artwork made up of a collection of discarded items and found objects. Wander through the labyrinthine pathways and marvel at the creativity and ingenuity of its creator.


Lastly, check the events calendar during your visit to Austin. The city hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, including the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, Austin City Limits Music Festival, and the Austin Film Festival. These events showcase the best of music, film, and arts, making your trip to Austin even more memorable.


Remember to plan your time wisely and prioritize the attractions and activities that interest you the most. Austin offers a multitude of options to explore during your 2-day trip, guaranteeing a fulfilling and unforgettable experience in this dynamic city.


Shopping and Souvenirs

Austin is a haven for shoppers, with a variety of unique boutiques, local stores, vibrant markets, and shopping centers for you to explore during your 2-day trip. From trendy fashion and handmade crafts to vintage finds and local specialties, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your shopping desires.


If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience, head to South Congress Avenue. This iconic street is lined with eclectic boutiques, vintage shops, and specialty stores. Browse through a variety of clothing and accessory boutiques, home decor stores, art galleries, and more. South Congress is also known for its vibrant atmosphere and colorful street art, making it a great place to spend an afternoon.


For a taste of Austin’s local and independent retail scene, visit the 2nd Street District. This pedestrian-friendly area is home to a mix of high-end boutiques, designer shops, and locally owned stores. Explore the unique offerings, from fashion and accessories to home goods and gourmet food.


If you’re interested in finding one-of-a-kind artworks, crafts, and handmade products, don’t miss the numerous art markets and craft fairs in Austin. The Blue Genie Art Bazaar, held during the holiday season, features local artists and craftspeople showcasing their creations. Additionally, the Austin Flea Market offers a wide range of vintage items, handmade crafts, and local goods.


Austin is also known for its love of music, so why not bring home some vinyl records or CDs from one of the city’s many independent music stores? Waterloo Records and Antone’s Record Shop are popular destinations for music lovers looking to discover new tunes and expand their collections.


If you’re looking for souvenirs to remind you of your time in Austin, consider picking up items that reflect the city’s unique culture and character. Choose from cowboy hats, Texas-themed t-shirts, local artwork, or handcrafted jewelry. Don’t forget to also check out local food specialties, such as gourmet sauces, handmade chocolates, or locally roasted coffee beans, to bring a taste of Austin back home with you.


Keep in mind that while shopping in Austin can be enjoyable, it’s important to set a budget and stick to it. Prices for items can vary depending on the store and the product, so be mindful of your spending. Additionally, some stores in Austin may offer tax-free shopping for visitors, so don’t forget to ask about tax refund options.


Overall, Austin offers a diverse and exciting shopping scene, with something to suit every taste and budget. Whether you’re looking for trendy fashion, unique artworks, handmade crafts, or local specialties, exploring the shopping options in Austin will give you a chance to bring home a piece of this vibrant city.


Miscellaneous Expenses

When planning your 2-day trip to Austin, it’s important to account for miscellaneous expenses that may arise during your stay. These expenses can include things like tickets to attractions, parking fees, tips, and unexpected costs that you might encounter along the way.


One of the miscellaneous expenses to consider is admission fees to tourist attractions and activities. While there are many free attractions and parks in Austin, some popular attractions may require an entrance fee. For example, the Blanton Museum of Art or the Bullock Texas State History Museum have admission fees ranging from $5 to $15 per person.


Another consideration is parking fees. If you choose to drive or rent a car during your trip, be prepared for parking costs, especially in busy areas like downtown Austin. Parking rates can vary depending on the location and time of day, ranging from $5 to $30 per day.


Tipping is also an important aspect to keep in mind during your trip. In restaurants, it is customary to tip around 15-20% of the total bill for good service. Additionally, if you use a ride-sharing service or have a tour guide, it’s customary to tip around 10-15% of the total cost as well.


During your exploration of Austin, you may also come across unexpected expenses such as public restroom charges, fees for guided tours or experiences, or purchasing souvenirs and gifts. It’s always a good idea to have some extra cash or a backup payment method available to cover these expenses.


Lastly, it’s important to budget for meals and snacks throughout the day. While we have already covered dining expenses, it’s worth mentioning that having some extra funds set aside for unexpected food purchases or snacks can be helpful.


To effectively manage these miscellaneous expenses, it’s advisable to create a travel budget in advance, allocating funds for each category and leaving some cushion for unexpected costs. Researching and planning ahead can also help you identify any potential additional fees, allowing you to budget and prepare accordingly.


By taking into account these miscellaneous expenses, you can ensure that you have the necessary funds to fully enjoy your 2-day trip to Austin without any unexpected financial surprises.


Budgeting Tips for a 2-Day Trip to Austin

Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean sacrificing a memorable experience during your 2-day trip to Austin. By following these budgeting tips, you can make the most of your time in the city without breaking the bank.


1. Plan your itinerary: Before you embark on your trip, create a detailed itinerary that outlines the attractions and activities you want to experience. This will help you prioritize your time and avoid unnecessary expenses.


2. Research free or low-cost attractions: Austin offers a variety of free or low-cost attractions and activities. From exploring parks and street art to attending concerts or festivals, there are plenty of options to enjoy without spending a fortune.


3. Take advantage of happy hour specials: Many restaurants and bars in Austin offer happy hour specials, usually in the late afternoon or early evening. This is a great opportunity to sample local cuisine and enjoy discounted drinks.


4. Look for budget-friendly accommodations: Consider staying in budget hotels, hostels, or even opting for Airbnb rentals to save on accommodation costs. Look for deals, promotions, or last-minute discounts to get the best rates.


5. Use public transportation and ride-sharing services: Utilize Austin’s public transportation system, such as buses and trains, to get around the city. It’s an affordable and convenient alternative to renting a car. If needed, you can also use ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft for shorter distances.


6. Pack your own snacks and water: Save on dining expenses by bringing your own snacks and bottles of water. This allows you to keep hunger at bay and stay hydrated throughout the day, especially during outdoor activities.


7. Research restaurant deals and promotions: Before dining out, search for restaurant deals, coupons, or promotions available in the area. Many establishments offer special discounts during certain days or times of the week.


8. Visit local markets and food trucks: Explore Austin’s local markets and food truck scene for affordable and delicious meals. These options often offer a wide variety of cuisines at lower prices compared to traditional restaurants.


9. Limit souvenir purchases: While it’s tempting to bring home mementos of your trip, be mindful of your souvenir budget. Choose a few meaningful items that truly reflect the spirit of Austin instead of splurging on multiple trinkets.


10. Stay hydrated and wear comfortable shoes: Austin’s weather can get hot, so staying hydrated is essential. Bring a refillable water bottle to keep hydrated throughout the day and wear comfortable shoes to avoid spending unnecessary money on transportation for short distances.


By implementing these budgeting tips, you can enjoy a fulfilling and memorable 2-day trip to Austin without straining your wallet. Remember, experiencing the culture, music, and vibrant atmosphere of the city can be done on a budget with some careful planning and smart spending.



Austin, Texas, offers a wide array of experiences and attractions that make it an ideal destination for a 2-day trip. From its vibrant music scene and rich cultural heritage to its delectable cuisine and outdoor adventures, Austin has something to captivate every traveler.


When planning your trip, consider factors such as accommodation, transportation, dining, shopping, and miscellaneous expenses. With a bit of research and budgeting, you can make the most of your time in Austin without overspending.


Choosing accommodation that suits your budget and preferences is crucial. Whether you opt for a luxury hotel, a cozy bed and breakfast, or a vacation rental, Austin offers a range of options to suit every traveler’s needs.


Transportation in Austin is convenient, with options including rental cars, public transportation, and ride-sharing services. Deciding which mode of transportation best suits your needs will depend on your itinerary and preferences.


Austin’s culinary scene is a highlight that shouldn’t be missed. Indulge in Tex-Mex delights, savor mouthwatering barbecue, and explore the local food truck scene for a taste of the city’s culinary diversity.


When it comes to attractions and activities, Austin offers a mix of historical landmarks, natural beauty, and unique experiences. From iconic sites like the State Capitol and Barton Springs Pool to the vibrant music venues and outdoor adventures, there’s always something exciting to discover.


Shopping enthusiasts will delight in exploring Austin’s plethora of boutiques, markets, and specialty stores. Whether you’re searching for trendy fashion, handcrafted souvenirs, or vintage finds, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your shopping needs.


Lastly, careful budgeting and planning will help you make the most of your trip to Austin. Prioritize your expenses, take advantage of affordable options, and be mindful of your spending while still embracing the city’s unique offerings.


With these tips in mind, you’re ready to embark on an unforgettable 2-day journey through the vibrant streets and cultural wonders of Austin, Texas. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, indulge in delectable flavors, and create memories to last a lifetime in this dynamic and captivating city.