One of the most happening cities in the US, no trip to Texas is complete without visiting its buzzing capital, Austin. And it’s not just the Texan capital, it’s also the Live Music Capital of the World.

Though it hosts SXSW, there’s live music pretty much every night of the year! It’s also a haven for outdoor lovers, with kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, and walking and cycling through the parks, lakes, and rivers of the city.

When it comes to choosing a place to stay, you may want to consider vacation rentals in Austin. These charming properties often offer better value for money than hotels – and you won’t have to share rooms to get a good deal as you would in hostels. But with so many to choose from, it can be hard to know the right place for you.

Let us help you. I’ve put together this list of the 15 best Airbnbs in Austin. Not only that, I’ve thrown in some of the best Airbnb Experiences you can do when you arrive too. Let’s get planning your city break!

mt bonnell austin texas sunset
Photo: Trey Perry (Flickr)

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Quick Answer: These are the Top 5 Airbnbs in Austin

Vintage East Side Bungalow

Vintage East Side Bungalow

  • > $$
  • > 6 Guests
  • > Air conditioning
  • > Large private backyard
Charming and Chic home near Downtown

Chic Home near Downtown Austin

  • > $
  • > 2 Guests
  • > Air conditioning
  • > Access to communal areas
Artsy Home w/ Heated Saltwater Pool

Artsy Home w/ Heated Saltwater Pool

  • > $$
  • > 2 Guests
  • > Outdoor Heated Saltwater Pool
  • > Designer features
Big bright room in leafy oasis

Bright Room in Leafy Oasis

  • > $
  • > 2 Guests
  • > Huge outdoor deck
  • > Near universities
Private upstairs suite in East Austin

Private Suite in East Austin

  • > $$
  • > 4 guests
  • > Dedicated workspace
  • > Private balcony

What to Expect from Airbnbs in Austin

While Austin isn’t the most popular road trip destination in Texas (that honour goes to Houston), it’s still pretty big. And it attracts more than 30 million tourists a year! With such popularity, it’s no surprise that there’s a huge range of vacation rentals in Austin. You should have no trouble at all finding something that matches your budget and taste.

In Downtown and the surrounding areas, you can find all the usual Airbnbs such as entire flats and lofts, with more unusual properties thrown in too. Think tiny houses and Airstream caravans! If you’re looking to head out to somewhere like Lake Travis, you might bag yourself a cabin or a villa.

Planning a Trip Budget, Austin

Let’s start with a good option for groups of friends and families. Bungalows are single-story buildings that offer a home away from home. You can expect a fully equipped kitchen, living area, and bedrooms to suite the size of your party. You might also get a garden or porch too, not to mention free parking – which is great if you have your own transport.

Back in the 40s, airstream caravans were part of the American dream. You could pack your stuff and set off on a road trip without having to leave anything at home. Now that Americans can enjoy bigger cars and RVs, the purpose of the airstream caravan has changed a lot.

Similar to airstreams, tiny houses offer you a chance to stay in a unique small space which has been cleverly designed. Tiny houses offer more spaces than airstream caravans for the most part, though I’d still recommend them for couples or solo travellers. However, some can accommodate larger groups!

The Top 15 Airbnbs in Austin

Now that you know what’s on offer and why you should stay in an Airbnb, let’s get to the fun part. You’re about to see the 15 coolest, most beautiful, and weirdest Airbnbs in Austin. All you have to do is decide your favourite place to stay!

Vintage East Austin Bungalow | Overall Best Value Airbnb in Austin

Vintage East Side Bungalow

Usually, the best value Airbnb in a city would be a private room in an apartment, or perhaps a studio. However, look outside of Downtown (not too far mind) and you may be surprised.

This vintage bungalow in Central East Austin offers a home away from home centred around a cosy living room with exposed brickwork. It will suit groups of family and friends and there’s a cool backyard where you can chill in summer.

Chic Home near Downtown Austin | Best Budget Airbnb in Austin

Charming and Chic home near Downtown

Austin is a lot of things, but cheap isn’t one of them. However, you can still find an affordable property if you know where to look. In South Austin, below the river, the pace of life is a little less frenetic than Downtown, and this is the perfect base if you want to relax during your trip.

It’s still within walking distance of Austin’s attractions when you need it! The room can also be rented for long-term stays, good news for students and/or digital nomads. It might not be as cheap as Austin’s hostels, but it’s definitely the most affordable option!

Is This the Best Backpack EVER???
audy on top of a mountain in japan with the osprey aether

We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.

Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

View on Osprey View on REI

Artsy Home w/ Heated Saltwater Pool | Over the Top Luxury Airbnb in Austin

Artsy Home w/ Heated Saltwater Pool

This stunning house in the Travis Heights neighborhood looks as if it has just jumped out of the pages of a design magazine. It’s small and elegantly designed, with artistic pieces and designer furniture throughout.

After a day of exploring the city, come back to swim in the heated saltwater swimming pool that you share with other apartments in the building, or curl up in front of the fireplace and smart TV.

Bright Room in Leafy Oasis | Perfect Airbnb for Solo Travellers

Big bright room in leafy oasis

If you’re travelling solo, most people will just tell you to head for the nearest hostel in Austin assuming you’ll love it. However, dorms and noise aren’t great when you want to get some actual sleep.

Thankfully, this homestay is a short walk to the university means it’ll be easy to meet people in the sociable bars and coffee shops nearby. If you prefer to keep yourself to yourself, there’s a lovely back deck where you can catch up on work or your latest holiday read.

Private Suite in East Austin | Perfect Airbnb for Digital Nomads

Private upstairs suite in East Austin

This self-contained suite is ideal for a digital nomad looking to work for a few weeks in Austin. Not only is there Wi-Fi and a dedicated workspace, but you have your own cooking equipment, including a fridge, microwave, and kettle.

If it’s a little warm inside, head out onto your private balcony and feel the breeze as you respond to your emails.

This suite sleeps up to four guests but would be perfect for a digital nomad since it only have one bedroom.

Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Hide Yo’ Money!

More Epic Airbnbs in Austin

Here are a few more of my favorite Airbnbs in Austin!

Tiny House w/ Big Personality | Most Romantic Airbnb for Couples

Tiny House with Big Personality

This tiny house is in such a convenient location in Central Austin. It may be tiny, but it sure is tall, and for the duration of your stay you’ll have lots of light flooding into this cute little Austin Airbnb.

The loft queen bed is an ideal place to come home to after a day of exploring Austin TX. Also, thanks to the privacy of the garden, the outdoor dining area is a wonderful place for a romantic and candlelit dinner!

Vibrant Home in Downtown Austin | Best Airbnb in Austin for Families

Downtown vibrant spacious craftsman

No matter the age of guests here, they’re sure to love the colourful and vibrant design. With room for up to ten people in this Downtown Craftsman home, there’s plenty to keep kids and teens alike entertained.

Teenagers will love grilling marshmallows over the fire pit, while the sports court out the back is perfect for bringing out the competitive side of your family!

Peaceful Poolside Bungalow | Best Bungalow in Austin

Peaceful Poolside Bungalow

Looking to have a local experience in Austin TX? A little further from Downtown, in the Bluff Springs neighborhood, you’ll find this historic bungalow that’s positively packed with character.

This poolside casa makes for a warm welcome, and you’ll feel as if you’re in a cabin in the Rocky Mountains! The cosy space offers air conditioning, a queen sized bed, smart TV and a fully equipped kitchen where you can cook up a storm after wandering through all of Austin’s top places to visit.

On warm summer days, head outside to the outdoor swimming pool and cool off under the hot Texan sun.

Hip Remodeled Airstream Trailer | Best Airstream Caravan in Austin

Hip Remodeled Airstream Trailer

The great thing about this Airstream Caravan is that it’s not just about being inside the caravan. The cute outdoor deck has a sun lounger and cowboy pool – ideal if you want a lazy day. Once you get in the caravan, it’s much bigger than it looks on the outside too. There’s a kitchen, queen bed, and workspace in there. Not to mention a whole lot of houseplants too!

Central East Austin Beehive | Best Tiny House in Austin

East Side Beehive

You might be thinking that this place looks a little unusual. Well, it is, but that’s no bad thing! Based on Japanese teahouses, there’s lots of wood, lots of light, and the chance to get zen and relax. Though there’s no TV, there is a record player for entertainment.

The Beehive will have you feeling miles away from the city, however, it’s just a short journey by bike or on nearby public transport!

Bright Downtown House | Best Airbnb with a Pool in Austin

Bright and Chic Downtown House

Sometimes you might look at a property’s swimming pool and think it looks more like a paddling pool. Not this one though. You could easily do lengths in here and get a workout in before breakfast! Speaking of, there’s a fully equipped kitchen where you can make that too. This Austin Airbnb has space for up to 12 guests, in four bedrooms with a king size bed in each, making it perfect for groups of family and/or friends.

Light-Filled Loft near Lady Bird Lake | Best Airbnb Plus in Austin

Light-Filled Loft near Lady Bird Lake

Airbnb Plus properties are some of the best on the platform. They’ve been handpicked thanks to their excellent reviews, attentive hosts, and cool design. Though it says four guests, I’d recommend this one for a couple. The self-contained studio loft has a kitchen, living area, and queen bed. Catch a movie on Netflix there after a day out paddleboarding or sampling the local cuisine.

Blue Sky Estate | Best Airbnb Luxe in Austin

Blue Sky Estate

Airbnb Plus may be some of the best properties on the platform, but Airbnb Luxe take vacation rentals to another level. This exquisite estate close to Downtown Austin has everything you could possibly need from a vacation home and more. Plus, you’re near Lake Austin if you feel like quality time outdoors with the family.

Take a dip in the private outdoor swimming pool with a gorgeous waterfall, or whip up a BBQ and chill out in the huge private garden.

Inside, there are five bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms, with a light and airy open plan design throughout. If you love cooking, you have the added luxury of a chef’s kitchen. Travelling with kids? They will love the trampoline and ping pong table!

Private Staycation Lake Travis | Best Airbnb on Lake Travis

Private Staycation Lake Travis

If don’t want an Austin Airbnb in the heart of the hustle and bustle, then nearby Lake Travis is a good place to try instead.

This spectacular three bedroom home with waterfront access is the best place to soak that up for you and eight of your nearest and dearest.

The sunset views from the outdoor terrace are spectacular, while the hot tub will keep you warm once the temperature drops!

When it’s time to sleep, you and eight other guests can head to one of your three bedrooms, each featuring either a king size bed or queen size bed.

Modern East Austin Bungalow | Best Airbnb in Austin for a Group of Friends

Modern East Austin Bungalow

This smart and stylish apartment is the perfect Austin Airbnb for a getaway with friends. There are lots of places where you can chill out together both indoors and outdoors.

It could be over a coffee at the breakfast bar, curled up on the sofa during a movie night, or having beers around the fire pit. If you’re the first one up, take a book from the shelves to enjoy!

What To Pack For Austin

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for an Airbnb stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Don’t Forget Your Austin Travel Insurance

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Final Thoughts on Austin Airbnbs

Well, there you have it. Those are the 15 best Airbnbs in Austin – with some cool experiences too. No matter where you want to stay, there’s an Airbnb in Austin for you. It could be a quirky Airstream Caravan, a cool tiny house, or perhaps a spacious and comfortable bungalow.

If you still are struggling to decide where to stay, try not to worry. I’d just recommend that you go for my overall best value Airbnb in Austin. That’s the Vintage East Side Bungalow. It’s just about the right distance from Downtown for you to get a good night’s sleep without missing out on the area’s delights!

I hope that you have a fabulous vacation in Austin no matter where you stay. And to make sure it’s a safe one too, check out World Nomads’ travel insurance policies.

Looking for more info on visiting Austin and USA?