Visas: The US Visa Waiver Program allows nationals of 38 countries to enter the US without a visa, however you'll still need to register for ESTA at least 3 days before arriving (USD14). If you are not from a VWP country, or planning to stay longer than 90 days in North America, pr are from a VWP country but don't have a machine-readable passport, you'll need to obtain a visa from a US embassy or consulate in your home country.
Local transportation: Seeing Austin on foot is very difficult, and it is better to rent a car or make use of the bus network. Capital Metro is Austin's public bus network with a system of inexpensive neighborhood, express and downtown routes. Metrorail is a commuter rail service that goes from Downtown Austin to the Northwestern suburbs of Leander and Cedar Park. Since the service is geared towards commuters, service tends to be spotty at best outside of off peak hours and really isn't useful for for most visitors. Taxis are also available, however if you need a ride you need to call and/or notify them in advance as taxis cannot be hailed on the street except at various cab stands located at various parts of downtown proper.
Where to buy a SIM card: There are four main telcos in the United States - AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint. However, only AT&T and T-Mobile are available to travelers, as Verizon and Sprint use CDMA technology that’s incompatible with almost any phone not sold by them. While there are several resellers, none are particularly great. Prices are typically only slightly less than buying direct from the provider. You can get a SIM card at any of the telco stores in the city or at independent mobile phone shops.
Popular areas: Downtown, South Austin, West Austin
Popular food: No trip to Austin would be complete without sampling as much barbecue you can stand. Food trucks are some of the best places to get bold, unpretentious grub, and they can frequently be found clustering together in hip “trailer parks”.
Things not to do: Don't forget to tip your service staff. Many food servers depend on tips as an essential part of their wage - the average tip is 15% to 20% of the total meal cost. Fast food restaurants do not have tipping as there is no 'table service'. Don't drive or walk across moving water in flooded areas during periods of heavy rain. As the locals say, "Turn Around, Don't Drown".
Austin is proud of its weirdness, and you'll see "Keep Austin Weird" around the city on T-shirts and bumper stickers. This laid-back city mixes hippiness with a growing tech scene and large concentration of tech companies. The city isn’t "Live Music Capital of the World" for nothing. There’s no shortage of places to burn the midnight oil catching the best local artists and touring musicians. Live music isn’t confined to just bars and clubs, however. Austin is coffee crazy and many cafes throughout the city brew up organic beans while hosting emerging and established musicians. Austin also hosts two major music festivals, South by Southwest (SXSW) and the Austin City Limits Festival.
Austin is generally safe for women digital nomads, especially for a city its size.
The best times to visit Austin are September to November or March to May, when 70s and 80s are the anticipated daytime temperatures. As temperatures climb into the mid- to high 90s with high humidity, the Texan summer (June through August) is barely tolerable for unaccustomed visitors. Winter (December to February) is relatively mild and dry, with temperatures that hover in the low to mid-60s.
Coworking Spaces in Austin
Cafes with wifi
Don't want to work at a coworking space? Check out these cafes with wifi instead.