Congress Avenue Bridge Bat Watching, Austin

4.0
Landmark · Tourist Spot
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Home to the world's largest urban bat colony, Congress Avenue Bridge Bat Watching attracts visitors to the bats' haunt. During the daylight hours, you can see bats hanging under the arches of the bridge that spans the Colorado River. Find a spot along the viewing decks on either side of the river or on top of the bridge. The Mexican free-tailed bats emerge every night at dusk in a swarm that moves across Lady Bird Lake. Because the bats have attracted millions of tourists, some local businesses are using the bat as a symbol of the city. For example, the Austin Ice Bats, a minor league hockey team, was named for these flying residents. Put Congress Avenue Bridge Bat Watching into our Austin trip itinerary planner to see other points of interest to visit during your vacation in Austin.
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Congress Avenue Bridge Bat Watching reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
4,133 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • It was not what I was expecting, but it was really cool to read about the bats and why they come to this specific bridge. 
    It was not what I was expecting, but it was really cool to read about the bats and why they come to this specific bridge.  more »
  • A must see if un Austin during peak bat season! I decided to go all in with a ticket on a boat viewing and it was incredible. Sunset and bats from the water! 
    A must see if un Austin during peak bat season! I decided to go all in with a ticket on a boat viewing and it was incredible. Sunset and bats from the water!  more »
  • This is a unique and must-see experience. I've heard about the bat bridge, and I've always wanted to see it. There are no words that can adequately describe the experience. It was incredible. 
    This is a unique and must-see experience. I've heard about the bat bridge, and I've always wanted to see it. There are no words that can adequately describe the experience. It was incredible.  more »
Google
  • I always wanted to see the bats in Austin but was never there at the right time of the year. We had an event in town and decided to walk to a restaurant to enjoy the city and suddenly realized that when we approached the congress bridge people were gathering and the bats were starting to fly out from under the bridge. Such a great surprise and experience. I think I still want to check it out how it looks from a boat next time, but very cool!
  • There is nothing extraordinary about the bridge itself. Its just that. A bridge with no special architecture significance. The view from on top of it pleasant. Below it, you see the Colorado river and people paddle boarding, and kayaking. To the north, you see the capitol at the end with modern high raise buildings both sides making up the Austin city skyline. To the west, you can see the sunset in the evening. In the evening, most people stand on east side of the bridge sidewalk or wait under the bridge in boats or sit by the Statesman bat observation center... as you guessed, to observe over a million bats flying out everyday to their job as minions of Batman.
  • Eh, not what people made it out to be. And like hundreds of people, we voluntarily, patiently, waited for 1 hour. When they came out it was mostly on the south east side of the bridge, and they fly more out than up. So kinda hard to see them against the dark water back drop looking down on them. But it's free to see them, just takes time to wait. If your truly interested, then I recommend getting on some boat of choice that way you can look up at them with the sky as a back drop.
  • We were here due to suggestions from a lot of local friends. It was called the bat bridge. We were here just after sunset. There was ample parking. Looking at the crowd you could tell it was a popular place. The views were good. We came in peak summer so it was a little hot and humid. We spent about 45mins at this place. sat for a while , watched the bats , took pictures, walked around, got bird to roam around a little. The night view could’ve been better I guess, but we had to leave for our dinner reservation. Downtown area has a lot of options for food too..!!
  • I've been to Austin several times before and have always wanted to see the famous bats so this time we finally made it and it really was a one of a kind experience. We got to a viewing spot southeast of the bridge about 90 minutes before sunset and found a comfortable spot on the hill to sit and wait. It wasn't overly crowded (it was a Thursday) but still I'd guess there were about 100 people there in addition to the boats and kayaks on the river. The bats made their first appearance around 830pm (about 10 minutes after sunset) and after spending 30 minutes or so flying right around the bridge they started streaming out into the night sky on their hunt. From what we heard from other watchers the time in relation to sunset varies from night to night and the way the bats exit varies too. The bats are tiny so in the dark it's hard to see individuals but once they start flying as a group you can see them better. This is something everyone should see!

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