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  • Address: Austin, Texas, USA

Austin ATTRACTIONS See all

Congress Avenue Bridge Bats Tours

Austin’s Congress Avenue Bridge is home to roughly 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats—the world’s largest urban bat colony. Spectators gather here on summer nights, cameras in hand, to watch these flying mammals emerge from beneath the bridge to hunt in the sky above Lady Bird Lake. 

The Basics
You can witness Austin’s beloved flying residents from various locations, including the eastern walkway of Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge, the grassy hillside at the base of the bridge, or from Lady Bird Lake in a rented kayak, canoe, or paddle board. Bat-watching tours take various forms—enjoy a guided cycling tour around the lake before arriving at the bridge in time for bat viewing, paddle to the bridge on a kayak tour, or see the bats as part of a GPS-led scavenger hunt through the Texas capital.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Congress Bridge bats are a must-see for animal lovers and first-time visitors to Austin.
  • The bats’ dramatic appearance usually lasts between 45 and 60 minutes.
  • A typical bat tour lasts two to three hours, depending on the option chosen.
  • The public walkway along Congress Avenue Bridge is wheelchair accessible.

How to Get There
The Congress Avenue Bridge is located roughly one mile (1.6 kilometers) from downtown Austin. The easiest way to get there is on foot or by road. Parking is available near the Austin American-Statesman office, Auditorium Shores, and along East Riverside Drive.

When to Get There
The Austin bats can be seen between March and November, with their numbers peaking in summer. The mammals begin to emerge about 20 minutes before sundown; due to the spectacle’s popularity, it’s a good idea to show up an hour or so before sunset to stake out a spot on the bridge.

Austin Bat Trivia
The free-tailed bat colony that lives beneath South Congress Bridge was once feared, but today the bats are appreciated for keeping the city’s bug population under control. Each night, the colony consumes 20,000 to 30,000 pounds (9,072 to 13,608 kilograms) of insects. This particular species gets its name from its long tail, which measures about a third of the length of its body. The bats often fly up to two miles (3.2 kilometers) high and are among the fastest mammals in the world.

Tours & Tickets

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Austin Bat Watching Bike Tour, Austin, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Austin Bat Watching Bike Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Learn about the Bats in Austin on this 2.5 hour bat watching bike tour (2 hours on the bike). It's the largest urban bat colony in the world! This tour takes ...  Read more

Location: Austin, Texas
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $70.00
Austin's Lakes, Springs, and Bridges Bicycle Tour, Austin, Bike & Mountain Bike Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Austin's Lakes, Springs, and Bridges Bicycle Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

The lake trails, springs and bridges of central Austin define its character and are essential pieces of the city's history. Take a ride on on the quiet, shaded ...  Read more

Location: Austin, Texas
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

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Congress Avenue Bat Bridge Kayak Tour in Austin, Austin, Bike & Mountain Bike Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Congress Avenue Bat Bridge Kayak Tour in Austin

Experience the world’s largest urban bat colony emerge from under the Congress Avenue Bridge!  This colony made up of 1.5 million Mexican free tailed bats is ...  Read more

Location: Austin, Texas
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $55.00
Austin in a Nutshell Bike Tour, Austin, City Tours
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Austin in a Nutshell Bike Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 13 Reviews

Come see all that Austin has to offer! Our leisurely 10 mile Austin in a Nutshell Tour is the best way to see all of the notable landmarks in and around ...  Read more

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Rainey Street Pub Crawl and Bike Tour, Austin, Bike & Mountain Bike Tours
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Rainey Street Pub Crawl and Bike Tour

Rainey street is quickly becoming one of the most exciting entertainment districts around. With over a dozen historic bungalows converted into bars Rainey ...  Read more

Location: Austin, Texas
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

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Congress Ave Scavenger Hunt and Bat Tour, Austin, Bar, Club & Pub Tours
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Congress Ave Scavenger Hunt and Bat Tour

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT Imagine a video game that has suddenly come to life. Austin Cluetivity is a game that combines state-of-the-art augmented reality ...  Read more

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Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

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Austin Historic Downtown 5K, Austin, Self-guided Tours & Rentals
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Austin Historic Downtown 5K

Come run with us and explore the landmarks and historical markers that make up capital city of Texas.  Austin is a relic of the Old West but the city has grown ...  Read more

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Duration: 60 minutes (approx.)

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Small-Group Haunted Bats and Ghosts 5k Running Tour from Austin, Austin, Running Tours
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Small-Group Haunted Bats and Ghosts 5k Running Tour from Austin

The Bats and Ghosts 5k Tour unveils a darker side of Austin that often goes overlooked.  Austin was home to the first documented serial killer in America. For ...  Read more

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