Congress Avenue Bridge Bat Watching, Austin

4.0
#7 of 342 in Things to do in Austin
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
4,151 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Who knew there could be so many bats in one place at one time. It was awesome to be able to see them. They just kept coming. Don't know if they were circling back around or if there were that many... 
    Who knew there could be so many bats in one place at one time. It was awesome to be able to see them. They just kept coming. Don't know if they were circling back around or if there were that many...  more »
  • The bats at congress bridge were so fun to watch. I have never seen a sight like this before. Who would have known all those bats were under the bridge. This is a must see while in Austin. 
    The bats at congress bridge were so fun to watch. I have never seen a sight like this before. Who would have known all those bats were under the bridge. This is a must see while in Austin.  more »
Google
  • 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!
  • If you're coming for the bat experience don't waste your time. Not sure why this is so highly rated but it was a waste of our time. We got there during the designated time websites suggest and stood for almost two hours only seeing a bat every now and then after the sun set and it got dark. Around 9 pm everyone waiting on the lake and bridge began to leave. Around that time you could see a lot more bats flying but even then it wasn't how it was described. I would have rather spent those two hours doing something else.

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