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Congress Avenue Bridge (South Congress Bridge) Tours

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14 Reviews
Congress Avenue Bridge (South Congress Bridge)
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.
Address: Austin, Texas, USA
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17 Tours and Activities to Experience Congress Avenue Bridge (South Congress Bridge)

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Congress Avenue Bat Bridge Kayak Tour in Austin

Congress Avenue Bat Bridge Kayak Tour in Austin

star-4
Watch more than a million bats fly out of the Congress Avenue Bridge on an evening kayak tour of Austin that’s timed to catch the spectacular natural show. Observing the Congress Avenue Bridge bats from a kayak means you don’t have to find a spot among the crowds on the riverbank, giving you a front-row seat as the Mexican free-tailed bats take to the sky.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$55.00
From
$55.00

Austin and Hill Country Sightseeing Tour

Austin and Hill Country Sightseeing Tour

star-4.5
...If you don’t see availability-call or message for current availability... This whistle-stop style tour is "The best way to see the city". It's Austin in a nutshell. It's the most comprehensive overview tour of Austin’s rich culture and history, with a little bit of that famous Central Texas Hill Country as well. The tour covers 30 miles, 50+ points of interest, in 90 minutes. We give you the big picture, while still leaving you with plenty of time to go back on your own to explore the places that interests you most. Gratuities are not included in ticket price, but we encourage tipping your guide.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$25.65
From
$25.65
Taking safety measures

Austin in a Nutshell Bike Tour with a Local Guide

Austin in a Nutshell Bike Tour with a Local Guide

star-5
Make your own way to the bike shop at Zilker Park to meet your guide arriving 15 minutes before tour time. Get outfitted with your bike and helmet, then set out with your guide to see the best of Austin. Pedal along the hike-and-bike trail that runs through Zilker Park and around Lady Bird Lake. Turn north to check out the Italian Renaissance Revival of the Texas State Capitol building. Learn about the city's history as you roll through downtown. Head down Congress Avenue and over the Congress Avenue Bridge, where 1.5 million bats take shelter between the months of March to November. Continue to South Congress, Rainey Street, and the boardwalk trail. Get great photo opportunities throughout the bike tour.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$64.84
From
$64.84
Taking safety measures

Congress Avenue Bats Bike Tour in Austin

Congress Avenue Bats Bike Tour in Austin

star-5
Explore a different side of Austin’s legendary nightlife during this 2.5-hour bike trip to observe the city’s bat colony under Congress Avenue Bridge. These nightlife-loving denizens may never step foot inside a music club, but they sure know how to put on a show! Cycle first around Austin’s Lady Bird Lake, arriving at the bridge just in time to watch the more than 1.5 million bat residents as they take flight for their evening feeding. A guide and all bike equipment is included.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$75.90
From
$75.90

Lady Bird Lake Bike Tour in Austin

Lady Bird Lake Bike Tour in Austin

star-4.5
Experience the urban and the outdoors in Austin during this 2-hour bike tour including Lady Bird Lake and some of the city’s best parks. Cycle along the shady, traffic-free trail that circles the lake, soaking up the fresh air and great views. Then continue your ride into Austin’s downtown, where you’ll head to Auditorium Shores, Barton Springs and Zilker Park to learn about the city’s green spaces and fascinating history. A guide and all necessary biking equipment are included.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$60.52
From
$60.52
Taking safety measures

Authentic Austin and Astounding Hill Country Panoramic Tour with stops

Authentic Austin and Astounding Hill Country Panoramic Tour with stops

star-4.5
...If you don’t see availability-call or message for current availability... Everything you want to see and know about Austin. Covers all the iconic Austin spots and stops! The Authentic Austin & Hill Country Tour is our signature Austin sightseeing tour, but turned up a notch! Join us to discover local Austin hangouts, hip and historic neighborhoods, and the gem that is the surrounding Central Texas Hill Country. Our custom outfitted glass top, convertible, Mercedes tour buses will keep you comfortable, our expert guides will keep you entertained, and you'll get to explore the best of Austin. Gratuities are not included in ticket price, but we encourage tipping your guide.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$61.50
From
$61.50
Taking safety measures

Historic Austin Private Pedicab Tour

Historic Austin Private Pedicab Tour

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Our experienced tour guides will take you on a fun and informative tour of Austin in a relaxing open air pedicab. You'll amble through all the sites of downtown, including the Capitol, Governors Mansion, Pecan St, Lady Bird Lake and more. Great for couples, friends and families of all ages. The tour moves at your own pace and is individually tailored to your group.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$46.16
From
$46.16
Taking safety measures

Austin Electric Minibike Adventure Tour

Austin Electric Minibike Adventure Tour

star-5
Your adventure begins with a safety check on your electric mini-bike. Your tour guide will make sure everyone is comfortable with their electric mini-bike. Wide tires make them super easy to ride. We practice riding as a group for safety. South Congress is Austin's most prominent street. From where we begin, all of Austin can be seen. We will ride toward the first photo opportunity - The "Willie for President" Mural next to Home Slice Pizza. Next up is the "i love you so much" mural, across from the Continental Club. The tour will meander off city streets when possible, going places cars can't go. We realize that capturing great photos to share from a vacation is important. Adventurers who choose this tour will discover interesting destinations in Austin, and will have many opportunities for epic photos to capture and take home. We bring professional photography gear to help with lighting. Your tour guide will share a gallery of photos for every Austin Electric Adventure Tour.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$76.93
From
$76.93

Best of Austin Small-Group Guided Tour

Best of Austin Small-Group Guided Tour

star-5
Get a comprehensive overview of Austin on this sightseeing tour. See famous landmarks along with hidden gems, real neighborhoods, and food trucks. Learn about Austin's history and culture with commentary from your guide and hear fun facts about the city that even the locals don't know. Plus, choose a morning or afternoon departure to easily fit this tour into your schedule.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$38.86
From
$38.86
Taking safety measures

Bat Bridge Segway Tour

Bat Bridge Segway Tour

star-5
Combine the cultural and natural highlights of Austin on an exhilarating Segway tour of the city. At dusk, see the legendary bat colony of the Congress Avenue Bridge take flight and swoop into the air in thick and intriguing swarms. With an expert guide, glide through Austin’s dazzling downtown and visit important landmarks like the Moonlight Towers, the State Capitol Building and the Sixth Street Historic District. Listen to illuminating commentary of Austin’s history and culture throughout your tour.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$99.00
From
$99.00
Taking safety measures

Austin Historic Downtown 5K

Austin Historic Downtown 5K

star-5
See popular landmarks as you exercise on this guided running tour around downtown Austin. Run at a casual, accommodating pace through the streets of the city passing by Lady Bird Lake, the capitol building, the Governor’s Mansion, Congress, Ave, the Bat Bridge, and more. There are multiple guides on the tour, so it’s easy to go at your own pace or walk.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$25.65
From
$25.65

Check Out Austin: Capitol Bike Tour

Check Out Austin: Capitol Bike Tour

star-5
Explore the Texan capital’s historic highlights, outdoor attractions and unique character on a 2-hour bike tour of Austin. Cycle along easy paths with a friendly local guide, passing downtown landmarks like the Texas capitol building, Barton Springs, and the Congress Ave. Bridge. Peddle around scenic Lady Bird Lake and on the bike-friendly Butler trail for a great introduction to this vibrant city.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$60.52
From
$60.52
Taking safety measures

Segway Bat Tour in Austin

Segway Bat Tour in Austin

This tour provides a unique experience to travelers and locals alike because of the use of Segway technology, a tour guide that provides you with historical explanations, and an introduction to Texas culture.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$99.00
From
$99.00
Taking safety measures

Bat Flight

Bat Flight

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Come along with us on this night-time Segway adventure The HIGHLIGHT is watching Austin's 1.5 million Mexican free-tail Bat population take flight! It's the perfect activity for transitioning from day to night in Austin. You won't have to worry about arriving too late/early, maximizing your time to see & doing more! Segways provide easy access to all 4 corners of the downtown corridor. We'll conduct training before dark then cruise through Austin's beautiful downtown park along Ladybird Lake to a scenic overlook to marvel the sun's reflection on Austin's newest skyscrapers. Your Tour Guide will allow for time to grab a souvenir at a chic boutique or the Yeti® HQs and will ensure to get the perfect snapshot of your group on Congress Ave Bridge. Full of interesting details about landmarks, trendy spots, and local favorites, this tour allows you to get a taste of Austin's nightlife while passing by world-class hotels and high-end restaurants. All without the hassle of parking!
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  • 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$65.00
From
$65.00
Taking safety measures

Austin Scavenger Hunt: Birds, Bats, BBQ and Bass

Austin Scavenger Hunt: Birds, Bats, BBQ and Bass

Let’s Roam is the #1 app-led scavenger hunt company. Walk to all the best landmarks and hidden gems, answering trivia questions and solving challenges. Work with your team or compete against them, as you learn new facts and create memorable experiences. Let’s Roam Scavenger Hunts are great as an everyday activity, or for bachelorette parties, birthday parties, corporate team building events and more! Each player chooses an interactive role, with challenges varying by person.
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  • 2 hours
From
$12.31
From
$12.31

Austin Trails Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure

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Austin Trails Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Turn Austin Trails area into a giant game board with this fun scavenger hunt adventure. This challenge combines the excitement of the Amazing Race with a three hour city walking tour. Guided from your smart phone, teams make their way among well known and overlooked gems of the city, solving clues and completing challenges, while learning local history. Note: Pricing is per individual but teams must book together in order to be included in the same adventure.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$16.00
$20.00
$4.00 savings
Price varies by group size
From
$16.00
$20.00
$4.00 savings
Price varies by group size

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

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

star-5
See a different side of Austin on this small-group running tour. Casually run about 3.1 miles (5km) around the city, exploring some of Austin’s most infamous haunted landmarks. Then, head to the Congress Ave Bridge to see the bats fly out from under it for the night’s hunt at dusk.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$25.65
From
$25.65

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Congress Avenue Bridge (South Congress Bridge)?