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How far is Austin from Dallas & travel tips

Thinking about planning a trip from Dallas to Austin, but you don’t know how far is Austin from Dallas?

Well, you are in the right place as this article will tell you how far is Austin to Dallas and which are the main attractions on the road so that your boring drive transforms into a memorable trip.

First of all, I want you to know that you can drive between two cities or take a plane if you don’t have much time.

As expected, driving is cheaper but more time-consuming than flying, but you know your budget better and how much time you have.

What I can tell you for sure is that both these cities offer a long list of activities and interesting things to do, and when visiting Texas, you definitely should include them in your travel itinerary.

Texas is packed with stunning cities, cozy towns, and fantastic attractions waiting to be discovered.

Each Texas city has its own personality and vibe, and Dallas and Austin are not an exception.

But let’s start with the beginning and see how far these two cities are from each other and then I will tell you which attractions to include in your tour if you choose to go there by car.

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How far Austin from Dallas

The driving distance Austin to Dallas is 215 miles or 345 kilometers which means that in normal traffic conditions, you will need about 3.5 hours to drive the distance between cities.

The flight distance between Dallas and Austin is around 190 miles or 305 kilometers, and the estimated flight time is around 50 minutes (travel time).

Austin to Dallas flight

As I said earlier, there are about 190 miles great circle distance between these two cities, and a direct flight lasts for about 50 minutes.

You will embark at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and land at Austin Bergstrom International Airport.

There are regular flights between Austin and Dallas, some direct operating flights, but most are 1 or 2-stop flights.

Dallas to Austin flight
Dallas to Austin flight

The cost of a flight ticket starts from 100 USD and can go up to a few hundred depending on the company that operates, the type of flight (if it is a direct or with connection flight), and the moment you buy the tickets.

Drive from Dallas to Austin

215 miles or 345 kilometers is the answer to the question of how far is Austin Texas from Dallas Texas.

The Austin to Dallas drive distance might increase and depends strictly on the detours you will do to visit the attractions located near the road.

Austin to Dallas road trip
Austin to Dallas road trip

The road is packed with incredible attractions, so you’d better book some extra time to stop and explore these beautiful places.

How far is Austin from Dallas -driving hours

If you choose to drive from Dallas to Austin without any stops and there is no traffic, then 3 hours and 15 minutes are enough if you drive with your private car or if you rent one from the airport after you land.

Get the best price for your car rental today

The driving time will increase to 4 or even 5 hours if you stop on the road or plan to visit all the attractions mentioned in this article.

A good idea is to turn your Austin to Dallas trip into a multi-day trip and explore all the attractions from the road in peace.

The largest city on the road is Waco, located right on half of the distance from Dallas to Austin, a beautiful town where you can consider spending the night.

How far is Austin from Dallas
Austin to Dallas highway

There are plenty of beautiful hotels and vacation homes for rent in the area, but more details I will give you later in the article.

Actually, Dallas to Austin drive offers a great opportunity to see more of Texas in a short time and without a lot of effort.

How far is Dallas to Austin, and what to expect from the road

You may think that a boring drive across the Texan desert is waiting for you, but you might have a really pleasant surprise.

The area between these two cities is green and packed with vegetation, not to mention the attractions on the road.

Central Texas has many interesting things to offer visitors, so prepare your camera for some great shots.

Austin to Dallas drive
Austin to Dallas drive

You can choose to drive on Interstate 35 or venture off the highway and explore more of this part of Texas.

Either way, the road is beautiful and green, and without any doubt, it is a great trip for a short getaway.

How far Dallas from Austin by public transport

Regular buses also get you from Dallas to Austin and vice-versa, and driving time is not significantly longer than by car.

The only downside is that you have to stick to a regular schedule and that you cannot stop wherever you want to visit a city or other attraction from the road.

Companies like Greyhound, Megabus, or Grupo Senda operate regular bus routes from Austin to Dallas, and the ticket price starts from 20 USD per person.

Dallas to Austin trip road
Dallas to Austin trip road

The driving time by bus between Austin to Dallas is 3 hours and 45 minutes, compared with 3 hours and a half by car.

This time might increase or decrease, depending on the traffic conditions and if you want to get to your destination faster, avoid buses during rush hours.

Some trains operate between Dallas and Austin, including the famous Amtrak, which I am sure you heard about.

Austin to Dallas Amtrak
Austin to Dallas Amtrak

The price of a ticket is around 35 USD, and this is the slowest way to get from one point to another.

About 6 hours and a half last the train ride from Dallas to Austin, so don’t forget to take a good book with you if you plan to travel by train.

What is the cheapest way to get from Dallas to Austin?

The cheapest way to get from Austin to Dallas is by bus, but you will miss all the best attractions from the road.

For this reason, we strongly recommend you to travel by car as you have the vehicle during your stay in Austin, and you can explore the surroundings and stop wherever you want on the road.

Austin to Dallas road turn
Austin to Dallas road turn

Avoid rush hours around Dallas, Austin, and even Waco to spare a lot of precious time when moving from one point to another.

What is the fastest way to get from Austin to Dallas?

Apparently, the fastest way to cover the distance between Dallas to Austin, if we consider how far is Austin from Dallas by plane.

You are in the air for less than 50 minutes, but don’t forget to add up the time spent in traffic from your home to the airport and the security checks from the airport.

Bear in mind that Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is extremely big with 5 terminals and more than 27 airlines landing and taking off all day, so you will need almost 2 hours to move around and find your gate.

Austin to Texas Amtrak
Austin to Texas Amtrak

If you travel with large luggage, you must wait for it at the landing airport, and when you do your math, you see that you need around 3 hours .

A plane is definitely safer and more comfortable than a car, but if we strictly discuss it from a time perspective, then car and plane are almost at the same level.

Distance from Austin to Dallas – what to see

I have been talking a lot about the attractions located between Dallas and Austin without naming any of it when driving from Austin to Dallas.

Now it is time to name them and tell you a few words about each of them so that you can decide if it is interesting enough for a stop.

Bluebonnet Trail

Make a short detour before heading to Austin and stop in the town of Ellis for a small walk and then follow one of the most beautiful driving trails in Texas.

Bluebonnet Trail is located just 30 minutes north of Dallas in a protected area with more than 40 miles of mapped driving trails.

The trail is located on the northern side of Dallas while Austin is on the southern side, but this detour definitely worth the time.

bluebonnet trail Austin to Dallas
bluebonnet trail Austin to Dallas

The trails from the park are open during April, when the fields packed with flowers are in blossom.

The scenery is simply breathtaking, so you should not skip this attraction when driving in Dallas area.

The driving trails are public places, but all the fields are private property, so you must follow the signs from the area.

The name Bluebonnets comes from the flowers, which resemble a woman’s sunbonnet that was used to protect a woman’s face and neck from the Texan sun.

For how far is Austin to Dallas, a small detour is welcome, and you won’t need more than 1 hour to explore the area and drive back to Dallas.

Waxahachie

Located about 40 minutes from Dallas, Waxahachie is a beautiful settlement dating from 1850, when it was a very important and prosperous center in the cotton industry.

To get to this town, you need to follow the I-45 and cut over on Farm to Market road (FM) 878.

This historic town is a must-see attraction in the area and a place that hosts many festivals all year round.

Waxahachie Austin to Dallas
Waxahachie Austin to Dallas

You have here the Crossroads of Texas Film and Music Festival in April. Then the Gingerbread Trail in June, the Crape Myrtle Festival in July, and the list continue.

The list ends with Texas Country Reporter Festival in October and many activities related to Christmas in December.

This vibrant town also has many historic buildings and houses, city parks, salons and spas, live music, and a few famous breweries.

West Texas

Located about 1 hour and 20 minutes south of the city of Dallas Tx on I-35, West is a small but charming tour you have to see on your road trip to Austin.

With a population of fewer than 3,000 people, the town was settled in the 1880s, and its name comes from Thomas West, the landlord on which land was built railway station.

The place has strong German and Czech influences as many immigrants settled here, and opened stores, hotels, and restaurants; by 1920, the Czechs made up the majority of the town.

Kolaches Czech dessert
Kolaches Czech dessert

You will find Czech antique stores, Czech gift shops, and their delicious Kolaches here.

With such impressive Czech influences, it is no wonder why this town is known as the “Czech Heritage capital of Texas”.

Waco

Located halfway between Dallas and Austin Tx, Waco is the biggest city you will pass by on your drive time from Austin.

It was founded in 1849 by Huaco native people and today has a population of almost 150,000 people.

There are so many interesting things to do here that you should consider staying overnight when driving from Dallas to Austin.

You have here the Magnolia Trail popular among Chip and Joanna Gaines fans, the Cameron Park Zoo, and Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat.

Cameron park trail Waco Austin to Dallas
Cameron park trail Waco Austin to Dallas

There is also Baylor University, one of the oldest colleges in the state, and many breweries and distilleries, parks, restaurants, and coffee shops.

Don’t skip Dr Pepper Museum, open all year round, a nonprofit gallery about the history of soft drinks and home to a bottling plant dating from 1906.

Chalk Ridge Falls Park

This amazing attraction is located about one hour from Austin and is one of the best places to spend a whole afternoon in nature.

The trail from the protected area is about 5 miles long, and it is paved on the first part and then becomes a little rocky.

Chalk Ridge Falls Park Austin to Dallas
Chalk Ridge Falls Park Austin to Dallas

Inside the protected area is a waterfall named Chalk Ridge Falls, and a suspended bridge passes from one side of the waterfall to another.

Most of the trail is hidden below trees, so you have plenty of shade even on hot summer days.

Georgetown

With a total population of almost 75,000 people, Georgetown is a wonderful city located about 30 minutes north of Austin, known for having the Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas.

Only in Georgetown can you find breweries and wineries, historic buildings, and natural swimming holes.

Georgetown historic building Austin to Dallas
Georgetown historic building Austin to Dallas

It is a town with vibrant nightlife and plenty of activities for the whole family, so this is a great destination for everybody.

When visiting Georgetown don’t leave before paying a visit to the Inner Space Cavern, home to 80,000 years old formations.

Inner Space Cavern Georgetown
Inner Space Cavern Georgetown

Best tours for your trip

Dallas

A must thing to do when in Dallas is to book a guided tour about the assassination of JFK.

Dallas: JFK Assassination and Sixth Floor Museum Tour is a 4 hour tour with a professional guide who gives you all the information about the assassination of the American President.

Dallas JFK Assassination and Sixth Floor Museum Tour Guide
Dallas JFK Assassination and Sixth Floor Museum Tour Guide

You will go to Dealey Plaza and have a closer look over the Grassy Knoll, where the assassination occurred.

At the end of your tour you will visit the home of Lee Harvey Oswald and learn new things about the conspiracies around the guy who killed the President.

Austin

Austin: Electric Bike City Sightseeing Tour is our recommendation for you, a tour that lasts about 3 hours and doesn’t require much effort as you will have an electric bike.

Austin Electric Bike City Sightseeing Tour Guide
Austin Electric Bike City Sightseeing Tour Guide

Along the way, you will stop at numerous attractions to take some stunning shots and visit the Texas State Capitol building.

You will explore Austin downtown, pass by Rainey Street and 6th Street, stop at Capitol, and head to the University of Texas campus to learn about the school’s history.

On your way back, you will stop at Barton Springs, the oldest swimming pool in Texas and Austin’s hidden gem ( for more details about Barton Springs, check our article How to spend a day at Barton springs pool in Austin Texas).

How far Dallas from Austin – driving tips

The distance from Dallas to Austin is not very long, but these tips will help you better plan your time and enjoy your drive more.

1. Try backroads instead of Interstate I-35

Interstate 35 is the fastest way to get from Austin to Dallas, but this is not the only way.

Plenty of so-called backroads allow you to discover the beauty of the scenery and how magnificent Texas could be.

Near these roads lies many nature attractions, cozy and charming towns, villages, and wonderful people who welcome you with a big smile on their faces.

This is the real face of Texas, a country packed with warm and welcoming people with incredible stories and stunning views.

Cameron Park Waco Austin to Dallas
Cameron Park Waco Austin to Dallas

You will drive near farms and ranches, so you are close to the place where healthy ingredients come from.

On your way home, stop and buy some healthy and organic products, and taste the real food without pesticides and other chemical treatments.

Here, on these roads, you have the unique opportunity to stop at a ranch so that your kids can see livestock in their natural habitat.

I am sure you read to your kids a lot about the animals from the farm, so now it is time to see them in their environment.

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2. Avoid rush hour in big cities

Now that you know how far is Austin from Dallas so you can better plan your trip to avoid rush hour.

If you choose to drive in a big city during rush hour, your driving time will increase a lot, even by one hour sometimes.

Both Austin and Dallas are extremely big, inhabited by more than 1 million people, and not all of them stay inside these cities.

So it is vital to avoid rush hour and to stay away from traffic between 7 till 9 in the morning and 4 till 6 in the afternoon, each day from Monday to Friday.

Austin graffitti
Austin graffitti

During these hours, stopping at a restaurant for breakfast or dinner is a good idea instead of staying in traffic, consuming a lot of gas, and wasting your time for nothing.

3. Include multiple stops on your schedule

There two ways to plan a road trip:

  • Not planning at all and stop spontaneously
  • Research in advance and know exactly where to stop 

The first option, not planning in advance and stopping spontaneously, might be a very exciting way to do the Dallas to Austin drive. 

You don’t know what’s on your road; you drive, just see a sign and decide on the spot that you want to go and see what it is about.

For this type of trip, you need a lot of time and maybe some snacks with you to have something you eat when you are hungry.

Dallas to Austin road trip
Dallas to Austin road trip

It is a good way to visit new places, but maybe you miss a sign and the opportunity to visit something really beautiful.

These types of trips are suitable for spontaneous people, to those of you who don’t like living after a schedule.

And there is the second way: planning everything in advance and knowing exactly where to stop, how much time you need for each stop, and what you can see there.

Knowing all these things in advance, you can decide how much time you need for the road trip, which attractions are suitable for you and you really want to see them, and which ones can be skipped.

4. Find a great place to eat

If you plan to stop from Dallas to Austin and visit some attractions, you should consider finding a great place to eat like Buc-ee’s for example.

You will most probably eat lunch on your way to the final destination, so a little research to find the best restaurant for you and your family is a smart decision.

lunch break Austin to Dallas
lunch break Austin to Dallas

Waco is located right in the middle of the distance from Dallas to Austin, so you can find here for places to eat.

If you don’t want to stop for lunch, consider packing some sandwiches or salads with you.

To keep them fresh and cold, put them in a small thermal bag together with a desert and some water to keep you hydrated.

5. Fill up your tank before your trip

To stop where you find something interesting to see and not because you are out of gas, make sure you fill the tank before you leave.

Generally, gas stations from the highway or those from small towns have higher prices, so keep an eye on the budget and fuel your tank in Dallas or Austin, before you hit the road.

gas station Austin to Dallas
gas station Austin to Dallas

Another advantage of a full tank is that if you get lost you will not end up on the side of the road because you are out of fuel.

Accommodation for Austin to Dallas

There are plenty of options when speaking about hotels in Dallas and Austin, but we carefully handpick for you the ones with the best location and good quality-price ratio.

Dallas

A wonderful boutique hotel nestled in a 1920s building with outstanding architecture, The Joule is definitely the best hotel to experience Dallas in style.

The hotel is an interesting combination of new and modern design with old elements, a true masterpiece of the award-winning designer Adam Tihany.

The Joule lobby
The Joule lobby

In the main areas, there are plenty of artworks signed by Tony Tasset, Richard Philips, Tony Cragg or Andy Warhol, and you have the sensation of walking into a museum.

At this hotel, not only the rooms and the lobby are impressive, but also the pool. You will be fascinated by the glass-fronted rooftop pool and the subterranean spa.

Waco

Hyatt Place Waco – South is our choice for Waco, a wonderful hotel with free parking, a shared lounge, and a bar.

The rooms are spacious and clean and come with air conditioning, a private bathroom, towels, and bed linen.

Austin

The Driskill, in The Unbound Collection by Hyatt is a 5-star luxury hotel with exceptional services in the city center of Austin that combines old-world charm with 21st-century luxury.

It is one of the best hotels in the city with top-notch services and incredible dining that even offers a local brewery paired with a 4-course dinner.

The Driskill in The Unbound Collection by Hyatt
The Driskill in The Unbound Collection by Hyatt

Conclusion

There are plenty of things to do and see on your Dallas to Austin drive, so reserve enough time for each of them.
Now you know how far is Austin from Dallas, what you can see on the road, and where to spend your night.

Pack your bags and hit the road to explore one of the most beautiful parts of Texas!

FAQ

How long is a car ride from Austin to Dallas?

215 miles or 345 kilometers is the answer to the question of how far is Austin Texas from Dallas Texas.

The distance might increase and depends strictly on the detours you will do to visit the attractions located near the road.

Is Austin Texas closer to Dallas or Houston?

Dallas to Austin is 195 miles, while Houston to Austin is 165 miles, so Austin is closer to Houston by 30 miles.

Is it better to live in Austin Texas or Dallas Texas?

Compared with other cities of the same size, Dallas is relatively inexpensive, with the cost of living below the national average, while Austin is more expensive, with almost 20% more expensive than Dallas.

If we compare Austin with the national average cost of living, it is 30% more expensive.

How far is Austin from Dallas by plane?

The flight distance between Dallas and Austin is around 190 miles or 305 kilometers, and the estimated flight time is around 50 minutes.

You will embark at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and land at Austin Bergstrom International Airport.

Logistical tips and tricks for your trip

Book your accommodation

We always use Booking.com as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.

You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.

Don't forget travel insurance

We never leave home without HeyMondo Insurance or Safety Wings Insurance as they offer the best services and a good value for money, plus COVID coverage.

Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected events and cost like illness, COVID, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.

We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.

Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.

We always rent our car from Discovercars as they have free cancellation 48 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.

Tours and attractions
When we are looking for some adventure or we simply want to break up the monotony and discover new places, we always use GetYourGuide.

We love it because we always find the most amazing experiences, with free cancellation and a large variety of activities and tours to choose from.

Airplane tickets and holiday packages
Expedia is our ally when searching for the best price for airplane tickets as it works as an aggregator for a huge number of airlines and we always find the best price for our flights.

Travel tip: use Expedia when you are searching for holiday packages as they have many last-minute offers and great discounts for hotels, flights, and even the whole holiday packages.