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“You totally have to do this when in Austin” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Congress Avenue Bridge / Austin Bats

Congress Avenue Bridge / Austin Bats
100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701 (Downtown)
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Top Rated
$66*
and up
Bat City Bridge Segway Tour in Austin
Ranked #21 of 143 Attractions in Austin
Type: Bridges, Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Landmarks
Activities: Viewing wildlife
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The Austin bridge is where nearly 1.5 million bats live.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“You totally have to do this when in Austin”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

Make sure to call the bat hot line in advance to get the times that the bats are exiting from the bridge. This is an absolutely amazing sight. We walked up and sat directly under the bridge on the south side - in April the bats were exiting between 7:45 and 8:30, but call ahead and check. We parked our car halfway up S. Congress Street (on a side street) then walked the rest of the way up to the bridge. This put us in good position to get dinner at at restaurant on SoCo and then not be too far from our room. This was easily one of the high points of our trip.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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DC
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Unique”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from inside the Congress Ave bridge at dusk every evening to eat their weight in insects. This is the world’s largest urban bat colony and a unique experience. You can watch from multiple locations: from the bridge itself, from a small grassy park just below the bridge (but not directly under the bats and their guano), from a restaurant or from the water on a cruise boat, kayak, etc. We chose to sit in the park. It would be ideal with a blanket however most people sat right on the grass with no apparent ill effects. You can call 512-327-9721 #16 to find out the likely time of emergence. Go about 15 minutes before the earliest time and take in the circus-like atmosphere. Adults, kids, dogs, someone selling drinks and munchies. Everyone with their eyes towards the bridge. You can see the bats well from this vantage point as they contrast against the darkening blue sky. A few hundred start the show and then a progressive and continuous streams emerge from several spots. The lines converge as they fly down the waterway towards their supply of flying insects. The crowd gets very excited. Eyes open wide and smiles appear on every face. After about 15 minutes the dark arrives and the crowd disperses although the bats just keep coming and coming out of their crevices. One of the bat aficionados said it takes about 4 ½ hours for them all to emerge but cautioned not to stay to the end because the final bats occasionally get confused and run into onlookers which might mean the need for rabies shots.
I love doing things that once cannot do anywhere else. This is a good example. It is fun, easy, free and unique.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Neches, TX
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Batty FUN!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013 via mobile

The bats are so neat to watch! We couldn't believe how many bats can fit under the bridge. Bring a blanket and some spare change. There was a very nice man selling refreshments as a cleanup the park fundraiser.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“A unique Austin experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

This is a great place to visit when you go to Austin. The bats swarm up around you. I've never seen anything like it.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Congress Ave Bridge - Bats”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

Never thought to much about bats but was convinced by my daughter that this was a must see. It has a carnival feeling while you are waiting for dusk to see the departure of the bats. When it starts you think it is smoke but it is millions of bats that live under the bridge, going out to feast on insects for the evening. Unbelieveable. it goes on for at least 30 minutes. Think about all the mosquitoes those little guys eat and appreicate how they regulate the insect population.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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