Neighbouring San Antonio hosts El Alamo but also Austin is history and such history is told by its ancient buildings that hide here and there, among the newer skyscrapers and coexist alongside beautiful murals and modern monuments.
Austin is liveliness and nature: large green parks a few steps from the city centre and the Colorado River which runs through it, make it ideal for lovers of long walks or relaxation.
Austin is alive, but not too chaotic and incredibly full of oddities.
But Austin has also an historical side which is very interesting and charming.
The first mandatory stop is the Texas Capitol.
As in any American State capital, it is a symbol of history and power, and it is a must-see.
This is the largest State Capitol in the United States of America, after the one in Washington D.C.
This pink granite giant captivates from the first glance and, inside it, the history of Texas is retraced through paintings and statues that blend perfectly with the dome that dominates the building.
Outside, however, the statues cover the entire perimeter celebrating all the governors of Texas but also leaving a lot of space for nature. In fact, there are many local people who take advantage of the park simply to relax and read a book in complete tranquillity.
Entrance and visit to the Capitol are free. All you have to do is pass the security checks via metal detectors and you can decide to follow one of the guided tours or to explore it independently.
In the immense front lawn, on the right you will find the Texas State Capitol Visitor Centre and the Texas State Library Archives.
The Texas State Capitol was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated to be a National Historic Landmark as well.
You can't visit Austin without visiting the statue erected in honour of Angelina Eberly.
Hardly anyone knows the story of this woman and why she is so important to Austin, but it could be said that without her today the city would not be the same as it is.
Angelina was born in Tennessee in the 18th century and she lived a quiet life which lead her to end up in Austin to open a tavern where she heard that Sam Houston had ordered the Republic's archives to be secretly stolen.
It was Angelina who with a cannon shot warned the city of the attempted theft and therefore allowed Austin to continue to be the capital of Texas and to keep the archives.
A few years later Angelina moved away from Austin but the statue erected in her honour ensures that the act of courage that saved the city is not to be forgotten.
Both her statue and the State Capitol are found on Congress Avenue which is the largest artery of the city.
Last but not least, the Neill-Cochran House Museum is another old historical building in Austin, important for being the only antebellum house that can be visited.
This Greek Revival-style house with columns is on two floors and today it is a small charming museum that offers the visitor the opportunity to see how houses looked like in the 19th century and it shows life inside such house with authentic period furniture and tools that can make you feel the atmosphere of those times.
In addition to the main mansion, the slave quarters can still be seen today.