Texas

Texas is one of those places that will make you dream. The huge US state is known for adventure, cowboys, BBQ, and the oil industry. But the Lone Star State has much more to offer - but see for yourself.

Texas facts

Capital: Austin
Area: about 696,000 km²
Population: about 29 million
Location: in the south of the USA
Nickname: The Lone Star State
State animal: Texas Longhorn, Northern mockingbird
Time zone: UTC -6 Stunden

Texas: location and population

In terms of size, Texas is the second-largest state in the USA after Alaska. The Lone Star State is located in the south of the United States and borders New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. In the far south, the Rio Grande River forms the border between Texas and the neighboring country of Mexico. Texas also has a long coastline on the Gulf of Mexico in the southeast.

Texas also ranks second among all US states based on its population size. Only California has more inhabitants.

The Texan identity was forged from diverse influences, e.g., French, Spanish, and Mexican. However, Texas was essentially shaped by German immigrants. Thus, Texas is considered one of the "most German states in the USA." German-born communities, for example, in the cities of Fredericksburg and New Braunfels, still maintain the "Texas German," a mixed language of various German dialects and English.

The largest cities in Texas

You will encounter many world-famous city names in the state of Texas, e.g., charming Houston, lively San Antonio, or Dallas, the Texan oil and cotton industry center.

The largest cities in Texas by population are:

City Population
Houston 2,303,000
San Antonio 1,493,000
Dallas 1,318,000
Austin 948,000
Fort Worth 854,000

Climate and nature

The climate of Texas is as diverse as its landscape. In general, however, summers are hot throughout the entire state, averaging 40 °C, especially in the western regions. Rainfall is low but relatively high in the south and southeast, where summers are humid and winters mild.

The Gulf of Mexico has a water temperature of 30 °C in summer. This places some of America's warmest beaches in Texas. In the winter months, water temperatures drop to 12 °C, but from April to October, you can enjoy the swimming season on the Texas coasts.

With around 140 tornadoes per year, Texas is one of the states most affected by these storms. They mostly occur in northern Texas, which belongs to the so-called Tornado Alley.

Warm Texas is marked by diverse vegetation: with coniferous and mixed forests in the east, prairies and steppes in the central plains, and mountain ranges and highlands in the northwest. The fertile northern part of the state is also called the Texas Panhandle and is mainly used for livestock farming

Best time to travel to Texas

The Texas sun can make travelers sweat quite a bit during the summer months. But the pleasant temperatures in spring and autumn are ideal for exploring the Lone Star State.

Texas in spring

Because of mild temperatures, springtime in Texas is particularly attractive for tourists. The popular music festival "South by Southwest", which takes place in Austin between the middle and end of March, will kick off your trip to Texas successfully.

Texas in autumn

When the Texas summer heat has passed, you can enjoy the autumn months to the fullest in the southern part of Texas. The holiday resorts on the Gulf of Mexico still have water temperatures above 20 °C in October.

Tip: When you arrive in Texas, get yourself a cowboy hat. Not only will it make you look like a real Texan, but it will also protect you from the sun.

Traveling to Texas

With a passenger volume of around 30 million people annually, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is the most important airport in Texas. It is followed by Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport with around 20 million passengers annually. However, there are several other major transport hubs in the large state of Texas.

These are the top 5 airports in Texas based on passenger volume:

  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
  • Dallas Love Field (DAL)
  • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)
  • Houston William P. Hobby Airport (HOU)

Direct flights to the largest Texas airport, Dallas/Fort Worth, leave from Frankfurt am Main or Paris-Charles de Gaulle, for example. You can also fly non-stop to Houston from Frankfurt am Main or Amsterdam. Houston gelangst du ebenfalls ab Frankfurt am Main oder auch ab Amsterdam.

Start Destination Flight time
Paris-Charles de Gaulle Dallas about 10:30 h flight time
Frankfurt am Main Dallas about 11 h flight time
Frankfurt am Main Houston about 11:15 h flight time
Amsterdam Houston about 11:15 h flight time

If you book a few weeks in advance, you should budget between €500 and €700 for your flights between Germany and Texas.

Travel authorization Texas

A visa is not necessarily a requirement to travel to Texas. If you are a citizen of one of the countries in the Visa Waiver Program (e.g., Germany, Canada, or Japan), you can apply for an ESTA travel authorization and thus enter the USA easily and rather cheaply.

ESTA – visa-free to the USA

With an ESTA, you can stay 90 days visa-free in the USA. Apply online now!

Transfer from Dallas/Fort Worth Airport

The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is located about 35 km northwest of the city of Dallas. You have the following options to get to the city:

Taxi from Dallas Airport

Due to the long distance, taking a taxi to Dallas is relatively expensive: you will be charged around $55 for the 30-minute journey.

Public transport from Dallas Airport

A very easy and much cheaper way to get to the city center of Dallas is to take the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART). The trains leave the airport every 20 minutes and cost about $3 per journey.

Shuttle from Dallas Airport

Booking a private shuttle service is another option if you want to get from Dallas Airport to the city. Shuttles are allowed to stop in front of all terminals and pick up passengers. Some major hotels in Dallas and Fort Worth even offer free shuttle service.

Transfer from Houston Airport

You can find Houston George Bush Airport about 25 km north of downtown Houston. This is how you get downtown:

Public transport from Houston Airport

METRO buses run directly between the city and Terminal C of the airport. A single ticket costs $1.25.

Taxi from Houston Airport

The 40-minute taxi ride to downtown Houston, however, costs between $50 and $60.

Rental car in Texas

For a Texas trip, it is highly recommended to rent a car in order to easily reach the different cities and exciting nature parks. If you wish to be independent from day one, you can organize yourself a rental car directly at the airport.

National Parks in Texas

On foot, on horseback, or on a bike - there are countless ways to explore the impressive beauty of Texas' National Parks and State Parks. The most beautiful colors and most impressive shapes of Texas are to be found in the following places.

Big Bend National Park

In the far southwest of Texas, Big Bend National Park is located on the banks of the Rio Grande. With a trail network of more than 300 km, the huge biosphere reserve is a paradise for hikers.

On your expeditions, you'll pass impressive canyons, lonely mountain ranges, weather-beaten deserts, and green river valleys. Despite the dry and hot temperatures at the Mexican border, Big Bend National Park is home not only to flowering cacti but also to one of the country's greatest biodiversity - from white-tailed deer to cougars, coyotes, and hundreds of bird species that regularly seek refuge in the warm climes of Big Bend.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

The wilderness of Guadalupe Mountains National Park in western Texas is known as a hiker's paradise. A prominent landmark is Guadalupe Peak, the highest mountain in the national park at 2,667 meters. You can also discover the 2,464 m high mountain El Capitan, the McKittrick Canyon, the Dog Canyon and the surrounding Chihuahuan Desert.

On your hikes amidst the park's mountain forests and desert plants, you may also have the opportunity to spot deer, foxes, coyotes or mountain lions. You may even find a fossil, as the Guadalupe Mountains are known for an abundance of petrified creatures and plants.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

The breathtaking Palo Duro Canyon is one of the most spectacular landscapes in the Texas Panhandle. Its steep, multi-colored rock walls reach a depth of 240 m and were carved over millions of years by the waters of the Red River and the West Texas wind. The view is sure to leave you speechless!

The "Grand Canyon of Texas" is surrounded by many kilometers of hiking and cycling trails. If you want to get on a horse like a real cowboy, you can join a guided horseback ride through the

Hueco Tanks State Park

Hueco Tanks at the westernmost tip of Texas is both a historic site and a nature park. Located on a high desert basin, you'll find fascinating rock formations and thousands of years old rock paintings that remind you of past civilizations.

Those who want to get active in sports will also enjoy the sunny Hueco Tanks State Park, as the mountain landscape is ideal for climbing and bouldering.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

A striking elevation of pink granite will catch your eye near Fredericksburg. The Enchanted Rock rises some 130 m above the surrounding area and is one of the oldest freestanding rock formations in the world.

The local Tonkawa, Apache, and Comanche tribes even attribute magical and spiritual powers to the dome-shaped monolith!

Top 10 Sightseeing highlights in Texas

The vast landscapes and many exciting metropolises of Texas have so much to offer that ten highlights don't do this great state justice. Best to start with the following ten places and stay a little longer to continue your exploration.

Our top ten highlights for your Texas trip are:

  • San Antonio River Walk
  • Big Bend National Park
  • Fort Alamo
  • Palo Duro Canyon
  • Cadillac Ranch
  • Dallas Museum of Art
  • Space Center Houston
  • Six Flags Fiesta Texas
  • Lady Bird Lake
  • Houston Zoo

City highlights in Texas

The populous state of Texas is home to many exciting metropolises, some of which have achieved international fame. Let's take a look at the four major city highlights in Texas.

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City highlights Dallas

The hometown of the Dallas Cowboys is sure to captivate you with its unique mix of urban charm and southern hospitality.

Enjoy panoramic views from the observation deck of the striking Reunion Tower and indulge in the cuisine of the Trinity Groves restaurant district west of the city center.

These are the city highlights you should see in Dallas:

  • Dallas Museum of Art
  • The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
  • The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
  • Dallas Zoo
  • Six Flags over Texas

City highlights Houston

The port city of Houston is the largest in Texas. With more than 330 parks, it's also the city with the greenest spaces in the States. Beautiful Houston is filled with art galleries, museums, and a vibrant dining scene where you can enjoy a great BBQ dish!

These city highlights in Houston are not to be missed:

  • Space Center Houston Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Houston Zoo
  • Museum of Fine Arts Houston
  • Houston Museum of Natural Science
  • Downtown Aquarium

City highlights San Antonio

The culturally diverse city of San Antonio is often referred to as "the little Venice of Texas." The completely pedestrianized city center is framed by the San Antonio River and stands out for its relaxed atmosphere. You can also visit the artists' town of La Villita and get a taste of San Antonio’s creative scene.

These city highlights in San Antonio are more than worth a visit:

  • River Walk
  • Fort Alamo
  • Six Flags Fiesta Texas
  • San Antonio Missions
  • SeaWorld San Antonio

City highlights Austin

The Colorado River, the state's largest river, flows through the center of the Texan capital Austin. The dynamic city is known for being home to many high-tech companies, similar to California's Silicon Valley. Austin is also home to some of the best-preserved Victorian homes in the USA.

These city highlights in Austin definitely belong on your travel list:

  • Lady Bird Lake
  • Texas State Capitol
  • Zilker Park
  • Barton Springs Municipal Pool
  • Mount Bonnell

Roadtrip in Texas

At this point, we would like to recommend some more highlights of the gigantic state of Texas for your journey. Follow us from north to south on a road trip to five places in the Lone Star State that will certainly inspire you.

 

Lake Meredith

Our road trip starts in the far north of the state in the Texas High Plains. This is where the reservoir Lake Meredith lies on the Canadian River - a hidden oasis in the middle of the dry, windswept plains of the Texas Panhandle.

Its hidden coves provide a haven for wildlife and migratory birds. Tourists seeking recreation will find plenty of opportunities for motor boating, sailing, fishing, hiking, and camping.

Fort Davis

In western Texas, in the Chihuahua Desert, lies the town of Fort Davis on the edge of the Davis Mountains. Here you can follow in the footsteps of Texas history, as Fort Davis is one of the best-preserved frontier posts from the Indian Wars.

Between 1854 and 1891, the strategically located Fort Davis protected a large number of emigrants, post wagons, and freight vehicles on their way along the San Antonio-El Paso Road and the Chihuahua Trail.

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

Our tour now brings us further east to the metropolis of Dallas, where you can learn more about an important event in recent US history by visiting the Sixth Floor Museum.

On November 22nd, 1963, John F. Kennedy was assassinated at Dealey Plaza in Dallas. The museum features a variety of exhibits related to the event as well as the life of JFK and the United States in the 1960s.

Longhorn Cavern State Park

Not far from the city of Austin, you can embark on a journey through time in the labyrinth of Longhorn Cavern State Park. The system of eroded limestone caves has already sheltered Ice Age animals, Native Americans, Civil War soldiers, and smugglers.

First, explore the "National Cave of Texas" on a guided cave tour and then take in the beauty of the surrounding Hill Country on a hiking tour.

San Antonio Missions

Our itinerary now takes us right into the heart of San Antonio to the San Antonio Missions, the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Texas.

The complex includes several buildings constructed between the 17th and 19th centuries by Catholic missionaries to spread Christianity among the indigenous people.

The site also includes the historic Fort Alamo, where the Battle of the Alamo was fought during the Texas War of Independence in 1836.

We end our road trip in the very south of Texas. This is where the narrow 112 km long Padre Island separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Laguna Madre, one of the few hyper-saline lagoons in the world. The largely untouched coastal strip and the dune landscape behind it are bustling with life. The region, for example, provides a safe nesting ground for the rare Kemp's Ridley sea turtles and more than 380 bird species.

Instagram hotspots in Texas

To share your best Texas experiences with your friends, you need the right scenery for your Instagram posts. With our top 5 Instagram hotspots in Texas, you'll not only take beautiful photos, but you'll also make a big impression:

  • Downtown San Antonio
  • Hamilton Pool
  • Blanton Museum of Art
  • Cadillac Ranch
  • any good Texan restaurant

Cuisine in Texas

The menu in Texas is dominated by a wide variety of meats combined with spicy and hearty sauces. So if you're spending a warm summer evening in one of the excellent restaurants in Houston, Dallas, or San Antonio, don't miss out on trying the following regional favorites.

  • Barbecue, short BBQ (e.g., served as a pulled pork sandwich with beans and coleslaw)
  • Big Texan steak
  • Tex-Mex (e.g. chilli, fajitas, enchiladas)
  • Hamburger (Fletcher Davis from Athens, Texas, claimed to be the first to serve it in his restaurant)
  • Sopapillas (a simple fried puff pastry sweetened with sugar and cinnamon)
  • Fruit Cobbler (a dessert consisting of a fruit filling and a dough made of biscuits)

Fun facts Texas

Would you like to marvel a little more about Texas? These are some interesting facts about the Lone Star State that you probably didn't know:

  • Texas is supplied by its own power grid, separated from the two grids that distribute electricity in the rest of the USA.
  • Bracken Cave, not far from San Antonio, is home to the largest known bat colony in North America.
  • Admiral Chester Nimitz, who was commander-in-chief of the Allied naval forces in the Pacific during World War II and defeated the Japanese fleet, was a German Texan. In 1885, he was born in the small town of Fredericksburg as the son of German settlers.
  • The Texas Rangers are the oldest law enforcement organization in the USA. Chuck Norris is an honorary member.
  • In 2020, more than 1,870,000 guns were registered in Texas - no other state counts more. However, if you scale this figure to the large Texan population, the situation is different: with a "gun density" of less than 150 guns per 1,000 inhabitants, Texas does not even make it into the top 10 among the US states.

Immigrate to Texas

Life in the land of cowboys and good barbecue is your dream? The following information about working and living in the Lone Star State will help you get one step closer to your goal of moving to Texas.

Working in Texas

The economy of Texas is the second-largest in the USA after California. Oil was produced throughout the South and West until the early 1980s. Today, the oil industry is still a very large and important sector of the economy.

However, thanks to the wealth of natural resources, generous land, large population, and increasing urbanization, the Texas economy is now very diverse. There are also good job opportunities in agriculture, tourism, computer technology, and aerospace in Texas.

Living in Texas

In the Lone Star State, the charm of the southern states mixes with Texas' own identity and influences from the neighboring country of Mexico - a unique combination that makes this US state so worth living in!

According to the Cost of Living Index, the living cost in Texas is about six percentage points below the American average.

Even in cities such as Dallas, Houston, or Corpus Christi, costs only rise by a few percent compared to the rest of Texas. Austin, the capital, is the only place where living costs are about 20 % higher than the US average because of high rents.

Moving to Texas with a Green Card

If you are looking for ways to stay in Texas permanently, we recommend the Green Card Lottery. If you participate, you have excellent chances of winning one of the 55,000 Green Cards for the USA that are raffled off every year.

Green Card CheckAre you eligible?