Austin is one of the most culturally and economically diverse cities in the United States, and it's just growing. Aside from being one of the country's most thriving cultural hubs, an excellent place for prosperous employment, and one of the safest urban hotspots in the United States, the cost of living in Texas' capital is also lower than in most cities in its category — it's easy to see why the best neighborhoods in Austin are in high demand by renters.

Meanwhile, good wages, low taxes, excellent public transportation, and a vibrant music and arts scene will make any potential homeowner pleased. So, if you want to experience the benefits that the best neighborhoods in Texas have to offer, here's a compilation of the top 20 neighborhoods selected by locals in Austin and sorted by location and qualities!

Neighborhoods in Central Austin

Central Austin encompasses the Downtown and central neighborhoods of the city. The area is north of the Colorado River and is bounded to the east by Interstate 35, to the north by about 51st Street/North Loop/Hancock Drive, and to the west by Mopac Expressway (SL 1).

1. Downtown

Zip Code: 78701

Average Home Price: $584,000

Downtown Austin consists of a booming business district, a thriving entertainment district, and sophisticated urban dwellings. Metropolitan enthusiasts living here enjoy a sophisticated lifestyle with an upscale feel. Real estate here tends to be more expensive than in other Austin neighborhoods, reflecting its location in the heart of the city with walking, biking, and metro access to area employers, world-class shopping, gourmet dining, and relaxing recreation.

Characterized by scenic views of the Colorado River, Downtown Austin listings typically feature high-rise lofts, luxury condos, and small, garden-style condos, most with their own parking spaces. Children who live in Downtown Austin attend schools in the Austin Independent School District or can take advantage of the many private and charter schools in the area.

Why Downtown Austin: Living in the beating heart of Austin

The Vibe: Sophisticated urban lifestyle

Parks and Outdoors: B+

Nightlife: A+

Walkability: 92/100

Schools: A

Crime & Safety: C-

Homes for Sale in Downtown

2. Hyde Park

Zip Code: 78751

Average Home Price: $815,000

Thanks to its proximity to the Texas University Campus. Hyde Park is home to a diverse community of students, educators, and professionals. It is situated in Central Austin, and is known for its quaint, tree-shaded neighborhoods, small business district, and neighborhood markets that many residents can walk to.

In terms of real estate, home prices in this trendy area are not inexpensive. You will, however, find a fair selection of cafes, restaurants, and bars to spend your weekend at. The good news is that it is calmer than Downtown Austin and has a more small-town atmosphere.

In terms of outdoor activities, the Elisabet Ney Museum is nestled in the leafy hamlet of Hyde Park, located in what was formerly the sculptress' studio. And just south of the area are numerous sports fields and 500 acres of recreation area, trails, and greenbelts in Town Lake and Zilker Park.

Why Hyde Park: Beautiful neighborhood with walkable amenities

The Vibe: Historic charm and eclectic mix of neighbors

Parks and Outdoors: B

Nightlife: A+

Walkability: 78/100

Schools: A

Crime & Safety: B-

Homes for Sale in Hyde Park

3. Rosedale

Zip Code: 78756

Average Home Price: $1.16M

Rosedale is one of the older neighborhoods, dating back to the 1930s and 40s. It is a traditional residential neighborhood, with homes on tree-lined streets, parks, and local businesses and restaurants. A place where people can jog, bike, and walk their dogs along the streets. The amenities, safety, and highly-rated schools make this an attractive neighborhood for families.

Many of the homes are modestly sized and date back to the 1930s to 50s, and reflect the architecture of that period. The neighborhood has several parks, most notably Ramsey Park/Playground which has a swimming pool, a playground, a ball field, picnic tables, and BBQ grills, and Shoal Creek, which has running and bike trails.

The neighborhood is just a few minutes drive from downtown and the University of Texas. It also borders Hwy. 1 and Lamar Blvd., a local thoroughfare, which offers access to other parts of the city. The Rosedale neighborhood has a strong sense of community. The population is a mix of vibrant residents attracted by the neighborhood's convenient location and amenities

Why Rosedale: Beautiful homes, lovely green spaces, and a great location

The Vibe: Quiet, tight-knit, active neighborhood

Parks and Outdoors: B+

Nightlife: A+

Walkability: 70/100

Schools: A

Crime & Safety: B+

Homes for Sale in Rosedale

4. Old West Austin