Guided by its reputation, you'll likely be expecting full-on glitz and glamour in the Texan city of Dallas. In real life, the American metropolis lives up to its retro image. With a skyline of contemporary architecture, a great jazz scene and plenty of places to party, Dallas is a place to let loose and have fun. It's also the site of important moments in modern history, like the assassination of JFK, and home to a host of fascinating museums and galleries.
There are hostels in Dallas that host social DJ nights throughout the week, perfect for warming up before hitting the town's nightlife spots. Get a taste of cowboy culture at a Dallas hostel that plays on the theme and even takes guests to a nearby bar to ride the mechanical bull. You can find Dallas hostels with self-catering kitchens, and some that will give you a free breakfast so you can save your cents.
There are dozens of neighbourhoods in Dallas, and Uptown is among the most central. This upmarket location has boutiques, cool restaurants and the all-round entertainment centre, Victory Park. West Dallas is home to the 15-acre restaurant and shopping district of Trinity Groves. Its Restaurant Concept Incubator programme helps bring the most innovative culinary ideas to life in former warehouses. Arty types can visit the design district, where you'll find antique shops, galleries and breweries. Deep Ellum is the city's historic area, founded in 1873 and a hub for music to this day.
Dallas' attractions range from the naturally scenic to the unusual, starting with the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza which commemorates the assassination of JFK. The Dallas Museum of Art is a perfect place to soak up some culture, while the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a welcome breath of fresh air in this city of energy and bright lights. To catch a Dallas Cowboys football game at the AT&T Stadium, it's a 40 minute drive to Arlington.
To get around the city, hop on a DART bus or train – you can buy your tickets on board. The M-Line Trolley runs between Uptown and Downtown, and it's free! To save on cash and get a close-up perspective of the city, explore individual neighbourhoods by foot or bike. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is the nearest place to fly into; it's about 75 minutes to the city by train and bus.