Seattle Travel Guide
Seattle, the largest city in Washington State, boasts a cosmopolitan atmosphere, as well as being hospitable and full of vitality. This great city center is surrounded by spectacular natural landscapes.
The city is located between Lake Washington and the Puget Sound. It is considered the origin of grunge music and the gateway to Alaska, and is also the home of the Boeing Company and Starbucks.
As you tour the city you will be impressed by its cleanliness, gardens and infrastructure. The Space Needle communications tower, Seattle’s undisputed emblem, stands out in the city’s skyline.
- Top 5 reasons to visit Seattle
- What to do in Seattle
- When to visit Seattle
- Getting to Seattle
- Where to stay in Seattle
- Getting around Seattle
- Cost of living in Seattle
- Where to eat in Seattle
Top 5 reasons to visit Seattle
The Space Needle, the most prominent tower in Seattle and on the U.S. West Coast, was built for the 1962 World’s Fair. Today it houses the SkyCity revolving restaurant. From any of the tables and from its terrace you can admire impressive views of Seattle, the mountains and the sea.
Pike Place Market
This former agricultural market receives more than 10 million visitors each year and houses shops with craftsmen, antique dealers and flower shops, among other businesses. There are several restaurants, including the Place Pigalle Restaurant and Bar and Matt’s in the Market, whose halls offer excellent views of Elliott Bay.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
This grand exhibition of Dale Chihuly’s masterpieces showcases beautiful glass gardens, which are arranged around the central piece, a colorful suspended sculpture more than 30 meters long. General admission is $26.
The grounds of the Boeing Seattle Museum allow you to view historic aircraft from close quarters. The collection tells the story of the evolution of the technologies that allow us to fly around the world in the magnificent contemporary conditions. The price of admission is $ 13.
After New York, Seattle is the American city that offers the most extensive program of live music shows. Head to independent venues such as the Moore Theatre or Neumos to see a number of trendy bands perform; or head to Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley if you prefer to relax with top-notch jazz.
What to do in Seattle
Going up to the Sky View observatory
This observation platform, located at the Columbia Center, reaches a height of 305 meters. Therefore, it offers an exceptional panoramic view that includes the city of Seattle, the Puget Sound and the volcano and Mount Rainier.
Sailing from island to island in the Puget Strait
From Seattle Harbour you can take a ferry to the idyllic beaches of Bainbridge Island or visit the art galleries of Vashon Island. A little further away are the islands of San Juan, one of the best environments in the world for observing the natural life of the orcas.
Climb Mount Rainier
This volcano rises, majestic, in the beautiful Mount Rainier National Park. It offers one of the best destinations for skiing and snowboarding in the United States. You can go up using snowshoes or take the Rainier Steam Railroad, which operates during the summer.
Enjoy the fun of the Seattle coast
Seattle’s coastline is a mix of docks and parks where multiple activities and events always take place. The Seattle Aquarium, the Seattle Great Wheel and the port are all located here, where the Washington State Ferries ferry company offers different experiences through the Puget Sound.
Explore Discovery Park
Located in Magnolia Bluff and overlooking the Puget Sound, Discovery Park offers magnificent views of the Cascade and Olympic Ranges. The park integrates more than three kilometers of beaches, green meadows, impressive cliffs overlooking the sea, forests, active sand dunes, scrub and streams.
When to visit Seattle
Seattle is a great destination that can be visited all year round. The colder months are perfect for winter sports fans and those who want to experience Seattle’s Christmas weather.
Remember, April is Seattle Restaurant Week, and during the summer there are many outdoor music festivals, including Bumbershoot. June also sees the Washington Brewers Festival, which revolves around local beers.
Getting to Seattle
The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is about 17 kilometers from the city center. The best way to get there is to take Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail service, which brings you to Westlake Station in 40 minutes and your ticket costs $3.25. The taxi fare is about $50.
Seattle’s main train station is King Street Station, and is located in the Pioneer Square district. Amtrak offers three services to King Street. The Cascades service starts in Vancouver and runs to Eugene, the Empire Builder runs from Chicago, and the Coast Starlight service connects Seattle with Los Angeles and San Francisco. A trip by train Vancouver – Seattle costs between $35 and $60.
Seattle is located on Interstate 5, which runs along the western coast of the United States. Interstate 90 also runs into the city, and crosses the country from Chicago.
Several bus companies connect Seattle to most cities in the United States. Greyhound, for example, operates lines that connect the city with Portland, and from there it is possible to reach multiple destinations in the country. A bus trip from Vancouver to Seattle costs between $18 and $30.
Airports near Seattle
(BFI) Seattle King County/Boeing
(LKE) Seattle Lake Union Spb
Where to stay in Seattle
Seattle offers a wide variety of accommodation alternatives. The Sorrento Hotel offers sumptuous vintage-style settings and rates are around $250 per night, while the centrally located 5-star Four Seasons Hotel Seattle offers accommodation for around $450 per night.
The Green Tortoise Hostel Seattle, on the other hand, is a good economic option, and its rates start at $ 33 for a night spent in a shared room.
Popular neighborhoods in Seattle
Fremont and Wallingford. These districts offer an authentic and bohemian experience in Seattle. Their streets are filled with juice bars, cafes like Lighthouse Roasters, music venues and record stores like Jive Time Records. The Woodland Park Zoo is located in this area.
Pioneer Square. In this neighborhood is located most of the cultural institutions of the city and the main train station. From here you can take fascinating underground tours and attend shows at the Comedy Underground, large pubs like the Flatstick and the Klondike Gold Rush Museum.
West Seattle. The captivating atmosphere of this neighborhood, somewhat removed from the center, integrates the aroma of several French gourmet bakeries, such as Bakery Nouveau. There are also music stores here, such as Easy Street Records, and Alki Beach is also located here.
Getting around Seattle
Seattle has an excellent public transportation system that serves almost every neighborhood in the city. Single bus and tram tickets cost $2.75 at peak times, or $2.50 at other times. The price of a single train ticket varies between $2.25 and $3, while the Seattle Center Monorail ticket costs $2.25. A daily pass for the light train amounts to $8, which can be purchased using the ORCA card, which costs $5.
Taxis in Seattle belong to the Seattle-Tacoma International Taxi Association (STITA). The fare for the drop-off is $ 2.60, and the cost of the kilometer traveled is $ 1.68.
In Seattle it is possible to rent a 4 or 5-seater car for about $50 a day, although offers are often found. Many well-known car rental companies operate at the airport and in the city, including Alamo, Budget and Sixt.
Cost of living in Seattle
You can find vintage clothing in the boutiques on Ballard Avenue. If you’re looking for cutting-edge fashion, head to Pike and Pine streets, while for record shopping you can go to Fremont Avenue and NW Market Street. Foodies often go to Pike Place Market to visit gourmet food stores.
Supermarkets and Grocery Stores
In Seattle there are chains like Trader Joe’s, PCC Community Markets and Fred Meyer. There are also some Walmart, Safeway and Albertsons locations. Get your bearings with prices considering a liter of milk, $.87; a loaf of bread, $ 3.24; and a kilogram of apples, $5.30.
Where to eat in Seattle
Seattle’s culinary scene is one of the city’s biggest attractions. If you want to savor seafood, head over to Pike Place Chowder, where a portion costs about $11, and a lobster roll, $13. At Serious Pie you can get gourmet pizzas and main courses that cost between $15 and $20.