Seattle is known as Emerald City for its green beauty, is a beautiful port city located in the Northwestern United States. This place is blessed with a romantic coastline, many beautiful lakes and bays as well as a mild climate all year round. All of these make tourists want to set foot in Seattle at least once in their life. So, what to do and how to plan a budget perfect trip to the city of Seattle? – one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S. for the first-time? Let’s check out our Seattle travel blog (Seattle blog, Seattle guide blog) with the fullest Seattle travel guide (Seattle city guide, Seattle guide, Seattle tourist guide) from how to get, best time to come, where to stay, best places to visit and top things to do to find out the answer!
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Although the city of Seattle has a modest area of only 217 km2 and a population of about 3.500.000 people, it is blessed by nature for its scenic spots nowhere to be found. Seattle is surrounded by majestic mountains and a stunning blue coastline. Going deeper inland is a diverse ecosystem and rich flora and fauna, offering a large fresh space.
Seattle travel blog: Overview of Seattle
Originally a port city located in the Pacific Northwest, the city of Seattle is known as one of the most dynamic economic regions of the state of Washington. The city has a landscape of mountains, seas, rivers and lakes mixed between skyscrapers, creating a beautiful picture.
The city of Seattle is also where Boeing’s headquarters are located, Amazon is headquartered, and is where Starbucks coffee chain stores its first store before becoming a global brand. It can be said that coming to Seattle is the journey to visit the most dynamic economic region in America.
Possessing a rich natural landscape, in front of a large strait, surrounded by long-standing rocky ranges, in the middle are tranquil lakes. Seattle makes anyone who comes here even once will remember forever. Visitors find here a mix of the dynamic life of a port city, and the tranquil vistas of the fresh green scenery.
Neither hustle and bustle as New York, nor too calm as Alaska, the city of Seattle giving visitors a very special feeling. In the midst of a city with bright lights, you can still see a strange peaceful atmosphere.
Seattle blog: When to visit?
Seattle has a temperate oceanic climate. Therefore, winters in this city are quite humid, while summers are not as hot as in other parts of America. Arguably, the best time to visit Seattle is between June and August each year. At this time, the weather is quite dry, pleasant, not too hot, so it is very suitable to organize or participate in outdoor activities.
Seattle is a rainy city. Referring to Seattle is referring to the rain, the rains can last several hours but not too much and can last up to a week. The best time to travel is in summer. Summer months such as: July, August, September, the weather is very nice. Autumn (October, November) also has very beautiful days, the time when Seattle brings an impressive beauty of nature. And winter is a bit cold and rains, creating an unforgettable scene. But in other seasons, it is advisable to check the weather forecast before going to Seattle, because you can get wet due to rains.
In addition, during the period from late July to early August, the SeaFair festival will be held in Seattle. Participating in this festival, you will admire unique parades, immerse yourself in cultural events as well as enjoy amazing artistic performances. If you are interested in exploring the culture of the people of Seattle, this time is the best time for you to visit this city.
Seattle travel guide: How to get?
Getting to Seattle is easy via the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), less than half an hour to the south of the city. You can take the light rail from the airport to the city, then use the Metro Transit bus to get around, but it’s best to rent a car to get out of the city center.
You can also get to Seattle by Greyhound or Amtrak train.
Seattle guide: Transportation in the city of Seattle
As one of the most modern cities in the United States, so in Seattle, there are many means of transportation that visitors can use to visit the places they want. You can choose one of the following modes of transportation:
If you want to experience the feeling of riding a bike while watching the beautiful scenery, let rent a bicycle to cycling around the city. Renting per bike is usually not too expensive, so your travel costs will be more economical as well. In case the places you want to visit are located near your hotel, cycling is not a bad option. Some bike rental shops you can refer to: Gregg’s Cycles, Velo Bike Shop, Montlake Bicycle Shop, Ride Bicycles Bike Shop, Recycled Cycles, JUMP bikes..
Traffic in Seattle is very developed, so the bus system also meets the travel needs of people and international tourists. Most bus routes pass by famous attractions so you won’t have to worry about finding your way. Besides, the bus is a cheap public transport, so it will also help you reduce your spending a lot during your journey to explore Seattle. You can use Metro Transit bus.
The Sound Transit’s Link ligh rail running from Angle Lake Station to the University of Washington via Seattle downtown with 14 stops along the way including Seattle Airport and downtown Seattle and 6 to 15 minutes with a trip. See more its schedules and information here.
Streetcars including two lines: South Lake Union and First Hill. Fare $2.25/adult/trip, $4.5/all-day pass. The line serving South Lake Union Line neighborhood to Seattle central downtown, with its length of 1.3 miles and 9 stops. The First Hill has 10 stops with its length of 2.5 miles that connecting to Link light rail at Capitol Hill and International District stations, the Sounder Commuter Rail and Amtrak intercity rail at the King Street Station, and Metro Transit buses at several points. See more its schedules and information here.
The iconic of Seattle Center Monorail serves between Westlake Center of downtown and Seattle Center at the base of Queen Anne hill. Hours of operating are between 7:30am and 11pm, Monday-Friday, and from 8:30am to 11pm, Saturday & Sunday, every 10 minutes with a trip and the trip takes only 2 minutes/each way. Fare: $2.50/adult/one-way. See more its schedules and information here.
Taking a taxi will save you more time traveling to attractions. However, you need to find out in advance the city map or the route that you plan to go to avoid take time.
Because Seattle is a large port city, so traveling by ferry has become as popular as buses, trains or taxis. In particular, to experience the feeling of sitting on a sightseeing ferry is nothing more wonderful. You can take Seattle – Bainbridge Ferry.
In addition, you can also rent a car to be more active in implementing your travel itinerary. Note that read the rental agreement carefully and bring all the necessary papers with you when traveling on the streets of Seattle so you don’t have to fall into a dilemma. Besides, if you want to rent a car to go, you should find out in advance the traffic rules in this city so that you do not have to be “questioned” by the police.
Tip: You can buy ORCA Cards costs $5 to saving traveling cost which can be used for light rail, streetcars, buses and more.
Seattle travel blog: What to do and where to go?
Considered as the green lung of the city, Victor Steinbrueck Park is an attractive place for tourists by the beauty of this place in all four seasons. From the Victor Steinbrueck, visitors can walk while watching Elliott Bay adjacent to the turquoise blue water.
Visitors can stop to rest by the green grass and breathe the scents of the bay, trees, flowers. The beautiful scenery here is perfect for organizing picnics, as well as a place for visitors to take souvenir photos.
Address: 2001 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121, United States
Coming to Seattle, visitors can not miss the Olympic National Park. If you ever wished to step into a beautiful fairytale garden, with a stream of flowing water, with ancient trees and flowers blooming everywhere, the Olympic National Park is a place like so.
After crossing the small hills, following the trails, visitors can see with their own eyes the majestic waterfalls in the midst of a vast blue sky. Along the way, visitors will have the opportunity to witness magical flowers, along with birds singing in the garden.
Address: 3002 Mt Angeles Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98362, United States
Area: 3,734 km²
Hours: Open 24 hours
Established: June 29, 1938
Known as the symbol of the city, traveling to Seattle, do not forget to visit the Space Needle tower (The Century 21 Exposition). This tower is located in the heart of the city and was built to celebrate the World Fair in 1962 with the theme of space. Not only possessing a height of 184m, the Space Needle tower is also quite impressive design with wide legs, narrow in the middle and the top of the tower form the shape of a flying saucer. The Space Needle is a striking image of the Seattle skyline.
Currently, the Space Needle offers an ideal spot to see the city as well as the Olympic range in the distance. Enjoy the sightseeing at the Space Needle, you can choose an area with floor-to-ceiling glass doors, or at The Loupe – home to the world’s first and only rotating glass deck. There is also an interactive area and a bungee jumping and virtual reality games at the Space Needle.
Known as a treasure trove of Seattle, Chihuly Garden and Glass is home to collections and exhibitions that showcase Dale Chihuly’s blown glass art. Simply using glass and blowing, but Chihuly has created works full of art, making viewers immersed in that wonderful beauty.
Chihuly Garden and Glass is home to works on outdoor display and the greenhouse area. In particular, Chihuly’s large works are displayed in the greenhouse, which is very prominent and beautiful when the sunlight changes. In the garden, visitors will find works arranged in harmony with nature, creating a beautiful, unforgettable scene.
Address: 305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109, United States
Founded: May 20, 2012
In downtown Seattle, besides famous shopping streets such as West Lake or Bellevue, there is also the crowded seafood market Pike Place – which is loved by many residents and visitors because it symbolizes vitality and culture here. Although not “luxurious” like the famous shopping centers or shopping areas in the city, Pike Place Market has never been less crowded. Pike Place Market not only sells souvenirs and paintings by freelance artists and photographers, but also sells the best fresh seafood and food such as Alaska crab King Crab or Chinook salmon. This market also sells all kinds of agricultural products such as broccoli, mushrooms, beetroot, beans, …
Right across from the market is the first Starbucks coffee shop, opened in 1971, always attracting tourists and customers willing to line up outside the door just for a cup of this special coffee of the world-wide brand.
Address: 93 Pike St Room 310, Seattle, WA 98101, United States
Built: 1903, 1910, 1971
In 1997, Bill Gates founded this charity to help in many fields and needs around the world. On July 31, 2008, Bill Gates withdrew from Microsoft to spend all his time working here. According to the website, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation currently has $55 billion to support philanthropy. In 2011 and 2012, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donates $ 3.2 billion each year.
Address: 500 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109, United States
Hours: 7AM–6PM/Saturday: 10AM–5PM/Sunday: Closed
If you are looking for weird places in the city of Seattle, Gum Wall is also a strange spot that you should not miss. Gum Wall is known for being a very unique and innovative piece of art made from chewing gum. This bizarre wall dates back to 1990, when guests waiting to buy comedy tickets at the Seattle theater accidentally stuck used chewing gum on the brick wall. Increasingly, the number of these used chewing gum has increased and so far this wall has grown to more than 20m with 4.6m height.
Address: 1428 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101, United States
Hours: Open 24 hours
This is one of the most populous neighborhoods in the city of Seattle with skyscrapers, high-rise buildings and modern apartments lying close together. In particular, this neighborhood is also home to many busy shopping malls, bustling markets and diverse cultural and entertainment centers.
This museum is approximately a 40-minute drive from downtown Seattle. Museum of Flight is the largest private aviation and space museum in the world. The museum’s location is found at King County International Airport (commonly known as Boeing Field), offering a place to see a wide variety of aircraft, as well as educational exhibits and historic objects regarding flights. The museum has outdoor and indoor display areas on a super large area.
The outdoor display area was home to large aircraft, including the Concorde, the first Air Force One and military aircraft such as the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. The indoor gallery is a place that thrills visitors by large airplanes that are hung overhead. In addition, the museum also has an impressive exhibition with 28 restored fighters, an exhibition area with the personal stories of pilots and air support soldiers.
The process of manufacturing an aircraft here is so special that this factory tour has become one of the most attractive tours in the Northwest of America.
Address: 9404 E Marginal Way S, Seattle, WA 98108, United States
Visitors: 500,000+ per year
Olympic Sculpture Park is a free destination, open to the public all year round. The park located on the edge of Elliot Bay, is home to some impressive sculptures. In which the most prominent is the Eye Bench and the glass bridge named Seattle Cloud Cover, displayed in the park campus with a prominent design.
This park has undergone a transition, from a post-industrial area to a green space, with an ecological balance. The park is currently being maintained by the Seattle Museum of Art, located near Pike Place Market. The collections here are exceptional works of art with striking colors and striking designs. Coming here, you not only admired artworks, but also relax, resting on the greenlawns.
Address: 2901 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121, United States
Open: January 20, 2007
The Woodland Park Zoo is a large zoo, providing habitat and protecting many globally endangered animals. It is a popular tourist destination with families, offering sights suitable for many different ages. At Woodland Park Zoo there are natural exhibitions, with 300 different species, from Asian and African elephants to snow leopards, leopards, lemurs, …
In addition to the natural exhibit, the zoo also has many programs held every day such as animal feeding, offering educational lectures or fun outings. For the best experience here, you can book an animal experience tour. With this tour, you will be able to get up close to animals such as giraffes, penguins, lemurs, … to feed or touch them directly. Because of those experiences that Woodland Park Zoo becomes more attractive than ever before.
Address: 5500 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103, United States
MOHAI is the acronym for the Museum of History & Industry, which celebrates Seattle’s position as a leader, in industrial activities and in regard to its importance. The museum features a prominent True Northwest exhibition that takes tourists on a journey through the history of the region, from Native American cultures to modernity. Along with that is discovering the geographical and cultural events that helped form the emerald city.
At this museum you can see a 360-degree view of the city, by using the World War 2 periscope in the marine exhibition area. Another section of the museum focuses on how local inventors bring the area forward with new technologies, through interactive exhibits. With that in mind, your visit to MOHAI museum is sure to have many unforgettable experiences.
Address: 860 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109, United States
Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, also known as Ballard Locks, was named after a major of the American Army Corps in early 1900 and opened its doors in 1917. This is one of the busy areas in the northwest of the city center, with locks operating every day as boats travel from Puget Sound to freshwater lakes Washington and Union.
Hiram M. Chittenden Locks is a local favorite place and they frequently visited during the summer. So, while traveling in Seattle, you should also visit this attractive destination. Located in the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks area is the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden – an ideal place for relaxing and resting.
Address: 3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107, United States
Opened: July 4, 1917
This is the city’s waterfront area, offering a nice view of Seattle’s West and Puget Sound. This is one of the ideal places to walk, explore and have fun. At the Seattle Waterfront, there are spots to sit and sightseeing, great dining places and many other exciting entertainment venues. When you come here, you definitely will find a memorable experience in your travel.
At Seattle Waterfront, visitors can watch ferries and container ships pass through Elliot Bay, shop at souvenir shops in search of new, unique products. Along with that a trip to the galleries, family-friendly entertainment venues. The Seattle Waterfront also has its most prominent spots which are the The Seattle Great Wheel and the Seattle Aquarium – home to a wide variety of animals and marine life.
Pioneer Square is located in the heart of downtown Seattle, surrounded by Chinatown, the SODO and Waterfront districts in the west. This neighborhood is a place to visit that can access from many different parts of the city, easily accessible from Sea-Tac International Airport. This is the place to see the old Renaissance buildings in Seattle.
In addition to its architectural beauty, the neighborhood is also filled with specialty shops, art galleries, pubs, and restaurants. Founded in 1852 as Seattle’s first city center, when you come to Pioneer Square you’ll find the century Smith Tower and many other outstanding attractions.
Seeing me boast that I was going to Seattle, some of my colleagues told me, hey Lan, you have to try Monorail. I did not know what a monorail was, I thought it was a public transit train that traveled around the city =)), until I got to the Space Needle tower, I saw that the Monorail station located right next to the tower and the Chihuly glass garden. In fact, Monorail is not to be a city-wide train, but only runs between two stations: the Seattle Center (next to the Space Needle) and the Westlake Center Mall station with a trip every 10 minutes and each ride only lasts a few minutes. The cost of the train ride is $2.5 dollars/one-way – very cheap for an enjoyable experience.
Monorail trains run on high rails, through high-rise buildings, the busy streets of downtown Seattle. I sit right at the bow, right behind the train driver, so the view in front of me is very good, it feels like I was riding a roller coaster in some amusement parks, only at a slower speed.
The First / Original Starbucks – the first Starbucks coffee shop
When I first came to Seattle, it’s about 4 years ago, I was so excited to be at the first Starbucks coffee shop in the world. This Starbucks is right next to Pike Place market (The Pike Place Starbucks store), just a little to the right. Since it was the first Starbucks store, it was always crowded, lined up from outside the door. The first time I came here, I also took a stand in line to buy frappuchino (because I could not drink coffee) and bought hot drink bottles as souvenirs like many other tourists.
Address: 1912 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101, United States
Leaving the Seattle Tower, the car took us across the bridge on Highway 90 to cross Mercer Island in the middle of Lake Washington. Lake Washington is 22 miles long and connects to the sea, but freshwater because the water level is usually higher than sea level. The modern villa built in 1996 of the King software of Bill Gates which costs $75 million is also on the east bank of Washington Lake. This 66,000 square foot villa was designed by architect James Cutler. There are so many rivers and lakes in this area, so one in six families here have a yacht.
We went to Mercer Island in the middle of the lake and across the small bridge into Bellevue is one of two expensive residential neighborhoods. Every home garden is full of flowers, trees are carefully cared for. Through Highway 520 we get to see the University of Washington, a famous university founded in 1861 when it was originally a building in downtown Seattle. In 1895 the school was relocated here, today a large property on the shores of Lake Washington. The campus is as wide as a city with lush green lawns, lakes with names, European architectural buildings that look like the castles of lords in Middle Ages.
Mount Rainier is the most famous mountain in Seattle. This mountain has an altitude of over 14,000 feet, very suitable for adventurous lovers to conquer and explore nature. This is not only a place where often interesting entertainment activities take place, but also a great resort for everyone. In the Northeast of Mount Rainier has a wonderful ski resort, so you can come here to experience the feeling of climbing icy rivers (glaciers).
You will be amazed when you see firsthand the beauty of this romantic waterfall. The natural landscape here is very harmonious, perfect in every detail when there is a combination of the fresh colors of mountains and trees, plants to create a cool feeling and fresh space. The most interesting thing that you can see at this waterfall is the colorful rainbows that always appear, blending with the delicate light of nature to create a mesmerizing scene.
Elevation: 147 m
Height: 82 m
Number of drops: 1
Average width: 100 ft (30 m)
One of the fascinating attractions that you can not miss when coming to Seattle is Bainbridge Island. Here, you can take a leisurely cycling on the steep slopes, see every angle of nature on the blue sea background as well as enjoy the rare peaceful scenery. In addition, the ecosystem in this island is also very diverse. You absolutely can see pandas or eagles looking for food somewhere in the lush tropical forests. Don’t forget to come here to have fun!
Gas Works Park
Gas Works Park covers an area of more than 19.1 acres and is a popular tourist destination in the city of Seattle. It possesses wonderful playgrounds for children, beautiful paths for you to enjoy walking, cycling. In addition, if you want to preparing for a picnic or camping, you can come this place. Gas Works Park also regularly organizes fireworks events and music festivals that attract many visitors to attend.
Address: 2101 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103, United States
Area: 8 ha
This is a non-profit science museum based in Seattle. This center is the place to protect the ecological environment, teach about how to manage the environment, wetlands, raise people’s awareness about nature, … Here, you will be able to participate in scientific events, themed travel exhibitions, and other prominent events.
Address: 200 2nd Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109, United States
This aquarium was established in 1977 and is the top tourist attraction in Seattle. This is the home of many creatures such as anemones, rock fish, salmon, starfish, whales, seahorses, otters, … This aquarium is not just a place for you to learn about marine life but also can participate in entertainment games and shopping at stores.
Address: 1483 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101, United States (A 2-min walk from the Seattle Great Wheel)
Opened: May 20, 1977
Volume of largest tank: 400,000 US gal (1,500,000 l)
Sattle travel blog: What to eat?
Seattle is located right on the shores of Puget Sound, connected to the Pacific Ocean, which means it has plenty of seafood. Don’t miss locally caught salmon and Dungeness crabs! You will find there is no shortage of restaurants in town that take advantage of local ingredients as the northerners are proud of all their local specialties.
Tom Douglas is one of the city’s famous chefs and his restaurants are both centrally located or near downtown Seattle and including Northwest dishes (at Etta restaurant), Greek dishes (Lola restaurant), combining Asian cuisine and more.
Seattle is also famous for its small breweries. The Ballard neighborhood has a number of micro breweries, and you’ll find the larger Pyramid Brewery (Pyramid Alehouse Restaurant) and the Elysian Brewery in SoDo and Capitol Hill, respectively. If you’re not a beer lover, there are plenty of local wines to try out due to both Eastern Washington, as well as the Woodinville Wine Country located just outside of Seattle.
Seattle blog: Shopping in Seattle
Expensive branded items, big fashion labels are absolutely impressive things at Seattle’s major department stores and shopping malls. The ideal shopping places in Seattle: Broadway Avenue East, First Avenue, Maynard Avenue, Pike Street, Pine Street, Queen Anne and West Dravus, Seneca and Fourth Avenue and Way University …
Seattle guide blog: Some experience to save money when traveling to Seattle
- Let explore Seattle’s museums on the first Thursday of each month due to many are free admissions at certain hours.
- Seattle’s parks are amazing and all are free to visit.
Use light rail for some local rides and skip paying to parking in the city center.
- Buy Seattle CityPass to save on entrance costs for top attractions if you plan on doing more than one of the top attractions during your visit.
- Learn more about the cheapest ways to have fun in Seattle with this list of free things to do here.
Seattle tourist guide: Where to stay?
According to historical data collected by the Priceline.com booking platform, the average daily price for hotels rated 2.5 stars or above is around $172/night. It’s no surprise that prices start to rise in May as weather improves and reach its peaks between June and August – Seattle’s peak season. In 2018, the average price per night was at its highest, on average at $222/night. Prices started to fall in September and reached their lowest from November through December. During this time, a hotel night is booked with an average price of at least $135.
Below we recommend more best cheap, budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
- Inn at the Market, a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $189/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- Hyatt House Seattle/Downtown, a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $134/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- The Maxwell Hotel – A Staypineapple Hotel, a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $81/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- The Paramount Hotel, a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $115/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- Silver Cloud Inn – Seattle Lake Union, a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $119/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Seattle you can refer to
- Seattle Sightseeing Night Tour
- Downtown Seattle Full Day Tour
- Land and Water Tour in Seattle by Ride the Ducks
- Seattle Night Tour with Local Guide
- Half day Tour in Seattle with a Local
- Seattle Family Day Tour with Local Guide
- Sky View Observatory Admission Ticket in Seattle
- Space Needle Admission Ticket (With Chihuly Garden and Glass Admission Ticket) in Seattle
- Seattle CityPASS
- Museum of Pop Culture Admission Ticket
- Seattle Aquarium
- Chihuly Garden and Glass Admission Ticket in Seattle
- Seattle Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Pass
Are you looking for more top things to do in Seattle: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Let’s check it out here.