If visiting this corner of Washington state is in your plans, pay attention: we are going to tell you the best things to see and do in Seattle.
There has to be something in the air in Seattle to be the birthplace of successful companies like Microsoft or Starbucks, and musical groups of the stature of Nirvana. Is it the Pacific breeze? Who knows, just in case we have breathed his air at full lung to try to infect us with his entrepreneurial spirit, now we have to wait for it to take effect.
Leaving aside its more material side, Seattle is a versatile and dynamic city, underground and at the same time hooked on trends, with a vintage touch aligned with the most contemporary hipsterism. And increasingly infected by the poison of Silicon Valley, which the locals reject so much.
The first thing that catches your eye is the silhouette of the Space Needle, the most peculiar tower and symbol par excellence of Seattle (if you’ve seen Grey’s Anatomy, you know what we’re talking about). Compared to other towers on the continent, such as the Toronto Tower, it is not particularly tall (“only” 184 meters), although it was quite a feat in 1962, the year it was built. You can go up to the observation deck and see the city from above, and scare the shit out of the glass floor areas. Admission costs between $32.50 and $37.50 (depending on visiting hours) and you can buy them online or at the box office.
If you plan to visit the main attractions of the city, you may be interested in getting the Seattle CityPASS that includes most of them, if not all.
Kerry Park Seattle
When you come down from the tower, it is best to go to Kerry Park and enjoy another wonderful view. But this time you will have in front of you the panorama of the city’s skyline, obviously including the famous tower (after all, if you are in the Space Needle, you will not see the Space Needle.
Pike Place Market
If food markets drive you crazy, welcome to the club! In Seattle you have to write down this name: Pike Place Market, where you can walk among hundreds of stalls of all kinds of food and… Oh yeah! also for restaurants where you can appease your hunger.
Pike place market hours Open every day, from 09:00 to 18:00.
In this article we give you a list of 8 restaurants where to eat in Seattle (good and cheap).
Nearby, in Post Alley, you will find the Gum Wall, a very colorful wall for the simple fact that it is full of gum! The tradition of sticking gum on these bricks began in the 90s, when people waited to enter the Market Theater, and has ended up becoming one of the most disgusting attractions in Seattle.
One of the most interesting neighborhoods with the most personality in Seattle is Capitol Hill, the neighborhood that is home to the largest LGBT community in the city. If you like to wander around, stop for a beer and go shopping… you have to stop by here.
Restaurants on Capitol Hill
- Carmelo’s Tacos.
- Kedai Makan.
- Omega Ouzeri.
Pioneer Square area also has to be included in your plans: full of brick buildings, trendy places and great atmosphere, especially at lunchtime.
The Columbia Center is another building that will delight those who are eager to fly: from its viewpoint ( Sky View Observatory ) you can see the whole city (yes, including the Space Needle). We did not go, due to lack of time, but they told us that it is very cool. It is the tallest building in the state of Washington, at 284 meters, and admission costs $22.
Seattle Central Library
The Seattle Central Library seemed like a curious stop: it is a steel and glass construction that is a very photogenic place. Also on the 10th floor there is a free viewpoint that will give you a curious view of the city.
Did you know that the world’s first Starbucks is located in Seattle ? It was founded in 1971 and since then who knows how many liters of coffee have been drunk on the streets of Seattle (and the world!). And yes, going in even to get to know this historic place is a must. But if there is a Starbucks that drives everyone who visits it (especially Instagrammers) crazy, it is The Seattle Roastery. Of course, do not forget to try other coffees, because Seattle is one of the cities with the most coffee culture in the world, going to Starbucks alone would be like going to eat at a Domino’s Pizza in Naples. Some of the best coffee shops in Seattle are: Milstead and Co. and La Marzocco Café.
Amazon headquarters is also one of the best things to see in Seattle, thanks especially to its glass domes. There is also good news for geeks: tours can be taken to see the offices of this famous company (Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 and 14).
The Underground Tour
In 1889 Seattle was destroyed by a huge fire. To learn about its history and be able to see places that were buried under the ruins, there is a very popular excursion called the Underground Tour. You will walk through tunnels and passageways while your guide tells you all about the past of this ghost town. Curiosity: apparently the fire started when a Swedish carpenter apprentice played Swedish (sorry, bad joke) and forgot hot glue next to some wood chips…
Olympic Sculpture Park
If you have time and you feel like a quiet moment, we recommend you go to one of these two parks: the Olympic Sculpture Park, is an urban park that, as you may have imagined, is characterized by being dotted with statues. And the Washington Park Arboretum, which has the Japanese Garden at one of its ends.
Japan town & A Little India
Good news for lovers of Asia: in Seattle there is not only a Chinatown as in many cities in the United States, there is also a Japan town, a Little India and surely something else hidden out there. The truth is that the neighborhoods of Seattle are full of personality… another highly recommended (and also cheap) is the U District.
Museum of Pop Culture ( MoPOP)
Seattle’s cultural scene is versatile and always evolving, but there are a handful of museums you should be aware of. One is the Museum of Pop Culture ( MoPOP ), created by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen himself. Here you can surround yourself with personal belongings of music greats, such as Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, David Bowie or Jimy Hendrix himself.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
Another is the Chihuly Garden and Glass, an almost unreal world where you will be surrounded by huge and somewhat crazy colored glass sculptures. It’s a tribute to artist Dale Chihuly, a must-see in Seattle.
The Seattle Art Museum is also worth a visit, especially if you are passionate about ethnic art. Be careful: it has different venues so if you decide to go, you should plan your visit well.
Pacific Science Center
Are you more of numbers than letters? Then surely you are more interested in visiting the Pacific Science Center, entirely dedicated to science. It will please both the little ones and the not so little ones!
We’re not done with Seattle neighborhoods yet, Fremont is one of the trendiest going right now. There are tons of shops, restaurants, and a must-see craft brewery here: Fremont Brewing. Pints cost around $5-6 and there is also the possibility of tasting several beers. Beware: they don’t sell food, so if you want you can bring something to eat yourself, what they do give away for free are apples and mini-pretzels.
If you go overboard with pints and when you get back you think you see a troll… You’re not going crazy! It’s the Fremont Troll, a hugely popular sculpture found under the George Washington Memorial Bridge.
And why not take the last one listening to music at The Croccodile ? It is a pub where groups like Pearl Jam or Pen Cap Chew, Kurt Kobain’s first group, played. Come on, it’s the Seattle version of Liverpool ‘s The Cave ! Beware: take a look at the calendar since the performances are not always free.
Take a walk around Pier 66, a very nice and lively area, with good views of the sea and Downtown. A short distance from there, there is also Pier 57/55, which is also very cool (with its Ferris wheel and Miners Landing, a pier full of shops and restaurants).
Seattle Ferry Terminal
Seattle is nestled in Elliot Bay, a good plan to take a ferry from the Seattle Ferry Terminal and go sailing on it. The most popular route is the one that goes to Bainbridge Island, where you can take nature walks and enjoy a visit to a quiet city (in 2005 it was chosen as the second best place to live in the USA). The price of the ferry is $8.50.
Has the boat ride made you want to go to the beach? Then go to Alki Beach, but do not expect a paradisiacal beach ideal for swimming. It is a quiet area where you can relax by the water, have a drink in its joints or enjoy a beautiful sunset with the Seattle skyline in the background.
And if you still have time left on your visit to Seattle, a good idea is to rent a car and hit some good getaways: there are gems like Mount Rainier or the Olympic Peninsula. The state of Washington (do not confuse it with the city, Washington DC) is one of the greenest in the whole United States, if you like nature, you will love it.