Seattle is a metropolis situated between two major bodies of water; the Washington Lake and the Puget Sound. Although this is Washington State’s largest city, it is still referred to as the ‘Emerald City’.

This is because of the widespread greenery that is visible throughout the bustling city all-year-round. Seattle brings tourists and locals the best of both worlds. Nature activities as well as culturally innovative ones too.

It is home to the headquarters of many global companies such as Microsoft, Amazon and Starbucks. This means that whether you’re a nature enthusiast, or a technology buff, you’ll certainly never be bored in Seattle!

Top Things to Do in Seattle

If you’re searching for unmissable things to do in Seattle, then there are undoubtedly a few top-picks that need to be visited.

1. Eat Everything at Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market, Seattle
You gotta try the best jazz apples in the world!

Any trip to the Emerald City would not suffice if you didn’t visit this Seattle attraction. This is one of the country’s oldest farmers markets, which is a large public market in the heart of Seattle. Traditional farm stalls and crafts are on display here and there is the option to dine as well.

If you’re searching for what to do in Seattle in terms of food-tasting, then you’ve hit the jackpot. It opened in 1907 and it provides lovely vistas over Elliott Bay and the waterfront. There are permanent stalls that sell fresh produce all-year-round.

And by fresh, we mean very fresh. At the popular open-air fish market, the fishmongers fling the fish in the air before wrapping and selling it.

This is definitely one of the most essential things to do in downtown Seattle.

2. Ascend into Space

Space Needle, Seattle
Space Needle, Seattle

This is a quintessential Seattle structure. A visit to the Space Needle is one of the essential things to do in Seattle. It stands at a height of almost 160-meters above ground and the public is able to go to the very top. It’s also the second-most Instagrammed spot in Seattle.

For $32 USD you can access the Observation Deck (that consists of two floors) with one ticket! The view gives visitors a floating impression as the floor is completely see-through. And your 360-degree view will cover the Puget Sound, Lake Washington and nearby Mount Rainier.

Recent additions to the observation deck include the Loupe, the world’s first and only rotating glass floor. This has to be one of your first things to do in Seattle.

3. Get Up-Close and Personal with Orca Whales

Whale watching in Seattle

Seattle is near the San Juan Islands, which make up an archipelago in Northwest Washington. The islands and waters are famed for being populated with resident killer whales between April and October.

During this period, many whale-watching cruises are on offer, with high success rates. There are three Orca pods known as the ‘Southern Residents’ that are visible between Spring and Autumn.

These islands are often regarded as the best place to view the intriguing Orcas naturally. And you’ll be able to do so just 3-hours away from Seattle.


Queen Anne

Queen Anne is a haven for sightseers and culture vultures. This centrally located neighbourhood is home to Seattle’s most iconic landmarks and attractions, making it one of the best places to stay in Seattle.

Places to visit:
  • Browse the exhibits and displays at the one-of-a-kind Museum of Pop Culture
  • See exquisite and colourful works of art at Chihuly Garden and Glass
  • Take in the stunning Seattle skyline from Kerry Park

For more Places to Stay, check out our full Seattle Neighborhood Guide!

4. Get Glassy at Chihuly

Chihuly Glass and Garden, Seattle
Get your chic on!

Chihuly Glass and Garden is named after Dale Chihuly. He is a renowned American glass sculptor who has received many awards.

The Chihuly Glass and Garden is conveniently positioned at the base of the Space Needle and is one of the most visited Seattle points of interest. It displays Chihuly’s studio glass, for which you’ll have to pay $22 USD to view.

It truly is an artistic spectacle and aesthetically pleasing for the eyes – the multi-colored sculptures are enclosed by lush greenery/gardens.

The galleries are illusionary and the many sculptures vary in size; the centerpiece stands 30-meters above ground.

5. Boeing Factory Tour

Boeing Factory, Seattle
Aerophile geeks, don’t miss it.

Only 50-kilometers outside of Seattle lies the world’s largest building by virtue of its volume! It’s one of the more non-touristy things to do in Seattle because no one takes time to analyze the aircraft we board.

The Boeing Factory spans a floor-space of almost 4-million square meters. Here, guided excursions will show you intricate methods involved in aircraft production. It is home to some of the world’s largest Boeing aircraft, such as the 787 Dreamliner, among others.

6. Museum of Pop Culture

Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle
Fun fact: The MoPOP was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen

Otherwise known as MoPOP, the Museum’s exterior is a reflection of their mission – to embrace the flexibility of music. Its exterior is revolutionary and abstract; made up of 21 000 individually cut aluminium shingles. It focuses on the present pop culture that exhibits an array of artefacts from this practice.

It offers educational and community programs, and behind-the-scenes information from the industry’s leading filmmakers and musicians, among others. But it’s also really entertaining! You can try out your DJing abilities are at the Sound Lab.

7. Hike Mount Rainier

Mount Raininer, Seattle
Take a breath of fresh air!

Seattle’s location is unique for a metropolis. Not only is it an isthmus, but it is also in close proximity to scenic natural surrounds. Mount Rainier is one of the most visited and favorable attractions for the city, and can be seen from many points within Seattle.

Mount Rainier is actually an active volcano, with its last eruption occurring in the late 19th-century. It is a colossal natural feature, with a height of almost 4400-meters above sea level! And it is the most glaciated peak in the conterminous USA.

Fortunately, no permits are required when hiking here. That’s why it’s one of the most ideal and best day trips from Seattle.

8. Get Nerdy at Seattle Central Library

Central Library, Seattle
Nerdy is the new cool.

Few esteemed libraries have postmodern designs, but Seattle’s public one does. It spans an impressive 11-storeys. The futuristic design reflects the forms of literature that they promote and supply – a mix of traditional books and new media.

This makes it a contemporary library, where all types of archives, digital or hardcopy, can be accessed. The building is separated into different platforms, each with architecturally distinct designs.

It has the intention of being a civic space that attracts all types of readers and redefines the conventional barriers of reading.

9. Swim, Laze and Hike in Discovery Park and Beach

Discovery Park and Beach, Seattle
West Point Lighthouse

Seattle is a city that is dispersed with many green spaces, and accompanying most of them are lovely beaches.

They developed a landscaping scheme for the citizens of Seattle to connect inner-city green spaces. The largest park in the city is Discovery Park. It stretches for almost 540-acres and has a rocky, natural shoreline attached to it.

It is situated along the Puget Sound, where you’ll be able to find many scattered beaches to swim in and a picturesque lighthouse. You’ll also be able to hike or walk on the many designated trails that differ in difficulty, but mostly run adjacent to the shoreline.

10. Indulge your senses at the Starbucks Headquarters

Starbucks Headquarters, Seattle
Coffee’o’clock. |source: SounderBruce (flickr)

With a theatrical setting, this coffee reserve contains mixologists who work on producing the finest blend and flavors for coffee. Starbucks only has 6 of these worldwide, with one of the biggest and oldest one being in Seattle.

The roastery is accompanied by a bar, and is actually located in the Starbucks Global Headquarters. The multi-tenant building is actually the largest in Seattle by virtue of its floor space.

It’s certainly one of the most unique things to do in Seattle because you can visit the tasting room too. Here, you can even watch the roasting process.

The BEST Travel Backpack?!
aer travel pack 2 backpack

Pssssst! Not picked the perfect travel backpack yet? The Broke Backpacker team has tried out over thirty backpacks this year! Our favourite travel backpack is the Aer Travel Pack 2.

View on AER

Unusual Things to Do in Seattle

Because Seattle is so diverse in its activities, there are many activities to do that you won’t find anywhere else.

11. Watch Boats Pass, and Enjoy It

Ballard Locks, Seattle
You Shall Pass.

The Ballard Locks is a historical city feature for Seattle and is admired by heaps of tourists. If you find yourself looking for things to do in Seattle in summer, then this is one of the most popular outdoor things to do in Seattle.

It was constructed in the early 20th-century and redefined a lot of abilities for the city’s import systems. This is because it is a series of locks that connects the Puget Sound to Lake Washington. This process takes around 10-15 minutes.

Boats from Lake Washington are raised up by an underwater elevator that eventually evens out, and lands into the Puget Sound. The public is able to watch this process from the surface, as well as from beneath.

You can walk beneath the locks underwater to view the salmon and steelhead fish heading upstream.

12. You’ve Goat to Try this Yoga Class

Goat Yoga in Seattle
But really, whatever floats your goat.

You’ve heard of yoga, but have you heard of goat yoga? Well, only a 40-minute drive away from Seattle, you could experience this unique activity at the Wobbly Ranch.

The session spans one hour and takes place in a rural setting. The free-roaming domestic goats of the ranch will assist you in maintaining your yoga poses!

This also makes for great and humorous photo opportunities, because the goats are very friendly and interactive. But, besides the fun and games, this is an authentic yoga class led by a certified and experienced instructor.

13. Swim in Fresh-Water and Then in Salt-Water

Myrtle Edwards Park Beach
A bit of both worlds. | source: Cascade Creatives (Shutterstock)

If you’re looking for adventurous things to do in Seattle, then why not walk the city’s width within 2-hours? And by doing so, you’d have visited the two bodies of water that create its breadth.

Although there aren’t any defined paths, we suggest you start your journey with a dip in Madrona Park Beach. This beach is positioned on the banks of Lake Washington, incorporated with swimming rafts and bathhouses.

Once you’ve had your dip, take a 1.5-hour stroll through the bustling metropolis, and head toward Myrtle Edwards Park Beach. This park is only a 30-minute walk from downtown Seattle, and here you’ll be able to swim in Elliott Bay’s saltwater.

In only 1.5-hours, you would’ve walked downtown Seattle’s breadth, and had two different swimming opportunities.

Safety in Seattle

Seattle is a large metropolis and the biggest in Washington State. That being said, one has to be cautious as they would be in any major city. But nationally it does rank as one of the safest cities in the USA, especially for walkers.

That means that you should stick to the denser areas where there are lots of people around you. The residential areas show lower signs of crime-rates. Higher crime rates occur in the areas at the edges of downtown Seattle.

So, stick to the central, tourist-brimming areas in downtown Seattle, but still be vigilant.

Have a look at the Seattle Safety Guide before you fly and always get travel insurance. Check out our roundup of the best travel insurance.

Want to keep your money safe?
money belt compressed png

You should always have emergency cash hidden on you – pick up this awesome security belt with its hidden pocket before you travel, it’s perfect for hiding money, a passport photocopy.

Get your money belt here.

Things to Do in Seattle at Night

It may be the Emerald city by day, but Seattle becomes a multi-colored phenomenon by night.

14. Go on a Cocktail Cruise

Cocktail cruise in Seattle
How could you refuse A COCKTAIL CRUSE?

On this boozy cruise, you’ll sail past all the vital Seattle landmarks such as the Space Needle and the Great Wheel.

You’ll also be able to see the many floating homes that some locals live in, even the one that was featured in ‘Sleepless in Seattle’.

On these cruises, alcohol is available for purchasing. On-board, you’ll have an informative and entertaining guide who will teach you about Seattle’s key characteristics.

15. Walk along Seattle Waterfront

Seattle Waterfront
A nice way to view the city.

Walking a city’s promenade may not seem to be the most interesting option to do at night. However, in Seattle, this exact activity captures the city’s essence.

Because of the city’s laidback nightlife scene, fun things to do in Seattle indoors aren’t really apparent at night.

The best way to experience downtown Seattle is to walk through the adjacent waterfront area. Once you’ve finished your stroll, be sure to eat at one of the waterfront seafood restaurants.

16. Try Out a Speakeasy Bar

In comparison to other major American cities, Seattle’s nightlife is much more relaxed. But it does have two districts that provide a vibrant nightlife.

Speakeasy bars were prominent in the 1920s during the prohibition era, when they sold alcohol illegally. Today, the term is used to describe retro-styled bars that attempt to rekindle the same energy.

Seattle has many great options for these, that are either hidden in hotels, alleyways or restaurants.

Our top-picks include Bath-Tub Gin&Co, and The Backdoor at Roxy’s.

Where to Stay in Seattle

Best Hostel in Seattle: City Hostel Seattle

City Hostel, Seattle

City Hostel Seattle is our pick for the best hostel in Seattle. Located at the heart of the vibrant Belltown district, this hostel is close to Seattle’s best bars, restaurants, shops and landmarks. It has laundry facilities, a full kitchen, a BBQ and relaxing common room.

For more really cool hostels in Seattle, check out our Best Hostels in Seattle guide! 

Best Airbnb in Seattle: Renovated Retro Queen Anne Studio Apartment

Renovated Retro Queen Anne Studio Apartment

Watch the flames flicker in the gas fireplace while cozily tucked up in bed. All kinds of fun pieces are on show here, from a carved-wood table and light-up neon screen to abstract canvases. Heated floors are a nice touch in the new bathroom.

Best Hotel in Seattle: Staypineapple at the Maxwell Hotel

Staypineapple at the Maxwell Hotel, Seattle

With Rustic décor and stylish rooms, Staypineapple at the Maxwell Hotel is our choice for the best hotel in Seattle. This trendy three-star hotel has a fantastic bar, a delicious restaurant and a stunning rooftop pool.

Guests can enjoy free wifi, a golf course and on-site bike rental services.

Romantic Things to Do in Seattle

Seattle is a charming city that boasts many things to do in Seattle for couples.

17. Have a Kiss on the Seattle Great Wheel

Great Wheel, Seattle
City of Lights…

On the day of its opening, Seattle’s Great Wheel was the largest of its kind in the West Coast, USA. Its height exceeds 53-meters and offers visitors uncompromised, romantic views of Seattle.

But since it is on the waterfront, your view will extend far beyond the city. You’ll enjoy views of all the bodies of water that encompass the city.

We suggest doing this activity during sunset, for the ultimate scenic experience. It’s one of the most picturesque things to do in Seattle for couples.

18. Rent a Boat at Green Lake Park

Green Lake Park, Seattle
A little bit dramatic.

Green Lake Park is an inner-city, smaller scale park that is often a contender for ‘Seattle’s favorite park’. It offers visitors swimming opportunities, as well as boat renting activities.

These boats are not limited to paddle-boats only – there are kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and sail/rowing boats on offer too.

Renting a boat during sunset is the perfect date idea. It ensures that you spend some quality time with your partner, and in a scenic setting.

Do You Need Travel Insurance?

Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of Travel Insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.

world nomads insurance banner

Best Free Things to Do in Seattle

The emerald city isn’t a cheap one, so discovering things to do in Seattle on a budget is essential!

19. Browse Through the Olympic Structure Park

Olympic Structure Park, Seattle
Is this a big bird? | source: -JvL- (flickr)

Primely positioned on Seattle’s waterfront, this almost 4-hectare park is downtown Seattle’s biggest park! Before the park, the area was used for oil transfers.

The city can get really crowded, so this provides the perfect opportunity to escape the madness.

It’s a collection of sculptures along the coast, and the setting is extremely scenic. It connects to another green space – the Myrtle Edwards Park, which has a beach too. The park portrays the city’s key characteristics; a mix of modernity and nature.

The park forms part of the Seattle Art Museum’s collections, and has won an international design competition. It is free for all to enter and admire, and links two forests to the water.

20. Visit the Pacific Bonsai Museum

This outdoor museum is a 30-minute drive from downtown Seattle and is a cheap alternative for things to do outside of the city. A Bonsai is a Japanese cultivation artwork.

Conveniently, there is no admission cost. Rather, visitors are given the option to donate money in a box near the entrance.

Other than the temporary exhibits, there is a permanent collection along the gravel paths. This impressive collection consists of 50 Bonsais in the tropical conservatory.

The Bonsais are sourced from Japan, China, Korea and Canada! Overall, this means that this museum has a very diverse range of over 150 Bonsais.

21. Enjoy the View at Kerry Park

Seattle skyline from Kerry Park
And what a view to enjoy.

While Seattle is known for its expansive green spaces that have attached beaches, there are great landlocked parks too. One of them is the high-landed Kerry Park, which is known for its unparalleled skyline views of the city.

The park is especially populated at night, when the city lights up. Many famous published pictures of Seattle originate from this park, with flocks of photographers capturing the skyline.

The view extends far beyond the city – you can see the glaciated Mount Rainier setting a backdrop, as well as the picturesque Elliott Bay.

We suggest you visit during sunset, for the most magical memories and photographs.

Seattle Packing List

AR Water Bottle

1. Travel Water Bottle: Always travel with a water bottle – it’ll save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. AR bottle are tough, lightweight and maintain the temperature of your beverage – so you can enjoy a cold red bull, or a hot coffee, no matter where you are. For every AR bottle sold, we donate 10% to – an initiative to reduce plastic in our oceans!

AR microfibre towel

2. Microfibre Towel: It’s always worth packing a proper towel. Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

AR Security Belt

3. Security Belt with Hidden Pocket: I never hit the road without my security belt. This is a regular looking belt with a concealed pocket on the inside – you can hide up to twenty notes inside and wear it through airport scanners without it setting them off. This is hands down the best way to hide your cash.

Cell Phone Camera Lens

4. Camera or Cell Phone Camera Accessories: One thing’s for sure – Seattle is a picturesque destination! Get perfect shots from your phone using clip-on-lenses with wide-angle, close-up and optical zoom. With the ability to turn travel pictures from basic to professional, this universal lens sits neatly over any phone camera and comes with a durable, travel-friendly case!

Universal Travel Adapter

5. International Adapter: Seattle uses 3-pin British style plugs. You may need an adapter. Save yourself the hassle of trying to track down an adapter at your destination and paying twice as much than planning ahead by buying one online.

Books to Read in Monaco

The Backpacker Bible – Learn how to ditch your desk and travel the world on just $10 a day whilst building an online income.

Lost in the City – A monumental collection of short stories about the African-American community in Washington DC. Explores its rise, fall, struggle, and abjection in American history.

Empire of Mud – Before it was the shining City Upon a Hill for the USA, DC was once one the grimiest and most unattractive capitals in the world. This book explores its filthy and utterly fascinating upbringings.

All the President’s Men – Arguably the greatest piece of investigative journalism in modern history. The original nonfiction that exposed the Watergate Scandal and brought down a presidency.

Things to Do with Kids in Seattle

Seattle is home to many headquarters of leading global institutions. These offer educational and fun programs for kids and parents alike.

22. Pacific Science Center

Pacific Science Center
Science lovers, this one’s for you!

A non-profit science organisation has paved the way for critical thinking for all ages. It combines entertainment with educational value, as it engages visitors with intellectually stimulating exhibits.

There are hundreds of galleries that are interactive within the center, and a particular attraction is the Tropical Butterfly House. All the installations/programs are designed by the many scientists working within the Center’s campus, and other associated ones.

Highlights include the Lazer Room, IMAX film and Planetarium Show.

23. Go Crazy for Cocoa!

Theo Chocolate Factory, Seattle
We love choco-LOT | source: Seattleye (flickr)

At Theo Chocolate Factory in Fremont, you and your children will have a blast. You’ll be given heaps of tasting samples from the finest chocolatiers, while learning about the processes involved in the chocolate’s creation.

Factory experiences are offered daily, and are very interactive.

Admission costs are between $8 USD – $12 USD, depending on the tour that you choose. The adult experience is more educational, with teachings on the origins of cocoa. But you’ll be rewarded with a wide variety of handmade confections and best-sellers.

Other Things to Do in Seattle

The best things to do in the city are not limited to downtown Seattle. The nearby wineries and world heritage site truly prove that Seattle has almost every activity that a tourist would want!

24. Spend a day in the Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park, Seattle
It’s a good walk, my deer.

Seattle may be close to Mount Rainier, but another impressive mountain range that is nearby is the Olympic Range. Only a 2/3-hour drive from Seattle, this isn’t any ordinary National Park, because it has been listed as a World Heritage Site.

It is situated along Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula as well as the Pacific Ocean. It offers visitors over 70-miles of untouched, rugged coastlines and almost 1-million acres of forestry and highlands.

This means that the park boasts prime nature hiking opportunities. Its highest peak is Mount Olympus, which stands at almost 2430-meters above ground!

But, if hiking isn’t your forte and you’re still searching for nature things to do in Seattle, then visit the mineral Hot Springs.

If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, why not stay in one of these epic treehouses in Washington?

25. Get Tipsy at Woodinville Wine Country

Woodinville Wine Country, Seattle
It’s wine’o’clock!

Seattle may indeed be near some fine natural features, but a rather impressive agricultural feature is the wine valley in Woodinville. It is only a 25-minute drive from downtown Seattle and consists of almost 100 traditional and boutique wineries.

Constantly, events are being held here, and it is one of the most convenient things to do near Seattle. It is an ever-so-popular destination for Seattle locals due to its award-winning wines. These can be indulged in, in the many taste-rooms situated inside the wineries.

The valley is situated around lovely nature such as Snoqualmie Falls and dense forests that allow for great hiking.

26. Eat Dinner on the Water

Argosy Dinner Cruise, Seattle
How romantic. | source: Prayitno (flickr)

The Argosy Dinner Cruise is one of the best nighttime, outdoor things to do in Seattle. Argosy is a cruise company that has been operating for 70 years.

It offers different activities for different types of cruises, such as Wine cruises on Saturdays and Historical teaching cruises on Sundays.

At nighttime, however, the company offers an entertaining, 3-course meal. It docks and sets off from Pier 56 in Seattle’s waterfront.

While you eat, a live band will be playing music too.

27. Visit the World’s Greenest Commercial Building

Bullitt Center, Seattle
Sustainable shopping center. Now you got my attention… | source: Taomeister (flickr)

If you’re in need of things to do in Seattle on a rainy day, look no further than the Bullitt Center. It has been awarded for having the highest standard of sustainability for a building.

The center opened in 2013 and it claims its title through using no net water. Rather, it collects rainwater to use for different purposes. It’s also proven to use no more energy than it produces.

The public is able to access the building, getting shown around and taught by volunteers from the University of Washington’s Center for Integrated Design.

The tour will display to visitors the efforts and strategies that the building’s designers have implemented to achieve this title.

Day Trips From Seattle

Intro to Outdoor Rock Climbing

Intro to Outdoor Rock Climbing
Hug rocks. It can only feel good.

Add rock climbing to your Seattle itinerary with guided rock climbing adventure. The intro to outdoor rock climbing tour was designed for beginner rock climbers or for those who have only tried indoor rock climbing.

You and your touring team will take a short hike to a natural cliff face. Your guide will discuss rope safety, knots, and climbing techniques with you. You’ll then start your climbing journey with a climb and belay practice stint!

During your tour, you’ll climb at least 5-6 different routes while navigating different rock types and features. Beginner climbers will learn the necessary skills needed to pass a belay test in an indoor climbing gym!

Mount St. Helens National Monument Small Group Tour

Mount St. Helens National Monument Small Group Tour
It’s worth the visit, trust us.

On this 12-hour small group tour, you’ll learn the history of this incredible volcano and all about the tragic explosion of 1980.

Your guide will lead you on natural walking paths that wind their way around Mount St. Helen. On the journey, you’ll be sure to spot some beautiful wildlife, so have your camera ready at all times. The guide will more than likely keep their eyes peeled, so that they can point out any wildlife you may have missed.

You’ll get the chance to explore a blast zone just 5-miles from the crater. You’ll then head into the center’s interpretative displays and theater where you’ll experience the volcano in a whole new way, whilst learning about how the eruption shaped the landscape you see today.

3 Day Seattle Itinerary

Day 1: Downtown and Waterfront

On the first day of our Seattle travel guide, we’re going to knock out the touristy stuff. Today, we’ll visit many of the most famous and busiest points of interest in Seattle so we can focus on other things in the coming days.

Let’s start out in one of the most visited attractions in Seattle: Pike Place Market . This market has gained a lot of attention over the years for its size and importance to local purveyors. As touristy as it is, Pike Place Market really is ground zero for everything culinary in Seattle. It is certainly one of the most impressive open-air markets in the country and, if you can brave the crowds, should be a tasty tour.

Let’s make for the Waterfront next. Along the way, we’ll pass by the iconic Gum Wall, which recently got a scrubbing, and the Seattle Art Museum .

Slightly off the beaten path are two of the more unique sites in Seattle: the Central Library and Freeway Park. Both are designed in ultra-modern fashion and make for great photographic settings.

Arriving at the Waterfront, we’ll be greeted with more popular landmarks like the Seattle Aquarium, Great Wheel, and Pier 55. Just south of here is the main ferry dock, which is where you can catch rides to the likes of Bainbridge and Bremerton. Wander a bit around here before moving on.

We end our day at Seattle’s most magnetic public space, Pioneer Square . Most everyone ends up visiting this central area either to people watch, shop, or to take part in the Underground tours.

Nearby are several notable skyscrapers as well including the Smith Tower and Columbia Center . The Smith Tower is the oldest tower in Seattle and is now an arc for everything vintage.

The Columbia Center is far more contemporary and offers one of the best viewing platforms in the city.

Elliott Bay, Seattle

Day 2: Belltown and Seattle Center

Let’s pick up the 2nd day of our Seattle travel guide at the north end of Pike Place Market in Belltown. Belltown is the poster child for Seattle’s rampant urban renewal – this was once a seedy neighborhood filled with artist’s haunts and squats but is now one of the trendiest parts of the city.

Many of the original staples of the neighborhood, like the 5-Point Cafe and Cinerama, still remain but there are plenty of new additions like the super futuristic Spheres.

Before heading to the Seattle Center, let’s take a quick detour to the Olympic Structure Park. An affiliate of the Seattle Art Museum, this outdoor installation is full of some of the most recognizable outdoor art in the city. Although not a must-do in Seattle, the park is a great place to chill out and take some photos.

Let’s move on to the Seattle Center where we’ll find many of the city’s most iconic points of interest. The Seattle Center was originally developed to host the 1962 World’s Fair and many of the landmarks here, like the Space Needle and Monorail, were built as exhibitions.

Nowadays, the Seattle Center is much more than just gimmicks. Aside from hosting many of Seattle’s best festivals, like Bumbershoot and Pride, the Center also has the Museum of Pop Culture, Pacific Science Center, and Chihuly Garden of Glass.

One could easily spend the entire day wandering around and visiting these attractions, but, alas, we must continue.

We’re going to finish the day by making the steep-ish walk up to Kerry Park. We’ll be passing through one of Seattle’s most affluent neighborhoods, Queen Anne, and will spot many opulent homes. If the weather is clear when we arrive at Kerry Park, you’ll have astounding views of the city and of the mighty Mt. Rainier in the distance.

Seattle city skyline
City of Lights

Day 3: Capitol Hill, University, and Fremont

On the final day for our Seattle travel guide, we head to the alternative enclaves of Capitol Hill and Fremont. Along the way, we will be dropping by some of the prettiest areas in Seattle, including Lake Union, Volunteer Park, and the University district.

We start today on the southern shores of Lake Union. Here, we’ll find lots of rowers and captains hitting the water, as well as the MOHAI.

The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) is dedicated to the history and founding of Seattle and has a fairly comprehensive collection of items, from First Nation artifacts to neon Rainier Beer signs.

From Lake Union, we head east to the Capitol Hill neighborhood, which was once touted as the counterculture hub of the city. While the district is a bit watered-down these days, having been “discovered” long ago, it’s still interesting to walk through.

Turning north, we make for Volunteer Park, which hosts the Asian Art Museum, Seattle Conservatory, and the grave of Bruce Lee. There’s also a water tower in the park that affords some pretty sweet views of the city.

Beyond Volunteer and across the Portage Bay are the University and Fremont districts.

The University neighborhood is home to the gorgeous University of Washington, which has a number of centers that tourists can visit, like the Mary Gates Hall, Henry Art Gallery, and Meany Hall. Near the campus is also one of the most unique places in Seattle, the Blue Moon Tavern.

Over the years, this pub has been the watering hole for many famous intellectuals, like Allen Ginsberg, Dylan Thomas, and, supposedly, Jack Kerouac.

Fremont is kind of the new hangout for alternative types although it’s quickly getting swept up in gentrification. The two most notable attractions here are the Fremont Troll and Gas Works Park . Both are fine examples of Seattle’s quirky

More Great Resources


Seattle is a multi-faceted city that has almost too many activities on offer for tourists. From wine-tasting in Woodinville to taking a yoga class with goats, Seattle things to do are endless!

This may be an extremely busy city, but its landscaping theme has ensured that residents and tourists have easy access to untouched nature and beaches.

Seattle’s location is extremely convenient for all types of activities – whale watching, hiking up a volcano, or within a world heritage site. So, what are you waiting for?

“Find out how YOU can support the site. We work hard to put out the best backpacker resources on the web, for free! It’s all about helping out our tribe of awesome backpacker readers [that’s you!]. Please visit the link to find out how you can help keep the site going 🙂

For the sake of transparency, some of the links in our content are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation, buy a book or sort your insurance, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only link to stuff I’ve actually used and never endorse products or services that are not up to scratch. Thanks for your support.