As the largest city in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle offers more than grunge music and coffee culture. In fact, Seattle is a city with an incredible arts scene, diverse culture, and almost unbeatable foodie experiences.
Being such a huge city, there are a ton of neighbourhoods to choose from. As a result, deciding exactly where to stay in Seattle can be tricky. Each area offers something slightly different to travellers, and where you base yourself can either make or break your trip.
To help you out, we’ve created this guide on the best places to stay in Seattle. We’ve figured out the city’s 5 best areas to stay in, tailored to different travel styles and budgets.
Whether you want to dance all night long, see all the top tourist sights, or enjoy Seattle’s natural beauty, you’ve come to the right place.
From exploring the history of the city at the Seattle art museum , visiting the many boutique shops before venturing to the Olympic Sculpture Park, there’s plenty to see and do when visiting Seattle. You can even get out of town and visit the beautiful Olympic Mountains.
Here is our guide for where to stay in Seattle, Washington.
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for the accommodation in Seattle. You’ve just gotta visit this awesome West Coast city on your USA backpacking trip. From visiting lake Washington to exploring the markets, there are heaps to do!
Don’t worry, we’ve not just got the neighbourhoods covered. But we’ve discovered the best places to stay from cheap hotels to the best luxury hotels money can buy! We’ve even got a rundown of the best tourist attractions in each area too.
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Best Airbnb in Seattle: Sophisticated Studio with Breathtaking Views of Seattle
Gaze out at an unforgettable view of the Space Needle and the Seattle skyline from the open rooftop of this contemporary studio located in the downtown area. This urban getaway is in a historic building and makes excellent use of the space. It’s stylishly furnished with hardwood flooring, a clawfoot tub, and traditional furniture.
Best Hostel in Seattle: HI Seattle at the American Hotel
Located in Seattle’s hip Pioneer Square District is the HI Seattle Hostel. It provides spacious rooms with modern amenities, and tops it off with a free breakfast! Public transport, restaurants, shops, and nightlife are all easily accessible on foot from the property. It’s the perfect spot from which to explore Seattle and the rest of the Pacific Northwest on a budget.
Best Hotel in Seattle: Staypineapple at the Maxwell Hotel
With Rustic décor and stylish rooms, Staypineapple at the Maxwell Hotel is our choice for the best hotel in Seattle. This trendy three-star luxury hotel has a fantastic bar, a popular restaurant, and a stunning rooftop pool. Guests can enjoy free wifi, a golf course, and on-site bike rental services.
Queen Anne is a haven for sightseers and culture vultures. This centrally located neighbourhood is home to Seattle’s most iconic landmarks and attractions and one of the best places to stay in Seattle for first-timers.
Surprisingly, Belltown is also our recommendation for where to stay if you’re balling on a budget. Tucked between the vintage shops and chic coffee houses are a good selection of backpacker hostels and affordable boutique hotels.
South of downtown Seattle’s central business district is Pioneer Square. The oldest neighbourhoods in the city, Pioneer Square seamlessly combines contemporary life with Seattle’s rich history and is the best area to stay in Seattle for party animals.
Capitol Hill is far and away the coolest neighbourhood and best area to stay in Seattle. Located north of Downtown, this central district boasts a diverse, young and friendly atmosphere. It’s where you can find incredible shopping and very fun nights out.
The Downtown/Waterfront District is the heart, soul and centre of Seattle. It is where you’ll find world-renowned landmarks, including Pike Place Market, and is our recommendation for where to stay for families.
Nestled between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, Seattle is a massive city surrounded by nature. It’s affectionately known as “The Emerald City” thanks to its abundance of evergreen trees, urban green spaces, and incredible views of the Olympic Mountain range.
Seattle is a cultural and commercial hub, home to industry giants including Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon, Boeing, and more. You’ll never run out of places to explore while you’re here! Here we’ve included different areas around the city centre that are great for your trip.
If you’re visiting Seattle for the first time, check out the Queen Anne neighbourhood. It’s a haven for sightseeing and is where you’ll find iconic landmarks like the Space Needle, providing an awesome base for discovering the city.
Belltown is a more suitable area for those travelling on a budget. This densely populated area is full of trendy cafes and bars, as well as cheaper accommodation options. It’s also the perfect spot if you want to be based on the Seattle Waterfront.
The former heart of the city, Pioneer Square is the most established and oldest part of the city. It’s also the best place to stay in Seattle for nightlife, thanks to its endless array of bars and nightclubs. During the day, it offers plenty of opportunities to discover Seattle’s history. If you’re looking for the best hotels for nightlife, then look here.
To the east is Capitol Hill. One of the most diverse and best areas to stay in Seattle, Capitol Hill is a bustling and vibrant neighbourhood famous for its restaurants, bars, and creative institutions. It’s the core of Seattle’s LGBTQI+ community, and boasts a friendly, inviting, and trendy atmosphere.
Finally, the Downtown area is the place to be if you’re deciding where to stay in Seattle with your family. All of Seattle’s top attractions can be easily reached from here, and public transport connections make it an ideal base for getting around the city.
Still not sure where to stay in Seattle? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Seattle’s 5 Best Areas to Stay in
Let’s take a look at each of Seattle’s best areas in more detail. We’ve included our top accommodation and tourist attractions in each, so you know exactly what you’re getting.
The Queen Anne area of the city centre is a haven for sightseers and culture vultures. It’s centrally located and home to some of Seattle’s most iconic landmarks. It’s where you can enjoy the best views of the city, and is our pick for where to stay if you’re visiting Seattle for the first time.
Notable Queen Anne attractions include the Seattle Space Needle, Museum of Pop Culture, the Seattle Monorail, the Children’s Museum, and Discovery Park.
Best Airbnb in Queen Anne: Queen Anne Private Courtyard Suite
This cosy private room comes with its own entrance and courtyard, providing a calm oasis in the heart of Queen Anne. As well as a comfortable queen-sized bed, you’ll get an ensuite bathroom, workspace, microwave, and a minifridge. Shops, restaurants, and cafes are a short walk away, as well as parks and popular attractions.
Best Budget Accommodation in Queen Anne: The Mediterranean Inn
This swanky hotel offers modern and comfortable rooms, as well as a rooftop terrace with stunning panoramic views of the city. Free wifi is available to guests, as well as a fitness centre and airport shuttle. The hotel puts you within walking distance of top attractions including the International Fountain, Pacific Science Centre, and numerous restaurants.
Best Hotel in Queen Anne: MarQueen Hotel
Comfortable and cosy, the MarQueen Hotel is a three-star property in Queen Anne. It has large rooms, comfortable beds, and an on-site gym. It has 59 rooms, all outfitted with essential amenities. Top attractions, bars, and restaurants are all a short walk away.
Best Hotel in Queen Anne: Staypineapple at the Maxwell Hotel
With Rustic décor and stylish rooms, Staypineapple at the Maxwell Hotel is our recommendation for where to stay in Queen Anne. This trendy three-star hotel has a fantastic bar, a delicious restaurant, and a stunning rooftop pool.
Things to See and Do in Queen Anne
- Take the elevator to the top of the world-famous 184-meter tall Space Needle and enjoy panoramic views of Seattle, Puget Sound, and beyond.
- Browse the exhibits and displays at the one-of-a-kind Museum of Pop Culture.
- Explore and play your way through the 13 exhibits at the marvellous Children’s Museum.
- See exquisite and colourful works of art at Chihuly Garden and Glass.
- Take in the stunning Seattle skyline from Kerry Park.
- Get lost in nature at Discovery Park, a 534-acre park that is composed of beaches, forests, bluffs, and more.
- Indulge in your love of SciFi, comics, graphic novels, and more at the Science Fiction Museum.
- Ignite your curiosity at the Pacific Science Centre.
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Sandwiched between Queen Anne and Downtown Seattle is the trendy Belltown neighbourhood. One of the most fashionable districts in the city, Belltown is home to a myriad of bars, boutiques, restaurants and clubs. It’s where you can go to enjoy a day of culture and a wild night on the town.
Surprisingly, Belltown is also our recommendation for where to stay if you’re balling on a budget. Tucked between the vintage shops and chic coffee houses is a good selection of Seattle’s backpacker hostels and affordable boutique hotels.
Best Airbnb in Belltown: Ideal Belltown Condo
Situated in a charming building with views over the skyline, this condo is one of the best places to stay in Seattle. It’s got modern furnishings, a full kitchen, free wifi, and a workspace. It’s blocks away from the beach, Space Needle, and restaurants.
Best Private Room in Belltown: Apartment with mountain views
If you’re travelling on a budget, then check out this private room in Belltown. Situated in a central building, you’ll have access to a kitchen allowing you to save money on meals. You won’t have to spend money on public transport either, as all the top places to visit are all within easy walking distance.
Best Hotel in Belltown: Ace Hotel Seattle
Contemporary furnishings, minimalistic design, and a breakfast room make this hotel one of our favourites in Belltown. Situated 800 metres from Pike Place Market and a short distance from Pocket Beach and the Olympic Sculpture Park, it’s ideally placed for exploring Seattle.
Best Hotel in Belltown: La Quinta Inn & Suites Seattle Downtown
With its central location, comfortable rooms and plenty of amenities, La Quinta Inn & Suites is a fantastic choice for your time in Seattle. This hotel is close to the neighbourhood’s best restaurants, bars and shops. It has spacious rooms and private bathrooms, and there are even on-site laundry facilities.
Things to See and Do in Belltown
- Check out the magnificent sculptures and the stunning shoreline at Olympic Sculpture Park. Be sure to check out ‘Wake’ by Richard Serra, one of my favourite artists.
- Enjoy a breath of fresh air in Westlake Park, a small urban oasis.
- Catch a show at the iconic rock club, The Crocodile.
- Grab a few pints at No Anchor.
- Sink your teeth into a cheap and delicious sandwich at Pho Bac.
- Go to Shorty’s for cheap beer, delicious hot dogs and retro arcade games.
- Satisfy your sweet tooth at Top Pot Doughnuts.
- Kickstart your day with a jolt of caffeine at Bedlam Coffee.
- Play shuffleboard and foosball for free while enjoying drinks at the Belltown Pub.
Pioneer Square is south of downtown Seattle’s central business district. As the oldest neighbourhood in the city, Pioneer Square seamlessly combines contemporary life with Seattle’s rich history.
It boasts classic architecture and cobblestone streets, and it oozes historic charm around every turn.
Pioneer Square is also an area bursting with fun and excitement. This small downtown district is flush with wild clubs, lively bars and bustling pubs and cafes. Whether you’re looking for an all-night party or just a few cocktails with friends, Pioneer Square is our recommendation for where to stay in Seattle for a great night out.
Best Airbnb in Pioneer Square: Modern Condo with pool
This waterfront apartment is perfect for couples and digital nomads. The flat is fully equipped with modern amenities, and guests also have access to a pool and hot tub. It’s quiet despite being close to everything, so you’ll be able to fully relax.
Best Hostel in Pioneer Square: HI Seattle at the American Hotel
Located in Seattle’s hip Pioneer Square District is the HI Seattle Hostel. It’s our favourite place to stay in Seattle on a budget, thanks to its free wifi and delicious complimentary breakfast. You won’t have to spend a lot on public transport either, as many top bars, clubs, and attractions can be reached on foot.
Best Hotel in Pioneer Square: Courtyard Seattle
Courtyard Seattle has everything you’ll need for a great stay in the city, and more! Boasting an onsite pool, fitness centre, and bar, you’ll have plenty of ways to spend your downtime. The hotel is close to Downtown and is surrounded by things to see and do.
Best Hotel in Pioneer Square: Silver Cloud Hotel Stadium
Silver Cloud Hotel is our top choice for where to stay in Pioneer Square. It is located close to the city centre and is within walking distance of restaurants, bars and clubs. Rooms come with a microwave, fridge, and coffee maker, as well as ensuite bathrooms, it’s one of the best hotels in this area for sure.
Things to See and Do in Pioneer Square
- Enjoy a few moments of peace and tranquillity at Waterfall Garden Park.
- See the four towering totem poles at Occidental Park.
- Step back in time and explore Seattle’s most unusual attractions on Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour.
- Ride the manned elevator to the 35th-floor observation deck of Smith Tower, Seattle’s first skyscraper, and enjoy great views.
- Dance the night away at Trinity Nightclub.
- Eat, drink and listen to DJs spin the latest tunes at Club Contour.
- Hear the best EDM and trance music at The Underground nightclub.
- Listen to the latest music in Seattle’s oldest saloon at the Central Saloon.
- Catch the game and root for the home team at the Box House sports bar.
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Capitol Hill is far and away the coolest neighbourhood in Seattle. Located north of Downtown, this central district boasts a diverse, young, and friendly atmosphere. It’s where you can find incredible shopping and epic nights out.
It is also the heart of Seattle’s infamous music scene. Capitol Hill is packed with nightclubs, bars, cafes, theatres and venues where you can see world-famous and upcoming acts. Whether you’re into pop, trance, alternative, or Seattle’s favourite grunge, there’s something for every music fan here. Capital Hill is known to be one of the trendiest and best areas to stay in Seattle.
Love to shop? Capitol Hill’s Pike/Pine corridor is filled with independent shops and local boutiques selling top quality goods, clothes and jewels.
Best Airbnb in Capitol Hill: Sophisticated Studio with Breathtaking Views of Seattle
Gaze out at an unforgettable view of the Space Needle from the open rooftop of this contemporary studio. This urban getaway is in a historic building and makes excellent use of the space. It’s stylishly furnished with hardwood flooring, a clawfoot tub, and traditional furniture.
Best Hotel in Capitol Hill: Cecil Bacon Manor
The comfortable and quaint Cecil Bacon Manor is a great place to stay in Capitol Hill. The bed and breakfast has individually decorated apartments, as well as a library and garden. A lavish breakfast is provided daily including fresh fruit salad and muffins, and tea and coffee are available throughout the day.
Best Bed & Breakfast in Capitol Hill: Gaslight Inn
With its outdoor pool and tropical plants, Gaslight Inn provides a stunning oasis in Capitol Hill. The hotel is traditional throughout and features wooden furnishings and stained glass windows. All of Seattle’s major attractions can be easily reached from here. With it’s incredible pool it’s one of the best hotels in town.
Best Apartment in Capitol Hill: Fun House 2
This spacious apartment is just steps away from the vibrant centre of downtown Seattle and all of its bars, clubs, and music venues. It’s the perfect place to stay if you’re travelling in a group, boasting large common spaces and comfortable bedrooms.
Fun House 2 is one of our favourites in Seattle but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Things to See and Do in Capitol Hill
- See incredible works of art at the Seattle Asian Art Museum.
- Wander through Lakeview Cemetery and see the final resting places of Seattle Pioneers, and Bruce and Brandon Lee.
- Take a stroll through expansive Volunteer Park.
- Snap a pic with the Jimi Hendrix Statue.
- Enjoy a moment of zen at the Seattle Japanese Garden.
- Grab some rays and go for a swim at Madison Park.
- Dance to classic funk and hip-hop music at Q Nightclub.
- Spend a magical night at the carnival-themed Unicorn bar.
- Sip urbane cocktails at the secret speakeasy, Needle & Thread.
- Indulge in amazing cocktails and delicious treats at Pie Bar.
The Downtown/Waterfront District is the heart, soul, and centre of Seattle. It is where you’ll find world-renowned landmarks, including Pike Place Market, and is our recommendation for where to stay for families.
Downtown is a compact neighbourhood that can easily be explored on foot. Take a short walk in any direction whilst in the city centre and you’ll find yourself experiencing the best of Seattle. Some of Downtown’s can’t-miss attractions include the incredible Central Library, the Seattle Aquarium, The Paramount Theatre, and the Seattle Art Museum.
In addition to its central location, Downtown Seattle is the hub of its transportation system. With buses, light trains, ferries, and more, you can easily explore all corners of the city. You’ll also find some of the best luxury hotels around here too.
Best Airbnb in Downtown/Waterfront: 2BR House Close to Everything
Sleeping four guests, this townhouse provides a comfortable home-away-from-home for families deciding where to stay in Seattle. It features contemporary Scandinavian style furnishings, plush beds, a stocked kitchen, and laundry facilities. It’s got a high walkability score, putting you within easy reach of entertainment and attractions.
Best Hostel in Downtown/Waterfront: Green Tortoise Seattle Hostel
Overlooking Pike Place Market, you won’t find a more centrally located hostel in Downtown Seattle. The Green Tortoise sits in a beautiful historic building and has modern rooms and comfortable beds with a reading light and power socket. Breakfast is also included – you really can’t go wrong!
Best Hotel in Downtown/Waterfront: Hotel Max Seattle
Ideally situated at the heart of the city, Hotel Max is perfect for exploring Downtown Seattle. This three-star luxury hotel has laundry facilities, an in-house restaurant, and a stylish lounge bar. Rooms are bright, spacious, and well-equipped with modern features.
Best Hotel in Downtown/Waterfront: Inn at the Market
This centrally located four-star hotel is our top pick for where to stay in Downtown Seattle. Located near Pike Place Market, this hotel is within walking distance of Seattle’s top things to do.
It has an on-site bar, free wifi, and a myriad of wellness facilities. Rooms here are comfortable and luxurious. If you’re looking for one of the best hotels in town then this is it.
Things to See and Do in Downtown/Waterfront
- Visit Pike Place Market, the oldest continually operating farmers market in the US.
- See an assortment of art from around the world at Seattle Art Museum.
- Shop until you drop at Pacific Place.
- Browse the stacks at the 11-story glass and steel Seattle Central Library.
- Grab a cup of joe at the very first Starbucks location.
- Dig into fresh and delicious seafood at Elliott’s Oyster House.
- Dine on an incredible fusion of Pacific Northwest and Mediterranean Greek fare at Lola.
- Tease your taste buds at Serious Pie.
- Enjoy an incredible brunch at Dahlia Lounge.
- Take a walk down the iconic Seattle Waterfront.
FAQs about Finding a Place to Stay in Seattle
Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Seattle and where to stay.
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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Seattle
Seattle is a safe destination and an incredible place to be. It’s where history and modernity, nature and city blend seamlessly. From massive parks and unique art installations to world-class shopping, great restaurants, and a legendary music scene, there’s something for everyone. You can even explore the awe-inspiring Olympic Mountains from here too.
Still not sure where to stay in Seattle? Our pick for the best hotel is Staypineapple at the Maxwell Hotel. Set in vibrant Queen Anne, this hotel is modern, spacious, and enjoys a central location.
If you’re travelling on a budget, we recommend this 2BR House Close to Everything in Downtown. Not only is it within walking distance of the best bars, clubs, and restaurants in the city, but it has great facilities and large rooms.
Have we missed anything? Still don’t know where to stay in Seattle? Let us know in the comments below.
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!