Things to do in
Seattle

From the top of the Space Needle to the shores of Puget Sound, this metropolis blends nature with urban.

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Our most recommended things to do in Seattle

Seattle: Underground Walking Tour

1. Seattle: Underground Walking Tour

Take this 1-hour journey back in time and allow your guide to take you below the streets of Seattle. Explore over four city blocks of historic Pioneer Square and wander through three underground passageways originally constructed in the 1890's. Learn the historical details leading to the birth of Seattle as it is knows today, and the decision to raise the city streets out of the swampy grounds. See where retaining walls were added alongside the streets and filled to make new roads several feet above where they originally stood.

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Seattle CityPASS®: Save 46% at 5 Top Attractions

2. Seattle CityPASS®: Save 46% at 5 Top Attractions

The Seattle CityPASS includes admission to 5 of Seattle’s most famous attractions, including Seattle’s world-famous symbol, the Space Needle. Built-in 1962 for the World’s Fair, the Space Needle towers over downtown, settling into the skyline with majestic mountains in the background. Other attractions included are the Seattle Aquarium, the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), Woodland Park Zoo, Chihuly Gardens and Glass, and Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour. Seattle CityPASS includes admission to: 1. Seattle Space Needle Visit Seattle’s most iconic attraction—the Space Needle—located in the heart of the Seattle Center, originally the site of the 1962 World’s Fair. From the Space Needle’s saucer-shaped observation deck, visitors enjoy views of Puget Sound and the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. For those who make the trip to the top after dark, the city’s expanse of shimmering lights is the big draw. 2. Seattle Aquarium Discover playful sea otters, graceful octopuses, luminous moon jellies and more. Be amazed by the “Window on Washington Waters” - a 120,000-gallon exhibit with daily dive shows. Touch live sea creatures in tide pools. Immerse yourself in the Underwater Dome’s 360-degree view. Take a virtual trip to the tropics in the Pacific Coral Reef exhibit. Learn about the Aquarium’s mission: Inspiring Conservation of the Marine Environment. Plus admission to 3 of the following: 3 Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) Explore some of the most significant moments in rock music, science fiction and popular culture with hands-on experiences, iconic artifacts and award-winning exhibitions featuring luminaries in the fields of music, literature, television, and video games. 4 Woodland Park Zoo Take a global journey at Woodland Park Zoo—a 92-acre oasis teeming with 300+ animal species in lush, spacious settings. Discover the world of gorillas, rhinos, red pandas, lions, birds, reptiles and more. Meet charismatic ambassador animals at outdoor theater programs. Explore Zoomazium’s indoor nature play space for kids. Experience free-flying butterflies in a seasonal garden and stroll through a 2½-acre Rose Garden. 5 Chihuly Garden & Glass Immerse yourself in a world where curiosity, creativity and color come to life. Visit the Galleries, ever-changing Glass Garden and signature Glasshouse, where you’ll be inspired by artist Dale Chihuly’s innovation and passion. Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour (Reopening May 28, 2021) Learn about Seattle on this entertaining 1-hour, live-narrated cruise of Elliott Bay and the Seattle Harbor. Take in views of the city skyline, mountains, shipping terminals, and historic neighborhoods. Save 46% on prepaid admission to 5 must-see attractions: Space Needle Seattle Aquarium Plus your choice of admission to 3 of the following attractions: Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour (reopening May 28th) Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) Woodland Park Zoo Chihuly Garden and Glass

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Seattle: Pike Place Market Chef-Guided Food Tour

3. Seattle: Pike Place Market Chef-Guided Food Tour

Meet your chef guide and watch cheese being made as you learn about the local dairy industry. Then, head to Beecher's Mac N Cheese and Elleno's yogurt for a tasting. Check out a secret garden that grows food and go to Pike Place Chowder. Discover small business stories like Chukar Cherries and taste several types of chocolate-covered cherries including Seattle's famous Rainier cherry. Learn about bean-to-bar chocolate and where chefs buy their produce, meat, and seafood. This is a unique way to explore Pike Place Market's small businesses and savor the local delicacies. The tour includes 9 different stops with about 15 small bites. In addition to tasting and learning about Pike Place Market, receive a 10% discount card to shop at a partner network.

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Seattle: 3-Hour City Tour by Bus

4. Seattle: 3-Hour City Tour by Bus

Discover the best of Seattle on a 3-hour guided, small-group tour covering almost 50 miles including three main stops: Pioneer Square, Ballard Locks, and a city skyline viewpoint for unforgettable photo opportunities. Sit back and relax as a knowledgeable guide presents Seattle's history, neighborhoods, and attractions. The tour visits the following highlights: • Pike Place Market • Olympic and Cascade Mountain views • Seattle waterfront • Historic Pioneer Square • Waterfall Garden Park • Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park • T-mobile Park and CenturyLink field • Chinatown and International District • Lake Washington • I-90 Floating Bridge • Mercer Island • Puget Sound views • Panoramic Seattle city views • Fremont neighborhood and Troll • Lake Union and Ship Canal • Fishermen’s Terminal • Ballard Locks/salmon ladder • Discovery Park • Scenic Magnolia Bluff with its stunning homes and views • Seattle Center & MoPop

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Seattle Sky View Observatory: Skip-the-line Ticket Options

5. Seattle Sky View Observatory: Skip-the-line Ticket Options

Discover the beauty of Seattle from above.  At nearly 1,000 feet this platform is the tallest public viewing area in the Pacific Northwest and is a perfect panorama to begin your Seattle experience.   Choose between 3 ticket options, where you can upgrade to receive priority entry and exit, receive a credit to spend at the Sky View Café or gift shop, and even enjoy reserved seating with the best view. Plan your itinerary from the vantage point of the observatory. Decide between taking a whirl on the Great Wheel, strolling through Pike Place Market, or journeying to the San Juan Islands. Interact with a touch screen technology to explore destinations, tours, and areas so you can create a virtual itinerary. Overlook the city’s skyscrapers, residential neighborhoods, shipping port, and sports stadiums, then look beyond to the mountains, the sea, and the sky. Be captivated by 360-degree panoramic views including Mt. Rainier, Lake Washington, the Cascade Mountains, Mt. Baker, Elliott Bay, the Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound, the Space Needle and much more.

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Seattle: Underground Donut Tour

6. Seattle: Underground Donut Tour

Take a donut tour of the Emerald City, and discover the best Seattle has to offer. At each location, you will taste a curated sample of the best donuts. Some of the stops on this downtown tour include Top Pot Doughnuts, Dahlia Bakery, and Daily Dozen Doughnuts, all of which are authentic donut institutions. This 2-hour walking tour is led by a passionate donut expert, who will guide you to some of Seattle's best donut locales. The tour can cater to all size groups, both large and small. The donut tour is great for bachelor and bachelorette parties, birthdays, family reunions, weekend getaways, or even corporate events.

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Seattle: Walking Chocolate Tour with Tastings

7. Seattle: Walking Chocolate Tour with Tastings

Reintroduce yourself to chocolate and the cacao bean with this tour of Seattle's chocolate. Learn the story behind each tasting, the history of cacao, and the importance of chocolate in this city. Sample 12 delights at 6 places. Choose from group and private options. Travel to 6 local restaurants, bakeries, and chocolatiers which may include Cupcake Royale, Tom Douglas's Dahlia Bakery, Indi Chocolate, Joe Chocolate, The Confectional, and Fran's Chocolates. Each stop of the tour offers a unique taste and tells one part of the vast story of the cacao bean. Eat a hero's dose of cupcakes, ice cream, cookies, pie, drinking chocolate, and truffles. Try dark, milk, and white chocolate. Eat your fill and have some extra to pack away for later, or impress your guide by finishing it all. Listen as your guide puts each bite into context, both historically and as it relates to the culture of Seattle and the core values of Pike Place Market.

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From Seattle: Mount Rainier Full-Day Tour

8. From Seattle: Mount Rainier Full-Day Tour

Visit Mount Rainier with a professional tour guide and discover all that this national park has to offer on this full-day tour. After getting picked up from your hotel, hop in a comfortable 22-passenger minibus with large windows, high back seats, and air-conditioning and head straight to the park. Experience old-growth forests, wildflower-filled meadows, and thundering waterfalls on this tour of glacier-clad Mt. Rainier. Hike and walk a little, a lot, or not at all: there are options for all abilities. Enjoy lunch at a Mount Rainier café or buy a picnic lunch along the way. Visit the interpretive center at Paradise to learn even more about the mountain’s glaciers, plants, and animals. Return to Seattle through pastoral farmlands and memorable Pacific Northwest scenery. Make a final stop at Wapiti Woolies and try the famous huckleberry ice cream.

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Must-See Seattle: City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

9. Must-See Seattle: City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

On a sightseeing Seattle bus tour, sit back and relax as the tour takes you to the city's most popular and most important sights. Hop on and hop off at any of the allocated tour stops to explore the sights that interest you the most. As you travel, enjoy panoramic views of the city from the open-top deck on the bus, plus a wonderful audio commentary giving you all the information you need. Hop off at popular landmarks including the Space Needle, one of the cities tallest structures and home to a wonderful observation deck and revolving restaurant. With the Premium Ticket, not only will you have access to all 16 bus stops, but you can enjoy a stunning Scenic Panoramic Tour which gives you completely unrivalled views of the city. This ticket also includes a walking tour in the Pioneer Square Historic District, allowing you to take an intricate look at some of Seattle's fascinating past.  Must See Seattle Route highlights: • Space Needle • Historic Chinatown Gate • Seattle Central Library • Capitol Hill & Jimi Hendrix Statue • Paramount Theatre

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Seattle: Mount Rainier Park All-Inclusive Small Group Tour

10. Seattle: Mount Rainier Park All-Inclusive Small Group Tour

Located about 75 miles southeast of Seattle, Mount Rainier National Park sits between the jagged Olympic Mountains and the volcanic peaks of the Cascade Range. The mountain is an active volcano, encased in 35 square miles of snow and ice, surrounded by old growth forest and covered in a stunning carpet of wildflowers. After the drive to the park by luxury Mercedes van, you will soon be entranced by the beauty of the glorious landscape, which soars to heights of over 14,000 feet. Remember to take your binoculars to spot birds and wildlife, such as marmots, coyotes, elk, and black bears. Breathe in that clear air as you take in the sounds and scents of the forests and lakes. Your naturalist guide will lead you on a walk or snowshoe of the Nisqually Vista Trail. If you fancy something a little more challenging, then don’t be afraid to ask. Groups are kept small to allow for maximum service and a truly tailored experience. There will be time to pause for a lunch of delicious local, seasonal produce and wine. Back on the walk, enjoy views of waterfalls, river valleys and even glaciers. You will end the day with a descent down the road to the park’s roots at Longmire. Keep your eyes peeled for deer in the meadow as they make their late afternoon trek to the river’s edge.

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Frequently asked questions about Seattle

What top attractions are a must-see in Seattle?

Planning Your Visit

  • CityPass

    The booklet costs $69 (adults) and $49 (children) and allows visitors to choose up to five top Seattle attractions, including the Space Needle, a harbor cruise, and the Chihuly Garden and Glass, for nine consecutive days. You can even skip most lines at the entrance.

  • Space Needle tickets and opening hours

    Purchase tickets online and choose the day and time to view Seattle's amazing cityscape. The cost for adults is $18 and $11 for kids aged 4-12. The Space Needle Observation Deck is open daily from 8 am - 12 midnight..

  • How do I get to the Seattle Premium Outlet Mall?

    The outlet mall is 30 minutes north of the city. Take Interstate 105 to 116th St. NE, then west on Quil Ceda Blvd. The mall is open Monday - Saturday from 10:00AM-9:00PM; Sundays from 10:00AM-7:00PM.

  • Chihuly Garden and Glass

    The exhibition is open daily Monday - Thursday from 10:00AM-9:00PM; Friday - Sunday from 8:00AM-10:00PM. Admission costs $23 (adult). It's also possible to purchase a ticket that combines a trip to the Space Needle Observation Deck for $33. Book tickets in advance online and select the date and time to visit the two locations.

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    USD ($)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-08:00)
  • Country Code
    +1
  • Best time to visit
    Summer is peak season, so delay your visit to September through November, when you'll still enjoy good weather, but fewer crowds. Just remember, the light drizzle is ever-present!

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Seattle

The Emerald City is the jewel of the Pacific Northwest and an incredible destination to explore. Filled with one-of-a-kind experiences like the country’s oldest public market, epicenter for the grunge music scene, the birthplace of Starbucks, iconic monuments and arts scene, and outdoor attractions to name a few of the reasons that make Seattle a great destination to visit. Megan Indoe is a Brooklyn based travel enthusiast who shares her adventures with her husband and photographer Scott Herder across their travel channels on social media and their blog, Bobo & Chichi.

What should I do on my first trip to Seattle?

Your first visit to Seattle MUST include Pike Place Market. Forget the Space Needle (you’ll see it plenty from afar) and spend your time eating around the oldest public market in the United States. You can also find the original Starbucks here, you can tell which one it is by the line wrapping out the door. But, we would skip that and instead go to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Capitol Hill too!

What are some hidden gems to see in Seattle?

Seattle is full of hidden gems like the Fremont Troll tucked away under a bridge, find quirky museums like the Giant Shoe Museum in the basement level of Pike Place Market, or rent a hot tub boat on Lake Union with some friends for an unforgettable time. Our absolute favorite hidden gem is skipping the Space Needle and heading over to the Smith Tower Observatory instead, which provides a great view of the Space Needle from its outdoor deck.

How much time should I spend in Seattle?

You need at least a weekend in Seattle. Anything less than just isn’t enough time.

What food is Seattle known for?

Seattle has an extraordinary food scene, especially around Pike Place Market where you can join a food tour and sample around the best flavors the market offers. Surprisingly, Pike Place Chowder has won awards for the best New England Chowder beating actual East Coast contestants!

What is the best way to get around Seattle?

We really enjoy getting around Seattle by foot. If you’ve exhausted your steps for the day you can use a Seattle Yellow Cab or ride share app to get around or use the Link Light Rail, which is the local version of a subway and public transportation that’s easy to use and affordable.

What are the best months to visit Seattle?

Seattle is known for being a rainy destination as it rains an average of 150 days a year typically from October through March. While the temperature is pretty mild year-round, the best time of year to visit seattle is the summer which is very comfortable, just bring a light jacket for the evenings or September through October is right past the peak season and still comfortable.

What is neighborhood Pioneer Square known for?

Pioneer Square is one of our favorite neighborhoods and is the birthplace of the city! Here you can find some of the city’s most beautiful architecture and the fascinating underground city. You can join a tour to explore the entire underworld of Seattle and if you’re into spooky things you can join a paranormal tour too as there are several alleged haunted locations including Merchant’s Cafe which has even hosted several paranormal investigation television shows.

What are the best neighborhoods for food? 

The best neighborhood for food depends on what you’re looking for. Pike Place is great for sampling many different options but one of the best neighborhoods for food is Chinatown-International District, home to Seattle’s Asian-American communities.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

Located around 15 minutes from downtown Seattle, the Ballard neighborhood has great weekend flea markets, vintage shops, and a great selection of independent boutiques to browse. Another cool neighborhood to check out for artsy and hip shops is Capitol Hill.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Seattle?

Belltown and the Pike Place Market area are the best centrally located areas to stay in Seattle. You can also stay in First Hill, which is just a slight walk uphill from alot of the exploring you’ll be doing on the trip but provides great views and is still centrally located to many of the best Seattle attractions.

What is the best thing to do in Seattle for couples?

One of the most romantic things you can do in Seattle is rent a house boat on Lake Union and relive the famous rom-com classic, Sleepless in Seattle!

What are the best areas for outdoor activities around Seattle?

The Pacific Northwest really has some of the most beautiful landscape in the United States. If you’re looking for outdoor adventures consider taking the ferry from Seattle to Island Hop. If you’re short on time you can do a quick day trip to Bainbridge Island and if you have extra time you don’t want to miss Vashon Island or Blake Island. Each island has their own outdoor activities and gives you a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Other Sightseeing Options in Seattle

Want to discover all there is to do in Seattle? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Seattle

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 775 reviews

Took my family from out of town on this tour and we loved it. Dave was so insightful and we were delighted to find how respectful and educational this tour is of the indigenous tribes that occupied this area before the settlers arrived. We learned so much about everything from how Seattle was founded and built to relevant facts about the city as it is today (with a ton of good restaurant and neighborhood recommendations). If you want to learn more about the Seattle this hour long tour is the best thing you could do. I would do this again in a heartbeat with other visitors.

Great tour. The guide was interesting, and the sites were fascinating. We learned so much about the history of Seattle.

Our guide was e x c e l l e n t! Lost the business card but I believe his name was Richard.

very small group and all questions were answered with intrigue

So fascinating! Such a great historian was our tour guide!