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Things to do in
Seattle

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

Our most recommended things to do in Seattle

Seattle: Space Needle & Chihuly Garden and Glass Ticket

1. Seattle: Space Needle & Chihuly Garden and Glass Ticket

Experience the stunning views of Seattle from the Space Needle with a timed entry ticket. Take a stroll through the imaginative artwork of Dale Chihuly with admission to Chihuly Garden and Glass. Get access to both of these must-see attractions in one day. Exchange your voucher at the Space Needle and enjoy a thrilling 42-second elevator ride with views of the Seattle Center, the Puget Sound, and mountains. Step out on The Loupe, the world’s first and only revolving glass floor, for never-before-seen views of the structure and city. Lean into tilting glass walls on the open-air outdoor observation deck. Float over Seattle on one of 24 angled glass benches perched around the outdoor deck. After taking in the all-new thrilling views at the Space Needle, immerse yourself in a world where curiosity, creativity and color come to life at Chihuly Garden and Glass. Get an insight into the inspiration and influences that drive the work of artist Dale Chihuly. Make your way through the exhibition’s eight interior galleries before heading out to the richly landscaped outdoor garden and glasshouse centerpiece. Be moved as you experience a comprehensive look at Chihuly's most significant work. Enjoy complimentary digital photo downloads and get access to daily gallery talks and live glass demonstrations. Admission includes a complimentary audio tour that you can downloaded to your smartphone.

Seattle: Underground Walking Tour

2. Seattle: Underground Walking Tour

Take a journey back in time on a guided tour below the streets of Seattle. Explore over 4 city blocks of historic Pioneer Square and wander through 3 underground passageways originally constructed in the 1890s. Learn the history of Seattle's construction and about the tragedy that befell the city and its habitants along the way. Follow along as your guide regales you with fascinating true stories of how Seattle was born and the tragedies that befell it as it formed, including the Seattle Fire. Learn about the rebirth of Seattle after the fire, 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.

Seattle: Space Needle Ticket

3. Seattle: Space Needle Ticket

Save time during your vacation by pre-booking your ticket to the iconic Space Needle. Enjoy the flexibility of a voucher that can be used for the next available timeslot. Take in never-before-seen views of the newly renovated Space Needle and Seattle from above as you float over the city. Exchange your voucher at the ticket booth for a ticket for the next available timeslot. Then, head up to the newly renovated Space Needle. Discover the world's first and only rotating glass floors, the Loupe, allowing you to take in never-before-seen views of the structure and the city from above. Lean into the Space Needle’s newly installed tilting glass walls, and float over the city as you admire the view. Float over Seattle on one of 24 Skyrisers, angled glass benches perched around the outdoor deck. You can also sip and sample some of the Pacific Northwest’s best snacks and beverages while you take in the views. The Atmos Café on the upper observation level features quick and quintessential Pacific Northwest food, plus locally-crafted beer and wine. The Atmos Wine Bar offers beer, wine, charcuterie, locally crafted cheese boards, and savory bites paired perfectly with the view. Both locations are open to all guests with no reservations. Don’t forget to stop at the Space Needle’s gift shop on the 1st floor as you make your way down and get yourself a souvenir-sized Space Needle to mark the memory.

Seattle CityPASS®: Save 44% or More at 5 Top Attractions

4. Seattle CityPASS®: Save 44% or More at 5 Top Attractions

Make use of the Seattle CityPASS® on your next trip to Seatle. See amazing animals, fun pop culture, beautiful art, and incredible views — from the sky and the sea with your Seattle CityPASS® tickets. CityPASS® tickets offer convenient instant delivery and are valid for 9 consecutive days, allowing ample time to experience each attraction. Save 44% or more on prepaid admission to 5 must-see attractions: • Space Needle –day/night admission – includes two visits within 24 hours • Seattle Aquarium – general admission to all major exhibits with additional events subject to change Plus your choice of admission to 3 of the following attractions: • Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour – a 1-hour narrated Harbor Cruise Tour • Museum of Pop Culture (MOPOP) – general admission • Woodland Park Zoo – general admission • Chihuly Garden and Glass – general admission, plus a complimentary audio tour on your personal smartphone Reservations may be required at some attractions. Visit my.citypass.com for up-to-date attraction information including reservations, entry instructions, hours of operation and helpful tips to plan your visit.

Seattle: Chihuly Garden and Glass Entry Ticket

5. Seattle: Chihuly Garden and Glass Entry Ticket

Lose yourself in the mesmerizing mix of colors and light, and glass and steel that is Chihuly Garden and Glass. Take your time to wander through the exhibition's 8 interior galleries, richly landscaped outdoor garden, and magnificent centerpiece Glasshouse. Venture through each gallery and marvel at numerous blown-glass works that demonstrate how Dale Chihuly pushed the boundaries of glass as art. While exploring the exhibition, receive complimentary digital photo download and access to daily Gallery Talks and live glass demonstrations. Let the 40-foot tall glass and steel structure that covers 4,500 square feet of light-filled space – the Glasshouse — completely captivate you. The installation in the Glasshouse is an expansive 100-foot-long sculpture in a color palette of reds, oranges, yellows, and amber. Made of many individual elements, it is one of Chihuly’s largest suspended sculptures. Stroll through a lush garden that serves as the backdrop for glass sculptures made of impossible shapes and brilliant colors.

Seattle: Columbia Center Sky View Observatory Entry Ticket

6. Seattle: Columbia Center Sky View Observatory Entry Ticket

See Seattle from the Columbia Center Sky View Observatory, the Pacific Northwest's tallest public viewing area. Located 1,000 high, this observatory offers a stunning panorama of Seattle's skyline. Choose between 3 ticket options, where you can upgrade to receive a credit to spend at the Sky View Café or gift shop, and even enjoy reserved window seating with the best view. Plan your itinerary from the vantage point of the observatory. Decide between whirling on the Great Wheel, strolling through Pike Place Market, or journeying to the San Juan Islands. Interact with touchscreen 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.

Seattle: Harbor Cruise with Live Narration

7. Seattle: Harbor Cruise with Live Narration

Admire the beauty of Seattle's vibrant and historic harbor on this narrated cruise. Enjoy the fresh air and a bit of history while taking in all the impressive sights, including the famous Space Needle. Start your tour from the Seattle Central Waterfront and get an impressive and comprehensive look at the city's most beautiful sights. Enjoy a perfect trip for tourists and locals alike and take in views from the outdoor open deck.

Seattle: Pike Place Market Chef-Guided Food Tour

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

Stroll through Seattle's buzzing Pike Place Market with a local chef and discover the exciting culinary scene of the Pacific Northwest. Make 9 stops to try a wide variety of light bites from local vendors, whilst learning more about the stories behind the food. Meet your guide and join your small group to explore Pike Place Market. First, watch cheese being made as you learn a bit about the local dairy industry. Then, head to Maiz for an heirloom corn taco, followed by a stop at Hellenika Cultured Creamery for a delicious Greek yogurt. See where Seattle's top chefs buy their vegetables, meat, and seafood, and benefit from a 10% discount card at selected partner vendors. Your chef guide can also give you insider tips on how to find the best products, as well as cooking tips to inspire you in your kitchen. Skip the long lines at Pike Place Chowder and taste their version of a seafood staple of Pacific Northwest cuisine. Hear the stories behind small businesses such as Chukar Cherries, where you will taste several types of chocolate-covered cherries, including Seattle's famous Rainier cherry. Enjoy the entire tour in the company of a smaller group, allowing you to ask plenty of questions and gain an in-depth knowledge of Seattle's food scene, as well as the Pacific Northwest.

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

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

Sit back, relax, and enjoy Seattle's most popular and important sights on this sightseeing bus tour. 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 All About Seattle Ticket, not only will you have access to all 17 bus stops, but you can enjoy the Scenic Panoramic Tour which gives you completely unrivaled views of the city. This ticket also includes a walking tour in the Pioneer Square Historic District, allowing you to take an in-depth look at some of Seattle's fascinating past.  Must See Seattle Route: • Space Needle & Seattle Centre • FRS Clippers • Edgewater Hotel • Pier 66 Cruise Terminal • Pier 55 & Argosy Cruises • Pioneer & Occidental Square • Historic Chinatown Gate • Panama Hotel & Tea House • Seattle Sky View Observatory • Seattle Central Library • Seattle Convention Centre • Pike Place Market • Pike Brewing Company • Seattle Art Museum • Pier 55 & Argosy Cruises • Original Starbucks at Pike Place Market • Amazon Spheres

Seattle: Tall Sailboat Sunset Harbor Cruise

10. Seattle: Tall Sailboat Sunset Harbor Cruise

Experience the romance of traditional sailing on sunset cruise through the Seattle Harbor. Relax on the boat's comfortable seats or take in the views from the high spacious decks. Have the chance to purchase some delicious snacks and drinks while you sail. Hop aboard the schooner 'Bay Lady' and depart from Pier 66 on Seattle's waterfront. Feel the thrill of letting the wind decide the direction of the ship. Admire sights like the Space Needle, Smith Tower, and on clear days, see Mount Rainier's snowy peak. Let the sunset over the mountain ranges of the Puget Sound take your breath away. Unwind with a drink from the onboard bar that serves a refreshing range of drinks like cider, beer, wine, champagne, soda, and water. 

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Frequently asked questions about Seattle

What are the best day trips and excursions from Seattle?

The best day trips and excursions from Seattle are:

Mount Rainier

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.

Explore Seattle

Read our complete guide to Seattle, or discover the city's best experiences.

What people are saying about Seattle

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 2,286 reviews

Amazing time in the space needle. Great views and complimentary print at home souvenir photos. Food was reasonable value and great quality, but definitely ‘light bites’ Chihuly garden and glass is a must see for anyone who is artistically inclined thousands of beautiful and breath taking pieces of blown glass included in the exhibit and the guided tour added many valuable insights to the collections more prominent pieces. Watching a live demonstration of glass blowing practices was a real treat and the artists were happy to answer any questions after the show- they even sell these demonstration pieces in the space needle gift shop! Ending in the theatre the documentaries give a good indication to the type of artist Dale Chihuly is and will transform the way you look at the pieces in the showcase. 10/10 space needle and Chihuly glass&garden is a must for any tourist

Our tour guide Jared was very knowledgeable! Super nice guide very easy hike. I enjoyed all the facts he gave us and backstories. He gave us plenty of time to enjoy the views and take everything in. Definitely worth the trip!

Fantastic fantastic fantastic! Silas was a great tour guide. He found a great balance of history, food and culture. It was a wonderful (re)introduction to the market!

It was a really good tour! Learned a lot about the city of Seattle, and the tour guy was really cool.

Amazing value! Highly recommended for a weekend trip!