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Things to do in Seattle

Things to do in  Seattle

Welcome to Seattle

Set on the Puget Sound, with Mount Rainier framing the distinctive skyline, Seattle showcases an energetic mix of urban cool with rugged natural beauty. For an overview and incredible views, head to the top of the Space Needle. Back at ground level, browse the bustling stalls of Pike Place Market or brush up contemporary life at the Museum of Pop Culture. The Chihuly Garden and Glass and the Boeing factory provide more indoor diversions. Experience nature with a boat trip to the nearby islands or a day trip to the mountains. And when it rains, duck into one of Seattle’s famous coffee shops.

Top 10 attractions in Seattle

#1
Space Needle

Space Needle

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Seattle’s Space Needle, one of the Pacific Northwest’s most distinctive icons, rises 605 feet (184 meters) above the city. Once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River at the time of its construction—built for the 1962 World’s Fair—the tower features a rotating restaurant and an observation deck at 520 feet (158 meters) with 360-degree panoramic views over Seattle and its surroundings.More
#2
Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market

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Every day from dawn to dusk, Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market buzzes with locals and tourists alike, who come to browse the 150 stalls of fresh seafood, produce, flowers, artisanal products, and local art, as well as see the numerous street performers wandering throughout.More
#3
Fremont District

Fremont District

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Seattle’s funky, irreverent, and always colorful Fremont neighborhood is a vibrant place to explore. The area bills itself as the “Center of the Universe,” and it’s a hotbed of interesting landmarks. Visitors stroll along the scenic Ship Canal and grab coffee, artisan chocolate, craft beer, or a full dinner at one of Seattle’s best restaurants.More
#4
Seattle Waterfront

Seattle Waterfront

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When a city has an enviable location on a large body of water, like Puget Sound, the waterfront becomes a top attraction. This is definitely true in Seattle, where the nearly 20-block stretch along the water is home to restaurants, hotels, markets, shops, and more than a dozen piers.More
#5
Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square

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Pioneer Square, where Seattle’s founders first settled in 1852, is a bustling district in the southwest corner of downtown Seattle. The shop- and nightlife-laden neighborhood takes its name from the small, triangular cobblestone plaza known as Pioneer Square Park, and features a bust of Chief Seattle, an ornate pergola, and a totem pole.More
#6
Seattle Center

Seattle Center

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Spread across 74 acres (30 hectares) in the heart of the city, Seattle Center was built for the 1962 World’s Fair and today houses many of the city’s top attractions. This is where you’ll find the Space Needle, International Fountain, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Pacific Science Center, Museum of Pop Culture, and Seattle Children’s Museum.More
#7
Mt. Rainier National Park

Mt. Rainier National Park

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One of the oldest national parks in the United States, Mt. Rainier National Park was established in 1899 to preserve the wilderness surrounding Mount Rainier. Encompassing 369 square miles (956 square kilometers) of old-growth forests, wildflower meadows, glacial scenery, and wildlife, it’s a must-visit for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.More
#8
Lake Washington

Lake Washington

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More than just the second-largest lake in all of Washington State, Lake Washington defines Seattle as a city intimately tied to the water. Residents and visitors alike come to Lake Washington to connect with the natural beauty of the landscape, which includes views of Mt. Rainier and the Cascade Mountains.More
#9
Lake Union

Lake Union

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Just north of downtown Seattle, the glacially carved freshwater Lake Union is ringed with houseboats—including the one made famous by the movieSleepless in Seattle—and home to numerous recreational opportunities. The lake is a true urban gem, contributing to Seattle’s high standard of living.More
#10
Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

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Learn about the annual phenomenon of salmon spawning at Seattle’s Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, known locally as the Ballard Locks, where three types of Pacific salmon pass through the fish ladder during the summer months on the way upriver to their spawning grounds.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Seattle

How to Spend 2 Days in Seattle

5 Ways to Get Out on the Water in Seattle

5 Ways to Get Out on the Water in Seattle

Pike Place Fishmonger Tips for Selecting Seafood

Pike Place Fishmonger Tips for Selecting Seafood

Top activities in Seattle

Mt. Rainier Day Trip from Seattle
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Mt. Rainier Day Trip from Seattle

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Seattle Harbor Cruise

Seattle Harbor Cruise

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Pike Place Market Food Tour
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Pike Place Market Food Tour

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Best of Olympic National Park from Seattle: All-Inclusive Small-Group Day Tour
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Chef Guided Food Tour of Pike Place Market- 2 Hours
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Snoqualmie Falls and Seattle Winery Tour
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4 Hour Seattle City Tour

4 Hour Seattle City Tour

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Best of Mount Rainier National Park from Seattle: All-Inclusive Small-Group Tour
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Olympic National Park Tour from Seattle
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Seattle Locks Cruise

Seattle Locks Cruise

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Half-Day Guided Tour of Seattle City and Snoqualmie Falls
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Woodinville Wine & Snoqualmie Falls: All-Inclusive Small-Group Tour from Seattle
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4-Hour Seattle City Tour

4-Hour Seattle City Tour

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Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Seattle

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Family friendly tour
Adhi_U, Jun 2022
Explore the Waterfall of Snoqualmie & Two Viewpoints of Seattle!
We went to Snoqualmie waterfall and two different viewpoints in Seattle.
star-5
GREAT experience! Highly recommend!
Richard_S, Jun 2022
4 Hour Seattle City Tour
Great way to see a variety of areas around Seattle.
star-5
100% the best way to see Seattle!
kyra_p, Jun 2022
20-Minute Narrated Seattle Seaplane Flight from Lake Washington
100% the best way to see Seattle!
star-5
Outstanding
Christine_F, Jun 2022
20-Minute Narrated Seattle Seaplane Flight from Lake Washington
What an incredible way to see Seattle!
star-5
This is the best way to go!
Laurel_A, Jun 2022
Mt. Rainier Day Trip from Seattle
Great driver who safely drove us around the park to see the hotspots!
star-5
Great tour
Gary_m, Jun 2022
Premier 3-Hour Seattle City Tour
It was great to see and learn about Seattle.
star-5
Wonderful tour and great guide!
Chenghao_C, May 2022
Half-Day Guided Tour of Seattle City and Snoqualmie Falls
We got to see the different part of Seattle that we didn’t do during our trip!
star-5
Perfection!
Cindy_B, May 2022
Half-Day Guided Tour of Seattle City and Snoqualmie Falls
We were able to see all of the city sights, and the trip to the falls was stunning!
star-5
Great tour & fantastic views!
Kristine_M, May 2022
BEST Olympic National Park Day Tour from Seattle
It was worth it & we will recommend it to everyone who's going to visit Seattle.
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Seattle tour
Richard_W, May 2022
4 Hour Seattle City Tour
Is recommend the tour to anyone wanting to see Seattle.
star-5
A great way to see...
Laura_K, May 2022
Seattle Harbor Cruise
A great way to see downtown from a different view point.
star-5
A wonderful tour of the...
Kim_T, May 2022
Premier 3-Hour Seattle City Tour
It was our first time visiting and we got to see and learn about so many great places, views and hidden gems of this beautiful city.
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Fabulous one hour Seattle history lesson and beautiful views!
Karen_D, May 2022
Seattle Harbor Cruise
We were able to see magnificent views of the city, the harbor and the navy ships up close.
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Fun in Seattle!
Anne_G, Apr 2022
4-Hour Seattle City Tour
We got to see a boat go through the Ballard Lockes from start to finish and even got to witness a creation being made at the Glass Blowing shop.
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Picture perfect trip to Mt. Rainier!
Tanya_M, Apr 2022
Mt. Rainier Day Trip from Seattle
He made sure we we got to see great picture perfect spots before the weather got bad.
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Leavenworth side trip
tess, Apr 2022
Leavenworth Tour from Seattle
beautiful scenery with stopover at BigFoot sigthing and Deception Fall…..
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Highly recommended....
Anthony_C, Apr 2022
20-Minute Greater Seattle Scenic Airplane Tour
You'll get to see Seattle and it's landmarks (famous and lesser-known) from a whole new perspective, and flying in a tiny plane is a blast.
star-5
Great guide, variety of experiences
Randall_C, Apr 2022
3-Hour Seattle City Tour
In our case, we were only in Seattle for the day, so this was a great way to see everything and maximize our time.
star-5
Fun, insightful, amazing
Daniella_P, Apr 2022
Snoqualmie Falls and Seattle Winery Tour
We learned so much about the city, the wineries, and to top it all off, got breath taking views of Snoqualmie falls.
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Most memorable birthday
Marc_U, Mar 2022
20-Minute Greater Seattle Scenic Airplane Tour
Most memorable parts were seeing snoqualmie falls, Melinda gates house, Jeff Bezos house, Seattle’s bridges, downtown Seattle & Bellevue.
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All about Seattle

When to visit

Pack a jacket and umbrella no matter the time of year, as Seattle lives up to its overcast reputation. It takes a little luck, but summer days can fly by without rain, and locals risk the chance by packing outdoor festivals. Summer highlights include big outdoor celebrations such as Seattle International Beerfest and Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival.

Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
PDT (UTC -8)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
English

People Also Ask

Is it always cold in Seattle?

No. While Seattle is no stranger to chilly weather, it's rare for temperatures to drop below freezing, and summers in the city are generally warm and sunny. However, because Seattle gets a lot of rainfall, especially, between October and April, it often feels colder than it actually is outside.

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How can I spend 2 days in Seattle?

Consider devoting day one of a 2-day trip to Seattle to downtown attractions such as the Central Waterfront, Pike Place Market (home to the first Starbucks store), and the Seattle Art Museum. On day two, head to the Seattle Center, home to the Museum of Pop Culture, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and the famous Space Needle.

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What's Seattle best known for?

Seattle is known for its lush surroundings, and it’s easy to get out into nature without straying far from the city—just be prepared for a bit of rain. The Emerald City is also the birthplace of Starbucks and Amazon, and the grunge music movement of the 1990s has long been associated with the city.

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What do locals do for fun in Seattle?

When it comes to having fun, Seattleites have plenty of options. Football fans can check out Seahawks games, while those more fond of the arts have access to ample museums and concert venues. Seattle is also popular with outdoorsy folks, and its proximity to trails, forests, and waterways makes it easy to get out and explore.

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What should you not miss in Seattle?

Seattle’s most popular attractions include Pike Place Market—the site of the first Starbucks—and the iconic Space Needle. There are also tons of great museums, including the Seattle Art Museum, the Museum of Pop Culture, and the Chihuly Garden and Glass. It’s also worth exploring subterranean Seattle on the famous Underground Tour.

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Is Seattle close to Canada?

Yes, Seattle is only a 2-hour drive from the border with Canada. If you have a car, it's possible to visit Vancouver, British Columbia, as a day trip from the Emerald City. Simply pack up your travel documents and drive north on the Interstate 5 until you reach the border.

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What part of Seattle should I visit?

Seattle has plenty of neighborhoods worth exploring, each with its own unique charm. Downtown is great for history and big-city vibes, while Uptown’s Seattle Center features a large concentration of attractions. Ballard is the place to go for dining and shopping, while up-and-coming SODO is a celebrated for its large concentration of wineries.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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