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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: 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.

Seattle: Space Needle & Chihuly Garden and Glass Ticket

2. 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: 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.

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

4. 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

Seattle: Harbor Cruise with Live Narration

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

6. 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.

Seattle: Chihuly Garden and Glass Ticket

7. Seattle: Chihuly Garden and Glass Ticket

Located in the heart of Seattle, Chihuly Garden and Glass provides a look at the inspiration and influences that drive the work of artist Dale Chihuly. Experience a comprehensive look at Chihuly's most significant artworks through the exhibition’s eight interior galleries, richly landscaped outdoor garden and magnificent centerpiece Glasshouse. Venture through each gallery and marvel at numerous blown-glass works that demonstrate how he 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. Be captivated by the 40-foot tall, glass and steel structure covering 4,500 square feet of light-filled space, the Glasshouse. 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 up of impossible shapes and brilliant colors. All photos of Chihuly Garden and Glass: © 2022 Chihuly Studio

Seattle: Tall Sailboat Sunset Harbor Cruise

8. 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. 

From Seattle: Mount Rainier Full-Day Tour

9. 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 meeting in downtown Seattle, 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. After lunch, 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.

Seattle: 3-Hour City Tour by Bus

10. 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

Frequently asked questions about Seattle

What top attractions are a must-see in Seattle?

The must-see attractions in Seattle are:

What are the best day trips and excursions from Seattle?

The best day trips and excursions from Seattle are:

Vancouver

What are the best tours and things to do in Seattle with kids?

What are the best inexpensive things to do in Seattle?

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 1,819 reviews

It was beautiful to see Seattle from that vantage point, the Space Needle. I especially enjoyed it because of movies and sitcoms the Space Needle was used as a backdrop. I experienced it in the flesh! Chihuly Glass Garden was mind blowing! As in the 60's slang term, "It was far out!

Chef Sean was very knowledgeable and upbeat! Only con was we didn’t go to Pike Place Chowder, Beecher’s, or Elleno’s Yogurt as described in the tour summary. We would’ve appreciated at least one…

Our Tourguide was incredible. Funny, well versed in the information and so entertaining. Had a great time. Thank you so much!

Highly recommend the double ticket. One could take their time at each location with no sense if having to rush.

The personnel were friendly and gave me good advice to enjoy the Space Needle experience.