Travel Guide North America USA Western United States Washington Seattle



Seattle Public Market

Seattle Public Market

© shinenyc

Seattle, Washington, has a left-coast vibe with a high tech spin. The birthplace of Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain has an appealing laid-back vibe and is accepting of alternative lifestyles, but hosting companies like Microsoft and Boeing means you're as likely to run into a systems engineer as a grunge rocker. Well known for its rain, Seattle, Washington is a city of approximately 600,000 people sandwiched between the salt water of Puget Sound and the fresh water of Lake Washington. To the north is the Canadian province of British Columbia. To the west are the Olympic Mountains, to the east the Cascade Range including just off to the southeast is Mount Rainier, the highest peak in the Cascades, and easily visible on a clear day from Seattle.




Most visitors to Seattle tend not to venture beyond Downtown, the International District, and the Seattle Center. That's a shame, since neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, West Seattle, and those north of the ship canal are where much of the fun actually is! Seattleites usually divide the town by districts roughly divided as listed below. Although there are formally 30 neighborhoods and their boundaries are not always clear, there's usually a proud feature that represents each neighborhood.:

Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods

Downtown - Seattle's commercial and financial core, home to the waterfront, the Pike Place Market, and some of the most stunning architecture in the city. The northern area of Belltown has a collection of many of the city's best, if not most expensive, restaurants and bars.
Pioneer Square and International District -The oldest neighborhoods of Seattle, containing classic buildings, art galleries, innumerable restaurants, and the Chinatown.
Queen Anne and South Lake Union - Perched on the hills northwest of Downtown, here you will find wealthy neighborhoods peppered with panoramic parks. On the area's south is the newly developed commercial center of South Lake Union (home of the rapidly growing Amazon headquarters), and the Seattle Center with its Space Needle.
Capitol Hill and Central District - The nightlife and retail core of Pike-Pine at the west meets the quiet, diverse residences of Madison Park at the east. This area is also the gay capital of Seattle.

North of the Lake Washington Ship Canal

Ballard - A mostly residential area, home to the canal locks. The area is known for its Scandinavian heritage, chic boutiques, and the thriving historic Downtown Ballard.
Fremont and Wallingford - The self-proclaimed "center of the universe", a bohemian (though rapidly gentrifying) area noted for its public art.
University District (commonly called the "U District") - Home to the sprawling University of Washington campus, numerous inexpensive eateries, and plenty of entertainment.
North Seattle - The city's mostly residential and gently gentrifying northernmost tier, bordering Shoreline. It contains many of the largest and prettiest parks of Seattle. Noticeable commercial activity is present in the Northgate, Aurora, and Lake City neighborhoods.

South of Downtown and I-90

SoDo and Georgetown - Continuing south of Downtown past the sports stadiums, this industrial district contains the well-hidden but thriving Georgetown neighborhood.
South Seattle - A mostly residential area bordering Lake Washington, served by light rail and home to Jefferson and Seward Parks.
West Seattle - A scenic residential area with great parks, ample beaches and wonderful vistas over the harbor and Downtown.

While in Seattle you will likely hear reference to the "Eastside", which refers to the region east of Lake Washington comprising the suburbs of Bellevue, Kirkland, and Redmond.



Sights and Activities

Space Needle, Seattle, WA

Space Needle, Seattle, WA

© GregW

The Space Needle

In 1962 Seattle hosted the world fair, and decided on a theme of Century 21, and wanted something futurist to be the visual anchor point for the fair grounds. Inspired by the Stuttgart TV tower in Germany, the architects decided on a tower, eventually topping the tower with a flying saucer to represent the Jetson-esque world that would await us in the year 2000. The needle includes the Sky City restaurant, the world's "first" revolving restaurant.

Seattle Waterfront

Seattle has a number of piers jutting out into Elliot Bay, originally built to handle Pacific sea traffic, most of the piers now house tourist attractions or cruise ships. Seattle still is the 9th busiest port in the USA, though the majority of the cargo traffic is handled away from the downtown core nowadays. There is a sculpture garden near the north end of the waterfront.


Sure, this corporate behemoth can be found all over the world, but, as is fitting for a city with so much rain, the original Starbucks is still open, and serves as both a tourist attraction and a coffee stand. The original logo of a bare-breasted mermaid on a brown background is proudly displayed in the original store. With over 200 coffee shops in the center city neighborhoods alone, there are also many other local coffee houses to try.

Pike's Place Market

Place Market, a 9 acre public market in operation since 1907, selling everything from produce to tourist kitsch. The most popular attraction in Pike Place Market, however, is the Pike Place Fish Market. The fishmongers at the Pike Place Fish Market don’t hand each other fish, they toss them full force at each other. The Pike Place Fish Market has been featured on many TV shows, and you are bound to see them on any TV show featuring Seattle tossing fish out into the crowds. There is also a walking Ghost Tour.

Other Sights and Activities



Events and Festivals

Hundreds of concerts and dozens of festivals take place throughout Seattle. While there are festivals all year long, the bulk of these are concentrated between the months of May and September. The NW Folklife Festival at the Seattle Center at is considered the kickoff event for the festival season and the Bumbershoot music festival over Labor Day weekend hearkens the end of the season.

Many festivals take place in centre city neighborhoods including:

Seattle also has strong holiday traditions which include a downtown and area malls bustling with shoppers, carolers and the like. There are also many traditional activities such as the lighting of the Westlake holiday tree, Westlake Carousel, Santa at Nordstrom's and an ice skating rink at the Seattle Center. The Macy's parade on the day after Thanksgiving is also a long standing tradition in Seattle, but there are rumors that it may not continue.


  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.


  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.




Seattle generally has a wet climate. Look outside at any given moment in Seattle and you are likely to see overcast clouds. While it rains often, it doesn't rain very much and the city gets an annual rainfall of about 37 inches (940 mm) – less than New York, Honolulu or Miami. On average, it rains in Seattle at least half of the time, and the wettest months are between January and May and between October and December.

Summer is the driest and warmest time in the city, but there are occasional summer thunderstorms. Temperatures in June to August usually hover around a pleasant 24 °C, but the city also has been known to suffer through week-long heat spells with temperatures averaging around 30 °C. [1]

The weather also varies quite a bit over short geographies in the region and even within short periods of time within a given day. During the autumn and early winter there are often heavy winds. Other than heavy wind and occasional flooding there has historically been little in the way of natural disasters in the region. Seattle weather is quite mild compared to other areas of the United States with very little in the ways of extreme temperature or precipitation.

Avg Max7.2 °C9.7 °C11.5 °C14 °C17.7 °C21.1 °C24 °C24 °C20.7 °C15.4 °C10.3 °C7.3 °C
Avg Min1.8 °C3 °C3.6 °C5.1 °C7.9 °C11.1 °C12.9 °C13.2 °C11.1 °C7.7 °C4.5 °C2.1 °C
Rainfall136.7 mm101.3 mm89.9 mm59.2 mm43.2 mm38.1 mm19.3 mm29 mm47.8 mm82 mm148.1 mm150.1 mm
Rain Days15.513.113.710.67.863.44.56.81015.315.8



Getting There

By Plane

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (IATA: SEA, ICAO: KSEA) serves the cities of Seattle and Tacoma. Also known as Seattle-Tacoma Airport, it is located south of Seattle, about 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometres) from Interstate 5. The major airlines using this airport are Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and Northwest Airlines. In total, there are about 25 airlines serving the airport, with main destinations being Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Amsterdam, Paris, Atlanta, Anchorage, Boston, Chicago, Cancun, Dallas, Houston, Denver, Honolulu, Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Washington, D.C., San Diego, New York City, Seoul, London, Beijing, Tokyo, Memphis, Detroit, Osaka, Salt Lake City, Taipei, Reykjavik, Frankfurt, Seoul, Albuquerque, Baltimore, Nashville, St. Louis, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Charlotte.

To/from the airport

  • Car: The drive to downtown Seattle from Seattle-Tacoma Airport will take 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the traffic. If you are driving yourself, from the airport to downtown Seattle, start going towards the AIRPORT EXIT on NORTH EXIT WAY, take the WA-518 EAST ramp, merge on WA-518 EAST, take the I-5 NORTH EXIT, merge on I-5 NORTH and head north for 10 miles (16 kilometres). You will see the Seattle skyline approaching as you near downtown. There are several downtown exits; exit 165 will take you to Seneca Street in the heart of downtown Seattle; if you take exit 167 and follow the SEATTLE CENTER signs, this will take you to the Seattle Center and the Space Needle.
  • A trip to downtown Seattle from the airport on public transportation takes 30 to 40 minutes. King Couny Metro buses and and Sound Transit regional express buses offer services.
  • There is also a scheduled bus service to downtown Vancouver, Canada through Quick Shuttle, with other pick up stops at downtown Seattle, Bellingham International Airport, and drop off stops just inside the Canadian-U.S. boundary and at Vancouver International Airport.
  • Rail: There is also now a light rail option for getting to Downtown Seattle from Sea-Tac Airport. This Central Link is operated by Sound Transit.
  • Taxis, rental cars and door-to-door shuttle service are available. Rental car options include companies like Hertz, Avis, Budget, Thrifty, Enterprise and Alamo/National.

By Train

A number of Amtrak train travel between Seattle and other cities in the USA and Canada. These include:

  • The Amtrak Cascades between Seattle and Vancouver, Canada, and Seattle south to Eugene, via Tacoma, Portland and Salem.
  • The Coast Starlight between Seattle and Los Angeles, via Portland.
  • The Empire Builder between Seattle and Chicago.

By Car

The main road feeding traffic into and out of Seattle is Interstate 5. I-5 runs north-south. There are also two major freeways between Seattle and cities in eastern King County. These are Interstate 90 and Interstate 405. I-90 runs east-west and 405 forms a loop, connecting with I-5 north and south of Seattle.

By Bus

  • Greyhound has buses to and from downtown Seattle from eastern Washington, Oregon and British Columbia
  • Sound Transit is a regional transit system covering King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties
  • King County Metro is the main bus system for getting around in Seattle and other areas in King County
  • Pierce Transit is the bus system for Pierce County. There are commuter buses running from Pierce County cities such as Tacoma and Lakewood to Downtown Seattle
  • Community Transit is the transit system for Snohomish County. Includes commuter service to cities in King County, including Seattle.

By Boat



Getting Around

By Car

Seattle is a notoriously congested city with rush hours sometimes blending into each other. If you must drive, be prepared for sudden changes in weather as there can be rain, sun, ice and fog all in a short period of time. Sudden rains can often create slick roadways as oil pools up on the asphalt.
Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

By Public Transport

Public transport is easy and plentiful. By and large, Seattle relies on buses to get around. Be aware that there are multiple systems so you may need to ask around to get the right bus schedule. There is, however, one regional transit pass (called ORCA) that can now be loaded with funds to cover all local systems, including the ferries and commuter trains. Without the pass, you no longer get paper transfers so it is a good investment if you use public transit.

By Foot

Seattle is a surprisingly walkable city despite it's many tall hills. Once away from the core, however, there are many neighborhoods without sidewalks, so one must be careful when walking in the immediate suburbs.

By Bike

In recent years, there has been increased campaigning for bike-friendly infrastructure and numerous lanes and "sharrows" (shared bike/car lanes) have been marked throughout the city. There is also the 27-mile Burke-Gilman which is popular both for recreational and commuter biking. According to the Seattle Department of Transportation: "Seattle has about 28 miles (45 kilometres) of shared use paths, 22 miles (35 kilometres) of on-street, striped bike lanes, and about 90 miles (145 kilometres) of signed bike routes."




Local chains and hole-in-the-wall restaurants dominate the city's dining atmosphere, and hearty, inexpensive meals can be found all over the city. Note that many Seattle restaurants, particularly the hole-in-the-wall establishments, only accept cash.

Seattle has an enviable variety of foods and is especially well known for it's diverse selection of Asian based culinary venues including Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese, Korean BBQ, among others. Other "ethnic" food outlets also abound such as Ethiopian and Middle Eastern restaurants. Urban Spoon maintains an excellent guide to Seattle restaurants.

Seattle's proximity to Alaska and the waters of the Pacific Ocean make it an excellent place to enjoy seafood. Look for salmon during the late summer months as options are abundant and the prices are among the cheapest on the West Coast, especially the red (sockeye) salmon. Shellfish are a prized resource of the Puget Sound, where the cool, clean waters provide an optimal habitat. Clams, mussels and oysters can be found easily, but other specialties like geoducks (pronounced GOO-ey-ducks) are sometimes available for the more adventurous. The Dungeness Crab, named for a nearby town on the Sound, is a popular seafood prized for its sweet, tender flesh and high ratio of meat. The Dungeness is a commercially important crab in Washington's waters but other crab species are also common. The Alaskan King Crab, caught from the deep cold waters of the Pacific Ocean near Alaska, has a more frequent presence here than the rest of the lower 48.

Donut shops and bakeries are virtually everywhere, with some offering warm in-house brewed coffee, making them an excellent delight in the cold weather or as a snack.

The mild climate also supports many types of fresh produce. Farmers' markets are a normal occurrence on the weekends, especially in residential areas, and they usually have better quality produce than what you can get at supermarkets. They're an excellent opportunity to taste local delicacies and experience the local culture. Apples, which are exported from Washington and shipped all over the world, are in season around October.

If you are interested in dining in, there has traditionally been a dearth of supermarkets[2], especially in the southern neighborhoods and downtown areas. This has been changing in recent years, however. Farmers markets are also an option (some are seasonal so check ahead for hours and locations). This includes the famous year-round Pike Place Market.




Few, if any, American cities can challenge Seattleites' love of coffee. This is perhaps best signified by the Seattle-based international chain Starbucks, but locals aren't satisfied by recognized chains alone, as evidenced by the hundreds of good locally owned coffeehouses. The best places to look for coffee are in Capitol Hill or Queen Anne Hill, where they take matters of coffee very seriously.

Microbreweries are a Northwest specialty, and Seattle has many to offer for beer enthusiasts. The larger brewers, like Redhook and Pyramid, distribute their products regionally or nationally, while other brews can only be found in local stores or bars (some notable brewers don't bottle their product). Elysian, with three pubs in various neighborhoods, and the Pike Brewing Company, located in Pike Place Market, are other popular local brewers. Many microbreweries have set up shop in South Seattle and Washington State is one of the largest growers of hops in the world making this key beer making ingredient readily available.

Wine is another Northwest specialty, and there are a number of wineries just thirty miles from Seattle proper in Woodinville. Many more can be found a 2-3 hour drive away on the other side of the Cascades in Washington Wine Country. You can find local vintages in grocery stores, wine shops, restaurants, and wine bars such as Bottlehouse and Purple.

Like any other city with a large Asian population, bubble tea or boba milk tea shops has been recently popping up, and are popular among young people. Bubble tea is basically milk tea with various flavors and tapioca balls. Many of these shops also offer Asian snacks and delicacies. If you are thirsty and hungry, and budget is your main concern, this can be a good option. Most of these can be found in the University District as well as a few in the International District.

The nightlife scene in Seattle used to be about going out to see grunge or industrial bands in local bars and taverns. Back in the 1990s there were dozens of these places throughout the city. Many are now defunct including the famous OK Hotel (made famous by the movie Singles). However, there are still a ton of great places to choose from for a drink.

Happy Hour in Seattle maintains a list of happy hour times and locales throughout the city including prices.
Some popular bars are:

A local magazine, The Stranger also maintains a comprehensive list of local watering holes.




For such a large city, there is a surprising lack of accommodation options available, thus rooms in Seattle are more on the expensive side. Most sleeping options are in Downtown and consist mostly of mid-range or high-end hotels. Other options, especially budget hotels and hostels can be found near the Seattle Center, the University District, the International District, and in North Seattle. There are also bed and breakfast options in Fremont, Ballard, and Capitol Hill. Steer clear of the motels along Aurora Avenue N, as there are many sketchy places where you stay at your own risk.

Alternatives to Seattle accommodations are a train ride away south in Tukwila & SeaTac, especially the areas surrounding the airport but also down in an area by SouthCenter Mall in Tukwila, as there are plenty more hotels to choose from with a wide range of rates. You can also find more options for hotels across the I-90 bridge to Bellevue or other towns on the other side of Lake Washington, such as Kirkland, Issaquah, or Renton.

The Seattle visitors site offers links to hotel and hostels in the area, and can be found by following this link.

  • Ace Hotel, 2423 1st Ave, ☎ +1 206 448-4721. Budget hotel in the Belltown area. Rooms have an option of shared bath. Minimum furniture and quaint. Shared bath rooms from $120, deluxe from $200.
  • City Hostel Seattle, 2327 2nd Ave, ☎ +1 206 706-3255, toll-free: +1-877-846-7835. Warm friendly accommodation. Private room available. Free breakfast and Wi-fi. All rooms have murals painted by local artists. $25 dorms.
  • Green Tortoise Hostel, 105b Pike St (right across the street from the famous Pike Place Market), ☎ +1 206 340-1222, toll-free: +1-888-424-6783. Has a view of the Puget Sound and the Market, 30 bunk rooms in the elegantly restored Elliot Hotel Building. Free internet stations and WiFi, free dinner 3 nights a week, and free breakfast every morning. The Green Tortoise is a Seattle backpacker institution that also runs festive low-budget bus tours to Mexico and Central America.
  • Hotel Five Seattle, 2200 5th Ave, toll-free: +1-866-383-1830. Its namesake comes from the site of the hotel at Fifth Avenue, below the monorail tracks. Urban-designed rooms. Complimentary shuttle and bike to roam the city. From $125.
  • La Quinta Inn & Suites Seattle Downtown, 2224 8th Ave, ☎ +1 206 624-6820, toll-free: +1-877-846-7835. Very close to Seattle Center and the downtown shopping core. High-speed internet in rooms and free breakfast included. From $130.
  • Belltown Inn, 2301 3rd Avenue, ☎ +1 206 529-3700. This little establishment at the heart of Belltown offers kitchenette on every room. Rooms only have fans for summer. From $190.
  • Executive Hotel Pacific, 400 Spring St, toll-free: +1-888-388-3932. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. A small hotel in the Belltown area. Standard rooms have small bathrooms, deluxe are slightly larger, suites' bedrooms are perfect for a family and features free Internet and newspaper. From $150.
  • Hotel Max, 620 Stewart St, toll-free: +1-866-833-6299. In the heart of downtown, offers an artistic setting for both business and leisure travelers. From $150.
  • Mayflower Park Hotel, 405 Olive Way, ☎ +1 206 623-8700, toll-free: +1-800-426-5100. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: Noon. Built in 1927, the centrally-located hotel retains its classical colors on most of its interior, with modern amenities in the rooms such as flat-screen TV and coffee machine. Wi-Fi is complimentary. From $215.
  • Motif Seattle, 1415 Fifth Ave, ☎ +1 206 971-8000, fax: +1 206 971-8100. Distinctive downtown hotel featuring modern lifestyle amenities, concierge, restaurants and lounges, meeting venues, business & fitness centers, and Seattle's largest rooftop dining patio - a unique Seattle Lodging experience. From $175.
  • Palladian Hotel, 2000 2nd Avenue, ☎ +1 206 448-1111, toll-free: +1-855-808-0900. A new addition to the downtown hotel industry, the boutique hotel, developed by Kimpton, adopts a European flair. Every room is equipped with a yoga mat and a daily social (wine) hour is available at the hotel's classic bar. From $200.
  • Renaissance Seattle Hotel, 515 Madison St, ☎ +1 206 583-0300. A full service hotel in the heart of downtown. From $210.
  • The Roosevelt Hotel, 1531 7th Avenue, ☎ +1 206 429-4320. Another boutique and historic option at Belltown. From $180.
  • Warwick Seattle, 401 Lenora Street, ☎ +1 206 443-4300. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. One of the few budget options in the middle of downtown. Rooms have a view of either the skyline or the Space Needle, added with a Juliet balcony. From $150.
  • Alexis Hotel, 1007 1st Ave (near the Coleman ferry docks), ☎ +1 206 624-4844. This art-themed hotel has original works throughout the lobby and in the rooms. Furthermore, it sports a big old Dale Chihuly glass piece in the lobby. From $280.
  • The Edgewater, Pier 67, 2411 Alaskan Way, ☎ +1 206 728-7000, toll-free: +1-800-624-0670. Near the Pike Place Market, right on the water, and famous for three things: you could at one time literally fish right out of your window, it was the site of a notorious Led Zeppelin incident, and the Beatles stayed here during their 1964 tour. Rooms either face the city with no great view other than the Space Needle, or face the water. These latter rooms enjoy the non-stop action of the ferries and cruise liners in the harbor. The restaurant is elegantly decorated with a few outdoor tables right over the water. From $300.
  • The Fairmont Olympic, 411 University St, ☎ +1 206 621-1700. The only hotel in the Northwest to win a five-diamond award. Pulls off grand and luxurious perfectly, is in the middle of downtown. From $300.
  • Hotel 1000, 1000 1st Ave, ☎ +1 206 957-1000. New high-tech, boutique style hotel in downtown. From $250.
  • Hotel Andra, 2000 4th Ave, ☎ +1 206 448-8600. A hotel of a local brand with a luxury and modern touch. Rooms have private bars and ironing boards, with plush Turkish towels and Swedish bath amenities. The in-house Mediterranean restaurant is managed by the locally-renowned restauranteur Tom Douglas. From $300.
  • Hotel Monaco Seattle, 1101 4th Ave, toll-free: +1-800-945-2240. Centrally located in the historic Pike Place Market downtown, facing the waterfront and Elliott Bay. Short walk to Seattle Art Museum, Benaroya Hall, Pioneer Square, Westlake Center, and lots of dining and shopping. From $280.
  • Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle, 2125 Terry Ave, ☎ +1 206 264-8111. Designed by Hirsch Bedner, AAA 4-Diamond award recipient hotel. From $250.
  • Sheraton Seattle, 1400 6th Ave, ☎ +1 206 621-9000. Immediately adjacent to the convention center. From $280.
  • W Seattle, 1112 4th Ave, ☎ +1 206 264-6000. For the terminally hip traveler. Decorated in a stunning palette of black, black, silver, cream, and black. From$280.
  • The Westin Seattle, 1900 5th Ave, ☎ +1 206 728-1000. Perhaps the hotel that has the most rooms in the city. Standard luxurious Westin-style hospitality. It is linked by a skybridge that connects with Westlake Center. From $280.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)




Due to lack of economic diversity Seattle historically went through many boom and bust cycles in the past. These were caused by fallouts in the timber, shipbuilding and aerospace industries. By the time the "dot com" bubble burst however, the economy had sufficiently diversified so that the city came out stronger than its history would suggest. Despite record unemployment in 2009, the region also fared better than most major cities in the United States during the 2008-2009 recession.

While Seattle is probably best known for aerospace and software related companies, the largest employment sector is health care and social services. Biotechnology and global health are also growing sectors in the local economy. Some of the largest employers in Seattle include the University of Washington,, Safeco, Starbuck's Coffee Company, the King County government, The City of Seattle, the US Federal Government, Nordstrom's, and the Seattle Community College District. There are also a number of large hospital campuses supporting a number of health care and support positions, especially near Downtown (First Hill) and near the University of Washington at the University of Washington Medical Center and Seattle Children's Hospital. Microsoft and Boeing also continue to be among the top employers regionally.

For more information on employment sectors, see the Greater Seattle Datasheet from the City of Seattle.
For information on employment in Seattle, you might check out the State of Washington's Department of Employment Security. They have a job search tool online as well.




There are several private schools as well as the Seattle Public School District.
Often cited as America's most "literate city" [3], Seattle and the surrounding region have a number of 2-year and 4-year institutions including the University of Washington, the flagship school for the State of Washington's university system. Others include:



Keep Connected


There are a number of options for Internet service in Seattle. The most common solution is broadband service from a cable company or phone company. Comcast is the sole provider for cable based Internet in Seattle. Qwest is the main provider of DSL service within the city, though this may vary in surrounding cities and towns. Less popular, but still utilized are satellite dish services such as those with Direct TV or Dish Network. Clearwire, which is being re-branded under the name "Clear" is also a very popular option. Their wireless technology is marketed heavily in the region. While they are still growing their network using cellular towers to deliver service, reviews of this product by current and former customers have been mixed. [4]

For reviews on broadband service in Seattle, visit DSL Reports.


See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.


The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.


Quick Facts


  • Latitude: 47.620716
  • Longitude: -122.347533

Accommodation in Seattle

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Seattle Travel Helpers

  • travel daddies

    I currently am running a blog for west coast food and many of our posts are based in Seattle. I also lived there for 7 years and know all the best places to eat for any occasion. I could answer anyones food related questions about Seattle.

    Ask travel daddies a question about Seattle
  • Kaceyroo

    My hometown! Expert knowledge! :)

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  • misskailyn

    I have lived in (or within an hour) of this beautiful city for most of my life! Now that I am travelling abroad, I would love to help others discover all the hidden treasures that I will be missing while away!

    Ask misskailyn a question about Seattle

This is version 90. Last edited at 9:01 on Sep 30, 19 by Utrecht. 83 articles link to this page.

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