Seattle's charm lies in its blend of metropolitan bustle, idiosyncratic neighborhoods, and a natural playground of lakes and mountains. Here, you can switch from daytime kayaking to a sophisticated night at the opera. Local officials even came up with a new term — metronatural. The city pulses with a relaxed, educated and progressive vibe.
Nestled between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, Seattle boasts an engaging shoreline: think piers, waterside attractions, and water tours aplenty. The majestic Mount Rainier dominates the city's southeastern skyline on clear days, just 60 miles away. Heading north the same distance, you'll find Mount Baker, one of the world's snowiest locations.
Tech plays a significant role in shaping Seattle's culture. It's home to giants like Amazon, Microsoft in nearby Redmond, and Boeing — a major local employer. The aviation theme continues with The Museum of Flight, a crowd-pleaser that showcases the city's aerospace history.
A Seattle Double Decker Tour is an easy way to see the best sites of Seattle. Hop on or off at any attraction, or ride the entire loop for a complete tour. A lake cruise will give a uniquely different view of the city and its waters. Some lake tours offer dining options to enjoy while you take in spectacular waterfront views. Or, you can enjoy Seattle from both land and water on a one-of-a-kind Duck Tour aboard a WWII amphibious landing craft. Whichever you choose, a tour is a perfect, family-friendly way to explore the many sights, sounds and attractions of Seattle.
In addition to the Space Needle, Seattle's most recognizable landmark, visitors should be sure to include a visit to the world-renowned Seattle Art Museum (called SAM by locals). Popular outdoor activities include whale-watching tours, winery visits and the 270-foot waterfall at Snoqualmie Falls is a shutterbug's delight. Top off any day in Seattle with a wide choice of museums, live music venues and neighborhood coffee shops.
Seattle's dining scene is surprisingly diverse. In addition to the expected Northwestern style seafood restaurants and steakhouses, visitors will find a variety of restaurants with influences from Latin America, Asia, France and other places not normally associated with the Northwest. Many restaurant menus are rooted in fresh seafood, an abundance of small-scale producers, great local wines and an ever-growing pool of talented chefs.
Foodies will enjoy the Savor Seattle Food Tour at Pike Place Market. This two-hour walking tour gets behind the scenes to experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of this historic 105-year old landmark. A gourmet restaurant tour and a chocolate tour are also available in the city.
Seattle is home to both Starbucks and Tully's Coffee but these two caffeine-driven powerhouses are not alone in café offerings of the city. Many independent cafés are finding their niche with a wide-variety of coffee roasts and specialty pastries and food items. A short walk in most any direction will bring you quickly to a café to enjoy a unique treat and a cup of Joe.
True coffee worshipers should visit the very first Starbucks which opened in 1971 in the Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. Because the Market is a historic district with design guidelines, the store retains its original look.
Seattle has no shortage of local bars and nightclubs that are sure to make any visitor feel like a real native. Blues clubs, British bars, Irish pubs, lounges, dive bars and college bars are just a few of the varieties you will find. Just as Seattle's food scene relishes using local products, their bars show local pride with most having at least a couple of regional and local beers on tap. The city was early to the craft cocktail craze, in which hand-mixed cocktails with fresh juices and garnishes push your typical margarita mix.
During the 1980s and early 1990s, a collection of bands from Seattle cultivated a distinct sound commonly known as grunge. A mixture of hard rock, punk and metal, the so-called “Seattle sound” helped foster the contemporary rock movement. Several top grunge bands call Seattle home including Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains.
Seattle is home to excellent shopping all over the city with several unique shopping districts including Downtown Seattle, Pioneer Square, Chinatown-International District, University District and Pike Place Market.
Downtown Seattle shopping is a square of several blocks with large names such as Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom and Gap. Downtown is also the location of two large malls, Westlake Center Plaza and Pacific Place.
Laying claim as the city's "first neighborhood," Pioneer Square is a richly historic place known for its Renaissance Revival architecture, First Thursday art walks, night life and quirky boutiques. The Square runs between the Alaskan Way Viaduct and 4th Avenue, from Columbia Street on the north side to CenturyLink Field on the south side.
The Chinatown-International District is a multi-cultural, diverse area to find unique gifts and shops with roots from all over Asia. The district includes Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Vietnamese and Southeast Asian influence. Just south of Pioneer Square, the eight-block district is within walking distance from Downtown Seattle and Pike Place Market.
Located just north of downtown Seattle and close to the University of Washington, the University District, sometimes called U District, offers a unique formula of locally-owned boutiques and signature national retailers.
Pike Place Market is Seattle's famous waterfront shopping area that features local produce, fresh fish and an abundance of incredible restaurants.
Seattle–Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
You can take public transportation, shuttles or taxis between Seattle and the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Lyft and Uber are also good options.
Sound Transit connects the airport to downtown Seattle on its Central Link light rail. Trains run every 7 to 10 minutes during most of the day, up to 20 minutes during non-peak hours. To get to the station, use Sky Bridge 6 on the north side of the airport.
Sound Transit also provides two bus routes from the airport. Route 560 connects the airport to Bellevue, Renton, Burien and West Seattle. Route 574 serves Lakewood, Federal Way and Tacoma.
King County Metro also provides three bus routes from the airport: Rapid Ride A-line (Federal Way), Route 161 (Burien/Kent) and Route 156 (Southcenter/Des Moines). You can use your phone's map app or the King County Metro Transit app to choose the fastest route. All buses leave from Door 6 outside of the baggage claim on the lower level.
Address: 17801 International Boulevard, Seattle
Phone: +1 206 787 5388
Citizens of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the Kingdom of Brunei can visit the United States for up to 90 days without applying for a visa (as well as citizens of Andorra, Lichtenstein, Monaco and San Marino). Citizens of these countries must obtain an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) before traveling. All other travelers must obtain a visa before visiting the United States. International travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the country.
Best Time to Visit
The perfect time to visit Seattle is late June or early September when the crowds disperse and hotel costs do go down. In these periods you can still enjoy the lovely weather but as it is unpredictable don't forget to bring a raincoat/umbrella. July and August—the driest and sunniest months of the year—mark the peak season, meaning that prices rise due to a significant presence of tourists.
Some key events throughout the year:
May & June: Seattle International Film Festival
May: Seattle Beer Week
Late July to August: Seattle Art Fair
September: Bumbershoot music festival
Chain pharmacies — CVS Pharmacy, Safeway, Walmart, Costco etc. — as well as smaller neighborhood stores operate in Seattle, and while working hours may greatly vary, a few are open 24/7. Pharmacy signs are often in red and white, and they are often located inside department stores. Most of the pharmacies sell both prescription as well as over the counter medicine.
Address: CVS Pharmacy, 1401 2nd Avenue, Seattle
Phone: +1 206 494 3251
The ORCA transit cards are the most convenient way to pay the fare on streetcars, light rail, buses and more.
King County Metro Transit:
The “Metro” public bus system operates throughout Seattle and King County.
Metro's Route 99 connects Seattle's International District, Pioneer Square, First Avenue destinations including the Seattle Art Museum and Pike Place Market, and Elliott Bay waterfront attractions such as the Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle Aquarium and ferry services. Visit Metro Online for a route map and timetable.
South Lake Union Streetcar:
The South Lake Union Streetcar links Seattle's downtown core to the South Lake Union neighborhood and the new 12-acre Waterfront Park.
Seattle Center Monorail:
The nation's first full-scale commercial monorail system provides a fun, two-minute link from downtown Seattle to the Seattle Center daily. The Seattle Center station is across from the Space Needle. In downtown Seattle, catch the monorail at Westlake Center at Fifth Avenue and Pine Street.
Link Light Rail connects downtown Seattle with Sea-Tac International Airport, making interim stops in Southeast Seattle neighborhoods.
Sounder Commuter Trains operate between downtown Seattle, Tacoma and Everett.
Seattle has several major taxicab companies to get you to and from Sea-Tac International Airport, as well as take care of your transportation needs around town.
In downtown Seattle, Lyft, Uber, and metered taxis offer in-city transportation.
Phone: +1 206 622 6500
Country code: +1
Area code: 206
United States Post Office offers all kinds of postal services.
Some of the major post offices in Seattle are located in:
7724 35th Avenue Northeast, Seattle
+1 800 275 8777
415 1st Avenue North, Seattle
+1 800 275 8777
3019 Northeast 127th Street, Seattle
+1 800 275 8777
All power sockets in the United States provide a standard voltage of 120V with a standard frequency of 60Hz. Plug type A has two flat parallel pins.