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Fall in Love with Seattle: 10 Must-Visit Places in the Emerald City

Beautiful Seattle is a super fun destination to visit any time of the year. With its thriving tech scene, artsy vibes, mountain views and waterfront neighborhoods, it’s a city all victims of wanderlust have on their bucket list.

If you finally give in and decide to pursue your travel goals and hop on a bus to Seattle, our guide to the city, which includes the most awesome activities, yummy eateries and affordable hotels the city has to offer, is all you need for a great time in Emerald City. You won’t regret following our advice and exploring this Pacific gem.

Things to do in Seattle

Seattle Waterfront Park

In the heart of the city, you can find the Waterfront Park, a perfect place to visit if you want to enjoy majestic views of Seattle, or simply do some shopping and have a nice time outdoors. At the park, you will find many attractions like the Seattle Aquarium and the Seattle Great Wheel. The latter is a 175-foot tall Ferris Wheel that offers a fantastic view of the city’s skyscrapers, Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains.

There are also many restaurants and cafes nearby, as well as several cruise companies offering boat rides around the bay.

Olympic Sculpture Park

This is perhaps one of the greatest FREE attractions in Seattle. The Olympic Sculpture Park is a green path part of the Seattle Art Museum. It consists of a large sculpture garden that stretches across the waterfront and offers beautiful views of the city, the harbor and the mountains. If you are a fan of morning jogs or mid-day strolls, this is a perfect place to hit, especially since it is attached to Myrtle Edwards Park, which has more than a mile of waterfront trails. The park is located just north of downtown, very close to the famous Space Needle.

Seattle Center

This cultural complex located just north of downtown is a must-visit spot if this is your first time in the city. At Seattle Center, you will find the super iconic Space Needle, which is more than 600 feet tall and offers a magnificent view the city. You can choose to either go up to the top and hang out at the observatory deck or even have a ‘high’ meal at the Skycity Restaurant. Also at Seattle Center, you can visit the Pacific Science Center and the Chihuly glass display, or even take the Seattle Center Monorail into downtown.

The Museum of Flight

If you like airplanes or simply enjoy taking a practical look at history, you will absolutely love The Museum of Flight. Visiting the museum is a super interesting and educational experience, as it offers visitors a comprehensive explanation on how the mechanics of flying have changed throughout time, starting from the very beginning.

This is the largest private air and space museum in the world and has a collection of more than 150 aircrafts, including Boeings, Concordes and Lockheeds. The museum is located just south of the King County International Airport and, although it is not as close to downtown, it is still fairly near (around seven miles) and it is certainly worth the trip.

Places to eat

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market is not only a Seattle institution and the longest-running farmers market in the United States (it opened in 1907), it’s also every foodie’s dream come true and certainly a stop worth making any time you are in the Emerald City.

At Pike Place Market, you will find the aforementioned farmers market, a crafts market, casual and high-end restaurants, countless food vendors offering a variety of international delicacies, and, of course, the iconic Fish Market where vendors throw fish at each other to the amusement of the crowds. Pike Place Market is located by the water, just north of Downtown Seattle on First Avenue and Pike Street.

Chinatown International District

This Chinatown district has been around for more than 200 years and is one of the oldest in the United States. This ethnic neighborhood is a wonderful destination for a foodie adventure as it has several restaurants offering traditional Asian cuisine like dim sum, egg rolls and sashimi.

The area is home to Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Filipino and other immigrants, so in addition to trying delicious food, you will also find many Asian markets and shops where you can buy anything from fresh ginger and hot spices to colorful notebooks and paper ornaments.

Where to stay

Like every big city, Seattle has extensive options when it comes to accommodation. You will certainly be able to find a suitable place to stay that fits your budget and preferences. There are luxurious hotels downtown like the Sheraton Seattle and The Westin Seattle.

If you are looking for cheaper options, the city has many hostels that offer great deals like Hosteling International Seattle and the Green Tortoise Hostel.

If you want to look at additional options, you can take advantage of our hotel search page.

Book a trip to Seattle on or by downloading the free Wanderu app and enjoy your getaway to the Pacific Northwest!

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About the author
Karina Barriga Albring

Karina Barriga Albring

I'm a writer, journalist, soccer lover and hot sauce enthusiast born and bred in the mighty Andes. Wanderlust hit me hard at a young age and since then, it keeps me up at night. NYC and Modena, Italy changed my life, but my favorite destination is still Rio de Janeiro – and not only for the 'futebol'!

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