Situated between the Puget Sound and Lake Washington on the West Coast, Seattle is a pleasant seaside haven. The city has a rich Native American heritage as the site where tribes settled long ago; its name comes from Chief Seattle, who was a prominent Native American leader.

Throughout the city, the skyline is dominated by snow-peaked Mount Rainier, whilst if you look up at the cityscape, you’ll see the iconic Space Needle built ahead of the 1962 World’s Fair.

Nowadays, Seattle is renowned across the globe as a centre for modern technological business, with Boeing, Starbucks, Amazon and Microsoft among the international giants based here. The city is also known for its musical heritage – it was here that grunge bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden emerged in the 1990s. Jimi Hendrix was born here, whilst Ray Charles and Quincy Jones among many others started out here on the local jazz scene. This heritage continues today, with great venues like Benaroya Hall where you can see the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Lucid in the University District where you can enjoy some jazz, or the waterfront’s Highway 99 Blues Club, home of the blues.

Although Seattle is a thriving metropolis, you’re never far from the natural world. Take a cruise across Puget Sound for a magnificent view of the cityscape. Further afield, take a 2.5-hour drive to the Olympic National Park for stunning waterfalls and hiking trails. Or head to Mount Rainier National Park, just 90 minutes east of the city.

Back in town, you’ll find shops, restaurants and bars all around. Check out the historic Pioneer Square to learn about the gold rush that made the city boom. Elsewhere, make sure that you visit Belltown, Downtown Seattle, which is always full of life, and the popular Seattle Waterfront. Try the fresh sea fare on offer by the water's edge and at Pike Place Market.

Pay a visit to the forest at Discovery Park to admire all of these spots from a new vantage point. For a different view of the city, go on Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour, which explores the sights of Seattle as it once looked. Then at the end of the day, head for Kerry Park to see the boats crossing Elliot Bay and admire the view of the Emerald City at sunset.

Known for

Shopping, Museums and Theatres

Explore map

Where to stay in Seattle

Downtown Seattle
Image for Downtown Seattle

Downtown Seattle

Shopping, Urban, Libraries

4/5 (93 Ratings)

With great shops, bars and restaurants, as well as plenty of open green space, Downtown Seattle is a beautiful area of the city in which to pass the time.

Capitol Hill
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Capitol Hill

Flowers, Shopping, Culture

4.5/5 (2 Ratings)

Experience the leafy green parks, world-class art gallery and electric nightlife of this up-and-coming Seattle neighborhood.

University District
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University District

Universities, Flowers, Entertainment

5/5 (2 Ratings)

As you stroll through the collection of urban shopping and historic homes, mix in with students rushing between classes or relaxing when their work is done.

Queen Anne
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Queen Anne

Known for Urban, Sceneries, Skyscrapers

Tour some of Seattle’s greatest sights in a neighborhood that encompasses spectacular architecture, colorful art and swaths of green parkland.

Belltown
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Belltown

Known for Walking, Urban, Theatres

Seattle’s ultra-modern side is evident in this neighborhood, where an active arts and partying scene thrives amid its shining skyscrapers.

South Lake Union
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South Lake Union

Museums, Boating, Live Music

4.5/5 (8 Ratings)

One of Seattle’s most scenic neighborhoods, this district houses fascinating museums along the tree-lined banks of its beautiful lake.

Top hotels in Seattle

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Red Roof Inn Seattle Airport - SEATAC
Red Roof Inn Seattle Airport - SEATAC
2 out of 5
16838 International Boulevard, SeaTac, WA
NZ$145
per night
7 Oct. - 8 Oct.
3.6/5Good! (7,803 reviews)

"Red roof is a little tired but always clean and accommodating. Excellent shuttle and close to public transportation."…"

Reviewed on 20 Sep. 2019

Red Roof Inn Seattle Airport - SEATAC
Image for Red Lion Hotel Bellevue
Red Lion Hotel Bellevue
3 out of 5
11211 Main St, Bellevue, WA
NZ$134
per night
11 Oct. - 12 Oct.
3.7/5Good! (2,058 reviews)

"Reasonable prices great staff. Bathroom needs ceiling repair bubbled paint ,mildew on ceiling from inadequate ventilation."…"

Reviewed on 17 Sep. 2019

Red Lion Hotel Bellevue
Image for Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, WA
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, WA
2.5 out of 5
3100 South 192nd Street, SeaTac, WA
NZ$138
per night
13 Oct. - 14 Oct.
4.5/5Wonderful! (2,525 reviews)

"friendly staff. helpful. beautiful and clean. excellent shuttle service. great refreshments"…"

Reviewed on 17 Sep. 2019

Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, WA

Popular activities in Seattle

Space Needle
Image for Space Needle

Space Needle

4.5/5 (35 Ratings)

A towering icon rising high in the Seattle cityscape, this tall modern spire was built back in 1962 as the centrepiece for the World’s Fair.

Pike Place Market
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Pike Place Market

4/5 (57 Ratings)

A foodie’s paradise and the oldest farmers’ market in America, just a short walk up the steps from Seattle’s waterfront.

Washington State Convention Center
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Washington State Convention Center

3.5/5 (3 Ratings)

Thanks to its wood paneling, ancient fir tables and locally produced food, this conference center lets you experience the beauty of Seattle even when you’re inside.

Seattle Center
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Seattle Center

4/5 (29 Ratings)

A product of the 1962 World Fair, this cultural precinct is where sports, theater, film and fine dining come together in Seattle.

Woodland Park Zoo
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Woodland Park Zoo

3/5 (3 Ratings)

From tiny poison dart frogs to majestic lions, this award-winning zoo in Seattle gives you the opportunity to walk among the world’s most fascinating wildlife.

Seattle Great Wheel
Image for Seattle Great Wheel

Seattle Great Wheel

4/5 (16 Ratings)

Take in breathtaking views of Seattle as you are suspended above Puget Sound on one of the tallest Ferris wheels in North America.

Top activities in Seattle

Space Needle & Chihuly Garden and Glass Tickets Combo
Image for Space Needle & Chihuly Garden and Glass Tickets Combo

Space Needle & Chihuly Garden and Glass Tickets Combo

NZ$97

Experience 2 of Seattle’s most iconic landmarks with combo tickets to the Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass. The Space Needle has been transformed recently with a truly one-of-a-kind, multi-level observation deck, and Chihuly Garden and Glass attracts art lovers from around the world thanks to its spectactular glass creations.

Seattle CityPASS: Save on Entry to 5 Best Attractions
Image for Seattle CityPASS: Save on Entry to 5 Best Attractions

Seattle CityPASS: Save on Entry to 5 Best Attractions

NZ$155

Seattle CityPASS® tickets include prepaid admission to Seattle’s top attractions at signifcant savings off the price of the same tickets purchased separately. CityPASS tickets are valid for nine consecutive days, beginning with the first day of use.

Seattle Chef-Guided Food Tour of Pike Place Market
Image for Seattle Chef-Guided Food Tour of Pike Place Market

Seattle Chef-Guided Food Tour of Pike Place Market

NZ$84

Get the inside scoop on where Seattle's best chefs get the ingredients to prepare their spectacular dishes. Follow a chef through the city's world-famous Pike Place Market and interact with artisan vendors who offer some of the world's freshest, most flavorful seafood and produce.

Museum of Pop Culture Tickets
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Museum of Pop Culture Tickets

NZ$47

Hands-on experiences, iconic artifact displays, and in-depth exhibitions dedicated to the past, the present, and the supremely cool moments of pop culture make Museum of Pop Culture a destination unlike any other.

Woodland Park Zoo Tickets
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Woodland Park Zoo Tickets

NZ$36

Immerse yourself in the animal kingdom at Woodland Park Zoo, the 92-acre (37-ha) home to more than 1,100 animals and 300 species. The divided bioclimatic zones allow you to visit greater one-horned rhinos, African giraffes, and Asian small-clawed otters—among the newest residents.

Seattle Locks Cruise - Boat & Bus (Round trip)
Image for Seattle Locks Cruise - Boat & Bus (Round trip)

Seattle Locks Cruise - Boat & Bus (Round trip)

NZ$86

BOAT & BUS Roundtrip Locks Cruise - includes motor coach transfer; Departs and ends at Pier 55 Enjoy a narrated cruise over Lake Union, Hiram M. Chittenden (Ballard) Locks, Puget Sound, and Elliott Bay.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Seattle

Best Things to Do in Seattle When it Rains
Image for Best Things to Do in Seattle When it Rains

Best Things to Do in Seattle When it Rains

If the weather in Seattle turns cloudy and you’re wondering what to do when it rains, fear not. Seattleites don’t let a rainy day ruin their plans, and neither should you.

Everything You Need to Know About Bumbershoot in Seattle
Image for Everything You Need to Know About Bumbershoot in Seattle

Everything You Need to Know About Bumbershoot in Seattle

Navigating the music festival with zero stress

Decadent Chocolate Tours Worth Planning Your Trip Around
Image for Decadent Chocolate Tours Worth Planning Your Trip Around

Decadent Chocolate Tours Worth Planning Your Trip Around

Love chocolate? Love to travel? Here’s your chocoholic travel guide.

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