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    Seattle what to see: places of interest and attractions to visit in the Emerald City

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    Lluis Enric Mayans

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    It may be a little off the beaten path of the West Coast, but Seattle, with its charm of a fresh contemporary city surrounded by splendid nature, would be able to convince anyone who decides to reach it, even if the climatic conditions are not always favorable for a comfortable visit: we are in the remote and cold American Northwest, in the state of Washington , just under 150 miles from the Canadian border; the "hottest" month is July, which barely reaches 25 ° as the maximum temperature, settling on an average of 18-19 °.

    However, as you can read in our article with advice on when to go to Seattle, the climate is slightly mitigated by the presence of the sea and the lake: the city is located in a strip of land between Washington Lake and the Bay of Puget Sound, that channels the waters of the Pacific in a complex of branches and inlets that reach the coast of Olympia, the capital of Washington.

    Seattle it is also called Emerald City, due to the presence of lush green areas scattered throughout the urban area, but is known above all for its futuristic skyline, characterized by the presence of science fiction Space needle and other amazing buildings and skyscrapers. Not only that ... Seattle is the home of Starbucks and Microsoft, it is a natural habitat for intellectuals and artists, it saw the birth of the first groups grunge and has lent some locations to a cult TV series such as Twin Peaks. In short, as we will see, the places of interest and the attractions they are numerous in Seattle.

    What to see then? In this article we want to give you a concise but complete overview of what to see in the city, also giving you some targeted advice a little outside the box, in case your stay is a little longer than expected and you have finished visiting the main attractions.


    • Seattle what to see: map of the main attractions and places of interest
    • Seattle Center: welcome to the future
      • Space needle
      • Experience Music Project / Science Fiction Museum
      • Monorail
    • Downtown Seattle: what to see among markets, museums and green squares
      • Pike Place Market
      • Seattle Waterfront
      • Seattle Art Museum
      • Pioneer Square and surroundings
    • Capitol Hill and Fremont: Seattle's cultural vanguard
      • Volunteer Park
      • The attractions of Fremont
    • City Pass Seattle: a solution to save
    • Seattle tour: day excursions in the surrounding area
      • Mount Rainier National Park
      • Snoqualmie Falls
      • Olympic National Park
    • Where to sleep in Seattle?

    Seattle what to see: map of the main attractions and places of interest

    As mentioned, there are many things to see in the city, but thanks to this map you will be able to understand which attractions, areas and neighborhoods are worth visiting during a trip to Seattle.

    Seattle Center: welcome to the future

    Space needle

    Displaced from the other skyscrapers, the Space Needle di Seattle it was built in 1962, when the city hosted the World's Fair of the Expo: as we have said this is the symbol of ultramodern verticality, the futuristic manifesto of Seattle. What can you admire from this incredible rocket-shaped skyscraper? All tourists aspire to conquer the top of the "Seattle tower": at a height of 160 meters (out of a total of 184) there is an observation point from which you can dominate the skyline of the Downtown and see, in the distance, the massive profile of Mount Rainer.

    Book admission to the Space Needle

    Space Needle admission with guided tour of Seattle

    Experience Music Project / Science Fiction Museum

    Before talking about Downtown and the artists' quarters, we want to briefly describe one of the most talked about and famous buildings in Seattle after the Space Needle: theExperience Music Project (located museum dedicated to science fiction and popular music), with the annex Science Fiction Music. If the content of this splendid museum of music and science fiction is praised by all - and in particular by lovers of Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana and grunge in general, as well as fans of Star Wars and Sci-fi - the same cannot be said. of the bizarre, hyper-futuristic external structure of the building, which arouses some perplexity to visitors.


    In a self-respecting city of the future, an elevated monorail cannot be missing: in Seattle this need was felt on the occasion of the aforementioned World's Fair in 1962, and since then the Monorail has existed that connects the area of ​​EMP and Space Needle at Downtown (Westlake Center). Not bad to take a ride on this pseudo-spacecraft that transits halfway between the buildings and tree-lined avenues of downtown Seattle. The rides depart every 10 minutes and finish at 23pm.

    Downtown Seattle: what to see among markets, museums and green squares

    Pike Place Market

    As soon as you arrive near Pike Place Market, you will feel like you can feel the sea breeze, the smell and the atmosphere of Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39, and indeed this beautiful Seattle neighborhood can be reminiscent of the San Francisco waterfront, with a touch of cosmopolitanism and extravagance. Wander among the triumph of colors and scents of the market stalls and, if you like, go find the first Starbucks in history, or one of the many inexpensive restaurants in the area.

    Pike Place Market tour with tasting

    Seattle Waterfront

    From Pier 55 (Pier 55) of Seattle Waterfront boats depart that offer the opportunity to enjoy the Seattle skyline by sailing in the cold waters of Elliot Bay, on the strait of Puget Sound. There are various itineraries, but the most popular and cheap is the one on the Harbor Cruise, which takes a scenic loop, without reaching Blake Island or Washington Lake.

    Learn more about the Harbor Cruise

    Seattle Art Museum

    Leaving the seafront, we can decide to reach one of the places of cultural interest major cities, the Seattle Art Museum, located in an architecturally avant-garde building: inside there are works of ancient, modern and contemporary art from all over the world and a collection of artistic and non-artistic objects of the local native tribes. There is a branch of the museum on Western Ave, by the sea: it's called Olympic Sculpture Park and it is an experimental open-air museum space that houses works of contemporary art.

    Pioneer Square and surroundings

    The neighborhood south of Downtown offers a slightly different spectacle from what we have seen so far in downtown Seattle: it is a relatively quiet but eclectic area, where the features of the urban metropolis are mixed (see Smith Tower, which is however a dated skyscraper) and the elegant atmosphere of the tree-lined squares, above all Piooner Square e Occidental Park: you can be a little bewildered (or fall madly in love!) from the streets of this area, where skyscrapers, late XNUMXth century buildings and shady walkways coexist. Don't miss the Pergola in wrought iron that is located on one side of Pioneer Square: for a moment you will wonder if you have not arrived in Paris.

    Capitol Hill and Fremont: Seattle's cultural vanguard

    In these two neighborhoods north of Downtown you can breathe a completely different Seattle; to Capitol Hill university students and artists take refuge for nightlife, and the restaurants are among the best in the city for those who appreciate more alternative proposals and trendy clubs. Here are the attractions and places of interest to visit in Seattle for rock artists and musicians:

    Volunteer Park

    Located in the bustling Capitol Hill neighborhood, Volunteer Park is one of the many parks in Seattle, the most well-kept and the only one that can boast of hosting the funeral remains of Bruce Lee: you will find his tombstone in the park cemetery. If it is fatal for you to visit the tomb of the actor who made martial arts history, head to the splendid one greenhouse which is located in the center of the park: admission is free.

    The attractions of Fremont

    Here are the most bizarre attractions to visit (perhaps by bus or car, given the distance) in the district of Fremont, which is north of Capitol Hill, past the George Washington Memorial Bridge:

    • Fremont Troll: under an overpass on Troll Avenue North is a troll emerging from the depths of the earth to devour a car;
    • the statue of Lenin: 5 min away from the troll, another ambiguous character: here is a statue of Lenin, brought to the state of Washington from Slovakia in 1989;
    • Fremont Rocket: on the same street, a few meters ahead you will see a missile absurdly inserted into a building.
    • Gas Work Park: a mini-park on the canal, with an adjoining old disused factory. The picture that comes out is curious and fascinating, and the view over Seattle is suggestive and emblematic.

    Guided tour to discover Fremont

    After having done this roundup of the main things to see in the city, it may be useful to read our article dedicated to how to get around in Seattle which will help you to better organize your travels.

    City Pass Seattle: a solution to save

    If you have written many of these things to see in Seattle in your notebook, you may have also expected to spend some money, as in some cases admission to the attractions is subject to a fee. In this case, you may decide to purchase the City Pass in Seattle, which includes, among others, also the entrance to some of the places of interest mentioned in this article, at an affordable overall price: the saving is about 50% on the total cost.

    If you want to know whether it is convenient or not for your stay in the city we recommend our guide on the Seattle Pass. Below you will find the attractions included:

    • Space needle
    • Seattle Aquarium
    • Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour
    • EMP Museum oppure Woodland Park Zoo
    • Chihuly Garden and Glass oppure Pacific Science Center

    Official Product Site

    Seattle tour: day excursions in the surrounding area

    Around Seattle there are beautiful national parks full of lakes, woods, rainforests and waterfalls: here are the day trips that we recommend you do.

    Mount Rainier National Park

    If you climb to the top of the Space Needle you cannot fail to notice, in the distance, the mammoth profile of the summit-stratovolcano Mount rainier, 4.267 meters high. In one day it is possible to reach the national park and enjoy its beautiful landscapes.

    Distance from Seattle: 2.30 h (approximately 105 miles)

    Visit to Mount Rainier from Seattle with organized tour

    Snoqualmie Falls

    Did you know that Twin Peaks locations are largely located in and around Seattle? The splendid Snoqualmie Falls are none other than those of the theme song of the cult series by David Lynch.

    Distance from Seattle: 1 h (55 miles)

    Guided visit to Snoqualmie Falls with wine tour

    Olympic National Park

    the beautiful Olympic National Park it is located on the Olympic Peninsula, west of Seattle. Its nature is varied and wild and offers unforgettable alpine landscapes, lakes surrounded by rainforests and much more.

    Distance from Seattle: 2.30 h (82 miles)

    Visit to Olympic National Park from Seattle with organized tour

    Where to sleep in Seattle?

    Most hotels are located between Downtown, Pike Place Market, Belltown, and downtown Seattle, and off-season prices are very attractive. However, in the neighborhoods of Queen Anne and Ballard (north-west) or Capitol Hill you may find good solutions, in quieter areas and not far from the center. For more specific tips check out our article on where to sleep in Seattle.

    All accommodations available in Seattle

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