APR 2022

Not the complete and comprehensive list of everything there is to do in Seattle, but a great start!

Planning a tour of Seattle’s top rated attractions?

Start right here, with our list of the top 10 attractions and things to do in Seattle.

The 10 most popular Seattle attractions

  • Discovery Park

  • The Space Needle

  • The Seattle Center (and its Monorail)

  • Pacific Science Center

  • Pike Place Market

  • Pioneer Square Historic District

  • The Central Library of the Seattle Public Library

  • Seattle Aquarium

  • Woodland Park Zoo

  • Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI)

Discovery Park

Discovery Park is a top Seattle attraction, especially for those with active lifestyles.

Image credit: seattle.gov

Located on the shores of Puget Sound, Discovery Park is the largest park in Seattle. With spectacular views of Mt. Rainier and Olympic National Park, it is easily one of the best places to explore in Seattle. 

A veritable haven of lush green spaces, natural shorelines and walking trails, the Park offers you the chance to take part in a number of activities - from enjoying a relaxing siesta under the trees to going on a hike and even spending time at the beach.

Is Discovery Park Seattle free? Yes, it is free. However you can consider leaving a donation at the Cultural Center.

A little more on the trails. The Park has over 12 miles of trails, including the Discovery Park and Lighthouse Loop, the South Beach and Hidden Valley Loop, the North Beach and Hidden Valley Loop, and the Birds Nest and Lookout Beach.

Any historical and cultural attractions in the Park? Yes. The Park was home to Fort Lawton, a World War II era military installation. Many of the military buildings are still standing.

It’s also home to the Daybreak Star Cultural Center, dedicated to Native American culture. 

Website: Visit its webpage on the City website

Address: 3801 Discovery Park Blvd, Seattle, WA 98199

Phone (Visitor Center): (206) 386-4236

The Space Needle

The Space Needle is a Seattle landmark and a top city attraction.

Image by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash.

Built as a landmark - a ‘dominant central structure’ - for the 1962 World’s Fair, the Space Needle has since become a cultural landmark of our city.

Reach the observation level via a 43 second elevator ride, see Edward Carlson’s original ‘doodle’ (check below), and catch stunning views from the top including the Cascade Mountains and Elliott Bay.

And if you’re in the market for an even more exclusive experience, have a shot at the Loupe Lounge!

Why do they call it the Space Needle? Edward Carlson, the chief organizer of the 1962 World’s Fair, was inspired by a broadcast tower with a restaurant that he saw in Germany. He planned a similar structure for Seattle (he doodled it on a napkin) and called it the Space Needle.

3 facts about the Space Needle. The Needle itself is 605 feet tall. The Loupe Lounge, the world’s only rotating glass floor, is 500 feet above ground. The Needle was officially designated as a landmark in 1999.

How much is the Space Needle? For ticket prices and other booking information, visit their tickets portal.

Website: Visit its website

Contact page: Visit its contact page

Address: 400 Broad St, Seattle, WA 98109

Phone: (206) 905-2100

The Seattle Center (and its Monorail)


The Monorail at the Museum of Pop Culture. Image by Hester Qiang on Unsplash.

Another creation of the 1962 World’s Fair, the Seattle Center has since become a top cultural and entertainment complex, and a popular destination in Seattle.

The complex houses a number of attractions including…

  • The Armory, a former base for the 146th Field Artillery and converted into shopping mall and entertainment complex for the World’s Fair, and afterwards.

  • The Museum of Pop Culture (which offers the ‘world’s most immersive pop culture experiences’),

  • The Chihuly Garden and Glass (a museum/exhibit of the work’s of Seattleite Dale Chihuly, a globally acclaimed glassblower), and

  • The KEXP Studio, Seattle’s most popular radio station.

And no talk of the Seattle Center would be complete without mentioning the Seattle Monorail, an elevated monorail line originally made for the 1962 World’s Fair, and now operating as a convenient link between the Center and downtown Seattle.

To learn more about the Monorail, visit their website.

What is the Seattle Center known for? To quote from their website, the Center has ‘transformed into a treasured hub for arts and culture, sports, and community gatherings’, reflecting changes from around the world.

Website: Visit its website

Contact page: Visit its contact page

Address: 305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109

Phone: (206) 684-7200

Pacific Science Center

The Pacific Science Center is a great place to grow an interest in science. Their motto is ‘Be Curious’, and their exhibits are all planned to try to instigate an interest in science and scientific inquiry among visitors.

Explore galaxies in the planetarium, be amazed by our winged friends at the Tropical Butterfly House, and don’t forget to check out the IMAX theaters.

When did the Pacific Science Center open? On October 22nd, 1962, as a temporary science pavilion during a fair whose name I think you’re tired of hearing by now (the World’s Fair). The pavilion proved so popular that it was decided that it should be turned into a permanent center.

How long does it take to go through the Pacific Science Center? Obviously, it depends on how fast you walk, how much time you spend at the exhibits and shows, and so on…but a good rule of thumb is four or more hours.

Website: Visit its website

Contact page: Visit its contact page

Address: 200 2nd Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Phone: (206) 443-2001

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market remains a top Seattle attraction for all kinds of travelers.

Image by Jason Leung on Unsplash.

Ah, you were wondering when this was going to come up, weren’t you? Pike Place Market, one of the most famous farmers’ markets in the country, and a place for ‘locally sourced, artisan and specialty foods’.

Apart from that it has a whole range of shops ranging from antique dealers, family-owned restaurants, collectibles dealers, and various craft shops.

Apropos of nothing, it is a great place to celebrate your birthday in Seattle.

Why is Pike's market place so famous? There are many reasons the market is so famous, like being the oldest farmers’ market in the USA that’s still in business. A top draw is the fishmongers flinging their catch in the air to the counter for packaging.

What's really in the Pike Place Market? It’s built on top of a steep hill and has several levels. Each level houses a variety of unique shops.

What is the best day to go to Pike Place Market? According to their website, the market is fullest Thursday through to Monday; and on any day the crowd starts building from noon.

Website: Visit its website

Contact page: Visit its contact page (inquiry form)

Address: 85 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101

Phone: (206) 682-7453

Pioneer Square Historic District

Pioneer Square is Seattle’s original downtown, described as our city’s ‘first neighborhood’. It’s known for its historical buildings and architecture.

One of the most popular places to visit with your friends is the 42 floor Smith Tower. It is a historic skyscraper, the oldest one in Seattle and one of the tallest buildings outside New York City when it was built.

For a truly unique experience, book a spot on Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour (phone: (206) 682-4646), a guided tour through ruins of Seattle streets that were buried after an 1889 fire.

Why is it called Pioneer Square? The name comes from Pioneer Place, a plaza at the corner of First Avenue and Yesler Way.

Website: Visit its website

Contact page: Visit its contact page (inquiry form)

Email: info@pioneersquare.org

The Central Library of the Seattle Public Library