Downtown Seattle has everything from trendy microbreweries to cutting-edge music and a thriving tech scene. The modern skyline is framed by snowy mountains, sparkling blue water and the dense forests that gave “The Emerald City” its nickname.
Things to do
Reach the top of Seattle’s most iconic building, the Space Needle, for stunning views of the city and Mount Rainier. Stop into some of the surrounding museums to watch planetarium shows at the Pacific Science Center, see enormous glass sculptures at Chihuly Garden and test your DJ skills at the Museum of Pop Culture.
Squeezed between Lake Washington and Puget Sound, Seattle has plenty of options for an outdoor adventure. Take a guided cruise along the Ship Canal or paddle out into Lake Union in a kayak to see if you can spot harbor seals. Woodland Park Zoo has won awards for the naturalistic environment it creates for its inhabitants, such as jaguars, gorillas and penguins.
The city is known for birthing grunge band Nirvana and there’s still plenty of live music played at The Showbox. If classical music is more to your taste, the world-class Seattle Opera stages old favorites and innovative new performances at McCaw Hall.
It might be famous for Starbucks, but Downtown Seattle’s best coffee is found in its cozy bookstores and coffee shops. Plenty of these shops can be found around Pike Place Market, which also has an outstanding fish market and stalls selling beautiful handmade crafts.
Downtown Seattle’s network of buses, trams and light rail crisscross the city and make it easy to get around, while water taxis are available for destinations in the west. You can easily explore Downtown Seattle on foot, as sights are within an easy walking distance of each other.