Top 13 Things Seattle Is Famous For - Updated 2024

| 5 min read

Seattle was previously a boring seaport and industrial area, but now it has undergone an overwhelming transformation to emerge at the forefront. The presence of a rich culture and relaxed lifestyle attracts tourists to this city. There is a huge list of popular things to do in Seattle in Washington State, be it having a fun time at the Great Ferris Wheel, watching the exotic marine life at the Seattle aquarium, or merely having a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Planning a vacation to this unique city soon? For accommodation options, check out the best hotels and other places to stay in the city. In the meantime, continue reading to find out more about the things Seattle is famous for.

1. Tech hub

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Coolcaesar used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Seattle has earned its reputation as a prominent tech hub - first, it serves as the corporate headquarters for tech giants such as Microsoft and Amazon, two of the most influential and innovative companies in the world. These industry titans have not only established their roots in Seattle but have also fueled a thriving ecosystem of startups and tech-related ventures. Secondly, the city boasts a robust pool of highly skilled and educated tech professionals, thanks to renowned institutions such as the University of Washington and a culture of innovation that draws talent from around the globe. Seattle’s commitment to research and development, coupled with a vibrant venture capital scene, has further accelerated its tech growth.

Lastly, the city’s quality of life, stunning natural surroundings, and supportive community of entrepreneurs make it an attractive destination for tech enthusiasts and innovators.

Microsoft campus

Address: Microsoft Building 92, NE 36th St, Redmond, WA 98052, United States

Website: Microsoft Corporate Headquarters

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 6am - 5:07pm; Fri: 6am - 3pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

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2. Boeing

Source: Photo by Flickr user othree used under CC BY 2.0

Boeing and Seattle share an indelible bond that has shaped the city’s identity as an aerospace powerhouse. Seattle’s fame as the birthplace of Boeing can be attributed to the company’s deep roots in the region. Boeing’s founding in 1916 by William Boeing marked the beginning of a remarkable journey that has seen the company evolve into one of the world’s largest and most influential aerospace manufacturers.

Seattle’s strategic location close to the Pacific Ocean allowed Boeing to flourish, especially during World War II when it played a pivotal role in producing aircraft for the war effort. Over the decades, Boeing has continued to innovate and pioneer aerospace technology. Today, Seattle remains a global center for aerospace research and development, proudly maintaining its legacy as the home of Boeing.

The Boeing Company

Address: 7701 14th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108, United States

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3. Emerald City Comic Con

Emerald City Comic Con 2015
Source: Photo by Flickr user Studio5Graphics used under CC BY-SA 2.0

One of the things in Seattle that have gained popularity is Emerald City Comic Con. This comic book convention takes place annually and features wide-ranging activities like discussion panels, costume contests, celebrity signings, and a whole lot more. Its main attraction includes the Exhibitor’s hall where comic book stores sell their products, particularly vintage comics and action figures. If you’re a big fan of comic books and all things pop culture, you’re going to have the best time at Emerald City Comic Con!

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4. Nirvana

Source: Photo by Flickr user davetoaster used under CC BY 2.0

Since Seattle is considered the birthplace of grunge music, it’s hard not to look at the popular bands from the city that has introduced this genre to the world. Yes, we’re absolutely talking about Nirvana. The band behind famous songs like Smells Like Teen Spirit and Come As You Are. This rock band was founded by frontman and guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic, with the later addition of drummer Dave Grohl. Being one of the most beloved rock groups of all time, Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.

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5. Starbucks coffee

What is Seattle known for, you ask? This city is the birthplace of the universally recognized coffee brand Starbucks, and it is considered as the most famous attraction among coffee lovers. It is not just a place to drink freshly brewed coffee, but it is also popular as a place to buy freshly roasted beans. The store offers many drinks ranging from regular coffee and espresso to chai tea lattes and caramel frappuccinos etc. The Seattleites love their coffee. The presence of short winters and rainy days is the main reason for the popularity of coffee in the city.

Starbucks coffee

Address: 1124 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101, USA

Website: Starbucks coffee

Opening hours: 7am - 11pm (daily)

Price: 12 USD

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6. Seafood

Pike Place Market Seafood
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user John from Tulsa, USA used under CC BY 2.0

Wondering what food Seattle is famous for? Waters surround Seattle and thus the city has access to one of the best seafood industries in the country, and there is no shortage of seafood joints at all. The city’s location is quite close to the Pacific Ocean, which offers fresh and flavourful seafood that is available in plenty. You may be looking for fresh oysters, quality sushi, or a beautiful piece of fish. There are a lot of options to choose from for your ideal seafood meal.

Sea Food: The Crab Pot

Address: 1301 Alaskan Way Pier 57, Seattle, WA

Website: The Crab Pot

Opening hours: 11am - 9:30pm (daily)

Price: 20 USD

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7. Grunge music

Seattle is considered the birthplace of grunge music, which is a rock music genre. It’s been a while since it took over the music scene, but many natives still correlate this city with long hair, flannel, and heavy guitar riffs. The most popular grunge bands were from Seattle such as Peral Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. So, if you are a grunge music fan, then you should visit The Crocodile opened in 1991 to catch some live independent music.

The Crocodile

Address: 2200 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121, USA

Website: The Crocodile

Opening hours: 4am - 2pm (daily)

Price: 2 USD

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8. Top Fortune 500 companies

There are many famous buildings in Seattle and the city is known for being the home to the top Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft, the coffee chain Starbucks, internet retailer Amazon, Alaska Airlines, clothing merchant Nordstrom, and many more. The extensive industries and businesses keep the local economy very strong. The healthy employment market attracts many people in business to move to the Emerald City, which increases demand for the city’s real estate.

Amazon HQ

Address: 410 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109, USA

Website: Amazon

Opening hours: 7:30am - 6pm (daily)

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9. Seattle Great Wheel

The Seattle Great Wheel at Pier 57 has quickly become famous as one of the city’s most Instagrammable spots among tourists. The scenery from here is quite spellbinding, and you can fully enjoy the view from its enclosed capsule, which is helpful during chilly nights and rainy days. This famous thing in Seattle is a tourist mecca because from here you can see the city, water, and mountains with excellent clarity. The pods of this Giant Ferris Wheel don’t even swing in the blustery weather, and in fact, the VIP pods have additional features like leather seats, a glass floor, and champagne.

Seattle Great Wheel

Address: 1301 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101, USA

Website: Seattle Great Wheel

Opening hours: 11am - 10pm (daily)

Price: 14 USD

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10. Pioneer Square (from USD 80.0)

The famous Pioneer Square was the original downtown area of Seattle, but in present time it sits in the southwest side of downtown Seattle. This place houses many art galleries, shops, outdoor benches, cafes, night clubs, sports bar along with the beautiful old buildings in a Romanesque-revival style. To explore subterranean depths of this city and hidden gems like the Waterfall Garden Park, you should embark on an underground tour of this area.

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Seattle Small-Group City Tour with Local Guide

Duration: 3 hours

738 reviews

11. Space Needle (from USD 66.0)

Build in the middle of the Seattle Center, this 184 meters (590.551 feet) tall tower was built for the 1962 World Fair. The tower is considered to be the icon of Seattle due to its incredibly gorgeous looks and the number of visitors it fetches regularly. Space Needle restaurant is one of the most expensive eateries in Seattle, but the awesome views make it a must-visit destination on any traveler’s list.

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Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass Combination Ticket

Duration: 3 hours

833 reviews

12. Seattle Aquarium (from USD 109.0)

The Seattle Aquarium is famous among tourists who love to explore the wonders of the underwater world. You can see exotic marine life such as octopus, playful sea otters, puffers, salmon, luminous moon jellies, and many more. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking underwater dome’s 360-degree view where you can even touch live sea creatures like urchins, sea cucumbers and sea stars, etc.

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Seattle CityPASS, Including Space Needle and Seattle Aquarium

Duration: 9 days

576 reviews

13. Pike Place Market (from USD 148.0)

This historic public market has been in business since 1907 and is known as Pike Place Market that sits near the Seattle waterfront. The main entrance of this famous market is on First Avenue and Pike Street, which includes over 225 local artisans selling their merchandise. This year-round farmer’s market is renowned for seafood, vegetables, flower stall, cheese stalls along with tourist-friendly knickknacks and handcrafted items. The main attraction of this market is the fish throwing tradition where fish sellers throw fresh fish at each other!

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Seattle Full-Day Tour with Space Needle and Pike Place Market

Duration: 5 to 7 hours

10 reviews

Book a seat to Seattle


This northwestern capital of America is overlooked many times, but once you step into this city, it is hard to forget. There are plenty of fantastic things to do and day tours to join. All in all, Seattle is a beautiful city that has a lot of options that are sure to please even picky travelers. The best part is that travelers can enjoy the sight and culture of modern Seattle but also witness the beauty of nature, which the city thus offers a perfect blend.

Frequently asked questions about things Seattle is famous for

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Sameeksha Jain is a passionate travel writer. Known to weave captivating tales for over six years, each of her sentences is a ticket to destinations painted in prose. Her love affair with travel...Read more

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