22 Best Things To Do In Downtown Seattle, Washington - Updated 2024

| 5 min read

There is no denying that Seattle is one of the most beautiful cities in the United States. It is not just a city surrounded by water and mountains and thousands of acres of lush green parklands, but also it is the home to some of the most popular tourist attractions in the region. There are also several hotels with free parking and glamping spots available. As such, there is just so much to see and do, and every visit to Seattle is guaranteed to be great all the time. To help you out so that you are never confused about where to start your exploration, here is a list of some of the best things to do in Downtown Seattle, Washington.

1. Taste Seattle's finest cuisine on Gourmet Comfort Food Restaurant Tour (from USD 101.0)

If you want to explore Seattle’s many delectable offerings, this two-and-a-half-hour tour is a great way to get a taste of everything. You’ll get to visit four of the city’s best restaurants and two specialty shops, all of which are in and around Pike Place Market, known for its great food. Sample Pacific Northwestern dishes and learn about local culture, as well as the history of one of the biggest international coffee chains, Starbucks. While food tastings are covered in the price of the ticket, you will have to purchase beverages separately.

Although most of the tour will be spent inside eating, there will be a fair bit of walking, so do remember to wear comfortable shoes!

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Gourmet Comfort Food Restaurant Tour

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

23 reviews

2. Learn about the city's history with Seattle: Historical Downtown Exploration Game (from USD 7.54)

things to do in seattle downtown | learn about the city's history with seattle: historical downtown exploration game

If you’re open to learning about Seattle’s history in a fun, unique way, try this incredible adventure! Seattle: Historical Downtown Exploration Game will have you putting on your detective hat and chasing clues that lead to the past through a mobile-based quest.

You’ll go to the starting point dictated by the app and then proceed to other popular spots, such as Pike Place Market, based on the answers. The quest is in the form of a story and will keep you hooked till the very end. You and your loved ones can also split into teams to see who wins.

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Seattle: Historical Downtown Exploration Game

Duration: 75.0 minute

4 reviews

3. See the city from above at Smith Tower

Smith Tower

Smith Tower is one of the oldest skyscrapers in the city and an example of Neoclassical architecture. This Downtown Seattle attraction has offered visitors over the decades a magnificent 360-degree view of the city from the observatory located on the 35th floor. The bar inside the building offers you a place to sit back and relax with a tasty drink. For some fun things to do in Seattle, check out the walking tours available inside the tower and enjoy a more in-depth experience of this historical building.

Smith Tower

Address: 506 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104, United States

Website: Smith Tower

Opening hours: Wed - Thu: 3pm - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 3pm - 11pm; Sun: 3pm - 10pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

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4. Look at some great artwork at the Frye Art Museum

Boasting itself as Seattle’s only free art museum, the Frye Art Museum showcases a wonderful mix of artworks created by various artists throughout the decades. These artworks include early 19th-century German and American paintings and contemporary works that the museum has collected over the years. The museum also features rotating exhibits that showcase artworks done by international, local, or national artists.

There are also free daily tours conducted at the museum if you want to learn more about the paintings. Not to mention, this entry-free museum in Seattle also hosts several events and programs including film screenings, artist lectures, and many more.

Frye Art Museum

Address: 704 Terry Ave, Seattle, WA 98104, United States

Website: Frye Art Museum

Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 11am - 5pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

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5. Go to a concert at WAMU Theater

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Washington Music Theater on Friday, August 10, 2018

Located in the heart of Pioneer Square, WAMU Theater is a large, flexible indoor performing arts venue that hosts various shows and concerts. Gather your family and friends, come to the theater, and enjoy your favorite bands as you listen to their music live on stage. People can also rent out spaces around the venue, including the main lobby where vendors can set up a shop to sell to the concertgoers.

If you’re looking for the hippest events in Seattle, check out this place!

WAMU Theater

Address: 800 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134, United States

Website: WAMU Theater

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6. Attend an event at Lumen Field

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Lumen Field on Monday, October 25, 2021

Lumen Field is a multi-purpose stadium that has been the venue of various sports competitions and event shows. The stadium boasts of having been awarded the SAFETY Act Designation and Certification by the US Department of Homeland Security and the GBAC STAR Certification.

With over 68,000 seats, 1,400 of which are dedicated to persons with disabilities, the stadium guarantees visitors a grand time as they watch the competitions and events. The stadium hosts events regularly so check their website to see which one is on during your visit!

Lumen Field

Address:800 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134, United States

Website: Lumen Field

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7. Eat some Japanese food at Umi Sake House

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

TGIF. You made it through the week so treat yourself to an old fashioned.. or two

Posted by Umi Sake House on Friday, April 26, 2019

If you’re in the mood for some Japanese food, then Umi Sake House is the place to go in downtown Seattle. This restaurant serves unique Japanese cuisine and uses high-quality seafood in its dishes. Its menu is composed of different Japanese dishes including sushi rolls and Izakaya-style tapas that are sure to leave your taste buds wanting for more.

Of course, it’s not a sake house without sake, and this restaurant has a variety of them, 60 to be exact. These sakes are all imported and the restaurant also holds a happy hour from 4pm to 6pm.

Umi Sake House

Address: 2230 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98121, United States

Website: Umi Sake House

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 4pm - 11pm; Fri - Sat: 4pm - 12am

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8. Explore the beauty of Asian art at the Seattle Asian Art Museum

Wondering what to see in downtown Seattle? Drop by the Seattle Asian Art Museum and find out. Known as one of the biggest art museums that focuses on African and Asian artists, the museum is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts. Displaying historic exhibits and incredible artwork from places like China, India, Tibet, Korea, and the Southeast Asian countries, this is a wonderful way to spend a quiet afternoon. On Thursdays, some of the exhibits are open to the public, and admission is free so that you can make the most of your visit. In addition, you can also opt for art tours with a professional tour guide who will explain the meaning of the exhibits to you, and the history behind some of them.

Asian Art Museum

Address: 1400 E Prospect St, Seattle, WA 98112, United States

Website: Asian Art Museum

Opening hours: Sun - Fri: 10am - 5pm; Sat: 9am - 5pm

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9. Check out the mesmerizing Amazon Spheres

The Amazon Spheres are another wonderful attraction frequented by tourists from all over the country. These three huge conservatories are covered in pentagonal panels made of glass, and the conservatory functions as a lounge space for Amazon employees. It includes common areas, coffee shops, and other places where employees can relax or work in peace. Rising over several stories high, these structures house tens of thousands of plants and feature a shopping complex inside it that is available to employees of Amazon. The spheres are only open to the public during their weekly tours.

Amazon Spheres

Address: 2111 7th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121, United States

Website: Amazon Spheres

Opening hours: Tue & Thu: 10am - 2pm (closed on other days)

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10. Learn about Seattle's rich history at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

This national historical park is a tribute to the Klondike Gold Rush that took place towards the end of the 19th century. The entire site is bubbling with information and interesting tidbits that tell the story of how the Gold Rush started and ended, and it ends in a video about the entire event. In addition, there is also a small shop at the end where you can buy souvenirs and trinkets related to the historical event. The Gold Rush was an important period that led to the eventual development of Seattle into a world-famous advanced city.

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

Address: 319 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104, United States

Website: Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

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11. Enjoy skyline and mountain views from the Sky View Observatory - Columbia Center

901 5th Avenue from the Sky View observation deck in Columbia Center
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Visitor7 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Rising 73 stories high, the Sky View Observatory is the pride of the residents of Seattle and boasts panoramic views of the beautiful city and the mountains overlooking it. You can visit this place after a long day of sightseeing to catch the sunset, and enjoy a relaxing cup of your favorite beverage at the coffee shop at the top of the building, as you enjoy the views. Even during winter, it is a grand experience to view the snow falling from such a height.

Sky View Observatory - Columbia Center

Address: 700 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104, United States

Website: Sky View Observatory - Columbia Center

Opening hours: Thu - Sat: 12pm - 5pm (closed from Sun - Wed)

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12. Have a drink at Diller Room

Seattle - Diller Hotel Building 01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Joe Mabel used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This renovated bar and taproom used to be the lobby of an old hotel from the Edwardian era, and it still maintains that incredible old-school charm that draws hundreds of tourists to it. Decorated in a vintage style that pays homage to its history, this bar offers a lot of great deals on cocktails, especially during happy hour. If you wish to have a more relaxing night out, be sure to come here on a weekday as there will be less of a crowd and you will be able to have conversations and relax with your friends and family.

Diller Room

Address: 1224 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101, United States

Website: Diller Room

Opening hours: 3pm - 11pm (daily)

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13. Visit the Seattle Aquarium

The Seattle Aquarium is situated on Pier 59 and having been refurbished in the recent past, it is one of the greatest attractions you will find in downtown Seattle today. The facility has a total of six different exhibits that will consume you throughout your visit. They include; Underwater Dome, Window on Washington Street, Marine Mammals, Pacific Coral Reef, Birds and Shoes and Life on the Edge exhibits. The place is extremely kid-friendly, and every visitor will be amazed at the mesmerizing attractions housed in the museum.

Visit the Seattle Aquarium

Address: 1483 Alaskan Way Pier 59 Seattle, WA 98101

Website: Seattle Aquarium

Opening hours: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm

Price: USD 29.95

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14. Experience fine dining at Dahlia Lounge

Posted by Dahlia Lounge on Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Dahlia Lounge has been described as the nerve center of Seattle’s local and sustainable foods. The restaurant was opened way back in 1989 and has since grown to be one of the favorite places for people in need of a fine-dining experience in Downtown Seattle. Its menu features fresh tastes from the market, including lots of seasonal entrees which has been inspired by Northwestern ingredients such as coffee braised beef short ribs and Dungeness crab cakes. It is worth trying out for the food and the experience when you are in Seattle.

Dahlia Lounge

Address: 2001 4th Ave Seattle, WA 98121

Website: Dahlia Lounge

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 11:30am - 2:00pm, Sat & Sun: 9:00am - 10:00pm

Price: USD 31 - 60

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15. Get a glimpse of the city’s past at the Seattle Underground

On the Underground Tour you can walk in the footsteps of our city's founders beneath Seattle’s streets. Tours run daily...

Posted by Bill Speidel's Underground Tour on Wednesday, 18 January 2017

The Seattle Underground is considered Seattle’s original footprint. Going for this tour will take you through a journey hundreds of years ago, back to the days when the city was at its infancy stages. You will get a chance to see old storefronts and streets that are still intact beneath the modern city. If you love history or you are just intrigued by the strides Seattle has made over the years, then this is a tour you must not miss.

Seattle Underground tours

Address: 614 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98104, USA

Website: Seattle Underground tours

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9:30am - 8:00pm, Sun: 9:30am - 6:00pm.

Price: From USD 20

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16. Visit the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room

The Starbucks Reserve is where all the Starbucks coffees are roasted and packaged before they are shipped to their various destinations around the globe. If you love coffee, then it would be a pleasant experience to witness all the processes involved in prepping the coffee before it finally finds its way into your cup. The Starbucks master roaster will be on-site to explain every process to you as you watch the roasting process, and you will also have a chance to sample some in the tasting room.

Visit the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room

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

Website: Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room

Opening hours: 7am - 11pm daily

Price: USD 25

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17. See the Market Theatre Gum Wall

The Gum Wall, also known as the Wall of Gum, is tucked down in an unassuming alley next to the famous Pike Place Market, and as weird as it may sound, it is one of the top attractions in Downtown Seattle. It is a colorful display of a great representation of the unique charm and character that exists in Seattle. The origin of the wall can be traced back to the 1900s when the locals used to stick their gums on the wall while they lined up for an improv show at the Market Theatre. The gum wall has since grown to cover a huge expanse of the brick wall, and it continues to grow in the present times. A visit to this place will put you face to face with an incredible variety of all manner of gums, though they will not be for your chewing.

See the Market Theatre Gum Wall

Address: Pike St Seattle, WA 98101 Downtown

Opening hours: 27/7

Price: Free

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18. Shop at Pike Place Market

A visit to Seattle will never be complete without exploring and shopping at Pikes Place Market. This is one of the most famous attractions as it features some of the best things to buy in Seattle. The market has been in operation since 1907, making it one of the oldest public farmers markets in North America. The market was constructed on the edge of a steep hill, and it has several lower levels below the main level. The main level has fresh produce such as flowers, fish and vegetables, while the other levels have a blend of shops featuring antique dealers, collectibles and comic books amongst others.

Shop at Pike Place Market

Address: 85 Pike St Seattle, WA 98101

Website: Pike Place Market

Opening hours: 7:00am - 1:00am daily

Price: Free to explore

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19. Get on the Seattle Great Wheel

The Seattle Great Wheel

The Seattle Ferris Wheel is at a Pier 57, and it is a great attraction to consider if you want to see Seattle like never before. The wheel has gondolas, each with a capacity to comfortably carry eight people and guarantee you a fantastic ride through Seattle’s skies. Take wonderful photos as you enjoy thrilling rides on the great wheel. If you visit at night, you will be treated to some of the most spectacular views of the city as the wheel turns into a ring beam with more than 500,000 LED lights.

Get on the Seattle Great Wheel

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

Website: Seattle Great Wheel

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 11:00am - 10:00pm, Sun: 10:00am - 10:00pm

Price: USD 14

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20. Explore the Seattle Pinball Museum

Posted by Seattle Pinball Museum on Friday, 26 June 2015

The Seattle Pinball Museum is another classic piece of history you should strive to visit in Downtown Seattle. The genesis of the museum can be traced back to a couple’s obsession to collect every pinball they could come across. It became so much that it was at one point thought as an “incurable disease” for the couple. Some of the machines you will find in this museum dates back to the 1960s, and when you visit, you will be delighted to have a chance to try more than 50 classic pinball machines.

Explore the Seattle Pinball Museum

Address: 508 Maynard Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104, USA

Website: Seattle Pinball Museum

Opening hours: Mon: 12:00pm - 6:00pm, Tue & Wed: Closed, Thur - Sat: 12:00pm - 8:00pm, Sun: 12:00pm - 6:00pm.

Price: USD 7

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21. Visit the Olympic Sculpture Park

The Olympic Sculpture Park is a huge expanse facing the Olympics Mountains and Puget Sounds. It features massive artworks by some of the renowned artists such as Beverly Pepper, Richard Serra, Tony Smith and Ellsworth Kelly amongst others. When you come to this park, you will not only enjoy marveling at the art but also you will enjoy walking and biking along the paths, as well as having some great times at the myriad of picnic areas strewn around the place.

Visit the Olympic Sculpture Park

Address: 2901 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121, USA

Website: Olympic Sculpture Park

Opening hours: 6:00am - 6:30pm Daily

Price: Free

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22. Take a boat tour

Argosy Cruises, formerly known as Seattle Harbor Tours, cruising Elliott Bay. Peep, the old Washington State Ferry.

Posted by Argosy Cruises on Friday, 1 February 2019

If you’re asking yourself “what to do in downtown Seattle”, why not answer that question with a tour? There are so many boat tours you can go for in Seattle. With Lake Washington to the east, the Puget Sounds to the west and Lake Union in the middle, there are just too many places you can consider for your boat tours. It is a nice way to access most of Seattle’s treasures, and since there are so many tours to choose from, you will find a tour that will suit most of your needs. It is always nice to experience sunset or sunrise when on these tours since the sceneries will not only be great but also you will enjoy the freshness of the moment.

Take a boat tour

Address: 2001 W Garfield St (206) 787-3765

Website: Take a boat tour

Opening hours: Sat & Sun: 12:30pm - 1:00pm, Mon - Fri: Closed.

Price: From USD 17.00

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Have a day full of fun in Downtown Seattle


Many are the things to keep you busy and entertained when you are in Downtown Seattle. With a bit of everything, you can choose your attraction based on the kind of experience you need. Whether you want to know more about history, art, culture or you want to sample some of the finest delicacies in the region, Seattle has got you covered. There are plenty of amazing live music spots as well. Pick your tour today and have the best stay in Seattle ever!

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Frequently asked questions about things to do in Seattle's downtown

1. What are the best attractions to visit in downtown Seattle?

Downtown Seattle is home to so many great attractions that are sure to appeal to a wide variety of travelers. For some of the best attractions here, we recommend Lumen Field, Smith Tower, Seattle Aquarium, the Seattle Asian Art Museum, and Seattle Great Wheel.

2. What are the best activities in downtown Seattle?

With so many great attractions in downtown Seattle, there are also a plethora of fun activities for locals and tourists to do. For some of the best activities, we suggest you shop at Pike Place Market, look at some great artwork at Frye Art Museum, visit Sky View Observatory - Columbia Center, and explore Seattle Underground.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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