Welcome to Seattle! Due to its many parks and green spaces, this city is also affectionately known as the “Emerald City”. Let yourself be enchanted by the unique flair of this metropolis in the northwest of the USA!
Located very close to snow-capped Mount Rainier, Seattle is known for mild temperatures, cultural attractions, and sporting events that invite you to explore this diverse city year-round. Although Seattle has so much to offer, the city is never crowded. With the coastline in the foreground and the glittering snow-capped mountains in the background, Seattle makes the perfect postcard picture.
Come to Seattle and experience a big city that has a lot of serenity and open-heartedness to offer, and at times feels like a small town. Seattle is a location for dance and film productions; dozens of festivals take place every year. It is not for nothing that the metropolis in Washington State has been named one of America’s most popular cities several times.
Tip 1: Space Needle
The Space Needle, an observation tower and symbol of Seattle, is considered a landmark of the Pacific Northwest. It was originally built for the then World’s Fair in Seattle in 1962. Since many visitors were expected, the elevators were specially equipped to carry as many passengers as possible to the observation deck.
The Needle is the tallest building west of the Mississippi River with a height of 605 feet (184m), and width of 138 feet (42m). In total, the building weighs 9550 tons. Due to its construction and weight, it can withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour (89 m/s) and earthquakes of up to a magnitude of 9.1.
Visitors reach the top of the Space Needle by elevators that can travel up to 10 miles per hour (4.5 m/s). As a result, the trip to the top takes only 41 seconds. On windy days, the elevators travel more slowly for safety reasons.
The main attraction is an observation deck 520 feet (160 m) above ground and the rotating SkyCity Restaurant 500 feet (150 m) above ground. From here, there are views of downtown Seattle as well as the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Elliott Bay, and surrounding islands.
Photos of the Seattle skyline are especially famous, often showing the Space Needle above the skyscrapers and Mount Rainier in the background. But it was also made famous as the location for the movie Sleepless in Seattle in 1993.
Tip 2: Museum of Pop Culture
The Museum of Pop Culture (formerly the “EMP Museum / Experience Music Project”) is a leading non-profit museum dedicated to popular culture. It is located in a 13,000-square-foot Frank O. Gehry-designed building at the foot of the Space Needle, amid the backdrop of Seattle Center. Originally founded as a tribute to rock ‘n’ roll, MoPOP now uses interactive technologies to engage visitors in changing and permanent exhibitions, collections and educational programs. At MoPOP, artists, the public, and their ideas come together to promote an understanding of today’s popular culture.
Anyone interested in the subject of music and pop culture should visit the EMP Museum. The Museum of Pop Culture’s futuristic, shell-shaped building contains interactive exhibits, unique artifacts and ample space for extraordinary live concerts. Fantastic visual and audio effects celebrate the past, present and future of different musical styles. The museum features innovative and creative exhibits related to music, science fiction and pop culture. In the Sound Labs, visitors become part of a rock band and learn to play instruments.
Tip 3: Chihuly Garden and Glass
The Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibition is located on the grounds of Seattle Center and opened its doors on May 21, 2012. The exhibition presents an extensive collection of works by Pacific Northwest-born glass artist Dale Chihuly.
So you can expect to see his popular glass sculptures spread across eight different galleries – larger exhibits can be admired in the colorful garden. There is also a 12-meter-high glass house with an installation by Chihuly that is well worth seeing and seems to float down from the ceiling.
This installation of 1,340 red, orange and yellow grass sculptures is one of the most popular photo subjects in Chihuly’s most comprehensive art collection to date. Those who photograph this plant-like sculpture also capture the Space Needle in the background.
Chihuly Garden and Glass brings together for the first time the artist’s many different aspects and works in just one exhibition – from drawings to his unique glass sculptures to architectural installations and private collections.
Seattle-based Chihuly draws much of his inspiration from the region, creating works of art that have been admired by more than ten million visitors worldwide.
Tip 4: Pike Place Market
Seattle’s Pike Place Market is one of the oldest continuously operating farmers’ and fish markets in the United States. The market is a center for fresh and locally grown food, a cult symbol among residents and an attraction for tourists.
Colorful fruits, succulent vegetables and the smell of fresh bread, as well as handcrafted jewelry and gifts, have attracted thousands of visitors to the year-round market in a historic downtown neighborhood since 1907. In the months before it opened, prices doubled for onions that consumers had to buy from middlemen. Seattle City Councilman Thomas Revelle therefore proposed establishing a public market where farmers could sell their produce directly to end consumers.
Thus, on August 17, 1907, the Pike Place Market opened.
A century later, the market is one of Seattle’s most popular visitor destinations, with about 200 stores, 120 market stalls and a number of casual restaurants. From simple food to gourmet cuisine, everything your heart and stomach desire is offered. The market offers a wide selection of fresh fish, fruits, vegetables, homemade cheeses, baked goods, locally made honey and wine, flowers, crafts, antique stores and souvenirs. Locals, tourists, musicians and street performers make up a colorful mix that adds to the appeal of Pike Place Market.
Overall, Pike Place Market has about 10 million visitors a year, making it one of the most visited destinations in Washington State.
Tip 5: Waterfront
Just a few minutes from Pike Place Market, Harbor Steps takes you to the waterfront, the harbor city’s boulevard.
Seafood lovers will find plenty of opportunities to whet their appetites or satisfy their hunger. Seattle’s natural deep-water harbor, Elliott Bay, is teeming with commerce, ferries, luxury liners, excursion boats and countless pleasure craft.
The waterfront promenade, which stretches from Pier 70 in the north to Pier 48 in the south, offers great views of the harbor.
Located just off Pier 59, the interesting Seattle Aquarium offers a terrific underwater world with a stunning variety of marine life and plants of the American Northwest. The oversized underwater dome with large windows also offers a glimpse into the ocean depths and the unique life of Washington’s waters.
Once you’re in the beautiful waterfront – where you might encounter a seal or two – you’ll find the next highlight right next door at Pier 57. A ride on the imposing Seattle Great Wheel opens up a beautiful view of Seattle’s rooftops and skyline, as well as Puget Sound.
The Seattle waterfront also offers a number of seafood restaurants as well as souvenir and gift stores.