Today I want to bring you my guide to things to do in downtown Seattle. There are lots of attractions and points of interest for visitors and locals alike here.

Things to Do in Downtown Seattle

Things to Do in Downtown Seattle

I’ll never forget my first solo trip. I was eight years old and I flew to Seattle to visit relatives. I felt so grown up, and was beyond excited to visit the Space Needle, the most amazing thing I had ever heard of (hey, I was eight).

But said needle was also the place I discovered my fear of heights. Which is why I’m standing at the top right now, determined to overcome my phobia.

Space Needle, Seattle

The defining point on Seattle’s skyline, the flying-saucer-in-the-sky Space Needle is the city’s most famous landmark.

It’s also one of its most visited attractions, not least because of the great views across Lake Union and over the skyscrapers of downtown Seattle.

Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle

And those views have tempted me back up the elevator to kick my fear of heights and get some photos of the city. Putting adrenaline aside, I grab my camera, make a circuit of the viewing platform, and take in the scene below.

Downtown Seattle Skyscrapers

As I do, I realize there are amazing things to do in downtown Seattle. There are so many great attractions here, and I often forget to revisit them when I’m in Washington to see my relatives.

Museum of Pop Culture is One of the Best Things to Do in Downtown Seattle

Right below me, the Museum of Pop Culture, with its funky Frank Gehry-designed building, is one of the city’s major highlights. As is the adjacent Chihuly Garden and Glass, a museum dedicated to Washington-born artist Dale Chihuly.

Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle

Heading back down to Earth, I leave the Space Needle on a quest to rediscover all the great things to do in downtown Seattle.

I’m armed with a CityPASS compliments of the tourism board, which gives me discounted entry and priority access to many of Seattle’s top attractions.

Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle

My first stop is the Chihuly Garden, where I take in the beautiful glass forms dotted throughout the landscape. As an added bonus, the artist himself is on site today to sign books, and I get a glimpse as he makes his entrance.

Dale Chihuly

From there I head across to Belltown, where I’ve been set up with a complimentary apartment for my stay in the city. On the other side is Pike Place Market, Seattle’s famous food mecca.

Pike Place Market is One of the Best Things to Do in Downtown Seattle

Set in a winding labyrinth of halls near the waterfront, Pike Place offers everything from fresh cut flowers to ripe red cherries and lots of cafes and restaurants. Exploring it is one of the most delicious things to do in downtown Seattle.

Pike Place Market in Seattle

I spend an hour here, sampling sweet white nectarines at Sosio’s Fruit and Produce, watching the famous fish throwing spectacle at Pike Place Fish Market, and indulging in a grilled cheese sandwich at Beecher’s, where the cheese is made on site behind big glass windows.

Pike Place Market in Seattle

Later I wander down to Pioneer Square, Seattle’s historic heart. There are great restaurants and bars in some of the beautiful old buildings.

I have dinner with my aunt and uncle in one of them, and the food is so good we’re still talking about it days later.

Downtown Seattle

Pioneer Square is a short walk from other great things to do in downtown Seattle, including the sports stadiums and Rem Koolhaus’s futuristic Seattle Public Library.

It’s also near a number of museums and lots of shopping—Nordstrom is headquartered here and there are lots of other stores in the area.

Nordstrom in Downtown Seattle

A bit further afield, I hop on the streetcar with my aunt and uncle and head from the pretty McGraw Park to South Lake Union. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to see as we head to the water.

Food Truck in Downtown Seattle

When we get to Lake Union Park, we have a picnic lunch and visit the MOHAI, or Museum of History & Industry, which gives a great overview of Seattle’s early years.

MOHAI in Seattle

And then we get to the sculpture park. Of all the things to do in downtown Seattle, my favorite is the Olympic Sculpture Park.

Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle

Right on the waterfront, it has a great collection of art to match the beautiful views of the blue waters of the Puget Sound.

Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle

As an added bonus, my cousin is getting married in the park today. I can’t think of a better wedding venue in Seattle, or a better way to end a great time exploring the city’s attractions.

Mount Rainier

My eight-year-old self may have thought the Space Needle was the most amazing thing on the planet, but if she hadn’t been too terrified to look out over the viewing platform, she would have found a lot of amazing things to do in downtown Seattle.

Find this post helpful? Buy me a coffee!

New here? Join thousands of others and subscribe to the A Lady in London blog via email.

One of the links in this blog post is an affiliate link. At no cost to you, I earn a small commission when you click on it and make a purchase. It doesn’t affect the way you shop, and it’s a great way to support the A Lady in London blog.

Pin it!
Things to Do in Downtown Seattle

16 Comments on Lady’s Things to Do in Downtown Seattle

  1. I love Seattle, especially Belltown! How cool that you got to see the glass gardens artist as well! Do you have any other plans in Washington State?

  2. I haven’t visited Seattle but I’ve read so many nice things about the city! I didn’t know Chihuly was from Washington! I got to see his sculptures in Kew Gardens a decade ago and was really impressed!

  3. I live in Belltown and I’m so happy you enjoyed the city. It was a beautiful weekend. I saw a bride in the Sculpture Park on Saturday and wonder if it was your cousin 🙂

  4. Downtown Seattle looks pretty nice. I haven’t seen a lot from the US so far, but it does remind me to some extent of downtown LA, with its own farmers market and behind that the Angel’s Flight (I believe that’s what it was called). They had a gorgeous library.

  5. Thank you for doing our beautiful city poetic justice. We all joke that we don’t want any more good press so folks don’t move up here 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.