The Ultimate & Affordable Travel Guide for Seattle

Seattle is one of my husband’s and I’s favorite cities! We have travelled there twice this past year, and will be going back again next summer. Seattle has so much to do and see, but it comes at a cost.  Just go there and you’ll see what I mean…parking is crazy expensive & everything at Pike’s Place is 2x more than it should be. So,  I’ve created this travel guide specifically for those who want to experience all of Seattle’s best’s (the Space Needle, the Harbor Tour, Pacific Science Center, Pike’s Place Market, etc.) affordably!  I have broken down the cost of everything we spent in estimation below.  For 4 days & nights, you can see the main attractions of Seattle for about $250 per person (including overnight accommodations, food, parking, and sight seeing)!! Sayyyy whattt?!

The first day of our vacation we arrived in Seattle with hungry stomachs and daylight to spare.  After cleaning up after a long drive from Utah we ate at Noi Thai Cuisine near Pike’s Place.  We found it on TripAdvisor and it had good reviews.  We were more than satisfied; I would definitely recommend eating there. Great service, fun atmosphere, and delicious food.  I got a yellow curry with rice, Tanner got Pad Thai, Fallon got some sort of a salmon dish, and Alex got Cashew Chicken.  All of them were super good & I’d recommend all of the dishes. From Noi Thai it’s about 1-2 blocks to the famous gum wall. A short 5 minute walk and you’re there experiencing the one-of-a-kind landmark.

Noi Thai Cuisine

Pikes Place Gum Wall

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We stayed at the Best Western near the Space Needle in Seattle.  After pricing out airBNB’s for 4 people, the hotel ended up being the cheapest.  Per night we paid $55 a couple.  The only downfall about Seattle is that parking is outrageous! Whether paying for parking at your hotel or along the streets–it adds up quickly.  We decided to park our car at the hotel for about $30.00/day/vehicle ($15 split per couple for us).  I would recommend paying for parking at your hotel and walking to anyone who’s hotel is walking distance to a few of the spots you want to see.

Before leaving on our trip we pre-purchased Seattle’s CityPass (found here) for $70.00/person.  Believe me, if you want to experience Seattle’s main attractions affordably, you NEED to purchase one of these! The CityPass is awesome because you can choose 4 different attractions to experience.  Our first full day in Seattle started out with using our CityPass at the Space needle.

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We then walked a few feet over to the Pacific Science Center.  We watched a movie in the big IMAX(included with purchase of Seattle City Pass), and explored the facility.  I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed it. There’s so much to see & learn!  We stayed for about 3 hours in total. Make sure you go into the Tropical Butterfly House.

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We walked a few blocks over to Sport Restaurant and Bar located on 140 4th Ave N. We enjoyed the food, but wouldn’t go back. There’s so many others to try & it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. From there we walked back to our hotel, got the car, and drove to Gas Works Park.  I had seen pictures online before going and it looked cool! The park is an abandoned gas-production plant and sits on 19 acres of land.  It has great walking/jogging paths, and great views! It’s a quirky park, but that makes it more fun to explore!

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In order to make the most out of the City Pass make sure to go up to the Space Needle at evening time too.  It’s included in the pass & the views are incredible.

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Space Needle

Pacific Science Center

Gas Works Parks

Our next day was dedicated to Pike’s Place Market & the Aquarium.  You can’t go to Seattle without stopping at Pike’s Place! Ka-peesh? The environment is kicking and the vendors are local.  Everything there seems to be a bit overpriced, but you can’t go to Pike’s Place without splurging in a few things! I recommend eating at Pikes Place Chowder for the most fresh tasting clam chowder. 🙂 Make sure to take a picture by the first Starbucks & watch the employees at Beechers make their famous homemade cheese. I especially like Ellenos Real Greek Yogurt for a sweet treat after a meal.  They let you taste test flavors..so…you know what to do!

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Pikes Pike Market

Seattle Aquarium

The next day we woke up and ate breakfast in our hotel room with the food we brought.  We decided before the trip that we wanted to save costs by packing our own food.  This allowed us to eat out only 1-2 times per day. The third full day was designated to Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo & Kerry Park.  The zoo is huge! Due to the weather we didn’t stay nearly as long as we would have.  I would say the zoo is a must if: 1) you use the Citypass 2) it’s good weather.  If it’s not good weather, you might want to hold off when it’s warmer weather.  You’ll see a lot more animals this way. Either way though we had a blast and made the most of the time.  Tanner loves ducks so he was in heaven while we were in the bird section of the zoo. I love the kid in him.

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After the zoo we needed to warm up & relax.  So we went back to the hotel for a short nap(lame, I know! But we were SO cold).  Afterwards we went out to dinner, and then stopped at Kerry Park.  I had researched the best parks in Seattle, and this one was famous for the view.  No wonder why! The views are iconic & worth your time. We went at night, and I would recommend that.  Especially if you’re going to buy the CityPass and go on the harbor tour during the day.  Kerry Park is small.  Truly it is more of a lookout, but an incredible one!

P.s. after dinner the two boys dropped Fallon and I off at the Westlake Center Mall in downtown Seattle so we could enjoy a Pressed Juicery freeze. I had seen a big hype about them on Instagram and wanted to try one.  Basically it’s fresh, pressed juice frozen like ice cream. You can put toppings on it and eat it with spoon. They now have various locations around the US, including in CA, HI, NY, and Las Vegas. Westlake Center Mall has some great shopping options, inside and nearby it.  If you’re one to go shopping on vacation, this location is ideal!

Woodland Park Zoo

Kerry Park

Westlake Center Mall

The last day was one of our favorites in Seattle. We used our CityPass and enjoyed the Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour.  We had checked out of our hotel and so we ended up paying for parking near Argosy storefront. Parking was about $14 dollars for 4 hours I recall, but we didn’t really know of another alternative. Unfortunately it was a cloudy day, but the views of Seattle still amazed us.  Our tour guide was amazing and made the experience what it was.  He was funny and super informative! If you go, I recommend stepping outside onto the ship deck to take pictures.

DSC_0275Afterwards we enjoyed more seafood at the famous Ivar’s Acres of Clams.  Luckily at this point the sun was shining so we enjoyed our fish n’ chips & clam chowder. The food was so fresh!! We had time to spare before parking time was up so we went back to Pike’s Place & enjoyed the hustle & bustle present there.   That night we stayed at an AirBNB along the outskirts of Seattle for $40/couple, and started our journey home. Our airBNB came with a full kitchen so we cooked some food that night there.  Although we didn’t end up staying in airBNB’s much this trip, we usually do on most travels.  They seem to come with more amenities for a cheaper price.

Argosy Cruises Harbor Tours

Ivar’s Acres of Clams

Pikes Place Market

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Overall, if you follow this travel guide for Seattle, you should estimate about $530/couple ($265/person) for 4 nights & 4.5 days.  Totally affordable-especially for everything we experienced!

  • Hotel(3 nights), AirBNB(1) = $250 ($210=Hotel + parking, $40 AirBNB)
  • Parking around Seattle: $40
  • Food: $100
  • Attractions: City Pass $140 (Space Needle, Woodland Park Zoo, Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour, Kerry Park, Pikes Place Market, Gas Works Park)
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