72 Hours In Seattle: The Best Itinerary

Whether you’re visiting direct or adding it on to your journey, Seattle is a great city break option that’s away from the norm. Located in the US Pacific North West, its one of Washington States best locations for a short 3 day trip.
Seattle. Photo: Thom Milkovic | Unsplash.com

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The Emerald City aka Seattle, Washington is a great city break getaway for all travellers. Stereotyped as being a rainy city, Seattle has a diverse range of activities and tourist attractions from its food and drink options to outdoor activities and shopping.

Seattle is close to the Canadian border, only a three-hour drive from Vancouver, so it’s a great location for a duo-city escape. Here’s the ultimate itinerary for 72 hours in Seattle so you don’t miss a thing!

As Seattle is a large city, most attractions are close by so everything is accessible either on public transport (bus, taxi, monorail) or on foot if you’re up for the walk! The Pike Place Market area is central so staying here is a great hub that’s near all public transport options and has lots of shopping and restaurants. Other hotels in the surrounding area also offer great amenities within a short walk or cab/bus journey away. 

Where to stay in Pike Place Market, Seattle?

Seattle Day 1 – Pike Place Market / Downtown

Being the heart of the city, this is where you can see and do a lot of things in a short amount of time within one area. Pike Place Market is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Seattle for being a great market that appeals to all crowds, with an abundance of dining options, shops and entertainment.

Pike Place Market. Photo: Sabine Ojeil | Unsplash.com

What to see and do in Pike Place Market?

If you’re a foodie, there are plenty of seafood options available. Being a coastal city, seafood is a huge offering in Seattle’s restaurant options. You can even try a King Crab Cocktail from City Fish! Aside from the food and drink, there are plenty of shops Downtown; such as Macy’s, Nordstrom and Anthropology.

Where to eat in Pike Place Market?

Have lunch or dinner at Athenian, a seafood restaurant and bar where scenes of Sleepless in Seattle were filmed. You can even sit in the same chair that Tom Hanks sat in!

Seattle Day 2 – Seattle Centre & Space Needle

After breakfast, you can make your way on foot from Pike Place Market to Seattle Centre and the Space Needle. On the walk, you’ll pass through Olympic Sculpture Park, Myrtle Edwards Park, Elliott Bay Trial, Elliott Avenue, and then you’ll reach Seattle Centre and Space Needle.

Space Needle. Photo: Michael Discenza | Unsplash.com

What to see and do in Seattle Centre?]

In Seattle Centre, you can stroll through music, television and other merchandise from the entertainment industry in The Museum of Pop Culture, explore the interactive exhibits in The Pacific Science Centre, or take in the city views from the top of the Space Needle.

Where to eat in Seattle Centre?

Catch a late lunch or early dinner at Wa’z Seattle, a Japanese fine-ding resultant just two blocks south of the Space Needle. Famed for their traditional, multiple-course meals served specifically in sequence to honour Japanese culture.

Travel Tip – save your tired feet and head back to the hotel on the Monorail!

Seattle Day 3 – Ferry to Bainbridge Island

Heading to the waterfront, catch a Ferry to Bainbridge Island for the day! Rent a car or boat over on foot, it’s a great way to spend a true ‘day in the life of a local Pacific Northwest style. The island is a great escape from the city, it’ll make you feel like you’re a million miles away when you’re just across the bay!

Bainbridge Island. Photo: Zoi Palla | Unsplash.com

What to see and do on Bainbridge Island?

Only 5 miles wide by 10 miles long, Bainbridge Island is a perfect way to spend a few hours or most of the day. During the summer they host a Saturday Farmer’s Market, and if you travel over in a car you can explore some of the parks on the shoreline which give amazing views of the Seattle skyline. You could even walk along the lighthouse trail or check out the island’s observatory!

Where to eat on Bainbridge Island?

In small-town fashion, head to Cafe Nola for lunch/dinner or grab a quick baked good and coffee from Blackbird Bakery. On the harbour where the Ferry docks there are traditional restaurants such as Dock’s Marina Grill, Harbour Public House and Marina, and Restaurant Marché.

Useful tips for travelling in Seattle, USA:

Before visiting Seattle, you should be aware of the tipping etiquette in the USA. From hotels, bars, restaurants and taxis, there are many instances where tipping or paying an included service charge is mandatory, so it’s best to be prepared with enough money to cover these costs. Check out our How Much Should You Tip When Visiting The USA? guide for detailed information. 

Space Needle and Monorail. Photo: Jonathan Saleh | Unsplash.com

The best time to visit Seattle, USA:

Summer or shoulder season. As Seattle is located in the Pacific Northwest, its winters can get cold and snowy, and its Spring/Fall months have a fair share of rain. As most activities are outdoors, it’s best to visit during the months of March – October.

What is the currency of Seattle, USA?

USD – United States Dollar, it’s recommended to use a card (Debit/Credit Card) and also carry cash money for any extra tipping.

Can you drink tap water in Seattle, USA?

Yes, although most hotels will likely offer bottled water as standard. Restaurants will offer water from the tap unless it’s a fine-dining establishment, and if you’re out and about there are many local corner convenience stores to grab a bottle from.

Language of the USA:

English, although American English is different to British English so the words and phrases can mean different things Gas = Petrol etc.

Is the USA safe?

Yes. Like most destinations, the US has its fair share of issues and disturbances, but its cities are safe for tourists to explore.

Final thoughts:

Seattle. Photo: Nitish Meena | Unsplash.com

Seattle is a perfect city-break option if you’re looking for a US city experience that isn’t the usual LA, Los Angeles or New York. Its often included on multi-centre itineraries.


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