Also known as the Emerald City, Seattle is a luscious city that combines urban living with Pacific Northwest nature! This makes it an interesting destination for those looking to explore the region – especially with it being the largest city in the area. It is also the home of coffee culture, West Coast cool and laid back restaurants.
It is also a notoriously confusing city to get around, with neighborhood boundaries changing frequently and a difficult to navigate the street system. This makes it important to research the different areas before planning your itinerary.
That’s why we’ve built this guide! We’ve figured out the seven best neighborhoods in Seattle and put them into handy categories based on what they are best for.
So let’s get started!
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Seattle
- Where to stay in Seattle for your first time? Queen Anne
- Where to stay in Seattle close to everything? Downtown
- Where to stay in Seattle for nightlife? Pioneer Square
- Best neighborhood in Seattle for families? West Seattle
- Where to stay in Seattle on a budget? Capitol Hill
- Where to stay in Seattle for couples? Ballard
- Where to stay in Seattle for culture? Belltown
Where to Stay in Seattle
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Seattle.
Sarah & Mark’s BnB
- Indoor fireplac
- Free parking on premises
- Free Wifi
You can explore all the sights of the city while still enjoying the peaceful life in the suburbs in this cozy cottage in Seattle! With its sunny rooms, wooden floors, and boutique decor, this is one BnB that stands out from all the rest!
City Hostel Seattle
- Free Internet Access
- Self-Catering Facilities
- Laundry Facilities
Located right in the heart of the Queen Anne district, City Hostel Seattle is perfect for backpackers that want to hit all of the major sites during their time in the city! With a cinema, art gallery and BBQ patio, it is also teeming with fantastic facilities that create a great social space.
Staypineapple at Hotel FIVE
Staypineapple are dedicated to providing budget-friendly comfort, and their Hotel FIVE accommodation is one of the most popular in the city! They are a little more expensive than other budget options, but with excellent attention to detail are worth every penny. Breakfast is included.
Fairmont Olympic Hotel
Boasting a Downtown location, the Fairmont Olympic Hotel is the perfect five star choice for those wanting to enjoy Seattle in style! With excellent facilities that ooze timeless elegance, you will feel pampered from the second you walk in the door. Rooms also come with luxury toiletries and spacious en-suites.
Seattle 7 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the seven best neighbourhoods in Seattle. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
Best neighborhood in Seattle for your first time!
- COOLEST thing to do in Queen Anne – take a stroll through Chihuly Garden to admire the mesmerising nature and equally astounding glass art
- BEST place to visit in Queen Anne – no trip to Seattle is complete without a trip up the Sky Needle – the most recognisable landmark of the city skyline!
Queen Anne is where most of the city’s most well-known attractions are located – making it the ideal base for your first trip to the city! Not only does it host the Sky Needle, but it is also packed with beautiful parks, interesting galleries and innovative restaurant. For a truly warm Seattle welcome, you can’t go wrong with Queen Anne.
Divided into two districts, Queen Anne also has plenty of options depending on what kind of tourist you are! Lower Queen Anne is busier and closer to the city centre, whilst the rest of Queen Anne offers a calm break away from the bustle of the main attractions.
- If you want a free view across the city, head to Kerry Park on top of Queen Anne Hill – perfect for catching the sunrise!
- Seattle has one of the most diverse culinary scenes in the United States – grab some fantastic Creole cuisine at Toulouse Petit
- The Science Fiction Museum is a must for any fans of the genre – from movies to comics, they have exhibits that span the entire history of sci-fi
- The Wick is a quirky attraction that operates a motorcycle shop by day, and a popular watering hole by night
- The Museum of Pop Culture is the only exhibit of its kind in North America – learn about popular music, film and television through the years
Best Air BnB Queen Anne
With its gas fire, cozy rooms, and homey decor, this studio apartment is one of the best places in Seattle to kick off the vacation of your dreams! Putting you just minutes away from the downtown and nearby some of the best restaurants and bars, there is no better place to call home!
Best Hostel Queen Anne
Housed within a restored 1920s building, City Hostel Seattle is the best backpacker option for those that want to stay close to all of the main attractions in the city! They have a large outdoor patio area – perfect during the summer – that also has a barbecue restaurant attached.
Best Budget Hotel in Queen Anne
The true winning feature of this hotel is the rooftop terrace which features views across the city and the Olympic Mountains! It also has some excellent facilities, including a fitness centre and private parking. Rooms are well equipped with kitchenettes and luxurious bathroom suites. Free WiFi is also available.
Best Luxury Hotel in Queen Anne
Situated in the shadow of the Sky Needle, this is the perfect splurge option for staying in the heart of the city! There is a 24 hour fitness centre on-site, as well as an extensive business centre – making it a great option for corporate travellers. A complimentary breakfast buffet is included in the rate.
Heading to Seattle? Save some money with our guide to the coolest hostels in Seattle!
Where to stay in Seattle close to everything!
- COOLEST thing to do in Downtown – try your hand at competitive video gaming at Gameworks
- BEST place to visit in Downtown – for the best views of the city, head to the Columbia Center – the tallest building in the region
As the home of the central business district, Downtown is the best-connected neighborhood in Seattle – giving those who choose to stay here easy access to all of the best areas in town! It is also home to the main transport hubs and is only a short walk from the main attractions at Queen Anne.
Convenient location aside, Downtown has plenty of attractions in its own right! From towering skyscrapers to hole in the wall restaurants, there’s a little something for everyone in the Downtown neighborhood. It also houses some of the most popular museums in the city, giving you a great cultural insight.
- Sample the flavours of the city with the Taste of Seattle Food Tour through the markets and restaurants that have shaped its diverse cuisine
- Seattle Art Museum has huge exhibitions dedicated to both contemporary and classical art from across America and abroad
- Bay Pavilion on Pier 57 is one of the most touristy attractions in the city but with good reason – it houses some fantastic shops and entertainment facilities
- Cyber Dogs specialises in hot dogs, offering some of the best street food in the city – they even have vegetarian and vegan options
- Head to the original Starbucks store to learn about the history of the global brand and grab a latte
Best Air BnB Downtown
You can’t quite get more “downtown” than this centrally located BnB! With the world-famous Pike Place Market just a block away, you will have all of Seattle’s best sights within walking distance. With its boutique decor and homey vibes, you are sure to fall in love with Seattle!
Best Hotel for Backpackers Downtown
If you want a private room but still want the communal experience that you usually get from a hostel, the Baroness Hotel is a fantastic choice! They have some great communal facilities, including a roof terrace with views across the city. There is also complimentary WiFi throughout the hostel.
Recommended Article: Looking for the best hostels in Washington DC? Check out our EPIC Guide!
Best Budget Hotel in Downtown
For a little bit of an upgrade without breaking the bank, Hotel Max offers interesting design right in the heart of Downtown! There is a 24 hour fitness centre on-site, allowing you to keep up with your routine, as well as bike rental facilities – a fun way to explore the city centre.
Best Luxury Hotel in Downtown
This five star hotel comes with fantastic guest ratings thanks to its great location, excellent levels of service and unbeatable facilities! There is a large fitness centre and a heated indoor pool, as well as 24 hour concierge service to help you with your needs throughout your stay in Seattle.
Where to stay in Seattle for nightlife!
- COOLEST thing to do in Pioneer Square – participate in the monthly Art Walk where local galleries open their doors and offer free wine and snacks
- BEST place to visit in Pioneer Square – there is a sizeable Asian community in Seattle – learn about their impact and creativity at the Wing Luke Museum
As the oldest neighborhood in the city, Pioneer Square is where you can learn about the city’s history and traditions. It is also the biggest nightlife hub in the city – making it a must-visit for party seekers! Whether you want dive bars, buzzing nightclubs or laid back cocktail bars, there’s a little bit of everything in the area.
Like much of the rest of the city, Pioneer Square is a great place to sample the diverse cuisine! Many of the city’s immigrant communities call this area home, creating a vibrant culinary scene. There are also some excellent shopping venues, as well as major museums dedicated to the city’s history.
- Trinity Nightclub is the most popular venue in the city, with a great selection of DJs and regular themed nights
- If you are more interested in EDM, head to The Underground for the latest in electronic music – along with agreeable drink prices!
- Box House Sports Bar has more a dive bar atmosphere to it, but is also one of the most popular venues to watch local games
- This is the best area in the city – and arguably the entire Pacific Northwest – to sample Dim Sum – we recommend Canton Won Ton House
- Head on the Underworld Tour to learn about the seedy underbelly of Seattle – an adult-only attraction, be sure to bring ID
Best Air BnB Pioneer Square
With its exposed brick, modern furnishings, and relaxing vibe, this is one of the best places in Seattle to base yourself from during your holiday! With tons of restaurants nearby and even a night club next door, this BnB brings the nightlife straight to you!
Best Hostel Pioneer Square
A well-renowned hostel chain across North America, Hostelling International has brought their Seattle accommodation to the American Hotel. This creates an interesting atmosphere that hosts guests from all walks of life! HI Seattle is a great option for mingling with other guests thanks to their large communal spaces.
Best Budget Hotel in Pioneer Square
Located on the boundary between Pioneer Square and Downtown, this is a great budget choice for staying close to all of the main attractions! There is a large bar on-site with a great range of drinks and snacks, and a full American style breakfast is provided every morning. They also have parking facilities.
Best Luxury Hotel in Pioneer Square
A true beacon of luxury in the city centre, the five star Kimpton Alexis Hotel combines historic charm with modern convenience in every room! Part of the IHG Group, there are plenty of additional perks for rewards members, and the standards of service are excellent across the board.
Want to see more than just Seattle? Take a day trip from Seattle to get to know United States!
Best neighborhood in Seattle for families!
- COOLEST thing to do in West Seattle – hire a kayak and explore the Puget Sound in style – guided tours are also available
- BEST place to visit in West Seattle – The Viewpoint at Admiral has some excellent views towards the Seattle skyline
A little bit further out from the city centre, West Seattle is a great place in Seattle with kids! Though it has a bit of a small-town feel, it still comes with great facilities. This makes it the perfect choice for families that are just looking for a relaxing city break in the Pacific Northwest region.
Despite the distance, West Seattle is well connected with the city centre meaning you can easily explore the other more vibrant neighborhoods! This is great if you need somewhere relaxing to stay in the evenings but don’t want to miss out on all of the action.
- Alki Beach is the most popular sandy beach in Seattle – aside from the great views, it has tonnes of facilities and great restaurants nearby
- If you want to try your hand at a spot of golf, West Seattle Golf Course has a well-maintained course and great clubhouse
- Ampersand Coffee embodies Seattle cool, offering some of the best brews this side of the Puget Sound
- Marination Ma Kai specialises in Hawaiian-Korean fusion cuisine, but also incorporates other food traditions to create innovative dishes
- Wander through Lincoln Park to admire Washington state’s wild nature and enjoy the plentiful facilities
Best Air BnB West Seattle
You couldn’t find a more perfect BnB even if you jumped into the pages of a magazine! With its sunny rooms, modern amenities and trendy decor, this home will have you staying just a few minutes away from the beautiful Alki Beach Park!
Best Hotel for Backpackers West Seattle
Whilst there aren’t any hostels in West Seattle, the Grove is a well-rated motel with some of the most budget-friendly rates in the city! Though fairly basic, the rooms are well equipped with everything you could possibly need for a short stay in the city. A continental breakfast is also included.
Best Budget Hotel in West Seattle
Located a little further from the main strip in West Seattle, the Gatewood Bed and Breakfast is a bit of a hideaway – perfect if you want to distance yourself from the crowds! Rooms are well equipped with modern technology, and the continental breakfast includes vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
Best Luxury Hotel in West Seattle
This luxury bed and breakfast has a warm and welcoming feel thanks to the limited guest numbers! Located right on the waterfront, guests are rewarded with magnificent views across the Puget Sound towards the city centre skyline. A buffet breakfast is included as part of the rate.
Where to stay in Seattle on a budget!
- COOLEST thing to do in Capitol Hill – visiting in May/June? Check out the Seattle International Film Festival
- BEST place to visit in Capitol Hill – Northwest Museum of Legends and Lore is an interesting exhibit of the paranormal
Capitol Hill is arguably the coolest neighborhood in Seattle! Though not the cheapest neighborhood in the city, it is one of the best priced with easy access to the city centre. This gives budget-conscious travellers the best of both worlds in one of the most notoriously expensive cities in the country.
The area has a very creative vibe – and is known as a hub for the literary crew in Seattle! It is also a great option for LGBTQ+ travellers that want to check out the local gay scene. If your interests lie in alternative neighborhoods, Capitol Hill is absolutely well worth the visit.
- Elliot Bay Book Company is so much more than a bookstore – they host regular readings and events and are open until late in the evening
- The Seattle Asian Art Museum houses the largest collection of Asian art on the American west coast
- Wander around the gorgeous Volunteer Park and discover why Seattle earned the nickname ‘The Emerald City’
- The Baltic Room is not only a popular nightclub but an important meeting point for Capitol Hill’s many communities
- Bluebird Microcreamery and Brewery make their own ice cream and beer, combining two of Seattle’s greatest passions
Best Air BnB Capitol Hill
With rooftop views where you can take in the whole Seattle skyline, there is no better place to experience the city than from with unique BnB. Both historic and trendy, this one of a kind stay will have you never wanting to leave your nest in Seattle!
Best Hostel Capitol Hill
This brand new hostel is fairly basic – with only one dorm for all guests – however, has some great facilities. The on-site kitchen is well equipped and spacious, and there is a microwave and coffee machine in the room. High speed WiFi is available throughout the property, and there are free parking spaces for guests.
Best Budget Hotel in Capitol Hill
Close to the lake, this hotel is a little bit of an upgrade from other budget hotels in the area but well worth spending a little extra on! There is a large fitness centre on-site, as well as a business area for corporate guests. A continental breakfast is included in the rate.
Best Luxury Hotel in Capitol Hill
On the other hand, this four star luxury hotel is a little bit cheaper than others in the city thanks to its location! Rooms are well equipped with modern technology and cool design. An American breakfast is provided and comes with both vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Best neighborhood in Seattle for couples!
- COOLEST thing to do in Ballard – take a walk around Ballard Farmers Market to discover why this is becoming one of the city’s coolest neighborhoods
- BEST place to visit in Ballard – check out the Nordic History Museum to learn about Scandinavian immigration to the area and its influence on local culture
North of the city centre, Ballard oozes just enough Scandinavian inspired cool to make it a true hidden gem in Seattle! For couples, Ballard provides a peaceful retreat away from the busy centre with a strong community spirit and excellent facilities.
This is one of the most unique neighborhoods in Seattle, and is perfect if you want to discover the seafaring culture of this region of America! The picturesque setting is only a stone’s throw away from the city centre, giving you the option of exploring the main attractions.
- Hiram M. Chittenden Locks is a great place to spot boats, as well as watch the salmon climbing the ladders in summer
- Seattle Metaphysical Library is dedicated to books on the paranormal, astrology and other similar topics
- Ballard is the contemporary brewery capital of Seattle – we suggest sampling some of Stoup’s offerings
- Sober up with a pastry from Larsen’s Danish Bakery – inspired by the area’s Scandinavian heritage, it is now a Seattle institution
Best Air BnB Ballard
What was once an old fisherman’s cabin, has been transformed into one of the best BnBs to stay in all of Seattle! With its modern decor and trendy vibes, you will have to tear yourself away fromt the comfort of this condo to explore the city!
Best Hostel Ballard
Though a little petite, HotelHotel Hostel is bursting with charm and truly draws upon the creative atmosphere of the surrounding area! They offer a complimentary breakfast every morning, and the kitchen facilities are well thought out to maximise your enjoyment. Rooms are themed to create a fun atmosphere.
Best Budget Hotel in Ballard
Housed within a historic building, the Ballard Inn could be considered a local attraction in its own right! Rooms draw inspiration from the building’s history to create elegant living spaces with antique furniture. The 24 hour reception has a dedicated tourism team that can help you with taxis and tour bookings.
Best Luxury Hotel in Ballard
Also located within a historic building, this four star boutique is the perfect upgrade for couples that want to enjoy a romantic getaway in Ballard! Offering a 24 hour concierge service, they also have an excellent roof terrace with views over the Seattle skyline and the Olympic mountains.
Best neighborhood in Seattle for culture!
- COOLEST thing to do in Belltown – grab a coffee and a bite to eat at the famous Pike Place Market
- BEST place to visit in Belltown – check out the different sculptures dotted along the coast at Olympic Sculpture Park
Though considered officially as part of the Downtown Area, Belltown is regarded as a neighborhood in its own right by locals thanks to the distinctive atmosphere! This is where you will find some of the best culinary and nightlife options – especially if you are more interested in a laid-back venue.
It is also a good place to take in the best of Pacific Northwest culture! There are plenty of music and theatre venus dotted around Belltown where you can check out local performers. Easy going and packed with charm, Belltown should definitely be on your itinerary whether you choose to stay there or not.
- The Crocodile is a popular bar with locals where you can catch live music – they famously once hosted Nirvana and Pearl Jam
- Head to Mr Darcy’s and grab one of their literary-themed cocktails whilst admiring the brooding atmosphere
- Westlake Park is a great spot to get away from the business of the city and take in the fresh air, gorgeous views and calm atmosphere
- Head to Bedlam Coffee to try some great speciality brews – Seattle has come a long way from Starbucks!
- Try some innovative European inspired dishes at Tilikum Place Café – we recommend the pancakes
Best Air BnB Belltown
With its open courtyard, this BnB is an oasis in the middle of the noisy yet vibrant city! With its designer decor and boutique style, this cozy abode makes for the perfect place to call home while exploring all the sights of Seattle!
Best Hostel Belltown
Offering a delicious free breakfast, Green Tortoise perfectly embodies Seattle hospitality! They run regular events in tours – including pub crawls three times a week. There is a large kitchen and common area where you can mingle with locals. It is also well located – only a short walk from the market.
Best Budget Hotel in Belltown
Staypineapple have quickly become one of the biggest names in budget-friendly comfort across America! Their pineapple themed rooms ooze character, and the standard of service provided is unbeatable. A complimentary breakfast buffet is provided every morning, and a free pineapple based treat is served every evening.
Best Luxury Hotel in Belltown
Straddling the boundary between Belltown and Queen Anne, the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle is in the ideal location for exploring most of the city’s main attractions! It is also the highest-rated five star hotel in the city, ensuring optimal quality and service standards. Rooms are well equipped with marble en-suites.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Seattle?
Seattle is a verdant metropolis with a lot of surprises hidden in its streets! The diverse culinary scene is arguably one of the best in America, and their love of coffee goes beyond their most famous chain. This easy-going city makes for an impressive gateway to the Pacific Northwest.
We don’t usually save the best ‘til last, but Belltown takes our pick for the best neighborhood in Seattle! Central, stylish and vibrant – it embodies everything that makes the city and attractive tourist destination.
That being said, every area mentioned in this guide has its own charms and we sure hope you won’t be left sleepless with wherever you choose to stay!
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!
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