Hey guys! As you probably know, I was in Seattle for 3 days this October, and I had a wonderful time exploring the city with some good friends! As a college student on a budget, I really didn’t want to spend money on anything except for food. That left us to find attractions and places to go that were free or very low budget. To help save you some time (and money) the next time you’re in Seattle, I’m going to share my top 8 free things to do with you!
- Visit the Space Needle – even though going up in it is pricey, you can still enjoy seeing this famous attraction from the ground! The glass museum is also right next to it, and I’ve heard is worth the cost. But if you’re staying low budget, you can walk or ride the monorail (only a few dollars) to visit the needle. Walk around on the park and grounds surrounding it, and enjoy this really cool building for free!
- Pike Place Market – undoubtedly my favorite place in Seattle. It’s totally free to get in and walk around, although you will need self-control not to buy the many amazing things sold there. Perhaps visiting without any money the first time would be a good way to control your spending! If you want to eat, do it here – it’s fantastic and usually cheaper than a sit down restaurant. It should take you at least half a day to fully explore the market – don’t leave any floor undiscovered!
- The Waterfront – walking along the waterfront will yield lots of fascinating finds, like the ye olde curiosity shoppe. Part cheap tourist attractions and part crazy weird items, like ancient human mummies, tiny people engraved on rice, and shrunken heads. The waterfront also has tons of delish little seafood “bars”, as well as other cool finds, like a huge antique shop.
- Book Shops – now, if you have no self-control these might not be cheap. However, I just love browsing through beautiful bookstores. Here a just a few great ones we visited.
- Left Bank Books – a really unique anarchist bookshop right outside pike place market. It has a zine collection, and is honestly a lot of fun to browse through.
- The Elliott Bay Book Company – an absolutely huge bookstore located at the top of capitol hill, which can be quite the climb. It’s open until 11pm and I could have spent hours exploring the inside. There are tons of employee recommendations on books (my fav), and such an amazing selection.
- Globe Bookstore – this is such a cozy little bookshop with a great collection of Spanish language children’s books. It’s in pioneer square, which is a really cool arts district not too far from the waterfront.
- Bookshops in the market. There are two bookshops in pike place market itself. One of them is jam packed with books nearly to the ceiling. This one is called BLMF literary saloon. The other one was Lion Heart Book Store, the best part of which was the owner, not the books. He asks his patrons to send him postcards from their travels, and you can flip through them. He chatted with me the entire time I browsed, and kept lively banter with all the people in the store. Both are an absolute must visit!
Unfortunately I only had three days in Seattle. I was unable to explore as much as I would have liked, especially the museums. I only have these 8 places to share, but I hope they can help you find some free things to do while in Seattle!