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Where to stay in Seattle

A comprehensive guide on finding the best accommodation in Seattle for first time visitors that want to make the most out of the holiday. Here's where to stay in Seattle!

Where to Stay in Seattle Guide

You must be so excited about visiting Seattle, and you're ready to pack your bags. You're now wondering where to stay in Seattle. There are many neighbourhoods and accommodation options to pick from, so it may feel a little overwhelming. Don't worry, we're here to help explain where to stay in Seattle on your upcoming visit.

Tucked between Puget Sound, Lake Washington, the Cascade and Olympic Mountains, the epic city of Seattle has so much to offer. With a famous music scene known for growing some of America's most notable artists, world-famous structures like the Space Needle, and a thriving arts and culture trail, there's so much to see and do in Seattle you will never get bored!

Home of the first Starbucks, a renowned university, the exceptional Pike Market, the largest gay pride festival in the country, and a flourishing food and coffee culture, the city has a lot to be proud of and loves to share it. Humbly, of course because the laid-back vibes here are second to none! You're going to love your stay in Seattle so much!

To make sure you enjoy everything that Seattle has to offer, it's important to pick the best place to stay for your individual travel style. That's why, in this comprehensive accommodation guide, we explain where to stay in Seattle and why. Ready? Let's go!

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Where to stay in Seattle

Yay for visiting Seattle. We're so excited for you! But first, let's discuss the hotels and places to stay in Seattle.

Seattle is easy to get around and benefits from free public transport in central areas, making it extremely convenient for visitors. That's why we think that the downtown Seattle is the best place to stay for first time visitors. Seattle is a vibrant city with enough to keep you busy for weeks, and it's known as the Emerald City for good reason.

Seattle is home to a large collection of neighbourhoods, where no two areas offer the same experience, so it's best to base yourself in a central location, so you can quickly access all the tourist attractions.

Seattle is a safe city and most tourists have a great time in Seattle without any incidents. Tourists hardly experience any violent crime, and the only thing you need to be aware of is petty crime. Practice common sense and always take travel insurance.

It's a big place, with accommodation options for every kind of traveller, so let's dive in our neighbourhood guide and find you the best place to stay in Seattle.

Where to stay in Seattle

Downtown Seattle - Central Area With World-class Theatre And Arts

Seattle is known for its relaxed atmosphere - even in the downtown Seattle, which is far more bustling than the rest of the city, you'll still get that laid back way of life. Downtown Seattle is a perfect hub for sightseeing and getting around to other parts of the city, encircled by Capitol Hill, Pioneer Square, Queen Anne, and Elliot Bay. Downtown Seattle is a safe place to stay in Seattle and most first time tourist pick this area as the safest and most convenient.

It also benefits from being within a fare-free travel zone for the city buses. Which means you can visit so many attractions without having to pay for public transport. Isn't that amazing? The money you save on transportation, you can add towards a fancier hotel in the city center.

Downtown Seattle is an area of high rises, fantastic shopping (including the famous Pike Place Market, Seattle's top tourist destination), world-class theatre and arts, and views of the waterfront and famous Seattle skyline. You can even visit the original Starbucks. There's a wide range of accommodation here, including some of the most luxurious hotels in the city.

Need to know: Downtown Seattle is a buzzing area. This means the area could be a bit busy for anyone looking to enjoy the relaxed Seattle life, or anyone looking for the hipster scene that the city is famous for. Most of the major attractions are in Queen Anne. Downtown Seattle ideal for high-end shopping or theatre, so this is the place to be for the arts.

Downtown is one of the most expensive areas in the city, but also one of the best places to stay in Seattle.

Where to stay in Seattle in downtown - views of the waterfront

Where To Stay In Downtown

Here's our collection of the best hotels you can find in Downtown Seattle. As always, tried and tested by ourselves, our editors or readers. Check them out, we always pick accommodation with a high guest rating!

Luxury: Hotel Palihotel Seattle

Palihotel Seattle offers accommodation in Seattle near Pike Place Market and Space Needle. This hotel was featured in the top 30 hotels in the Pacific Northwest. It offers a restaurant, a bar as well as a coffee bar and a cosy lobby lounge. It's perfect for tourists who want to be close to attractions!
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: Hotel Hyatt at Olive 8

After a day in downtown Seattle, guests can enjoy a sauna and a fitness centre at Olive 8 Hyatt. I don't know about you, but every tourist to Seattle that comes back to the hotel after a fun rainy day wants to chill in a hot, cosy sauna. For the best luxury hotel, this 4-star hotel is definitely a winner.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: Hotel Kimpton Hotel Monaco

Located in Central Seattle, Kimpton Hotel Monaco Seattle is less than a mile away from The Space Needle and Safeco Field. It's perfect for exploring Seattle from its door step. Not only you can enjoy a cosy and luxurious room, but you'll be so close to attractions and get to enjoy the free public transport for travel around. Lots of trendy restaurants all around the hotel as well.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Stunning city centre location - a great place to stay in Seattle

Seattle Center - The Heart Of The City, Great For Getting Around

Just northwest of Downtown Seattle, it's the Seattle Center. With the famous Space Needle marking this are like a spire, you'll always be able to find your way back. With easy access to the areas encircling Downtown and the benefit of the fare-free zone, there's a lot on offer nearby. If you stay in central areas, you don't need a car to visit Seattle. The city has great public transport.

See the Seattle Children's Museum or the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP).Specific to the Seattle Center, visit the Experience Music Project museum, where you can enjoy works from some infamous musical artists from the area like Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix.

You also have easy access to the Westlake Center shopping mall for all of your shopping needs. If you're looking to be dead centre of the city with easy access to everything, this is the place to stay in Seattle. You'll also be close to the Seattle Art Museum and Pike Place Market.

Need to know: Much like Downtown Seattle, it's an expensive and busy area. It lacks some character Seattle is known for, and you won't find many historical and hipster areas here. However, it's perfect for those who are looking for luxury, mixed with shopping and convenience. From Seattle Center, you'll still be able to quickly access the rest of the interest points.

Beautiful autumn street in the centre of Seattle - ideal place to stay in Seattle

Where To Stay In Seattle Centre

You've decided the Seattle Center is for you. Awesome choice. Now you're wondering what's the best hotel in the area? See our curated hotels below. Seattle Center is a great location, so there are plenty of accommodation options for every budget!

Luxury: Hotel Mayflower Park

Built in 1927, this historic hotel located in Seattle center, within a 10-minute walk to Pike Place Market. It features Andaluca Restaurant and Oliver's Lounge. Mayflower Park Hotel is a wonderful 3 star hotel that claims to be the oldest continuously operating hotel in central Seattle.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Affordable Luxury: Hotel Renaissance Seattle

Located just 1.5 miles away from The Space Needle, Renaissance Seattle Hotel is a stylish 4-star hotel, perfect for tourists who want to be close to attractions, shopping and theatres. It's part of the Marriott family, so ideal for tourists who want to collect points.
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Mid-range: Hotel Motif Seattle

Seattle looks incredible, and who doesn't want to enjoy a gorgeous view of the cityscape? Featuring scenic views of Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains, this hotel overlooks the city centre streets of Seattle. Guests here can enjoy the on-site restaurant and bar, or convenient room service. Perfect for the Seattle trip.
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Red Square Seattle - a great place to stay in Seattle near the uni

University District - Youthful, Energetic Area With Great Food

As you might guess, this is the district associated with the University of Washington and is the big uni area of the city, just northeast of Downtown.

It's got a youthful atmosphere that's entirely different from the rest of the city and is hugely multicultural with an ever-changing list of events in the area (don't miss the historic Sundance Cinema), bookshops, quirky bars, stores and Bohemian cafés.

There's also a buzzing foodie scene in the area. There are many cycle paths that spread through the neighbourhood and Ravenna Park. It's definitely one of the best Seattle neighborhoods for budget travellers or anyone who enjoys vibrant, energetic areas.

Head to the University Village shopping center, a beautiful outdoor mall and enjoy a fun morning of shopping. Meander around the University of Washington Campus and photograph the Red Square. During Spring, attend the U District Street Fair with bands, street food, local products and more.

Where To Stay In University District

Are you young and full of energy at heart? Then you'll want to make the University District your place to stay in Seattle. Here are our recommendations for hotels in this neighbourhood. Get excited because you're going to love the atmosphere.

Luxury: Hotel Staypineapple

This Seattle hotel is only 4 blocks from the University of Washington. The hotel offers free shuttle service to Westlake Center, University of Washington Campus, and UW Medical Center.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: Hotel Silver Cloud Hotel

The contemporary guest rooms at Silver Cloud Inn offer a microwave, a refrigerator and a coffee maker. The University of Washington is a half mile away.
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Budget: Inn College Inn

The College Inn is a 2 minutes' drive from the University of Washington and within 15 minutes' walk to the nearest Link light rail station. It offers a daily continental breakfast.  A cafe and a lounge are available at the College Inn.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Streets of pioneer square in Seattle - a great place to stay for first time visitors

Pioneer Square - Historical Area With Lots To Offer

If you're looking for a district that has a long and interesting heritage, then Pioneer Square has a lot to offer. Considered the city's first unofficial neighbourhood, as it was home to some of the earliest settlers of Seattle.

Take an underground tour of Pioneer Square and see remnants of structures from 1889 or learn about the Gold Rush at the National Historic Park. All within walking distance from your accommodation!

Stay here because the area is well-known for its interesting architecture, being home to the grunge movement when Nirvana and Pearl Jam were getting started (the Central Saloon, Seattle's oldest bar is a great place to visit for music fans).

Sports fans will enjoy visiting the CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field and there's more than enough boutique shopping, bistros, trendy bars cafés to make sure you're never hunting for something to do. This is definitely a great place to stay in Seattle.

Cool pioneer square - a leafy place to stay in Seattle

Where To Stay In Pioneer Square

There's a huge nightlife scene here that is known for getting a bit crazy at night. A great place to stay in Seattle if you want to take advantage of the architecture and history. You will need to walk a bit to get to the major sightseeing attractions which are located in the downtown area. Either way, it's a great place for party people. Here are the best pioneer square hotels as recommended by our editors and readers.

Luxury: Hotel Courtyard Seattle Downtown / Pioneer Square

Want to enjoy the party quarters but be within walking distance from the major attractions? Located in the centre of Seattle's historic downtown, this hotel is a 10-minute walk to CenturyLink Field. Facilities include an indoor pool, on-site full-service bar and rooms with free Wi-Fi.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: Hotel Best Western Plus Pioneer Square

Rooms at this Seattle Hotel are just 1.5 miles from the Space Needle so you can enjoy major sightseeing within short reach. Nearby attractions include Sky View Observatory (0.3 miles), Smith Tower (0.2 miles), and Columbia Center (0.3 miles)
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Capitol Hill at night - a great place to stay in Seattle for alternative culture

Capitol Hill - Hipster Capital Full Of Creativity

For those looking for the hipster scene that Seattle is a legend for then the busy Capitol Hill area is the key area. Capitol Hill is one of the coolest parts of Seattle with artisanal cafés and coffee houses, arty shops and independent fashion labels, and thrift stores, and fantastic restaurants.

The area is youthful, is renowned for its LGBTQ crowd and has a massive music scene including some of the best nightlife in the city, regular gigs, and the Capitol Hill Block Party music festival in the Summer.

There's even a Jimi Hendrix statue in the area. If you love art or creative endeavours in general, then you'll find lots to do here with galleries, craft and cooking classes, and museums galore including the Seattle Asian Art Museum and the Seattle Japanese Garden. You could easily spend every day in this area and no run out of interesting things to get up to.

Need to know: Capitol Hill is a super cool neighourhood and definitely one of the best places to stay in Seattle. It's fantastic for nightlife and because of it, you might have issues sleeping at night given the party vibe and loud noise. Capitol Hill is the centre of the alternative culture in Seattle. Not all travellers loves that vibe, so this is something to consider. Head to Capitol Hill for epic micro-roasteries.

Great hotels and accomodation rooms in Capitol Hill in Seattle

Where To Stay In Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill is one of the most populated neighbourhoods in Seattle and is very busy as a result. But that makes it even cooler, thanks to its vibrant quarters. Accommodation fills up rapidly. Book early and be prepared to use public transport. But it will all be worth it as this area is legendary for sure.

Apartment: Relax Seattle.

Situated 1.4 miles from Pike Place Market, the property features a shared lounge and free private parking. This air-conditioned apartment features 1 bedroom, a flat-screen TV, a dining area, and a kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave. Towels and bed linen are available.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Queen Anne and the beautiful Seattle skyline

Queen Anne - Upmarket Area With Iconic Views

A lively area full of wealthy residential buildings, Queen Anne Hill is essentially split into two parts. The lower half contains most of the contemporary attractions visitors to Seattle are hoping to see, like the Space Needle, Seattle Centre, and the Museum of Pop Culture.

Conversely, the upper half is filled with historic houses, quaint streets, boutique shopping, and fine dining. You can also head to Kerry Park to catch a fantastic view of the city's iconic skyline. A great transport hub, there's easy access to the monorail and the other attractions in the city.

Lower Queen Anne is closer to the Space Needle and the Seattle Center. Visit Kinnear Park, a forested park area hiking paths, a tennis court & scenic views.

Where To Stay In Queen Anne Hill

Queen Anne Hill is primarily residential and is a bit light on cultural things to do outside the major tall buildings. This wonderful area is suited to those who want a quieter, upmarket stay next to the sights that Seattle is famous for. Definitely one of the best places to stay in Seattle.

Luxury: Hotel Staypineapple

Located within walking distance of Seattle's Space Needle, The Maxwell Hotel offers original artwork and colourful interiors. Guests can enjoy free access to the indoor pool and the fitness room. Once you feel relaxed and recharged, it's time to head out and explore all the cool attractions Seattle has to offer.
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Mid-range: Hotel Courtyard Seattle

Featuring panoramic views of Lake Union and the Seattle skyline, this hotel offers rooms with a modern interior. But don't just enjoy Seattle from the hotel room. Within walking distance, you will be near so many cool attractions and amazing coffee shop places.
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Mid-range: Hotel Hampton Inn & Suites

This is a wonderful hotel located within walking distance of the Space Needle and within 20 minutes metro ride of Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Piers and the Seattle Aquarium. Guests at the Seattle Downtown Hampton Inn and Suites can enjoy a restful night's sleep on the hotel's signature Cloud Nine beds.
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Pike place market in the evening - stay nearby to be close to most attractions in Seattle

Pike Place Market - Bustling Market Area And Seattle's Biggest Attraction

If you'd like to stay in the heart of Seattle's most visited attraction (and 33rd most visited globally) and overlook the beautiful Elliot Bay at the same time, then Pike Place Market is a great choice. The oldest functional farmer's market attracts over ten million visitors annually and is a vibrant and exciting place to stay.

Not just fruit and vegetables, Pike Place Market is full of family-owned restaurants, crafts, antiques, comic book collections, vintage clothes, antiquarian books - anything you could imagine divided over several levels. You're also close to the downtown area for other things to get up to.

It's not just about food, but close to Pike Place Market you'll get many tourist attractions including the original selfie museum, the Seattle Aquarium and the Seattle waterfront park with the Great Wheel. Head to Pier 62 for epic vista points.

Where to stay in Seattle - Pike Place Market and its great produce

Where To Stay In Pike Place Market

Are you into food? Of course, you are! You're going to love your time near the market, where you can just indulge in so much awesome food. Accommodations around might not be so abundant, but it's worth staying in a place nearby given the proximity to a great and fresh breakfast.

Luxury: Hotel Motif Seattle

Featuring scenic views of Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains, this hotel overlooks the city centre streets of Seattle. Each room and suite at Motif Seattle comes with NEST Bath & Body products, a JBL Bluetooth alarm clock, and a gourmet coffee machine. Love it? Now let's head to the market!
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Luxury: Hotel Palihotel Seattle

Palihotel Seattle offers accommodation in Seattle near Pike Place Market and Space Needle. Relax, enjoy your time in a comfortable bed, then head out to explore the market and all the cool attractions in the area.
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Mid-range: Inn Belltown

Located 15 minutes walk to the Olympic Sculpture Park which overlooks the Puget Sound, the Belltown Inn features a furnished rooftop terrace. Rooms include a kitchenette, LCD TV and free toiletries in the en suite bathroom. This hotel is a great idea because you might want to enjoy the fresh produce from the market and bring it back with you to cook wonderful food.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Laid back atmosphere in South Lake Union in Seattle

South Lake Union - Calm And Techy Urban Neighbourhood

Seattle's innovation hub, South Lake Union Neighborhood is home to many of the biggest technology companies and local businesses.

It's an urban neighbourhood that's fast becoming the place to be in Seattle. Full of food trucks, cafés, local restaurants, and bars, there's always something new popping up in the area.

The Lake Union Park, a waterside museum is a must-visit for those wanting to know about the history of the area and The Centre for Wooden Boats offers fun sailing related activities including some dragon boat carving. This is a great area for people interested in tech or who enjoy wide open waterside spaces separate from the busier areas of the city.

Where To Stay In South Lake Union

Geared towards business workers, residents, and upmarket visitors, this is a very different vibe from many of the more hipster areas of the city or the bustling downtown. The accommodation leans towards the higher end, and so do the restaurants and bars. This area offers a calmer local space for people watching. Here are our recommendations for epic South Lake Union Hotels.

Luxury: Hotel EVEN

Set in the South Lake Union district of Seattle, EVEN Hotel Seattle - South Lake Union provides rooms with free WiFi and fitness kits. The property is situated 0.7 miles from Space Needle.
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Mid-range: Hotel Courtyard

Featuring panoramic views of Lake Union and the Seattle skyline, this hotel offers air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi and cable TV. Lake Union Park is 6 minutes' walk away.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Budget: Hotel Silver Cloud Inn - Seattle Lake Union

Silver Cloud Inn offers free local area shuttle services, complimentary parking. Bright, spacious rooms include a microwave, refrigerator and coffee facilities.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Stunning Seattle as seen from above

Belltown - Trendy, Upmarket Area With Miles Of Shopping

Close to the Pike Place Market, Belltown a trendy and upmarket area is full of wine bars, boutique shopping, tree-lined streets, and cafés. A walkable area with easy access to downtown, you don't need much in the way or public transport if you're staying here.

Known to be one of the coolest areas in the city, the nightlife is glamorous and the entertainment and shopping options are endless - particularly on 1st Avenue which is the main attraction in the area, offering miles of boutique shops and dining options along the waterfront area.

Where To Stay In Belltown

The historic Cinerama Theatre is also very popular. It's a beautiful area that shows off the very best of Seattle. Belltown sure caters towards the high-end visitor, so budget travellers may find it difficult to get affordable accommodation in this expensive district. But worry not, we always endeavour to find spectacular accommodation options for all budgets and pockets. Belltown is a fantastic option if you want to spoil yourself, though! Here are the best Belltown hotels.

Luxury: Hotel W Bellevue

W Bellevue is located in Bellevue, 1.8 km from Chism Beach Park. Popular points of interest near W Bellevue include Bellevue Square, Bellevue City Hall and Meydenbauer Center. The nearest airport is Boeing Field/King County International Airport, 12 km from the hotel.
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Mid-range: Hotel AC Hotel by Marriott

AC Hotel by Marriott Seattle Bellevue/Downtown is set in Bellevue, 550 yards from Bellevue City Hall. Meydenbauer Center is 650 yards from AC Hotel by Marriott Seattle Bellevue/Downtown, while Bellevue Square is 650 yards from the property. The nearest airport is Sea-Tac Airport, 12.4 miles from the property.
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Budget: Hotel The Loyal Inn Seattle

The Loyal Inn is situated in Downtown Seattle, 650 yards from the Space Needle. Every room at this hotel is air-conditioned and comes with a flat-screen TV, private bathroom, free toiletries and a hairdryer.
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Seattle during cherry blossoms

Woodinville - Vineyard Countryside Getaway Close To The City

If you're not looking to stay in central Seattle and instead are looking for a entirely different experience in rolling vineyards, then Woodinville might be the perfect getaway.

Activities in this area which is located 15 minutes north of Bellvue and half an hour northeast of central Seattle are very different to in the city and involve the area's many wine tasting rooms, hot-air balloon rides, strolling along the river trail, cycling and horseback riding. The ultimate relaxing, luxury experience is still accessible from central Seattle. Accommodation in the area tends to be quaint and ranges from mid-range to luxury.

Where To Stay In Woodinville

Accommodation in the area books up fast, particularly in the peak summer season so book early if you'd like to stay here.

Luxury: Lodge Willows Lodge

Offering accommodation in Woodinville, Willows Lodge provides a Northwest ambience with its massive fireplace, luxurious beds, and 5 acres of gardens. Seattle is 20 minutes' drive of the property and several award-winning wineries are located nearby. On-site a full-service spa and 2 restaurants.
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Mid-range: Hotel Hampton Inn & Suites

Hampton Inn & Suites- Seattle Woodinville Wa is offering accommodation in Woodinville. This 3-star hotel offers free WiFi. Continental breakfast is served every morning at the property.
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Beautiful Seattle skyline as seen at night

Where not to stay in Seattle

West Coast is an incredible place to stay in Seattle. But do remember it is fairly far from the main attractions, and you'll have to rely on public transport a lot. It will take you more than an hour to get from West Coast to the centre, whether you rely on the buses or the ferry. Having said that, there are plenty of great luxury hotels in the area as well. West Seattle is great for those who want to take epic walks on the beach and just enjoy a more residential side of the city. It's really laid back.

We don't recommend staying in the International district either. Visit the International district for its food as you'll be surrounded by fantastic options. Noodle houses, sushi spots and dim sum restaurants make this place ideal for a visit. However, there are not many great accommodation options and the area can feel a little rough at night.

You are now a pro in all the Seattle neighbourhoods, and you know where to stay in Seattle. We'd love to know which place you picked for your upcoming stay. Leave us a comment and tell us all about it in the comments section below.

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