The cost of travel in Seattle: food, accommodation and attraction prices

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Seattle has a reputation as an expensive city. USA Today once ranked Seattle as #6 for most expensive city to live in in the US. But how much money do you need to travel to Seattle? What should you expect to budget for?

This guest post about the cost of travel in Seattle: food, accommodation and attraction prices was provided by an amazing fellow blogger, Angelica from Things to do and eat.

This post is here to give you an idea of the prices you’ll typically see in Seattle as a traveler. I used to live in Seattle and still travel to Seattle all the time, so I know the prices all too well. Here are the major costs involved with a trip to Seattle!

And if you want more help planning your Seattle trip, check out my full Seattle travel guide!

Note: All prices are at the time of writing this and are subject to change.

Great itinerary for a weekend in Seattle [or even one day in Seattle]

Transport prices in Seattle

To get from the airport to the city, you can either take the lightrail or Uber/Lyft. The lightrail will be at most $3.25, depending how far you go. An Uber really varies depending on where you’re staying in Seattle because the city is so spread out, but assuming you’re staying downtown, it will probably be around $30.

Once you’ve made it to the city, the cheapest way to get around Seattle is actually by walking (free!). A lot of the major tourist sights are around downtown, so if you’re staying close by, it makes it easy to just walk!

Otherwise, you can take the bus. Currently a bus ticket is $2.75 for adults, $1.50 for kids under 18, and free for kids under 5. Bus transfers expire after a few hours though, so you may need to purchase multiple if you’ll be out for a long time. You could also get a day pass, which is currently $5 for the card and $8 for the actual pass, and this gives you unlimited rides not just in the city, but also if you want to get out as well. You can always check the most up to date prices on the website.

If you prefer ridesharing, you can Lyft/Uber. These prices really fluctuate depending on where you go (and if there’s a surge at work commute hours). But if you’re staying downtown and want to Uber to other lively districts like Capitol Hill, the University District, or Ballard, it will cost around $10-$15.

Accommodation prices in Seattle

Accommodation in Seattle can be pricey. Prices really change depending when you go and where in the city you want to stay, but here are some breakdowns:

Great itinerary for a weekend in Seattle [or even one day in Seattle]

Food prices in Seattle

Seattle has an amazing food scene, and most groceries and restaurants have a sustainability focus in mind. This might make it more expensive than other cities, so you can pretend that there’s a good reason for the prices!

The cheapest way to save on food is to cook on your own, even though groceries do cost more in Seattle than other cities. A pound of chicken is around $6, and some fresh vegetables like sweet potatoes and spinach would add about $1.50 and $3.50 respectively.

Cheap restaurants will usually fill you up for under $10. Look for teriyaki places, pho places, or gyro places.

Mid-range restaurants can go from $12 – $30 for the entree. You can find all kinds of food in Seattle, with Vietnamese, Ethiopian, and farm to table restaurants being really popular, and especially for vegans and vegetarians, there are more options than in other cities.

Going out can be pricey if it’s not happy hour and if you’re not going to dive-y places. Cocktails range between $10-$15. Beers range from $4 to $8.

It’s also worth mentioning coffee prices, since Seattle is a big coffee city. For something like a latter or cold brew, it will set you back $3-$5, and it will also be one of the best coffee drinks you’ll have.

Great itinerary for a weekend in Seattle [or even one day in Seattle]

Sightseeing / tour prices in Seattle

Some of the top landmarks and museums in Seattle include:

  • The Space Needle. While admiring the views of its outside and walking around the gift shop are free, going up the Space Needle to get the panoramic view of the city costs between $21- $37, depending on the day you go and if you’re a child, senior citizen, or adult. You can check the latest prices and buy tickets here. You can also have a dinner at the top against the rotating views, where the average entree costs $44.
  • Pike Place Market. Walking around here is free, but if you want to buy food, a handmade craft, or a souvenir, it will cost you. The prices really range depending on the seller, but one of the best deals you can get here is a $5 bouquet of fresh flowers. Food places are usually under $8 at the quick stands.
  • Kerry Park. This park is where the iconic Seattle skyline view can be found. Entering the park is free, but it’s away from downtown. Ubering here will be around $10 from downtown.
  • Museum of Pop Culture. Prices range from $17- $26 if you don’t want to see the special exhibit and depending on if you’re a student, youth, senior, or in the military. Children are free. You can see the full price list here.

Some popular tours in Seattle are:

  • Seattle Underground Tour. The underground tour is a popular, historical tour of how Seattle as we know it today was started. It’s called underground because it goes through a lot of historical buildings that are actually under the city. Prices are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors or students, and $10 for youths. You can find more information and buy tickets here.
  • Seattle city tours. If you prefer seeing the major sights on a tour rather than on your own so you don’t miss any background or sights, you can do a day tour of Seattle. These start at $148 and will take you to all the major sights so you only have to worry about enjoying them. You can book it online here.
  • Day trip to Mt Rainier. A popular tour especially when you don’t have your own transportation is a trip the Mt. Rainier National Park! Outside of Seattle, this beautiful park is a great trip for any nature lover, but can run a bill of at least $140. You can take a look at tickets on GetYourGuide.
Great itinerary for a weekend in Seattle [or even one day in Seattle]

Other costs in Seattle

One last thing- since Seattle is in the US, tax isn’t included on anything! Expect about 10% additional sales tax on your purchases. In most restaurants, tip is also not included, so you’ll need to tip and 15% – 20% is standard. Some places add a “service charge” and a very few include tips/charges in their prices, so take a look at your receipts so you don’t double tip.

I hope you enjoyed Angelica’s post about the cost of travel in Seattle: food, accommodation and attraction prices! Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Just like Angelica, I liked Seattle, but I only spent there a weekend, so feel free to check my post about the weekend itinerary for Seattle. 


Guest post by Angelica

Blogger at Things to do and eat

Between work and school, Angelica trekked through the Amazon, bushwhacked in Alaska, hiked in the Andes, snorkeled in the South Pacific, and canyoned, ziplined, and climbed around the world!

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