Seattle Travel Guide

Flights, Train & Cruise

By plane

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, universally nicknamed "Sea-Tac", is located in the city's southern suburbs. Domestically it's a major hub for Northwest and West Coast destinations, and internationally handles especially frequent trans-Pacific routes, as well as direct flights to the major European airports. The airport is about a 25 minute drive from downtown Seattle when there isn't heavy traffic, much longer during rush hour.

All international flights arrive at the south satellite terminal, but after immigration and customs, passengers are then funneled onto a train back to the main terminal, outside the security checkpoint. You'll need to pick up any checked bags to clear customs, then place them right back on the conveyor for transit to the main terminal. Reclaim checked bags once again from carousel 1 in the main baggage hall, to the right after leaving the train and going upstairs. Allow plenty of time for this dance! All connecting passengers will need to re-check their baggage with their airline and pass through security.

There are several choices for getting from the airport to the city center:

Sound Transit's Link Light Rail connects the Airport directly to downtown Seattle. Trains run 5 AM—midnight (11 PM Sunday), taking 37 minutes to reach the terminal at Westlake Station in the central business downtown (Pine St. at 3rd and 5th Aves.). Tickets are $2.75, available from vending machines at every station. At the airport, the rail station is connected to the Main Terminal via the far left side of the parking garage, as you enter the garage from the terminal. Taking the bridge nearest baggage carousel 16 and the Alaska Airlines ticket counter is the shortest walk.
Commercial shuttle buses are about $5.00-12.75 and probably not faster than public transit if you are going downtown, though they do have more room for luggage. Catch them at the Ground Transportation Center, located on the third floor of the parking garage, one level down after crossing the Skybridge.
A taxi trip takes about 25 min (expect to pay $30-40 plus tip); catch one on the third floor of the parking garage, one level down after crossing the Skybridge.
Rental cars are available at the airport. On a weekend, you might want to shop the internet for rental cars, since they can be less than $12/day (plus roughly 18% tax; also consider hotel parking fees, if any). The rental car center is no longer located at the terminal, requiring a brief shuttle bus ride from the arrivals drive outside baggage claim; the bus makes only two stops at the far ends of the terminal, near carousels 1 and 16. Beware of the fact that taking a rental from the airport will incur an 11% "airport tax" surcharge. If you are able to rent a car from a downtown location you will not have to pay this and will save a considerable amount of money.

Kenmore Air operates year-round scheduled float plane services from their terminal on Lake Union to the San Juan Islands and Victoria and summer flights from their base at Kenmore on Lake Washington's north end to Nanaimo, Campbell River and many other destinations in northern British Columbia. Wheeled plane service is also offered from King County international airport (BFI) to Friday Harbour, Eastsound and Port Angeles. A ground shuttle service is available from the Lake Union and BFI terminals to SeaTac.

By train

Amtrak provides service from all along the west coast from King Street Station, located south of downtown near Safeco Field. The Amtrak Cascades runs four trains a day between Seattle and Portland (two of which continue to Eugene, Oregon) and two a day to Vancouver, British Columbia. These trains are more reliable schedule-wise than the long distance trains and offer certain amenities not available on regular Amtrak trains, such as more space for bikes, more laptop outlets, a "Bistro Car" which serves local foods and wine, and the occasional movie.

Seattle is also served by the long-distance Coast Starlight, which runs south to Portland, the Bay Area, and eventually Los Angeles, California. The Starlight is frequently delayed for hours coming north from California. Additionally, the Empire Builder provides daily service to Chicago via Glacier National Park and Minneapolis. Unlike the other three Amtrak transcontinental trains further south, the Builder tends to stick fairly closely to schedule.

By car

Interstate Highway 5 (I-5) cuts through the middle of Seattle north to south. I-90 runs from the I-5 interchange in Seattle all the way to Boston, and crosses one of the two Lake Washington bridges to Bellevue, along with SR-520 further north. I-405 runs parallel to I-5 on the east side of Lake Washington. Be aware however, that Seattle is a city known for terrible traffic (third worst in the nation behind Los Angeles and New York), especially around rush hour, so be ready for crawling along slowly as you enter the city, especially on infamously congested I-5, southern I-405, and the SR-520 bridge, though the recent addition of tolling has significantly eased traffic on the bridge.

By bus
Greyhound, Stewart St. (at the northeast edge of the downtown core).
Quick Shuttle. Runs between Seattle and Vancouver, BC. Stops in Downtown Seattle (outside the Best Western at 200 Taylor Ave N) and SeaTac Airport (at the main terminal near south end of baggage claim, outside door 00, bays 11-16). Fares from Vancouver to Downtown Seattle are $36 one-way, $65 round-trip; from Vancouver to SeaTac, fares are $49 one-way, $87 round-trip.
BoltBus. Service from Eugene, Albany, and Portland, OR, Bellingham, WA, and Vancouver, BC. Buses stop at 5th Ave S and S King St next to the International District/Chinatown transit station. Fares $1-20.
Cantrail. Operates Seattle to Vancouver, BC. Service operates from King Street Station.
Olympic Bus Lines. Operates a route called the Dungeness Line connecting Seattle to Port Townsend, Sequim and Port Angeles. The bus crosses on the Edmonds-Kingston ferry and stops at the Seattle Greyhound depot, King Street station, selected hospitals and ends at SeaTac Airport.
By ferry

There are two regular ferry services in the Seattle area:

Washington State Ferries, 801 Alaskan Way Pier 52, +1 206 464-6400. Connects downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, and Vashon Island, and connects West Seattle to Vashon Island and Southworth (Kitsap Peninsula). All ferries are for both vehicles and passenger except the ferry between downtown Seattle and Vashon Island.
Victoria Clipper. High speed catamaran passenger ferries which connect Seattle to Victoria, British Columbia and the San Juan Islands.
By cruise ship

Cruise ships to Seattle may be docked at one of two terminals in the Port of Seattle.

Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal at Pier 66, 2225 Alaskan Way S, near the middle of Seattle downtown's waterfront, serves as home port for Norwegian Cruise Line and Celebrity Cruises. Has bus, taxi and shuttle connections for transfer of passengers and luggage. For travelers with connecting flights, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is less than 15 mi (24 km) away.
Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at Pier 91, 2001 W Garfield St, at the north end of Seattle's downtown waterfront, serves as home port to Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises.
By boat

Seattle was originally built for access from boats and there are marinas offering both public and reciprocal guest moorage located throughout the area especially around Lake Union and the ship canal, see individual district guides for further information. Elliot Bay Marina, Shilshole Bay Marina, and Bell Street Marina all have reciprocal guest moorage. On Lake Union and in Salmon Bay there are other options including Fisherman's Terminal.

source: Wikivoyage

Things To Do in Seattle See All Things To Do in Seattle

  • Museum Of Flight

    Museum Of Flight

    9404 E Marginal Way S

    The Museum of Flight is a private non-profit air and space museum at King County International Airpo...

    Attractions,Arts and Culture
  • Benaroya Hall

    Benaroya Hall

    200 University St

    Benaroya Hall is the home of the Seattle Symphony in Downtown Seattle, Washington, USA. It features ...

    Attractions, Activities,Sports, Entertainment
  • Chihuly Garden And Glass

    Chihuly Garden And Glass

    305 Harrison St

    Chihuly Garden and Glass provides a look at the inspiration and influences that inform the career of...

    Activities, Lifestyle, Attractions,Entertainment, Food and Drink, Arts and Culture
  • Safeco Field

    Safeco Field

    1250 First Avenue South

    Safeco Field (originally rendered SAFECO Field and sometimes referred to as Safeco) is a retractable...

    Attractions, Activities,Sports, Entertainment

Hotels in Seattle (121 Hotels) See All Seattle Hotels

  • Alexis Hotel, a Kimpton Hotel

    Spotted within Seattle, Alexis Hotel, a Kimpton Hotel is a luxury hotel comfortably positioned near The Spaahh at Hotel 1000, The Legacy Ltd and The Bookstore - A Bar & C...

  • Four Seasons Hotel Seattle

    Four Seasons Hotel Seattle is one of the best, premium places to remain in Seattle. Beautifully found around Vetri, Fran's Chocolates and William Traver Gallery, Four Sea...

  • Hotel 1000

    Seen within Seattle, Hotel 1000 is a finest hotel conveniently positioned alongside The Spaahh at Hotel 1000, The Legacy Ltd and The Bookstore - A Bar & Cafe. Additional ...

  • The Paramount Hotel

    Seen within Seattle, The Paramount Hotel is comfortably found close to Niketown, Gene Juarez Spa and Seattle Cycling Tours. Other trendy tourist attractions close-by incl...

Top Destinations in United States