Where to Stay in Seattle [5 Best Neighborhoods of 2018]

 Seattle is an amazing city surrounded by majestic mountains, lush forests and striking waterways. With a vibrant food scene, epic musical history and iconic landmarks, Seattle is one of the most underrated cities in America.

But with so much to see, knowing where to stay in Seattle can be overwhelming. That’s exactly why we wrote this insiders guide for where to stay in Seattle.

Written by our panel of travel experts, this no-stress guide is designed to help you find an awesome neighborhourhood – and quickly!

We show you some of Seattle’s hidden gems, so you can see this city like a local. Whether you want to explore the sights, party all night long, or drink all the best coffee Seattle has to offer, this guide is everything you need.

Let’s jump into where to stay in Seattle (some of these neighbourhoods are so cool!)

Additional reading – 15 Awesome Things to Do in Seattle, and the 17 Best Hotels in Seattle

Where to Stay in Seattle

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Seattle

Where to Stay in Seattle

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Seattle.

Best Budget Hotel in Seattle – HI Seattle

HI Seattle

HI Seattle is the best budget hotel in Seattle

Accommodation in Seattle is really rather expensive. HI Seattle is the best budget hotel in Seattle for unfussy travellers who just want a place to sleep and shower. There are hostel-style dormitories too, to help the super scrimpers out. The local staff are really lovely and happily share their tips with travellers.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Seattle – Courtyard Seattle Downtown Pioneer Square

Courtyard Seattle Downtown Pioneer Square

Courtyard Seattle Downtown Pioneer Square is the best mid-range hotel in Seattle

Courtyard is the best mid-range hotel in Seattle offering a little bit of everything amenities-wise and a great location. Staying at Courtyard puts you right at the heart of the action, just a matter of steps from Pioneer Square. There is an in-house restaurant and indoor swimming pool.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Seattle – Four Season Hotel

Four Season Hotel

Four Season Hotel is the best luxury hotel in Seattle

If you’re going to stay in Seattle, why not stay in style? Four Seasons Hotel is the best luxury hotel in Seattle for so many reasons. The rooftop plunge pool and sun terrace are exquisite and the in-hour bar serves some innovative cocktails. Both rooms and suites are available.

 

Seattle Neighbourhoods Guide

Seattle

Seattle is a small, homely city in the on the eastern edge of the Puget Sound. A city surrounded by mountains, dense forest and picturesque waterways, there is something rather charming about Seattle that makes it hard to pull yourself away.

Seattle is one of the most expensive cities to explore in the Pacific North West. The International District is the most budget-friendly place to hang out and there is always something interesting going on.

Hotel Jules Insider Tip

Seattle is an easy city to explore. Walking around the city is a great way to get a real feel for Seattle. Locals are generally friendly and open; always happy to help out a lost tourist if they can. Uber is always available and there are a number of super-efficient public transport options too. The All Day Regional Pass is a great daily purchase for travellers keen to max out on their Seattle adventures.

If you want to live the high-life head to the Central Business District or South Lake Union. You can live like a local, visit the must-see landmarks in Seattle and have some incredible waterside views too.

A city home to an ever-evolving music scene, Seattle can be sub-divided up into musical genres, as well as neighbourhoods.

This city has inspired some of the most popular musicians of all time; Kurt Cobain, Chris Cornell and Macklemore to name but a few. This is a city alive with the sound of music.

Seattle’s 5 Best Neighbourhoods to Stay in

Now let’s take a look, in greater detail, at the best neighbourhoods to stay in Seattle. Each is a little different to the last so be sure to check out which is right for you!

Neighborhood #1 - Pioneer Square

(Where to stay in Seattle first time)

Pioneer Square, Seattle

Pioneer Square is our pick for where to stay in Seattle for your first time

Pioneer Square is the best place to stay in Seattle first time around. At the heart of everything and a touch more affordable than the Central Business District, Pioneer Square is a great starting point.

Despite being at the heart of the city, there is a small town feel to Pioneer Square. Largely undisturbed by the day to day hustle of the neighbouring Central Business District, Pioneer Square is a tree-lined oasis in the heart of Seattle.

From Romanesque Revival buildings of the 1800s to the dozens of art galleries showcasing everything from historical fine art to contemporary sculpture, there is just so much to take in here. The slower pace of things in Pioneer Square is ideal for travellers on their first trip to Seattle.

If you are looking for a place to laze your days away Pioneer Square itself is a lovely shady spot, as too is Occidental Square. The maple trees are beautiful and the cobblestoned pathways incredibly charming.

Top Things to Do in Pioneer Square

  • Take yourself on a photo tour of Pioneer Square Park, snap the totem poles and old-fashioned street lamps.
  • Find a shady spot to watch the world go by in Occidental Square. Heaps of community events happen here; get involved!
  • Explore Seattle’s involvement in the 1890s gold rush at the Klondike Gold Rush Museum
  • Discover the underworld of the city with Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour.
  • Hike up to Smith Tower’s 35th-floor observatory, or just take the elevator.
  • Laugh your socks off with locals at Comedy Underground.

Where to Stay in Pioneer Square

Best Budget Hotel in Pioneer Square – Best Western Plus Pioneer Square Hotel

Best Western Plus Pioneer Square Hotel

Best Western Plus Pioneer Square Hotel is the best budget hotel in Pioneer Square

Best Western Plus is the best budget hotel in Pioneer Square and can be found on Colman Dock. There is a great range of amenities for guests to make the most of here, including a fitness centre and a tours desk. The rooms are spacious and have homely furnishings.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Pioneer Square – Courtyard Seattle Downtown Pioneer Square

Courtyard Seattle Downtown Pioneer Square, Seattle

Courtyard Seattle Downtown Pioneer Square is the best mid-range hotel in Pioneer Square

As the best mid-range hotel in Pioneer Square Courtyard Seattle offers rooms with a city view and modern furnishings. All rooms have their own private ensuite bathroom that features complimentary toiletries and a hairdryer. The fitness room is well equipped and the business centre is great for those who work on the road.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Pioneer Square – The Arctic Club Seattle – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel

The Arctic Club Seattle - a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel

The Arctic Club Seattle – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel is the best luxury hotel in Pioneer Square

Without a doubt, the best luxury hotel in Pioneer Square is The Arctic Club Seattle. The rooms all feature stylish, period decor and cosy seating area. Guests can make the most of the fitness centre or relax on the rooftop sun terrace. There is a billiards table at the hotel bar too.

 

Neighborhood #2 - International District

(Where to stay in Seattle on a budget)

International District, Seattle

International District is our pick for where to stay in Seattle on a budget

For culture vultures, lovers of food and budget backpackers the International District is the best place to stay in Seattle. There are only a few hostels in Seattle and the International District is home to the best of them, and a few private apartment rentals too.

As the best place to stay in Seattle on a budget the International District ensures that there is never a dull moment and that you are never out of pocket. From fabulous food markets to mammoth Goodwill stores there is just so much alternative travel to be done in this neighbourhood.

One off the wall kind of thing to do in the International District is the Seattle Pinball Museum. For just $15 you can play all sorts of arcade games to your heart’s content. For $20 you get multiple entries!

There is a great selection of hipster coffee shops in the International District. The kind of places where you can tuck yourself away in a corner with your new second-hand book and indulge in come retreat time during your travels.

Top Things to Do in International District

  • Play, play and play some more at the Seattle Pinball Museum.
  • Take yourself on a food tour of the world from 4th Ave across to Rainier Ave South.
  • Have a rummage at the Goodwill Store.
  • Explore how Asian cultures have influenced modern America at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience.
  • Snap a selfie beneath the Historic Chinatown Gate.
  • Enjoy some grassroots performance talent at Theatre Off Jackson.

Where to Stay in International District

Best Budget Hotel in International District – HI Seattle

HI Seattle, Seattle

HI Seattle is the best budget hotel in the International District

For shoestring travellers to the city, HI Seattle is the best budget hotel in the International District. Simple but clean and comfortable HI Seattle offers both private rooms and dorms too. Guests can meet and mingle in the common room and plan their international adventures in the library. WiFi is free throughout.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in International District – Modern Suites Walk to Pioneer Square

Modern Suites Walk to Pioneer Square

Modern Suites Walk to Pioneer Square is the best mid-range hotel in the International District

The best mid-range hotel in the International District is actually an aparthotel. Modern Suites offer awesome city views, a fully equipped kitchen and cosy lounge area. There is air conditioning and WiFi throughout each suite and there is a luxury coffee machine too. The bathrooms feature a bathtub and shower.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in International District – Downtown View 2BRDM Home

Downtown View 2BRDM Home

Downtown View 2BRDM Home is the best luxury hotel in the International District

For travellers who want to live like a local in Seattle, Downtown View is a great place to stay. As the best luxury hotel in International District Downtown View offers guests total freedom. You can even cook for yourself in the fully equipped kitchen.  The apartment offers great city views.

 

Neighborhood #3 - Central Business District

(Best area to stay in Seattle for nightlife)

Central Business District, Seattle

Central Business District is our pick for best area to stay in Seattle for nightlife

The Central Business District is where locals come to work hard and play harder. With that in mind, there is no doubt about it, the best place to stay in Seattle for nightlife is Central Business District. Upmarket, conventional nightlife that is.

Seattle has a rich and varied nightlife scene catering to very sub-culture you can think of and then some more. If you want to drink cocktails, dance and be swept up in the romance of Seattle, Central Business District is where you need to stay.

During the daytimes you can wander the streets of Downtown, stopping to get a caffeine hit and any one of the trendy coffee bars. Alternatively, you can bring yourself down slowly and grab a hair of the dog at one of the many brewpubs.

If you thought Smith Tower’s 35th-floor observatory was impressive you can think again. In the heart of CBD you’ll find the Sky View Observatory at the Columbia Center. Standing proudly on the 73rd-floor. Take a deep breath!

Top Things to Do in Central Business District

  • Ride up to the 73rd-floor of the Columbia Center and take in the best city views. On a clear day, you can see the mountains too.
  • Take a sound-side stroll down Pier 55.
  • Explore the iconic Pike Place Market
  • Sample a little bit of everything alcoholic at Von’s 1000SPIRITS.
  • Keep day drinking classy at Purple Cafe & Wine Bar.
  • Take a late-night spin on the Seattle Great Wheel; open ’til 11 pm.

Where to Stay in Central Business District

Best Budget Hotel in Central Business District – Executive Hotel Pacific

Executive Hotel Pacific

Executive Hotel Pacific is the best budget hotel in Central Business District

Executive in name, style and service but not in price! The best budget hotel in Central Business District is Executive Hotel Pacific. Offering affordable rooms in the heart of Seattle and great facilities too, including free WiFi and a gym. Breakfast is an added extra but great value for money.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Central Business District – Hotel 1000

Hotel 1000

Hotel 1000 is the best mid-range hotel in Central Business District

Luxury without the price tag, the best mid-range hotel in Central Business District is Hotel 1000. Featuring an in-house bar, fitness room, business centre and a spa for good measure, Hotel 1000 ticks all the right boxes. The rooms are bright, spacious and offer amazing city views.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Central Business District – Four Season Hotel

Four Season Hotel, Seattle

Four Season Hotel is the best luxury hotel in Central Business District

The best luxury hotel in Central Business District is one of the best hotels in all of the city. It’s Four Season Hotel. Boasting an incredible rooftop terrace, beautiful indoor swimming pool and a spa and wellness centre. Little touches like valet parking and concierge services reiterate the 5-star luxury of the hotel.

 

Neighborhood #4 - Pike/Pine

(Coolest place to stay in Seattle)

Pike/Pine, Seattle

Pike/Pine is our pick for the coolest place to stay in Seattle

Straying away from the bustling CBD and Downtown you will find the hidden, yet brilliant, neighbourhood of Pike/Pine. This is the coolest place to stay in Seattle for sure. No doubt budget backpackers will find a couch to surf around here if they looked in the right places.

For the rest of us, Pike/Pine is the best place to stay in Seattle to experience the city at its most authentic. This neighbourhood is home to a strong student population who are exploring themselves and the city simultaneously. This makes Pike/Pine an ever-evolving cultural wonderland that is just too cool for school.

Naturally, once Seattle Central College’s lectures are done for the day the neighbourhood really comes alive. You’ll find people hanging out in every cafe and pub. If you wanna experience Seattle like a local this is the neighbourhood to get chatting to people and find out what’s on during your stay. There’s nothing quite like local knowledge, right?!

Top Things to Do in Pike/Pine

  • Snap a selfie next to the grand statue of musical legend Jimi Hendrix.
  • Party with the college kids at Q Nightclub on 1426 Broadway, or perhaps The Rhino Room.
  • Treat yourself to something sweet at Molly Moon’ Homemade Ice Cream, made from happy cows!
  • Find yourself your next read at The Elliot Bay Book Company.
  • Get fit, laze in the sun, enjoy a picnic; do whatever you want to do at Cal Anderson Park.
  • Have a coffee at Starbucks Reserve Roastery, it’s where the chain began after all.

Where to Stay in Pike/Pine

Best Budget Hotel in Pike/Pine – Gaslight Inn

Gaslight Inn

Gaslight Inn is the best budget hotel in Pike/Pine

This homely B&B is the best budget hotel in Pike/Pine. Set on the border of Pike/Pine and Capitol Hill, Gaslight Inn offers you the best of both worlds. Guests can relax in the community lounge, the library or the gorgeous garden. A great breakfast is included in the room rate.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Pike/Pine – Silver Cloud Hotel

Silver Cloud Hotel - Broadway

Silver Cloud Hotel is the best mid-range hotel in Pike/Pine

Silver Cloud Hotel is a 4-star hotel on the southern-most tip of Pike/Pine. As the best mid-range hotel in Pike/Pine, they offer guests use of the gym and indoor swimming pool. The rooms are modern and bright. All feature a flat-screen TV and a work desk.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Pike/Pine – Homewood Suites by Hilton

Homewood Suites by Hilton Seattle Convention Center Pike Street Seattle

Homewood Suites by Hilton Seattle Convention Center Pike Street is the best luxury hotel in Pike/Pine

Homewood Suites at the best luxury hotel in Pike/Pine for sure. Boasting an excellent in-house coffee bar and restaurant, as well as a business centre and a gym. The rooms are clean, spacious and have modern decor. The staff are wonderful and happy to help in any way they can.

 

Neighborhood #5 - South Lake Union

(Best neighbourhood in Seattle for families)

South Lake Union, Seattle

South Lake Union is the best neighbourhood in Seattle for families

You will be unsurprised to learn that the neighbourhood of South Lake Union is the district of Seattle that sits immediately south of Lake Union. This is the best place to stay in Seattle for families. Offering a quiet, community-orientated feel as well as being an exceptionally safe neighbourhood, there is so much family fun to be had.

There is not one but three big park spaces to explore in South Lake Union. The best of all being Lake Union Park. Sitting right on the banks of the lake, this vast green space is a great place for the little ones to run themselves ragged. There are boats for hire should you all want to add an extra layer of excitement to your day.

Playdate SEA is the perfect place for the kids to spend an afternoon while you kick back with a coffee and a podcast. This indoor play centre features slides, ball pools, the works!

Top Things to Do in South Lake Union

  • Have some innocent childhood fun at Playdate SEA on Mercer Street.
  • Get outdoors, jump and climb at Cascade Playground.
  • Explore Seattle’s rich and versatile history at the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI).
  • Take a boat out on the lake at Lake Union Park. Learn about the history and creation of the boats at The Center for Wooden Boats before you head out on the water.
  • Enjoy an incredible selection of innovative hamburger creations at Lunchbox Laboratory.
  • Feast on Seattle-inspired seafood dishes at Bar Harbor.

Where to Stay in South Lake Union

Best Budget Hotel in South Lake Union – EVEN Hotel

EVEN Hotel

EVEN Hotel is the best budget hotel in South Lake Union

EVEN Hotel is a modern, colourful accommodation option, ideal for families. As the best budget hotel in South Lake Union, EVEN Hotel offers competitive prices and great value for money. Guests can relax in the fully furnished outdoor courtyard or in the cosy hotel lounge. Breakfast is included.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in South Lake Union – Staybridge Suites

Staybridge Suites

Staybridge Suites is the best mid-range hotel in South Lake Union

Staybridge Suites are perfect for families travelling to Seattle. Being the best mid-range hotel in South Lake Union, Staybridge Suites offer guests luxury apartments complete with fully equipped kitchen and lounge area. Large family suites are available with two queen sized beds and ensuite bathroom.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in South Lake Union – Residence Inn by Marriott

Residence Inn by Marriott Seattle

Residence Inn by Marriott is the best luxury hotel in South Lake Union

Upmarket and modern, the best luxury hotel in South Lake Union is Residence Inn by Marriott. Ideal for families, Residence Inn offers family rooms, a kids club and an indoor swimming pool. The breakfast offered by Residence Inn caters to every taste, even the fussiest of children will have an enjoyable start to the day!

 

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Seattle

Seattle is a city packed with charm, excitement and amazing food and coffee. A vibrant city surrounded by the mountains and sea, Seattle is a stunning city and a playground for all who visit.

Our top pick for where to stay in Seattle on a budget is the International District. Packed with great food, plenty of coffee and lots of arts, culture and music, there’s never a dull moment in this funky and alternative neighbourhood.

Our recommendation for the best hotel is Courtyard Seattle Downtown Pioneer Square. Charming, centrally located, and fully loaded with all the essential amenities, this mid-range hotel is perfect for travellers of all ages, styles and budgets.

Let us know if we missed anything in the comments below. Cheers!

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About the Author Hotel Jules Editor

Hotel Jules is an internationally acclaimed review site that rates the best hotels in the world. Our primary objective is to offer tourists with added information on the different types of accommodation they can get in various places around the world. Each one is evaluated using factors like cleanliness, service, location, price affordability, and amenities.

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