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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!)
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!)
Table of Contents
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay 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.
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.
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 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 TipSeattle 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.
PS Are you heading to Denver? If so, you must check out our coolest things to do in Denver guide. Plus our guide to the best hotels in Denver will help you find an amazing hotel suiting your style and budget. Denver has an array of neighborhoods so, check out our ultimate guide to where to stay in Denver.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PS Been to Philadelphia? Our team of travel experts have compiled the top hotels in Philadelphia, plus the ultimate list of things to do in Philadelphia. Plus an in-depth neighborhood guide to Philly – all to save you time and money for your stay in the fantastic city!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
Are you planning on visiting the city that never sleeps? Check out our guide to 15 amazing things to do in New York for more places to see and amazing hotels to stay in with our 17 best hotels in New York City, and our ultimate guide to where to stay in New York City will help you discover which neighbourhood in NYC is perfect for your budget and travel-style!
Let us know if we missed anything in the comments below. Cheers!
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Gin lover. Coffee addict. Nicola has traveled the world for 7 years and is a staff writer for Hotel Jules. Born in London, Nicola first got the taste of travel studying abroad in Barcelona. Since then she's been hooked - traveling the world non-stop. Passionate about green travel and vegan lifestyle, Nicola spends more of her free time staring at maps wondering where she will head to next!