The Emerald City is rich with history, and there are several popular sites to see in the greater Seattle area. Whether you’re interested in checking out the Space Needle or you want to see what Pike Place Market is all about, chances are you’ll find at least one walking tour that meets your needs. As a matter of fact, there are so many Seattle walking tours that it can sometimes be difficult to pick just one. With that in mind, we’ve decided to provide a comparison of these services to make your life easier.
While some of these tours are actually free, you can expect ticket prices to fluctuate between $20-$60 on average for each trek. Most of these tours run for 2 hours or less, but there are a few that can run a bit longer. As you might expect, it can rain quite a bit in Seattle – even during the warmer months. With that in mind, we recommend bringing comfortable shoes and a hooded sweatshirt. You could bring an umbrella along, but wind gusts can easily cause them to break.
Although the hills in Seattle are nowhere near as bad as in San Francisco, you should still plan on doing a bit of climbing while walking around the city. Some visitors may find this a bit difficult, but it shouldn’t be a problem for most people. If you don’t want to deal with too many hills, you might want to consider one of the shorter tours on this list. Without further ado, let’s take a look at several popular Seattle walking tours!
From Seattle Center to historic Pioneer Square, there’s plenty to see in the downtown area. These walking tours will showcase some of the most popular sites in the Emerald City while discussing the history behind each significant landmark. Although some options clock in at 1-2 hours in length, others will cover a lot more ground over the course of up to 5 hours. These treks are typically very affordable, so you won’t have to spend a lot of money to see the main attractions in Seattle.
This company currently takes pride in offering the only pay-what-you-want tour in Seattle. When it comes to discovering the most important sites in the city, they actually offer at least one trip worth considering. Their main excursion is Seattle 101, which starts at Pike Place Market and makes stops at the waterfront and Pioneer Square. This outing provides plenty of excellent photo ops as you learn about the history of the Emerald City. Although you won’t have to pay any specific amount for a ticket, it is advised to reserve your spot ahead of time just in case the tour fills up quickly.
Seattle Free Walking Tours has earned an overall rating of 5 stars on TripAdvisor. Few of their customers have given them a negative reviews, indicating that their service is excellent. Guests typically appreciate the wonderful views and historical information provided by their tour guides. Some visitors also took the time to note that although the tour runs for two hours, the walking is fairly easy for most people. This trip was most popular among couples, friends and those who decided to make the trek on their own.
Although this tour isn’t free, it is much longer and covers a lot more ground. If you’re looking to learn a lot more than just the basics, this may be your best bet. While on this trek, you’ll discover sites such as Union Square, China Gate, Hammering Man and even the Klondike Gold Rush National Park museum. This trip will definitely take you off the beaten path a bit, allowing you to see areas in Seattle that most tours won’t cover. Considering the length of this outing, it’s fair to say that tickets are reasonably priced.
Although they don’t have a lot of reviews on Yelp, this company has been featured by Frommer’s, Seattle City Guide and several other reliable sources. See Seattle has been around for several years and they were even reviewed in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Those who have left ratings for this tour have indicated that they actually enjoy the non-commercial touch offered by this service. These comments indicate that their tour guide was both knowledgeable and personable.
Pike Place Market is perhaps one of the most interesting places you will ever shop. In addition to a variety of fresh food, you will also experience several unique stores offering all kinds of wares. With such an eclectic selection of shops and an interesting past to go along with them, there’s plenty to see and do at this Seattle landmark. Although some of these tours are all about the tasty treats you’ll find in the area, others are focused more on the history of Pike Place. Tickets range from $15-$50 and you can expect an average duration of 1-3 hours for each outing.
If you’re looking for a historical journey through Pike Place Market, this may be your best bet. Although availability is limited, this is one of the only Pike Place tours that focuses specifically on how this location became one of the oldest operating farmer’s markets in the country. Clocking in at only an hour in length, this outing should be fairly easy for most audiences. Ticket prices are reasonable, but they have very limited space, so you’ll want to book your trip well in advance.
Friends of the Market is actually an organization that once saved Pike Place Market in the mid 60’s. In the early 70’s, they sponsored an initiative which would make the market a historical district, keeping it safe from modern architects looking to build over the history of Seattle. With such deep ties to the site, you can rest assured that they know quite a bit about the area. Since they are not a tour company, you won’t necessarily find a lot of reviews for their tours. That being said, when the random guest does decide to leave a review, their ratings are typically very high.
There is a lot of tasty food for sale at Pike Place Market, and this tour will give you the opportunity to experience several delicious treats. In addition to at least 8 different tastings, you’ll also learn about the history of this historic site. Running for a total of 2 ½ hours, this outing will give you plenty of time to experience a lot of the local flavor available at Pike Place. Although tickets are a bit more costly than usual, all of the snacks you will taste are included for free.
Reviews for this service are pretty good (read reviews here). While Show Me Seattle indicates that the tastings will represent a light lunch, some visitors have gone so far as to suggest that you shouldn’t eat breakfast before going on this walking tour. An overwhelming majority of customers were happy with this trip, indicating that the food on this outing was excellent. Even guests from Seattle were very impressed with this outing, noting that they learned a lot of history they hadn’t previously known. Couples and friends were the most likely groups to appreciate this trek.
This outing is described as a “food and cultural tour” of Pike Place Market, indicating that they spend time focusing on both the grub and the history behind this notable Seattle landmark. As you enjoy a variety of treats from seven different vendors, you’ll also learn a lot about how this little marketplace stood the test of time. At 2 hours in length, this trip is just long enough to cover a lot of ground and short enough that you won’t get too tired. Ticket prices fall in line with similar services, making this an excellent alternative to other Pike Place tours.
Much like their competitors, this company has also received a lot of positive ratings (read reviews here). Many customers were very happy with the amount of food they got to taste, and some even suggested that you will not leave hungry. Other visitors noted that visiting the area on their own was a little too hectic, but having a guide to help them find their way around was very helpful. Even guests who have lived in Seattle all their lives were impressed with this tour.
This food tour of Pike Place Market seeks to provide both the flavors and the history behind this notable Seattle landmark. Promising 8-9 generous portions, guests can rest assured that they won’t leave this trip hungry. Over the course of 2 ½ hours, you’ll learn all about how this local farmer’s market became such an important location in the Emerald City. The cost per person falls in line with all of their competitors, but groups of 5 or more can save 10% on tickets.
Believe it or not, this may be one of the most well received tours in Seattle. Reviewers on TripAdvisor have given them a full 5 star rating, indicating that they offer a pretty reliable service. Even customers who live in Seattle were surprised by how much they discovered about Pike Place Market while on this outing. Several visitors were impressed with both the tasty treats and the information provided. Couples and those who went with a friend were the most likely to leave a positive review.
Although they are probably better known for offering discounts on a variety of activities, Viator actually offers an exclusive tour of Pike Place Market. This is an early access trip which will allow you to discover the area before it becomes too crowded. While on this 2 hour trek, you’ll have the opportunity to sample at least 17 different types of food. While tasting the delicious treats made at Pike Place, you’ll learn a lot about the history of this market. The price of admission a little more expensive than you’ll find with competitors, but it might be worth it to show up early and avoid large crowds.
Reviews for this service are quite excellent, as an overwhelming majority of customers have given it a 5 star rating (read reviews here). Most guests agreed that the food was incredible and the tour was very informative. Some visitors were especially happy to see the market before it was swarming with shoppers. Several reviewers mentioned their tour guides by name, indicating that they were very personable and passionate about the subject.
If you’re looking for a less expensive trip around the area, this company actually offers a pay-what-you-wish Pike Place Market tour. At only an hour in length, you shouldn’t expect anything incredibly detailed, but you might be surprised to find that they do actually provide some food samples on this outing. Learn about the history of this location while experiencing such sites as the oldest Starbucks, Rachel the Pig and the famous fish throwers.
Ratings for this tour are very high on TripAdvisor, with most customers giving the experience 5 stars. Guests report that they learned a lot about the history of Pike Place while enjoying a few samples from some vendors. Some visitors were especially appreciative of their tour guides, suggesting that they were very attentive and provided a lot of information. Although this trip was most popular among couples, it was also very well received by families.
Whether you want to learn about the history of Amazon or how coffee became such a hot commodity in Seattle, you’ll probably find a tour that covers the subject. These outings are definitely more specialized, and you can expect ticket prices to reflect that at a range of $30-$40 per person. At an average of 1 ½ – 2 ½ hours in length, these excursions provide the opportunity to see a side of the Emerald City that few get to experience.
Amazon has become such a big name in Seattle that an entire neighborhood has been transformed by their presence. In an effort to introduce visitors to this area, the Hand of God Wine company has started their own walking tour around a locale they like to call Amazonia. This trip begins and ends at their tasting room, where you will have the opportunity to enjoy some wine tasting! The tour will take about an hour to complete, and you’ll see sites such as the Amazon Go Store and the Amazon Biospheres. Considering everything included, the price of tickets is definitely reasonable.
Unfortunately, as a result of how new this tour is, there aren’t many reviews available. As a matter of fact, the only reviews we can find for this company are related to their wine tasting room. Ratings are typically very positive for their tastings, indicating that they have some pretty great wine on hand. Sadly, we can’t really speak to the quality of this tour just yet, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted as customers start reviewing the trek.
Seattle By Foot Walking Tours
The history of coffee in Seattle is far more complex than most people understand. If you think the story begins and ends at Starbucks, this tour might just change your mind. Over the course of 2 ½ hours, you’ll learn all about the coffee houses that pioneered new and innovative brewing techniques that would put this city on the map. This trip includes 6 or more samples, ensuring you’ll have plenty of energy for the trek. Considering the tour length and free coffee, the price of admission is more than reasonable.
Seattle By Foot has actually received a full 5 star rating on TripAdvisor. Reviews for their coffee tour are exceptionally good, with a majority of customers giving them high praise. Several guests were impressed by the amount of information they learned, with one visitor going so far as to suggest that their tour guide was a “walking encyclopedia” of coffee knowledge. Although couples were the most likely to leave a positive review, families and friends were also very happy with this outing.
In addition to their other pay-what-you-wish tours, this company also offers a pretty interesting trip which focuses on the criminal history of Seattle. Thanks to the Klondike gold rush and other factors, this city became a haven for a variety of visitors looking to spend their newfound riches. Needless to say, wherever you find money, crime is sure to follow. During this 1+ hour trek around the Emerald City, you’ll learn all about how crime influenced the development of what would become a sprawling metropolis.
Although this True Crime tour doesn’t have many reviews, ratings for the outing are still excellent. Guests described the trip as both fascinating and informative, heaping praise on their tour guides for making the experience very enjoyable. Some visitors were pleased to note that the outing gave them plenty to talk about for several hours to come. Even locals were quite impressed with the amount of information provided.
If coffee isn’t your thing, maybe you’ll be more interested in confections made from another type of bean. In addition to their Pike Place food tour, this company also offers a chocolate indulgence outing which will provide at least 15 different tastings of everyone’s favorite treat. Enjoy a variety of different desserts including cookies, cheesecake, truffles and more. Tickets are a bit costly for this 2 hour trek, but who could possibly say no to a chocolate tour?
As you can probably imagine, reviews for this tour are quite wonderful (read reviews here). Visitors recommend that you do not eat beforehand, indicating that there will be more than enough to fill your stomach on this trip. Almost everyone who left a review for this service was blown away by the quality of the chocolate. Several guests mentioned their tour guides by name, stating that they were friendly and attentive. This food tour was most popular among couples, families and customers who brought a friend along for the experience.
During the Klondike Gold Rush, Seattle was a hotbed of wild and sometimes criminal activity. When millions of dollars pour into the economy of a growing city, it attracts activity from all kinds of characters. As a matter of fact, this time period was so significant to the history of Seattle that at least one tour operator was inspired to create this outing. Over the course of 90 minutes, you’ll learn all about how an untamed Emerald City responded to gold fever. The price of admission is very reasonable, coming in at under $20 per person.
Customers on TripAdvisor have given this tour company a full 5 star rating. Most guests were very impressed with the amount of information provided during the outing, indicating that they enjoyed all of the historic sites included on the trip. Several visitors mentioned their tour guide by name, stating that they were friendly, helpful, and well informed about the history of Seattle. Couples and people who brought a friend along for the journey were most likely to leave a positive review.
If you’re looking for a somewhat different experience in Seattle, you might want to consider a scavenger hunt. These activities can be fun not only as team building exercises, but also for friends and families who want to go on an adventure around the city. In addition to discovering various historic sites and landmarks, you’ll also enjoy the excitement of finding various locations by using clues provided by a live guide. These excursions typically take about 3 hours to complete, giving you plenty of time to see the city. The price of admission is very reasonable, as you pay one low price per group.
This Seattle scavenger hunt has received mostly excellent reviews and ratings (read reviews here). Several guests suggest that this is an excellent way to become familiar with the city and see a majority of the significant sites in just a few hours. Some local customers were impressed with the amount they learned about despite being pretty familiar with the area. Several reviewers felt that this was a fun and interesting family activity, but it was also popular among couples.
It seems like every major city has at least one unique neighborhood, and Fremont definitely fills that role for Seattle. This is one of the most artistic districts in the city, featuring street art at every turn and a fairly interesting open air market. If you thought Seattleites were quirky before, wait until you take a walk around these blocks! Fremont tours typically run for between 1-2 hours total and they are usually very affordable. While some trips can cost up to $20 per ticket, others allow you to pay what you wish.
Despite their name, this company actually only offers this one tour through Fremont. That being said, it’s worth noting that this tour is pay-what-you-wish and easily accessible for most audiences. Although availability depends on the season, they do provide this outing at least 5 days a week throughout the year. Each trip around this eclectic neighborhood will last for approximately 90 minutes, giving you plenty of time to see a more artistic side of Seattle.
Visitors have given this service a full 5 star rating on TripAdvisor. Guests who took this tour were especially impressed by all the quirky and offbeat sites they got to see in Fremont. Several people were very pleased with the amount of information provided on their outing, indicating that this is an excellent trip for anyone who doesn’t want to do the typical tourist activities in Seattle. This trek was a hit with audiences that either went alone or joined their friends.
If you’re looking for a slightly more spirited walk around Fremont, this might be your best bet. They advertise the experience as “street theater,” indicating that their tour guides provide not only historical information, but also a performance! This trek is wheelchair and family friendly, making it accessible for a variety of audiences. While on this 90-minute tour, you’ll discover the story of this neighborhood and its various landmarks. Admission prices are very affordable and reasonable.
Despite the limited availability and the price of admission, this tour currently sports a 4 ½ star rating on TripAdvisor and other services (read reviews here). Several visitors felt that their tour guides were not only fun to be around, but also very entertaining. Other guests found their view of the arts transformed by this creative and original trek around Fremont. Almost every customer was very pleased with the amount of information provided on this trip. Families and customers who brought a friend along for the journey were more likely to enjoy their unique expedition around Seattle.
Believe it or not, there’s a side of Seattle that few visitors ever get to see. After the great fire of 1889, several shops and buildings were simply buried, allowing contractors to build on top of the previous structures. As a result, some of the oldest locations in this city are actually underground. Whether you’re interested in history or the paranormal, there are tour companies that specialize in providing trips to these forgotten areas. Tickets are fairly affordable at $20-$30 per person, and the outings are typically 1-2 hours in length, making them easier to fit into your schedule.
Rather than focus on the spookier side of the city and its past, this underground tour seeks to give you a more humorous look at some of the most historic locations in Seattle. Discover some of the most hilarious tales from early settlers and pioneers who aided in founding the Emerald City. Although the trip only lasts for 75 minutes, you might be surprised by everything they cover on this incredible outing. Admission is well priced and will be very affordable for most customers.
This underground tour currently has an overall rating of 4 stars on TripAdvisor. Although that isn’t a perfect score, it’s still incredibly good. Even those who didn’t particularly love the trip reported that it was fairly enjoyable. Some visitors were very impressed with the historical detail provided by their tour guides, stating that it was easy for them to imagine what life had been like back in the late 1800’s. Several customers felt that the outing was fun and educational. This short trek was most popular among couples, families and friends.
Much like their competition, this company also provides tours of Seattle’s forgotten underground. Over the course of one hour, you’ll cover 3 city blocks of Pioneer Square, discovering abandoned passageways which were constructed over 100 years ago. Uncover historic sites that few travelers (or locals) will ever see as a professional guide explains what life was like just a few decades after the city was founded. The price of entry for this activity is actually more affordable than some similar services.
Believe it or not, this company has actually received far better ratings than their competitors (read reviews here). Quite a few visitors were surprised by the amount of history they learned about while on this tour. Customers typically described their tour guides as knowledgeable and personable, indicating that they made the whole experience a lot of fun. Although this excursion was popular with most audiences, couples and families were the most likely to leave a positive review.
If you want to learn more about the potential haunted history of Seattle’s oldest locations, this might be your best bet. In addition to providing spooky tales based on real events, they also take you underground to experience some of the creepiest buildings in the city. During this 90 minute trek, real ghost hunters will share their experiences and provide a different look at the Emerald City. Ghost hunts are also available at least twice a month. Tickets for their original Pioneer Square tour are very reasonably priced.
Customers have seen fit to give this service an overall rating of 4 ½ stars on TripAdvisor. Some reviewers went so far as to claim that this was the best ghost tour they had ever experienced. Other guests were impressed that their tour guides weren’t trying to force the idea of paranormal activity, instead choosing to focus on the sometimes spooky history of Seattle. Most visitors felt that the outing was both entertaining and informative. This trip was especially well rated by Couples and guests who brought a friend for the creepy journey.
These tours might actually be some of the least expensive options in Seattle, and they cover some pretty important ground. If you don’t mind showing yourself around the city, this is an excellent way to save money while exploring some of the most significant landmarks in the area. Most of these are entirely free, but the audio tour will come at a price. You can expect outings to last from 1-3 hours on average. We recommend these opportunities for visitors who are either familiar with the territory or prefer to discover the Emerald City on their own.
Believe it or not, the group behind Seattle Center actually provides their own self-guided walking tour of the area. This trek includes 25 points of interest along with a map and some facts about each location. Although there aren’t a lot of details included with this brochure, it does contain a map of Seattle Center which can be invaluable when trying to find various landmarks. This tour is available either as a downloadable PDF file or on paper at the Seattle Center Armory Information Center. Give yourself at least 1-2 hours to explore the campus.
Although there aren’t many reviews for the self-guided tour, most visitors agree that Seattle Center is a wonderful place to explore. This location has received an overall rating of 4 ½ stars on TripAdvisor, and it’s not difficult to understand why. In addition to housing popular landmarks such as the Space Needle, this is also the area where you will find the Museum of Popular Culture and other significant sites. Couples and families were most likely to leave an excellent review of this location.
This company is well known for providing free self-guided tours through their apps on both Android and Apple devices. Whether you want to discover Seattle Center, Pioneer Square, Fremont, Capitol Hill or several other locations, this app provides a lot of information about the Emerald City. If you plan on using your phone to look up information about the area, this could be a great way to learn about Seattle as you explore the city at your own pace. Expect most tours to last for around 1-2 hours.
With an overall rating of 4 stars on Google Play, it’s fair to say that this app is well received. Although it doesn’t provide a ton of information, there’s a lot more to chew on than you might expect. This is definitely a decent addition to some of the other self-guided tours in the area, but we wouldn’t recommend it as your only source of data about Seattle.
Seattle Times Self-Guided Walking Tours
It’s only fitting that one of the most popular newspapers in Seattle would provide no less than 5 different self-guided walking tours around the city. Whether you just want to see what the downtown area is like or you’re more interested in Pioneer Square, you’ll find that there is plenty to explore on these fairly simple treks. As a matter of fact, you can easily combine more than one of these outings to extend your trip around the city. Give yourself 1-2 hours to experience each of these tours.
If you haven’t already noticed, most people don’t even bother to write reviews for self-guided tours. Unfortunately, we can’t tell you what everyone else thought, but we can say that this is a great starting point for anyone new to the Seattle area. Each walking tour will take you by some of the most significant sites in the city, making it easier to become familiar with the area. They even provide recommendations for locations where you can stop and refuel before continuing to explore the region.
Partaking in a self-guided walking tour can be a lot of fun, but sometimes you’d rather have someone explain the area to you. If you’re not interested in a crowded walking tour but you still want to avoid a lot of reading, this could be your best bet. Clocking in at 3 hours in length, you’ll have plenty of time to explore Seattle at your own pace and discover the history behind this city. The price of this audio tour is a bit much, but the tour does cover a lot of ground.
This outing focuses on a variety of popular landmarks such as the Space Needle, Pioneer Square, Pike Place Market and the Klondike Gold Rush Park Museum. While you’re on the tour, you’ll have the opportunity to discover significant historical sites and famous tourist attractions. Unfortunately, as with most self-guided and audio tours, there aren’t many reviews for this service. That being said, it looks like this company covers a lot of ground and offers similar services all over the world, indicating that they’ve got some experience with tourism.