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1-Day Itinerary in Seattle

Explore the best things to do in Seattle in 1 day based on recommendations from local experts.

Day 1

#3

#3 in Seattle

Local Pick: Must-see ? Free
If you like history, Pioneer Square should be at the top of your to-do list. This neighborhood was one of the first settlements in the Northwest U.S. (hence the name), and it has maintained much of its Old West identity. Today, you'll find the cobblestone area peppered with art galleries, restaurants and shops, not to mention an ornamental pergola, which provides shelter to those waiting to hop on the cable car. According to recent visitors, the area is worth a stroll but the neighborhood has seen better days. Many commented that while the architecture is beautiful, there is a large homeless population in the neighborhood. 
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Neighborhood/Area Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Pioneer Square
If you like history, Pioneer Square should be at the top of your to-do list. This neighborhood was one of the first settlements in the Northwest U.S. (hence the name), and it has maintained much of its Old West identity. Today, you'll find the cobblestone area peppered with art galleries, restaurants and shops, not to mention an ornamental pergola, which provides shelter to those waiting to hop on the cable car. According to recent visitors, the area is worth a stroll but the neighborhood has seen better days. Many commented that while the architecture is beautiful, there is a large homeless population in the neighborhood. 
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10-15 minute walk

#5

#5 in Seattle

Local Pick: Recommended ?
This giant museum houses one of America's premier art collections, which ranges from European masterpieces to contemporary sculpture. Although the museum has received some criticism for being small in nature, the collection and variety of exhibits easily make up for its size. Even if you're not the biggest fan of art museums, this one is a must. The Seattle Asian Art Museum and the Olympic Sculpture Park are also part of the complex. Visitors say the museum has a convenient downtown location and features exhibits that are well curated. 
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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Seattle Art Museum
This giant museum houses one of America's premier art collections, which ranges from European masterpieces to contemporary sculpture. Although the museum has received some criticism for being small in nature, the collection and variety of exhibits easily make up for its size. Even if you're not the biggest fan of art museums, this one is a must. The Seattle Asian Art Museum and the Olympic Sculpture Park are also part of the complex. Visitors say the museum has a convenient downtown location and features exhibits that are well curated. 
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5 minute walk

#2

#2 in Seattle

Local Pick: Must-see ? Free
Since 1907, this bustling market near the downtown waterfront has been the go-to place for local produce. Today, you can find almost everything, from local artwork to vinyl records. Plus the flower market is a particular must-see, according to reviewers. Though Pike Place Market is one of the most tourist-heavy attractions in Seattle (plan to run into crowds, especially during the weekend) that's no reason to scratch it off your to-do list. Recent visitors said the abundance of vendors and lively atmosphere make it an experience you shouldn't pass up. 
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Shopping Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Pike Place Market
Since 1907, this bustling market near the downtown waterfront has been the go-to place for local produce. Today, you can find almost everything, from local artwork to vinyl records. Plus the flower market is a particular must-see, according to reviewers. Though Pike Place Market is one of the most tourist-heavy attractions in Seattle (plan to run into crowds, especially during the weekend) that's no reason to scratch it off your to-do list. Recent visitors said the abundance of vendors and lively atmosphere make it an experience you shouldn't pass up. 
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15 minute walk

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#7

#7 in Seattle

Local Pick: Recommended ?
For a glimpse under the sea, head to the Seattle Aquarium, which sits along the waterfront just a few blocks west of the Seattle Art Museum. It may not be as impressive as other cities' aquariums, but Seattle's facility offers a wonderful introduction to northwestern sea life. The highlight of your visit will most likely be the "Window on Washington Waters" exhibit, which features aquatic animals native to the surrounding area.
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Zoos and Aquariums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Seattle Aquarium
For a glimpse under the sea, head to the Seattle Aquarium, which sits along the waterfront just a few blocks west of the Seattle Art Museum. It may not be as impressive as other cities' aquariums, but Seattle's facility offers a wonderful introduction to northwestern sea life. The highlight of your visit will most likely be the "Window on Washington Waters" exhibit, which features aquatic animals native to the surrounding area.
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