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Seattle is a vibrant metropolitan city set against a stunning natural backdrop. While expats living in Seattle do have to work hard for their money, they also have a host of great leisure opportunities at their fingertips. Whether they're keen to try the latest culinary creations, shop up a storm, enjoy a good night out or take part in various outdoor adventures, expats have no shortage of things to do in the Emerald City.
Shopping in Seattle
Seattle’s diverse neighbourhoods offer pretty much every type of shopping imaginable. From the latest outdoor gear and gadgets to must-have designer shoes, every shopper can find what they're looking for in Seattle.
Fashionistas can head downtown where there's an abundance of high-end retail outlets including the Nordstrom flagship store, Macy’s and Tiffany & Co. Those looking for a unique vintage piece should check out the indie boutiques along Ballard Avenue, while bargain hunters should visit outlet malls surrounding the city for brand-name items at reduced prices. Pike Place Market and the Seattle Waterfront are good bets for unique locally made crafts.
Nightlife in Seattle
There's no shortage of evening entertainment in Seattle. For those who enjoy socialising over a drink, there are plenty of bars and clubs to choose from. Pike Place Market is a Seattle landmark and each night throngs of tourists flock to enjoy the nightlife. Most Seattleites prefer to head to Belltown, Pioneer Square or Capitol Hill. Ballard in North Seattle is popular with a more grown-up crowd looking for a quieter evening out.
Arts and entertainment in Seattle
Seattle has an active and diverse music scene with a plethora of classical, jazz and rock music events. Expats who enjoy a night out at the theatre will be pleased to learn that Seattle has a thriving fringe theatre scene that exists alongside larger-scale productions. The city also plays host to several touring Broadway productions each year.
Eating out in Seattle
Food lovers are spoilt for choice thanks to Seattle’s eclectic restaurant scene. The city offers residents everything from Italian, Middle Eastern and Nepalese cuisine to traditional American fare, showcasing the best of local ingredients. Thanks to the city’s world-class chefs and top local produce, Seattle has become a culinary hotspot in the US.
Beyond Seattle’s restaurant scene, one cannot forget that Seattle is the home of Starbucks, which means Seattleites are serious about getting their caffeine fix. Seattle has one of the highest concentrations of coffee houses in the country and they can be found in all sorts of interesting locations. Expats who enjoy coffee will find plenty of quaint spots where they can lose themselves in a good book or simply people-watch over a cup of java.
Outdoor activities in Seattle
During the summer months, Seattleites love to get outdoors, and the city has plenty of natural splendours to enjoy. From lush forests and crystal clear lakes, to beautiful city parks and rich wildlife reserves, expats will find there is much to discover in this city.
Seattle is bordered by lots of water and it provides a unique way to enjoy the city. From sea kayaking to spending a weekend on a houseboat or having sundowners on a luxury yacht, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the surrounding ocean. Residents often enjoy taking a drive out to Lake Washington to enjoy a picnic by the water.
For landlubbers, there are several cycling trails, especially in the South Lake Union area, where one can take in some stunning views of the lake. Another great way to experience the outdoors is to take to one of Seattle’s many hiking trails. Seattle has hundreds of parks that provide green spaces for recreational sports or simply relaxing and taking some time out from the hustle and bustle of city life.
►Getting Around in Seattle provides an overview of the transport options available in the city.
Are you an expat living in Seattle?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Seattle. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.