- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Seattle Guide (PDF)
Seattle is a culturally rich city with a number of museums and art galleries in addition to some iconic attractions. Expats moving to Seattle will discover that there's plenty to see and do.
From unique dining experiences at the top of the Space Needle to exploring the city's galleries and stopping off at the original Starbucks coffee shop, there's something for everyone to enjoy.
Another plus point is that most attractions are child-friendly, which is great for expat families.
Recommended attractions in Seattle
This is the quintessential feature of the Seattle skyline. At 184m (605 feet), it's the place to be for spectacular views of the city. Dining at SkyCity, the tower's rotating restaurant, is an experience in itself.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
Located at Seattle Center, Chihuly Garden and Glass displays the work of glass artist Dale Chihuly. The exhibition has eight galleries indoors in addition to a beautiful outdoor garden and magnificent glasshouse. Apart from offering guided tours, the centre also hosts a number of fitness classes in the glasshouse itself, including yoga and tai chi.
The Museum of Pop Culture
Unique to Seattle, this museum houses some of the world’s most legendary pop culture artefacts. From horror films to music icons to comic books, there's an exhibition for everyone. Sci-fi lovers in particular will find a treasure trove of attractions here, from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame to the dedicated science-fiction museum.
National Nordic Museum
One of the few museums in the United States to honour the legacy of immigrants from the Nordic countries, the National Nordic Museum explores the cultures of Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland and Sweden. There's more to the museum than its fascinating exhibits, though – it also offers classes such as Nordic wood-crafting, cooking and language lessons.
Pacific Science Center
The centre attracts more than a million visitors a year and offers exciting exhibits, events, movies and games related to science and technology. From its impressive dinosaur display to its beautiful butterfly house, the museum aims to inspire curiosity.
Woodland Park Zoo
Spanning an impressive 92 acres, the Woodland Park Zoo is a reputable sanctuary home to more than 1,000 animals representing 300 species. This is a great attraction for families and includes an indoor play and education area known as the Zoomazium. The zoo also offers private tours where visitors can meet lemurs, penguins, otters, giraffes and more.
Seattle Children’s Museum
The Seattle Children's Museum was custom-built for kids to peep into the adult world. From grocery shopping and theatre to kitchens and DIY stations, a visit to this museum is sure to be a fun stop for families. The exhibits are designed for children from the ages of six months to six years.
►Check out our Getting Around in Seattle page to find out about expat transport options 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.