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The Best Free Things to do in Seattle, Washington

Seattle is located in Washington state in the Pacific Northwest part of the U.S. Those that live there welcome change with open arms.  There are continuously new trends developing within the unique neighborhoods, and as visitors wander around they will find themselves even more intrigued than they ever could have imagined. That is why we came up with this list of the best free things to do in Seattle as well as some of our favorite cheap things to do in Seattle. 

There is so much to do in the city of Seattle, but that doesn’t mean that you need to break your budget during a visit.  Instead, travelers will find that this is a city that can be enjoyed and loved for less than they think. Below are several cheap and free things you can do in Seattle. 

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The Best Free Things to do in Seattle, Washington

Olympic Sculpture Park

This nine-acre park is part of Seattle’s Art Museum and it can be found along the waterfront.  Those who wander through the park will be rewarded with mesmerizing views of the Olympic Mountains as well as the numerous sculptures that have been scattered throughout.  The two favorite sculptures include Echo by Jaume Plensa, which is a forty-six-foot-tall work of art featuring the mountain nymph of Greek mythology, and Eagle by Alexander Calder.  

Boat Ride on Lake Union

The Center for Wooden Boats has offered free boat rides on Sundays for more than twenty-five years now.  There are usually two hundred seats available each Sunday, which means that everyone must arrive early if they want to secure their spot.  The boats going out on the water change continuously and it is never known until that morning which ones will be available. The options include sailboats, steamboats, electric boats, and boats that need to be paddled.  No one ever complains about which boat they are on though, because they are too distracted by the beauty that surrounds them as they are out on the water.

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden can be found within a South Seattle neighborhood, and many hope to keep this little piece of paradise to themselves.  There are twenty acres full of paths that allow people to wander past ponds, flowing streams, and over bridges, while they are admiring the fragrant plants and flowers that grow there.  It is a fabulous place to enjoy a picnic lunch or simply sit and relax in the tranquil setting.

Frye Art Museum

This museum displays works of art by artists that are local and those from around the world.  The Frye Art Museum was opened to the public in 1952 and is now filled with paintings and sculptures from the 19th and 20th centuries.  Visitors are welcome to join a guided tour or simply walk around the museum on their own as they stop at the pieces that inspire them the most.  

Seattle Center Festál

Seattle Center Festál events are held throughout the year and each one is free.  This is currently the twenty-first season of the weekend festivals and each one features a different culture of the region.  Everyone will enjoy the music, dancing, exhibits, activities, and even the traditional foods that are prepared and served throughout the day.  

Seattle Art Museum

There is normally an admission fee to enter the Seattle Art Museum, but on the first Thursday of every month, this fee is waived.  Guests can see the numerous exhibits that feature Asian, African, Native American, and Australian indigenous art during their visit.  Those visitors who have seen this museum before may want to consider stopping at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, as the admission is free there on the first Thursday of every month as well.  That museum features pottery, sculptures, textiles, and paintings from Korea, China, India, and Japan. The Seattle Asian Art Museum will also waive admission fees for families who visit on the first Saturday of the month.  

Cheap Things to Do in Seattle

Ferry Rides

Ferry rides are common in the state of Washington and many of them can be found around the city of Seattle.  Day trips to destinations like Langley on Whidbey Island are quite popular, as no one can resist riding a ferry as they inch closer to paradise.  Anyone that doesn’t have time for a long ferry ride can choose to hop onto a water taxi to take them from one side of the city to the other.

Pike Place Market

This public market is one of the best in the country and once a person arrives they will find themselves slightly overwhelmed by the number of choices they have when it comes to shops, booths, and places to eat.  Pike Place Market first opened in 1907 and since then, it has been the go-to place for high-quality food and goods.  While it will not cost anything to wander through this market, visitors may find themselves spending a little bit of money on purchases when they are there.  

Washington Park Arboretum

The Arboretum is comprised of two hundred and thirty acres of land that has a large variety of plants.  Some of the plants there can’t be found anywhere else in this area of the world, which makes it interesting for those who are wandering around.  Visitors will love exploring the Pacific Connections Garden, Joseph A. Witt Winter Garden, Woodland Garden, Shoreline and Foster Island, Rhododendron Glen, and Azalea Way for free.  However, those who want to enter the Japanese Garden will need to pay a small fee. The admission is worthwhile though, as this is the best Japanese Garden outside of Japan. The blooms are the best during the spring months, but the fall months do bring quite the unique fall foliage.  

Information for International Visitors

Everyone loves visiting Seattle, and that includes people from other countries.  Thankfully, it is very easy for international travelers to experience the beauty of this city once they have a valid passport and an approved visa.  

While the process for applying for a visa used to be slightly complicated in the past, it is much easier with the new ESTA online feature.  Now, international travelers will receive ESTA approval quickly, as long as they will not be staying within the country for more than ninety days and have a valid e-passport.  

As soon as foreign travelers have the proper documents and approvals in place, they can arrive for their time in Seattle and have the vacation of a lifetime.  

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