Seattle, Washington Top 5 Places to visit for BUSINESS TRAVELERS

Welcome to our Top 5 Places to Visit in Seattle, WA.

In this guide we're going to present the top 5 places to visit when in Seattle on a business trip. We all know that when traveling on business there just isn't that much time (if any) to see the places we go to for work. We've been around the world without having really seen it. Whether your visit is for sales meetings or conferences, this guide is intended to give you some ideas on what you can do in the little down time you do have between work.

Seattle is a huge city and in this guide we're going to focus on some of the central locations together: Downtown, Pioneer Square & International District, and Queen Anne & South Lake Union.

Be sure to check out some suggested hotspots at the end of each section to find the local favorites like restaurants and theatres and their specific places. For maps of Seattle attractions, see here. So without further ado, let's get started!


Poised between Elliott Bay and the hilly neighborhoods to the east, Downtown Seattle contains the city's bustling financial and retail district. Here is where you'll find the first/ flagship stores of Nordstrom's and Starbucks. This is also where many of Seattle's tourist attractions are, including the iconic Pike Place Market, the expansive Seattle Art Museum, the touristy waterfront, and some of the city's most stunning architecture, all within easy walking distance of each other.

One of Seattle's most touristy destinations, Pike Place is a functioning public market; one of the oldest in the country. Mostly indoors, it consists of dozens of little shops tucked into a few square blocks downtown, situated on multiple levels. Even if you hate shopping you might still like this place, with its colorful atmosphere and quirky gimmicks, like the famous seafood stand where the staff toss fish from one end to the other.

Boating in Elliot Bay

As the weather gets warmer, many artisans set up booths to sell photographs, glass, ceramics, and fresh flowers. Farmers come to sell their produce, and a vast amount of tiny hole-in-the-wall places offer all kinds of cuisine (French, Russian, Mexican, seafood, etc.)

The Market is within walking distance of the waterfront, and crowds fill the market each time a cruise ship is parked in the harbor. Be sure to head into the lower levels beneath the crowded main arcade to explore the cramped, dusty shops buried within the building. And don't miss adjacent Post Alley, a hidden gem filled with gourmet restaurants and unique souvenir shops, as well as odd sights like a gum-covered wall.


  • Columbia Center - second tallest building on the West Coast, great views at the top, cheaper than Space Needle, no lines
  • Miner's Landing - waterfront touristy area
  • Seattle Aquarium
  • Seattle Central Library - A dramatic glass and steel structure in the heart of downtown Seattle, designed by Rem Koolhaas. This is not an average public library and has become a tourist destination in its own right. A popular way to experience the unique architecture of the building is to take an elevator to the 10th floor, the highest observation deck. From here you can walk down to the main floor through the Book Spiral; the core of the structure which organizes the library's books in one continuous path of uninterrupted Dewey Decimal progression. Free.
  • Washington Convention and Trade Center
  • Matt's in the Market - seafood
  • Palace Kitchen - gastro-pub
  • The Metropolitan Steakhouse - steakhouse

Pioneer Square & International District

Pioneer Square is Seattle's oldest neighborhood, showcasing a wealth of art galleries, bookstores, antique shops, cool restaurants, and buzzing nightclubs within easy walking (or free bus) distance of most Downtown Seattle hotels. The classic red brick buildings, cobblestone streets and horse-drawn carriages are a reminder of life a century ago. Local lore holds that the term "skid row" originated in Pioneer Square, when timber would be slid down Yesler Way to a steam powered mill on the Seattle waterfront. The area sits, from east to west, between 3rd Ave. and the waterfront; and between Downtown proper to the north, and the sports stadiums to the south.

Pioneer Square, Expedia

Just to its east, the International District is the name given to Seattle's Asian neighborhood. It is located southeast of Downtown, loosely bounded by 4th Avenue S. and S. Dearborn Street. While the old Chinatown stops are concentrated around the Interstate 5 freeway, the area to the east is called Little Saigon, centered on 12th and Jackson. From there, going south along Rainier Avenue, the stores transform from Vietnamese to Cambodian, beyond which it slowly merges into South Seattle.

The International District has a great variety of ethnic cuisines. While tourists and most non-Asian Seattleites stick to the large Chinese restaurants, the smaller places serve mostly locals and offer quite authentic atmosphere as well as food. Chinese seafood restaurants are a Seattle institution popular with locals, many with "live tanks".

International District


Queen Anne & South Lake Union

Perched on the hills northwest of Downtown and home to the Seattle Center and the Space Needle, the Queen Anne District offers incredible iconic views of the city and a unique experience in the architecture of the Pacific Northwest.

Myrtle Edwards Park, northwest of Downtown in Queen Anne

Seattle Center, at the southern base of Queen Anne Hill, was originally built to host the 1962 World's Fair. The theme was 'Century 21' and it featured many corporate sponsored, science-based exhibits. The two most notable survivors were the Monorail and the Space Needle which has fantastic views of Seattle, both of which have become Icons of the city. Today, Seattle Center is a park-like facility surrounded by many of Seattle's finest venues and museums; Key Arena, McCaw Hall, Intiman Theater and the Experience Music Project. The Center becomes a venue in its own right when it hosts several of Seattle's premier events, including Northwest Folklife Festival, Bite of Seattle, Bumbershoot and several others.

Queen Anne

South Lake Union was an industrial neighborhood in the late 20th Century, but also one of the oldest residential neighborhoods in Seattle. Today, South Lake Union is home to's new headquarters and a range of biotech organizations, a large growth in both market rate and subsidized housing, and a new streetcar line.

Street cars in South Lake Union


  • Easy Street Records - local music shop
  • Phuket - Popular Thai restaurant. 517 Queen Anne Ave N, ☎ +1 206 284-3700
  • Canlis - High end dining with exceptional views of Queen Anne Hill and Lake Union. Make reservations and dress well.
  • Caffe Fiore - Organic coffee shop

End Notes

And that completes our top 5 places to visit in Seattle as a business traveller. We hope you enjoyed this post and be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Credit: as modified


Created with images by tiffany98101 - "Seattle Sunset" • 27707 - "seattle skyline cityscape" • Seattle Municipal Archives - "Loback Meat sign in Pike Place Market, 2001" • tjmeanea - "ferris wheel amusement park wheel" • chispita_666 - "Pioneer Square" • Wonderlane - "Backstreet memory, International District, Seattle, Washington, USA" • Wonderlane - "Dragon and Lions; Red Lion and Snow Lion, Leader with ball, Ying Yung Tong & Vovinam International Lion and Dragon Dance Team, International District, Seattle, WA, USA" • Wonderlane - "China Gate, International District, Seattle, Washington, USA" • Wonderlane - "Budweiser Dragon, Tsingtau, International District, Seattle, Washington, USA" • Prayitno / Thank you for (12 millions +) view - "Seattle China Town" • rutlo - "queen anne hill" • Seattle Parks & Recreation - "Myrtle Edwards Park" • Chas Redmond - "QAChineseColorsHouse" • Chas Redmond - "QARisingSunHouse" • Chas Redmond - "QAChineseColorsHouse2" • ozmafan - "P1070079" • ozmafan - "03-12-11 031" • pasa47 - "South Lake Union Trolley"

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