Free Things to Do in Seattle

The mix of the great outdoors and city life means there’s lots to do that won’t break the bank.

Written by Kristen Kuchar / June 10, 2022

Quick Bites

  • You could spend all day strolling through Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market, eating and shopping.
  • There are plenty of parks by the coast, but you can go for a free boat ride, too.
  • Take in the vibrant arts scene—there are more than 200 free public artworks throughout the city.

Besides a robust coffee culture, Seattle’s thriving outdoor scene makes it a great city to visit while on a budget. Whether you have a long weekend of a whole week, there’s plenty to do.

Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market is a must, but the city’s coastline, public art and many parks make for great, free attractions. Here’s a look at all the free ways you can enjoy on the town.

Window shop

Browse more than 500 small businesses at the iconic Pike Place Market, including restaurants, retail shops, farmers market and specialty food shops.

Visit one of Seattle Farmers Markets throughout various neighborhoods.

Belltown Art Walk promotes local artists at various locations throughout Seattle.

Enjoy the coastal scenery

Take advantage of Seattle’s beautiful coastline. Also known as the Ballard Locks, Hiram M. Chittenden Locks is a busy waterway system and a popular attraction for visitors.

Rent a row boat for one-hour at no cost, thanks to The Center for Wooden Boats.

Alki Beach provides views of the Olympic Mountain and Puget Sound and is a popular spot for walkers, joggers and volleyball players.

You can also enjoy the coast at free nearby parks, including Golden Gardens Park and Madison Park Beach.

Enjoy public art

There are more than 200 public artworks throughout Seattle, which are free to visit.

Olympic Sculpture Park is an award-winning nine-acre outdoor park featuring artwork.

The Frye Art Museum, Klondike Gold Rush and Bainbridge Island Museum of Art are all museums without admission fees.

The Museum of History & Industry is free first Thursdays 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and The Museum of Flight is free the first Thursday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Also, the Seattle Public Library has free classes and events throughout the year.

Find a park for you

With its 534 acres, Discovery Park is the largest park in the city and has walking trails.

The scenic Myrtle Edwards Park offers a 1.25-mile walking and bike path right along Elliott Bay.

Other notable free public parks include:

Visit the picturesque University of Washington Botanic Gardens, which houses 230 acres of plants.

About the Author

Kristen Kuchar

Kristen Kuchar

Kristen Kuchar is a journalist, covering money, travel and the beverage industry. Kristen has previously contributed personal finance and business content to Money.com, Money Under 30, The Simple Dollar, Saving for College, Credible, The Brad’s Deals Blog, Outdoor Business Magazine and more.

Full bio

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