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What a Trip to Seattle Costs in 2024 | Average Prices

What a Trip to Seattle Costs in 2024 | Average Prices

I can’t remember the first time I set foot in Seattle because I was too young. An extensive arm of my family lives in the SeaTac (Seattle-Tacoma) area, so I spent years coming here for Christmases, Fourths of July, and Spring Breaks galore.

What amazes me about Seattle is that, no matter how many dozens of times I visit, I still become an instant tourist as soon as I get inside city limits. And it’s no wonder — the average cost of a trip to Seattle is affordable. But I digress.

Literally, I have to stop myself from bouncing up and down in my seat, which is not such a good idea when you’re the driver. What’s so amazing about it?

Well, in addition to geeking out on ghost tours and ferry rides, Seattle just kinda has it all. They’ve got great food, great parks, great festivals, and great vibes.

Yeah, things got a little dicey there during the pandemic, but that only changed the landscape slightly, and it’s still an awesome place to take a trip. Naturally, we’re all about making sure your vacations are affordable, so I’m here to help with an insider’s take.

There’s no reason your trip to Seattle should be expensive, provided you know where to go. Keep reading to save big bucks on a key Pacific Northwest experience!

Average Trip to Seattle Cost in 2024

Average Seattle Trip Cost Table

An average one-week trip to Seattle for two people will cost around $2,700:

  • Average Accommodation Cost: $100 per night
  • Average Flight Cost: $200 per person
  • Food, Drink & Activities: $100 per person, per day
  • Transportation: $200 total
  • Total Cost: $2,700

Seattle is a large city, covering 84 square miles and playing home to more than 730,000 people – a number that rises to 4 million if you include the surrounding areas.

The city is located between the sweeping panorama of Puget Sound, which goes all the way up into Canada, and Lake Washington.

The abundant waters make for one of the rainiest climates in the United States, but also keep the area temperate and green – making for the ideal PNW getaway for anyone from a hot, arid state.

Seattle isn’t short on history. Even the name itself carries a big story.

“White settlers came to the Seattle area in 1851, establishing a townsite they first called New York, and then, adding a word from the Chinook jargon meaning ‘by-and-by,’ New York-Alki,” explains the official government website of Seattle.

“They soon moved a short distance across Elliott Bay to what is now the historic Pioneer Square district, where a protected deep-water harbor was available. This village was soon named Seattle, honoring the Duwamish Indian leader named Sealth.”

With all that history on offer, you better believe you can easily find a week’s worth of doings, and for a reasonable price too. Let’s take a look at some average prices and the best ways to save.

Seattle Trip Cost: Average by Item

A city skyline during dusk, a piece for an article about trip cost to Seattle, a tall tower stand at the center with a round structure at the top.

Andrew Zarivny/Shutterstock

Averaging trip costs is a bit tricky, since we all travel differently. If you are coming from across the US or an international destination, you will of course pay more than if you’re driving up from Portland.

Similarly, if you are a foodie who just has to try all the best restaurants, that’s certainly going to run up a higher bill than a food-cart aficionado who loves nothing better than street food – all day, every day.

That said, below are some starting points for making your Seattle budget. Once you know about what you’ll pay for each category, then you can decide where to spend more and where to save. Dive in!

Accommodation Costs

In Seattle, good lodging is all about the neighborhoods. Avoid Downtown (too expensive), West Seattle (too inconvenient), and Ballard (too far away, even though it’s adorable). These are all great places to visit while you’re there, but they’re not ideal bivouacs.

Instead, opt for a hotel in Capitol Hill, Belltown, or South Lake Union. Hotels in these areas can be had for around $125, or $100 if you’re a price shopper.

Just make sure when you track prices over time to browse in incognito mode to avoid allowing travel sites to save cookies and return higher-priced results next time around.

Seattle is a great place for rentals. Both VRBO and Airbnb have tons of options for clean, quiet, private suites and apartments that cost only about $125 per night after taxes and fees.

Many travelers find that a worthwhile price to pay for somewhere quiet to hang their hats at night. If you want to go The Cheapest Possible Route, stay at the Green Tortoise.

A queen bed in a shared dorm is only $45 per night, and you’re right next to Pike Place Market. If you’re going to be in Seattle for at least a month, they also offer a work exchange program. Pretty rad!

In general, you should budget $125 for a nicer hotel or apartment in Seattle, but you can easily get by on $100 a night.

Flight Costs

Flying from anywhere on the West Coast is dirt cheap, with nonstop round-trip flights for about $150 tops – often less than $100. You can’t even drive for less than that.

From back east, you’ll pay closer to $200. Add another hundred on if you’re not flying out of a hub, since you’ve got to get there from a regional airport.

If you want to see some incredible sights and don’t mind sitting in a chair for 35 hours, consider taking the Coast Starlight train from anywhere on the West Coast.

You can start in San Diego, LA, San Francisco, or Portland, with views of the ocean and the countryside. It’s a lovely way to make the trip if you have the stamina – and only about $100 from LA! You can even fly into LA and out of Seattle if you’re coming from far away.

If you want the sleeper train experience, plan to spend around $500 for two, but that’s a very rough average depending on room size and other factors. In general, a $200 flight budget is plenty.

Food, Drink & Activity Costs

A building with several restaurants on its ground floor, for a piece on an travel guide about trip cost to Seattle, people are passing by beside the establishment and Ferris wheel is partially seen in background.

SEATTLE–JANUARY 6TH: Pier 57 at night with neon signs of tourist businesses and of Great Ferris Wheel on January 6th, 2013 in Seattle, WA. Seattle’s waterfront is a very popular tourist destination./Denise Lett/Shutterstock

Eating and drinking in Seattle is much the same as anywhere else in the US. Breakfast and lunch are typically $10 to $15 out, while dinner is closer to $20. Drinks are spendy, between $5 and $15, depending on what you order.

If you want the foodie experience, budget $100 a day on food alone. If you’re happy to eat from a grocery store with one sandwich from a shop per day, you can easily get by on $50.

Ghost tours are an amazing tourist experience, and you can find them aplenty for only about $30 per person. Another cheap activity, and a very traditional one to boot, is Pike Place Market.

Down by the waterfront, this delightful little community features all kinds of odds and ends, from grocery stalls and bakeries to coffee shops and a fishmonger where they straight-up chuck fish around several times an hour. I’ll say this: they usually catch it.

At Pike Place, you can also listen to live entertainment, buy jewelry and candles, troll through the underground shops, and visit My Favorite Thing On Planet Earth: the mini donut stand.

Watch the tiny sugary confections go from dough to getting fried to popping out of the oil and into their dusting of powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. There are also frosted maple and sprinkle options, as well as a mix.

I … cannot … with how good they are. At $9/dozen or less, it’s a treat worth savoring.

There’s even a gum wall, where you and yours can chew up a wad, then stick it to the enchantingly colorful testament to … humanity’s love of tree sap, I guess? Still, it’s a rite of passage, much like taking a picture with the big bronze boar near the fish market.

Get on board! Nearby is the famous Ferris Wheel, where you can see miles of the beautiful Puget Sound and inland. It’s only $18 per person – less for children – so all in all, it’s a pretty affordable adventure.

Want to visit the Space Needle? Considering this tower looks like something straight out of a Jetsons cartoon, you won’t be surprised to learn that it was built in 1961.

Currently, getting in costs between $25 and $40 depending on timing and age, but it’s worth it for a trip up to the viewing deck. Overall, if you eat reasonably and go on one touristy thing a day, you’ll be fine on $100 or less.

Transportation Costs

Getting around in Seattle is easy. They have a reliable, affordable public transportation system that costs only a few dollars per ride (less than $5 for a day pass), and the streetcar is a fun way of getting around town.

If you want to take a ferry to other islands in Puget Sound, you’ll pay less than $10 for a walk-on ticket. Want to bring your car? That’s about $20.

Renting a car in Seattle costs about $30 a day for a standard-sized vehicle. If you choose to go that route, you’ll have more freedom to explore surrounding areas, since taxis to the countryside are expensive.

Budget about $200 to ensure plenty of cash for a rental car for a few days, public transportation, some ferry rides, and a cab or two when needed.

Things to Consider

Young people walking and relaxing under blooming cherry blossoms in an open space in front of a large historic building, a section image of an article about trip cost to Seattle.

university of Washington,Seattle,washingto n,usa. 04-03-2017: cherry blossom blooming in the garden with crowded./Checubus/Shutterstock

Here are a few other things to consider when planning your trip to Seattle:

  • Want to see more of the West Coast? Consider taking the Coast Starlight, an Amtrak train, from anywhere further down the West Coast. You can even travel overnight!
  • Traveling to Seattle for longer? The work exchange program at the Green Tortoise is a pretty good deal, with free accommodations for 18 hours of work per week.
  • Huge advocate of campus walks? Strolling around a university is one of my favorite things to do, and it’s totally free. Check out the small but adorable University of Puget Sound down in Tacoma or the much more impressive University of Washington right in Seattle.
  • Seattle has tons of happy hour options. Make sure to avail yourself of these even if you don’t drink, as they offer the best prices throughout the day. Ballard and Fremont are upscale neighborhoods well worth a visit, and you’ll save money timing your trips for happy hour.

Frequently Asked Questions

An orange cable car running on its tracks within the city, for a piece on trip cost to Seattle guide.

Seattle, WA, USA – January 15, 2023; Seattle streetcar in downtown painted orange with pantograph raised/Ian Dewar Photography/Shutterstock

Here are some frequently asked questions about budgeting your trip to Seattle:

What’s the cheapest way to get to Seattle?

Flying is the cheapest way to get to Seattle unless you already live in the Pacific Northwest. And considering the cost of gas, even then it’s no guarantee. Budget $200 per person for flights and call it good.

What should I know about safety in Seattle?

Seattle is a pretty safe city. Follow basic precautions when it comes to keeping your bags close to you, leaving valuables at home or in your hotel, and being safe at night. If you’re female, don’t walk alone, and if you’re inebriated, it’s always better to find a cab or an Uber than to walk a long distance after 10 PM.

Does Seattle have good hostels?

Yes, it does! The Green Tortoise is famed across the US for its hospitality, great prices, and fun atmosphere. Plus, it’s right by Pike Place Market.

When is the best time to visit Seattle?

Summertime offers the most reliable weather conditions, typically warm and dry from July through September. However, you’ll get better deals the rest of the year.

Is it easy to get around?

Yes, it’s very easy to get around Seattle. The streetcar is cheap and reliable, the ferries are fun and affordable, and you have plenty of driving options.

Over to You — Book Your Trip to Seattle Today!

🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost$100 per night
✈️ Average Flight Cost$200 per person
🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities$100 per person, per day
🚕 Transportation$200 total
💲 Total Cost$2,700

The average cost of a one-week trip to Seattle is around $2,700 for two people. That’s one of the cheapest vacations you can take here in the United States, and I highly recommend it for the perfect combination of adventure, scenery, and fun.

So, with so much to see and do, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Seattle has to offer. Happy travels!