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Is Seattle Safe for Tourists?

Safety should always be a top priority for travel. You want to use your common sense and ensure you’re not walking into a dangerous area. So, where does Seattle fall on the spectrum of safe destinations?

Keep reading to find out if Seattle, Washington, is safe for tourists. We’ll guide you through the areas you should avoid and the best places to stay.

Let’s dive in!

About Seattle, Washington

Seattle is in northwest Washington, in the northwest corner of the lower 48 states. Sitting on Puget Sound, which leads to the Pacific Ocean, the city is full of life and beauty. It’s a thriving metropolis with a population of over 730,000 residents. It sees approximately 21 million tourists annually. 

Settlers founded Seattle in 1851. It soon became a major port city during the gold rush. It was also a place where people built ships. The gold rush led to a significant boom in the city’s population. 

What Is Seattle Known for? 

Seattle is famous for various business startups and headquarters, including Starbucks, the Seahawks sports franchise, Amazon, Boeing, and Microsoft. It also hosted famous attractions like Pike Place Market and the Space Needle, which is from the World Fair of 1962. The city is also the birthplace of the grunge music scene in the 1980s.

This northwest coastal city is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Being on the coast with access to waterways and islands, kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, boating, and sailing are a part of the culture. The mountains surrounding the city are also a fixture of entertainment and adventure. Hiking and mountain biking are top-rated weekend getaways for those working in the city all week long. 

Dark alleyway in Seattle
There are lots of things you can safely see and do in Seattle.

Is Seattle Safe for Tourists?

Seattle is safe and worth visiting. People report less than 50,000 crimes in Seattle annually. You can even safely walk around Seattle at night. Of course, you always want to use common sense. Keep your valuables secure and out of sight. 

Like any city, there are areas with higher crime rates. Overall, Seattle is a safe tourist destination. 

What Areas Should I Avoid in Seattle? 

There are some sketchy areas in Seattle. Locals recommend avoiding 3rd Avenue between Pike and Pine and James and Yesler Street. Visitors should be aware that there’s been an increase in the homeless population in the city. While someone experiencing homelessness isn’t necessarily dangerous, crime rates are typically higher where there are homeless camps.  

Pro Tip: We won’t lie to you, The Chewing Gum Wall Is the Grossest Place in Seattle. Find out why.

Skyline view of Seattle
Stay safe in Seattle by avoiding 3rd Avenue between Pike and Pine and James and Yesler Street.

Is Seattle a Walkable City? 

Seattle has many hills, but it’s very walkable. You can easily walk throughout the city to all the attractions, waterfront, and green spaces. Seattle scores 74 out of 100 on the walkability test. 

What Is the Best Part of Seattle to Stay In? 

Finding a place to stay in Seattle is pretty straightforward, but some parts of the city are more convenient for tourists than others. Let’s examine five of the best areas to find lodging. Each is close to attractions and all the city offers.

Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square has an art and music vibe. It’s a historical part of the city famous for its Renaissance Revival architecture. The area has some excellent restaurants and boutiques; this is where you want to stay if you’re looking for nightlife. 


Belltown also has good food, shops, and nightlife. You’ll find places like the Seattle Glassblowing Studio and a Patagonia store. There are many ethnic food varieties to try.

Queen Anne

Queen Anne is home to Seattle Center, which houses the Space Needle. It provides sweeping views of the city and Puget Sound. You’ll also find plenty of restaurants and shops in the area. 


Waterfront is an excellent home base on a visit to Seattle. You can walk along the water efficiently to all the downtown sights. If you want to take a boat to an island, there are options.

University District

University District offers a relaxed vibe, as many students live here. It features the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. There are also plenty of restaurants and shops.

What Is the Best Month to Go to Seattle?

You can visit Seattle year-round. The best months to stay are May through October when the temperatures are warm, and there’s less rain. Late spring and early fall will be less busy with fewer crowds. Summer is perfect for water sports and island hopping, and there are often events downtown. 

How Do Tourists Get Around Seattle?

Tourists can get around Seattle on foot, by car, by public transportation, or by bike. The most popular way to see the city when visiting is on foot. Walking around the city gives you access to more attractions and businesses that you might overlook otherwise. Plus, there’s something about walking through a big city that makes you smile.

Pro Tip: Keep an eye out for these Most Dangerous Creatures on the Pacific Coast while exploring Seattle, Washington.

Chewing Gum Wall in Seattle
From the Chewing Gum Wall to the Space Needle, there is something for everyone in Seattle.

Is Seattle Good for Tourists?

Seattle is a good city for tourists. There are endless attractions, restaurants, shops, and sources of entertainment. If you’re looking for outdoor adventure, you can head to the mountains for hiking or biking or to Puget Sound for kayaking, whale watching, island hopping, and camping. There is also an organized ferry system from Seattle to nearby islands where you can explore small coastal towns and enjoy the local fare. 

Will you visit Seattle on your next road trip?

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