Last Updated on July 7, 2015 by Natasha Amar
This post is part of the Hipmunk #CityLove project.
From outdoor adventures to alternative music, Seattle offers a range of experiences for every kind of traveler in the beautiful backdrop of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. There’s a lot to keep you busy and entertained in the city, from the opera to high-end shopping. But if you’re on a budget, you need not be disappointed. There are plenty of hotels in Seattle to suit your budget and many free things to do. Here’s a guide to get you started with free things to do in Seattle.
Photo by Chloe Albin via Trover.com
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Seattle has many parks where you can enjoy a delicious picnic lunch, fantastic views of the city or spend a good part of your day hiking. Olympic Structure Park in Belltown has a 2500-ft. pedestrian path that leads to a beach. On the way, you’ll see sculptures and other artwork by famous artists such as Jaume Plensa, and incredible views of the Olympic Mountains.
If the idea of sharing the trail with small creatures that call the woods their home, among beautiful meadows overlooking the Olympic Mountains sounds like your idea of a day well spent, then head to Discovery Park in Magnolia, the city’s largest park.
Entrance to both parks is free.
Free Winery Tours and Tasting
Head to Washington’s oldest and most respected winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle, for a free guided tour and tasting between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. During this 35-minute tour, you’ll learn what makes the wine of the Columbia Valley special, and get an inside look at the winemaking tradition of the region. Their theme tasting is another low-cost alternative where you get to try four out of eight premium wines for just $10.
The city is home to many markets that you can explore for free such as the Pike Place Market, where you’ll find everything from fresh flowers to local food as you stroll along listening to the songs of street musicians. On Sundays, join the locals at the bustling Ballard Farmers Market as they shop for vegetables and seafood. You’ll also find many buskers here to keep you entertained for a small tip.
Seattle’s Art Scene
If you appreciate art, you’re definitely in luck in Seattle. There’s plenty of art to see around the city without spending a dime. Displays of glass art for free viewing are available at various locations like the U.S. Bank building and Sheraton Hotel.
Frye Art Museum, free to enter, houses German, French, and American collections of paintings and sculptures. It’s open six days a week, but hours vary. The museum offers complimentary tours. More information is available on the Frye’s website.
Seattle Art Museum is free to the public every first Thursday of the month. It’s home to modernist and Asian, African and Australian indigenous collections.
Visit a Museum
Many Seattle Museums offer free entry on the first Thursday of the month, making it the best time to absorb culture. Museum of History and Industry houses interactive exhibits that combine historical facts with cool pop culture references to create a unique and entertaining museum experience. It’s also worth checking out the Museum of Flight to see their collection of more than 150 historic air and spacecraft and other exhibits.
Have you visited Seattle? What is your favorite free thing to do in the city?