There are many free and fun things to do in Seattle. Some are obvious—getting out to a park is always free and Seattle’s parks are often beautifully unique. Most Seattle-Tacoma museums have free days at least one day a month. But what else is there to do? What if you don’t like parks and museums? No worries! There is much more to do that’s free or cheap.
Do be aware, though, that Seattle parking is not always free. Do some research and find the cheapest lot ahead of time, though, and you can keep the day very cheap.
Many of Seattle’s major landmarks are free to visit. You can wander around the Seattle Center for free. View the Space Needle, go into Center House and art galleries, hang out by the International Fountain—all free. The free ride area of Metro Transit buses gets pretty close to the borders of Seattle Center, otherwise parking near here will likely still cost you a few dollars.
Location: 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109
2. Seattle Waterfront
The Seattle Waterfront area includes many attractions all along it, including Pike Place Market, Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, and the Olympic Sculpture Park.
Location: Along Alaskan Way between Colman Dock near Columbia Street and the Olympic Sculpture Park
Pike Place Market is right along the Seattle Waterfront. Parking here will cost a fee, but you can wander the market, watch the fish get tossed, or add in a stroll of the waterfront area all for free.
Location: 85 Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98101
4. Ye Olde Curiosity Shop
Ye Olde Curiosity Shop is a store, but also a bit of a museum. You can see Sylvester the mummy, a collection of shrunken human heads, and other surprising and interesting items.
Location: 1001 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98104
5. Olympic Sculpture Park
The Olympic Sculpture Park overlooks the Puget Sound and features large-scale outdoor artwork.
Location: 2901 Western Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121
6. The Center for Wooden Boats
The Center for Wooden Boats is a resource for all who love sailing or wooden boats, and it has things to do for free. Admission is free and allows you the chance to get up close to the collection of non-motorized boats. Free sails take place every Sunday on Lake Union. Sign up is only in person the day of the sail so get there early.
Location: 1010 Valley Street, Seattle, WA 98109
7. Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection
Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. all year round, you can view the impressive bonsai collection at Weyerhaeuser.
Location: 33663 Weyerhaeuser Way South, Federal Way, WA 98001
8. Volunteer Park Conservatory
View the flowers, cactus, and other plants at this lovely conservatory for free. With five rooms to wander, this is also a great thing to do on a rainy day.
Location: 1400 E Galer Street, Seattle, WA 98112
9. Seattle Public Library
Visiting a library might not seem like a thing to do, but exploring this eight-story-tall wonder is an adventure. Colorful hallways, surprising viewpoints, and more await around every corner.
Location: 1000 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104
10. Gas Works Park
Gas Works is no ordinary park. A former gasification plant, the park preserved the ruins of the former plant. Some of the ruins, you can get up close to and touch. Others are fenced off. This is also an ideal park to fly a kite on a windy day.
Location: 2101 North Northlake Way, Seattle, Washington
11. Ride Seattle Metro Buses
If you’re downtown anyway, riding around the free area can be a free way to get off your feet. Just make sure to pay attention to the boundaries of the free ride area.
12. Metropolitan Market
Yes, it’s a grocery store, but no ordinary store. Cheese and other food samples are often out for the trying. Cheese classes are offered for free to the community every month or so. Special wine and cheese tastings also take place here for free.
1908 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
100 Mercer Street, Seattle, WA 98109
2320 42nd Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116
5250 40th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105
10611 NE 68th Street, Kirkland, WA 98033
2420 N Proctor Street, Tacoma, WA 98406