How to Get Around Seattle when Traveling

Benaroya Bus Tunnel

From Monorails to bus service to light rail systems and your own two feet, it’s pretty easy to get around Seattle.

Getting to Seattle from Seatac airport

If you don’t have a lot of luggage, your best bet is to hop on the Central Link Light Rail between Sea-Tac and downtown Seattle. At the airport, follow the signs to Link Light Rail (Don’t follow the  Public Transit signs). The fare is $3.00. If your hotel is in the downtown core area, you can get to most locations using the train. It might be a good idea to ask your hotel concierge what stop to use to reach your hotel before using the Link Rail. Buy a ticket before getting on the train from the machines.

Make sure you purchase a ticket, Sound Transit police or other officials will sometimes roam trains and platforms and check people for proof of payment. The fine for not having a ticket is $124. We have seen this happen to many people, so don’t forget to get your ticket.

The trains run about every 10-15 minutes starting at 5 AM and running until 1 AM.

Once you retrieve your bags, from baggage claim at Seatac, you will need to walk a bit to find the Link station. Follow the signs to Link Light Rail. The light rail station is accessed at the far north side of the parking garage, or closest to baggage claim carousel 15 or 16 which is Alaska Air or United.

Taxi Cab from Seatac Airport

Your approximate cost from the airport to downtown is between $45-50 for the 16-mile drive. Traffic can be pretty crazy during rush hour in Seattle and typical cab wait times are .50 per minute if stuck in traffic. Here a flat fee for a town car might be a better option during the rush hour.  If you’re staying in the ‘downtown hotel zone’ cabs are allowed to charge a flat rate of $40 FROM downtown to the airport only.

Getting to Seattle from Cruise Ship Terminal

Pier 66 is right in downtown Seattle and there are many cabs and limo’s you can take. Depending on traffic, you are never more than 10 minutes away from most downtown hotels from here.

Pier 91 in Seattle is a bit further away, but never more than 15 minutes. The only challenge here is when you have 2 boats that dock at the same time, 5,000 are all trying to catch some form of transportation.

If you book a tour with us, we can pick you up at either Seattle cruise ship terminal and store your luggage in our secure luggage compartment. After the tour, we will gladly drop you off at your hotel within downtown Seattle.

Seattle Metro Bus

Once you arrive in the city, its easy to either walk or take a bus to most locations. Seattle used to have a free ride zone in downtown, but this is no longer the case. Bus fares range from .75 for seniors to $2.25-3.00 depending on zone and whether you are traveling at the peak commuting hours.

We suggest you check out The King County Metro Website for up to date fares and trip planning to help you get to your destination.


Seattle Monorial

Seattle Monorail

A fun way to get around the city is the Monorail that goes between downtown and the Seattle Center where the Space Needle, EMP and Chihuly Glass Gardens are located.

Built for the Seattle Worlds Fair in 1962, the Monorail has been an icon in the city for over 50 years. One way tickets are $2.25 for adults and $1.00 for youth and seniors.

Catch the Monorail heading towards the Seattle center at Westlake Center Mall station: At Fifth Avenue and Pine Street.

The Monorail station at the Seattle Center is close to the base of the Space Needle.

Walking in Seattle

This is the ideal way to get around the city if you are able. Though we have some crazy hills in certain areas, the downtown core is relatively easy to navigate.


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