Is getting a tour of Pike Place Market a waste of money? Should we just explore on or own?
Yes, I wouldn't recommend it. It is small enough for you to explore yourself. Make sure to stop by Beecher's Handmade Cheese if you are a cheese fan!
Hello Marissa! I (Scott) have a sister who lives in Seattle and Jacey has been there many times as well. In my opinion, I would recommend doing it on your own. You can basically get the gist of it by reading some local articles and/or a guidebook for highlights, or interesting tidbits. To me, one of the great things about Pike Place is the observing and people watching. I think with your focus being on what the guide is telling you, as opposed to just observing and enjoying this aspect, you will miss so much of what is interesting about the Market. Have fun!
I lived in Seattle for 15 years, but never took this tour. I suppose you might learn some behind the scenes info, but as others have stated, you can probably read this in guide books and save the money. It is a wonderful place to wonder and take in the sights, sounds and scents on your own. If it is peach season, totally get some at the PPM. They are amazing! There are some wonderful restaurants, but take time to try samples that many merchants hand out and then see how hungry you are after that. Have fun!
Probably a waste of money, it depends what you're going for.
My husband and I are foodies and would love to take one of the food tours. They take you to several different restaurants who have small portions ready for your tour group as you come in-- even as locals we think this would be a fun way to try some new places at the market.
A general tour? No thanks. You're better off wandering on your own. I suggest NOT going on a Saturday. It will be too crowded to move around and actually see anything.
My must go-tos at the market are Ellenos Real Greek Yogurt (diagonal and across the street from the fish throwing guys, they have the best yogurt in the world, you have to try it! They'll give you samples of any kind), Piroshky Piroshky (the line may look long, but it moves fast and is worth it), Sur La Table (for fun and beautiful kitchen items).
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The market and its enviro is a very self -toured world. The tours are tailored for shoppers in very specific locales. The market is a self expression place and walking into Zebra Club for good clothes or drinking coffee at Storeyville as opposed to the " mirage of 1st Starbucks " or pasta at PInk Door , or my favorite watch the world at Le Panier, you can get so many different views.
I have not been on a tour before, but I can say I had so much fun meandering Pike Place Market on my own!! If it takes you less than two hours, you're either going too fast or you haven't seen it all. There are so many layers to the market you'll probably want to take your time and look at it all without having to follow a guide's pace. Plus, there's sooo much yummy food you will rather be spending your money on that than the tour! Just my two cents.