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Talia
Boston

Seattle

Is the Space Needle worth seeing?

First time to Seattle and of course we've heard about the tourist spots (Space Needle, Pike's Place, etc.) Are they worth visiting or really touristy and crowded? If so, what are better places a first timer should experience in Seattle? 


20 Answers

top answer by
Valerie from Seattle

Talia, great question. Another good one is "Is the Eiffel Tower really worth seeing?" :) (YES!)

Even though it's cheesy and expensive and filled with (fellow) tourists, The Space Needle just one of those things you do when you visit Seattle, similar to Pike Place Market. It's like skipping the London Eye or Great Pyramids if you don't go!

And then you can look at all the cheesy pictures of Seattle and say "I was on top of that silly looking building!"


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Space Needle (attraction)
  2. Pike Place Market (attraction)
5 thanks


answered by
Ashley from Calgary

The area around the Space Needle is neat, they have the Experience Music Project and Chihuly Garden and Glass  museums as well so it's worth popping by. The needle itself gets busy but not as busy as attractions in other major cities. We had dinner in the restaurant and it was actually really great. Definitely go see Pike Place Market, the gum wall and the pier shops. Their public library is also pretty neat.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Experience Music Project (attraction)
  2. Chihuly Garden and Glass (attraction)
  3. Pike Place Market (attraction)
4 thanks


answered by
Spencer from Los Angeles

So I lived in Seattle and those touristy spots, like the Space Needle and Pike Place Market, are a helluva lot more worth seeing then the touristy things of other cities. Pike Place Market has some AWESOME quick food stops, like Piroshky Piroshky and Beecher's Handmade Cheese, and some great cocktail and beer bars, such as The Zig Zag Café, which has some of the best drinks in the city (but is kind of hidden away), and Radiator Whiskey if you like whiskey and BBQ.


For the Space Needle, I'd make a day of it in Lower Queen Anne. Get some donuts at Top Pot Doughnuts, go to the Experience Music Project, check out the views from Kerry Park (best view in Seattle), and then if it's a nice, clear day, go to Space Needle later in the day when you have some great light to get good photos. The food and drink there is nothing to write home about, but the views are stellar.

Nonetheless, if you want a cool, but more local side of Seattle, I'd head up the hill to Capitol Hill Neighborhood. Some fantastic restaurants and bars, like Sun Liquor DistilleryVon Trapp'sLi'l Woody's, or Ballard Neighborhood to Hilliard's BeerTractor TavernBallard Locks.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Space Needle (attraction)
  2. Pike Place Market (attraction)
  3. Piroshky Piroshky (restaurant)
  4. Beecher's Handmade Cheese (attraction)
  5. The Zig Zag Café (restaurant)
  6. Radiator Whiskey (attraction)
  7. Lower Queen Anne (neighborhood)
  8. Top Pot Doughnuts (attraction)
  9. Experience Music Project (attraction)
  10. Kerry Park (attraction)
  11. Capitol Hill Neighborhood (neighborhood)
  12. Sun Liquor Distillery (restaurant)
  13. Von Trapp's (restaurant)
  14. Li'l Woody's (restaurant)
  15. Ballard Neighborhood (neighborhood)
  16. Hilliard's Beer (attraction)
  17. Tractor Tavern (restaurant)
  18. Ballard Locks (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)


answered first by
Lauren from Chicago

Talia,

The Space Needle really is a tough call. Even on a not-so-clear day we had great views, but I almost think on a nice day I'd rather spend it in one of Seattle's great parks like Kerry Park or Gas Work Parks. The views of the skyline from Kerry Park are stunning - with Mount Rainier in the background you can catch some fantastic sunsets here.

Chihuly Garden and Glass is right next to the Space Needle and I think that is absolutely worth it - just a beautiful collection of Chihuly's amazing creations.

As for Pike Place Market - it can get extremely crowded but we absolutely loved it. We did a market food tour with Savor Seattle Food Tours so we got to try a bunch of the food without waiting in lines, and got a nice history of the market and Seattle at the same time. We went back for more chowder from Pike Place Chowder and piroshkys from Piroshky Piroshky, so I think the tour helped us figure out where it was worth waiting in line. I waited in a crazy long line for more piroshkys and for me it was totally worth it-they are DELICIOUS! If you get there earlier or on a weekday you'll probably find it a bit less crowded.




Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Space Needle (attraction)
  2. Kerry Park (attraction)
  3. Gas Work Parks (attraction)
  4. Mount Rainier (attraction)
  5. Chihuly Garden and Glass (attraction)
  6. Pike Place Market (attraction)
  7. Savor Seattle Food Tours (attraction)
  8. Pike Place Chowder (restaurant)
  9. Piroshky Piroshky (restaurant)
3 thanks


answered by
Scotty from Houston

Pike Place Market is a definite YES!!   As for the Space Needle, just get a picture with it and move on!  haha!

Definitely spend time in the downtown area at Pike Place and if you're into aviation, you HAVE to go to Museum of Flight at Boeing Field!!  You can actually take the city bus there VERY easily (I just did it two months ago).  There are a LOT of cool things there!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Pike Place Market (attraction)
  2. Space Needle (attraction)
  3. Museum of Flight (attraction)
2 thanks


answered by
Suzanne from Pasadena

Yes Talia! It is worth seeing! I travel to Seattle about 4 times a year and I never tire of the beauty of the city! I have written many posts about Seattle. Here is just one you might find helpful! When you visit the Space Needle, don't miss Chihuly Garden and Glass and the Experience Music Project (EMP) http://adventuresofemptynesters.com/a-snack-and-a-stroll-through-pike-place-market/


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Space Needle (attraction)
  2. Chihuly Garden and Glass (attraction)
  3. Experience Music Project (attraction)
2 thanks


answered by
Liz from Seattle

I've lived in Seattle 6 years and never been up. Smith Tower is a cheaper alternative and Kerry Park is a FREE alternative which lets you see the skyline *including* the Space Needle. But... I'm cheap. Maybe try Kerry Park and see if it is a nice enough skyline-viewing experience for you. Also, definitely wander around the base of the space needle and check out the fountain, sculptures, friendship garden, etc., all free to enjoy.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Smith Tower (attraction)
  2. Kerry Park (attraction)
2 thanks


answered by
Loren from Issaquah, Washington

They are definitely worth visiting, but I'd skip the restaurant that is inside the Space Needle.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Space Needle (attraction)
2 thanks


answered by
Kristal from San Francisco

Hi Talia, 

I definitely agree with the recommendations below for other sights to see. I also think it's nice to go to the top of other buildings like the Columbia Tower Club to see the view with the Space Needle in it. It's a little cheaper and if you have a student id card, it's less than half the price of the Space Needle. 

Hope this helps!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Columbia Tower Club (restaurant)
2 thanks


answered by
Eric

Yes, on a clear day. 

But if you are on a budget go to the Starbuck's in 40th floor of Columbia Tower Club downtown. You get a world class view for the cost of a cup of coffee you likely would have spent anyway. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Columbia Tower Club (restaurant)
1 thanks


answered by
Matt from Kent (Washington)

Yes its worth seeing, but not sure if its worth paying to ride up to the top?  Its an amazing structure, and there is something about its form that is pleasing to the eye, but the line and the cost of riding to the top is a bit much, and you really don't even get to the top, you just get to the observation deck, which is almost the top, but not really (a year or two ago a local band played a set at the very top to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Needle).  The views from the obs deck are great IF its not foggy, rainy, or thick clouds (which never happens in seattle).  Ride it once on a nice day, but after that just view it in awe from the ground!


1 thanks


answered by
Femi from London, United Kingdom

it is..has a great view from which you can see CenturyLink Field and Waterfront Park...take a camera!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. CenturyLink Field (attraction)
  2. Waterfront Park (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Allison from Houston

Duh, yes!  There's other cool stuff around there too.                                  Experience Music ProjectOlympic Sculpture Park  


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Experience Music Project (attraction)
  2. Olympic Sculpture Park (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Jeff from Portland

No, the Space Needle is not worth visiting. I have done it twice, once when I was a little kid and even then it was sort of boring. The second time I was forced to go and it is a huge waste of money and time. Molly S's alternatives are right on for better ways to see the city.

I wish I could add more context or information, but it really is a pretty sad experience.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Space Needle (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Molly

Personally I don't think it's worth it. You can get better views from either the Seattle Public Library - Central Library, the top of the Columbia Tower Club or there is an observation tower at the Lake View Cemetery where Bruce Lee is Buried. Pike Place Market is packed with tourist,but I still find it fun to explore, especially the Seattle Gum Wall.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Seattle Public Library - Central Library (attraction)
  2. Columbia Tower Club (restaurant)
  3. Lake View Cemetery (attraction)
  4. Pike Place Market (attraction)
  5. Seattle Gum Wall (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Steve

I don't recall having ever been to the top of the Space Needle, but what is worthwhile in the same neighborhood is the Experience Music Project backed by Paul Allen of Microsoft fame, especially if you appreciate music, and more especially if you ever visited the '60s and '70s!  See Experience Music Project. Also worth your time is the Chihuly Garden and Glasshttp://www.chihulygardenandglass.com/about/exhibition


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Space Needle (attraction)
  2. Experience Music Project (attraction)
  3. Chihuly Garden and Glass (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Jenn from Boston

Space Needle is totally worth it if you have a nice day for great views to the mountains. If not, skip it. It can be nice at night too. I hear improvements have been made to restaurant. If you eat there, you go up free. It will likely be crowded, but on a beautiful day, the views are amazing in all directions. Pike Place Market is ALWAYS crowded, but it is so "Seattle" - I would say don't miss it!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Space Needle (attraction)
  2. Pike Place Market (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Diane from Clifton, Texas

The steak at SkyCity at the Needle is incredible, as well as the dessert with the dry ice .. amazing experience!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. SkyCity at the Needle (restaurant)
1 thanks


answered by
Tracy from Portland, Oregon

If it's a sunny day, absolutely. The restaurant can be missed as it is not the best food experience in Seattle, though it is a very nice high-service experience if you're interested. I had brunch there in March and was surprised at how lovely it was. The view from Columbia Tower Club observation deck is even better, and has great factoids plus a small counter serving light eats and beer/wine.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Columbia Tower Club (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Shannon

You can "see" it from everywhere. At the Seattle Center, the thing worth seeing is the Chihuly Garden and Glass. Right there. Other than that, I would sweep it into a trip to Pike Place Market. THAT is far more worth your time.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Seattle Center (attraction)
  2. Chihuly Garden and Glass (attraction)
  3. Pike Place Market (attraction)




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