Plan Your Visit to Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington offers all sorts of activities and attractions for adults. You will likely want to spend several days in the area to be able to take advantage of everything.
Colorful stands offer everything from locally-grown fruits and vegetables to handmade crafts and art. Stroll through nine acres of indoor and outdoor stalls, browse specialty stores, and enjoy some of Seattle’s most renowned restaurants. Witness fishmongers tossing huge halibut from hand to hand for customers below, marvel at an array of local artists showing off their work, or simply soak up the scene with a cup of coffee in hand. Pike Place Market is the perfect place to take in all that Seattle has to offer.
Known for being the place where they throw the fresh catch of the day around in front of tourists and the coffee capital of the United States, Pike Place has quite a reputation for being a place to spend time in Seattle.
The market has been around since 1907 and there are over 200 owner-operated shops that span the nine-acre historic district.
There are a few “Must See” things when you’re at Pike Place Market:
- Shop for locally grown produce with the farmers
- Meet the local artisans within the craft market
- Explore some of the specialty foods
- Attend a cooking class at the Atrium Kitchen
- Embrace the nightlife with restaurants, clubs, and theatres
You could easily make a day of the market and still not see everything.
Oh, and if you want to see the fishmongers throw the fish, you need to head over to the Pike Place Fish Market.
Breakfast starts being served at 6 am but the market bell doesn’t actually ring until 9 AM. Most merchants aren’t open until 10 AM and then they stay open until 6 PM. Restaurants stay open until 1:30 a.m., however.
The market is open all year long, closing only on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
It’s located on 1st Avenue and Pike Street.
There are always new events taking place in the market. You can learn more about the entire locale here.
The flower market at Pike Place Market is a kaleidoscope of colors, showcasing an incredible array of fresh blooms, bouquets, and floral arrangements. From delicate roses to cheerful sunflowers, from exotic orchids to whimsical wildflowers, there is something to suit every taste and occasion. The market is a treasure trove for those seeking the perfect bouquet to brighten their day or to surprise a loved one.
Not only are the flowers themselves a sight to behold, but the displays at the flower market are also a work of art. The stalls are adorned with an abundance of colors and textures, creating a picturesque scene that is Instagram-worthy at every turn. The market’s charming atmosphere, combined with the intoxicating aroma of flowers, creates a sensory experience that leaves a lasting impression.
Where to Stay
You will find plenty of hotels around Pike Place. Some are budget while others are high-end, allowing you to find what works for your price range.
Pensione Nichols Bed and Breakfast
1923 1st Avenue
The hotel is inside a historic building. The average cost per night is around $129.
Seattle Marriott Waterfront
2100 Alaskan Way
Classic rooms are located bayside and there’s a gastropub inside. The cost per night averages $239.
Four Seasons Hotel
99 Union Street
The upscale hotel offers a wide array of amenities and a restaurant on-site. The average cost per night for a room is $439.
Top Places to Eat
The Pacific Northwest offers a lot of fresh ingredients. There are local celebrity chefs who have some incredible flavors and get their ingredients from local farmers, Washington wineries, and more.
One of the must-visit destinations for any food lover is the renowned Le Panier French Bakery. Transport yourself to the streets of Paris as you step inside this charming bakery, filled with the intoxicating scent of freshly baked bread and pastries. From flaky croissants and buttery pain au chocolat to irresistible macarons in vibrant hues, Le Panier offers an array of traditional French delights that will transport your taste buds to the heart of France.
For cheese aficionados, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese is a haven of creamy indulgence. Watch as skilled cheesemakers craft their creations, using only the finest ingredients and traditional methods. Sample their delectable varieties and allow your taste buds to be transported to a world of rich, velvety goodness.
For those with a penchant for all things sweet, the Daily Dozen Doughnut Company is a must-visit. Prepare to be captivated by the sight of these delectable mini doughnuts being freshly fried and coated with an irresistible dusting of powdered sugar. Indulge in the classic cinnamon sugar or explore their creative flavors like maple bacon, lemon poppy seed, or Nutella, each bite delivering a burst of happiness.
Continuing your journey, be sure to stop by Piroshky Piroshky, a beloved bakery specializing in the traditional Russian pastries known as piroshky. These handcrafted delights come in a variety of savory and sweet fillings, from savory options like beef and cheese or spinach and feta to sweet creations like apple cinnamon or Nutella and banana. Each bite offers a delightful combination of flavors encased in a perfectly flaky pastry crust.
Six Seven at The Edgewater, 2411 Alaskan Way, Pier 67 Right on the water, the restaurant lets you enjoy the freshest seafood as well as mouthwatering steaks.
Copine, 6460 24th Ave NW Farm to Farm-to-table food is served in creative ways here. You should also plan to explore the alumni dinner series.
Andaluca Restaurant & Bar, 407 Olive Way This Mediterranean restaurant celebrates the foods of the Northwest with spices from Greece, Spain, Turkey, and other countries of the region.
For a taste of Seattle’s thriving craft beer scene, head over to the Pike Brewing Company. Tucked away in a corner of the market, this brewery has been producing award-winning beers since 1989. Take a tour of their facilities, sample a flight of their signature brews, and learn about the art of craft beer brewing from the experts themselves.
For a unique culinary experience, head to Shy Giant Frozen Yogurt. This hidden spot offers a twist on the traditional frozen treat by serving up nitrogen-frozen yogurt with an array of creative toppings. Watch as the liquid nitrogen freezes the yogurt right before your eyes, creating a creamy and smooth texture that is sure to delight your taste buds.
Best times to Visit and Avoid Crowds
One of the best times to visit Pike Place Market is during the weekdays, specifically from Monday to Thursday. These days are generally less crowded compared to weekends when tourists flock to the market in larger numbers. Arriving early in the morning, shortly after the market opens, is another smart move to beat the rush and secure a more relaxed experience.
If you’re keen on experiencing the true essence of the market without having to navigate through dense crowds, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons. Spring and fall tend to be less busy compared to the peak summer months. The weather is still pleasant, and you can enjoy the market’s offerings without feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of people.
Avoiding major holidays and special events is advisable if you prefer a quieter visit. Pike Place Market has its fair share of celebrations and festivities throughout the year, such as the annual Pike Place Market Flower Festival or the bustling holiday season. While these events add a unique charm to the market, they also attract larger crowds, so planning your visit outside of these busy periods can ensure a more tranquil experience.
Parking and Transportation
If you prefer to drive, there are several parking options available nearby. The Pike Place Market Garage is a convenient choice, offering ample parking spaces just a short walk away from the market. However, it can fill up quickly, so arriving early is recommended. Another option is to use the parking lots and garages located in the surrounding area but be prepared for potentially higher rates.
For those who prefer not to drive, there are excellent public transportation options available. The market is well-served by the Seattle Metro bus system, with multiple routes stopping nearby. You can also take advantage of the Seattle Streetcar, specifically the First Hill Line, which stops right in front of the market entrance. This is a convenient and eco-friendly option for exploring the city.
Another popular transportation option for visitors is the Seattle Monorail. While it doesn’t directly connect to Pike Place Market, it provides a quick and scenic ride from downtown to the Seattle Center, which is just a short walk away from the market. This can be a fun way to add a bit of excitement to your journey.
For those staying in downtown Seattle, walking to Pike Place Market is an excellent choice. The market is centrally located and easily accessible on foot from many hotels and tourist attractions. Taking a leisurely stroll through the city streets allows you to soak in the vibrant atmosphere and discover hidden gems along the way.
Other Attractions Nearby
In addition to Pike Place, there are several other top attractions you won’t want to miss out on.
One of the most iconic attractions near Pike Place Market is the Gum Wall. Located in Post Alley, just a stone’s throw away from the market, this quirky and peculiar sight is a must-see. As you approach the wall, you’ll be greeted by an overwhelming display of colorful chewing gum stuck to every inch of the brick surface. It’s an unusual sight that has become an unexpected symbol of Seattle’s unique character.
For those interested in history, the Pike Place Market Historical District offers a fascinating glimpse into the past. Explore the Market Heritage Center, located in the historic Sanitary Market building, where you can learn about the market’s rich history, from its humble beginnings in 1907 to its growth and evolution over the years. The center also hosts rotating exhibits that shed light on the market’s cultural significance and community impact.
If you’re seeking a break from the bustling market, head down to the waterfront, just a short stroll away. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the picturesque Elliott Bay, breathe in the fresh sea air, and take in the stunning views of the Puget Sound and the majestic Olympic Mountains in the distance. The waterfront also offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions, including the Seattle Great Wheel, a towering Ferris wheel that provides panoramic views of the city.
Certain neighborhoods of Seattle are very walkable. If you spend all of your time around Pike Place Market, you won’t need to worry about transportation. However, there is the Link Light Rail that will take you all throughout downtown Seattle. The Seattle streetcars will also take you through various areas. The South Lake Union Streetcar makes 11 stops around South Lake Union while First Hill makes 10 stops through Capitol Hill and Chinatown.
There’s also the Seattle Center Monorail which will be one of the cheapest and fastest ways to get around the downtown area, going from the Westlake Center to the base of Queen Anne Hill.