A Day Trip to Seattle on a Budget

The Seattle Day-trip Experience

I have been to Seattle many times growing up and have always been fascinated by it. That’s why I jumped on the opportunity for a day trip to wander Seattle.

Visiting Seattle on a Budget

With already spending most of the weekend in Penticton, I had to do this on a major budget with the Canadian dollar absolutely, for lack of a better term, sucking.

One thing you should expect in regards to pricing is everything is about the same price as here in Canada. Starbucks drinks are still $5 each, Subway meals are the same price as well. However, you have to convert that into Canadian.

Here is a perfect example: I bought a ‘Veggie Delight’ meal and it came to $12 USD which then converted to approximately $16 CAD. For Subway.

Seattle Attractions

There are many attractions to see in Seattle. The big ones being:

The Seattle Space Needle:


  • Cost: Adult Admission – $22 USD
  • Description: Highest building in Seattle. There is a restaurant where you can purchase some probably pricey meals. To get to the top, you take an elevator straight up to a look out where you can look out over the city.
  • What you get: The price of the admission includes the elevator ride to the top look out where you can get a picture taken that you can send via email to friends, family or yourself

One thing to be cautious of, tickets are by time. I would suggest purchasing one as soon as you get there for the time that you would like.

Tip: If you can, purchase the tickets online prior – they are a little bit cheaper

EMP Museum: (Experience Music Project)

Instrument Tower, EMP Museum Seattle, Washington, USA

Instrument Tower, EMP Museum
Seattle, Washington, USA


  • Cost: Adult Admission – $25 USD
  • Description: Believe it or not, it is a museum dedicated to music. However, there is more to it than just music. There are also movie exhibits such as, horror, sci-fi and fantasy/mythical. In addition to the movie exhibits there are sometimes specialized exhibits going on. At the time I went, it was Star Trek. There are areas dedicated to Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix containing a documentary, many different member paraphernalia such as set lists, clothing, letters, EPs and much more. There is another area dedicated to playing instruments, sound mixing booths to play in, and ‘studio’ set ups to play in. Finally, there is a section where you can be in an air band/lip sync where you are recorded. You can view the video after and purchase it.
  • What you get: The admission includes entrance to all of the exhibits excluding the ‘specialized’ one at the time and access to all 3 levels.

Pike Place Market:


  • Cost: Free (Unless you make some purchases)
  • Description: Exactly what you would expect in a market. If you are there over night or make it there extremely early, you can see the fresh fish being brought into the market with it being tossed. I haven’t experienced that, but I have heard its quite the show!
  • What you see is what you get!

Side note: Right near here is the classy gum wall. You get to see it in all of its nastiness and glory

Gum Wall

Gum Wall

** Somewhere around Pike Place is the Worlds First Starbucks. I did not have the opportunity to go or locate it **

Woodland Park Zoo and the Seattle Aquarium:

  • Cost: Zoo Adult (13+) – $19.95 USD
  • Cost: Aquarium Adult (13+) – $24.95 USD

I personally have not visited the zoo and it has been many, many years since I have gone to the aquarium so I cannot comment on any of them as of yet.

There are other sites to see as well such as, the Chihuly Garden and Glass or the Museum of Flight. Again, I have not been to these places so I can’t comment on them at the moment.

My Recommendation:

If you have the budget and time, it would make the most sense to look at the Seattle CityPass or into some tours. It would have been a fantastic time to spend the night and take the time to go thoroughly check out the sites rather than attempting to see it all in one day. If you don’t have the budget or time like I did, you will have to pick and choose what you would value most and pick that thing and do it. You most definitely will not regret it no matter what!

My opinion:

As I have gone to Seattle many of times, I hadn’t gone to be a ‘tourist’ in a very long time. I was looking forward to that opportunity this time. It was a little bit frustrating with how much it all cost especially with the exchange rate. I would love to go back to see the aquarium and especially the Zoo, and the big Ferris Wheel or their underground haunted tour. However, I left Seattle feeling as if I saw it all, and would easily bypass it if I were to have other options. Then again, if the opportunity presented itself to go again, I would – because why in the world would I turn down an opportunity to visit somewhere else?

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