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Coffee Capital of the USA

From world-class ballet to Boeing jet factory tours, Seattle is an enticing hotpot of culture. Visit the original Starbucks shop in Pike Place Market, admire the iconic Space Needle building from a water taxi or take a day trip to San Juan Island.

Essential information for Seattle

Local time

Language

USA flag
American English

Currency

US Dollar $
Official currency of the United States

Flight information

10h
Seattle (SEA)
Direct flight

Flight Schedule

  • Fly direct to Seattle with Virgin Atlantic or Delta Air Lines.

Do I need a VISA?

To travel to the USA, you will need an ESTA visa. Please make sure that you have this approved at least 3 days before you head off on holiday.

Find out more about Travel Visas here »

Getting around

Seattle is a walking city and within the downtown area it is easy to get around on foot. If going further afield Metro buses travel to nearly every corner of Seattle. They are easy to ride and offer an affordable and greener way to get around. Seattle monorail zips passengers between downtown Seattle and Seattle Center in less than two minutes.

Fun-filled holidays to leave you sleepless in Seattle

It's safe to say that holidays to Seattle are hard to beat – as a vibrant cultural hotspot, it's home to world-famous coffee, a thriving music scene and some truly breathtaking views. From the urban cool of the downtown district to the historic charm of its waterfront, Seattle has a laid-back pace that's easy to relax into. As a seaport city, you can choose to explore the sights on foot or hop into a water taxi to visit nearby towns and islands.

Whatever your budget, there's no shortage of Seattle hotels; from luxury sea-view rooms with spa access to cosy, wallet-friendly downtown destinations that are just a short stroll from, well, everything.

  • If you want to scale the heights of luxury on your holiday to Seattle, book in at the Hyatt at Olive 8 Hotel. Your stay comes complete with access to a relaxing spa, pool and sauna to help you unwind after a busy day's sightseeing. It’s also walking distance to the Pike Place Market, the perfect place to start your day with a little coffee pick-me-up. For a handy downtown location, opt for the Kimpton Hotel Monaco. This art deco hotel gives you a real feel for the city's history and it pays close attention to detail to ensure your stay is comfortable – including a yoga mat in each room. Namaste.
  • Heading to Seattle on a honeymoon? Waterfront views, cosy fireplaces and clawfoot bathtubs give The Edgewater a wonderfully romantic atmosphere. And it's steeped in musical history too, offering a 750 square foot Beatles Suite in homage to the Fab Four's stay here during their first world tour.

You probably already know that Seattle is famous for its coffee, but did you know it has a scrumptious food scene too? From quick bites on the go to a romantic table for two, an eatery for every itinerary is never far away.

  • Pike Place Market is Seattle’s famous food market. From light bites to full meals and fresh produce, this is the place to be if your stomach's rumbling. Take your time exploring the vast space and try a little bit of everything – we particularly recommend the blackened fish sandwiches at Market Grill. The market's also home to the original Starbucks, so don't forget your loyalty card. The fish-throwing is another colourful highlight – but we'll let you find out about that one for yourselves.
  • For great cocktails head to Tilikum Place Cafe, where you can sit at the bar to watch your drinks being made. If you can’t decide what to eat, go with the Dutch Baby pancakes – we promise you won’t be disappointed.
  • Andaluca is a secluded Mediterranean restaurant specialising in tapas and paella. The cosy atmosphere is just right if you’re celebrating a romantic occasion. Be sure to book ahead, as it can get busy.
  • Drop by The Crumpet Shop to experience crumpets in a whole new way, with topping combinations such as smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber slices – there are plenty of delicious sweet and savoury options to try. Beat the queues by going for an early breakfast when its doors open at 7:00am.

Whether you take one of the many available Seattle tours or decide to explore at your own pace, there’s culture and history on every corner of the Emerald City.

  • Known as the original downtown neighbourhood, Pioneer Square is an arty spot, packed full of bohemian boutiques and brimming with history. If you've got a couple of hours to spare, take the underground tour to learn about the gold rush.
  • Seattle Central Public Library is a feat of modern architecture. This 11-storey glass and steel building is stunning outside and in. You can take a self-guided tour using your phone.
  • See a different side to Seattle in the Chinatown-International District. Delicious, aromatic food and stunning buildings make this a feast for all the senses. And if you’re lucky, you might catch one of the many festivals the locals organise – keep your eyes peeled for Dragon Fest, Night Market and the Autumn Moon Festival.

When you’re planning things to do in Seattle, getting a snap or two of the world-famous skyline should be near the top of your list. Here are the places to be for the photo op of a lifetime.

  • For a clear view of Mount Rainier, take a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island. A round-trip is usually around $8 and you can board at Pier 52. Go to Kerry Park and hike up the south side of Queen Anne Hill for a breathtaking skyline view. If the weather’s right, you should be able to see Mount Rainier from here, too.
  • The Seattle Great Wheel is relatively new and a relaxing way to see the sights from up high (175 feet high, to be exact). Head to Pier 57 to ride. The Nest, at the top of the Thompson Seattle hotel, is a rooftop bar, lounge and terrace, overlooks a land and sea scape beyond words.
  • The iconic Space Needle offers panoramic views of the city and a fine dining experience. To skip the queues, book a table in the restaurant and head straight up. If you don't fancy eating, it's most quiet first thing in the mornings – arrive at opening time on a weekday and you might even get the observation deck all to yourself.

The birthplace of Jimi Hendrix and home to some of America’s jazz royalty, Seattle has a buzzing arts scene waiting to be explored.

  • The Seattle Art Museum is walking distance from Pike Place Market and a great way to spend a quiet morning. Download the museum's podcasts to get a bit of extra insight into the exhibits.
  • Art meets nature at the Olympic Sculpture Park. Explore beachside trails and cycle paths while taking in sculptures by renowned artists such as Richard Serra.
  • The Museum of Pop Culture is a must-visit for music fans. Learn about the history of bands like Nirvana, then create your own tunes in the interactive Sound Lab. Put aside a full afternoon to get the most out of the three floors of exhibits.

Whether you’re visiting Seattle for a relaxing break or you want to pack in as many sights as possible, you're sure to love the laid-back vibrancy of this city. Plan your holiday to the Emerald City and book in at one of our Seattle hotels today.

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Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know.

Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office repatriation travel advice


Over the past few weeks, we have repatriated our customers from overseas who wanted to come home.  

Please visit this page to keep up to date with the Government’s travel advice on returning to the UK, and to register for email alerts.
 

You’ll be away before you know it

Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of hand-picked options ready to book. But if you need more help, just give us a call on 0344 472 9499.

Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist. Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

For extra piece of mind, new bookings made before 31 August 2020 for travel up 30 April 2021 also have the flexibility to amend free of charge. If you need to change don’t worry, you can move your holiday as far out as 31 December 2021 subject to availability.

How would you like to talk to us?

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel before 06 October 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Stay tuned for the latest updates


Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected.  

We are prioritising those customers due to travel before 06 October 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Let’s talk


If you need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking, and you are due to travel before 06 October 2020, please log in to Manage my booking to call or message us. 

Payment flexibility


Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. If your holiday is going ahead as planned, you can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. If you’re unsure, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel by requesting a call back in Manage My booking for one of our team to look at options. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans


We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're good to go


If we haven’t notified you of any changes, your holiday will be going ahead as planned but if you prefer to move your holiday to a later time we can help. Log in to Manage my booking to request a call back to amend your holiday. Please bear in mind we’ll work through requests in departure date order so may take longer than usual for us to get back to you

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding


Payments are being prioritised based on when the request was made, working in order from March 2020 onwards. We will always try to process refunds at the earliest opportunity, for requests before August our maximum timeframe is 120 days. As we are steadily reducing the maximum processing time for each new request, for refund requests made in August, we expect the maximum processing time to be 80 days, from the date the refund is requested. For those requesting a refund in September, we expect it to be processed within a maximum of 60 days, and then reduce to 30 days for refunds requested in October, before returning to normal levels.

We'll be in touch soon


To finalise the amendment, one of our customer advisors will phone you. We need to work through amend requests in departure date order so we can prioritise those with the most imminent travel plans, so you may have a longer wait than usual until we’re able to ring you back. We will help everyone that wants to move their holiday.

I returned early from holiday and have further questions?


You can contact our team by emailing feedback.backhome@virginholidays.com to discuss options on unused portions of your holiday. If you need to contact our team about amending an existing holiday or requesting a refund please log in to manage my booking.

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