6 Tips For Visiting The Space Needle In Seattle (2024)

Rising majestically above the hustle and bustle of Seattle’s Lower Queen Anne neighborhood, the Space Needle is one of the West Coast’s most recognizable landmarks. And when you board one of its glass elevators and soar up to the observation tower, you’ll be treated to sweeping city views. Here are a few tips to help you have an unforgettable experience at this iconic Seattle landmark.

About The Space Needle

Standing at 605 feet tall, the Space Needle has been a must-see attraction since it opened at the 1962 World’s Fair as a symbol of innovation and the future. In 2017, the futuristic structure unveiled a newly renovated, fresh look complete with a glass floor on the observation deck and glass benches tilting outward, providing a unique and thrilling experience for visitors brave enough to sit on them. The exterior of the Space Needle now features glass barriers and glass walls, delivering unobstructed 360-degree views of the city and Puget Sound from the observation deck.

6 Tips For Visiting The Space Needle In Seattle (1)

1. Tickets And Visiting Information

When visiting the Space Needle, there are a variety of ticket options to choose from, depending on your preferences and budget. You can buy general admission timed-entry tickets, day/night passes, and combo tickets to visit other Seattle attractions. One of my favorite options is the Seattle CityPASS, a combo ticket with admission to the Seattle Aquarium, the Museum of Pop Culture, and more. Whatever ticket option you choose, I recommend purchasing them in advance to spend more time sightseeing and less time waiting in line.

6 Tips For Visiting The Space Needle In Seattle (2)

2. Visiting At Night

Visiting the Space Needle during the day is great, but have you ever experienced its magic at night? As the Sun sets and the city lights up, the Space Needle transforms into a stunning beacon that is the crown jewel of the Seattle skyline. One of my favorite things to do in Seattle at night is head up to the Space Needle about an hour before sunset, grab a drink at The Loupe Lounge, and watch nightfall in the Emerald City.

3. What To Bring

It’s no secret that Seattle is known for its rain. Because you can never predict the weather, bringing a lightweight rain jacket that you can easily stow in a backpack or shoulder bag is a good idea. And although you’ll be whisked to the top at a smooth 10 miles per hour (a 41-second elevator ride), there is still a lot of walking involved when you visit the Space Needle and nearby attractions. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes.

Pro Tip: If you experience dreary weather on your trip to the Emerald City, here are several amazing things to do when it’s raining in Seattle.

6 Tips For Visiting The Space Needle In Seattle (3)

4. What To See

Offering 360-degree views of Seattle, the observation deck is the main attraction of the Space Needle. From it, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the bustling Westlake Center, the picturesque Lake Union, and the quaint neighborhood of West Seattle. And on a clear day, you can even see Mount Rainier in the distance.

If you’re feeling brave, check out the rotating glass floor. Located on the lower level of the observation deck, it’s exactly what it sounds like — a section of the floor that rotates as you walk on it. This thrilling experience will make you feel like you’re walking on air as the transparent floor slowly turns above stunning views of the city below.

6 Tips For Visiting The Space Needle In Seattle (4)

5. Best Time To Visit

For the best views, visit the Space Needle on a clear day. This may seem obvious, but with Seattle’s reputation for rainy weather, it’s worth noting. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see for miles and all that sunshine will help you take fantastic photos. For a truly unique experience, plan your visit around sunset. There’s nothing quite like taking in breathtaking views while the sky transforms into a tapestry of oranges, pinks, and purples.

The Space Needle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Seattle, so it can get pretty crowded, especially on a beautiful sunny day. Expect larger crowds on weekends and during the summer months. Visiting during the week or in the off-season can be a great way to beat the crowds and enjoy a more peaceful experience.

Pro Tip: Here are 100+ Seattle quotes to inspire your travels and help you caption your vacation photos.

6 Tips For Visiting The Space Needle In Seattle (5)

6. Things To Do

Once you’ve marveled at the impressive panoramic views from the observation deck, there are several other exciting things to do near the Space Needle. First is Chihuly Garden and Glass showcasing the colorful and imaginative glasswork of Dale Chihuly. His glass sculptures fill gallery rooms with natural light and bring additional beauty to the gardens at the base of the Space Needle. One of my favorite pieces at Chihuly Garden and Glass is the Persian ceiling. Look up and observe an impressive collection of glass sculptures affixed to the ceiling as they create a kaleidoscope of colors on the walls and floor of the white room.

Also nearby is the Museum of Pop Culture, celebrating everything from music to movies to science fiction. This unique, immersive experience includes exhibits dedicated to local musical legends like Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana, plus the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. And don’t forget to pop into “The Sky Church” — a room with one of the largest indoor LED screens in the world — where you can sit back and enjoy music videos and performances on a grand scale.

Pro Tip: Looking for more to see and do in Seattle? Here are 14 ways to spend a long weekend in Washington’s Emerald City.

A visit to the Space Needle offers a historical and architectural experience, breathtaking panoramic views, and exciting nearby attractions. As you plan your trip, remember to take into account the city’s weather, time of day, and other factors to make the most of your experience. With its iconic silhouette and awe-inspiring views, the Space Needle is indeed the crown jewel of the Emerald City and an unmissable part of any Seattle itinerary.

6 Tips For Visiting The Space Needle In Seattle (2024)


What do you do at the Seattle Space Needle? ›

The Observation Deck of the Space Needle is where the city unfolds before your eyes in a 360-degree panorama that captures the essence of the Pacific Northwest. From this vantage point, visitors can gaze upon the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, the sparkling waters of Puget Sound, and the bustling cityscape of Seattle.

How long does it take to go up the Seattle Space Needle? ›

45: The number of minutes to make one revolution of the glass floor. 69 million: Estimated number of people who have visited the Needle from 1962-2024. The Needle is the number one tourist attraction in the Pacific Northwest.

Why should you visit the Seattle Space Needle? ›

The tower's 520' saucer-shaped “top house” offers visitors Seattle's only 360-degree indoor and outdoor panoramic views of downtown, Mount Rainier, Puget Sound, and the Cascades and Olympic mountain ranges.

How long can you stay Space Needle? ›

To improve guest flow and experience, Space Needle & Chihuly Garden and Glass 15-minute arrival intervals will now contain 5-minute timeslots within them. This is only the arrival window for entry, once inside you can stay until closing. Combination tickets are for a one-time entry at each location.

What are some facts about the Space Needle in Seattle? ›

10 Facts About the Space Needle You Should Know
  • The Observation Tower Was Built in 1961. ...
  • It's Incredibly Tall and Has Multiple Viewing Areas. ...
  • The Design Was Inspired by a German Broadcast Tower. ...
  • Its Construction Was an Ambitious Project That Made History. ...
  • The Space Needle Is a Privately Owned Building.
Mar 6, 2024

How many steps are in the Space Needle in Seattle? ›

How high is the climb? 832 steps, 98 flights of stairs, 520 feet in the air. Are the stairs indoor or open-air?

What is the best time to visit the Space Needle in Seattle? ›

The best time to visit the Seattle Space Needle is on clearer days, either early in the morning before the crowds arrive or at sunset, so you can get daytime and nighttime views in one visit.

How long is the elevator ride in the Space Needle? ›

You may have a wait a short while outside for your entry time (early in the day seems better). The elevators run constantly. The ride itself is very quick. We spent no more than 45-50 minutes at the top, and maybe 5-10 minutes in the large gift shop at the base.

How much does it cost to see the Space Needle in Seattle? ›

Space Needle General Admission
Regular (ages 13-64)$35-$46.50
Senior (ages 65+)$30-$39.50
Youth (ages 5-12)$26-$35

Is it safe near the Space Needle in Seattle? ›

The area around the seattle center is just fine, except for aurora / highway 99. It's a higher crime area that extends far south & far north. There are some motels that don't necessarily cater to tourists. Be aware of your surroundings & alert and you should be ok.

Is the loupe lounge worth it? ›

You'll have to pre-pay when you make your reservation, and it will run you around $200 per person (not including valet parking). That being said, The Loupe Lounge experience is 100 percent worth it.

Is it worth it to go to the top of the Space Needle? ›

Definitely worth it for one visit, but maybe not something you'd want to return to. So then, what, or who, do you think it's best for? First-time visitors to Seattle will appreciate the views, but also the perspective that the observation deck provides for orienting to a new place.

Can you eat at Space Needle? ›

SkyCity Restaurant at the Space Needle is rated 4.5 stars by 5508 OpenTable diners.

Is Space Needle scary? ›

If you have acrophobia (which I do) then be prepared to close your eyes during the elevator ride. Try to keep them open because it's pretty cool. Aside from that there isn't anything scary. The Space Needle is solid enough that I don't get triggered, even with all the new see-through stuff.

What can you do in the Space Needle? ›

An All-New, All-Glass Experience

From 520' the Observation Deck provides a 360° view of Seattle and beyond that commands your attention. See the snow-capped Cascade Mountains to the east and the majestic Olympic mountain range to the west with breathtaking indoor and outdoor viewing.

How much does it cost to ride the Space Needle in Seattle? ›

Space Needle General Admission
Regular (ages 13-64)$35-$46.50
Senior (ages 65+)$30-$39.50
Youth (ages 5-12)$26-$35

Do you have to pay to go inside the Space Needle? ›

Timed entry tickets are required to enter the Space Needle. We bought a City Pass, but we still needed to make a timed reservation. Make sure to check to see if the day and time you want is available before you purchase the City Pass and make the exchange right away if you schedule is tight.

Is it expensive to eat in the Seattle Space Needle? ›

Do You Want More of What They're Serving at SkyCity? SkyCity at the Space Needle is one of the most expensive restaurants in Seattle. The average entrée price is $44.93—to spend this much on the ground, you'll have to get a menu degustation at Rover's or put on a tie and go to Canlis.

Is it better to see the Space Needle at night or day? ›

Plan a night visit instead

It's best to check the weather forecast before making your way to the tower. On cloudy days, it's best to visit the Space Needle at night when the city lights of Seattle stretch far into the distance.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Patricia Veum II

Last Updated:

Views: 6684

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (64 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Patricia Veum II

Birthday: 1994-12-16

Address: 2064 Little Summit, Goldieton, MS 97651-0862

Phone: +6873952696715

Job: Principal Officer

Hobby: Rafting, Cabaret, Candle making, Jigsaw puzzles, Inline skating, Magic, Graffiti

Introduction: My name is Patricia Veum II, I am a vast, combative, smiling, famous, inexpensive, zealous, sparkling person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.