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6 Tips for Visiting the Space Needle in Seattle

Looking up the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington.

As one of the most recognizable attractions on the West Coast, the Space Needle is a can't miss destination in Seattle Center. These tips will help you have an unforgettable experience when you visit this iconic landmark.

Standing tall above the hustle and bustle of Seattle’s Lower Queen Anne neighborhood, the Space Needle serves as a symbol of innovation and the future, captivating visitors with its futuristic design. Whether it’s your first visit or a return trip, these insights and suggestions will guide you in making the most of your time at the Space Needle, ensuring your visit becomes a cherished memory.

Helpful tips for visiting the Space Needle.

    

Have You Visited the Space Needle?

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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 city views from the observation deck.

A photo exhibit lining the queue to ascend the Space Needle in a glass elevator.
Photo Credit: Sage Scott

1. Space Needle 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 timed tickets in advance to spend more time sightseeing and less time waiting in line.

Dusk is the perfect time for visiting the Space Needle for gorgeous views.
Photo Credit: YayImages

2. Visiting the Space Needle 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 the Space Needle about an hour before sunset, grab a drink at The Loupe Lounge, and soak in the nighttime views as the sun sets on the Emerald City.

A woman in a purple rain jacket.
Photo Credit: Canva

3. What To Bring When You Visit the Space Needle

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 via a smooth 41-second glass 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.

Sage Advice: 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.

Two individuals sitting on chairs enjoying the view of a city while visiting the Space Needle.
Photo Credit: Sage Scott

4. What To See at the Space Needle

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.

For those seeking an additional thrill, step onto the outdoor deck, where you can perch on one of 24 glass benches built into the floor-to-ceiling windows.

You’ll also want to check out the rotating glass floor. Located on the lower level of the viewing 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.

A group of people visiting the Space Needle observation deck.
Photo Credit: Sage Scott

5. Best Time To Visit the Space Needle

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.

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

Chihuly Garden and Glass is next door to the Space Needle.
Photo Credit: YayImages

6. Things To Do Near the Space Needle

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.

The iconic Space Needle in Seattle, Washington, framed by the Monorail and Museum of Pop Culture.
Photo Credit: Sage Scott

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. 

A visit to the Space Needle offers a historical and architectural experience, expansive 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.

To Visit the Space Needle

Here’s all of the practical information you need to visit the Space Needle, Seattle’s most iconic landmark.

What is the Space Needle?

The Space Needle is highly recognizable landmark, symbolizing innovation and the future. It offers Seattle’s only 360-degree indoor and outdoor panoramic views of downtown, Mount Rainier, Puget Sound, and the Cascades and Olympic mountain ranges.

Where is the Space Needle?

The Space Needle is located at 400 Broad Street in Seattle’s Lower Queen Anne neighborhood. It is a prominent part of the city’s skyline.

Is there parking at the Space Needle?

Yes, there is priority valet parking for guests visiting The Loupe and limited parking for other guests at the base of the Space Needle. However, due to limited availability, I recommend Seattle Center’s 5th Avenue North parking garage, approximately two blocks from the Space Needle.

How tall is the Space Needle?

The Space Needle is 605 feet tall, offering unparalleled views of Seattle and its surroundings.

How much are Space Needle tickets?

An adult admission to the Space Needle currently ranges from $30 to $65, depending on when you visit and any combo ticket option you might select. Discounts are available for guests under age 13 and age 65+. I highly recommend the Seattle CityPASS, a combo ticket that also includes admission to the Seattle Aquarium, the Museum of Pop Culture, and more. You can find current ticket prices, a full list of discounts, and special offers here.

What time does the Space Needle close?

Visiting hours for the Space Needle are adjusted seasonally and posted approximately one month in advance. You can see current operating hours and any special event closures here.

When was the Space Needle built?

The Space Needle was built and opened for the 1962 World’s Fair. The fair’s theme was “The Age of Space,” and the Space Needle symbolizes innovation and the future.

How long did it take to build the Space Needle?

It took approximately 400 days, or roughly 13 months, to build the Space Needle.

Does the Space Needle spin?

Yes, the Space Needle’s flying saucer-shaped observation area features a rotating glass floor on the lower level, providing a thrilling experience as it turns above stunning views of the city.

Who owns the Space Needle?

Standing tall in the heart of the Seattle Center campus, the Space Needle holds a unique distinction as the only private property in this bustling hub of culture and entertainment. Owned by the Wright family, it’s a symbol of Seattle’s innovative spirit.

Have You Visited the Space Needle in Seattle?

When did you visit? How was your experience? Do you have any additional tips or tricks to pass along? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments section below.

Portions of this article originally appeared on Travel Awaits.

Snow-capped Mount Rainier with evergreens in the foreground

   

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5 thoughts on “6 Tips for Visiting the Space Needle in Seattle”

  1. These tips are awesome! Have been planning a trip to Seattle and it’s high on our list. Saved this article for our visit. Thanks!

  2. I have always wanted to visit the Space Needle, but I am a little leary of heights, but I know it will be worth it! Any tips for those afraid of heights?

    1. It depends on the level of your acrophobia. I share your uneasiness of heights, but have gently pushed myself just outside of my comfort zone for years. If you’re okay being up high and just not close to the edge of anything, you should be okay walking around the outside observation deck and on the rotating floor but not on the glass-bottomed section. And, be sure to be toward the back (and not at the front) of the glass elevator. If all of that still sounds terrifying, you may want to skip this attraction and opt for another Seattle viewpoint. Good luck! The views are definitely worth it if you can stomach the height!

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