City Guide / Seattle

The Ultimate Location Guide to Seattle Neighborhoods

By Landing | Aug 28, 2020
Skyline view of Seattle, Washington.

Thanks to its lush greenery, Seattle is known affectionately as “The Emerald City.” But it offers so much more than just a picturesque landscape. Each Seattle neighborhood strikes the perfect balance between trendy and youthful energy, breathtaking natural scenery, and a thriving city life with ample to do. These features make Seattle the ideal home for artists, business professionals, families, and everything in between. 

Wow, you might be thinking. With so many trendy up-and-coming Seattle neighborhoods, finding the right apartment could take forever.

It doesn’t have to.

If you’re moving to Seattle, this guide to Seattle’s neighborhoods will show you the ins and outs of your new favorite neighborhoods. 

The 7 best areas to live in Seattle, Washington

It’s hard to go wrong when choosing a neighborhood in Seattle. Deciding between these areas is like choosing dessert: they’re all delicious, but your inclination depends on which flavor you prefer. And, like with most places, there can be pros and cons of living in Seattle, depending on what you’re looking for. That’s why it’s important to choose a neighborhood that best suits you. 

Below you’ll find descriptions of all the coolest neighborhoods in Seattle, including the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment, according to RentHop. 

1. Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill is home to two of Seattle’s most active commercial districts, Broadway and the Pike-Pine corridor. Here, you’ll find an abundance of restaurants, a coffee shop on every corner, amazing happy hours, and a vibrant music scene. Its history as a budding counterculture community led to its artistic and bohemian identity, which remains today.

Things to do and places to go in Capitol Hill

  • Capitol Hill Block Party – An annual three-day festival celebrating music, art, and overall good vibes, this block party offers way more than your average cul-de-sac cookout. With six stages—each featuring live music and cultural performances—you can check out the best of Pacific Northwest talent and grab a bite or a brew to support your favorite local businesses. 
  • Volunteer Park – Located at the highest point on Capitol Hill, this 48.3-acre green space is home to several city landmarks, including the Seattle Asian Art Museum and a conservatory, amphitheater, water tower, and wading pool during the summer. 

What makes Capitol Hill unique

Capitol Hill is one of the city’s major hot spots for entertainment and nightlife and has remained home to Seattle’s vibrant LGBTQ+ community since the mid-1960s. 

Median rent: $1,595/month

2. Downtown Seattle

Living in downtown Seattle means you’re at the heart of the city, both literally and figuratively. The downtown area is home to Seattle’s commercial district, housing big-name stores like Nordstrom and Pacific Place shopping center. This neighborhood is walking distance from a variety of businesses, restaurants, and entertainment hubs, including the Seattle Art Museum and renowned Paramount Theatre. 

Because of its prime location and robust offerings, the housing market can be a tad difficult to navigate on your own. Luckily, Landing can help you find furnished apartments in Seattle and the major surrounding communities with a few clicks of a button. 

Things to do and places to go in Downtown Seattle

  • Pike Place Market: This iconic farmers market is genuinely as charming as the guidebooks say. It’ll quickly become your one-stop-shop for produce, the freshest seafood you can imagine, and hand-crafted gifts and trinkets from local artisans. You can take a casual stroll on a drizzly afternoon and get to know the vendors and their wares—you may come away with design ideas, recipe brainstorms, or even a new friend. 
  • Seattle Aquarium: A public aquarium located on Pier 59, you can catch a glimpse of frolicking otters, fish in every color of the rainbow, and even a Giant Pacific Octopus.

What makes Downtown Seattle unique

Downtown Seattle offers everything you’d expect from a major metropolitan city with remarkable proximity to scenic trails, mountains, the ocean, and more.

Median rent:  $2,370/month

3. South Lake Union

In South Lake Union, you’ll find yourself amid Seattle’s booming tech industry. But South Lake Union also offers trendy boutiques, upscale eateries, lunch hour food trucks, and borders the Space Needle and Lake Union. With some of the best places to work in Seattle, this area is perfect for—you guessed it—professionals in tech and biomedical industries. 

Things to do and places to go in South Lake Union

  • Museum of History and Industry: A breathtaking lakefront building with such gems as Boeing’s first commercial airplane, the Petticoat Flag, and a comprehensive chronological history of the city itself. 

What makes South Lake Union unique

Due to recent and ongoing development plans, South Lake Union is quickly becoming a hub for all things life sciences. It’s home to some of the most notable scientific and medical centers in the region, including the Allen Institute for Cell Science, Seattle Children’s Hospital, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. 

Median rent: $2,011/month

4. Queen Anne

One of the more wealthy areas in Seattle, Queen Anne is lined with gorgeous homes and idyllic scenery. However, its commercial hubs and iconic attractions are on par with its charming neighborhood feel. This includes the Seattle Center, which was created for the 1962 World’s Fair and is now home to the Space Needle, the Pacific Science Center, the impressive International Fountain, and more. 

This area is perfect if you’re looking to settle in a friendly neighborhood, with plenty of parks and schools for your family to enjoy.

Things to do and places to go in Queen Anne

  • Museum of Pop Culture: Located at the Seattle Center, the MoPOP is a thrillingly unique experience of arts, culture, and entertainment. The museum houses some of the music industry’s most iconic instruments and artifacts. They also co-host the annual Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Film Festival. 

What makes Queen Anne unique

Queen Anne occupies the highest named hill in Seattle and was a popular place to settle for the city’s early elite residents, accounting for its current wealth and history. 

Median rent: $1,650/month

Tips From a Landing Member

“We stayed in a Landing apartment in Lower Queen Anne, a location that I wouldn’t trade for the world. We were within walking distance from great coffee, museums, and areas to walk our dog.”

— Becca, “How I Spent Six Weeks Living in Seattle

5. Pioneer Square

Once the heart of the city, Pioneer Square is now home to a slightly more mature but equally vibrant community. The oldest and most historic neighborhood in Seattle is steadily evolving into a lively hub known for sports, food and drink, and old school charm.

Things to do and places to go in Pioneer Square

  • Stadiums and arenas: Depending on your preference, you can choose between football at CenturyLink Field or baseball at T-Mobile Park, right in your backyard. Check out the concerts that regularly roll through these same venues, too. 

What makes Pioneer Square unique

Its rich history is what sets Pioneer Square apart from any of Seattle’s neighborhoods, claiming the esteemed title of the city’s birthplace and original downtown area.

Median rent: $1,730/month

6. Belltown

With its perfect central location and proximity to nearly everything noteworthy in Seattle, Belltown is ideal for today’s young, aspiring professionals. If you’re looking for modern, upscale apartment buildings and almost every style of cuisine you could imagine, Belltown will satisfy more than just your food cravings.

Things to do and places to go in Belltown

  • The Crocodile Back Bar: A staple of Belltown’s nightlife, the Crocodile is an iconic live music venue and bar that hosts local and national talents. 
  • Olympic Sculpture Park: A nine-acre park with an open-air sculpture museum, located on prime beachfront property.

What makes Belltown unique

In recent years, Belltown has rapidly evolved, with trendy restaurants and boutiques complimenting the neighborhood’s existing spirit and enduring community.

Median rent:  $1,968

7. Bellevue

While technically not within city limits, Bellevue is just across the waterfront and only a 15-20 minute drive away from Seattle proper. As Seattle’s largest suburb and one of the fastest-growing cities in Washington, Bellevue positions you conveniently close to the city center while offering a slightly more provincial lifestyle. 

If you’re more interested in shopping centers than nightclubs, but still want a quick commute into Seattle for work or a weekend concert, Bellevue is right for you.

Things to do and places to go in Bellevue

  • Bellevue Botanical Garden: A breathtaking 53-acre sanctuary, the multitude of gardens and trails are free of charge all year round.
  • Lake Sammamish State Park: This family-friendly spot is perfect for summer outings, complete with a boat launch that makes it ideal for extreme watersports and scenic kayak trips.

What makes Bellevue unique

Bellevue is one of the few cities where you can travel by boat as part of your daily commute. Many Bellevue residents take a quick 10-minute water taxi across Lake Washington into Seattle each morning. The city also has a vast array of public transit options, such as the light rail, and is incredibly bike-friendly. 

Median rent: $1,912/mo

Ready for relocation with Landing

With this Seattle neighborhood guide and a general understanding of relocating to a new city, you should be ready to make an informed decision about your future home. Because of how simple Landing makes it to move into any of these exciting neighborhoods with our unique relocation housing options, you can focus solely on where you’ll live and leave the rest up to us. Check out our fully furnished apartments in Seattle to find your new home today. 


Ted may be the world's slowest typist and struggle to hold a pen, but he has mastered how to pursue a more flexible lifestyle throughout his airborne adventures around the U.S. Whether you're looking for more information before migrating to a new city or want to find an easier way to rent a nest—erm, apartment—Ted will always be here to share his best advice for where to live and how to thrive.