There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Seattle each year. The main ones are listed below.January 1: New Year (national) Third Monday in January: Martin Luther King Day (national)
A federal holiday in the United States, celebrating the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr. Americans are invited to devote some time and help their fellow citizens on this day of service. In Seattle, it is an occasion for various celebrations (shows, concerts) and cultural events (exhibitions, conferences).January or February: Chinese New Year (local)
Festivities are held each year to ring in the Chinese New Year in Seattle's International District known as Chinatown, with parades going through most streets. Celebrations include lion dance performances, paper dragon, traditional music and martial arts displays.May: Northwest Folklife Festival (national)
During the weekend before Memorial Day, this event pays tribute to north-western and Pacific coast folklores, and has been doing so since 1972. On the program: concerts, workshops, craft displays and kids activities.July 4: Independence Day (national)
A federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Celebrated with parades, barbecues, picnics and fireworks at sunset.September: Seattle Jazz Festival (national)
Undeniably one of the greatest jazz festivals in the world. Dozens of concerts take place during three days in Grant Park. Free entrance!2nd Monday in October: Columbus Day (national)
Commemorates the arrival of Christopher Colombus in the New World (1492). Various cultural events take place, including shows, exhibitions and parades.October 31: Halloween (national)
Halloween is celebrated each year by Americans of all ages. In the late afternoon and early evening hours, children don costumes and go door-to-door in their neighbourhoods to ask for treats, typically candy.Fourth Thursday in November: Thanksgiving (national)
American settlers established this Holiday as a sign of religious gratitude prompted by a blessed harvest. Now secular, this Holiday is an opportunity for Americans to gather with family and friends to enjoy roast turkey and other culinary specialties, such as mashed potatoes, apple, pecan and pumpkin pies.December 25: Christmas (national)
|Month||Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Average Rains (MM)||Best Time to Travel|
|January||3/37||8/46||121/4.8||Not the best period to go|
|February||4/39||10/50||93/3.7||Not the best period to go|
|March||5/41||12/54||78/3.1||Not the best period to go|
|April||7/45||15/59||57/2.2||Good period to go|
|May||9/48||19/66||45/1.8||Good period to go|
|June||12/54||22/72||35/1.4||Good period to go|
|July||13/55||23/73||14/0.6||Good period to go|
|August||14/57||24/75||17/0.7||Good period to go|
|September||12/54||20/68||42/1.6||Good period to go|
|October||9/48||16/61||73/2.9||Not the best period to go|
|November||6/43||12/54||121/4.8||Not the best period to go|
|December||4/39||9/48||141/5.5||Not the best period to go|
The Seattle Tacoma International Airport, also known as “Sea-Tac” is located 19 kilometres (12 miles) south of Seattle.
Seattle's city centre is perfectly connected with public transportation, consisting in a network of buses, period trams on the ground and a high-speed elevated monorail from downtown to the Seattle Center that also offers unobstructed views over the harbour and beyond.
Buses make for the largest transportation network of the city and are operated all night long, albeit at reduced frequency after 8:00 p.m. Buses are free between the city centre, the docks and 6th avenue, as well as Pioneer Square and Battery Street from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Outside this free zone (of a 4 to 5 kilometres diameter) and time slot, a one-way ticket costs USD 2.75. Please note: buses are not operated on Sunday.
Seattle counts 6 metro lines (www.kingcounty.gov/depts/transportation/metro.aspx) with one train every 5 to 10 minutes from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Line 99 is especially interesting as it connects the main tourist attractions: International District, Pioneer Square, First Avenue, Olympic Sculpture Park and the Puget Sound islands.
Two tram lines are operated in Seattle:
The South Lake Union Streetcar (www.seattlestreetcar.org): one tram every 10 to 15 minutes from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Monday to Thursday), from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Friday and Saturday), and from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Sunday and holidays). Adult fare price is USD 2.25.
The First Hill Streetcar (www.seattlestreetcar.org/how-to-ride/first-hill-line/): one tram every 10 to 25 minutes from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. (Monday to Thursday), from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. (Friday and Saturday), from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Sunday) and from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (holidays). Adult fare price is USD 2.25.
The emblematic Seattle Center Monorail (www.seattlemonorail.com) connects Westlake Center downtown to the Seattle Center at the foot of Queen Anne Hill. It is operated from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Monday to Friday) and from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday). Trains leave every 10 minutes and it takes only 2 minutes to reach your destination, either way. Adult fare price is USD 2.50 (can only be purchased in cash at the ticket counter).
Taxis take on different colours depending on the company they belong to (yellow for Seattle Yellow Cab, green for Farwest Taxi etc…). Many taxi ranks can be found across the city, or you could alternately reserve one by phone. Expect USD 1.50 per kilometre and about USD 27 for a one-hour ride.
Traffic flows easily in Seattle outside of rush hours, and driving should not be a problem. However, please note that parking is expensive and spots are limited. A rental car may be useful if you venture out of town.
Seattle's city centre is pleasant to discover by foot, especially during the warmer seasons. You may also rent a bike, for instance with either of these companies: The Bicycle Repair Shop (www.thebicyclerepairshop.com) and Seattle Cycling Tours (www.seattle-cycling-tours.com).
Once in Seattle, do not hesitate to contact tourism professionals for information and help in organising your stay.Seattle Visitor Centers
Offer practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).
Seattle Visitor Center & Concierge Services
Market Information Center
The official website of the United States' national tourist board provides a wealth of information on Seattle.
The currency used in the United States is the Dollar (USD).
ZAR 1 = USD 0.07
USD 1 = ZAR 14.29
The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.
See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Seattle counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.Vaccination
No vaccinations are required or recommended if you go to the US.
For more information, contact the Air France international vaccination centre:
on +33 (0)1 43 17 22 00Food safety
There are no food safety risks in Seattle.Water
Tap water is safe to drink in Seattle.
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens or nationals of various countries to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less, whether for tourism or business.
For further information, see the Visitor Visa page on the website of the Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State: travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/visit/visitor.html
To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Seattle, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.
In Seattle as in the rest of the United States, a service charge is not included in the bill and tips form a major portion of income for waiting staff. Prices on restaurant menus are indicated before taxes and tips. You are therefore expected to leave a tip (generally between 15 and 20% of the bill). Tipping less than 15% (or leaving no tip at all) means that you are very dissatisfied with the service.