A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Washington vs. Seattle for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Music

Should you visit Washington or Seattle?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Washington and Seattle can help you decide which place is right for you.

Washington

Washington is a international, diverse, and active city. As it's a big city, visitors will find plenty to do, too. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. Other popular activities here include food, shopping, and museums.

Seattle

Seattle is a outdoorsy, bustling, and progressive city. It's a large city with plenty of activites for visitors as well. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Other reasons to visit include beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Washington and Seattle: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less hiking options
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


How is Washington different from Seattle?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Seattle and Washington. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Washington or Seattle Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Washington
Seattle

People who enjoy wandering through museums and other attractions will appreciate a visit to Washington a bit more than Seattle.

Travelers visit Washington from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. The city has world class museums that are often free. The Smithsonian Museums are arguably some of the most impressive museums in the United States. The city also has a large collection of monuments that are dedicated to past presidents or historical events.

Seattle offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. The city's most famous landmark is the Space Needle. There's also a zoo, aquarium, and a handful of nice museums.


Is Washington or Seattle Better for Theater?

Washington
Seattle

There are theater venues available in both Washington and Seattle.

Washington has a number of performance venues where you can see a variety of shows. Theater is popular in the city. From major theaters like the Kennedy Center and Ford's Theater, to lesser known smaller venues, there are options for everyone.

Seattle offers a number of shows and performances. There are a handful of theaters where you can enjoy traveling Broadway shows or smaller productions.

Is Washington or Seattle Better for Food?

Washington
Seattle

Foodies will find both Washington and Seattle both to be unique destinations.

Washington has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. You can find restaurants from almost any cuisine here, so it's worth exploring and stepping out of your comfort zone.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Seattle. The city is famous for its seafood. Salmon, oysters, and Starbucks coffee are favorites here. Also check out the donuts at Pike's Place Market.

Is Washington or Seattle Better for Nightlife?

Washington
Seattle

The vibe at night is comparable in Washington and Seattle.

Many people head to Washington for the nightlife scene. Head into Dupont Circle, U Street, and even Arlington to enjoy some of the area's best nightlife.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Seattle. The city is known for its breweries and eclectic nightlife scene. The best neighborhoods for nightlife include Capitol Hill, Belltown, and Downtown.

Is Washington or Seattle Better for Music?

Washington
Seattle

Washington and Seattle are both destinations where visitors can find live music.

Music lovers will find a few good venues in Washington. Notable live music venues include the 9:30 Club, the Anthem, and Union Stage.

If you love music, you'll find something to enjoy in Seattle. The city has developed its own music culture around several genres including alternative rock and grunge.


Is Washington or Seattle Better for Hiking?

Washington
Seattle

You'll find hiking in both Washington and Seattle.

Washington has hiking trails if you want to get outside. Just outside of Washington DC you'll find plenty of places to go hiking. There's also an elaborate bike and walking trail system in the city. To enjoy a bit of nature, head to Teddy Roosevelt Island.

Seattle has hiking trails worth exploring. Just outside of town there are tons of beautiful natural spots where you can enjoy hiking through the Pacific Northwest landscapes.

Is Washington or Seattle Better for Shopping?

Washington
Seattle

If you're looking to go shopping, Washington and Seattle both offer plenty of spots.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Washington. Head to Georgetown and Dupont Circle for some of the city's best local shopping.

Seattle offers some nice shopping areas. Shopping in town has an eclectic mix of high end brands, local vendors, and vintage shops.

Is Washington or Seattle Better for Families?

Washington
Seattle

You'll find kid-friendly activities in either Washington or Seattle.

Washington is a very family-friendly destination. It is a fun and educational destination where kids can explore world class museums and try unique foods from all around the world.

Seattle is a family-friendly place to visit. There are several good museums as well as outdoor activities, parks, and a zoo. Make sure you check out the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Volunteer Park, and Artists at Play Playground.

Is Washington or Seattle Better for Couples?

Washington
Seattle

Both Washington and Seattle are good destinations to visit as a couple.

Washington is a nice destination for couples. The city lights up at night, so couples will enjoy wandering by the monuments in the evening or taking in a dinner and show.

Seattle makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The city has a laid back vibe, a nice downtown area, and plenty of outdoor activities.


Is Washington or Seattle Better for Students?

Washington
Seattle

For students, both Washington and Seattle are fairly comparable places to visit.

Students come from all over the world to visit Washington. International students come from around the world to study, learn, intern, and work in the capital of the United States.

Seattle is a great city to visit as a student. It is a major IT center with a large university, so international students will have plenty of opportunities here.

Is Washington or Seattle Better for Public Transit?

Washington
Seattle

Washington has better public transit to get you around.

With a huge network, the transit system in Washington can get you around easily. The metro system and the bus system are reliable and efficient ways to explore the city.

Seattle has a few public transit options. There is a light rail system, a monorail, a street car, and buses.

Is Washington or Seattle a more walkable city?

Washington
Seattle

Washington is generally more walkable than Seattle.

Washington is a very easy city to get around on foot. Many neighborhoods around the city are easy to explore on foot. Most tourists spend a lot of time in the Mall area, which is very pedestrian friendly.

Seattle is a somewhat walkable place. Many neighborhoods are very walkable, particularly in the downtown and major tourist areas.

Should I spend more time in Seattle or Washington?

How long in Washington or Seattle?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Washington and Seattle. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Washington than Seattle.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Washington is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Seattle is 2-3 days.


  • How many days in Washington or Seattle? Ideal Length of Stay
    Washington 3-7 
    Seattle 2-3

One day in Washington or Seattle?

Because Washington is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

With theater and nightlife around the bustling city of Seattle, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Washington or Seattle?

Because Washington is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

With nightlife and live music around the big city destination of Seattle, there's plenty to do. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

Five days in Washington or Seattle?

Washington is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Washington has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Seattle, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Washington or Seattle?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Washington. Because Washington is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.

Seattle is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Which city is cheaper, Seattle or Washington?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Washington is $155, while the average daily cost in Seattle is $156. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Washington and Seattle in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Washington $91
    Seattle $94
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Washington $182
    Seattle $188
Compare Hotels in Washington and Seattle

Looking for a hotel in Washington or Seattle? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Washington


Hotels in Seattle


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Washington Hotel Prices and Seattle Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Washington $37
    Seattle $18
Typical Local Transportation prices in Washington

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Washington are as follows:


  • Metro Day Pass
    $9.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Washington

Also for Washington, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Washington Reagan Airport Transfer to Baltimore & D. C.: $15
  • Private Airport Transfer: Washington to Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA): $40
  • Washington to Washington R. Reagan Airport (DCA) - Departure Private Transfer: $61
  • Washington Airport Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Business Car: $72
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Business Car: $72
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Washington to Dulles International Airport (IAD): $77
  • Private Departure Transfer from Washington City to DCA Regan Washington Airport: $78
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Luxury SUV: $78
  • Washington Airport Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Luxury SUV: $82
  • Departure Private Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Luxury Van: $82
  • Washington Airport Transfers: Washington to National Airport DCA in Luxury Van: $82
  • Seattle: Private Transfer to/from Seattle Airport (SEA): $86

Typical Local Transportation prices in Seattle

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Seattle:


  • Lightrail from Airport (for 2)
    $5.50
  • Roundtrip Ferry to Bainbridge Island (for 2)
    $15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Seattle

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Seattle:

  • Seattle to Whistler Private Transfer: $1,076
  • Private transfer from Seattle or Sea-Tac Seattle Airport to Vancouver, BC: $1,023
  • Private Transfer from Seattle or Sea-Tac Seattle Airport to Vancouver, BC: $894
  • Private transfer: Seattle to Seattle Airport (SEA): $622
  • One-Way Seattle Private Transfer up to 12 Pax: Cruises, Sea-Tac, Hotels: $319
  • Seattle Roundtrip Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Private Van: $210
  • Departure Private Transfer Seattle or Cruise Port to Seattle Airport SEA Minibus: $195
  • Arrival Private Transfer Seattle Airport SEA to Seattle or Cruise Port - Minibus: $195
  • Seattle Tacoma Airport (SEA) to Seattle - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $184
  • RoundTrip Transfer in Private Minivan from-to Tacoma Airport in Seattle Downtown: $169
  • Seattle Airport Transfers : Seattle City to Seattle Airport SEA in Luxury Car: $149
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Seattle Tacoma International Airport to Seattle City - One Way: $149

Is it cheaper to fly into Washington or Seattle?

Prices for flights to both Seattle and Washington change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Washington $30
    Seattle $38
Typical Food prices in Washington

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Washington:


  • Water
    $2.00
  • Snacks on Monuments Tour
    $6.15

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Washington

For Washington, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Seattle: Pike Place Market Plant-Based Food Tour: $64
  • Washington D.C.: 3.5-Hour Georgetown Food Tour: $65
  • Washington DC: 3-Hour Italian Food Tour: $65
  • Washington DC Food Tour: Italian Cuisine in Dupont Circle: $65
  • Washington, DC: The Original Brew Tour with Tasting & Dinner: $70
  • Adams Morgan Food Tour: $76
  • Washington DC: Private Food Tour Experience: $79
  • Capitol Hill Walking Food Tour: $79
  • U Street Neighborhood Food Tour: $99
  • Washington DC Odyssey Dinner Cruise: $100
  • Private French Cooking Class with an Expert in the Heart of Washington DC: $108
  • Washington, DC 3-Hour Dinner Buffet Cruise: $122

Typical Food prices in Seattle

Some typical examples of dining costs in Seattle are as follows:


  • Expresso & cookie at Pier 70
    $7.00
  • Cashews at Pike Place Market
    $6.00
  • 6 Mini Donuts at Pike Place Market
    $3.25
  • Chinese Lunch in International District (for 2)
    $21
  • Breakfast at Lowel's in Pike Place Market (for 2)
    $32
  • Breakfast at French Cafe (for 2)
    $37

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Seattle

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Seattle.

  • Chef Guided Food Tour of Pike Place Market- 1 Hour: $34
  • Chef Guided Food Tour of Pike Place Market- 2 Hours: $58
  • Pacific Northwest-Style Dinner and Pairing in Seattle: $61
  • Exclusive: Early-Access Food Tour of Pike Place Market: $73
  • Street Theater and Dinner in Seattle's Fremont District: $86
  • Seattle Dinner Cruise: $115

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Washington $19
    Seattle $12

Tours and Activities in Washington

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Washington.

  • Tidal Basin: Stroll around the cherry blossoms and monuments on an audio tour: $5.00
  • The National Mall: Discover the monuments and their memories on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Lincoln's Assassination: Explore Lincoln's final day on this audio walking tour: $5.55
  • The Kennedy Homes: Explore the colonial architecture on this audio walking tour: $5.55
  • Washington DC Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Washington DC Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Virtual Tour of Martin Luther King Memorial: $18
  • Virtual Tour African American Heritage in Washington DC: $19
  • Washington, DC: US Capitol Building Entry with 1-Hour Tour: $20
  • City Sightseeing Chester Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour: $21
  • DC Ghost Tour: $24
  • Advance Tickets to Washington, D.C.'s Newseum: $24

Tours and Activities in Seattle

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Seattle are as follows:

  • 20-Minute Greater Seattle Scenic Airplane Tour: $102
  • 3-Day Seattle Olympic+Mount Rainier National Park tour(Seattle departure) APOR3: $285
  • 3-Hour Seattle City Tour: $80
  • 4-Hour Seattle City Tour: $77
  • 5-Day Yellowstone+Grand Teton National Park Tour ( Seattle departure ) SYG5: $615
  • A Feast for Foodies Walking Tour In Seattle: $201
  • Afternoon 3-Hour Seattle City Tour: $76
  • Bainbridge Island Wine and History - Private Luxury Day Tour with Lunch: $450
  • Bainbridge Island Wine and History Luxury Small-Group Day Tour with Lunch: $249
  • Beneath The Streets Underground History Tour: $29
  • Best of Mount Rainier National Park from All-Inclusive Small-Group Tour: $263
  • Best of Olympic National Park from All-Inclusive Small-Group Day Tour: $263

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Washington $15
    Seattle $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Washington

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Washington:

  • Epic Washington DC Bar Crawl: By Let’s Roam: $12
  • Haunted Washington D.C. Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Washington DC: Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $34
  • DC: 'New York Times Journeys' Walking Tour with Beer, Cheese and Wine Tasting: $120
  • Seattle All-Inclusive: Hike Mt. Rainier and Wine Tasting: $278
  • NOVA Private Custom Wine Tours & Tasting from DMV: $645
  • 6 Hours Northern VA Wine Tour: $920

Sample the Local Flavors in Seattle

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Seattle:

  • Seattle Bar Hunt: Sleepless in Seattle Bar Crawl: $12
  • Haunted Seattle Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Georgetown Brewery Tour: $72
  • Bon Vivant Woodinville Wine Tasting Tour: $98
  • Seattle Coffee, Chocolate and Wine Tour: $112
  • Seattle Wine Tour (Hourly): $135


When comparing the travel costs between Washington and Seattle, we can see that Seattle is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.


When is the best time to visit Washington or Seattle?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Washington or Seattle in the Summer?

Both Seattle and Washington during the summer are popular places to visit. The hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Washington this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Seattle for the beaches, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Washington is generally a little warmer than Seattle. Temperatures in Washington average around 79°F (26°C), and Seattle stays around 67°F (19°C).

In Seattle, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Washington. In the summer, Washington often gets less sunshine than Seattle. Washington gets 278 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Seattle receives 313 hours of full sun.

Washington usually gets more rain in July than Seattle. Washington gets 3.5 inches (88 mm) of rain, while Seattle receives 0.9 inches (22 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Washington 79°F (26°C) 
    Seattle 67°F (19°C)

Should I visit Washington or Seattle in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Washington and Seattle. Many travelers come to Washington for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, many visitors come to Seattle in the autumn for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Washington is a little warmer than Seattle in the autumn. The temperature in Washington is usually 60°F (15°C) in October, and Seattle stays around 54°F (12°C).

Washington usually receives more sunshine than Seattle during autumn. Washington gets 197 hours of sunny skies, while Seattle receives 143 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Washington usually receives less rain than Seattle. Washington gets 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain, while Seattle receives 3.3 inches (83 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Washington 60°F (15°C) 
    Seattle 54°F (12°C)

Should I visit Washington or Seattle in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Washington as well as Seattle. Many visitors come to Washington in the winter for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Seattle for the museums, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine during these months.

Washington can get quite cold in the winter. In the winter, Washington is much colder than Seattle. Typically, the winter temperatures in Washington in January are around 35°F (1°C), and Seattle is about 42°F (5°C).

In the winter, Washington often gets more sunshine than Seattle. Washington gets 139 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Seattle receives 67 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Seattle. Washington usually gets less rain in January than Seattle. Washington gets 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain, while Seattle receives 5.4 inches (136 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Washington 35°F (1°C) 
    Seattle 42°F (5°C)

Should I visit Washington or Seattle in the Spring?

Both Seattle and Washington are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Washington for the activities around the city and the natural beauty during these months. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Seattle because of the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

In April, Washington is generally a little warmer than Seattle. Temperatures in Washington average around 56°F (14°C), and Seattle stays around 51°F (11°C).

It's quite sunny in Seattle. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Washington. Washington usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Seattle during spring. Washington gets 228 hours of sunny skies, while Seattle receives 212 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Washington usually receives more rain than Seattle. Washington gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while Seattle receives 2.5 inches (64 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Washington 56°F (14°C) 
    Seattle 51°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Seattle and Washington

Washington Seattle
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 35°F (1°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 42°F (5°C) 5.4 inches (136 mm)
Feb 37°F (3°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 45°F (7°C) 4 inches (102 mm)
Mar 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Apr 56°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.5 inches (64 mm)
May 66°F (19°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 57°F (14°C) 1.9 inches (47 mm)
Jun 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 62°F (17°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 67°F (19°C) 0.9 inches (22 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 67°F (19°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm)
Sep 71°F (22°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 62°F (17°C) 1.9 inches (49 mm)
Oct 60°F (15°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 54°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Nov 50°F (10°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 47°F (8°C) 5.7 inches (144 mm)
Dec 39°F (4°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 42°F (6°C) 6 inches (152 mm)


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Washington vs. Seattle Travel Comparison

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