Visiting Seattle’s Iconic Space Needle — Inked with Wanderlust (2024)


Written By Kevin

The Emerald City has so much to offer. So many parks, museums, coffee shops, and more to choose from you’ll never be able to see it all in one trip. There is one attraction however, that stands out from the pack (literally). That attraction would be the 605-foot tall, “Space Needle”.

Constructed for the 1962 World’s Fair, millions of visitors have stood atop its 520-foot indoor/outdoor, saucer-shaped observation deck that offers unobstructed views of downtown Seattle, the Puget Sound, Mount Rainier, the beautiful Cascades, and the Olympic mountain range.

We visited it for ourselves for the first time in 2020 (just before covid began to run rampant) to document and gather all the necessary information to help you plan a visit for yourself. So read on below to find out how you can experience this Seattle icon for yourself.

Location & Tickets

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Seattle Center

The Space Needle is located at, “Seattle Center”. Seattle Center is an arts, entertainment, tourism, and education center that spans 74 acres housing several attractions such as the needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and the Museum of Popular Culture (or, “MoPOP”, for short).

If you’re driving, the address for the Space Needle is as follows:

400 Broad Street. Seattle, WA 98109

If you’re walking from your hotel, you can simply ultilize Google directions and tap the walking tab for step-by-step directions. Likewise, if you’re using Uber or Lyft just punch, “Space Needle”, into the search bar.

Tickets & Where to Get Them

When it comes to purchasing tickets, you have more than a couple options. Your first and best one would be to purchase your tickets online in advance of your trip. You just go to the official website, select your date and time of arrival, pay, and you’re done.

When you arrive, your experience begins immediately. You could also purchase tickets at the kiosks on site or at the ticket window. Keep in mind, if you wait until the day of, you may experience lengthy wait times or even worse, no availability. This is especially true in the summer months.

General Admission

Visiting Seattle’s Iconic Space Needle — Inked with Wanderlust (2)

If all you’re looking to do is the Space Needle, this is the ticket for you. It gets you admission the main observation deck and access to , “The Loupe”. The world’s first and only rotating glass-bottom floor.

Combo Ticket

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This is my top recommendation as it grants you access to not only the Space Needle, but the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum as well. You save $18 bucks versus buying them separately. So if Chihuly is also on your itinerary (and it should be), this ticket is the way to go.

City Pass

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This is another great option, as you get 5 of Seattle’s top attractions for one low price. Currently, City Pass gives you access to the Space Needle, the Aquarium, Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), Woodland Park Zoo, and Chihuly Garden & Glass. This is a big money saver.

For further information or to purchase your tickets online, go here.

The Experience

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With ticket in hand (or on your phone), you’ll arrive to the entrance on the date and time you selected. If your visit is outside the busy summer months, chances are good that you won’t have much of a wait. I visited in March and had no wait at all.

Shortly after entering the building, you’ll go through a security check point where they’ll check to make sure you’re not bringing any banned items such as weapons, drones, etc. For me, the process was quick and painless.

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If you end up having to wait, all throughout are information boards detailing the history of the needle, it’s construction, and milestones accompanied by photographs. There’s a lot of interesting information here so be sure to check it out even if you don’t have a wait.

The end of the line is where you’ll enter the elevator. This is an experience all in itself especially if your operator has a sense of humor. The first couple hundred feet or so is enclosed but before long it’ll open up to clear glass and you’ll have an amazing view as your continue your ascent.

The Top House

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At the end of the ride, you’ll step out of the elevator and into what’s referred to as the, “Top House”. On the inside, you’ll find plenty of seating throughout and viewing areas for those who don’t want to go outside. There’s also a refreshment stand that features a few snack items and Starbucks coffee.

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Outside on the observation deck is where you’ll get amazing, 360-degree unobstructed views of the city and beyond. There’s benches all along for those brave enough to lean back on and even automated camera stations you can use to snag a free souvenir from.

The Loupe

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The observation deck is cool and all, but perhaps the best feature of the needle is the semi-newly created, “Loupe”. It is the worlds first, and only rotating glass floor. Be warned, if you’re afraid of heights, you may want to skip this. If you’re not, it’s one of the coolest experiences you’ll ever have and alone is worth the price of admission.

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To get to the Loupe from the observation deck, simple use the staircase adjacent to the refreshment stand. Called the, “Oculus”, this grand staircase is beautifully made with wood, steel, and glass. By the way, the area in between these two floors is where you’ll find the rest rooms.

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Visiting Seattle’s Iconic Space Needle

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Once you feel like you’ve gotten your fill of the views and plenty of photographs, you’ll simply head to the elevator and make your way back down. In true tourist fashion, you’ll be dropped off in the gift shop on the bottom level and it is here where you’ll find the exit.

Safe Travels

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historic site


One day I threw on a backpack, grabbed a camera, hit the trail, and never looked back. After all, great things never come from comfort zones.

Visiting Seattle’s Iconic Space Needle — Inked with Wanderlust (2024)


Is it worth going up the Space Needle in Seattle? ›

Past visitors agreed that the Space Needle is a must for first-time visitors to Seattle, and recommend either purchasing your ticket online in advance or showing up early to avoid long lines. Several said they bought the combo ticket that also includes access to Chihuly Garden and Glass.

How much does it cost to go to the top of 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

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.

What time is best to visit Space Needle Seattle? ›

Best Times To Visit for Clear Views and Shorter Lines

During these months, the weather in Seattle is more likely to cooperate, offering sunny skies and minimal cloud cover. Early mornings or late afternoons are especially magical times, as the soft light accentuates the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

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

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 the Space Needle better at night or day? ›

It's a win-win situation. The landmark offers stunning views of Seattle anytime you visit (if it's not foggy). What you get from the night view, you don't get from the day (and vice versa). Ultimately, nothing beats standing on top of Seattle's (and one of America's) premier landmarks whenever you have a chance.

How long do most people spend at the Space Needle? ›

allow at least 1 1/2 to two hours in Chihuly, and at least 1 1/2 for space needle.

Why is the Space Needle restaurant closed? ›

The restaurant was closed in September 2017 for the $100 million "The Century Project" renovation at the Space Needle, with plans for the dining area to be outfitted with a clear glass floor. The glass floor would enable diners to view the city below them and also the mechanics that operate the revolving floor.

Is there an AAA discount for Space Needle? ›

Seattle Attractions

Get a CityPASS Seattle and 50% off the combined admission price to five great attractions. Plus, AAA Washington members can get an individual discount of $4 off day/night tickets to the Space Needle.

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.

Are there bathrooms in the Space Needle? ›

Citing necessary plumbing upgrades for the only building in Seattle that vertically shoots human excreta several hundred feet every day all day, Space Needle officials announced today that it will now charge visitors $7.50 a pop for bathroom visits.

How long can you stay up in the 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.

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

The Space Needle is obviously a must see location whenever visiting Seattle. It not only is a great addition to the Seattle skyline but it also provides some of the best views of the city and surrounding Pacific Northwest. Much like any other attraction you will need to purchase tickets to go.

Does the monorail in Seattle go to the Space Needle? ›

The nation's first full-scale commercial monorail system and a beloved Seattle landmark, the Seattle Center Monorail provides a fun, quick, and convenient link between downtown Seattle and the Space Needle.

What is the best month to go to Seattle? ›

Summer (June to August)

Plus, it's also the driest period for the city, with rainfall plummeting to a mere 1.2 inches in July. This makes it easier to get around town, especially on foot and allows for many safer and more appealing outdoor activities while opening up spectacular views of the area.

How long do people usually spend 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.

Is the Space Needle elevator scary? ›

Those who have a fear of heights may have some trouble with this trip. The elevator goes up and down quickly, the glass is a bit disarming on the observation deck, and the rotating deck has a glass floor showing how high you really are.

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.

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