Exploring a new city after sunset offers a completely different perspective than during the day, and Seattle is no different. With a thriving foodie scene and a penchant for haunted tours, the city offers several after-dark experiences that are unique to the area. If you’re planning a stay here and wondering what to do after the sun goes down, check out our top picks for best things to do in Seattle at night.
1. Wander the city’s underground tunnels
Under the streets of Seattle’s Pioneer Neighborhood lie the remains of the old city that was built in the mid-19th century. When the streets were elevated after the Great Seattle Fire, the passageways and corridors that remained became the underground tunnels of today.
History buffs can take a guided underground tour to learn more about Seattle’s early history and how these spaces have been used throughout the years. Bill Speidel’s underground tour offers a humorous take on the history of the storefronts and sidewalks entombed beneath the city’s current streets, making it a popular choice among tourists.
2. Visit Chihuly Garden and Seattle’s other top tourist attractions
Checking out the city’s most popular attractions is one of the best ways to see Seattle at night. Seeing these landmarks after dark offers a completely different experience than during the day and are a must-do when you’re in town. Peruse the stunning blown glass pieces at Chihuly Garden and Glass. The exhibit isn’t open late (closing time is 6pm), but an evening visit right after sunset gives the art a dramatic effect your won’t see during the day.
Take in the sparkling city lights and breathtaking nighttime views from the top of the Space Needle. Whether you head to The Loupe on the lower level to check out the rotating glass floor or take in the bird’s eye view from behind the floor-to-ceiling glass walls on the top level, experiencing this attraction after dark is a must.
If you’ll be in Seattle during the holiday season, head to WildLights at the Woodland Park Zoo. There’s something special about strolling the grounds and seeing the animals surrounded by twinkling lights.
3. Take a harbor cruise along the waterfront
Because of its location on Puget Sound, one of the most unique things to do at night in Seattle is to board a boat for a cruise along the waterfront. You’ll get a gorgeous view of the city’s skyline from the water as your guide offers a narrated tour of Elliot Bay and Seattle Harbor. Grab a drink from the cash bar and bring your camera — you’ll definitely want to snap some shots of the stunning views.
4. Catch a show at the Neptune Theater
If you’re a music or theater buff (or just looking for something a little different to do in Seattle at night), the Seattle Theater Group puts on a variety of entertaining concerts and shows throughout the week at the Neptune Theater. Check out the schedule of events to find a performance that piques your interest, and snag tickets before it sells out. From your favorite bands and musical artists to improv and standup comedy, you’ll be sure to find something that you’ll enjoy at Neptune Theater.
5. Check out the nightlife
Full disclosure, we admit that Seattle’s nightlife isn’t necessarily world-renowned, but there is certainly some fun to be had if you know where to look. If you love activities that up the spooky factor, grab tickets to a Seattle haunted pub tour. A costumed guide will lead you on a two-hour walk to three bars as you’re regaled with creepy stories about the city’s past.
For more Seattle nightlife ideas, this list from Thrillist offers tons of nighttime activities for all interests. From comedy shows, to late-night bowling, to happy hour deals, you’re guaranteed to find something that strikes your fancy.
As you plan your itinerary, we recommending looking into the Seattle CityPASS, which offers prepaid admission to some of the best things to do in Seattle, including fan favorites like the Space Needle, Chihuly Garden Glass, and Museum of Pop Culture.
Looking for more things to do in Seattle? PlacePass has unique excursions and experiences for all ages, so everyone can enjoy all that Seattle has to offer. Looking for more Seattle travel inspiration? Check out our tips for unique things to do in Seattle and top 5 things to do in Seattle with kids.