The iconic Public Market Place neon sign at the Pike Place Markets in Seattle

Stopover Guide: 24 Hours In Seattle

9 May 2016
Read Time: 3.7 mins

Words by Carlie Tucker

Though Seattle famously gave birth to Starbucks, the Emerald City is about much more than its most famous cup of coffee. In fact, this Pacific Northwest hotspot serves up big city vibes with a distinctly easygoing attitude. She welcomes business travellers with open arms and a staggering list of things to see and do, from the lofty heights of the Space Needle's spire to the mysterious depths of the Puget Sound. 24-hours is just enough to fall head over heels, and here's where to start:

A crumpet on a plate topped with berries and syrup
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What to Eat

Start your Seattle day off with a little taste of Britain at Queen Bee. This cafe in the central district is all about crumpets with delightfully delicious toppings. Utilising locally sourced products,  the menu features plenty of highlights. Keep it simple with a traditional crumpet with double cream, whipped butter and honey, or go all out with a Caramel Chocolate S'more with toasted marshmallow and caramel sauce.

When lunch time rolls around, Ivar's Pier 54 Fishbar is quintessentially Seattle. Opened in the 1930s, this original location still draws hordes of fans hungry for fish n' chips. Plus, on a cold, rainy day, there's nothing like a warm bowl of clam chowder. When you've had your fill of seafood, be sure to toss a couple of fries to the seagulls. It's an Ivar's tradition as evidenced by the flock of gulls that wait patiently for their share.    

Another Seattle staple, Matt's in the Market holds up a top position overlooking the iconic Pike Place Market sign. It features a beautiful industrial feel, softened by huge arched windows offering prime views of the markets. What makes this restaurant extra special though is the constantly changing menu inspired by the very market stalls that it sits above. With fresh meat, seafood, cheese and even flowers just downstairs, it would be a shame not to take full advantage!

Looking for other US stopover guides? 

Stopover Guide: 24 Hours In Chicago

Stopover Guide: 24 Hours In Honolulu

Stopover Guide: 24 Hours In Pittsburgh

A hotel room in the Pan Pacific, looking out the window to the city 
Image courtesy of

Where to Stay

If you only have 24-hours to spare while in Seattle, you'll want to choose a place to stay that sits right at the heart of all the action. The Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle certainly ticks that box, with a location in the heart of the bustling downtown area. Some of the city's iconic landmarks are only minutes away, ensuring optimal sightseeing opportunities.

Beyond a top notch location, the hotel itself meets all the demands of a busy corporate traveller, with 4-star facilities and 11 different room layouts to choose from. Whether you choose the Deluxe Queen with city views or one of the swanky suites, you can rest assured you'll be treated to Hypnos beds with 360-thread count Egyptian linens, a pillow menu, executive desk and Herman Miller chair, Internet access, express laundry services and Keurig coffee maker and tea brewing system.

An onsite business centre is great for any last minute work commitments, while a fully equipped fitness centre makes it easy to stick to your daily health regime. The hotel is also happy to help with booking tours and activities throughout the city, making it even easier to see Seattle with limited time.

Book this SmartSTAY hotel with your FCBT Travel Manager and you'll also receive complimentary WiFi, a glass of wine with a room service order over $30USD as well as an upgrade to the next available room category (subject to availability).  

A night view of the pike place market \"public market centre\" sign lit up.

Where to Play

Seattle is no stranger to tourism highlights. There is oodles of stuff to see and do, so it's best to organise your approach to ensure you can pack the most into your 24-hours as possible. Why not start at the top – literally? The Space Needle is visible from nearly everywhere in the city, defining Seattle's unique skyline. And while it's impressive to look at from the ground, the best views are from the top. With 360 degree views over the city and water to the mountains beyond, it's the perfect way to get an overall feel for your surroundings.

Right next door to the Space Needle, the Experience Music Project could keep music lovers entertained all day. Easily identified by its colourful facade, this world class museum is dedicated to all things sound. Rehearse in the Sound Lab, check out world changing guitars at the Guitar Gallery or take a snap of the famous IF VI WAS IX sculpture featuring 500 different instruments. There are also a number of temporary and travelling exhibits to check out.     

Not far away –a mere seven minute walk from the monorail's Westlake Centre stop – the bustling waterfront is a must for any visitor to the city if not only for the famous Pike Place Markets. Comprised of three floors of market stalls, this incredible public market is a perfect spot to get your shop on. From fresh flowers to magic tricks, you're sure to find a unique souvenir of the city. Just make sure to stop at the fishmongers to witness the famous Flying Fish!

The rest of the day can be spent as you please. Perhaps a quick and cheap ferry ride through Puget Sound to charming Bainbridge Island is on the books, or a tour of the Boeing Factory to see jets being made. You could even wander the Chinatown International District for a look at Seattle's multicultural history.