Pike Place Market is one of the biggest reasons travelers visit Seattle, Washington. This exciting farmer’s market was once a small establishment that has risen to global acclaim. Today, it’s an expansive collection of shops and restaurants that make for a fun day of shopping and eating in the heart of the city. These are some top things to keep in mind when planning a trip to Pike Place Market, Seattle.
10 You Should Bring Chewing Gum
It may seem quirky, but travelers will want to bring a pack of chewing gum with them so they can join in on the tradition of the Gum Wall. Located under the Pike Place Market, the Gum Wall is a brick wall that is plastered with thousands of pieces of chewing gum left by visitors from all over. This unique spectacle on Post Alley has become a work of art in the city and is now cited as a tourist attraction. Visitors can add their own pieces to it and join history.
9 Bad Weather Isn’t A Problem
Seattle is located in the Pacific North West, which is a part of America that is well known for its moody atmosphere, low-hanging clouds, and frequent rain showers. Luckily, the weather forecast doesn’t have to play a role in plans to visit Pike Place Market. Despite the open-concept design of much of the market, most of the walkways and shopping areas are covered or indoors, so there’s no need to skip it due to rain or even carry an umbrella. Once inside, shoppers will be warm and dry.
8 It’s Open 7 Days A Week
There’s never a bad time to visit Pike Place Market; it’s open seven days a week, year-round, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (opening hours may differ). The only time the market is closed for the day is on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day to mark these national holidays.
7 It’s More Than 100 Years Old
Pike Place Market is one of the oldest farmers’ markets in the entire United States. It’s more than a century old and has gained immense popularity since it first opened on August 17, 1907. When the market began, it was just a small group of farmers selling local goods, but within two years, the market was seeing around 74 farmers each day and around 300,000 people visiting each month. Shopping here is exploring a part of history.
6 Parking Is Limited
When figuring out how best to get to Pike Place Market from their accommodation in Seattle, travelers should consider alternatives to driving themselves to the venue. Even if renting a car is part of the plan for the trip, it might be worthwhile to take public transit or rideshare to the market to avoid finding parking. Parking is extremely limited, especially on weekends when the market is at its busiest. Attempting to find parking in this area can be costly and time-consuming, taking away from the experience of shopping and dining at the market. Travelers who plan to drive themselves and park at the market should arrive early to ensure they get a spot.
5 Cash Isn’t A Necessity
Although farmer’s markets have a reputation for being cash-only, this is not necessarily the case at Pike Place Market. Many of the vendors now accept cashless payment options like debit and credit cards at their shops and restaurants. It’s always a good idea to carry a bit of cash when traveling for unexpected situations, but taking out the full budget for the excursion to Pike Place Market is no longer necessary.
4 You’ll Want To Arrive Ready To Eat
Travelers may have heard the phrase “don’t shop hungry,” but for Pike Place Market, this doesn’t apply. Travelers should arrive ready to eat because there are more than 40 lunch spots to sample. These range from grab-and-go options like Saffron Spice, Falafel King, or Mee Sum Pastry to dine-in choices like Copacabana and Old Stove Brewing. There are also small seating places to eat, like Market Grill or Pike Place Chowder.
3 Dedicate The Entire Day
A trip to Seattle is no doubt going to be action-packed, with so many things to do and see around the city. However, travelers should try not to compromise time at Pike Place Market in favor of seeing other sites. To properly enjoy the market and try as many of the delicious food and drink options on site as possible, it’s best to spend the entire day here. At the very least, commit at least a few hours to wander the market and eat lunch or dinner.
2 It’s Touristy, But Worth The Crowds
Pike Place Market is an extremely popular tourist attraction in Seattle, receiving more than 10 million visitors annually. This means that travelers should set realistic expectations for their experience here. It’s undeniable that there will be crowds and the market is nearly always busy. However, unlike many touristy destinations, Pike Place Market is still very much worth braving the crowds for. In fact, they add to the excitement of the visit.
1 It’s Busiest On Weekends
Travelers who want a slightly less chaotic experience at Pike Place Market may want to plan their visit according to peak days and times for traffic there. Typically, the market is the least busy in the early mornings and during weekdays, from Monday to Thursday. Naturally, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are much busier due to people having time off work and visitors coming from out of town for the weekend.