Free Things to do in Seattle: Pike Place Market

Every visit to Seattle should include a trip to Pike Place Market.  Located right above Elliot Bay on Pike and First, just a few blocks from the Seattle Center, Pike Place Market has been in operation for over a century.  It is filled with almost 300 year round vendors selling everything from fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables, to locally made crafts and art work – and so much more.  Wind through the Market into the Down Under for more specialty shops and restaurants.

More than 350 residents, many of whom are senior-income workers, live in the district in the historic district. Walk down Pike Place's cobblestone street and look up. The windows and balconies above the street are the houses of the residents who live above the shopping faces.

Market Pike Place is filled with miracles. This neighborhood is the longest ever operated Farmers Market in the U.S. On only one trip it is almost impossible to see everything on the market, with 6 distinct levels covering about 13 buildings. Our tip? Our recommendation? Start early and skip the multitudes! Most activities start at 9am and end at 6pm, although there are no schedule for the Pike Place Market.

World Famous Fish Market

Watch out for flying fish!  When you enter the Market directly under the large neon sign, the first thing you’ll experience is the show put on by the World famous Fish Market.  If no fish are being thrown, buy one, and you’ll get to catch it (see video below).  The fish mongers are fun to watch and great to interact with, definitely a Market highlight.

Imagine it – you walk through Seattle, Washington, an open-air farmer's market when you notice the sign that reads "Caution: low-flying fish." Curious, you stop reading the sign again, and - BAM! - flying fish hit you. When you realize that you are an unknown participant in one of the many traditional Pike Place fish market traditions, Laughter erupts. What?!

Together with the Space Needle, the market has become one of the most well known attractions in Seattle and has drawn thousands of visitors a day during peak summer months.

Rachel the Pig

Rachel, named after the real shell that served as the model, has the big piggy bank, located under the big "Public Market Center" sign and clock.  The Market Foundation has put coins and bills in Rachel's slot fund. Taking a picture with the big bronze pig is one of the most popular things for visitors. Rachel does not only make an excellent spot for a picture, but it's a handy place to meet friends with the vibrantly colored Pike Place fish market behind her.

Gum Wall

As you wander under the Market down Post Alley, you will find the Gum Wall.  The Seattle Gum Wall is, as its name suggests, covered with thousands of chewing gum pieces that have been placed alongside the Post Alley's Market Theater since the early '90s. This interactive, fairly unique attraction provides a great background for pictures and a rapid stop-off to some of the most popular destinations in the city.

Here kids of all ages for almost 20 years have been adding their gum to the growing collection.  Gross, I know, but your kids will be intrigued and want to add their own.   Bring a pack of Bubble Yum!

Starbucks' First Store

Get your double tall skinny vanilla latte fix where it all started. no green but a brown one (more anatomically) and had purely the task of selling fresh roasted coffee beans. On the window of the 'Original Starbucks' (actually, second to the Original Starbucks it moved to in 1977) in the touristic Pike Place market of Seattle, you can still see Starbucks' original squirrel, waving her breasts and scattering her tails.

Victor Steinbrueck Park

At the north end of the Market is a large open space with a paved area, large lawn and amazing view.  You’ll also find street performers here. Victor Steinbrück Park is located on the northwest side of Pike Place Market overlooking Elliot Bay in Downtown Seattle (US) on 3,000 meters. It is located between the Western Avenue and the Alashan Way Viaduct at the foot of Virginia Street and is known as Seattle-based architect Victor Steinbrueck.

There are so many side streets and crazy alleys filled with shops, restaurants and great views.  A day at the Market is definitely a Seattle must see.

Leave a Comment