8 best neighborhoods in Seattle to live in

Discover which area in this dynamic city stands out in your eyes

Editorial Team

By Editorial Team

seattle downtown skyline with Mt Rainier in background

Each Seattle neighborhood is individually unique. They were all shaped in some way by history, diversity, culture and other unique attributes. While of course, every neighborhood has its pros and cons, they couldn’t all make our list.

If you’re contemplating a move to Seattle, you may want to consider a few questions before choosing which area to live in.

  • Are there nearby public transit options?
  • Is the area walkable?
  • How much outdoor space do the apartments offer?
  • What’s the community vibe and culture like?
  • What’s the average price for an apartment?
  • Are there many furnished apartments available?

Furnished apartments are an ideal choice, particularly if you’re making a long-distance move or relocating for a short-term work assignment. Leaving all your bulky furniture behind and instead choosing a move-in ready space reduces so much hassle. Companies like Blueground provide turnkey apartments in the most sought-after areas of Seattle. Best of all, they come with flexible leases so you are never tied down to one apartment or neighborhood. You’ve got the freedom to explore!


1. Downtown Seattle

City view with large skyscrapers and buildings in front of a clear blue sky in the heart of downtown Seattle

Downtown Seattle is more than just the home of the Financial District. It’s also one of the most bustling areas in Seattle. There’s never a shortage of things to see, people to meet, and new restaurants to try. Downtown is definitely the busiest neighborhood in the city, and by some people’s standards that also means it’s one of the best. Cultural outings here include the Symphony at Benaroya Hall, or Seattle Art Museum, all perfect for a Seattle staycation. Musical events and live performances take place at theaters like the Showbox and the Paramount. There’s a fabulous shopping scene at Westlake Center and Pacific Place (a 5-story mall that offers a mix of high-end and everyday retailers). Downtown Seattle is where you can find the famous Pike Place Market, with vendors selling fresh seafood, local honey, flower arrangements, and more.

Monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Downtown Seattle: $2,484 (unfurnished)

2. Greenwood

About 20 minutes north of Downtown Seattle is the Greenwood neighborhood. It’s centrally located but also offers a bit of seclusion. There’s a suburban feel with single-family homes, yet the newer apartments give this neighborhood an urban twist. Due to its relative affordability compared to other areas, a lot of young professionals and creatives are calling Greenwood home. To accommodate this demand, you’ll find more and more multi-unit complexes being built. Some of Greenwood’s stand-out features include the Taproot Theatre and 85th Street, where there are several bars and eateries to choose from.

Monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Greenwood: $1,798 (unfurnished)

3. Columbia City

The neighborhood of Columbia City offers residents a small-town intimacy that’s not offered in other parts of Seattle. Here you’ll find community involvement and genuine camaraderie among the locals. Plus, it’s one of the most diverse areas in the city. Combined, the residents of Columbia City speak over 60 languages. As an added bonus of living in this neighborhood, there are several public transit access points to connect you with other areas. For some food and fun, walk down Rainier Avenue, where independent owned-businesses line the entire street. You’ll spot cocktail bars, bakeries, cute artisanal shops, and African restaurants, just to name a few. Entertainment options include the Ark Lodge Cinemas, and Columbia City Theater which hosts mesmerizing burlesque shows.

Monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Columbia City: $1,810 (unfurnished)

4. Ballard

Houses situated along the waterfront on Lake Washington in the ship canal in Ballard neighborhood

Ballard is quickly becoming one of the best neighborhoods in Seattle to live in. It was once an industrial area that’s now a trendy neighborhood attracting hipsters and generally a younger crowd. Culturally, Ballard is known for its Scandinavian heritage. The Nordic Heritage Museum is a reminder to those both past and present, of the neighborhood’s immigrant roots. Take a stroll along Ballard Avenue to try out new restaurants, laid-back bars, and boutique shops. Or spend a relaxing afternoon at Golden Gardens Park and pick up some local produce at the year-round Ballard Farmers Market, held every Sunday.

Monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Ballard: $2,036 (unfurnished)

5. Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill lies in the heart of Seattle and is the city’s most densely populated neighborhood. Fortunately, though, it also has a fair amount of green spaces thanks to Cal Anderson Park, Interlaken Park, and the Washington Parks Arboretum. It’s an LGBTQ-inclusive community, as well as being hipster-friendly and a foodie’s paradise. This gay neighborhood in Seattle is known for its eateries and secret bars, as well as its vibrant live music. Some areas of interest here include Volunteer Park Conservatory, Seattle Asian Art Museum, and the Jimi Hendrix Statue.

Monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Capitol Hill: $2,070 (unfurnished), $2,590 (furnished)

6. South Lake Union

View of the sun setting over some homes in the Lake Union area

South Lake Union is home to technology giants like Amazon’s Corporate HQ, Microsoft and UW Medicine. While also being a short commute to Expedia and Nordstrom’s corporate offices as well. Evidently, this is where many tech startups come to set up shop. To accommodate all the entrepreneurs, and corporate employees in this neighborhood, there are plenty of bakeries, breakfast joints, cafes, and restaurants. Besides the vast amount of job opportunities, another advantage of living in Seattle is the close proximity to the water. For instance, in this neighborhood, you can visit Lake Union Park to sail, paddle on a dragon boat, visit the Center for Wooden Boats, and carve your own wooden boat in a private class.

Monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in South Lake Union: $2,455 (unfurnished), $2,990 (furnished)

7. Belltown

Just north of Downtown Seattle is Belltown. Since this area is walkable and has great public transit options nearby, you don’t actually need a car to live here. Furthermore, almost everything you’ll want and need is located on 1st Avenue. There’s art galleries, jewelry shops, salons, funky boutiques, lounges, cafes, and a movie theater. Some notable points of interest in Belltown include Dahlia Lounge, a speakeasy called Bathtub Gin & Co., and The Crocodile, an iconic rock venue. For time spent outdoors, check out Olympic Sculpture Park. It has tons of walking trails, art installations, and expansive views of the Olympic Mountains.

Monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Belltown: $2,623 (unfurnished), $2,790 (furnished)

8. Pioneer Square

Baskets of flowers adorn the walls of shops and restaurants in the Pioneer Square neighborhood

Pioneer Square was Seattle’s first neighborhood and is where the city’s first skyscraper was built. Today, this part of town is a mix of old and new and includes many interesting attractions. For instance, you can experience Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour, where you’ll explore subterranean streets. After, drop by the Central Saloon, one of Seattle’s oldest bars. Later on, visit the Iron Pergola and Tlingit Indian Totem, or spend a day at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Other appeals of this neighborhood include the First Thursday Art Walk, Occidental Square (with bocce courts), and Waterfall Garden Park.

Monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Pioneer Square: $2,150 (unfurnished), $2,790 (furnished)

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

The Blueground editorial team covers the best things to see, do, and experience in our cities around the world.