Seattle is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. One of the fastest-growing cities in the United States and the seat of King County, Washington, it is a major seaport city with a diverse culture. If you are new to the city then this guide will help you get familiar with the city and find rooms for rent in Seattle.
Getting to know Seattle
The Seattle area was inhabited by Native Americans for around 4,000 years before the first permanent European settlers arrived here. With an interesting history of booms and busts over the years, Seattle has seen booms through the timber industry, the Klondike Gold Rush, and the shipbuilding rush during World War 1. Seattle has a temperate climate with cool, wet winters and mild, relatively dry summers. Extreme heatwaves are rare in the Seattle area, as are very cold temperatures. This makes it a very liveable city if you plan on finding rooms for rent in Seattle to live here.
Finding rooms for rent in Seattle
Seattle is known for its multiculturalism and diversity. And it occupies one of the most beautiful spots in the United States, located in a narrow isthmus between Puget Sound and Lake Washington. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 142.5 square miles. While most people tend not to venture beyond Downtown, the International District, and the Seattle Center, there are many other areas in Seattle that can be great to find apartments for rent in Seattle.
Top neighborhoods in Seattle
- Ballard: An ever-expanding neighborhood with a rich Scandinavian heritage, Ballard offers tree-lined streets filled with cute boutiques, restaurants, and dive bars. With a mix of smaller, old homes and new expanded ones, Ballard is a great= place to find rooms for rent in Seattle with lots to see like the Nordic Museum and many scenic spots with views of Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains.
- Capitol Hill: This hilltop neighborhood is an interesting mix of family-owned mansions and villas, and mixed-use and affordable housing complexes and apartments. It is roughly divided by 15th Avenue with the east side being mainly single-family homes and the west side having one of the city’s largest concentrations of apartment buildings. This can be a great place to live with a roommate in Seattle or find an apartment for rent in Seattle.
- West Seattle: West Seattle is known for its scenic views with an expansive waterfront and distance from city noise. West Seattle is also popular with young people as you can find apartments for rent or get a good size home at a reasonable price. You can also use our roommate finder to find rooms for rent in Seattle. West Seattle is also very walkable and has a variety of bars, restaurants, and a close drive to Alki Beach.
Average rent in Seattle
Over the years, renting an apartment in Seattle has grown more expensive with the city climbing the list of the most expensive cities in the United States. However, with its varied topography, there is something for everyone depending on the kind of neighborhood you would like. Whether you plan to rent a studio apartment in Seattle or something bigger, here is a breakdown of rents you can expect on average.
|Rooms in Seattle||Average Price|
|Studio Apartment in Seattle||$1,061|
|1 Bedroom Apartment in Seattle||$950|
|2 Bedroom Apartment in Seattle||$1,994|
|3 Bedroom Apartment in Seattle||$2,829|
University life in Seattle
With a host of great public and private Universities, Seattle offers a great degree of options to University students. With a large influx of people into the city, Universities in Seattle offer courses in almost any field you can think of. A 2008 United States Census Bureau survey also showed that Seattle had the highest percentage of college and university graduates of any major U.S. city. While studying in Seattle is by no means cheap, students can opt for on-campus accommodation or rent an apartment with roommates in Seattle.
Here is a list of some of the top Universities in Seattle
- University of Washington
- Seattle University
- Seattle Pacific University
- Bastyr University
- City University of Seattle
How transit friendly is Seattle?
Downtown San Jose is easily walkable and is encouraged for short trips, especially in the Downtown or Capitol Hill areas. Seattle is also known for its pedestrian’s unusual refusal to jaywalk, even when there are clearly no cars in sight. While the abundance of footpaths and jogging lanes makes walking easy, some areas can be steep and farther locations will require you to look to other means of transport.
1. Trains in Seattle
The Link Light Rail operates between the University of Washington and Angle Lake Station with stops in Capitol Hill, Downtown, SoDo, South Seattle, the suburb of Tukwila, and Sea-Tac Airport along the way.
The Seattle Streetcar has two lines between Downtown and South Lake Union and between Pioneer Square, the International District, and Capitol Hill along Broadway.
The Seattle Center Monorail takes you non-stop between Westlake Center and the Seattle Center in just 2 minutes and is mainly used by tourists.
2. Water Taxis in Seattle
Washington State Ferries connect to destinations outside of Seattle, and also accept ORCA Cards.
3. Taxis in Seattle
You can easily hail a taxi from any major street in Seattle and most hotels will be willing to call one for you. However, taxis can be expensive, especially if you are only trying to get around the downtown area. Some taxi drivers may even refuse to take you if your destination is less than 15 blocks away. However, ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are also available and often are a more convenient option. The standard government regulated fairs as follow:
- Flagfall for $2.60
- $0.30 for each additional 1/9 mile (a total of $2.70 per mile)
- $0.30 for every 36 seconds of waiting time (a total of $0.50 per minute)
- $0.50 for each additional passenger above 18 after two.
4. Cycling in Seattle
Most major roads in Seattle do have cycling lanes and with a surge in popularity, most drivers are also more accustomed to cyclists as well. It can often be much faster to cycle than drive or take a taxi during rush hour.
5. Using the ORCA Card in Seattle
The ORCA card is a contactless fare card that enables you to transfer between Seattle and Puget Sound’s various transit agencies, similar to Hong Kong’s Octopus or London’s Oyster. You can load money or monthly passes to the card or purchase day passes for $8 that can be used for all bus and train services.
Cultural activites in Seattle
With a diverse culture and rich history, there is much to learn about Seattle if you plan on finding rooms for rent in Seattle and living here, with several museums of different genres and lots of outdoor activities as well.
- Seattle Art Museum: A popular museum that houses an assortment of art pieces from around the world.
- The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience: Located in the International District, it is the only Asian Pacific American museum in the country.
- Museum of Pop Culture: A museum celebrating popular film, television, music, and other media.
Entertainment in Seattle
Seattle offers a host of options for entertainment from amusement parks to theaters and ballets with regular concerts and shows taking place in the city involving big-name artists. Grab your roommate or friends and head out to experience the magic of Seattle.
- Benaroya Hall: Home of the Seattle Symphony and a venue for other performing arts.
- 5th Avenue Theatre: The main venue for Broadway musical shows.
- McCaw Hall: The home of the Seattle Opera and the Pacific Northwest Ballet.
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