Photo Courtesy of Ian Alan

Seattle’s closest airport is Sea-Tac International Airport, located about 30 minutes south of downtown. If you’re coming here by train, you’ll arrive at the King Street Station downtown. If you’re coming from Portland or Vancouver, B.C., the Bolt Bus is a very affordable option, with fares as low as $1 (stopping in the International District at Fifth Avenue S. & South King Street). There’s also a downtown Greyhound bus terminal.

Each of Seattle’s neighborhoods has a distinct local flavor. You’ll find lots of nightlife in Belltown, just north of downtown, where young professionals go to eat, drink, and dance. Capitol Hill is the gay-friendly hipster scene; take a look at our Capitol Hill recommendations. Fremont has a funky, hippie attitude, with eclectic shops and landmarks like the Fremont Troll. Ballard has a strong Scandinavian history, but today it’s mainly cute boutiques and restaurants. Public transit is extensive and mostly reliable, with options including the bus, light rail, and streetcars. Parking can be difficult downtown or in the smaller neighborhoods with narrow streets, and many areas have metered street parking until 8 p.m. Seattle is a fairly geographically compact city, so taxis are an affordable option, as are pay-as-you-go car rental services such as Zipcar or Car2Go.