Space Needle

The ultimate guide to the Space Needle

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How to see the Space needle

At 605 ‘ tall The Space Needle, is undoubtedly, the most recognizable landmark in Seattle. It was built in 1962 for the Worlds Fair. The theme of the fair that year was “The Age of Space”. Pictured below is the original sketch of the Space Needle.

Space Needle - Century 21 Exposition

The tower’s 520 ‘ saucer-shaped “top house” offers visitors Seattle’s only 360-degree indoor and outdoor panoramic views of downtown, Mount Rainier, Puget Sound, and the Cascades and Olympic mountain ranges.

Over the last few years, the Space Needle has been reimagined and revamped to give visitors a truly unique experience. Even if you have been before, you should definitely go again.

Getting to the Space Needle

You can get to the Space Needle by car, city monorail, or on foot. The address to the Space Needle is 400 Broad St.
Seattle, WA 98109

Parking at the Space Needle

There is valet parking offered at the base of the needle, or self-parking in several lots nearby.

Valet Parking at the Space Needle is $18 per hour. The closest self-parking is across the street from the front of the Needle. Expect to spend about $6 per hour. Unfortunately, there isn’t really any cheap parking near the Space Needle (or anywhere in Seattle.)

Space Needle Admission Fees

  • Space Needle General Admission Ages 13-64 $35
  • Space Needle General Admission Seniors +64 $30
  • Space Needle General Admission Kids -13 $26

You can visit and see the Space Needle for free. You can walk around the area take pictures and even go to the base of the Needle to the gift shop. If you want to go UP (that’s where the really good stuff is), you will need a ticket.

How to get Space Needle Tickets

You can order your tickets online here, or you can buy them at the Space Needle itself. Keep in mind, that there are time slots to go up, so if it’s a busy day, and you don’t already have tickets, you may have to wait a bit to go up. My anxiety won’t let me buy tickets at the door, we always do ours

Be sure and check out the ticket options before you go. There are different types you can get. You can buy single-time tickets, or a ticket that allows you to go up twice, which is cool if you also want to see it at night. There are also combo tickets that incorporate some of the other nearby attractions. Also, tickets are discounted if you go when they first open, or 2 hours before closing! To get to the ticket booth, you need to walk around the Space Needle to the back (near the monorail, opposite the parking)

Save Money on the Space Needle by using City Pass! Click link below

Space Needle Valet Parking
Lower level of the Space Needle. Valet Parking here, or self park across the street. Gift shop is here. Walk around the back to go inside.
Space Needle Entrance
Notice the times on the board, they will tell you when you can go up.

The Space Needle experience

Now the fun stuff! When you purchase your ticket and your time slot is ready, you walk up the ramp to enter the building. You’ll need to go through a security and bag check and then you’re on your way. There is a photographer there who takes a free picture of you that you can access later (I’ll tell you how, it is super cool).

As you make your way to the elevator, you walk up a winding ramp. Take your time, and learn the history of the needle. There are old pictures and interactive displays along the way. At the top of the ramp is the elevator to the top.

Education boards on Space Needle
On the way up to the elevators

The Space Needle Elevator

The elevators hold about 25 people and offer quick views out on the way up. Don’t worry if you miss the view, you will have much better views in a few seconds! The elevators travel at 10 mph making the trip up about 45 seconds!! If it is windy, they slow them to 5mph, but it is still a quick ride.

The elevator takes you to the upper observation deck. You get off inside and can walk around visiting the interactive screens that let you zoom in on Seattle, or see time-lapse videos. There is also food and drinks, and plenty of seating to just relax and enjoy the view. You didn’t come all the way up here to sit inside though, did you?

What can you see from the Space Needle?

Go through the doors to the outside viewing area and prepare to have your breath taken away by Seattle’s beauty. At 520 feet off the ground, you will have the ultimate vantage point of all things Seattle. The new experience features 11-foot-tall glass windows and glass benches. You can lean back on the tilted benches for an epic selfie that looks like you are floating above Seattle. There are benches located in numerous spots around the observation deck. It’s a full circle so, walk around, snap a million pictures and enjoy the views.

You can see the stadiums, home of the Seattle Sounders, Seahawks, and Mariners. You can see Elliot bay, and watch the ferries come in and out. There is the great wheel and the industrial areas of Seattle. You can see the oldest neighborhood in Seattle, Queen Anne Hill. If you watch Lake Union for a while, you may see a seaplane land or take off, it is a SEAPLANE AIRPORT! On clear days, you can see Mt. Rainier and the mountain ranges that surround Seattle. Even on cloudy days, it’s fun to look around up here.

Best Photo Spots at the Space Needle

Another part of the new experience that is super cool is there are selfie stations around the observation deck. Look for the mats on the ground, scan your ticket at the kiosk located there, and look up. A mounted camera will countdown and take your picture. These can be accessed for FREE later. You can take as many as you want, just remember to scan your ticket each time so that you will have access to them all. There is one mat that is different than the others, find that one (it faces the stadiums and downtown) and you can get a really cool video of yourself, this is also FREE to keep!

Stay as long as you want, and head back inside when you are ready for the next adventure. You’ll want to find the sign that says EXIT, and REVOLVING GLASS FLOOR, and head down the ramp to the next level.

Does the Space Needle Spin?

Yes, and no. The Top of the Space Needle does not spin, but the glass floor does!

The new revolving glass floor is the world’s first AND ONLY, and it’s right here at the Space Needle. It’s 500 feet in the air and spins slowly. You can sit right on the floor and watch Seattle under your feet, or you can walk around and see out the windows in front of you AND below you. It did make me dizzy to look down and try to walk, but…maybe that’s just me. You guys! This is so unique, it is mesmerizing. The speed of rotation can be adjusted from a 20-minute rotation to 90 minutes. I think they keep it around 45 minutes. It can also spin clockwise, or counterclockwise.

When you are done, head back down the elevators, which will land you in the gift shop. If you download the free Space Needle app on your phone and scan your ticket you will see all of the photos and videos from the day. They are yours to keep and do with as you wish.

Things to do Around the Space Needle

Since you are here, spend some time checking out the other fun things the Seattle Center has to offer! My favorite is the Chihuly Glass and Garden, but there is also the Museum of Pop Culture, Key Arena, Seattle Children Museum, Pacific Science Museum, and more. You can easily spend a whole day here. The monorail station is here if you want a quick ride downtown!

Chihuly Garden and Glass

I hope you enjoy your visit to the Space Needle!

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