Let's help you figure out the best neighborhoods in Seattle for you.
You're trying to figure out where to live in Seattle, Washington — we're here to help. This area has many tightly-packed official neighborhood districts, each with its own interesting identity and feel. If you want to find an apartment that fits not only your needs but your style, the best tactic is to hunt for the right listing that’s in the right neighborhood.
So which of the neighborhoods of Seattle is the "nicest," which is the most affordable, which is the most trendy, and which are the best neighborhoods in Seattle for you or for your family? This Seattle neighborhood guide is designed to give you some usable info to help you find the best area for you.
And just one thing before we get started...
If you're looking for a weird (mostly useless) "Where should you live in Seattle?" quiz that asks you what your favorite drink is and then gives you a neighborhood recommendation, then you're in the wrong place!
This article is designed to give you the information and resources you need to determine which neighborhoods might be a good fit for your move to Seattle.
South Lake Union in the Lake Union area
Ideal for Young Professionals: The Fastest-Growing Neighborhood
- It’s one of the fastest-growing areas of a very fast-growing city, with the population jumping up 20 percent in one year. As such, housing there tends to be new. Even a more recent Seattle neighborhood guide will be inaccurate in a few years because of its rapid growth.
- It’s the home of many businesses, including Amazon, not to mention tons of new local businesses that show up every year.
- The city is working on the Mercer Corridor as well as numerous zoning projects in this area.
Here's the South Lake Union neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the South Lake Union neighborhood. Feel free to "walk" around!
Lower Queen Anne in Central Seattle
An Uptown Retreat with the Best Views: Another Professionals’ Oasis
- You’ll find yourself very close to numerous tourist areas like the Seattle Center (which contains the Space Needle).
- The public transportation here is good, with the monorail and bus systems within walking distance. It’s a very walkable neighborhood for those looking to lower their carbon footprint.
- This is a very popular area for young families.
- It has relatively high rent, at about an average $1,725 per month in 2015.
Want to get a feel for Queen Anne? Check out Queen Anne View, the official neighborhood blog.
Here's the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood.
Ballard in North Seattle
The Trendiest Neighborhood: A Hipster Paradise
- A gentrified industrial area now turned into a cool, trendy refuge for hipsters, this historic gem with a unique Scandinavian heritage brings a lot to the table. (It may be considered to be the coolest neighborhood in Seattle.)
- While it’s cool, it’s still a favorite for younger families.
- Some apartments are right on the water, giving it a refined style.
Want to get a feel for Ballard? Check out My Ballard, a news site for the Ballard neighborhood.
Here's the Ballard neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the Ballard neighborhood.
Fremont in North Seattle
The Artsy Neighborhood: Living in a Bohemian Rhapsody
- If you’re looking for funky bohemian counterculture, nowhere in the city is quite as quirky or eccentric as Fremont. It’s sometimes called "The People’s Republic of Fremont" or the "Center of the Universe."
- This neighborhood is also famous for its community events, such as its summer solstice parade and pageant.
Want to get a feel for Fremont? Check out Fremont Universe, a local community website.
Here's the Fremont neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the Fremont neighborhood.
Capitol Hill in Central Seattle
The Heart of Seattle: A Foodie-, LGBTQ-, and Hipster-Friendly Neighborhood
- This is the most densely populated part of the city.
- Capitol Hill is one of the best places to rent in Seattle if you’re looking for a very LGBTQ-inclusive community!
- It’s among the best neighborhoods in Seattle for food fans because it contains some of the best eateries and secret bars in the city.
- Close to Capitol Hill is the refined area of Madison Park, which is well worth a visit.
- It’s ranked as one of the top hipster neighborhoods in the country by Forbes.
Want to get a feel for Capitol Hill? Check out Capitol Hill Seattle Blog, a community news website.
Here's the Capitol Hill neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Columbia City in Rainier Valley
An Affordable, Fun Neighborhood: The Blending of Cultures
- A "melting pot" neighborhood, this is one of the most diverse areas of the country, with residents who speak more than 60 spoken languages collectively.
- It’s quickly becoming one of the more hip Seattle neighborhoods. Guide new, younger people to this area and it may be the new gentrified part of town. For now, it’s considered to be pre- or amid gentrification.
- It has some of the lowest rent prices in the city, at an average of $1,115 per month in 2015.
Want to get a feel for Columbia City? Check out Columbia Citizens, a community website.
Here's the Columbia City neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the Columbia City neighborhood.
Belltown in Downtown Seattle
Best for Public Transportation: Be in the Thick of It
- Belltown has the highest rent prices in the city (at $1,841 in 2014 and climbing).
- Considered to be the most walkable part of the city because it’s so close to everything, it certainly has the best public transportation.
- This area has a bustling nightlife scene.
- Downtown in general is not the safest part of the city.
Want to get a feel for Belltown? Check out MyBelltown, a community-managed news blog.
Here's the Belltown neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the Belltown neighborhood.
Wallingford & Green Lake in North Seattle
Right on the Water: The "Let’s Settle Down" Neighborhood
- Wallingford and Green Lake are a few of the safest neighborhoods in the city.
- There’s a nice suburban feel here, with many mom-and-pop shops.
- The lake is a peaceful refuge from the bustling city and crowded shores.
Want to get a feel for Wallingford? Check out My Wallingford, a blog about the neighborhood.
Want to get a feel for Green Lake? Check out Seattle Greenlaker.
Here's the Green Lake neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the Green Lake neighborhood.
Classy and Calm: The Most Family-Friendly Neighborhood
- With tons of "flipped" houses, first-time home-buyers love this neighborhood, but it’s a popular renting spot, too.
- You’ll have a suburban feel with access to some great local schools while still only being four miles away from downtown Seattle.
- "The Junction" has a great deal of shopping areas on its own.
- Rent is fair and about average here, at $1,669 per month.
Want to get a feel for West Seattle? Check out West Seattle Blog, a 24/7 news website for the neighborhood.
Here's the West Seattle neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the West Seattle neighborhood.
Of course, there are many more favorite neighborhoods to mention, like Eastlake, Leschi, and Pike’s Place, but these are, for a new renter moving into the city, what we think are the best neighborhoods. Seattle, WA, also has numerous suburbs that can be a great place to rent in and commute from, like Bellevue.
And if you just need to get acquainted with Seattle's neighborhoods and where they are on the map, check out this awesome resource.
Click below to explore Seattle's neighborhoods with this interactive map from Visit Seattle!