A Starving Artist’s Guide to Seattle

Mind

Seattle is a seaport city in Washington brimming with things to do — especially if you’re a fan of the arts. Art lovers make pilgrimages to Seattle, for example, to see the famous Chihuly glass factory. Though this particular attraction is pricey, there are plenty of inexpensive ways to see art in the city. Here are four tips for travelers who want to enjoy the Seattle arts scene on a budget.

Attend Art Museums and Galleries for Free

Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean you have to miss the city’s best museums and places to see art. Here are two tips: find free attractions, or attend museums on days when admission is free.

Frye Art Museum and Center on Contemporary Art are two art galleries that you can always visit for free. Other locations charge admission but offer one day out of each month when you can visit for free. The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, the Museum of Glass, the Northwest African American Museum, Seattle Art Museum Downtown, and many others are free on the first Thursday of every month.

Use the City’s Discounts

If you are visiting a friend who has a Seattle Public Library card, they can reserve and print out admission passes to Seattle museums for free. This is a great way to budget some time and plan out everything you want to do. As a bonus, some of the available passes through this program allow up to two adults to visit participating museums for free.

For example, you and a local friend can print out a pass to the Henry Art Gallery (normally $10 for a general admission ticket) and see the works free of charge. Note that you can only print one pass per week per library card. You can also purchase a Seattle CityPASS to get a deep discount on admission to the Museum of Pop Culture, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and three other popular attractions in Seattle.

Look for Lodging Outside of Seattle

The closer you stay to downtown Seattle, the more expensive accommodations are. You can get more mileage out of your budget if you stay just outside the city. For instance, Bellevue is a more affordable place to find lodging than Seattle. Find a hotel here, and you’ll enjoy a short drive to the Bellevue Arts Museum (free on the first Friday of every month) and to Seattle, which is just across Lake Washington.

Plan Your Itinerary (and Budget) for Each Day

The trick to travelling on a budget is careful planning. Prioritize the art galleries and attractions that you want to see, and remember to plan a visit during the beginning of the month to take advantage of Thursday and Friday free admissions to local museums. Budget for the price of admission, find affordable lodging outside of Seattle, and take advantage of the city’s many discount packages to optimize your time on the West Coast.

Follow these tips, and you can see all the art that you came to admire in Seattle.

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