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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Seattle

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Seattle each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year (national)

Third Monday in January: Martin Luther King Day (national)

A federal holiday in the United States, celebrating the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr. Americans are invited to devote some time and help their fellow citizens on this day of service. In Seattle, it is an occasion for various celebrations (shows, concerts) and cultural events (exhibitions, conferences).

January or February: Chinese New Year (local)

Festivities are held each year to ring in the Chinese New Year in Seattle's International District known as Chinatown, with parades going through most streets. Celebrations include lion dance performances, paper dragon, traditional music and martial arts displays.

May: Northwest Folklife Festival (national)

During the weekend before Memorial Day, this event pays tribute to north-western and Pacific coast folklores, and has been doing so since 1972. On the program: concerts, workshops, craft displays and kids activities.

July 4: Independence Day (national)

A federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Celebrated with parades, barbecues, picnics and fireworks at sunset.

September: Seattle Jazz Festival (national)

Undeniably one of the greatest jazz festivals in the world. Dozens of concerts take place during three days in Grant Park. Free entrance!

2nd Monday in October: Columbus Day (national)

Commemorates the arrival of Christopher Colombus in the New World (1492). Various cultural events take place, including shows, exhibitions and parades.

October 31: Halloween (national)

Halloween is celebrated each year by Americans of all ages. In the late afternoon and early evening hours, children don costumes and go door-to-door in their neighbourhoods to ask for treats, typically candy.

Fourth Thursday in November: Thanksgiving (national)

American settlers established this Holiday as a sign of religious gratitude prompted by a blessed harvest. Now secular, this Holiday is an opportunity for Americans to gather with family and friends to enjoy roast turkey and other culinary specialties, such as mashed potatoes, apple, pecan and pumpkin pies.

December 25: Christmas (national)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Seattle

The city of Seattle enjoys a temperate climate. During summer season, temperatures rarely rise above 24°C (75°F), and soft winds make it a very pleasant time of year. In Spring and Autumn, temperatures range between 15°C (59°F) and 20°C (68°F), and rarely drop below 0°C (32°F) in winter.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 3/37 8/46 121/4.8 Not the best period to go
February 4/39 10/50 93/3.7 Not the best period to go
March 5/41 12/54 78/3.1 Not the best period to go
April 7/45 15/59 57/2.2 Good period to go Good period to go
May 9/48 19/66 45/1.8 Good period to go Good period to go
June 12/54 22/72 35/1.4 Good period to go Good period to go
July 13/55 23/73 14/0.6 Good period to go Good period to go
August 14/57 24/75 17/0.7 Good period to go Good period to go
September 12/54 20/68 42/1.6 Good period to go Good period to go
October 9/48 16/61 73/2.9 Not the best period to go
November 6/43 12/54 121/4.8 Not the best period to go
December 4/39 9/48 141/5.5 Not the best period to go
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Seattle Tacoma International Airport

The Seattle Tacoma International Airport, also known as “Sea-Tac” is located 19 kilometres (12 miles) south of Seattle.

  • 3 terminals:
    • Terminal 1 (Air France)
    • Terminal 2
    • Terminal 3

Getting from the airport to Seattle and back:
  • By car
    • Accessible via the Highway 99. Exit to road 518. Expected travel time of about 30 minutes.
    • Parking facilities in terminals 1, 2 and 3. Pay by the hour (USD 4 per hour) or day (USD 30). Long-term parking also available for USD 140 for one week and USD 350 for one month.
    • Several car rental companies have counters in the rentals area. It can be reached by using one of the two shuttles available at north and south exits of terminal 1.
  • By bus
    • The King Country (www.kingcounty.gov) transportation company operates a bus network (Metro Transit) to Seattle and various surrounding destinations 24/7. Fare is USD 3 during rush hour and USD 2.25 off-peak. Several shuttles offer to connect Seattle with the Ground Transportation Center (expected travel time to the city centre: 30 minutes).
      Downtown Airporter operates a shuttle service between the international airport and various hotels downtown. Prices start at USD 18.
  • By train
    • The Central Link (www.soundtransit.org) train service connects the international airport with Seattle's city centre in about 40 minutes. Price for a one-way ticket is USD 2 to 2.75, depending on final destination.
  • By taxi
    • 24/7 taxi services are located at the Ground Transportation Center (travel time to the city centre: about 30 minutes). Fares range between USD 40 and 55 during the day.
  • Services: bars, restaurants, shops and free Internet access (Wi-Fi) in the airport.
  • Telephone: +1 206 787 5388 or +1 800 544 1965
  • Website: https://www.portseattle.org/sea-tac

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GETTING AROUND Seattle

Seattle's city centre is perfectly connected with public transportation, consisting in a network of buses, period trams on the ground and a high-speed elevated monorail from downtown to the Seattle Center that also offers unobstructed views over the harbour and beyond.

Bus

Buses make for the largest transportation network of the city and are operated all night long, albeit at reduced frequency after 8:00 p.m. Buses are free between the city centre, the docks and 6th avenue, as well as Pioneer Square and Battery Street from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Outside this free zone (of a 4 to 5 kilometres diameter) and time slot, a one-way ticket costs USD 2.75. Please note: buses are not operated on Sunday.

By metro

Seattle counts 6 metro lines (www.kingcounty.gov/depts/transportation/metro.aspx) with one train every 5 to 10 minutes from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Line 99 is especially interesting as it connects the main tourist attractions: International District, Pioneer Square, First Avenue, Olympic Sculpture Park and the Puget Sound islands.

By tram

Two tram lines are operated in Seattle:
The South Lake Union Streetcar (www.seattlestreetcar.org): one tram every 10 to 15 minutes from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Monday to Thursday), from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Friday and Saturday), and from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Sunday and holidays). Adult fare price is USD 2.25.
The First Hill Streetcar (www.seattlestreetcar.org/how-to-ride/first-hill-line/): one tram every 10 to 25 minutes from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. (Monday to Thursday), from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. (Friday and Saturday), from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Sunday) and from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (holidays). Adult fare price is USD 2.25.

By monorail

The emblematic Seattle Center Monorail (www.seattlemonorail.com) connects Westlake Center downtown to the Seattle Center at the foot of Queen Anne Hill. It is operated from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Monday to Friday) and from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday). Trains leave every 10 minutes and it takes only 2 minutes to reach your destination, either way. Adult fare price is USD 2.50 (can only be purchased in cash at the ticket counter).

By taxi

Taxis take on different colours depending on the company they belong to (yellow for Seattle Yellow Cab, green for Farwest Taxi etc…). Many taxi ranks can be found across the city, or you could alternately reserve one by phone. Expect USD 1.50 per kilometre and about USD 27 for a one-hour ride.

By car

Traffic flows easily in Seattle outside of rush hours, and driving should not be a problem. However, please note that parking is expensive and spots are limited. A rental car may be useful if you venture out of town.

By foot or bike

Seattle's city centre is pleasant to discover by foot, especially during the warmer seasons. You may also rent a bike, for instance with either of these companies: The Bicycle Repair Shop (www.thebicyclerepairshop.com) and Seattle Cycling Tours (www.seattle-cycling-tours.com).

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Visitor information

Once in Seattle, do not hesitate to contact tourism professionals for information and help in organising your stay.

Seattle Visitor Centers

Offer practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).
Seattle Visitor Center & Concierge Services

Market Information Center

United States travel guide

The official website of the United States' national tourist board provides a wealth of information on Seattle.

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in the United States is the Dollar (USD).

JPY1 = $0.01

$1 = JPY100

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Seattle counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

Vaccination

No vaccinations are required or recommended if you go to the US.
For more information, contact the Air France international vaccination centre:

on +33 (0)1 43 17 22 00

Food safety

There are no food safety risks in Seattle.

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Seattle.

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Administrative formalities

Entry requirements for the United States.

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens or nationals of various countries to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less, whether for tourism or business.
For further information, see the Visitor Visa page on the website of the Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State: travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/visit/visitor.html

 

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Useful addresses

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Seattle, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Good to know

+1
+ phone number
-17 : 00
of time difference with
Tokyo
Start of daylight saving time: second Sunday in March
End of daylight saving time: first Sunday in November

BANKS
Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES
Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
110 V / 60 Hz

Tipping
In Seattle as in the rest of the United States, a service charge is not included in the bill and tips form a major portion of income for waiting staff. Prices on restaurant menus are indicated before taxes and tips. You are therefore expected to leave a tip (generally between 15 and 20% of the bill). Tipping less than 15% (or leaving no tip at all) means that you are very dissatisfied with the service.

 

 

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