Skip to Content

Space Needle in Seattle – Information for Visitors

Space Needle in Seattle – Information for Visitors

Photo: tusharkoley/Shutterstock

Want to visit the Space Needle in Seattle? It features a towering observation deck with 360 panoramic views of the city and has been an iconic landmark of Seattle since the World’s Fair in 1962.

The total height of the tower is 184 meters (604 ft) including the antenna spire, and 158 meters (518 ft) if only measuring the top floor.

Space Needle tickets

Ticket Type Regular Senior (65+) Youth (5-12yrs)
General Admission $32.50 – $37.50 $27.5 – $32.50 $24.50 – $28.50
Space Needle + Chihuly Garden and Glass $59 $49 $39
Citypass* $99 / $79

*The Seattle Citypass includes access to five of Seattle’s best attractions.

Space Needle

Photo: evenfh/Shutterstock

Opening Hours

The Space Needle is open 365 days a year, however, it occasionally closes for refurbishment, special events, or holidays so it’s best to always check online before you start planning your visit.

  • Monday – Thursday: 10am – 7pm
  • Friday – Sunday 9am –  7pm

History & more information

The Space Needle was built originally for the 1962 World’s Fair (which drew over 2.3 million visitors), and quickly became a symbol of Seattle’s innovative spirit and technological might and featured a futuristic design.

At the time of construction, it was the tallest building west of the Mississipi River, today however the Wilshire Grand Center in Los Angeles wins this award.

Space Needle Aerial

Photo: Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com

Designed by Edward E. Carlson and John Graham Jr. the Space Needle had to be built within the compounds of the World’s Fair fairgrounds and, as such, a plot of land was found far from any other tall buildings and was deemed worthy of the new structure.

As the area is prone to earthquakes, the builders had to make the Space Needle capable of withstanding gusts of up to 200 miles per hour and earthquake magnitude of up to 9.1 on the Richter scale.

Over the years, the Space Needle has undergone numerous renovations to keep it up to date with the times and to ensure visitors enjoy the very best of Seattle. In 1974 netting was placed beneath the observation deck to prevent people from jumping off the building after two suicides in earlier years.

Seattle Observation tower

Photo: Michael Gordon / Shutterstock.com

In 2018, the tower underwent a multi-million dollar renovation to offer a whole new experience for visitors. Today you can step beyond your comfort zone and stand on glass floors, peer over the edge of the building, and bungee jump off the side in a virtual reality game!

All while enjoying 360 views of Seattle and its surrounding skyscrapers – from the top of the Needle you can see the downtown Seattle skyline, the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainer, Mount Baker, and Elliott Bay!

To get to the top of the Space Needle, visitors take an elevator that travels at 10mph taking only 41 seconds to reach the observation deck. On windy days, the elevators slow to 5mph.

Space Needle Elevator

Photo: Esteban Martinena Guerrer / Shutterstock.com

Points of Interest

The Loupe

Glide onto the world’s first and only glass rotating floor and enjoy panoramic views of Seattle. It’s located 500 feet over the ground and offers a unique experience. 

Skyrisers

The Skyrisers are tilted open-air benches that are affixed to the open-air glass walls, which offers a thrilling experience and viewpoint.

Startor VR

For those who are not afraid of heights, or want to overcome their feat, visitors can do bungee jumping off the tower in this virtual reality experience.

Atmos Cafe

Enjoy lunch on the upper observation level.

360 Sunset at the Top

Dine in the iconic 360-degree restaurant located 520 feet above the city (note, this is not included in general admission).

How to get to Space Needle

The Space Needle is located in central Seattle and can easily be accessed on foot, by car, or by Metro.

By Metro

From King Street Station, walk to Prefontaine PI S & Yesler Way stop and ride the D Line to 3rd Avenue & Vine Street. From here the Space Needle is just a 7-minute walk away.

By Car

The Space Needle has its own valet parking which makes arriving by car a doddle!  The cost of valet parking is almost the same as parking in a regular parking lot, except you save yourself the hassle of finding a parking space.  

Valet Parking Rates:

  • Validated $26
  • General $36
  • Events $20

By Monorail

The Seattle Center Monorail provides a fun, quick, and convenient link between downtown Seattle and the Space Needle.

Iconic landmark in Seattle

Photo: Natalia Bratslavsky / Shutterstock.com

Nearby Attractions

There are plenty of other things to do and attractions to see in the nearby area.

  • Seattle Center
  • Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame
  • Museum of Pop Culture
  • Chihuly Gardens and Glass
  • Olympic Sculpture Park
  • Pacific Science Center
  • Butterfly Exhibit
  • Gas Works Park
  • Museum of History & Industry

Best time to visit

As the Space Needle is one of the most popular attractions in Seattle, it can get busy quite quickly. To avoid the crowds, try visiting midweek and early morning. The first trip to the observation deck runs at 10 am from Monday to Thursday, and 9:30 am on Fridays and weekends.

Facts about Space Needle

  1. It takes 41 seconds to travel in a Space Needle elevator from the ground to the tower’s top level, 520 feet above Seattle.
  2. Approximately 1.3 million guests visit the Space Needle every year, and nearly 60 million visitors have visited the tower since it opened in 1962.
  3. It took approximately 400 days to build the Space Needle.
  4. The Space Needle’s original design included an environmentally unfriendly torch.
  5. Six people have parachuted from the tower top, but only four of them did so legally!
  6. The Space Needle went without cleaning for 46 years! The first professional cleaning didn’t take place until 2009.
  7. In 1978 a businessman from Fife offered the owners 1 million dollars to buy the building, they declined.
  8. The Space Needle is 184 meters high, 42 meters wide, and weighs 8,660 tonnes.
  9. The building is built to withstand 200 miles per hour wind and earthquakes of up to 9.1 magnitudes.
  10. The entire Space Needle saucer does not rotate. Only a 4.2-meter ring next to the windows rotate on the restaurant level.
  11. 25 lightning rods are on the roof of the Needle to withstand lightning strikes.
  12. An April Fool’s day prank in 1989 convinced Seattle that the tower had fallen.
  13. Every year on New Year’s Eve a firework display takes place off the top of the Needle. It’s synchronized to music!  
Space Needle Facts

Photo: Michael Gordon / Shutterstock.com

FAQ’s (Things to know before you go)

Do you need to buy Space Needle tickets in advance?

There is no requirement to purchase tickets in advance. However, I recommend all visitors to buy a timed ticket online in advance, in order to avoid queues and long waiting times. 

Is the Space Needle wheelchair accessible?

Yes, all areas of interest are accessible to visitors in a wheelchair. 

Are there any discounted tickets?

Yes! If you’re up early (10 am – 12 pm) or late (6 pm – 8 pm) you can save up to $5.

How do I purchase a timed ticket?

These can be reserved online in advance or from the self-service kiosk.

How much does it cost to eat at the Space Needle in Seattle?

The average entrée price is $44.93, making it one of the most expensive restaurants in Seattle. 

What are the current food and beverage offerings at the Space Needle?

Atmos Cafe and Wine Bar is found on the upper observation level and serves Pacific Northwest fare and locally-crafted beer.

Can I bring my camera?

Yes, photography is allowed at the Space Needle. 

Can I bring my water bottle in?

Yes. Plastic and metal water containers are allowed however glass containers are prohibited.


Do you have more questions before visiting Space Needle in Seattle? Leave a comment below!

Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Mosque) - Information for Visitors
← Read Last Post
CN Tower in Toronto
CN Tower in Toronto - Information for Visitors
Read Next Post →