Explore Seattle Guide about
Trains, Buses, Shuttles, Rental Cars, Parking, and Downtown Driving
Link Light Rail Train Sea-Tac Airport to Downtown Seattle
This is the index for this page about ground transportation in Seattle. Click on the topic to navigate the page:
There are several ways to get from the Airport to Downtown
Link Lite Rail Service
The least expensive way is to ride the Link Light Rail service from the Airport. It costs $2.50 one way and it takes around 30 minutes to go from the Airport to the middle of downtown. The Link is comfortable, safe, and has ample places to place your luggage. The Link is also unaffected by automobile traffic problems. The Link stops at several locations in downtown Seattle.
Please click here to go to the web site for the Link.
Gray Line Downtown Airporter Shuttle
You can also take the Gray Line Downtown Airporter Shuttle Service. It stops at eight hotels in downtown Seattle. A round trip ticket on the Airporter is $25.
Please click here for the Shuttle's website.
Finally, you can take a taxi. Fares run $35 to $40 to downtown.
Other Ground Transportation Options from the Airport
For a full list of ground transportation options from the Airport, please click here to go to the web site for Sea-Tac Airport.
Overall Note about Downtown Seattle Driving
Downtown Seattle is congested with cars, buses, and people. Adding to the fun of driving is the limited and expensive parking, a lot of one way streets, and several seriously steep streets. For exploring downtown Seattle, walking and using the Metro buses and trains are much better alternatives than tackling downtown in a car.
If you rent a car at the airport, you will get stuck with taxes and fees that add 40% to the base rental car fee. For renting a car, if you can take the Link Light Rail train downtown and rent your car from a downtown car rental location and return it downtown, you can save around 20% in fees and taxes per day. For a multiple day rental, that 20% adds up fast. A round trip from the airport to downtown costs $5.00 on the Link Light Rail.
King County Metro Bus at Seattle Center
Metro Bus System
The King County Metro System offers a comprehensive route system for ground transportation around Seattle.
Please click here to go to the Metro website.
The South Lake Union Line of the Seattle Streetcar
The South Lake Union line of the Seattle Streetcar operates a 2.6 mile route that connects Westlake to the rapidly growing south Lake Union area. From Westlake, the train rides on Westlake to Lake Union and then it continues northeast to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. The Streetcar makes 11 stops along its route.
The Streetcar is a really convenient way to connect from Westlake to the activities at south Lake Union that include Lake Union Park, The Center for Wooden Boats, the Argosy Cruises Seattle Lakes Cruise, and the armory which is being prepared to be the future home of the Museum of History and Industry.
Please click here to go to the web site for the Seattle Streetcar.
Please click here to view and download a pdf map of the Streetcar's route from the Streetcar’s web site.
The Seattle Monorail is a popular tourist attraction and it also serves as a quick way to travel from Seattle Center to Westlake Center.
Please click here to go to our information about the Monorail.
Please click here to go to the official Seattle Monorail Website
You need to plan on paying for parking. A good rule for a budget would be $10 a day or more depending on if you are driving around or if you are using public transportation. You can use metered parking on the streets at around $2 per hour. Be aware that on some streets, you can't park in the metered spots during rush hours.
If you plan on seeing several attractions in downtown, your car will be a liability. Seattle's downtown streets are congested, many are one way, and parking is expensive. If you can, leave your car in a parking lot and plan on walking and using public transportation to get around downtown.
Police aggressively monitor places of illegal parking in all sections of Seattle. Pay careful attention to warnings of no parking either all day or during certain hours. The towing companies line up like vultures to perform their dastardly deeds.