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10 Best Neighborhoods to Live in Seattle in 2024

March 12, 2024
Moving to Seattle and looking for a place to live? Learn more about the best neighborhoods in Seattle for renters.

Looking for apartments in the best neighborhoods in Seattle, you can find the best in urban living, artistic enclaves, and up-and-coming residential districts. As Washington state's largest city and one of the best places to live in, the area is home to a large tech industry with companies such as Microsoft and Amazon. You have access to big tech jobs along with the beauty of Puget Sound and its evergreen forests.

Ready to move to Emerald City? From thriving nightlife to beachfront living, here are the 20 best neighborhoods in Seattle. And don't forget to check out Monica Church's thoughts on the best areas and activities this city has to offer right now!

Best Seattle Neighborhoods

How We Chose the Best Seattle Neighborhoods

While what constitutes the "best" neighborhood can vary widely, we made our selections based on consideration of rent prices (presenting a mix of both high-end and affordable neighborhoods), overall desirability and trendiness of a neighborhood, transit scores/location, and features of a neighborhood that make it either appealing or outstanding. When possible, we also drew on our Apartment List Renter Survey data.

1. Fremont

  • Best for: Perfect for families looking great public transportation and schools close to the city.
  • Average two-bedroom apartment rent: $3,822
  • Walk score: 90
  • Transit score: 61
  • Bike score: 80
  • Map of Fremont

Fremont is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Seattle, with average rental prices to show for it. While you'll pay a premium to live in this location, you'll be rewarded with a fantastic location at the heart of the city. Head on over to Theo Chocolate for fair-trade treats or relax at Fremont Canal Park in the sunshine. Breathe in the nightlife with performances at Nectar Lounge or Substation.

New apartment complexes have popped up in the area, and North Fremont is an excellent residential area with single-family homes. The neighborhood is known for its quality city schools, making it an ideal option for families. Renters can also live in Fremont without a car thanks to the plethora of public bus routes from Downtown or North End.

Anyone who can appreciate funky art will truly find themselves at home in Fremont. With countless huge statues, such as a giant Lenin, a skyrocket, and a troll, there's never a dull moment in Fremont.

Aerial view of the Capitol Hill district in Seattle, WA

2. Capitol Hill

  • Best for: Perfect for young professionals and college students looking to live in an artsy and vibrant area with nightlife a few steps away.
  • Average two-bedroom apartment rent: $3,293
  • Walk score: 93
  • Transit score: 76
  • Bike score: 84
  • Map of Capitol Hill

The vibrant and artsy neighborhood of Capitol Hill is alive with pubs and music venues. It's ideal for college students and young professionals looking to live within steps of Seattle's vibrant nightlife. Take your pick of modern and upscale apartments, older units, or Volunteer Park rentals for a quieter lifestyle.

This Seattle neighborhood sits in an ideal location if you work in Downtown Seattle or attend the University of Washington. It's central enough to get everywhere you want to go. Of course, you can also stay in the neighborhood and enjoy games and drinks at Garage or dinner at Tacos Chukis.

Capitol Hill is known for being one of the most inclusive and colorful neighborhoods in Seattle, bursting at the seams with personality. Keep in mind, though, if you’re looking to live in such a highly sought-after neighborhood, it will come at a price. The cost of living in Capitol Hill can be quite steep for some.

Down Town Seattle Washington USA

3. Belltown

  • Best for: Trendy metro-lovers looking for high-rises, boutiques, and nightlife.
  • Average two-bedroom apartment rent: $4,756
  • Walk score: 98
  • Transit score: 100
  • Bike score: 77
  • Map of Belltown

Perfect for young professionals looking luxury high-rise condos without compromising beach access.

Take your pick of high-rise condos in Belltown. You'll find plenty of options for happy hours and live music, including the Crocodile. This Seattle neighborhood also offers independent boutiques and galleries with outdoor artwork. A major draw for newcomers is living along the Puget Sound with nearby beach access.

Belltown is steps away from Downtown and fashion-forward shops like Alhambra. You're never far from drinks at Navy Strength or nigiri sushi at Shiro's Sushi.

The techies find themselves at home in Belltown, which offers its residents trendy art galleries, hip music venues, beautiful green spaces, and the hottest restaurants and bars.

Ballard neighborhood, in Seattle, Washington. Waterfront houses overlooking the Lake Washington ship canal. - best neighborhoods in seattle

4. Ballard

  • Best for: Perfect for young professionals and college students looking to live in a bike-friendly community with gorgeous panoramic mountain views.
  • Average two-bedroom apartment rent: $3,039
  • Walk score: 74
  • Transit score: 60
  • Bike score: 71
  • Map of Ballard

Ballard, Seattle was once a fishing community with a working-class population living along its shores. Today, it's a popular neighborhood for young families and craft brew lovers. You'll find scores of craft breweries in this cozy, walkable neighborhood. Ballard is a bike-friendly community where cyclists take their wheels everywhere they want to go.

Look for waterside apartments along the Puget Sound for gorgeous views of the Olympic Mountains. Here you can experience the Scandanavian history of the area firsthand. When in Ballard, you’re also near North Beach, Magnolia, and Greenwood Seattle neighborhoods.

Undoubtedly, one of Ballard’s best attributes is its proximity to shoreline parks, including the Fremont Canal Park, Ballard Locks, and Golden Gardens Park.

Get the neighborhood guide for Ballard, Seattle.

5. Queen Anne

  • Best for: Perfect for renters looking for modern amenities and families looking for stately homes.
  • Average two-bedroom apartment rent: $3,881
  • Walk score: 74
  • Transit score: 56
  • Bike score: 69
  • Map of Queen Anne

The central neighborhood of Queen Anne, Seattle, is a historic and vibrant community. You'll find century-old homes and city views. New and old apartment complexes make renters feel right at home. Locals and visitors often gather at Kerry Park to see the Space Needle in the distance or Ship Canal Trail for an after-work jog or bike ride.

Upper Queen Anne features more stately homes from the 1800s. For more modern apartments filled with young professionals and families, Lower Queen Anne is an excellent choice.

Many of the iconic shots of Seattle’s skyline are taken from North Queen Anne, also known as Upper Queen Anne, which is located at the top of a hill.

Get the neighborhood guide for Queen Anne, Seattle.

View of buildings near Pioneer Square, in Seattle, Washington - best neighborhoods in Seattle

6. Central District

  • Best for: Renters who want an easy commute as well as anyone seeking a historically Black neighborhood.
  • Average two-bedroom apartment rent: $2,998
  • Walk score: 74
  • Transit score: 60
  • Bike score: 71
  • Map of Central District

Central District is the epicenter of African American culture in Seattle. You'll find long-standing Black churches, businesses, and retail strips. Take your pick of old apartment complexes or units with updated amenities along with East Madison for easy commuting.

Central District is home to rich history and artwork, including the Northwest African American Museum. You can also enjoy films, plays, or musicals at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute.

Anyone looking to be adjacent to the heart of Seattle will love living in Central District. Within the neighborhood, you’ll have your pick of some of the best restaurants in the area, like Shoadai Teriyaki, Ras Dashen Restaurant, Ezell’s Famous Chicken, and Adey Abeba.

7. Pioneer Square

  • Best for: Those who love historic neighborhoods and being at the heart of the city with a vibrant nightlife.
  • Average two-bedroom apartment rent: $5,420
  • Walk score: 97
  • Transit score: 100
  • Bike score: 78
  • Map of Pioneer Square

Live in the heart of Seattle in Pioneer Square. The adjacent downtown neighborhood is full of historic Romanesque Revival buildings. Walk over to the Waterfall Garden Park during a lunch break, or take your visitors on a tour of the area. You won't find much green space in Pioneer Square, though you will have your pick of bistro tables and bocce courts for outdoor gatherings.

As one of Seattle's oldest neighborhoods, Pioneer Square went from a neglected part of town to a trendy, revitalized district. Pioneer Square also has a high concentration of bars and nightlife, including Wamu Theater for live music.

Despite all of the urban amenities in Pioneer Square, it is still a close-knit community where you know your neighbors by name. And, residents of Pioneer Square are more than thankful for the free and easy to find parking around the neighborhood.

Veterans Administration Hospital Puget Sound at the top of Beacon Hill - best neighborhoods in Seattle

8. Beacon Hill

  • Best for: Perfect for active individuals who want a lot of bike access to amenities.
  • Average two-bedroom apartment rent: $2,750
  • Walk score: 78
  • Transit score: 74
  • Bike score: 79
  • Map of Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill is growing with new development, bike paths, and families moving in. The neighborhood offers quick access to Downtown and envelops part of the business district. You'll feel the diversity on the northside of the community where the International District brushes against the boundaries.

Beacon Hill is booming with new developments, from apartments to businesses. Take your pick of updated units and amenities for the best of urban living.

You can easily live a car-free life when living in Beacon Hill, thanks to the hiking trails, bike paths, and light rail all readily available to the community. Rather than spending your hard-earned cash on a car, you can save up and enjoy some of the drool-worthy foods ranging across all domestic and international cuisines.

Get the neighborhood guide for Beacon Hill, Seattle.

Seattle in the Fall - best neighborhoods in Seattle

9. Columbia City

  • Best for: People who need to live in the city but want a small-town environment with eclectic dining options.
  • Average two-bedroom apartment rent: $3,314
  • Walk score: 85
  • Transit score: 62
  • Bike score: 67
  • Map of Columbia City

Columbia City boasts a small-town feel with global flavors. The neighborhood is diverse with historic homes and an international mix of restaurants and cafes to choose from. You'll find the Columbia City Farmers Market and tons of green space at Genesee Park.

Look for apartments near Rainier Avenue if you want to live near shops and restaurants. You'll also find some units in historic homes.

The location is unbeatable in Columbia City, with King County International Airport a quick 15-minute drive away. Here, you’re also located near Lake Washington (which means great views!) and downtown (for endless nights of fun!).

Mount Rainier seen over the Duwamish River in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle

10. South Park

  • Best for: Renters who want to live in a historic neighborhood and like buildings that have been transformed from commercial to residential spaces.
  • Average two-bedroom apartment rent: $2,225
  • Walk score: 63
  • Transit score: 41
  • Bike score: 63
  • Map of South Park

South Park features a mix of industrial and retail businesses with a working-class demographic. You'll find a diverse mix of people in South Park and a prominent Hispanic population. South Park is also convenient for travelers looking for quick access to the King County International Airport.

More artists and independent spirits at heart have moved in and fixed up old houses, turning them into rentals and duplexes. You'll find skate parks, boxing clubs, and even a yacht club on its riverfront.

You’re centrally located in South Park, sharing borders with several other popular Seattle neighborhoods. To the west is Highland Park, King County International Airport to the south, Georgetown to the east, and the Industrial District just north.

Seattle Skyline Showing the waterfront of Seattle After Sunset. The Central Waterfront of Seattle, is the most urbanized portion of Elliott Bay shore.

Finding Your Seattle Apartment

Ready to make a move to the Emerald City? Check out our comprehensive guide on how to find an apartment in Seattle and learn about the average rent prices in Seattle. If Seattle isn't for you, but you still want to be in the PNW, check out the cities nearby Seattle! If Seattle still seems too pricey, learn about the cheapest cities in Washington.

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Dr. Katherine Blake
Dr. Katherine Blake is a content editor with Apartment List, where she helps ensure our renter and rental management content is fresh and informed by the latest data. Read More
Susan Finch
Susan is an accomplished freelance writer whose passion for rental real estate, travel, and digital marketing has been the driving force behind her nearly 15-year career. Throughout her professional journey, Susan has become a seasoned veteran in creating compelling and informative content focused on the tenant/landlord relationship. Read More

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