Looking for ideas of what to do in Seattle and Tacoma? Free tours can be a fun answer that residents and even travelers may not always consider, but why not get to know the city and its attractions in a whole new way. There’s no reason tours have to be just for tourists. Many venues, museums, attractions and more offer free tours.
While many free tours are open to the public and don’t require reservations, group tours often must be arranged in advance. And if that's just not enough free things for you, also check out these lists of free things to do in Seattle and in Tacoma.
Free Theater Tours
Free 90-minute tours on the first Saturday of each month. Meet on the corner of 9th and Pine by 10 a.m. No reservations needed and you'll get to explore the theater's history as well as backstage areas.
Location: 911 Pine Street, Seattle
Moore Theatre has 90-minute tours on the second Saturday of each month. Meet on the corner of 2nd and Virginia by 10 a.m. No reservations needed.
Location: 1932 2nd Avenue, Seattle
90-minute tours take place on the third Saturday of every month. Meet on the corner of NE 45th and Brooklyn by 10 a.m. No reservations needed.
Location: 1303 NE 45th Street, Seattle
Free tours are open to the public on Tuesdays and Fridays at noon and 1 p.m. To join the tour, meet the guide in the Grand Lobby entrance in the Boeing Company Gallery (corner of 3rd and University).
Location: 200 University Street, Seattle
Wineries and Breweries
Chateau Ste. Michelle
Complimentary 30-minute winery tours are available during winery hours (10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed major holidays). At the end of the tour, you will get a free wine tasting as well. No reservations needed.
Location: 14111 NE 145th, Woodinville
At $1 per person, Redhook Brewery tours might as well be free. Tours take place Monday through Friday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. Subject to change. Tours are one hour, include beer sampling, and minors are allowed (but no sampling). Join the tours at the Retail Store in the Forecasters Pub. No reservations.
Location: 14300 NE 145th, Woodinville
Other Free Tours
Free Walking Tours in Seattle
In the spirit of the free walking tours in most large European cities, Seattle Free Walking Tours offers just that. Tours include all the major Seattle landmarks: Pike Place Market, the Waterfront, Post Alley, and more. Seattle Free Walking Tours is a nonprofit organization supported solely through tips given to tour guides and donations. Tours take place every day at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and last about 2.25 hours.
Tours meet at 2000 Western Avenue.
Studio Tours in Tacoma
In the month of October, Tacoma Arts Commission puts on Tacoma Arts Month, which includes many events, as well as dozens of free artist studio tours. Keep an eye on the Tacoma Arts Month website for locations and other activities, which are usually free to attend.
Ear for Art: Chihuly Glass Cell Phone Tour in Tacoma
Locations throughout downtown Tacoma are featured on this audio tour, available to anyone with a cell phone. Start the tour at Tacoma Art Museum, Union Station, Bridge of Glass, UW-Tacoma or The Swiss Pub by calling 888-411-4220.
Center for Wooden Boats
Entrance to the Center for Wooden Boats is free. Visitors can also join free public sails around Lake Union on Sundays. Sign-ups start at 10 a.m. No reservations, first-come, first-served.
Location: 1010 Valley Street, Seattle
Port of Tacoma
Learn all about the port and what goes on there. Once a month, 90-minute guided tours depart from The Fabulich Center. Reservations needed. Call 253-383-9463 to reserve. Children 6 and older welcome. ID required for 17 and older.
Location: 3600 Port of Tacoma Road, Tacoma
Seattle Central Library
Free self-guided cell phone tours help you appreciate this large and creative structure. Look for Cell Phone Tour signs posted in the library and dial 206-686-8564.
Location: 1000 Fourth Avenue, Seattle
UW Seattle Guided Tour
Explore the historic University Washington Seattle campus. This tour is largely geared toward prospective students but can be informative for anyone interested in the campus. Monday through Friday at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. from Schmitz Hall, 3rd-floor lobby. Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. from the George Washington statue. Reservations needed.