Seattle Life and Visitor Travel Tips
(Seattle, Washington - WA, USA)
Seattle contains a wonderful balance of greenery versus urban centers full of coffee houses, architectural wonders and shopping opportunities, making Seattle a characteristic city and an ideal getaway for those looking for a city break. Excellent transport, bustling markets and a range of attractions ensure Seattle will leave you with some memorable holiday experiences.
Tourism and Tourist Information
Tourist information is accessible at the snap of your fingertips in Seattle, a city that has long been on the receiving end of visitors from all corners of the globe. A selection of visitor centers, information bureaus and travel agencies can assist you in planning your holiday and providing you with information on Seattle's attractions.
In addition to useful advice and information, tourist information offices in Seattle can furnish you with free maps and brochures highlighting tourist hotspots in the city.
Citywide Concierge Center
Address: Washington State Convention and Trade Center, Pike Street, Seattle, Washington WA, USA
Tel: +1 206 461 5888
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 17:00
Washington State Visitors' Center, Sea-Tac International Airport
Address: 2580 South 156th Street, SeaTac Airport, Lower level, SeaTac, Seattle, Washington WA, 98188, USA
Tel: +1 206 433 5218
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 18:00
Over 300 languages are spoken in the USA, including over 170 that are indigenous to the area with the most commonly spoken language in Seattle being English. Many different ethnicities and nationalities are well represented in Seattle and many languages are available for study in schools and language centers.
For details on whether you will require a visa for travel to Seattle and the USA it is sensible to check with your local embassy for information specific to your country. There are a number of different types of visa available, with tourists to Seattle normally being required to obtain a non-immigrant visa that permits temporary stay. Citizens from Visa Waiver Program countries are permitted to enter the US without a visa if they can meet certain requirements. If you are applying for a visa before your arrival in Seattle it is always a good idea to apply well in advance, to avoid any possible application delays.
There are several categories of non-immigrant visas available to those wishing to work in the Seattle and America on a temporary basis. Working without a visa is strictly forbidden and there are strong penalties for anyone caught in breach of this law. Persons wishing to work in Seattle must apply for the relevant visa in their home country and usually require a letter from their prospective employer in the US and other documentation.
Tipping is common in Seattle and it is only required should you consider service to have been satisfactory. When dining out in Seattle, a 15 percent tip is the norm, although it's worth checking whether there is a service charge already included in your bill. Bars often leave a tips tray at the counter, where customers are expected to leave a small gratuity upon their departure.
Taxes and Refunds
Most states in the US have a sales tax of between seven and eight percent on goods and services, although a number of US states have no tax at all. Sales tax in Seattle is not reclaimable by tourists, unless visitors have a relevant visa permitting them to work during their stay.
A few decades ago Americans generally accepted smoking in all public places without little or no fuss. Today, things have changed dramatically with several states restricting the public areas in which people are allowed to smoke. Most restaurants and eatieris in Seattle are required to have a non-smoking section and smoking is prohibited on all public transportation systems in Seattle.