Where To Live

Apartment Hunting | Neighborhoods

Apartment Hunting

Seattle Neighborhoods

Seattle Neighborhoods - Credit: orkposters.com

You can start looking for apartments about 20-30 days before you want to move in. Many ads go up for the 1st of the month around the 10th of the previous month. If you're looking to find some roommates to move in with, you'll often be able to find something sooner. If you go to look at an aparment, bring your checkbook and info for a rental application with you. Especially around the beginning of the school year, apartments go fast.

Classified lists and rental agencies:

The current students are also good resources if you have further questions.


The area of Seattle around the University is broken up into different neighborhoods, each with their own set of charms. UW students generally stay within a few miles of the University. Definitely look at the Metro Bus Routes and Timetables and Popular Bike Routes when scoping out a location. The neighborhoods listed below are those where students typically live.

College Inn Pub

College Inn Pub, Home Sweet Home - Credit: M McCully

The University District has many of the cheapest apartments, studios, and efficiencies close to campus...as well as the highest concentration of undergrads, frats, and sorority houses.

  • Shultzy's: Great for an afternoon drink, and one of the only places in the U-district with an outdoor deck
  • Aguaverde: The closest non-cafeteria food to Health Sciences and also some overpriced kayak rentals
  • College Inn Pub: A staple of the UW grad student community
  • Big Time: In-house brewed beers and open atmosphere
  • La Casa Del Mojito: More excellent Cuban sandwiches
  • The Irish Immigrant: Relatively more upscale bar with frequent live music
  • Dante's: Lots of events, cheap beer, great space
  • Blue Dog Kitchen: Some of the best breakfast food and sandwiches in Seattle
  • The Knarr: If you want low-life
  • Farmers Market: Weekly and year-round produce from local farmers
Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park from Lake Union - Credit: M McCully

Wallingford has lots of very affordable houses if you want to live with roommates and the occasional single apartment. It's a very homey place with many parks, including Gas Works Park where the Lake Union fireworks take place every 4th of July.

Fremont Troll

Fremont Troll and 2007 Recruits - Credit: K Stoll

Fremont is known for its eccentricities and many festivals. It is also home of the Fremont Troll and Statue of Lenin. Fremont has plenty of cute shops and coffee houses as well as a tame nightlife with several bars and restaurants.

Ballard is a bit of a communte from the UW, but it has a great night life with lots of live music and delicious restaurants. The Burke Gilman Trail will take you all the way from UW to Golden Gardens where you can BBQ on the beach while watching the sun set over the Olympic Peninsula.


Duke's Chowder House at the north end of Greenlake - Credit: D McCully

Greenlake is the area around Greenlake which is a popular place for canoeing, playing volleyball and ultimate frisbee, jogging, walking, and generally hanging out. It also has many cute shops and restaurants near the lake and plenty of housing in the surrounding areas.

Eastlake is located conveniently between the UW and the Hutch. It doesn't have a whole lot to do, but it's on several great busses that will take you to all the best places in minutes. It has plenty of moderately-priced apartments, particularly if you can find a roommate.

Capitol Hill is one of the liveliest places is Seattle with coffee shops, restaurants from every country, bars of every type, and dance clubs galore. You will see many fixed gear bikers cimbing the hill at any hour of the day. Apartments have gotten somewhat expensive, but it's worth it for the location.

  • Linda's: Outdoor seating, cheap drinks, and amazing breakfast
  • Cafe Metro: Exceptionally cheap happy hour
  • Neighbours: Seattle's favorite gay dance club
  • Cha Cha: Strong drinks, vibrant atmosphere
  • R Place: A diverse mix of people in a multilevel building with a bar, billiards, and dance floor
  • The Chapel: Some of the fruitiest, yummiest, and most exciting martinis in Seattle
  • Canterbury Ale & Eats: Pub fare with a rustic atmosphere
  • Cal Andreson Park: Field space, outdoor movies and music, frisbee golf, bicycle polo and more
  • Harvard Exit Movie Theater: old artsy movie theater often showing independent or foreign films

There are many more residential places where students live, including Phinney Ridge, Maple Leaf, Roosevelt, Ravenna, Bryant, Montlake, and Sand Point. These areas can be less expensive and are still very close to the UW. They all offer both rental houses and apartments.

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