Is the Space Needle too expensive to visit?

Oct 26, 2022, 1:39 PM | Updated: 2:50 pm

Space needle...

Despite the cost, the space needle remains a popular tourist attraction. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

So your friends come to town and they want to see the classic Seattle tourist attractions.

You might fight them a little and want to take them to your favorite neighborhood, the San Juans, or more obscure bars and restaurants.

They win the fight, so you offer them the first Starbucks, Pike Place Market, and … of course, the Space Needle.

You go to the iconic tower and the four of you are ready to go up to the top.

The Space Needle comes … for a price

So you head to the ticket window and say, “Four adults, please.”

“That will be $150, please,” the nice lady replies.


Is it worth it? When was the last time you went?

Gee and Ursula got hold of this question, with the two of them — and producer Chef — batting it around a bit.

Is the Space Needle an overpriced tourist attraction?

Ursula started by quoting TripAdvisor, calling the Space Needle “among the most overpriced tourist attractions in the world at $37.50 for adults.”

“It’s totally worth it,” Gee said. “First of all, the Space Needle, you want to talk about one of the best opportunities to do it for the ‘gram. And what I mean by that is Instagram pictures and social media. Nothing better than those photos up there.”

Gee believes one of the highlights of the Space Needle is the elevator ride itself. “When’s the last time you got on the elevator with a person telling you the history and telling you about everything? That $37.50 is worth it,” he said.

“When people come into town, and they go up there to see just how beautiful this city is.

“You can’t hate on the Space Needle.”

Ursula agreed with Gee. “I would be lying if I said the Space Needle wasn’t worth it. I think that it’s a must-see for tourists.”

Ursula: ‘It’s worth it, but forget about snacks”

“Now it is spendy,” Ursula said. “I wish it weren’t $37.50. And then if you wanted to actually get a snack or you know if you have a family and then people want to get snacks and then also some souvenirs. Forget about it.”

Ursula said once they upgraded the Observation Deck a few years ago, it really became a great experience.

“You can go to Kerry Park on Queen Anne and that is free,” Chef said in disagreement. “And the view there is amazing.”

Chef stated you could go to the many beaches or take a ferry instead. He even had another option for a great view.

The Columbia Tower is only partially a cheaper alternative

“You can go to the Columbia Tower Observation Deck. They have a view from up there that I think is far, far superior to the Space Needle. It’ll cost you like $22.50.”

In reality, Columbia Tower’s base price is $25. With all the bells and whistles, it’s $45.

Even after making those points, Chef still said his jury is out on whether the Space Needle is overpriced.

“It’s in demand. And they have limited capacity to put people up there,” Chef said. “So if you have 10,000 tourists coming into the city, every single day, throughout the summer, and you have a bunch of people that want to go up, if it costs 10 bucks, you would never be able to get to the top. I would rather spend my money somewhere else.”

“One last thing,” Gee said. “That glass floor is incredible.”

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Is the Space Needle too expensive to visit?