Seattle is a large city, and all the options you’d expect in a city this size are available.
- By Plane: Sea-Tac International Airport serves Seattle and is about 30 minutes from campus by car (during heavy traffic, this may take up to an hour) or about 45 minutes by light rail. A full complement of car rental services are available at the airport. Shuttle Express is a shuttle service that can take you from the airport to locations around campus (see below).
- If you are lucky enough to come from the islands, you can take a float plane and arrive in downtown Seattle.
Public Transportation To Campus
- By Link light rail: The closest Link light-rail stop is at U District, a 47-minute ride from Sea-Tac International Airport. It’s a 6-minute walk from the light-rail stop to Kane Hall. A second light-rail station serves the other side of campus, Univ of Washington Station. This station is close to the meeting rooms in the HUB. Light rail serves Capitol Hill, downtown, and points further south as well as north of the campus in the recently opened extension. It is faster to use light rail to get to Capitol Hill (a location of many excellent restaurants) and downtown (museums, etc.) than it is to use a car or Uber/Lyft. Tickets can be purchased in all stations using a credit card or cash.
- The city is served by Amtrak if you’d like to take a scenic trip up north, to, say Vancouver, or similar.
Private Transportation Services to the UW
- Shuttle Express: Shuttle Express offers frequent operation between the airport and any Seattle destination you request.
- Lyft, Uber, and metered Taxis: In downtown Seattle, local drivers offer in-city transportation. All rides can be scheduled using smartphone apps. Taxi services include STITA, Yellow Cab, and Orange Cab.
Driving to the UW
In general, considering this is a tech city, mapping programs work very well here. Even as natives, we tend to trust them - despite having lived here for years.
From Interstate 5 (I-5), northbound or southbound
- Important: Do not use the I-5 express lanes.
- Take exit 169 (NE 45th St.) toward NE 45th St.
- Turn east on NE 45th St.
- Turn right on 15th Ave. NE and continue to NE 41st St. The entrance to the Central Plaza Parking Garage is on the left.
From the east side of Lake Washington via SR 520 (toll bridge)
- Take SR 520 westbound toward Seattle.
- Take the Montlake Blvd. NE exit, then turn right (north) onto Montlake Blvd. and cross the Montlake Bridge.
- Just past the bridge, turn left on NE Pacific St. and continue west. (You’ll pass UW Medical Center and the Health Sciences complex on your left.)
- Turn right onto 15th Ave. NE and continue north two blocks to NE 41st St. The entrance to the Central Plaza Parking Garage is on your right
Parking on campus
If you drive, we recommend getting to campus at least 30 minutes early to park and find your way to your destination. When you arrive, visit one of the gatehouses to purchase a permit. The gatehouse attendant will direct you to a parking lot. If you need a disabled parking permit, please make sure to let us know via the accessibility survey.
Seattle summers really shine: June through August, the average temp is 71 degrees, with maybe a week or two of over-80 weather (usually in July). The moderate heat and dry, blue-sky days make the area a paradise for hikers, campers, kayakers, cyclists and other lovers of the outdoors.
For the latest weather updates on campus, check out The UW Dawgcast!
Due to its temperate nature, few building shave air conditioning. Make sure to bring a water bottle with you!