Seattle/University District

The University District, or "U-District", surrounds the University of Washington in northeast Seattle. It's centered on University Way Northeast, which all the locals call "The Ave".

Surrounding neighborhoods include Ravenna to the north and Laurelhurst to the east. Largely residential, their attractions are included here.

Get in

By car, take the 45th-50th Sts. exit from I-5, or head north from the Montlake Blvd. exit on SR-520. Parking on the campus itself is very expensive, up to $15 per day, although it's free after noon on Saturdays and all day Sundays. The vast E-1 lot east of campus on Montlake Blvd. is a relative bargain at $7, but without a university ID, you'll have to pay in all quarters! Street parking is more plentiful away from the campus.

The Link light rail service is the fastest way to get to the area from central and southern Seattle, making its way under Capitol Hill to Downtown in less than ten minutes, and out to the airport in about 45 minutes. The Link station is located at the southern end of campus, next to the football stadium at Montlake Blvd and Pacific Street. King County Metro runs numerous bus routes to the area, with prominent transfer points at Campus Parkway/University Way and the UW Link station. Prominent routes serving the University District include the 70 and 74 to Downtown, the 31/32 to Fremont, the 43 and 49 to Capitol Hill, the 44 to Ballard, the 48 to Greenwood and the Central District, and the 67 to Northgate. The campus has excellent and wide-ranging commuter bus service, though most of the routes to the distant suburbs do not run on weekends or holidays.


The UW campus has a number of notable museums and buildings which are open to the public.

Campus cherry trees in full bloom




As can be expected of a college neighborhood, there are plenty of inexpensive places to eat in the U-District.





Bars and taverns






Stay safe

Unfortunately, the U-District isn't an entirely safe place late at night. If you find yourself walking down the Ave (University Way) at late hours, there will typically be fewer people loitering on the east side of the street. The number of panhandlers and "Ave Rats", as the homeless teen population is referred to, increases as you travel northbound, particularly past NE 45th St. The University campus is considered pretty safe. That being said, Seattle is a very tame city, and the Ave Rats tend to be harmless runaways more interested in spare change and each other than anything else. Indeed, the large student population of the neighborhood allows them to 'blend in' and escape in the neighborhood in a way they cannot anywhere else in the state: don't bother them and they won't bother you.

There have been increased incidents in the area east of "The Ave." between 45th and 65th where the student housing is. While walking late at night is still generally safe, it is better to walk in groups and to avoid poorly lit streets if possible.

If you are visibly female and have to walk at night, try avoiding "The Ave" from about 47th to 52nd because for some strange reason, women tend to be harassed more frequently on this stretch of the "The Ave" than on other parts. Recommended to head west and go down Brooklyn but even as far as Roosevelt Way and then go back to "The Ave" if you can. If you are heading north, stay on the right side of Roosevelt - better lighting. The U District is still safer than most parts of the country at night, but precautions are always a good thing.

At 52nd and Roosevelt Way NE, bar fights tend to end up out into the street, mostly on Fridays and Saturday evenings. They can be really brutal so just be careful, don't get involved, and call the police right away if you see something. Some of the fights have been really terrible so try to avoid this section at night if you can help it.

In general, don't travel down the alleys, and it's best to travel with a friend if you are not local to the area.


Public internet access is hard to find on the UW campus although it has blanket wireless coverage, a university login is required. Consider trying the thicket of coffee shops surrounding the campus or the Seattle Public Library branch on Roosevelt Way at NE 50th St.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 26, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.