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 Progressive yet laid-back, Seattle, also called 'The Emerald City', is the largest city of Washington State, and is home to the iconic Space Needle, the famous Pike Place Market, and the new Chihuly Garden and Glass. Noted as the birthplace of grunge music and coffee shops like Starbucks and Tully’s, Seattle is far sunnier than its reputation as a rainy city.

currency

US Dollar, $1 = 100 cents

phone

911

newspaper

The Seattle Times
Seattle Weekly
Seattle Post-Intelligencer (online&printed)
Seattle Chinese Post (Chinese language)
Washington Free Press
The Stranger

hours

Most stores are open all week from 10am to 8pm or later.
Most bars and clubs close around 2am.

population

730,000 (2018)

info

Visit Seattle
701 Pike Street
Lobby of the Washington State Convention Center
Seattle, WA 98101
+1 866 732 2695 or +1 206 461 5840
[email protected]
Open Monday through Friday and summer weekends, 9am to 5pm.

Seattle Sunset Helicopter View of Downtown City Skyline OpenRangeStock/Shutterstock.com

The City

The uniqueness of Seattle is the combination of a metropolitan city, a collection of neighborhoods each with its own personality and a natural setting of lakes and mountains. In Seattle, you can kayak by day and go to the opera at night. Local tourism officials describe the city as "metronatural." Yet, the entire city shares a collective vibe that is casual, educated, and forward-thinking.

Sitting between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, the city’s shoreline offers piers, waterside attractions and a variety of water tours. Mount Rainier, the highest mountain in Washington, is less than 60 miles away and on a clear day it dominates the southeastern horizon of Seattle. About the same distance north of the city sits Mount Baker, one of the snowiest places in the world.

Technology has emerged as a major influence on local culture. The Seattle-area is home to companies like Amazon.com and Microsoft (in nearby Redmond). Boeing is also a major local employer, and visitors can tour the factory where they build and test their aircraft. One of the city's most popular attractions, The Museum of Flight, highlights aviation and space history.

Seattle downtown skyline and Mt. Rainier, Washington. Emperorcosar/Shutterstock.com

Do & See

For those visiting Seattle for the first time, taking a tour is a great way to get a feel for the local history and attractions. Seattle offers a variety of ways to explore and enjoy the city.

A Seattle Double Decker Tour is an easy way to see the best sites of Seattle. Hop on or off at any attraction, or ride the entire loop for a complete tour. A lake cruise will give a uniquely different view of the city and its waters. Some lake tours offer dining options to enjoy while you take in spectacular waterfront views. Or, you can enjoy Seattle from both land and water on a one-of-a-kind Duck Tour aboard a WWII amphibious landing craft. Whichever you choose, a tour is a perfect, family-friendly way to explore the many sights, sounds and attractions of Seattle.

In addition to the Space Needle, Seattle's most recognizable landmark, visitors should be sure to include a visit to the world renowned Seattle Art Museum (called SAM by locals). Popular outdoor activities include whale watching tours, winery visits and the 270-foot waterfall at Snoqualmie Falls is a shutter-bug's delight. Top off any day in Seattle with a wide choice of museums, live music venues and neighborhood coffee shops.

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Space Needle

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Seattle Aquarium

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Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour

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Pacific Science Center

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Pike Place Market

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Woodland Park Zoo

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The Museum of Flight

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Seattle Art Museum

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EMP Museum

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Chihuly Garden and Glass

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Mt St Helens

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Reptile Zoo

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K1 Speed

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Family Fun Center & Bullwinkle's Restaurant

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Olympic Sculpture Park

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Waterfall Garden

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Bear Creek Country Club

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Safeco Field

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Sky View Observatory

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Brandon Lee and Bruce Lee's Grave Site

Homemade Seattle Style Hot Dog with Cream Cheese and Onions Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

Dining

Seattle's dining scene is surprisingly diverse. In addition to the expected Northwestern style seafood restaurants and steakhouses, visitors will find a variety of restaurants with influences from Latin America, Asia, France and other places not normally associated with the Northwest. Many restaurant menus are rooted in fresh seafood, an abundance of small-scale producers, great local wines and an ever-growing pool of talented chefs.

Foodies will enjoy the Savor Seattle Food Tour at Pike Place Market. This two-hour walking tour gets behind the scenes to experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of this historic 105-year old landmark. A gourmet restaurant tour and a chocolate tour are also available in the city. Get more info at www.savorseattletours.com.

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Fisherman's Restaurant & Bar

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El Gaucho

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Dahlia Lounge

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13 Coins Restaurant

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Andaluca Restaurant & Bar

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Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria

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Duke's Chowder House Lake Union

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Alibi Room

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Altura

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Canlis

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Salumi

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Pearl

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RockCreek Seafood & Spirits

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The Pink Door

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TAT'S Deli

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Spinasse

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Sitka and Spruce

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Mashiko

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Lola

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Crow

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Metropolitan Grill

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Din Tai Fung

Cappucino latte art coffee cup banner background for cafe. Maridav/Shutterstock.com

Cafés

Seattle is home to both Starbucks and Tully's Coffee but these two caffeine-driven powerhouses are not alone in café offerings of the city. Many independent cafés are finding their niche with a wide-variety of coffee roasts and specialty pastries and food items. A short walk in most any direction will bring you quickly to a café to enjoy a unique treat and a cup of Joe.

True coffee-worshipers should visit the very first Starbucks which opened in 1971 in the Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. Because the Market is a historic district with design guidelines, the store retains its original look.

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Cortona Cafe

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Café Besalu

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Van Gogh Coffeehouse

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Artisan Café

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El Diablo Coffee

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Le Panier

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Portage Bay Cafe

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Bakery Nouveau

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Piroshky Piroshky

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Ghost Alley Espresso

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Café Allegro

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Zeitgeist Coffee

Bartender squeezing juice from fresh lime in a glass using a citrus press and splashing it out making an alcoholic cocktail Maksym Fesenko/Shutterstock.com

Bars & Nightlife

Seattle has no shortage of local bars and nightclubs that are sure to make any visitor feel like a real native. Blues clubs, British bars, Irish pubs, lounges, dive bars and college bars are just a few of the varieties you will find. Just as Seattle's food scene relishes using local products, their bars show local pride with most having at least a couple of regional and local beers on tap. The city was early to the craft cocktail craze, in which hand-mixed cocktails with fresh juices and garnishes push your typical margarita mix.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, a collection of bands from Seattle cultivated a distinct sound commonly known as grunge. A mixture of hard rock, punk and metal, the so-called “Seattle sound” helped foster the contemporary rock movement. Several top grunge bands call Seattle home including Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. The live music scene in Seattle is vibrant.

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74th Street Ale House

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Alibi Room

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The Beer Junction

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The Knee High Stocking Company

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Tractor Tavern

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The Triple Door

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The Crocodile

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Club Contour

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Tacoma Comedy Club

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Jazzbones

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Pearl

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Fadó Irish Pub

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Von's Gustobistro

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RockCreek Seafood & Spirits

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The Tasting Room

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Trinity

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Dimitriou's Jazz Alley

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Keys on Main Seattle

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Bathtub Gin & Co.

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Jet City Improv

Couple Shopping Outdoors Store Lifestyle Concept Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

Shopping

Seattle is home to excellent shopping all over the city with several unique shopping districts including Downtown Seattle, Pioneer Square, Chinatown-International District, University District and Pike Place Market.

Downtown Seattle shopping is a square of several blocks with large names such as Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom and Gap. Downtown is also the location of two large malls, Westlake Center Plaza and Pacific Place.

Laying claim as the city's “first neighborhood," Pioneer Square is a richly historic place known for its Renaissance Revival architecture, First Thursday art walks, night life and quirky boutiques. The Square runs between the Alaskan Way Viaduct and 4th Avenue, from Columbia Street on the north side to CenturyLink Field on the south side.

The Chinatown-International District is a multi-cultural, diverse area to find unique gifts and shops with roots from all over Asia. The district includes Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Vietnamese and Southeast Asian influence. Just south of Pioneer Square, the eight-block district is within walking distance from Downtown Seattle and Pike Place Market.

Located just north of downtown Seattle and close to the University of Washington, the University District, sometimes called U District, offers a unique formula of locally-owned boutiques and signature national retailers.

Pike Place Market is Seattle's famous waterfront shopping area that features local produce, fresh fish and an abundance of incredible restaurants.

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Pike Place Market

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Ben Bridge Jeweler

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Crossroads Trading Company

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Archie McPhee

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Zumiez

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CarToys

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Sole Food

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Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI)

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Spa Nordstrom

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Totokaelo

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Louis Vuitton

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Trader Joe's

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Seattle Glassblowing Studio

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Elliott Bay Book Company

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Magic Mouse Toys

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Made in Washington

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Pretty Parlor

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Pike and Western Wine Shop

Coin Operated Binoculars Look out towards the Seattle Great Wheel on a Sunny Day Ryan C Slimak/Shutterstock.com

Tourist Information

When visiting any city in the U.S., make sure to always carry a valid ID with you, and adhere to the traffic regulations that might differ from your own country.

Seattle–Tacoma International Airport

You can take public transportation, shuttles or taxis between Seattle and the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Sound Transit connects the airport to downtown Seattle on its Central Link light rail. Trains operate from 05:16 until 00:07 weekdays, 05:18 a.m. until 00:04 on Saturdays, and from 06:17 until 23:05 on Sundays and holidays. Trains run every 7 to 10 minutes during most of the day, up to 20 minutes during non-peak hours. To get to the station, use Sky Bridge 6 on the north side of the airport.

Sound Transit also provides two bus routes from the airport. Route 560 connects the airport to Bellevue, Renton, Burien and West Seattle. It operates from 05:45 to 23:16 twice an hour weekdays, hourly on weekends from 06:00 to 23:30. Route 574 serves Lakewood, Federal Way and Tacoma. Buses operate from 04:30 to 22:11; daily every 30 to 60 minutes. For more information on either the Central Link light rail or the bus lines, go to www.soundtransit.org or call +1 800 201 4900.

King County Metro Transit has two routes that serve the airport. Route 194 serves downtown Seattle and Federal Way. The route operates daily from 5:05 a.m. to 10:33 p.m., every 15 to 30 minutes. Route 140 goes between Burien and Renton, with the airport being about half way between. Service runs from about 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. daily, every 15 to 30 minutes. For more information, go to: www.kingcounty.gov/transportation.aspx or call +1 206 553 3000.

All buses leave from Door 6 outside of baggage claim on the lower level.

Address: 17801 International Blvd. (Pacific Highway So.), Seattle

Email:

Phone: +1 206 787 5388

Website: www.portseattle.org/sea-tac

More Information:

Passport/Visa

Citizens of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the Kingdom of Brunei can visit the United States for up to 90 days without applying for a visa (as well as citizens of Andorra, Lichtenstein, Monaco and San Marino). Citizens of these countries must obtain an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) before traveling. All other travelers must obtain a visa before visiting the United States. International travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the country.

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Best Time to Visit

If you are planning to visit Seattle, the perfect time is late June or early September, when the crowds disperse and hotel costs do go down. In these periods you can still enjoy a lovely weather but as it is unpredictable don't forget to bring a raincoat/umbrella. July and August – the driest and sunniest months of the year – mark the beginning of the peak season, meaning that prices rise due to a significant presence of tourists.

Some key events throughout the year:
May-June:
-Seattle International Film Festival
July:
-Seattle International BeerFest
August:
-Seattle Air Fair
September:
-Bumbershoot

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Time Zone

Seattle is located in the Pacific Time zone, and all times are reflected in Pacific Time.

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Pharmacy

In the US, pharmacies sell two different types of medication: over the counter (sold freely), and medicines that require a prescription that can be issued only by doctors.

The opening hours are normally from 9.00 to 21.00, 7 days a week.

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Public Transport

King County Metro Transit:
The “Metro” public bus system operates throughout Seattle and King County. To find a route, maps and fare information for travel throughout and beyond Seattle, visit Metro online at metro.kingcounty.gov.

Metro's Route 99 connects Seattle's International District, Pioneer Square, First Avenue destinations including the Seattle Art Museum and Pike Place Market, and Elliott Bay waterfront attractions such as the Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle Aquarium and ferry services. Visit Metro Online for a route map and timetable.

South Lake Union Streetcar:
The South Lake Union Streetcar links Seattle's downtown core to the South Lake Union neighborhood and new 12-acre Waterfront Park. Visit www.seattlestreetcar.org for a route map, hours of operation and ticket prices.

Seattle Center Monorail:
The nation's first full-scale commercial monorail system provides a fun, two-minute link from downtown Seattle to the Seattle Center daily. The Seattle Center station is across from the Space Needle. In downtown Seattle, catch the monorail at Westlake Center at Fifth Avenue and Pine Street. Learn more at www.seattlemonorail.com.

Sound Transit:
Link Light Rail connects downtown Seattle with Sea-Tac International Airport, making interim stops in Southeast Seattle neighborhoods.

Sounder Commuter Trains operated between downtown Seattle, Tacoma and Everett

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Website: metro.kingcounty.gov

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Taxi

Seattle has several major taxicab companies to get you to and from Sea-Tac International Airport, as well as take care of your transportation needs around town.

Orange Cab
+1 206 522 8800
www.orangecab.net

STITA Taxi
+1 206 246 9999
www.stitataxi.com

Yellow Cab
+1 206 622 6500
www.seattleyellowcab.com

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Phone: +1 206 522 8800

Website: www.orangecab.net

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Car Rentals

Car rental companies have rental offices in downtown Seattle, at Sea-Tac International Airport, in Bellevue and Seattle’s Eastside communities and throughout the region.

Some rental car companies are:
- Sixt Rent A Car
+1 206 508 0040
1521 2nd Ave Unit R2, Seattle

- Budget Car Rental
+1 206 682 8989
Financial District, 801 4th Ave, Seattle

- Enterprise Rent-A-Car
+1 206 382 1051
1601 3rd Ave, Seattle

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Telephone

Country code: +1

Area code: 206

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Post

United Stated Post Office, different postal services offered (from mailing to shipping).
Some of the major post offices in Seattle are located in:

- 7724 35th Ave NE, Seattle
+1 800 275 8777

- 415 1st Ave N, Seattle
+1 800 275 8777

- 3019 NE 127th St, Seattle
+1 800 275 8777

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Electricity

The standard voltage in the US is 110V. Plug type: A and B.

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