A Complete Travel Guide to Portland, Oregon

Known for its green ethos, progressive ideals and closeness to nature. Some love it for the high standard of ethically produced food. Some for its quirky, hipster vibe. But most visitors and locals alike will tell you that, whatever the reason, they can’t get enough of Portland.

Being in the far northwest of Oregon, the city has more than its share of rainy days, but Portlanders have simply taken the party indoors. So alongside plenty of opportunities to explore Oregon’s outdoor wild side, you’re also getting the best of the arts and history, delicious food and drink, home crafts, and unique finds, with a generous helping of Portland’s signature weirdness. Here is our complete visitor’s guide to Portland, Oregon….

Activities and Attractions – some of the best things to do and see in Portland

Portland is full of surprises, so along with the attractions, you’d expect from any popular U.S. city, be prepared to uncover some enchanting, one-off gems when visiting The City of Roses.

Portland Japanese Garden

With over 200 parks, there’s no shortage of open, green spaces to unwind from the city bustle. Washington Park is one of the oldest and most loved parks in the city, where you can delight in the scent of 10,000 roses at the picturesque International Rose Test Center or wander among countless tree species from around the world at Hoyt Arboretum.

The park is also home to the World Forestry Center, Portland Children’s Museum, Portland Japanese Garden, and miles of trails and hikes.

Across the street from the International Rose Test Center, Lu San Park whisks you away to Ancient China, an oasis of peace filled with blossoming trees, gentle water features, pretty bridges and authentic pavilions.

Pittock Mansion Portland

Forest Park sits a short drive from downtown and is so huge that it’s officially defined as a neighborhood, with towering Douglas Firs and Western Red Cedars making a home for songbirds, squirrels, deer, elk and if you’re lucky, a cougar or bear.

Wildwood trail through this urban wilderness connects Washington Park to one of the best historic attractions Pittock Mansion, past the instafamous Witches Castle – the remains of an old stone house, steeped in ghost stories.

Also rumored by locals to be keeping a few spooky secrets is Pittock Mansion, an opulent look at Portland’s time as a pioneer town through the eyes of the affluent Pittock family. Inside its walls, 23 rooms are filled with art and antiques, while outside, panoramic vistas stretch over the city and as far as Mount Hood.

For more spectacular views and a picnic with a twist, try winding your way over ancient lava, past open reservoirs and to a cozy bench the top of Mount Tabor, which happens to be an extinct volcano.

Eleven impressive bridges span Portland’s Willamette River, and you can take in six of them with a promenade along the Tom McCall Waterfront Park. S

top for a breather by the sparkling Salmon Street Springs Fountain or brush up on some history at the Oregon Maritime Museum and Japanese American Historical Plaza. Part of a 36-acre recreational area, this downtown riverfront hub is very popular with wanderers, hikers, cyclists, dog owners and photographers.

Keep Portland Weird Sign

Portland’s museums are as varied as its parks. Hollering the city’s mantra ‘Keep Portland Weird’, is The Hat Museum, The Umbrella Cover Museum, The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium, and Starks Vacuum Museum. At the other end of the sensible-scale, The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry – one of the US’s leading science centers – has something for every visitor: interactive exhibits, giant weather globes, a planetarium and a calendar of unique events.

For a window into the city’s diverse culture and fascinating history, check out The Oregon Historical Society Museum and its three floors of multimedia interactive exhibitions and well-chosen touring collections.

Passionate about representing cultural diversity, the Portland Art Museum hosts special exhibitions from around the world alongside its Native American and Northwest collections.

The city itself is a celebration of bright and beautiful street art – an entire building covered with vibrant patterns decorates downtown; a gorgeous 70-foot lady overlooks Eastside Industrial District, and other colorful artist’s expressions bring Portland’s neighborhoods to life.

Don’t forget that no visitor’s camera reel is complete without a photo of the iconic Portland White Stag Sign, located by Pacific Highway and the Burnside Bridge.

Leisure and Entertainment – how to have fun and soak up some culture in Portland

Leisure and Entertainment in Portland

Portland’s nightlife is just as trendy and eclectic as its daytime. As well as the singing, dancing, drinking, and eating, you’ll also find open mic nights, lively karaoke, gaming arcades, outstanding comedy, theatrical delights, and a calendar full of events and festivals.

And being the friendly place it is, there’s no lack of LGBTQ+ bars, clubs, and entertainment.

Whether you’re relaxing in a speak-easy or authentic Irish bar, taking in the city sights from a rooftop or patio, or enjoying life in a brewpub or swanky cocktail bar, it’s handy to remember that most places kick off the evening with happy hour – usually between 4 – 6pm. 

When you’ve got your dancing shoes on, you can choose from any number of live DJs, soul bands, hip hop, rock shows, and themed nights to boogie the night away to. Downtown is a good starting point for such shenanigans.

McMenamins Crystal Ballroom historic club

Throughout the city, you can also catch live music filtering onto the streets from cabin-style venues. These intimate spots host regular line-ups of well-known bands alongside talented local artists. Indie musicians are popular, but you’ll also find bluegrass, jazz, folk, funk, soul, and plenty more.

Big name acts can be seen at the historic McMenamins Crystal Ballroom and Bassanova Ballroom; the Revolution Hall, a modern concert venue; and the Moda Center, home to the NBA’s Trail Blazers.

The splendid Keller Auditorium hosts orchestral performances, Broadway productions, opera, ballet, and sometimes a blast of rock and pop. Known as the “The Schnitz” locally, the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall is home to the Oregon Symphony and a host for many large touring acts.

Bringing the drama and the razzle-dazzle, Portland’s theatre scene is brimming with quality and variety. World-class shows and touring productions take center stage in the larger theatres, while pared-back – but often critically-acclaimed – performances can be found in the smaller houses. Quirky one-off shows can also be found scattered throughout the city, including mime and puppetry.

‘Keep Portland Weird’ is a well-known mantra of the city, but ‘Keep Portland Funny’ could also fit the bill. From upcoming stand-ups to seasoned circuit pros to spontaneous improv, Portland’s comedy stages are full of funny folk throughout the week.

The Helium Comedy Club presents top names and emerging talent. And the Darcelle XV melds music, comedy, and the finest drag for a fabulous La Vegas-style cabaret show. If you can catch Portland’s five-day comedy festival for plenty of belly laughs.

things to do alone in Portland

You’d be right to think that the Oregon wilderness surrounding Portland is perfect for outdoor pursuits such as cycling, rafting, climbing, and hiking.

But even a simple park walk in this city can easily lead to hours of hiking if you’re up for it – Forest Park is the largest urban park in the US with more than 70 miles of walking routes and Washington Park is home to some 80 miles of trails.

Shopping – from malls to independent boutiques 

Best vintage stores in Portland, Oregon

Portland’s shopping scene is a tax-free treasure trove of creativity and originality – loved by locals, visitors, and certain celebrities. From high-quality homemade to high-end design, whatever your style Portland has got it covered.

The more you explore, the more unique and impossibly cool items you’ll find to fill your suitcase or snap for your socials.

Lose yourself or find yourself in racks of vintage clothes and one-of-a-kind jewelry that fills the many locally-owned boutiques.

Take a step back in time with the city’s antiquing scene, serving mid-century furnishings, kitschy collectables, original furniture, and memorabilia from every decade. And for the audiophiles, vinyl is very much thriving here – there are records in Portland’s Music Millennium that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.

Best places to shop in Portland

Downtown you can discover more of Portland’s talents at the MadeHere PDX retail space, showcasing a huge range of specialty and crafted goods made within the Portland and the Pacific Northwest community.

The Pearl District is renowned for its range of shopping spots – from top-class art galleries to Powell’s, the world’s largest independent bookstore. Another colorful neighborhood, Alberta Art District has a funky feel and champions handcrafted items, local arts, and small boutiques.

With a laid-back vibe, Hawthorne is LGBTQ+ inclusive and an all-around friendly place. The area is perfect for picking up unique, pre-loved items such as shoes, clothes, jewelry, furniture, and nick-nacks. The Sellwood District and Monticello Antique Marketplace is heaven for shabby-chic lovers with pieces of rediscovered joy around every corner

If you like to pair a bit of history with your shopping, try North Mississippi Avenue – lined with impressive heritage buildings which now house a diverse range of shopping. The city’s Victorian influence and charm can also be seen on the sidewalks of the elegant Northwest/Nob Hill neighborhood where stately houses have been re-imagined as trendy shops and cafes.

Thrift and vintage stores in Portland

Fabulous flea markets and fresh farmer’s markets bear Portland’s trademark of sustainability and high-quality local goods. Portland Saturday Market in the Old Town is the largest continually operating outdoor arts and crafts market in the US.

The Portland Night Market, near the SE Morrison bridge, is open on a Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening, and here you’ll find a jamboree of local food, culture, music, drinks, and retail.

Moon Market in the Pearl District features plenty of local artistry talent at reasonable prices. In the suburbs, Multnomah Village French Quarter is made to look like an authentic French street and is known for excellent foods and charming boutiques.

Home of the globally recognized FashioNXT Week and producing no shortage of in-demand designers, high fashion is also thriving in Portland. And if you’re looking for a more casual vibe, the sneakerhead scene in Old Town Chinatown offers an endless choice of kicks, and even boasts its own sneaker design academy.

There are also plenty of shiny malls to browse: Washington Square is a premier mall located in the Portland metro area; the long-established Lloyd Center is northeast of downtown; Bridgeport Village is a delightful outdoor mall, featuring local and national retailers; Fubonn shopping center offers all manner of Asian food, clothes, and gifts; and downtown, the popular Pioneer Place is an upscale shopping mall housing all the big brands, a food court, and a movie theatre, in total spanning four city blocks.

Food and Drink – from food carts to vegan restaurants

Best vegan restaurants in Portland

A food lovers paradise, Portland’s reputation for excellent food extends far and wide, with many considering it to be the top foodie destination in the world.

High-quality, locally sourced ingredients are what keeps Portland’s menus loved by so many. From an award-winning food cart scene to gourmet fine dining there’s something delicious to suit every budget and appetite.

The city’s Southeast Division Street neighborhood is one of Portland’s most popular food areas. Here you can find many visitors’ and locals’ favorite eateries; however, bear in mind that Portland spreads its deliciousness all across the city.

The warm smells of a hundred cuisines wind their way through the city streets reminding you that you’re never far from one of Portland’s legendary food carts. The scene is constantly evolving, and new innovative carts appear regularly.

Best Portland Food Carts

Joining Portland’s food carts in serving up tasty morsels are the farmer’s markets where you can stock up on food souvenirs or ingredients to cook with.

Markets in all quadrants of the city offer the best of seasonal fruit and veg, high-quality coffee, delicious homemade sauces, and much more. Every Saturday, Portland State University hosts Portland’s largest outdoor grocery market.

Around the city, restaurants dish out globally inspired and local, seasonal plates, filling stomachs and hearts with joy. Cuisines from almost every corner of the world are represented, along with some mouth-watering fusions. From Russian pelmeni to Japanese ramen, raw beet burgers to the best slice of pizza you’ve ever eaten, this is the place to rediscover old favorites and maybe (probably) find some new ones. 

Specific diet choices are no problem here. Portland regularly tops ‘best food destination’ lists for vegan and vegetarian spots. Alberta Arts District itself has four 100% vegan eateries and more than twenty establishments serving quality vegan food. Gluten-free and dairy-free menus are all available.

Whatever you choose for your mains, be sure to leave room for dessert. Famed for its donuts, Portland has long been a favorite with sweet-toothed folk, but it also offers a delicious range of ice creams, s’mores, and treats from around the globe.

Best coffee shops in Portland

Originally spearheaded by the Portland coffee roasters, Stumptown, many of the city’s cafes now take great pride in sourcing, roasting, grinding, and serving the best cups of coffee found anywhere.

You can watch the world go by, sipping a warming cup of joe, from a funky cafe or fancy coffee house in many parts of the city, but Central Eastside is the place to be if you’re a real coffee connoisseur.

If you’re after something stronger, then try one of the city’s 70+ bustling craft brewers. Some offer a huge range of home-brewed beers while others take a more specialist approach, but many of them focus on sustainability and organic ingredients – creating smooth brews for all.

Not to be outdone, Oregon Wine Country is home to hundreds of wineries, mostly set in the stunning vistas surrounding the city, but you’ll also find a few urban wineries topping up the city’s bars with local wines as well as globally-inspired labels.

Outside the city – explore the best of Portland’s surroundings and some of the best nature in Oregon

Mount Hood Views Portland Oregon

Portland is surrounded by natural beauty spots and fantastic day trip destinations. You may need a few dollars for parking, but free spaces can often be found. There are also reliable public transport lines to some of the more popular sites.

The Historic Columbia River Highway (I-84) takes you through the outstanding Columbia River Gorge – an expansive canyon stretching between Oregon and Washington.

Along the way, you’ll find trails leading to the Columbia River Gorge waterfalls. Walking and hiking are some of the most popular pastimes in the area – just remember to check the difficulty level before you get going.

This is also the route to Multnomah Falls, Oregon’s most well-known waterfall. At 600ft tall, it’s a seriously impressive cascade – and only 30 minutes outside the city. The Multnomah-Wahkeena Falls Loop will take you to the top where you can sample breathtaking views of the gorge.

Mount Hood Oregon

The magnificent Mount Hood stands just 90 minutes from Portland. Oregon’s tallest peak is a popular destination for mountain climbers and the snow-capped giant is also loved for its almost year-round skiing. Mount Hood National Forest offers outdoor adventure for days – with 170 developed recreation areas including fishing, boating, camping, hiking, rafting, mountain biking, and foraging.

There are plenty of eating and drinking options on and around Mount Hood – from cafes and donuts to global gourmet fare, washed down with a selection of local beers and Oregon wines.

While you’re there, don’t miss the iconic Timberline Lodge where you can take in pristine mountainside views from the warmth and comfort of this almost century-old National Historic Landmark which is also a hotel and a ski resort.

If you’re following the Timberline trail, you’ll get to experience the scenic Ramona Falls where the light and the water dance to their own tune, creating nature’s own dazzling show – a great place to rest or a destination in its own right.

The nature surrounding Portland is effortlessly Instagrammable, but if the waterfalls, canyons, rivers, lakes, mountains, and forests aren’t enough, you can always visit Rocky Butte for an epic sunset shot or gaze into the crater of Mt St Helens from the state-of-the-art Johnston Ridge Observatory.

Willamette Valley near Portland

For a change of pace, try a glass of red, white or rosé while exploring the wine-producing Tualatin and Willamette Valley. Soak up the impressive vineyards in summer and enjoy quiet tasting rooms and open fires in colder weather.

In true Portland style, there is a focus on sustainability, with many of the wineries being organic, and the food deliciously farm-to-fork. Tualatin is closer to the city, but nonetheless covered with lush vines and fragrant berries, and also boasts a parkland-style golf course.

Willamette Valley is a place of green hills, open roads, rapid rivers, and historic towns. Thanksgiving especially is a wonderful time to visit – with more than 150 wineries throwing their doors open to the public to sample favorite labels and special vintages.

Following the I-84 further east, will bring you to the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute. Don’t miss the chance to discover the rich history and presence of local indigenous tribes through interactive exhibits, renowned artwork, and special events.

Turning to the north of Portland, you’ll find the largest island in the Columbia River just ten miles away. Sauvie Island boasts pretty beaches, historic spots, and the spectacular Silver Falls State Park.

A 90-minute drive west and you’re walking along the white sands of Cannon Beach – home to the famous and imposing Haystack Rock. Enjoy a dramatic beach skyline while waterfalls cascade onto the sand behind you. If you’re a winter or spring visitor, you might just catch a glimpse of some whales or porpoises swimming by.

Dog-Friendly Portland – where to hang out with your pooch in the Oregon city 

Dog Friendly attractions Portland Oregon

Much like everyone else, our furry friends are more than welcome in the city of Portland. There’s a great range of dog-friendly accommodation available – from upscale, luxury establishments to small, quirky hotels to independent apartments.

Look out for doggie bowls of water dotted around the city signaling some of the city’s many restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars, and breweries that welcome four-legged family members.

And with more off-leash parks per person than any other U.S. city, Portland has plenty of space for your pup to let off steam.

Dog Walking in Hoyt’s Arboretum

Washington Park is a huge, lush green area close to the heart of Portland, home to museums, gardens, Hoyt’s Arboretum, and crisscrossed with trails for miles. Dogs must stay on the leash, but they are welcome to potter through the outdoor areas, including The International Rose Test Garden.

South of Washington Park you’ll find Council Crest Park with a lovely two-acre off-leash area. From here, on a sunny day, you can take in inspiring vistas of the city and its five legendary mountains – Mt. Jefferson, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Rainier.

East of the river, dog-walkers can tackle the winding trails of Mt. Tabor Park to reach the stunning summit. On the south side of the park, there is a large off-leash dog area; however, it’s not completely fenced in, so caution is advised.

The central and uber-trendy Pearl District now boasts the new Fields Park – a three-acre open space with a fenced-in area for dogs to stretch their legs off-leash.

On the other side of the river, but also located near arty boutiques and cool eateries, is Alberta Park with its own off-leash section for dogs to run free, although it’s not a specific fenced-off area.

Tom McCall Waterfront Park - Portland

Along the Tom McCall Waterfront Park, leashed dogs can enjoy a stroll with their humans along the Willamette River. If your pooch would rather get their paws wet, try the Selwood Riverfront Park shoreline, perfect for a good splash.

And deeper into the park, you’ll find fields, trails, and an off-leash area that dogs can explore freely. In Sellwood-Moreland, leashed dogs are welcome at the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge – 140 acres of forest and wetlands, home to almost 200 species of birds and a bounty of other wildlife.

A bit further out is the idyllic Chimney Park, well-known for its fenced-in area for dogs, which includes a walking path and plenty of picnic benches. Also, on the outskirts of the city, Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden is another dog-friendly spot – as long as dogs remain on the leash, this stunning botanical garden full of sweet-smelling flowering plants can be enjoyed by all.

Where to stay in Portland – from the coolest hotels to the best neighborhoods

The Ace hotel Portland

A wealth of hotels, hostels, guesthouses, and AirBnB’s are scattered throughout Portland and its suburbs. But in a city with so much character, it’s worth discovering which area will best suit your trip.

If you’re new to The City of Roses and want to get an instant feel for the city’s free spirit, then downtown Portland is the best place to be.

At the heart of the city, this area is filled with quirky markets and shops, impressive galleries, tasty eateries, live music, and fabulous street art. With easy access to Portland’s excellent public transport links, exploring further afield from the city center is a piece of the pie.

Another area oozing with style and chill is Hawthorne District. If you’re on a budget, Hawthorne is a great shout for somewhere to stay and has some excellent hostels – allowing you to take advantage of the vintage boutiques, craft breweries, live music, and historic venues on the doorstep.

Best Coffee Shops in Portland

Pearl District’s transformation from a run-down industrial area to a super-cool, sought-after neighborhood has gifted the city with world-class art galleries, acclaimed eateries, stylish loft apartments – all from a central location. Pearl District’s slightly more rebellious cousin – Alberta Arts neighborhood – is the perfect place to uncover local artists, live music and is well-known for its vegan-friendly eateries.

Central Eastside is where industrial Portland meets recreational Portland. This district is buzzing with life and offers a multitude of top-quality restaurants, microbreweries, boutiques, and cafes celebrating the area’s famed coffee culture.

Mississippi is a small, bohemian center for independent music in the north of the city, which is experiencing a rise in popularity. Amongst restaurants, bars, specialist shops, and music venues, you’ll also find the largest LGBTQ2SIA+ center in the Pacific Northwest.

Shop for unique antiques and discover historic buildings alongside lovely riverfront views in the Sellwood-Moreland district. This Southeast Portland area also boasts a charming vintage amusement park providing old-school rides, carnival games, food and a roller rink.

Also in Southeast Portland, Jade District is one of the city’s most diverse communities – home to Asian, Middle-Eastern, Russian and Latino groups. This vibrant area is the place to be if you want delicious eats and cheap accommodation.

If you’re on a bigger budget and fancy staying somewhere with a touch more sophistication, then try Nob Hill. Surrounded by parks, forests and greenery this upscale neighborhood has a small village feel while sitting in the middle of the city.

Best places to camp near Portland

Surrounded by forests, mountains and the chance of adventure, it’s no surprise that Portland has a great selection of RV parking and camping sites.

Prices and amenities can vary, but generally the standard is very good. From glamping yurts to rugged wilderness, Portland once again spoils us for choice.

You can enjoy the best of city and country life with a cluster of great sites sitting to the north of the city center, around the start of the Historic Columbia River Highway. As you drive east, along the scenic Interstate-84, you’ll find more places to park or camp dotted along the way.

Best vineyards in Portland

There are also plenty of pretty spots to rest your head at if you’re traveling southeast out of the city, especially around Mount Hood village, with some sites deeper into the forest for the most adventurous visitors.

A number of sites also offer a pitch under the stars in the lush green hills of the Willamette Valley. Taking the Interstate-5 south out of Portland, you’ll pass a multitude of great quality parks with mod cons and a range of amenities.

If the beach is more your style, then you’re in luck as there are countless parks and sites all along the Oregon coast.

Budgeting – how much do you need for a trip to Portland, Oregon

Portland Lifestyle Oregon

Unlike some destinations, a trip to Portland doesn’t have to break the bank, unless that’s your aim!

Traveling from inside the US can be quite cheap – often under $100. Then taking an Uber or Lyft from the PDX airport to downtown Portland will cost between $25-$40.

Flying internationally of course costs more. It is possible to find a direct flight from London, but as Portland International Airport is relatively small, the more usual route is to connect via a different U.S. city: this can cost between $500-$1,500.

Portland Streetcar Oregon

Once in the city, it’ll cost you $5 for a day travel pass (Trimet bus and MAX light rail services, Portland streetcar services, and some C-Tran services), and $2.5 for 2 hours. Kids aged 7-17s and over 64s can ride at half price.

From lavish to low-key, Portland has no shortage of quality hotels to fit your tastes and budget. For a hotel in downtown Portland, you’re looking at around $150 for a double room per night, up to $300+ for something grander.

For those on a tight budget, you’ll find affordable accommodation in the vibrant North Portland area. The average cost of a hostel will set you back 21€ – 67€ per night.

Or if you’re in a group there’s a wide selection of AirBnB’s offering some cost-effective choices. Also, there are some great RV parks and camping options in and around the city.

Best markets in Portland, Oregon

Food and drink can be more expensive here than in other places as there is a focus on great quality and local, organic produce. Artisanal groceries are widely available and many of the restaurants are of a high standard.

However, if you’re on a budget, the city has hundreds of food carts serving delicious fare. A city named ‘Beervana’ is a paradise for some beer drinkers but know that craft brews can be pricey due to taxes and the extra labor they take to produce.

It’s worth remembering that some of the best things to do in Portland are free. For art lovers, splashes of fabulous street art adorn many corners of Portland and monthly art walks happen in Pearl District and Alberta Art District. Many of Portland’s parks don’t charge, and some museums feature admission-free days.

There’s usually a street market or festival happening somewhere, and also check out downtown’s Pioneer Courthouse Square which hosts 300 events of all sizes, every year.

Portland Visitors Information – how to have the perfect Portland break

Visitors Information Portland

Found in the northwestern corner of Oregon, Portland is known as a rainy city – but this means that visitors are catered for even in wet weather. However, June – August is consistently warmer and drier, for making the most of outdoor attractions.

If you are a winter sports enthusiast, the surrounding snowy mountains make Portland an ideal destination, with mid-November to March being when you’ll find the most snow.

Portland International Airport (PDX) has direct flights and connections to most major airports throughout the U.S. and in seven other countries.

PDX has been cited as a reason to visit Portland for its great service, connections to downtown, craft beer, food carts, and tax-free shopping. Get to the city from the airport in about 40 minutes by taking the MAX light rail Red Line – which runs every 15 minutes.

The main highway of America’s West Coast – Interstate-5 – travels through Portland. Make road trips a simple straight line if you’re setting off from anywhere between San Diego, California, and Blaine, Washington.

St. Johns Bridge views

However, traffic in the city center can be slow and heavy, so coach services connecting Portland with many major U.S. cities have become popular with visitors. The West Coast service is frequent, stopping at places such as Los Angeles, Seattle, and Vancouver; there are also some cross-country routes that pass through Minneapolis and Chicago.

How to get around

Inside the city, Portland is split into North, Northeast, Northwest, South, Southeast, and Southwest. Locals refer to these sections as ‘quadrants’, which may not please maths teachers but is useful when navigating the city. The quadrants are further divided into districts and neighborhoods. Biking culture is strong in Portland, and most people get from district to district by a combination of walking, cycling, and public transport.

The TriMet public transport system is quick, clean, and reliable. MAX light rail connects all six sections of the city with 94 stations and provides a bus and streetcar service. You’ll find bike racks outside of every MAX station, and you can take your bike aboard the MAX. Buses have bike racks that hold up to two bikes.

Portland doesn’t shy away from sharing its talents and treats and offers a host of city tours. Find out about the art and science of craft brewing from an expert, indulge in a trail of culinary locally-sourced treats or get up close to sites of historical importance, to name a few. Walking and biking tours will guide you around the city center, but you can also take a boat ride tour or enjoy a fancy dinner down the Willamette River.

A tour of Portland’s surrounding area is also highly recommended; taking you into the sweeping green hills and majestic mountains of Oregon’s wilderness. Or a hot-air balloon will give you a bird’s eye view of the area in all its glory.

On the first Thursday of the month, art galleries in Pearl District open their doors and everyone is welcome to chat with the artists, catch some new exhibitions, or just enjoy the street performers and sidewalk artists. In response, Alberta Art District now has their own art walk on the last Thursday of every month, which is a similar setup, but with a more relaxed, party vibe.

Best festivals in Portland Oregon

A packed program of festivals and events ensures that the city is always celebrating. Spring and summer see Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm painted with a rainbow of blooms; the UFO Festival hosting alien-themed parades; Portland Cinco de Mayo Fiesta filled with multicultural music, dancers, and food; Portland Rose Festival; Festival of Balloons; Jazz Festival; Brewers Festival and International Film Festival.

Autumn and winter on the other hand offer events which can more easily be enjoyed indoors including the internationally renowned Feast Portland Food and Drink; Portland Fashion Week – supporting independent and eco-friendly designers; Portland Book Festival, Folk Festival, and Chinese New Year.

Generally speaking, Portland is a relatively safe city, and the crime that occurs is usually away from visitor areas. However, in some neighborhoods, you’re likely to see homeless residents in tents. The city is currently investing in housing solutions and is in the process of helping those experiencing homelessness move to equipped shelter villages.

Etiquette-wise, Portland is similar to that throughout the U.S. Top tips for blending in with the locals are to swap your umbrella for a hat or hood and always be ready with a cheerful smile and ‘Hello!’ for others on the streets and in the parks.

Resources for Travelers to Portland

Emergency Care

OHSU (Oregon Health & Science University)

24-hour emergency care

3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road

Portland, Oregon 97239


Emergency Dept, Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital

1015 NW 22nd Ave, Portland


AFC Urgent Care NE Portland   

7033 NE Sandy Blvd,

Portland, OR 97213


Walk-in Medical Centers

Portland VA Medical Center

3710 Southwest US Veterans Hospital Road

Portland, OR 97239-2964


Providence Portland Medical Center

15 Foursquare tips

4805 NE Glisan St, Portland



Emergency Dentist of Portland, Gresham, Happy Valley, Milwaukie

2341 SE 122nd Ave #200,

Portland, OR 97233


Emergency Dental Pros

  1. Fifth Avenue, Suite 3150

Portland, OR 97204

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