15 Awesome Things to do Alone in Portland

Being a friendly, safe, and easy-to-get-around city, Portland is an excellent choice for a solo travel break – whether male or female. If you want to make the most of this fantastic city as a single traveler I can make some suggestions.  From calm markets to beautiful, peaceful gardens, here are my personal favorite things to do alone in Portland, Oregon…

Top 3 Best Things to do Alone in Portland
11 l Global Grasshopper – travel inspiration for the road less travelled
Best For Shopping
PDX Night Market
22 l Global Grasshopper – travel inspiration for the road less travelled
Best For Scenic Views
BEST FOR: Scenic Views Portland Aerial Tram
33 l Global Grasshopper – travel inspiration for the road less travelled
Best For Quirky
Freakybuttrue Peculiarium
Best For Shopping

PDX Night Market

PDX Night Market - Portland

I’m a huge fan of this place and I can spend hours here. PDX Night Market is a quarterly event that displays native businesses of Portland. From food and drinks to arts and crafts to music and culture, there’s so much that this event offers to its attendees. 

The PDX Night Market showcases some of the best food businesses across Portland, such as Olympia Provisions, Twisted Gyros, Pdxempanadas, and Los 2 Compadres. I’d suggest heading to Pip’s Original Doughnuts & Chai if you have a sweet tooth! 

The event also features an eclectic array of lifestyle businesses, including Soul Space Incense, Out of Office Ceramics, Penrose Candles, Cozy Creations, Katie M Mudd Ceramics, and BeeWild Candles.  They also have an extensive line-up of threads, adornments, and beauty and body products. 

If you feel like doing something alone in Portland, spending an evening at PDX Night Market may be the best option. At PDX Night Market, you can explore colorful and diverse native art by The Scribblist or Joan McGinnis Art while enjoying a margarita from Eola Hills Winery. The timings of the event vary depending on the season. 


Variety of food and drinks

Lifestyle and Artisan businesses

Beauty and body products

Native art by The Scribblist


Closed Sunday through Thursday

Limited parking

The area is crowded at times

Must Do Things

Try the margarita from Eola Hills Winery

Best For Scenic Views

Portland Aerial Tram

Portland Aerial Tram - Portland

The Portland Aerial Tram, or OHSU Tram, is an aerial commuter tram that travels between South Waterfront and Marquam Hill.

It has two stations, i.e., S. Moody & Gibbs on the waterfront and Kohler Pavilion on the hill. The team is accessible to the public all year long,, designed to withstand severe weather conditions. 

OHSU Tram is one of the country’s only two commuter aerial trams. If you want to do something adventurous alone while in the city, you may want to take this 3-minute ride from South Waterfront to Marquam Hill or vice versa.

You can explore the best of both neighborhoods while riding on the tram. The tram is not pet-friendly, and you can only bring service animals. 


Can withstand harsh weather

Accessible all year long

3-minute fun ride

Wheelchairs are welcome


Not pet-friendly

Closed on Sundays

Must Do Things

Have a look at the Marquam Hill

Best For Quirky

Freakybuttrue Peculiarium

Freakybuttrue Peculiarium - Portland

Located on Thurman Street in Northwest Portland, Freakybuttrue Peculiarium is an art gallery and museum showcasing peculiar artwork, macabre displays, and merchandise.

It’s a great place to visit alone as the gallery is too morbid for children. The gallery also features merchandise, such as artistic t-shirts, totes, comic books, hoodies, and vinyl stickers.

It is the only gallery that features the artwork of Colin Batty and Mike Wellins. The place is worth visiting if you admire sui generis art. You can spend an entire afternoon here exploring the creepy aesthetic masterpieces of Colin Batty.

The museum is open Wednesdays through Mondays between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. 

Must Do Things

Have a look at the merchandise

Best For Unique

The Grotto

The Grotto - Portland

Located in the Madison South district of Portland, The Grotto or The National Sanctuary of our Sorrowful Mother is a shrine stretching over 62 acres of area at the top and foot of a cliff. It is an outdoor shrine where people come to seek peace, pray, and enjoy natural beauty. 

The Grotto is a 30-foot-wide cave in The National Sanctuary of our Sorrowful Mother. The cave boasts a statue of the Virgin Mother carrying Jesus in her arms. It is one of the most frequented holy places in the city.

Whether or not you are religious, you can visit this beautiful shrine alone to meditate, reflect, or enjoy some moments of peace. 

The shrine also features The Chapel of Mary, The Peace Garden, and The Monastery. The National Sanctuary of our Sorrowful Mother is open between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. on all days of the week. 


A man-made historic cave

A most frequented holy place in Portland

Unique outdoor sanctuary

Grotto gift shop selling religious items


The parking is not secure

Must Do Things

Reflect and enjoy some moments of peace

Best For Nature Lovers

Hike at Hoyt Arboretum

Hike at Hoyt Arboretum - Portland

Located in the west of downtown Portland, Hoyt Arboretum is an urban park that spans 189 acres on top of a ridge in the Tualatin Mountains. The park is a part of Washington Park, a vast complex of public gardens in Portland. 

From birding to hiking to picnicking, you can enjoy a wide range of activities in this beautiful urban park. The park features lush green foliage, a museum, and thousands of endangered trees. 

Hoyt Arboretum boasts 12 hiking trails that hikers of all levels can use. If you visit Washington Park, you may want to hike along the Hoyt Arboretum.

It’s one of the most enjoyable things you can do alone in the park. The park is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on all days of the week. 


Limited free parking nearby

Trails are busy at times

Must Do Things

Have a look at the various endangered trees

Best For Flowers

Portland Japanese Garden

Portland Japanese Garden - Portland

Located in Washington Park in Southwest Portland, Portland Japanese Garden is a public park with eight botanical gardens stretching across 5.5 acres. The park boasts exquisite waterfalls, a teahouse, walkways fringed by beautiful herbage, and circuitous streams. 

Portland Japanese Garden is a great place to decompress and enjoy some moments of solitude. The park is open Fridays through Mondays from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 


Authentic Japanese garden outside Japan

Exquisite waterfalls

Eight different garden styles

Onsite teahouse in the tea garden


Closed on Tuesdays

Can get crowded at times

Must Do Things

Enjoy nature in solitude

Best For Educational

OMSI After Dark

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) - Portland

Located along the south waterfront of Portland, The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is a science and technology museum with large-screen theaters, science labs, a planetarium, and a massive array of hands-on permanent displays. 

You must attend the OMSI After Dark event to explore all museum features. OMSI After Dark is a night event for people above 21.

You can have it all from rotating shows to submarine tours to food and drinks at OMSI After Dark. 


Special planetarium shows

Can meet local scientists

Local science pub to grab drinks

OMSI After Dark Night event


Night event is only for 21+

Must Do Things

Do take the submarine tour

Best For Beautiful Scenery

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls - Portland

Located on Multnomah Creek in Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls is one of the most frequented natural recreation spots near Portland. You can access the waterfall from the Historic Columbia River Highway and Interstate 84. 

With an elevation of 620 feet, Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in Oregon. The waterfall features both paved and unpaved hiking trails. Multnomah Falls is worth visiting if you want to revel in the striking views of the Columbia River. 


Most frequented natural spot

An elevation of 620 feet

Paved and unpaved hiking trails

Striking Columbia River views


Can get crowded at peak times

Parking lot can be busy on holidays

Must Do Things

Take pictures of the natural beauty

Best For Art Fans

Portland Art Museum

Portland Art Museum - Portland

Located on the West Coast of Portland, Portland Art Museum features an extensive array of Asian and American Art. It is one of the oldest museums in the country, with a diverse collection of artworks from local and global artists. 

Portland Art Museum also boasts a film theater and hosts weekly exhibitions. It is a great place to visit for history buffs and art enthusiasts. It is open Wednesdays through Sundays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. The museum also has a small cafe and a gift shop. 


A world-class art museum

Featuring local and global artwork

Free admission every Friday from 4 to 8 pm

On-site cafe and gift shop


Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays

Busy on free days

Must Do Things

Attend the exhibition that is held weekly.

Best For Stunning Views

Tilikum Crossing Bridge

Tilikum Crossing Bridge - Portland

Tilikum Crossing Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge that connects the South Waterfront district of Portland to the Central Eastside. The bridge is open to pedestrians, bikers, and public transport. 

Crossing this 14-foot wide bridge is one of the fantastic outdoor adventures you can do in Portland. As you cross the bridge, you will experience lighting changes and mesmerizing views of the Willamette River. 


Mesmerising Willamette River views

One of the most iconic landmarks

Great sunset and skyline views

Perfect for cyclists and pedestrians


No other activity is available

Must Do Things

Visit at night to see the lighting

Best For History Fans

Oregon Rail Heritage Center

Oregon Rail Heritage Center - Portland

Located in Southeast Portland, Oregon, the Rail Heritage Center is a railway museum that features 60-year-old rail heritage artifacts symbolic of Portland’s distinct position as the country’s country’s rail hub.

The museum also features various vintage passenger cars, steam locomotives, and other rolling stock. Whether or not you are a railroad enthusiast, you will have a good time exploring the rail history of Portland at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center.

The hands-on exhibits available in the museum are accessible to the public.

Oregon Rail Heritage Center is open Thursdays through Sundays between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. 


60-years-old rail heritage artifacts

Vintage passenger cars

Free public exhibitions

Interesting rail history and gift shop


Closed Monday through Wednesday

Must Do Things

Explore the museum and rails

Best For Fun

A Bike Tour of Breweries

Bike Tour of Breweries - Portland

Portland boasts some of the best breweries in the Pacific Northwest. If you are a fan of English craft beers, you must make a bike tour to Level Beer in the Argay neighborhood of East Portland. 

You can learn much about how beers are made and sold by taking a bike tour of a brewery. If you like German-style beer, you may want to tour Rosenstadt Brewery.

While you can explore a brewery on foot, doing it on a bike is more fun. 


A two-hour ride

Can buy your beer at each stop

Can go individually or in groups

Multiple bikes are available


21 below are not allowed

Price increases on weekends

Must Do Things

Try Level Beer in the Argay neighborhood

Best For Book Lovers

Powell’s City of Books

Powell’s City of Books - Portland

Located on Burnside Street in West Portland, Powell’s City of Books is the largest independent bookstore in the world. It is a landmark bookstore that attracts travelers and tourists alike. 

The bookstore features an excellent selection of books. They have over 3,500 sections of books arranged in 9 color-coded rooms.

The bookstore is open throughout the week from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. If you are a book lover, you may want to spend an entire day exploring the eclectic array of books at Powell’s. They also have a gift shop and a cafe. 


Largest independent bookstore

9 color-coded rooms

Array of books of all kinds

On-site gift shop and cafe


No parking available closeby

No public restrooms

Must Do Things

Explore and choose books!

Best For Adventurous Types

Columbia River Gorge Airplane Tour

Columbia River Gorge Airplane Tour 

The Columbia River Gorge boasts some of the most prominent landmarks of the Pacific Northwest. It features all types of natural landmarks, from exquisite waterfalls to alpine meadows to rainforests. 

If you want to explore all parts of this massive canyon, you should take an airplane tour over the Columbia River Gorge.

An airplane tour of the Columbia River Gorge allows you to see every corner of the largest national scenic area in the United States. 


Natural stunning views

Exquisite waterfalls

Largest national scenic area

Fun flight experience


Not for people scared of heights

A pricey option

Must Do Things

Take your camera and capture the natural beauty

Best For Group Tour

City Tour on an electric Segway

City Tour on an electric Segway - Portland

While there are many ways to do sightseeing, you may want to ride an electric Segway to make your experience more adventurous.

From the coast ofthe  Willamette River to downtown Portland, you can explore all parts of the city on an electric Segway. 

If you like sightseeing and know how to ride a Segway, a city tour on an electric Segway may be the best thing you can do alone in Portland.


Adventurous ride

Can explore all around the city

Helpful attentive guides

Fun and sociable vibe


The introduction is a bit long

Must Do Things

Make new friends with other tourists

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