A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Arlington vs. Portland for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Backpackers

Should you visit Arlington or Portland?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Arlington or Portland, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Arlington

Arlington is a international, historical, and educational city. Other reasons to visit include food, shopping, and museums.

Portland

Portland is a scenic, laid-back, and progressive city. This is a charming small with plenty of activities, too. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. It's also popular because of the live music, hiking, and shopping.

Arlington and Portland: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for food
  • Public transit not as usable


Is there more to do in Arlington or Portland?

You'll generally find more things to do in Portland than Arlington. Portland is bigger than Arlington, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Portland is better known for its music, hiking, small town charm, and impressive beauty, while Arlington is more popular for its museums, food, and nightlife. Arlington is well known for its international connections, its biking and walking trails, and being the location of the Pentagon. Portland is well known for its independent and vintage shops, thriving art scene, lush parks and gardens, progressive and quirky personality, and easy access to amazing natural beauty. Also, Portland is famous for Washington Park.

How is Arlington different from Portland?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Portland and Arlington. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Arlington or Portland?

Arlington
Portland

Arlington is a very popular place for its museums and history. However, Portland is lacking in good options for its museums and landmarks.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Arlington. Arlington National Cemetery is where you'll find the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as well as the tomb of John F. Kennedy Jr. There are many memorials around town, with the most famous being the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial. There are also several museums like the DEA Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Portland offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. Visitors usually come for the city's outdoor recreation and eclectic personality more than the landmarks and museums. There are a few places to visit on a rainy day though including Pittock Mansion, the Portland Art Museum, and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.


Is the Food Better in Arlington or Portland? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Arlington
Portland

Arlington is a very popular place for its restaurants. However, Portland is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Arlington. It's a global city, and the restaurants reflect that. You'll find amazing Thai, Japanese, and Mexican restaurants. There are also less common cuisines to choose from such as Ethiopian, Moroccan, and Peruvian.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Portland. The town is more famous for it's craft beer than it's food, but there are still a number of local restaurants that offer unique Oregon dishes. You'll find no shortage of vegetarian and vegan options on most menus. There is also a big farm-to-table scene with many farmers markets around town as well.

Is Arlington or Portland Better for Nightlife?

Arlington
Portland

Arlington is a very popular place for nightlife. Also, Portland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife and partying.

Arlington has a large number of nightlife venues. The city has a huge young population that drives the nightlife scene. There are clubs, bars, and lounges in many neighborhoods. There are also comedy clubs and plenty of live music.

Portland has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. Famously, this town's nightlife is all about the craft beer and local breweries. Make sure you check out Bailey's Taproom, The Big Legrowlski, and The Commons Brewery.

Is Arlington or Portland Better for Music?

Arlington
Portland

Portland is a nice place to visit for its music scene. However, Arlington is not a live music destination.

The music scene helps keep Portland active and fun. The town has a thriving live music and international folk dancing scene.

Arlington is not a live music destination.


Is Arlington or Portland Better for Hiking?

Arlington
Portland

Portland is an excellent place to visit for its hiking trails. However, Arlington is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Portland. Just outside of town you'll find amazing hikes and stunning natural beauty. In town there are many urban hikes through parks and gardens, but in just a short drive you also have access to Mount Hood and many of the region's most beautiful hikes around the Columbia River Gorge.

Arlington is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Arlington or Portland?

Arlington
Portland

Shoppers can find a variety of notable stores in both Arlington and Portland.

Arlington has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. Many neighborhoods have local shops or farmer's markets. There are also shopping centers and malls such as Ballston Quarter, The Crossing Clarendon, and The Village at Shirlington.

Portland is a great destination for shopping. To fully experience shopping in town, head to the local vendors and thrift shops. There are many vintage clothing shops, book stores, and independent sellers around town. The city is also full of farmers markets. For some of the most interesting shopping, check out the Pearl District, Pioneer Place, Union Way, and Downtown neighborhoods.

Is Arlington or Portland Better for Families?

Arlington
Portland

Arlington and Portland are both notable destinations for the whole family.

Arlington is a family-friendly city. Kids will enjoy seeing the planes talk off from Gravelly Point park. There are also plenty of outdoor spaces and educational opportunities in the area, including world class museums.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Portland. This is an outdoor city by nature, so families will appreciate the many parks and outdoor recreational activities around town. It's easy to fill a couple of days exploring and having fun with the kids. Kid-friendly activities include the zoo, the aerial tram, and several great museums.


Is Arlington or Portland Better for Couples?

Arlington
Portland

Arlington and Portland are both notable to visit as a couple.

Arlington is a good city for couples to visit. There's a vibrant cultural scene and many international restaurants that couples can enjoy. It's also a great place to take in a show or concert.

Portland is a nice destination for couples. The laid-back, alternative vibe is fun to explore as a couple. There are independent bookstores, nice parks, and plenty of outdoor activities to choose from. Couples who enjoy an eclectic city, breweries, and nature, will find a lot to do in town.

Is Arlington or Portland Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Arlington
Portland

Arlington and Portland are both high quality destinations for backpackers.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Arlington. There are a couple of hostels and many free activities nearby. There's also great public transportation that makes for a convenient backpacker destination.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Portland. The town has drawn young explorers for years, and backpackers who like to step away from the mainstream will feel right at home here.

Is Arlington or Portland Better for Students?

Arlington
Portland

Arlington is a very popular place for its student-friendly activities. Also, Portland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for students.

Students come from all over to stay in Arlington. There are a huge number of colleges and museums in the area as well as many great internship and educational opportunities.

Portland is popular with students. It's a young and relaxed city that attracts independent thinkers. There are many bookstores and breweries around town. The cost of living can be a bit high though.


Is Arlington or Portland Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Arlington
Portland

Arlington is very popular for times when you don't have a car. Also, Portland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its public transit.

Arlington has an effecient and thorough public transportation system which can take you anywhere in the city. There is a reliable bus system around town as well as many metro connections.

You'll find some public transit in Portland, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. The town has a bus and light rail system as well the Aerial tram.

Is Arlington or Portland a more walkable city?

Arlington
Portland

Arlington and Portland are high quality when it comes to walkability.

Arlington is a very walkable destination. There are many pedestrian-friendly areas around town, particularly in the neighborhoods that are concentrated around metro stations.

Portland is very walkable. It is quite walkable, particularly in the tourist areas such as Downtown, Pearl, and Old Town Chinatown.

For even more information, also check out Is Arlington Worth Visiting? and Is Portland Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Portland or Arlington?

How long in Arlington or Portland?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Arlington and Portland. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Arlington than in Portland. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Arlington, and 2-3 days is enough time in Portland.

Families should spend more time in Arlington than Portland. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Arlington, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Arlington than Portland. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Arlington that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Arlington than Portland if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Arlington.


  • How many days in Arlington or Portland? Ideal Length of Stay
    Arlington 2-4 
    Portland 2-3

One day in Arlington or Portland?

The city of Arlington offers food and shopping. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

You'll find live music and shopping around the city of Portland. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A weekend in Arlington or Portland?

Arlington is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Arlington, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

You'll find shopping and nightlife around the eclectic destination of Portland. Hikers are also drawn to this area. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Arlington or Portland?

Arlington is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the nature-filled city of Portland. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

A week in Arlington or Portland?

Arlington is a great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

Portland is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


Which place is cheaper, Portland or Arlington?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Arlington is $264, while the average daily cost in Portland is $180. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Arlington and Portland in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Arlington $131
    Portland $97
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Arlington $262
    Portland $194
Compare Hotels in Arlington and Portland

Looking for a hotel in Arlington or Portland? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Arlington


Hotels in Portland


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Arlington Hotel Prices and Portland Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Arlington $49
    Portland $28

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arlington

Also for Arlington, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Ronald Reagan DCA Airport Transfers: $160

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portland

Also for Portland, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Waterfall Express -PDX: Waterfall Trolley Tickets + Transfer: $60
  • Tigard hotel or address to Portland Airport (PDX) - Departure Private Transfer: $76
  • Private Transfer from Portland City Hotels to Astoria Cruise Port: $88
  • Private Transfer from Portland Airport (PDX) to Astoria Port: $88
  • Private Departure Transfer to Portland Airport (PDX): $40
  • Private Departure Transfer from Portland Airport PDX to Portland: $106
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Portland Airport PDX: $40
  • Portland downtown to Portland Airport (PDX) - Departure Private Transfer: $62
  • Portland International Airport - Private transfer from/to Oregon City: $127
  • Portland Airport to The Summit at Snoqualmie Arrival Transfer: $187
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Tigard hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $152
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Tigard hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $76

Is it cheaper to fly into Arlington or Portland?

Prices for flights to both Portland and Arlington change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Arlington $81
    Portland $43

Typical Food Prices in Portland

For Portland, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Afternoon Drinks (for 2)
    $9.50

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Portland

For Portland, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Walking Pizza Tour: $75
  • Portland Pizza Tour : $75
  • Brunch on Mississippi Food Tour: $95
  • Brunch on Mississippi Food Tour: $95
  • Secret Food Tour with Local Guide: $95
  • Mississippi Avenue Walking Food Tour: $105
  • The Vibrant Kerns Hood Food Tour: $105
  • The Bustling Buckman Hood Food Tour: $105
  • Portland Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $109
  • All-Inclusive Downtown Portland Food Tour: $119
  • All-Inclusive Walking Food Tour: $119
  • 2.5-hour Dinner Cruise on Willamette River: $127

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Arlington $11
    Portland $24

Tours and Activities in Portland

For Portland, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 2-hour Champagne Brunch Cruise on Willamette River: $102
  • 2 Hour Guided Segway Tour: $69
  • 2-hour Lunch Cruise on Willamette River: $86
  • 7 Wonders of the Gorge 3.5-hour Jetboat Cruise: $90
  • 8-Hour Guided Fishing Adventure in Portland, Oregon: $250
  • 90 Minute Sailing Tour of Portland: $99
  • A Full Day of Wonder: Wine, Waterfalls, and Timberline Tour: $189
  • Afternoon Half-Day Multnomah Falls and Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour from Portland: $75
  • Airplane Flight Tour over Portland, Oregon: $99
  • Airplane Tour of Portland, Oregon: $189
  • All Day Northern Oregon Wineries and Forest Bike Tour: $245
  • Amazing Private Gorge Air Tour for 3: $219

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Arlington $17
    Portland $17

Sample the Local Flavors in Portland

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Portland:

  • Power Through Portland Bar Crawl: $12
  • Weird Portland Pub Tour: $29
  • Portland Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Portland Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $40
  • Oregon Priority Wine Tasting Pass: $40
  • Haunted Underground Shanghai Tunnel Tour with Brewery Tastings: $40
  • Haunted Pub Tour: $45
  • Guided Bike Tour with Brewery Visits: $49
  • Eastside Craft Brewery Walking Tour: $59
  • Weird Bar Crawl with Fanatical Local: $59
  • Distillery Row of Portland's Eastside Walking Tour : $75
  • Portland, Maine: Old Port Brewery & Pub Walking Tour: $87


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Arlington and Portland, we can see that Arlington is more expensive. And not only is Portland much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Portland would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Portland and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Arlington would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Arlington than you might in Portland.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Arlington Expensive? and Is Portland Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Arlington or Portland?

Portland has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Arlington. When comparing the sizes of Arlington and Portland, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Arlington or Portland?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Arlington or Portland in the Summer?

Both Portland and Arlington are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Arlington this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Portland for the hiking, the small town charm, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Arlington is a little warmer than Portland. Typically, the summer temperatures in Arlington in July average around 79°F (26°C), and Portland averages at about 68°F (20°C).

It's quite sunny in Portland. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Arlington. Arlington usually receives less sunshine than Portland during summer. Arlington gets 278 hours of sunny skies, while Portland receives 338 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Arlington usually receives more rain than Portland. Arlington gets 3.5 inches (88 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 0.7 inches (18 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Arlington 79°F (26°C) 
    Portland 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Arlington or Portland in the Autumn?

Both Portland and Arlington during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Arlington for the shopping scene. Furthermore, many visitors come to Portland in the autumn for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the music scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Arlington is generally a little warmer than Portland. Daily temperatures in Arlington average around 60°F (15°C), and Portland fluctuates around 55°F (13°C).

In the autumn, Arlington often gets more sunshine than Portland. Arlington gets 197 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Portland receives 155 hours of full sun.

Arlington usually gets more rain in October than Portland. Arlington gets 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 2.6 inches (67 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Arlington 60°F (15°C) 
    Portland 55°F (13°C)

Should I visit Arlington or Portland in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Arlington and Portland. Many visitors come to Arlington in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, most visitors come to Portland for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Portland can be very cold during winter. Arlington can get quite cold in the winter. Arlington is much colder than Portland in the winter. The daily temperature in Arlington averages around 35°F (1°C) in January, and Portland fluctuates around 40°F (4°C).

Arlington usually receives more sunshine than Portland during winter. Arlington gets 139 hours of sunny skies, while Portland receives 86 hours of full sun in the winter.

Portland receives a lot of rain in the winter. In January, Arlington usually receives less rain than Portland. Arlington gets 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 5.2 inches (132 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Arlington 35°F (1°C) 
    Portland 40°F (4°C)

Should I visit Arlington or Portland in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Arlington as well as Portland. Additionally, the spring months attract visitors to Portland because of the small town charm and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Arlington is a little warmer than Portland. Typically, the spring temperatures in Arlington in April average around 56°F (14°C), and Portland averages at about 51°F (11°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Portland. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Arlington this time of the year. In the spring, Arlington often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Portland. Arlington gets 228 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Portland receives 231 hours of full sun.

Arlington usually gets more rain in April than Portland. Arlington gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 2.4 inches (61 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Arlington 56°F (14°C) 
    Portland 51°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Portland and Arlington

Arlington Portland
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 35°F (1°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 40°F (4°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm)
Feb 37°F (3°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Mar 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Apr 56°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
May 66°F (19°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2 inches (51 mm)
Jun 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 64°F (18°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 68°F (20°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 69°F (20°C) 1 inches (25 mm)
Sep 71°F (22°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.7 inches (44 mm)
Oct 60°F (15°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 55°F (13°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Nov 50°F (10°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 46°F (8°C) 5.4 inches (136 mm)
Dec 39°F (4°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 40°F (5°C) 6.1 inches (156 mm)