Should You Visit Portland?

Is Portland worth visiting?

We loved visiting Portland and, yes, it's absolutely a city that any traveler should visit. By the end of our time here, it felt like a second home. During our first trip to Portland in 2007, we fell in love with its quirky and down-to-earth atmosphere. We've been back several times since then to experience it even more.

Whether you're a traveling as a family, a couple, or a backpacker, this city has a lot to offer. Any local will tell you what makes it special is the terrific hiking and great nightlife.

Portland is a progressive and eclectic city that is very close to Mount Hood and the Columbia River Gorge area. The city is filled with forested parks and outdoor areas that you can explore. The gardens are immersive and beautiful, and the bike trails offer easy access to many parts of the city. There are also independent bookshops, farmers markets, and a huge art scene. Visitors enjoy wandering the unique neighborhood's and soaking up the atmosphere of this one-of-a-kind city.

Portland, Oregon Portland, Oregon

4 Reasons to Visit Portland

1. Hiking

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.

2. Nightlife

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.

3. Music

The town has a thriving live music and international folk dancing scene.

4. 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.




Expert Advice from Local Travelers

We're asking our community members and registered users to contribute their experiences about Portland.

What makes Portland a budget-friendly destination? Or not?

We managed to save money by staying a bit outside of town. Since we had our own car, we were able to drive into town or take a number of day trips to the many nearby parks and attractions.

frugal_traveler
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Jun 21 2023

How can you save money during your time in Portland?

We saved money by eating at the cheaper restaurants and taking public transportation, which is convenient and easy.

cal_girl4
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Jan 7 2024

What was your favorite thing about Portland?

We love to just go hang out in town without a plan. It's a bit cliche but we'll just pop in the local shops, have coffee, and buy a book or two.

ben-travel1
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Dec 23 2023

We used the city as a base for visiting the surrounding sights and parks. It's beautiful and there are many great views.

coasts_and_sunshine
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Nov 14 2023

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Is Portland worth visiting in the Summer?

The high season for travel in Portland is the summer, so expect to see more tourists than usual. This destination is quite touristy, so in the high season it's busier than usual. You'll see larger crowds and longer lines, as well as higher prices. On the other hand, there's plenty to see and do at this time of year because everything is open. Summer is probably the best time to visit Portland weather-wise.

The warm weather in summer is one of the reasons people visit at this time of year. Temperatures average around 20°C (68°F) with daily high temperatures often more than 27°C (80°F).

The nearby hiking this time of year is a must-do, so take some time to get out on the trails, take in some fresh air, and enjoy the scenery. You'll also find it quite easy to get around on foot, because this is a very walkable city, especially in the nice weather. During this season it's fun to experience the small town charm, the hiking, and the nightlife.


Summer Weather in Portland
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
July 20°C (68°F) 18 mm (0.7 in)
August 20°C (69°F) 25 mm (1 in)
September 17°C (63°F) 44 mm (1.7 in)

Is Portland worth visiting in the Autumn?

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during autumn with average temperatures around 13°C (55°F).

Autumn is the shoulder season for travel in Portland, which means slightly less visitors than in the peak season. This destination is quite touristy, so in the shoulder season you'll still come across plenty of touriss. However, the prices tend to be a little cheaper.

This is a great time of year to take in the beautiful scenery, get out into nature, and soak up the small town charm. Also, you'll be able to listen to some live music.


Autumn Weather in Portland
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
October 13°C (55°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
November 8°C (46°F) 136 mm (5.4 in)
December 5°C (40°F) 156 mm (6.1 in)

Is Portland worth visiting in the Winter?

Winter is the low season for travel in Portland. This destination is quite touristy, but in the low season you'll see fewer crowds and much better prices. You can expect cooler temperatures and rain during the winter months.

The weather in Portland can be quite cold during winter, and averages around 4°C (40°F). But be prepared for much lower temperatures, too.

You'll find plenty to do during winter, as you'll be able to enjoy an evening out and enjoy the live music scene.


Winter Weather in Portland
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
January 4°C (40°F) 132 mm (5.2 in)
February 7°C (44°F) 98 mm (3.9 in)
March 9°C (47°F) 92 mm (3.6 in)

Is Portland worth visiting in the Spring?

This is the shoulder season for travel in Portland. This destination is quite touristy, so in the shoulder season you'll still come across plenty of touriss. However, the prices tend to be a little cheaper.

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during spring with average temperatures around 11°C (51°F).

During this season it's fun to experience the shops and boutiques, the gorgeous scenery, and the small town charm. Also, you can listen to some live music and grab some drinks at a bar.


Spring Weather in Portland
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
April 11°C (51°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
May 14°C (57°F) 51 mm (2 in)
June 18°C (64°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)

Things to Consider Before Visiting Portland

Museums: Portland isn't a place that's filled with a huge number of sights and attractions. 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.

Food: Portland doesn't top the list for most foodies. 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.

Not As Romantic
For couples, this destination does not have a great vibe for romance compared to other places.

The Cost
Depending on your budget, schedule, and travel style, Portland might be an expensive destination for you. You can find out the travel costs for Portland here or see if Portland is expensive here.

Related

What is Portland most famous for?

Portland is most famous for its independent and vintage shops, thriving art scene, lush parks and gardens, progressive and quirky personality, and easy access to amazing natural beauty. People visit this impressive city for its great hiking. It is also known for its great nightlife, music, and shopping. It is often described as quirky, eclectic, tree-lined, nature-filled, scenic, laid-back, and progressive.


What is the most famous sight in Portland?

The most popular sight in Portland is Washington Park. You can see prices and costs for this and other sights in Portland on our travel costs page.

Or, see tickets, activities, and tours for Washington Park and other attractions here.

How touristy is Portland? Is it a popular city to visit?

Portland is a popular city for tourists and travelers. Here are some of the most popular activities and tours. (Prices in US Dollars)


    • Air Tour of Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls from Portland: $199
    • City of Portland Tour: Historic and iconic sights: $79
    • The Sushi Tour: $249
    • Aerial adventure above Portland, Oregon: $189
    • Taste of Hawthorne Food and Backyard Urban Farm Tour: $99
    • Wonderful Waterfalls Tour: $89
    • Small Group: Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls and Mt Hood Day Tour from Portland: $199
    • Guided Jetboat Tour for Six -Private: $225

    How long should I spend in Portland?

    The ideal length of time for a trip to Portland is two to three days. Since Portland has activities such as hiking, many visit for up to three days.

    If you have a specific amount of time for your trip, see our advice about how much time to spend here: Should I spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Portland? and Should I spend 3, 4, or 5 days in Portland?.