Portland is truly a city like no other. Nature lovers, avid readers, starving students and those looking for some cultural enlightenment are sure to find plenty to do in the city that's right up their ally.
While the city hosts an endless array of festivals and events each year, it is also home to hundreds of must-see attractions that are sure to tickle everyone’s fancy. Newcomers to Portland looking for something to do on their next day off will not have to look further than the list below for some of the most popular attractions in the city.
Attractions in Portland
Powell’s City of Books
The largest new and used bookstore in the world, Powell’s City of Books covers an entire city block and houses approximately one million books. Book lovers from all over the world travel to Portland to read in the Basil Hallward Gallery, located in the store, or to browse through its one-of-a-kind Rare Book Room. As its just too large to fully explore on one visit, Powell’s City of Books will definitely have book worms coming back for more.
Portland Saturday Market
Running every weekend from March through to December, Portland’s beloved Saturday Market is the largest continually operating arts and crafts fair in the US. Against a backdrop of live music, visitors to the market will have an array of yummy treats to taste and homemade wares to buy.
This French Renaissance style chateau, situated in the west hills of the city, was originally built in 1914 as a private home for the Pittock family. The mansion and its surrounding grounds are now open to the public as a historic house museum. With permanent and rotating exhibits, and a museum shop to visit, one can step back in time with a tour through the estate and the rooms of this magnificent house.
Although Portland is home to many beautiful gardens, the three most popular are the Lan Su Chinese Garden, the Portland International Rose Test Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden. These three spots offer a peaceful escape from the city; a tranquil haven where locals and newcomers to Portland can relax while surrounded by nature.
Portland Art Museum
Founded the 1892, the Portland Art Museum houses a wide range of art, including large Native American and Northwest collections that honour the Indigenous people whose land the museum now stands on. Anyone looking to experience some culture are sure to find it at the Art Museum. The exhibits are curated to enrich and engage with diverse communities, providing its visitors with a unique cultural experience.
This enormous urban wilderness is a haven for animals and nature lovers alike. With 70 miles (113km) of trails, Forest Park is a popular escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Runners, hikers, horse riders, as well as leashed dogs, can explore the reserve alongside its native bird and animal life.
Food Truck Pods
One of the many things that makes Portland what it is, is the frequency of food trucks. These trucks are grouped in pods throughout the city, providing locals and visitors alike with delicious snacks and meals to enjoy while exploring the city streets. Some of the most popular of these food truck pods are Cartopia and Cartlandia, as well as those situated on Portland State University campus, Third Avenue and Fifth Avenue.
►Find out about the family-friendly attractions in the city in Kids and Family in Portland.
"Walking at Laurelhurst Park and Mount Tabor, shopping at NW 23 Street and at SE Hawthorne between 32 and 39th street during non-Covid times. Visiting Powell's City of Books downtown. Eating well in the small Indian and Thai restaurants you find everywhere." Read more about what Peter, a Danish expat, loves about life in Portland.
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Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Portland. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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