On a Budget

There are so many things to do in the Rose City — all without overspending.

Affordable Attractions

All of these great local attractions are all either free or offer affordable admission.

Free & Nearly Free

Sample food and beverage and plenty of the famous "Keep Portland Weird" spirit at these free and almost-free attractions.

Year-Round Free & Nearly Free Fun

All year long, Portland's calendar is overflowing with affordable (and sometimes free!) events.

5 to Try

Free Attractions

These local destinations are all free to explore, making them a favorite stop on any budget itinerary.

  • Forest Park

    Portland's 5,200-acre urban forest, just minutes from the central city, stretches seven miles in length and contains more than 80 miles of trails.

  • Portland Saturday Market

    Combining an arts show, a live street concert and an open-air bazaar, this riverside market has been a beloved Portland tradition since 1974. The largest arts-and-crafts fair in the country is open Saturdays and Sundays from March to Christmas Eve.

  • Tom McCall Waterfront Park

    This downtown riverfront park offers a 1.5-mile stretch of green along the Willamette River. It is home to many signature Portland events, along with Salmon Street Springs and the Japanese American Historical Plaza.

  • Powell’s City of Books

    From humble storefront beginnings in 1971, Powell’s has grown into an iconic Portland destination. Occupying an entire city block, the world’s largest new and used bookstore offers frequent author talks, a rare book room and a coffee shop.

  • Multnomah County Central Library

    The oldest public library on the West Coast boasts historic architecture, more than 17 miles of bookshelves and terrific artwork.

Budget-Friendly Fun

Discovering new things and having fun in Portland doesn't take breaking the bank.

Bird-Watching in Portland

Catch sight of 200+ types of birds at the Portland area's dozens of prime bird watching destinations, including sanctuaries, refuges and urban parks.

Portland Karaoke Bars and Nights

Choose from private suites, pop-up events, tiki drinks and Chinese food as you select your ideal Portland karaoke venue from among the city’s top spots.

Free Live Music and Comedy in Portland

Discover a new favorite comic or musician at Portland's free concerts and comedy nights, scattered across the city and scheduled throughout the week.

Free Upcoming Events

Editor's Pick
2 Up and 2 Back: Arvie Smith
Dec. 8, 2019–Feb. 2, 2020

2 Up and 2 Back: Arvie Smith

Disjecta Contemporary Art Center Free

“Disjecta presents the rococo paintings of Arvie Smith in a show that is both vibrant and profound. Smith’s work draws on popular culture and fine art history to express empathy for the psychological plight of marginalized communities. His personal experience growing up in the segregated South instilled in him a desire to document the cultural…

Editor's Pick
Art & Design
Exhibition
Editor's Pick
Alexis Day: Cascades - Synapse and Satin
Jan. 2–Feb. 1, 2020

Alexis Day: Cascades – Synapse and Satin

Elizabeth Leach Gallery Free

“Portland artist Alexis Day’s mixed media tapestries combine lush fabrics, photography and painting to create dreamy, psychologically-charged interior scenes that drape from the gallery walls. Catch her latest work at Elizabeth Leach Gallery in the Pearl District this winter. ” – Oregon Arts Watch

Editor's Pick
Art & Design
Exhibition
Editor's Pick
Johanna Jackson and Milano Chow
Jan. 4–Feb. 1, 2020

Johanna Jackson and Milano Chow

Adams & Ollman Free

“Johanna Jackson’s humbly beautiful work is informed by craft traditions, and often incorporates ceramics, textiles and improvised sculptural materials. Her work will stand in pleasant juxtaposition to the meticulous trompe l’oeil graphite drawings of Milano Chow, which depict ornate architectural facades in excruciating detail.” – Oregon Arts Watch

Editor's Pick
Art & Design
Exhibition
Editor's Pick
Nat Meade: Sheesh
Jan. 7–Feb. 1, 2020

Nat Meade: Sheesh

Froelick Gallery Free

“Nat Meade uses glowing sunset-toned oil paint to render blocky humanoid forms engaged in absurdist compositions that poke fun at stereotypes of masculinity. His roughly textured brushwork gives his figures an almost monolithic feel, and adds to the delightful weirdness of this local artist’s style.” – Oregon Arts Watch

Editor's Pick
Art & Design
Editor's Pick
Joe Feddersen: Echo
Dec. 3, 2019–Feb. 1, 2020

Joe Feddersen: Echo

Froelick Gallery Free

Froelick Gallery is pleased to present “Echo,” its latest exhibition with Joe Feddersen, a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (Okanagan, Lakes), featuring recent monoprints, works on paper, and blown glass vessels. Feddersen’s imagery draws on traditional petroglyph forms to call attention to both ancient and contemporary sights and symbols of the…

Editor's Pick
Art & Design
Cultural Communities
Exhibition
Editor's Pick
Donna Gottschalk: Brave, Beautiful Outlaws
Jan. 2–Feb. 2, 2020

Donna Gottschalk: Brave, Beautiful Outlaws

Blue Sky Gallery / Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts Free

Blue Sky is pleased to present the first west coast exhibition of Brave, Beautiful Outlaws, which features 30 prints by Donna Gottschalk from her archive spanning over 40 years. Working in New York. Washington, D.C. and San Francisco from the 1960s into the 1990s, Gottschalk photographed herself along with her family, friends, lovers and activists…

Editor's Pick
Art & Design
Exhibition
LGBTQ+
Editor's Pick
Hannah Altman: Kavana
Jan. 2–Feb. 2, 2020

Hannah Altman: Kavana

Blue Sky Gallery / Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts Free

In Kavana, Hannah Altman explores her Jewish heritage and intergenerational memory, using photography to remember and reinterpret stories that have been passed down by the women in her family and generated through ritual and folklore. For the artist, her photographs “are positioning themselves in the past as memories, in the present as stories being told,…

Editor's Pick
Art & Design
Exhibition
Editor's Pick
Cascade Festival of African Films
Jan. 31–Feb. 29, 2020

Cascade Festival of African Films

PCC Cascade Campus & Hollywood Theatre Free

A free popular Portland event for 29 years, this year’s film festival features five weeks of more than 30 feature, documentary and short films by established and emerging African directors from 18 countries. The Cascade Festival of African Films shows us Africa through the eyes of Africans, rather than a vision of Africa packaged for…

Editor's Pick
Black History Month
Cultural Communities
Festival
Film
Editor's Pick
Junction Ave: A Black Owned Businesss Pop-Up
Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020

Junction Ave: A Black Owned Businesss Pop-Up

Self Enhancement Inc. Free

Support 80+ black-owned businesses, representing apparel, food and drink, health and wellness, service industries and much more, along with music, performances and a kid zone at this free event.

Editor's Pick
Black History Month
Cultural Communities
Shopping
Editor's Pick
Natan Dvir: Platforms
Feb. 6–Mar. 1, 2020

Natan Dvir: Platforms

Blue Sky Gallery / Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts Free

“New York-based photographer Natan Dvir brings a bit of the big city to Portland’s Blue Sky Gallery with his series of subway portraits, “Platforms.” The pictures capture New Yorkers in between places, waiting for the next train to arrive and whisk them to their destination. Some read books, some scroll through social media, some engage…

Editor's Pick
Art & Design
Exhibition
Editor's Pick
Portland Winter Light Festival
Feb. 6–8, 2020

Portland Winter Light Festival

Various Locations Free

Brighten your February with glowing sculptures and thousands of twinkling lights at the annual Winter Lights Festival.

Editor's Pick
Festivals
For Kids
Winter
Editor's Pick
Stories from the River Screening
Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020

Stories from the River Screening

Whitsell Auditorium Free

Watch this shorts series, created in partnership with Confluence and Woodrow Hunt (Klamath/Modoc, Cherokee) of Tule Films. Indigenous elders and leaders from the Columbia River will share personal stories and insights about the history, culture and ecology of the land and its people. Presented in partnership with the Native American Arts Council.

Editor's Pick
Cultural Communities
Film
Editor's Pick
Portland Mardi Gras Parade
Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020

Portland Mardi Gras Parade

North Mississippi Avenue, Portland, OR Free

Celebrate Fat Tuesday with the Mysti Krewe of Nimbus at this free, family-friendly community parade. Join the kids costume contest at 6 p.m. The parade begins at 7 p.m., followed by an after-party at Mississippi Studios at 8 p.m. (The afterparty is $5 to enter and is for those 21 and older.) Check out the…

Editor's Pick
Cultural Communities
For Kids
Nightlife
Editor's Pick
Womxn's March & Rally For Action
Sunday, Mar. 1, 2020

Womxn's March & Rally For Action

Portland State University Park Blocks Free

The Womxn’s March & Rally For Action returns in celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. Take to the streets on a day that honors womxn and their long history of marching, organizing and speaking out for social justice. Educate. Engage. Empower.

Editor's Pick
Cultural Communities
LGBTQ+
Women’s History Month
Editor's Pick
Brain Fair
Saturday, Mar. 7, 2020

Brain Fair

OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) Free

Discover the amazing things our brains can do at the free annual OHSU Brain Fair! Science fans of all ages will be fascinated by hands-on exhibits, displays and more. Casey Eye Institute will have a booth at the fair, where you can learn about different parts of the eye, how our vision works and how…

Editor's Pick
For Kids
Science & Tech
Editor's Pick
Pi Nee Waus Elders Pow Wow
Saturday, Mar. 28, 2020

Pi Nee Waus Elders Pow Wow

Jackson Armory Free

The Pi Nee Waus (A Place To Come) Elders respectfully invite you, along with your friends and family, to this annual Powwow. Grand Entries will be at 1 p.m. and again at 6 p.m.

Editor's Pick
Cultural Communities
Editor's Pick
Crafty Wonderland Spring Art + Craft Market
Saturday, May 2, 2020

Crafty Wonderland Spring Art + Craft Market

Oregon Convention Center Free

Portland’s biannual art and craft fair boasts unique handmade wares from 225+ local vendors.

Editor's Pick
Events
Makers
Shopping
Winter Holidays
Editor's Pick
Portland Pride
June 13–14, 2020

Portland Pride

Tom McCall Waterfront Park Free

Every June, the Portland Pride Festival & Parade makes a name for itself — and LGBTQ+ community members — all over town.

Editor's Pick
Festivals
LGBTQ+
Spring
Summer
Editor's Pick
World Naked Bike Ride
Saturday, June 27, 2020

World Naked Bike Ride

Secret Location TBD Free

Every June, thousands of cyclists cruise commando through Portland streets as part of the World Naked Bike Ride.

Editor's Pick
Biking
Weird
Editor's Pick
Art In The Pearl Fine Arts & Crafts Festival
Sept. 5–7, 2020

Art In The Pearl Fine Arts & Crafts Festival

North West Park Blocks Free

Art In The Pearl®, Portland Oregon’s annual Fine Arts & Crafts Festival, occurs every year on Labor Day weekend. The 23rd annual festival returns for Labor Day Weekend (Aug. 31–Sept. 2, 2019) in the Pearl District’s North Park Blocks. The Festival is free and requires no tickets for entry. Art In The Pearl has been…

Editor's Pick
Art & Design
Editor's Pick
West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta
Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020

West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta

Lake of the Commons Free

This annual race series consists of paddlers piloting a gaggle of gigantic gourds through a water course.

Editor's Pick
Events
Fall
For Kids
Halloween

On the Cheap

Delve into your passion without delving into your wallet.

Cheap Things to Do in Portland for Weekend Adventurers

Bring your walking shoes, water bottle and day-pack for an affordable urban adventure that highlights several things locals love about Portland.

Cheap/Affordable Things to Do in Portland for Arts Lovers

Experience Portland’s stellar music scene, ample museums and galleries, arts walks and festivals — all without busting your budget.

Cheap Things to Do in Portland for History Buffs

Experience Portland’s history without breaking your budget.