A trip to Portland doesn’t require emptying your wallet. Along with plenty of free-to-visit attractions and things to do and see throughout the city, Portland also hosts dozens of no-cost events and festivals throughout the year. Read on for our picks of budget-friendly fun in the Rose City, and check out our events calendar to discover upcoming free events.
Swimming Holes Near Portland
Stay cool all summer long at these serene swimming spots, surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest — and all less than an hour away from Portland.
Escape the city without leaving Portland; with 70 miles of trails within Portland city limits, 5,156-acre Forest Park is a popular escape for runners, equestrians and hikers alike and supporting more than 112 bird and 62 mammal species.
Beyond picnics and verdant strolls, Washington Park offers up a zoo, two museums, a spectacular rose garden, an arboretum, one of the most authentic Japanese gardens in the world, all lined by one of the largest urban forests, Forest Park.
Oregon Rail Heritage Center
The free museum features three vintage steam locomotives, including the one that pulled the U.S. Bicentennial Freedom Train in 1976.
Oregon Historical Society
The Oregon Historical Society collection includes thousands of historic artifacts (including the “Portland Penny") that shaped the land now known as Oregon, with permanent and rotating exhibits and an extensive research library.
Japanese American Culture
Connect with Portland's rich Japanese-American heritage at sites around the city.
Portland International Rose Test Garden
The oldest official continuously operated public rose test garden in the United States, the Portland International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park features more than 10,000 roses, great views of the skyline and the Cascades.
This serene woodland sanctuary in Northeast Portland features 62 acres (25 hectares) of lush botanical gardens. No matter what time of year you visit, the Grotto offers calm, peace and introspection, transcending boundaries.
Pioneer Courthouse Square
Located in the heart of downtown Portland, the city’s “living room” is close to shopping, restaurants, and hotels, and hosts hundreds of events each year.
Portland Saturday Market
Open every Saturday from March–December, Portland Saturday Market is the largest arts-and-crafts fair in the U.S.
Powell’s City of Books
Covering an entire city block, Powell’s has grown into a Portland landmark and the world's largest new and used bookstore — and its location is at the heart of the city, bridging the Pearl District, downtown and the West End.
Oaks Amusement Park
In Southeast Portland’s Sellwood neighborhood, Oaks Amusement Park has been providing families with carnival thrills and family fun since 1905.
Sauvie Island, the Manhattan-size isle is one of the largest river islands in the country just north of Portland, is where families can find an entire day’s worth of adventures with swimming, hiking, birding and local farms.
Bring your walking shoes, water bottle and day-pack for an affordable urban adventure that highlights several things locals love about Portland.
Experience Portland’s stellar music scene, ample museums and galleries, arts walks and festivals — all without busting your budget.
Experience Portland’s history without breaking your budget.
Piano Push Play Brings Music to the People
Piano Push Play invites local artists to transform old, donated pianos into whimsical works of art which are distributed across the city.
Portland Adult Soapbox Derby
The PDX Adult Soapbox Derby at Mt. Tabor Park pits grown-up kids against each other every August in pursuit of speed and laughs.
Monthly Art Walks in Portland
Explore Portland's art gallery scene with three regular art walks, held in different creative neighborhoods around town.
West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta
This annual race series consists of paddlers piloting a gaggle of gigantic gourds through a watercourse.
Chapman Swift Watch
Every September, spectators gather to see the world’s largest roost of Vaux’s swifts swarm and spiral into the chimney of a Northwest Portland school.
UFO Festival in McMinnville
Every May, thousands of visitors flock to the city’s famous UFO Festival, featuring four days of parades, costume contests and expert speakers.
The Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival
Portland saxophonist Jim Pepper's "Witchi Tai To" is the only song based upon a Native American chant to break into the Top 40.
Portland Winter Light Festival
Brighten your February with glowing sculptures and thousands of twinkling lights at the annual Winter Lights Festival.
Design Week Portland
This annual springtime festival showcases Portland's creative community, with a week full of lectures, design events and open houses.
Portland Rose Festival
Portland Rose Festival features multiple parades, waterfront carnival rides, concerts, dragon boat races, fireworks and plenty of roses.
Pedalpalooza Bike Festival
Portland's cycling culture peaks during summer's multi-week Pedalpalooza, featuring 200+ local-led, themed rides, all open to the public.
Catch sight of 200+ types of birds at the Portland area's dozens of prime bird watching destinations, including sanctuaries, refuges and urban parks.
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.
Discover a new favorite comic or musician at Portland's free concerts and comedy nights, scattered across the city and scheduled throughout the week.
Portland’s cycling culture peaks during summer’s multi-week Pedalpalooza, featuring 200+ local-led, themed rides, all open to the public.
Portland Parks & Recreation offers over 400 free events including free movie screenings, concerts and rock climbing.
Celebrate the season of DAHLIAS. A Rainbow of Color. Stroll through almost 40 acres and a beautiful display garden of stunning dahlias featuring over 370 varieties. The beautiful fields are open from August to September each year, closed on Wednesday. Pick out and order your favorite dahlias for Spring delivery and planting. Purchase a beautiful…
Minority Retort, the NW’s premier standup showcase featuring Black and Brown comedians, is proud to team up with Kickstand Comedy and Portland Parks and Rec to bring you Comedy in the Park. The show starts at 6 pm with Kickstand Comedy and another one of their outstanding lineups that make them Portland’s home for local…
Join in one of the oldest Street Fairs in Portland Portland’s Multnomah Village is filled with character – as well as dozens of unique shops, galleries, restaurants, arts and more. Multnomah Days is a one-day open-air family-friendly street festival with 100+ vendor booths, live musical acts, street entertainers, art, food and beverage carts, plus outdoor…
Year-round on Saturdays, the Hollywood Farmers Markets hosts 50+ vendors, bringing you the best of the region’s agricultural bounty. In addition to amazingly fresh, local food, you’ll find live music, children’s activities, and fun events throughout the season. April through September, every Saturday 8 AM to 1 PM,October and November, every Saturday 9 AM to…
The Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University will be open every Saturday, year-round. April through October hours are 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. November through March hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Market at PSU is located in Downtown Portland in the South Park Blocks between SW College & Montgomery Streets.
Rocky Butte Farmers Market is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit providing area residents with access to affordable, seasonal, and locally grown foods and artisan products. The market’s goal is to lower barriers to market participation for beginning and under-represented vendors and to strengthen connections within these diverse NE Portland communities. Rocky Butte Farmers Market is organized…
Was this page helpful?