Know Before You Go
Downtown Portland is well served by TriMet, the city’s public light rail, Portland Streetcar and bus system.
Portland’s compact, walkable downtown offers easy access to great food, green spaces, cultural offerings, tax-free shopping and seemingly endless things to do. Browse the Rose City’s most diverse mix of retail brands, see a show and grab a bite at a food cart or fine restaurant — all conveniently located in downtown Portland.
Where to Stay in Downtown
The city center offers easy access to shopping, entertainment, culture —and other districts, making downtown Portland a natural jumping-off point for visits to the city. Downtown is home to more than 35 hotels, from independent boutiques to big-name brands. With a direct light-rail connection to Portland International Airport, Portland Streetcar service and short, walkable blocks, downtown is great for a car-free stay.
Where to Eat and Drink in Downtown
Coffee connoisseurs select from a hand-written menu of single-origin, house-roasted beans at Courier Coffee Bar. Once you’ve made your choice, baristas grind the beans right in front of you to prepare a perfect pour-over into a steaming mason jar. Never short on local-roasted coffee, for award-wining single origin coffee visit the green wall at Coava Coffee for an urban escape after wondering the city center.
Flying Elephants, a Portland-local chain across from Director Park, offers deli fare from a fresh salad or sandwich with classic pastries to sate the sweet tooth. Nearby, another perfect no-fuss lunch in central city is Pastini Pastaria, serving pasta dishes with a contemporary take on Italian bistro dining. For a modern and romantic experience head to Q Restaurant & Bar with electric menus featuring dishes inspired by Pacific Northwest cuisine. Skip lunch and head right to the sweets at Ruby Jewel Ice Cream offering decadent handcrafted flavors, ice cream sandwiches and a vintage soda fountain.
As the evening winds down, relax into a leather armchair at Multnomah Whiskey Library, where expert staff offers recommendations from amongst 1,500 available spirits. Count on a line to get in; downstairs, The Green Room serves as a sophisticated (and thirst-quenching) waiting area.
Downtown Portland boasts a wide array of shopping options, from major national and international retailers to locally owned boutiques and specialty shops.
Downtown Portland restaurants run the gamut — you'll find everything from budget lunch options at a multitude of food carts to delicious fine dining at acclaimed dinner spots.
Walk to a wide range of entertainment in downtown including theaters, museums and parks that play host to festivals and farmers' markets.
Things to Do in Downtown
Museums, parks, sports arenas, shopping and theaters; these attractions in downtown Portland are enough to keep any traveler busy for days. Known as Portland’s living room, Pioneer Courthouse Square is a gathering space where most days you can people enjoying their lunch breaks, or taking a beat. From food carts to art installations and performance the Square is a must see.
Walk along the South Park Blocks, a green strip spanning 12 city-blocks ending at the campus of Portland State University, to discover public art, the Portland Art Museum, Oregon Historical Society, and seasonally, the Portland Farmers Market at PSU, in the heart of Downtown’s cultural hub.
Take in some music -folk, jazz, a hundred flavors of indie rock, soul, singer-songwriter- at McMenamins Crystal Ballroom, a historic Portland music hall that remains among the most vital and central venues in the city. It features high ceilings, a balcony, grand chandeliers, wide floor-to-ceiling arched windows and “floors that bounce”. The ballroom complex includes Lola’s Room, a much smaller venue and bar, on the second floor beneath the ballroom. Ringlers Pub is on the street level, featuring beer from the Crystal Brewery. And the Crystal Hotel is nearby, with its own restaurant and music venue.
Downtown Shopping Highlights
Parisian-style shopping at Union Way provides only-in-Portland shopping. This sleek arcade houses iconic local brands like Danner and Bridge & Burn, the latter of which you can show Pacific Northwest pride by shopping for T-shirts emblazoned with slogans like “The Upper Left Coast,” “Pacific Wonderland” and “Rivers & Lakes”. Also find trendy denim boutique Self Edge and if you need sweet and savory dining options after all of that shopping try Boxer Ramen and Wailua Shave Ice. Nearby boutiques Frances May, Pinkham Millinery, Tender Loving Empire feature local designers and artisans, while Woonwinkel offers a curated selection of housewares and jewelry from local and international artists.
Step into WILDFANG, a bastion of tomboy fashion, beloved by celebrities like Janelle Monae and Kristen Stewart for its feminist T-shirts and gender-binary-breaking collection of blazers, bow ties and button-ups.
Take a moment to stroll through Pioneer Courthouse Square — affectionately known as Portland’s living room — on your way to the central city’s premier shopping center, Pioneer Place which boasts more than 75 stores, including H&M, Apple and J. Crew. (Did we mention that all shopping in Oregon is tax-free?)
Evoking Paris’ intimate passageways and Scandinavian architecture, this shop-filled alley connects downtown Portland’s West End with the Pearl District.
Downtown Portland's home for big-brand shopping houses the major brands that fashionistas crave, along with an expansive food court and a movie theater.
Open every Saturday from March–December, Portland Saturday Market is the largest arts-and-crafts fair in the U.S.
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.
America’s largest interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Portland Downtown. At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you feast on a fantastic dinner. Just beware! The criminal is lurking somewhere in the room, and you may find yourself as a Prime Suspect before…
Join the Oregon Symphony for an evening of good cheer with seasonal classics, a very merry sing-along and a jubilant celebration sure to put you and yours in the finest of Yuletide spirits.
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