Things to Do in Portland

Like the city itself, Portland's attractions are a little unexpected and always inspiring.

What's Open?

As Portland begins to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic, check our list to see which attractions are ready to welcome you when, and how they're ensuring safety.

It’s safe to say a visitor will never experience the same Portland twice. The city’s top attractions are constantly evolving, creating exciting pop-ups, debuting new works and hosting events that attract both locals and visitors alike. Read on for our favorite things to do, see and experience in Portland, then check out our events calendar to help you plan your trip.

The Top 10 Things to Do in Portland

Traveler favorites and quintessentially Portland attractions

Portland on a Budget

There’s plenty to eat, drink, see and do in the Rose City — all without overspending.

Questions About Things to Do in Portland

What’s open in Portland right now?

Most of Portland’s major attractions are open and welcoming visitors. Many are operating at a reduced capacity and some require advance reservations. Travel Portland maintains an updated list of what’s currently open in Portland.

What are the must-see attractions in Portland?

The answer truly depends on your interests. If, after perusing this page you still can’t decide, check out this article about where to go if it’s your first visit to Portland. Been here a few times? Try our fourth-timers guide.

How can I spend three days in Portland?

This guide to spending 48 hours in Portland includes many of the top attractions in the central city. Use your extra day to visit one of Portland’s many beautiful parks or gardens and explore a Portland neighborhood.

You can also let fate be your guide. Check out our events page to find out what’s going on in Portland when you’re in town, or browse events by month. Make sure your travel plan includes a tour. While learning about Portland history, coffee or beer culture, etc., the list of places you’ll want to visit will grow rapidly. The tour guide and other travelers on your tour can be a great source of recommendations.

What are the best things to eat and drink in Portland?

It depends. What are you in the mood for? Portland’s local food scene includes hundreds of food carts representing cuisines from around the world, James Beard award-winning restaurants and plenty of options for diners with dietary restrictions.

As for beverages, Portland is well known for its coffee but there are also teahouses. scattered throughout the city. Most people know Portland’s reputation for craft beer but may not know Oregon is one of the top wine-producing states. There’s also a growing craft distillery scene.

Upcoming Events in Portland

No matter when you visit, there's always something fun to see and do in Portland.

Editor's Pick
Pedalpalooza
Ongoing

Pedalpalooza

Multiple locations Free

Pedalpalooza 2021 will last all June, July and August to allow more opportunities for smaller group …

Editor's Pick
Festival, Pedalpalooza
Editor's Pick
Vanport Mosaic Festival
May 26–June 30, 2021

Vanport Mosaic Festival

Various locations

The 2021 festival will be a hybrid event, including virtual events, in-person tours, pop-up performa…

Editor's Pick
Cultural Communities, Festival, Film, Readings & Talks
Editor's Pick
Portland Pride
June 16–20, 2021

Portland Pride

Various Locations Free

Every June, the Portland Pride Festival & Parade makes a name for itself — and LGBTQ+ community me…

Editor's Pick
LGBTQ+
Editor's Pick
Portland Saturday Market
Ongoing

Portland Saturday Market

Tom McCall Waterfront Park Free

Open every Saturday from March–December, Portland Saturday Market is the largest arts-and-crafts f…

Editor's Pick
Shopping

Tax-Free Shopping

Enjoy big-box and indie shopping in the Rose City — all without any sales tax.

Date Night Ideas and Romantic Restaurants

Plan a magical evening with your special someone

Romantic Restaurants in Portland

Impress your love with reservations at one of Portland’s most romantic restaurants. The local food and wine may not last forever, but the memories will!

Date Night Ideas in Portland

Planning a romantic evening in Portland? We have date night ideas for couples with all sorts of interests.

Restaurants With a View

Whether atop the city's tallest buildings or nestled next to a river, these Portland restaurants with a view offer a feast for the eyes (as well as the appetite).

Top 5

Food Cart Scene

Portland is home to hundreds of food carts and food cart pods, including these five favorites.

  • Cartopia Food Cart Pod

    The Cartopia pod is home to a wide variety of food carts and a covered, heated seating area. Most carts are lively late into the night, staying open until midnight Tuesday to Thursday and even later on the weekends.

  • Portland State University Food Cart Pod

    Located on the south end of the Portland State University campus, this food cart pod offers cuisine from around the world. For seating, head to the shady, tree-lined South Park Blocks nearby.

  • Cartlandia Food Cart Pod

    This Southeast Portland “super pod” is home to a full-service bar, a family- and dog-friendly outdoor beer garden and over 30 carts representing 15 different countries (including a Voodoo Doughnut mobile van and three carts serving lobster).

  • Third Avenue Food Cart Pod

    With plentiful riverfront seating at nearby Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park, these longtime downtown food carts are a lunchtime favorite, offering cuisine from Mexico, Egypt, Thailand, Vietnam and more.

  • Fifth Avenue Food Cart Pod

    This eclectic collection of eateries in downtown Portland is a local favorite for weekday lunch.

Nightlife

Dance clubs, karaoke and comedy all come out at night in Portland — as do late happy hours, swanky bowling and other unexpected delights.

Top Family-Friendly Attractions

Enjoy hands-on science at OMSI, elephants at the zoo, indoor activities for kids and more.

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)

With a planetarium, a giant-screen theater, a retired navy submarine, traveling exhibits and “After Dark” events, OMSI has lures for all ages.

Oregon Zoo

Located near downtown Portland in Washington Park, the Oregon Zoo is home to more than 2,600 animals.

Kid-Friendly Regional Attractions

Trips outside the city promise all-ages entertainment. Here are four must-see attractions within two hours of downtown Portland.

Museums & Historical Sights

Portland is full of landmarks and attractions where you can learn about the city's history and culture.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Find the best things to do based on your interests

Keepin' It Weird

A round-up of Portland's eccentric events and attractions.

Portland's Gorgeous Gardens

The City of Roses is named so for a reason, offering dozens of beautiful public gardens.

Peninsula Park & Rose Garden

Discover outdoor fun for the whole family — plus thousands of blooms — at Oregon’s oldest public rose garden.

Portland Japanese Garden

An authentic example of Japanese landscaping, the Portland Japanese Garden is a haven of tranquil beauty with an unsurpassed view of Mount Hood.

Portland International Rose Test Garden

With great views of the roses and the skyline, the Portland International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park is a must-see.

Umbrella Optional

5 Fun Things to Do When It Rains

Don't a little "liquid sunshine" stop you from enjoying Portland.

  • Pioneer Place

    This shopping center occupies four city blocks in the heart of downtown Portland, offering tax-free shopping at over 100 stores, an expansive food court, bars and a movie theater.

  • 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.

  • OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry)

    OMSI's five enormous halls bring science to life with hundreds of interactive exhibits and displays. You can experience live lab demonstrations, see a movie on a four-story-tall screen, explore the stars in a planetarium and even tour a submarine.

  • Portland Art Museum

    The renowned Portland Art Museum is the oldest museum in the Pacific Northwest. Located in the heart of downtown’s Cultural District, the museum’s campus includes an outdoor sculpture court, permanent galleries and special exhibitions.

  • Cinema 21

    Originally a single-screen theater and now a three-screen multiplex, Cinema 21 specializes in art-house, foreign and classic films and serves beer, wine and pizza along with concessions classics.