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Downtown Portland hotels

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What you should know about Downtown Portland

Cozier than San Francisco, hipper than Seattle, and with an irresistible mellow vibe all its own, downtown Portland is fast becoming the West Coast’s hidden gem. Think bike rides, craft beer, farmers’ markets, and free-spirited residents; Portland embodies the classic, easy-going hippie mentality without an ounce of pretension. Over the years, smart planning has resulted in a thriving city center with a small-town feel, as well as a famously efficient public transport system, making it one of the most tourist-friendly destinations in the United States.

Hotels in downtown Portland

Luxury hotels in downtown Portland are plentiful, most of them in keeping with the city’s own quirky feel. The Hotel Monaco Portland and the Hotel deLuxe offer, as the latter’s name suggests, luxurious top-rated accommodation just a stone’s throw from Portland’s main sights. Travelers on a budget needn’t worry as you can often snap up some fantastic deals on Portland hotels. Meanwhile, the Park Lane Suites and Inn is a good example of a charming budget hotel in downtown Portland more suited to those looking to save.

Things to see in downtown Portland

Portland is renowned for its enthusiastic biking tradition, and the best way to explore the city is on 2 wheels. Hire a bike and take a guided tour, or go it alone and cycle through happening downtown Portland and down by the scenic Willamette River along the Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Venture to the Portland Saturday Market (also open on Sundays!) in the Old Town to haggle for a typically quirky Portland keepsake from one of several hundred sellers. For lunch, hit the food carts around SW 5th Avenue, the center of Portland’s remarkable street-food culture, and wash it down with an ice-cold beer at one of the city’s famous microbreweries—Portland has more than any other city in the world. The nearby Pearl District has a whole host of bars that brew their own beer, some of which even offer organized tours.

Good for backpackers

Portland’s youthful ambiance is what makes the city so special, and with its vibrant arts scene, low prices, and roaring nightlife, it’s perfect for backpackers on a budget. Downtown offers no shortage of cheap outdoor activities for energetic tourists, from bike-riding, to swimming in the Willamette, to hiking in nearby Forest Park. Afterwards, sample some delicious fare from one of the city’s 500 food stalls, an affordable way to satisfy your hunger. Round out the day in one of the legendary bars around NW Glisan Street which showcase Portland’s craft beers. This area is also home to one of the most exciting alternative rock music scenes in America: where else but in Portland could Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love have first met?

How to get to downtown Portland

The red line of the MAX light rail system connects Portland International Airport with the city center; just get off at a stop near Pioneer Square and walk to your downtown Portland hotel. The Amtrak stops in Portland’s Union Station, which is also connected to the MAX. Getting around downtown Portland itself is a piece of cake: the MAX connects most points in the center, as do the brightly-colored streetcars, the giant windows of which make for a pleasant trip. The center is also small enough to navigate on foot or by bike, so it’s easy to do your bit for this environmentally conscious city and go carbon-free when moving around.

Portland travel guides

Portland Travel Guides