What makes Portland Oregon unique
That 11 times 1 for Portland, Oregon
Portland has a problem: it doesn't have a landmark. Not a sight that shapes the skyline - like the other big players on the American west coast. Seattle has the Space Needle, San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge, Los Angeles the Hollywood sign, and even little Santa Monica with its amusement park on the beach promenade has a distinctive postcard motif. But Portland ...
Apart from the twelve bridges that span the Willamette River, Portland has no landmark. But, the all-clear: you don't need one either. It works without this symbolism. Because the largest city in the US state of Oregon is as lively and cool as hardly any other. And even if it doesn't have THAT one highlight, there are many beautiful corners to discover in Portland that make the city absolutely unique and lovable. I present my 11 favorite places and many other Portland tips in this article.
Portland City Guide: Overview
Powell’s has more books than any other independent bookstore in the world. The book giant stretches across an entire block in the Pearl District - on several floors. Bookworms can find both new and used books from an assortment of around one million books. There is also Powell's own range of merchandise, magazines, souvenirs, notebooks, postcards, the best salted caramels in the world and much more.
There is also the Rare Book Room, which offers collectibles, the Espresso Book Machine for self-publishers and regular readings and events with authors, artists and philosophers.
Photo: Travel Portland
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W Burnside Street
Japanese Garden & Rose Test Garden
Its reputation precedes it: the Portland Japanese Garden is known as one of the most authentic gardens outside of Japan. One thing is certain: the park is worth a visit at any time of the year and exudes a very special magic even in winter when its moss-covered tree trunks and stones give it a mystical atmosphere. There is a Japanese tea house, winding waterways and paths, zen gardens and a good view of Portland's local mountain, Mount Hood.
Next door, the International Rose Test Garden attracts flower lovers. Around 550 different varieties and more than 8000 plants can be admired on the site. The best time to visit the rosarium is from May to September.
Portland Japanese Garden
611 SW Kingston Avenue
International Rose Test Garden
400 SW Kingston Avenue
Forest Park & Pittock Mansion
Forest Park in the northwest of the city is not only Portland's most beautiful park, but also one of the largest urban forests in the United States. Nature lovers will find nearly 130 kilometers of hiking trails and vantage points of the city and the Willamette River on the 2,000-acre site. The view from Pittock Mansion, a Renaissance-style castle open to visitors, is particularly beautiful.
3229 NW Pittock Drive
iPortland: Interesting Facts
Geographical location: 45 ° 31 'N, 122 ° 41' W
Food trucks: 500
Coffee roaster: 40
Bridges over the Willamette River: 12
Distance to the Pacific: 125 kilometers
Distance to the next glacier (Mount Hood): 100 kilometers
Stumptown Coffee Roasters
In Portland, people value coffee - preferably fair, directly traded and roasted on site. There are roasters in every part of the city; There are 40 in total. The pioneers of this coffee culture are the Stumptown Coffee Roasters, which have now expanded and can also be found in New York, Seattle and Los Angeles.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters
4525 SE Division Street
3356 SE Belmont Street
1026 SW Stark Street
128 SW 3rd Avenue
100 SE Salmon Street
7000 NE Airport Way (at the airport)
Salt & Straw
Salt and straw - huh? Well, the flavors aren't that crazy, but Portland's favorite ice cream breaks the boundaries of traditional ice cream taste. Salt & Straw has varieties such as honey-lavender, pear-blue cheese, strawberry-honey balsamic vinegar with black pepper, olive oil and chocolate-lemongrass curry. It is always possible to try beforehand. Founder Kim and her cousin Tyler, who now operate three branches in Portland, are responsible for the creations. But ice cream from Oregon is already available in Los Angeles - and a branch will soon open in San Francisco.
Salt & Straw
3345 SE Division Street
2035 NE Alberta Street
838 NW 23rd Avenue
What is eaten on the street is eaten - preferably on food carts. There are more than 500 of them in the entire city area and the residents prefer to get their lunch there. In almost every part of the city there is a collection of trucks, in which chopping, rolling, grilled, baked, fried, deep-fried or served. They take on the role of classic food courts and serve pretty much everything you can imagine - from vegan and gluten-free muffins to quesadillas, burgers, ramen and pho to wine, beer and green smoothies.
2880 SE Division Street
All food cart locations here.
Multnomah Whiskey Library
From the outside, the Multnomah Whiskey Library looks inconspicuous. No lettering and no sign indicate that there is a bar on the first floor of the house at number 1124 SW Alder Street, which offers a seemingly endless collection of spirits in addition to whiskey and whiskey. A total of more than 1500 different varieties from around the world are on the floor-to-ceiling shelves. If you don't want to try it pure, you can also get cocktails. They are mixed - very stylishly and with a practiced hand - on the bar cart right at the table.
Photo: Dina Avila, Multnomah Whiskey Library
Multnomah Whiskey Library
1124 SW Alder Street
Teutonic Wine Company
Black Sabbath with Pinot, The Wipers with Riesling: Barnaby Tuttle does not serve his wines with the right food, but with music. “There's something intimidating about wine. Nobody feels intimidated when they order a beer. Unfortunately, it's often different with wine, ”he says. He wants to counteract this. His wines are inspired by the Moselle and mature in wooden barrels behind the small shop in Portland, which always plays heavy metal as background music. "The music also attracts hard rockers who might otherwise not have come," says the former punk musician.
Teutonic Wine Company
3303 SE 20th Avenue
Holy yeast pastries! Voodoo Donut is actually a completely normal donut shop - with a noticeably shrill interior and a slightly creepy display. The voodoo doll donut is popular: a dough man, coated with chocolate, filled with raspberry jam and with a piece of pretzel stick that sticks into the edible doll's body instead of a needle. It remains to be seen whether this is intended to be used as a magic spell, to heal illnesses or simply to eat. Hardcore fans can even legally marry under the sacred donut at Voodoo Donut. Instead of a wedding cake there is - how could it be otherwise - donuts.
Photo: Travel Portland
22 SW 3rd Avenue
Also delicious and local: Blue Star Donuts, with 5 branches in the city and one at the airport, more information and locations here.
With the Portland Museum of Art, the city is home to the oldest art museum in the Northwest of the USA. 18,000 works from Warhol to Monet can be admired in the permanent exhibition, which is well worth seeing. But the great creative potential of Portland is not only evident in the museums and galleries, but also on the streets. Large-format murals can be found in every part of the city - in backyards, in parking lots or on private house fronts. Most street art is found in Alberta, Belmont, Hawthorne, Central Eastside, and Mississippi counties. The Portland Street Art Alliance lists the best murals.
Portland Museum of Art
7 Congress Square
Crystal Ballroom & Mississippi Studios
Portland has a very lively music scene - if you are looking for live music, you will find it, whether during the week or on the weekend. The choice of event rooms is large. McMenamins Crystal Ballroom and Mississippi Studios are some of the most popular. Talents, bands and solo artists from Oregon are regular guests there. The Live music guide helps visitors to find their way around.
Portland is home to many musicians, including The Decemberists, Blind Pilot, Modest Mouse, and Pink Martini. Another is causing a sensation in the USA: Joseph is the name of the three sisters from Oregon, who surprise with intelligent lyrics and a mixture of folk and indie and appear for the first time at the Coachella Festival in 2017. I met two of them, twins Meegan and Allison, for an interview in Portland and talked to them about sibling love, honesty, and gas station food.
McMenamins Crystal Ballroom
1332 W Burnside Street
3939 N Mississippi Avenue
Back to overview
Portland: The most important information for visitors at a glance
Tips on getting there
Portland is located in the northwest of the United States. The actual flight time is around ten to eleven hours. Direct flights from Germany to Portland are currently only offered by Condor and Thomas Cook from Frankfurt. In addition, numerous airlines offer flights with a stopover - for example with Delta and KLM and stopover in Amsterdam, with Air France via Paris, with Icelandair via Reykjavik or with United via Chicago. It is always worth comparing.
More tips: Find cheap flights.
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Tips for getting around
On foot: Portland is one of the most pedestrian-friendly cities in the United States. The city's “20 Minute Policy” states that every resident should be able to reach everything important within 20 minutes - on foot, mind you: grocery stores, food carts, hardware stores, cafés and pubs, parks. Those who still want to move out of their neighborhood still don't need a car for a long time.
bicycle: Portland is the city of cyclists. 5.9 percent of all commuters come to work by bicycle - and it is hard to imagine the streets without bicycles. If you want to imitate the locals, you should rent a bike and explore the city with it. Either via the bike share system for shorter periods of time or traditionally for several days, for example with PDX Bike Rentals. There are very special impressions of Portland from the bike when crossing the Willamette on the Tilikum Crossing, which is closed to car traffic,
Local transport: The MAX (Metropolitan Area Express) connects Downtown Portland with the surrounding districts. The MAX Red Line runs from the airport to the city center in 38 minutes for $ 2.50. There are also nearly 80 bus routes (TriMet) and the streetcar (Streetcar) that runs between Nob Hill, Pearl District and the Central East Side. A day pass for buses and trams is $ 5, and a two-and-a-half hour ticket is $ 2.50. Those who only travel by tram pays 2 USD for two and a half hours (as of 2017).
Aerial Tram: If you want to quickly climb Marquam Hill from the Southfront Waterfront District and enjoy the view at the same time, you can take the cable car to the top in three minutes. This is not only intended for tourists, but primarily provides a fast connection from the secondary campus of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) to the main campus and the university clinic. OHSU is Portland's largest employer.
Uber, Lyft, Taxi: If you want to go somewhere by car and you don't want to invest in a rental car, Uber and Lyft offer a slightly cheaper alternative to a taxi. If you are not yet registered with Uber, you can register here and secure a free ride *.
Rental car: All major rental companies are represented at the airport. Spontaneous travelers will also find numerous opportunities to rent a car in the city. Car sharing can also be a good alternative for short rental periods. For example, if you are a member of Zipcar Germany, you can also rent a car in Portland with your card. More information about this.
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Orientation in Portland
Orientation is easy because the city is largely built like a chessboard. West and east are separated by the Willamette River, downtown is west of the river and is bounded by Interstate 405. The streets running parallel to the river are numbered, 1st Street (East and West) is located directly on the river bank. The streets running across it have names.
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Sleep well: hotel tips for Portland
Portland has accommodations to suit all budgets, and there are a number of hotels in Downtown and the surrounding areas. Just like the city itself, some of them are a bit weird - or just a little different from the standard, which translates into pretty cool design. I present two of them here.
Shabby Chic: The lobby of the ACE Hotel.
The ACE Hotel fits seamlessly into the cool backdrop of Portland. Even if you are not staying at the hotel, you should plan a visit to the stylish lobby. There, non-hotel guests can also use the sofas and drink their coffee from the Stumptown Coffee Roasters next door, take photos in the photo booth, read the newspaper and use the Wi-Fi. The 79 rooms are individually furnished and each have different messages on the walls. Costs per night: from approx. 190 euros in the low season, in the high season from approx. 290 euros. More information about the hotel and price examples can be found at booking.com *, for example.
Also pretty cool: That Tiny House Hotel in the Alberta Arts District is not a classic hotel building, but consists of a small collection of camping caravans converted into hotel rooms on a lovingly furnished and fenced courtyard. Most are fully equipped with a kitchen and bathroom. Sleep in the trailer park for once, but in style? Check! From $ 140 per night for 3-4 guests, minimum 2 night stay.
A list of other cool hotels in Portland can be found at Global Grasshopper.
And if you'd prefer to stay privately, it's included Airbnb a whole lot of cheap deals. If you are not yet registered with Airbnb, you can get 30 euros starting credit here *.
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The best addresses for eating, drinking and shopping
I know, I know. You just can't get enough of Portland (and you'll notice that once you get there). That's why I have a few more addresses for you that are worth a visit. With addresses to: eat, drink, get intoxicated, shop and get a tattoo.
Portland restaurant tips
If it's raining, your favorite food cart is closed, or for some other inexplicable reason you don't want to eat on the street, there are fantastic restaurants in Portland. Two tips as a substitute:
1733 NE Alberta Street
South American cuisine, lots of tapas
113 SW Naito Parkway
The best coffee in Portland
Because you should spend your time wide awake in Portland anyway to see everything there is to see, caffeine can't do any harm. Roast and sell super delicious coffee (and cake or breakfast) in addition to Stumptown:
539 NW 13th Avenue
529 SW 3rd Avenue # 110
823 NW 23rd Avenue
1725 NE Alberta Street
126 SW 2nd Avenue
Tip for tea drinkers
In the event that you don't like coffee and can't be converted in Portland, or just like to drink both: One of the largest tea specialists in the USA is in - tadaaa! Portland. And that's why there is also a flagship store there. The company was founded by Steven Smith, the tea preneur who is also behind Tazo (meanwhile swallowed by Starbucks). In any case, the tea is pretty good.
3972 N Mississippi Avenue
Intoxicated in Portland
Drinking and partying is also very good in Portland. Hey, there are still more craft beer breweries in this town than there are coffee roasters. There are 60 in number. Representing the numerous bars (really, you just have to go out on the street to find one), one should be highlighted here: Cheers, an unmistakably German-style bar with beer garden and Hacker-Pschorr on tap (subject to availability).
4237 N Mississippi Avenue
The Bula Kava House has kava, or intoxicating pepper, a slightly anesthetic drink made from kava roots. The taste is so-so, but that's why people aren't there.
Bula Kava House
3115 SE Division Street
There is nothing to drink at Nectar, but where we are already talking about mind-altering substances, a weed shop should not be missing from this list (correctly called the "Recreational Marijuana Dispensaries"). Nectar is only a representative of many weed shops.
Since not only smoking weed became legal in Oregon, but also marijuana in the form of edibles, i.e. cookies or candies, consumption has also become interesting for tourists. Smoking weed is legal, but you are not allowed to smoke on the street, in the hotel or in a rental car. If you want to buy something in the store, you have to show your ID beforehand - as with alcohol, the minimum age is 21. You can only buy a limited amount per day. If that is achieved, however, you can trick the system and go to the next store.
4125 N Mississippi Avenue
Portland shopping tips
You probably (guaranteed) won't want to go back home without a souvenir. If you don't want to run to the tattoo artist and get a deer, a beard, an analog phone or any other hipster shit stabbed under your skin (I toyed with the idea for a moment), you'll find great things from Portland and the region in these stores :
aka coolest outdoor outfitter in the world
413 SW 10th Avenue
very curious mixture of fossils, insects behind glass, creepy Victorian decorations, plants, scientific objects, jewelry and books
4204 N Mississippi Avenue
Tender Loving Empire
Music label with an attached shop for handmade items and small collections
3541 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Furnishings, jewelry and postcards from (not only, but also) smaller, sometimes local, labels
1723 NE Alberta St
A shop for salt only. And chocolate with salt. And a few other things that have something to do with salt. Owner Mark Bitterman is a salt expert and has received several awards for his cookbooks on the subject
805 NW 23rd Avenue
3731 N. Mississippi Avenue
Need a tattoo?
But if you BUT want to take a tattoo from Portland home with you because all the tattooed hipsters look so damn cool with their skin jewelry, I even have a tip for a tattoo studio for you. Locals trust Atlas Tattoo (and as I write this, I want to go straight back to Portland to get one. Damn it).
4543 N Albina Ave
Back to overview
Have you been to portland No? Then let's go! If you've already been there, I'd like to know: What did you like best about the city?
More tips & recommendations for you
Also worth a visit: Seattle, a little bigger and at least as cool, is around 280 kilometers north of Portland in the US state of Washington - and therefore only a stone's throw away by American standards. Many know her mainly from the film Sleepless in Seattle *, but there is a lot more to discover there - and not just for film fans. All information can be found in the Seattle Guide: The best tips and addresses.
This book is not a classic travel guide. Tips for restaurants, accommodation and sights are completely missing. Nevertheless, "This is Portland - The City You Have Heard You Should Like" * is a must read for every visitor who wants to get to know the true soul of Portland. The booklet fits in every handbag and costs just 5 euros.
Thank you Travel Portland for inviting me to Portland. * Airbnb refer a friend. Please note that the starting credit can fluctuate and will only be deducted from bookings with a minimum value of 65 euros, excluding fees. All other links marked with an asterisk are affiliate links. If you buy or book something through such a link, I receive a commission - but you pay the same. Nevertheless, my recommendations come from the bottom of my heart. More on this.
about the author
Anna | Anemina Travels
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