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Know Before You Go
- There is a city-wide ban on plastic bags. Many of the shops only give out recyclable paper bags which don't have handles. When packing for your trip, remember to bring along a reusable bag to make it easier to carry multiple items.
- Don't approach the elk. These huge animals usually stand their ground when they encounter humans. Don't get out of your car or try to feed them. It could end up with you in the hospital.
- Portland is a city of festivals. There always seems to be something happening every single weekend. Do your research before you arrive, find one you like and join in on the fun.
- Pumping your own gas is illegal. If you're caught breaking this law, you'll have to cough up USD 500. Instead sit back and let the gas attendants do the work.
- Tips are not automatically added to bills. A good rule of thumb is to tip waitstaff 15-20% of your total bill. If you're visiting coffeehouses, leave USD 1 in the tip jar and give hotel staff USD 1 to USD 2 for each item of luggage.
Getting Around Portland Oregon
- Portland is a foot-friendly city. There aren't a lot of steep hills, and footpaths are found all over the city. However, due to Portland's size, it's not feasible to walk everywhere all the time.
- The best way to around Portland is by bicycle. Not only is it affordable, but you'll be burning off all those calories from the city's excellent restaurants and breweries. Portland also offers bicycle sightseeing tours which cover different parts of the city depending what you'd like to see.
- If you need to get around Portland faster than your legs can take you, hop on board the MAX rail system. It's quick and will only cost you USD 2.50 one way. You can also get a day pass for USD 5 and use the train to get to and from the airport.
- For those who don't want to wait for public transport to arrive, the city has Uber. Although there are regular taxi companies, the ride-sharing service is more economical.
When is The Best Time to Visit Portland Oregon?
The best time to visit Portland is during its summer months. From June to August, the weather is warm, and you can enjoy all of the city's outdoor activities. The only downside is that it's peak tourist season. You'll need to book a couple of months in advance to lock in better rates and ensure availability.
From September to November, prices and temperatures start to drop. As the summer crowds leave, hotels will slowly lower their rates in preparation for the winter months. It's the perfect time to visit if you want to escape the crowds, save money and still enjoy the decent weather.
If you're looking for a bargain, visit Portland in the winter. Hotels slash their room rates by 50% from December to February, and you'll have the city's attractions to yourself. Nearby Mount Hood also makes winter a great time to visit for winter sports enthusiasts. It's only a day trip away and features excellent conditions for skiers and snowboarders.
Airports in Portland Oregon
Portland International Airport
Located 14 km from downtown Portland, Portland International Airport is the largest airport in Oregon. It serves flights from most of the country's major carriers and is a hub for Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and Ameriflight.
Getting to and From Portland International Airport
The easiest way to get from the airport into the city is with the MAX light rail train. The trip takes 38 minutes and costs USD 2.50 one way. The trains run every day from 4:45 a.m. to 11:50 p.m. and tickets can be bought next to the baggage claim area.
If you don't want to use public transportation, the airport has a fleet of cabs. The average fare to downtown Portland is USD 35 before tip. A one-way journey takes about 20-40 minutes depending on traffic, and you can find the cabs waiting outside the baggage claim area.
A more affordable way to get from the airport into the city is at the Downtown Airport Express. The shuttle runs every 30 minutes and costs USD 14 one-way or USD 24 for a round trip.