Portland, Oregon is a clean and green city known for its friendliness, history, and landmarks. It’s a town of music, microbreweries, coffeehouses, parks, bridges, and bicycle paths (did you know that it’s the most bicycle-friendly city in America?).
One thing is sure about Portland – everyone can find something interesting to enjoy. When you are there, relax, smile, and finish your coffee cup before anything else, just like Portlanders do. And take your umbrella with you, because in Portland it’s raining most of the time.
Here’s a guide on where to stay in Portland so that you can taste Portland in all its glory. Continue reading to find out the best neighborhoods with a list of recommended hotels in each.
If you are in a hurry
If you don’t want to read the whole post, but to book something right away, here are some fantastic options where to stay in Portland city center, all with the best reviews, sorted by price:
Best Luxury hotel in the heart of the Portland
getaway in the trees
An Airbnb with amazing reviews
The Paramount Hotel
Best value for money
The Society Hotel
Best on a budget Downtown accommodation
Here’s a quick visualisation of where to stay in Portland, Oregon that I will be talking about in this post:
1. Downtown Portland – best for first time visitors
In SouthWest Portland, surrounded by the Willamette River and the Pearl District, Downtown Portland has everything an urban city center should have. It’s the best place to stay in Portland for first-time visitors. There are plenty of transportation options in the area, but the best thing about Downtown is that you can go around on foot, you won’t really need a car.
Here you will find famous street markets, great food, skyscrapers, green places, tax-free shopping, art museums, and galleries throughout the district. Downtown Portland has enough attractions to keep you busy for days!
This part of the city is home to the famous “Keep Portland Weird” mural. If you don’t have a picture of it, no one will believe you were in Portland!
This is the best place to stay as a base to visit most of the attractions and here is some top recommendation for accommodation:
A Hilton hotel is always a perfect choice. Friendly staff, and excellent location in a guest’s favorite part of Portland. This luxury hotel is within walking distance of not only the Portland Art Museum but also to shopping, nightlife, museums, and the MAX Light Rail. This is definitely one of the best places to stay in Portland!
Other accommodation in Downtown Portland
Things to Do in Portland Downtown
- Snap a picture at the “Keep Portland Weird” mural
- Visit the Portland Art Museum
- Stroll through the Portland Saturday Market
- Check out Portland’s living room, Pioneer Courthouse Square
- Learn something new at the Oregon Historical Society
- Have a picnic at Governor Tom McColl Waterfront Park
2. Pearl District – where to stay in Portland for art lovers
Pearl District is located between the city center (15 min walking) and the West End and is the newest and most fashionable area of Portland. It’s a great central location with all the downtown conveniences whilst still maintaining a distinct and trendy atmosphere.
Until the mid-1980s, there was nothing but warehouses and industrial buildings here. Now, those warehouses are home to stylish and chic bars, restaurants, world-class art galleries, and is one of the most desirable neighborhoods to stay in thanks to the urban renewal era.
FUN FACT: Pearl district got its name in 1985 thanks to one of Portland’s gallery owners. He said that the neighborhood’s artists in crusty old buildings were like pearls inside oysters. Another version is that this same gallery owner already called the area Pearl’s district in honor of Pearl Marie Amhara, his friend who traveled the world raising money for the poor. Which one do you think is true?
Below is a list of recommended hotels to stay in the Pearl district:
Within a 5 minutes walk of Powell’s City of Books and other Portland landmarks, this hotel is in an excellent location. Large rooms, an indoor swimming pool, fitness center, and rooftop patio makes staying here even better. For business travelers, there is a 24-hour front desk, business center, and meeting space. Plus free Wi-Fi and on-the-go breakfast.
Other accommodation options in Pearl District
Things to Do in Pearl District
- Visit Powell’s city of books, a bookstore that covers an entire city block!
- Enjoy the fountain at Jamison Square
- Relax in the Tanner Springs public park
- Watch the Broadway Bridge open
3. Old Town Chinatown – where to stay for history
The city’s oldest neighborhood is full of surprises! Old Town Chinatown’s historic area tells a story about Oregon’s most significant town from the beginning till now. Enjoy some of the best asian cuisine in the pacific northwest, alongside interesting museums and other attractions. Besides history, be ready to party the night away as this area is full of quirky cocktail bars and has a live music scene at night. Old Town Chinatown is even closed off to cars on the weekends!
Old Town Chinatown sits between north and south, Burnside street and Willamette River. This position makes this neighborhood the most visited attraction in Portland. It has a great selection of hotels to choose from for all budgets.
This 5 star luxury hotel is located right next to Pioneer Square. For the sport junkies out there – it has a fully equipped gym inside. Both the club lounge has a great vibe to it and the rooms are super comfy, so the only problem you will encounter is leaving the property to go discover the city!
Other accommodation options in the Old Town
Things to Do in Old Town Chinatown
- Walk the Waterfront Park Trail
- Take a tour of the Shanghai Tunnels
- Learn about the cities spooky side on a Ghost Tour
- Stroll the Saturday market
- Learn about Oregon’s history at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center
- Explore a unique culture at the Oregon Jewish Museum
- Set sail at the Maritime Museum
- Find your sense of zen at Lan Su Chinese gardens
- Don’t leave the Pacific Northwest without a Voodoo Doughnut
4. Nob Hill – where to stay in Portland, Oregon for families
Located just a 5 minute drive from Downtown, Nob Hill is basically an upscale small village in its own right. It is also known as the “Alphabet District” or Northwest. Nob Hill is the best place to stay in Portland for families as it is quiet and there are tons of transportation options including biking. Plus, it’s just a 10 min walk from Pearl District.
Charming, quirky Victorian houses and elegant early 20th-century apartment buildings are what make Nob Hill recognizable – do check out the tree-lined streets and 23 Northwest Avenue whilst here! Northwest area is a grid with numbered streets running North to South and streets running East to West. They are in alphabetical order, a pretty exciting way to avoid getting lost here!
Nob Hill is Portland’s fashionable area full of sophisticated and cozy cafes, restaurants, and boutiques. It’s a mix of old Portland charm and new Portland chic. After eating and shopping, go to the Peculiarium Museum – the place is a bit weird, like Portland itself. 😉
If you choose Nob Hill as a destination to stay, here is the best hotel choice:
This charming 4 star hotel is literally 3 min away from Providence Park by foot. If you are into some sports, the hotel is happy to provide a complimentary pass for a fitness class (and/or a complimentary glass of champagne if you are more into these kinds of things!). Another cool perk of staying in this hotel is that you will be given a bicycle to discover the city too!
Other accommodation options in Nob Hill
Things to Do in Nob Hill
- Explore the Peculiarium Museum
- Have a picnic in Providence Park
- Take a walk down Northwest 21st Avenue
- Visit the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
- See Pittock Mansion
- Enjoy the Portland Japanese Gardens
- Visit the zoo
5. Central Eastside – best for nightlife
Across the Willamette River from Downtown Portland is Portland’s Central Eastside. It’s an old industrial zone crisscrossed with train tracks and the most contradictory neighborhood – a nightlife area full of family places to visit during the day.
Portland’s Central Eastside is live all the time. It’s an urban area famous for its coffee culture, breweries, and clubs. Here you come to dance to burn those calories you’ve got thanks to Portland delicious cuisine.
When you want to be near and go party in the Central Eastside area, recommend staying in Riverplace hotels across the river or to choose some guest house apartment from Airbnb.
Here are some choices for you:
Ultra modern designer hotel with incredible views of the city. Jupiter Next features a private garden and multiple outdoor terraces plus 6000 square feet of meeting space. Each room features a georgour bathroom plus work desk and chalkboard doors. Plus, there is a great bar and restaurant on site too
Other accommodation options in Central Eastside
Things to Do in Central Eastside
- Visit the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
- Rent a Kerr Bike and take a tour along the Eastbank Esplanade.
- Visit the Kidd’s Toy Museum
- Check out the Stark’s Vacuum Cleaner Museum
- See the Architectural Heritage Center
- Go wine tasting at ENSO Winery
So there you go, all the best areas in Portland and where to stay within each one. Portland is a large city with a lot to explore but you can still cross the whole city in less than 30 mins by car, making it another great city to visit in the United States!
All of the above 5 areas are perfect for your vacation and I have tried to find the best accommodation options for you in each of the neighborhoods and sorted them by price for your convenience. I hope it helps. Now, don’t waste your time – go check out those hotels and book it if it is available, the good ones are usually sold out quickly!
If you haven’t already chosen something from my list, here are my top two again:
- The Duniway Portland – With a gorgeous terrace and upscale features
- Canopy by Hilton – Modern hotel with exposed brick, abstract art and a chic design
Thanks for reading this guide, and happy travels!