A cup of oat milk latte and lavender lemon scone on the table with the Pearl District view from the window, where to stay in Portland

Where to Stay in Portland in 2023 (Best Areas & Places)

As someone who’s stayed in Portland multiple times, I’m here to clue you in on exactly where to stay in Portland for your trip.

Whether you’re looking for a shared hostel, a luxury hotel, or a house rental, this guide will help you find all the best places to stay in Portland. 

We’ll start with the top places to stay, and then dive into a detailed breakdown of the top areas and neighborhoods for staying in Portland.

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Best Places to Stay in Portland

Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Portland? Here are my top picks: 

Ok, let’s do a deep dive of the best areas and neighborhoods to stay in Portland: 

9 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Portland

Aerial view of the fall foliage and skyline of downtown Portland
The Downtown Portland Skyline

Most top Portland neighborhoods are within either walking or short driving distance of each other. 

You’ll find most bars and restaurants in Downtown Portland and the Pearl District, the Airport District is a great place to stay for easy travel access and Northwest Portland has close access to hiking trails.

Downtown Portland

View of the Mount Hood from Downtown Portland
Mount Hood is visible from Downtown Portland on a clear day

👉 Best Area For Metropolitan Amenities | ✨ Best Downtown Portland Hotels: The Nines, a Luxury Collection HotelKimpton Riverplace HotelThe Hoxton Portland

Stay in Downtown Portland if it’s your first time in the city. This neighborhood has close access to all major Portland tourist attractions like museums, Washington Park, coffee shops, bars, and weekend farmers markets.

Staying in the heart of downtown allows you to save money on rideshares and walk or take the widely-available local transportation to most places. Want a centrally-located hotel? Check out The Nines or Kimpton Riverplace

In the morning, walk to Voodoo Doughnuts before exploring Powell’s City of Books and hitting up a vintage store like Buffalo Exchange.

Downtown Portland also has the densest concentration of places to stay. Shared hostels are great for travelers on a budget who would rather spend money on top Portland attractions than an expensive hotel room. HI Portland is the top hostel in Portland.

A wide variety of 4-5-star hotels gives business folks and extravagant vacationers plenty of options. House rentals in Portland are also available for travelers who prioritize their privacy or are traveling with kids and need plenty of room to spread out.

Pros of Staying in Downtown Portland:

  • Close to major attractions
  • Plenty of amenities are available
  • Public transportation is widely available 
  • Many restaurant options
  • Most things are within walking distance
  • Many accommodation options are available

Cons of Staying in Downtown Portland:

  • The city can be noisy at night
  • Weekend traffic
  • Tourist attractions are busy on the weekends
  • Not as clean as other neighborhoods

📚 Downtown Portland Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Metropolitan Amenities
Google Map

Airport District

View of the deep blue water of Columbia River from the airplane

👉 Best Area For Airport Access | ✨ Best Airport District Hotels: Radisson Hotel Portland AirportMcMenamins Kennedy SchoolSheraton Portland Airport Hotel

Portland’s Airport District is the best place to stay for travelers who don’t have a lot of time in the city. This includes travelers with extended layovers who need a few hours of rest and travelers using Portland only as a resting place before exploring other parts of Oregon.

Stay close to the airport the night before an early flight or if you need a rest day before renting a car in Portland and driving either north to Seattle or south down the Oregon coast. There are plenty of restaurant and bar options in this area including ParkStone Wood Kitchen + Taps and Baba’s Mediterranean Grill.

There are also various nearby attractions to occupy your time in the Airport District as you await your flight such as the Columbia Edgewater Country Golf Club, Broughton Beach Park, and Rocky Butte Natural Area.

Most hotels in the area are affordable chain hotels, but a short drive will get you slightly nicer accommodations. Check out the Radisson Hotel Portland Airport or McMenamins Kennedy School.

Pros of Staying in the Airport District:

  • Close to the airport
  • Not as crowded as Downtown Portland
  • Plenty of restaurants

Cons of Staying in the Airport District :

  • Far from main Portland attractions
  • Few unique accommodation options are available
  • Can be loud at night

📚 Airport District Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Airport Access
Google Map

Northwest Portland

Aerial view of the Fremont Bridge and the  industrial area of Portland
The Fremont Bridge

👉 Best Area For Drinks & Shopping | ✨ Best Northwest Portland Hotels: Hi-Portland Northwest HostelSilver Cloud Hotel PortlandPortland International Guesthouse

One of Portland’s nicer neighborhoods offers travelers a local experience. Tree-lined streets welcome residential buildings and lots of house rental options, as well as stretches of commerce in downtown Northwest Portland.

Northwest Portland is the best place to stay in Portland to explore Washington Park, arguably one of the most popular Portland attractions. The park itself is a huge expanse of forest lined with picnic tables and hiking trails, as well as top Portland attractions concentrated in this one area.

These include the Portland Japanese Garden, Oregon Zoo, Hoyt Arboretum, International Rose Test Garden, and the World Forestry Center Discovery Museum. 

It is easy to navigate around Northwest Portland but parking can be a suburbian disaster. I recommend walking or taking a rideshare when staying in the Northwest District to avoid wasting time looking for a parking spot.

Pros of Staying in Northwest Portland:

  • Close to major Portland attractions
  • Many restaurants and bars are available
  • Plenty of accommodation options
  • Cleaner streets
  • A Portland local feel

Cons of Staying in Northwest Portland:

  • Parking is tough to find
  • Hotels and rentals can be more expensive
  • There can be traffic on the weekends 

📚 Northwest Portland Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Drinks & Shopping
Google Map

Pearl District

A cup of oat milk latte and lavender lemon scone on the table with the Pearl District view from the window of the restaurant
Enjoying my lavender lemon scone and my oat milk latte in my Pearl District hotel

👉 Best Area For Food & Beverages | ✨ Best Pearl District Hotels: Harlow HotelCanopy by HiltonRenu Suites at the Burlington Portland

A former warehouse district, the Pearl District is now home to cobblestone streets and some of the best food in Portland. Cafes, restaurants, bars, and breweries here include some of the best on the west coast.

The Pearl District is one of the most loved places in the big city by both locals and visitors. You will find digital nomads frequenting the trendy cafes in the area, beer connoisseurs at hip breweries, and lovers of the arts at one of the Pearl District’s up-and-coming galleries.

If you’re wondering where to stay in Portland for an active nightlife scene, the Pearl District is the place for you! 

I’ve stayed in this chic district before and spent my morning working remotely from the artisan coffee shop La Perlita, exploring the Blue Sky Gallery in the afternoon, then catching up with friends at 10 Barrel Brewing.

Pros of Staying in the Pearl District:

  • The best place to stay for breweries and restaurants
  • Many coffee shops are available for remote working
  • Within walking distance of galleries 
  • Many hotels are available

Cons of Staying in the Pearl District:

  • Can be extremely busy on weekend nights
  • Few rental options are available
  • Hotels can be expensive 
  • Hotels can fill to capacity during peak season

📚 Pearl District Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Food & Beverages
Google Map

Central Eastside

View of the cityscape of Central Eastside with Mount Hood during sunset
The industrial buildings of Central Eastside at sunset

👉 Best Area For A Quiet Stay | ✨ Best Central Eastside Hotels: Jupiter HotelHotel Grand StarkKex Hotel

Central Eastside is a bit more residential than the other neighborhoods on this list but is right on the river and within walking distance of the main Portland attractions. Because it’s slightly more removed from Downtown Portland, it’s quieter than other districts, meaning you’re more likely to get a full night’s rest here.

There are many house rental options available on the Central Eastside, making this district the ideal place to stay on an extended trip to Portland. It’s right across the Willamette River and is known as the “industrial part of Portland” with modern restaurants and microbreweries.

One of my favorite things to do on the Central Eastside (and one of the most unique things in Portland) is attending a print workshop at the Independent Publishers Resource Center, a two-decade-old center for printing. 

Another popular attraction is Distillery Row. The breweries here and the breweries in Seattle only a short distance away are arguably the best in the West.

Pros of Staying in Central Eastside:

  • Much quieter than other Portland neighborhoods
  • Some of the best breweries in Oregon are here
  • House rentals are abundant

Cons of Staying in Central Eastside:

  • Farther from the main Portland attractions
  • Parking is tough to find
  • It’s not within walking distance of many things

📚 Central Eastside Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for A Quiet Stay
Google Map

Old Town

View of the neon signage of Portland Oregon Old Town at night

👉 Best Area For Authentic Food | ✨ Best Old Town Hotels: The Society HotelEmbassy Suites PortlandPark Lane Suites & Inn

Portland’s oldest neighborhood, also home to Old Town Chinatown, is the best place to visit for history buffs and travelers interested in exploring more than just the top things to do in Portland

Old Town Chinatown is home to authentic Chinese restaurants, a traditional garden, tea houses, and affordable shopping. The district is also centrally-located, giving visitors easy access to explore the rest of the city.

Don’t forget to check out the pedestrian-only Ankeny Alley, filled with historical landmarks like Dan & Louis’ Oyster Bar and trendy eateries like Voodoo Donuts, the Pine Street Market, and Pleasure Burger. 

Breakfast lovers flock to Bowery Bagels and Stumptown Coffee in Old Town Chinatown to start their morning off right, fully caffeinated and with a full belly. 

After a delicious morning start, take a stroll over to the Portland Chinese Museum to learn more about the region’s history and the Chinese immigrant experience. 

Pros of Staying in Old Town:

  • Less crowded than other Portland neighborhoods
  • Immersed in history
  • Delicious eateries in the area
  • Plenty of accommodation options 

Cons of Staying in Old Town:

  • Few house rentals are available
  • Farther from Downtown Portland and Washington Park
  • Weekend crowds can be a lot in the summer

📚 Old Town Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Authentic Food
Google Map

Nob Hill

Barista Coffee Shop's logo on their glass window
One of Nob Hill’s most popular eateries (photo: Tada Images / Shutterstock)

👉 Best Area For House Rentals | ✨ Best Nob Hill Hotels: Inn at Northrup StationHotel DeLuxeResidence Inn Portland

Located on the south side of the Northwest Portland district, Nob Hill is adjacent to Downtown Portland and within walking distance of many Portland attractions. This Portland neighborhood is mostly residential, meaning there are plenty of house rental options here, perfect for travelers who prefer privacy. 

Old Victorian-style mansions and historic charm can be found in the affluent Nob Hill neighborhood. There are two central backbones of Nob Hill that are hubs for entertainment: NW 23rd and NW 21st Streets. Most shops and eateries are found sandwiched between these two areas.

The Portland Streetcar makes commuting to Downtown Portland as easy as 1,2,3, and the multitude of pedestrian crosswalks allows visitors to comfortably explore the neighborhood on foot. This factor is especially helpful when exploring the neighborhood’s bars and restaurants during happy hour.

Pros of Staying in Nob Hill:

  • Most things are within walking distance of each other
  • No crazy traffic
  • Plenty of house rental options are available

Cons of Staying in Nob Hill:

  • Parking is a major hassle
  • Very few hotel options are available
  • Far from Portland hiking trails

📚 Nob Hill Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for House Rentals
Google Map

Lloyd District

View of the buildings in Lloyd District on a sunny day
A photo of the Lloyd District taken from the roof of my hostel

👉 Best Area For Live Entertainment | ✨ Best Lloyd District Hotels: Shilo Inn Portland Rose GardenHotel EastlundHyatt Regency Portland at the Oregon Convention Center

The Lloyd District is the best place to stay in Portland for visitors who are in the city to attend a big event. This neighborhood is right next to the Oregon Convention Center and the Moda Center just across the Willamette River.

Be a part of true Portland pride by attending a Portland Trailblazers NBA basketball game or seeing your favorite performer sing the night away. The Lloyd District is easily accessible via the MAX Light Rail and the Portland Streetcar.

This metropolitan hub of a district is also home to the Lloyd Center Mall and is within walking distance of major Portland shops, record stores, and restaurants. The Lloyd District is the best place for city folks to stay who love exploring new cosmopolitan cities.

Most of the accommodation options available in this area are 3-5-star hotels, with the occasional hostel on the outskirts of the neighborhood. 

Pros of Staying in the Lloyd District:

  • Close to major sporting events and concerts
  • Easy access to public transportation
  • Many hotels are available
  • Within walking distance of delicious eateries and shops

Cons of Staying in the Lloyd District:

  • Loud at night
  • Hotels can fill to capacity, especially during peak season
  • Rideshares can be expensive

📚 Lloyd District Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Live Entertainment
Google Map

Alberta Arts District

A clown entertaining the kids and adults in Hawthorn Street
An entertaining clown at the Thursday Street Fair (photo: Dee Browning / Shutterstock)

👉 Best Area For the Arts | ✨ Best Alberta Arts District Hotels: Backyard CottageAlberta Arts District DuplexUpscale Portland Guesthouse

The Alberta Arts District is located in a suburb of Northeastern Portland and is the best place to stay for city-goers who love the arts. Besides plenty of art museums and the occasional art walk, the Alberta Arts District also hosts frequent live music at its top restaurants and bars.

Portland’s street fair takes place each last Thursday of the month in this artsy district with local vendors and artists displaying their craft. This event is held year-round in the arts district but is at its height during the summer when the weather warms up and more vendors take to the streets.

You will find a few short-term rentals in the Alberta Arts District as well as popular Portland coffee shops and cafes. I recommend stopping by Case Study Coffee for some locally roasted java and the Tin Shed for brunch.

Pros of Staying in the Alberta Arts District:

  • Many fun entertaining things to do
  • Home rental options are available
  • Plenty of cafes in the area

Cons of Staying in the Alberta Arts District:

  • Farther away from main Portland attractions
  • Not many hotel options are in the area
  • Can be busy on the weekends

📚 Alberta Arts District Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for the Arts
Google Map

Tips for Staying in Portland 

Pack the Travel Essentials

The author admiring view while holding an umbrella from the viewpoint in Portland on a rainy day
Umbrellas are a must in Portland

You don’t want to forget the travel essentials when traveling to Portland! Packing the right gear can make or break your trip, so be sure to bring a rain jacket, hiking shoes, earplugs, a travel bag, and a quick dry towel to Portland for a perfect trip.

Multi-functional clothing items are other top essentials to bring like a bandana, a lightweight jacket, and a scarf that can double as a bathing suit sarong. 

Bring Comfortable Walking Shoes

Most things in Portland are within walking distance of each other. Make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes or sandals when visiting Portland for an enjoyable exploration of the city.

My go-to walking shoes are either the HOKA Anacapa Breeze shoes or the Salomon X Ultra Pioneers

I highly recommend the Teva Tirra Sandals for sunny days in Portland. I’ve explored cities all around the world in these comfy sandals and cannot recommend them more.

Budget for Rideshares

Some main tourist attractions in Portland require a farther commute than others. Make sure to budget accordingly in your Portland travel funds for Uber and Lyft, unless you feel comfortable taking public transportation.

I’ve stayed in East Portland before and had to take transportation any time I wanted to go anywhere, even to grab a bite to eat. Keep this in mind when deciding where to stay in Portland.

Try a New Restaurant Every Day

Closeup view of the veggie burger with fries on the side at Eastern Portland restaurant
My yummy veggie burger from an Eastern Portland restaurant

It’s normal to have your favorite go-to restaurants at home, but I recommend trying out a new restaurant every day in a new city. This is one of the best ways to get to know a new area and hopefully discover some new favorite foods.

Restaurants in Portland offer some of the best mouthwatering goodness on the U.S. west coast. With so many diverse restaurants in Portland to choose from, you really can’t go wrong! 

Stay in a Centrally-located Portland Hotel

Cityscape view from the accommodation in Eastside on a sunny day
View from my accommodation on the Eastside

Portland isn’t that spread out but it’s still a good idea to stay in a centrally located hotel to save money on rideshares and skip the local transportation. Hotels that are situated right in Downtown Portland are usually just a hop, skip, and jump away from restaurants, bars, theaters, shops, and more! 

You can browse Booking’s best hotels in downtown Portland.

Staying in a centrally-located hotel when deciding where to stay in Portland is the most hassle-free option. 

Stay in Portland for A Few Days

Stay for a few days in Portland to experience the best the city has to offer. One or two short days in Portland isn’t enough to even scratch the surface.

I recommend staying in Portland for 3-5 days. This way, you can enjoy the best eateries, museums, bars, and other top attractions like the Portland Japanese Garden without stressing about time.

You will also have better chances at making local Portland friends the longer you stay in town and will even have time to catch a concert or hit up the rock climbing gym.

When you’re ready to explore Oregon outside of Portland, check out my guide to the top things to do in Oregon.

Bring A Nice Set of Clothes

Hiking may be a top Portland activity but with the number of nice restaurants, bars, and fun city attractions to do, you will want to pack a nice set of clothes. Don’t make the mistake of going to a concert in muddy hiking clothes by always packing at least one pair of nice dress clothes when you travel. 

Pack A Rain Jacket

View of the parked cars near the cherry blossom's trees on a gloomy day
A gloomy Portland neighborhood

Oregon is notoriously known as one of the rainiest cities on the American west coast. Portland experiences rain year-round. You won’t want to forget a rain jacket, whether you’re in town for a convention or plan on summiting Oregon’s highest mountain just outside of Portland, Mount Hood.

Gore-tex jackets are guaranteed to keep you warmer and drier than “water-resistant” jackets, so be sure your rain jacket incorporates this technology.

Visit Portland During the Summer

Where to stay in Portland depends on the season. Summer may be Portland’s peak season, but it’s also the driest time to visit.

Visit during this time to explore the city without needing a heavy jacket and venture into the nearby Cascade Mountains to hike without snow. See my guide to the best hiking trails near Portland to get planning.

If you visit Portland in the winter, many roads may be closed and homes covered in a few feet of snow.

Take the Public Transportation

Save some cash by skipping rideshares and opting for Portland’s public transportation. Public buses in Portland are incredibly cheap and are the best way to explore the different Portland neighborhoods. 

Be sure to check online schedules ahead of time and have a flexible schedule before you board Portland’s public transportation in case you miss the train or your bus never arrives.

Where to stay in Portland on a budget should always be near public transportation hubs like Downtown Portland or Northwest Portland.

FAQs About Where to Stay in Portland

What is the best part of Portland to stay in?

Downtown Portland is the best part of Portland to stay in. Most attractions are located in this city center, as well as most places to stay in Portland. Northwest Portland is another great neighborhood to stay in in Portland with easy access to Washington Park.

Should I stay in the Pearl District or downtown Portland?

Stay in Downtown Portland if it’s your first time in Portland and you want to experience the top attractions the city has to offer. Stay in the Pearl District for top eateries and to escape heavy city center crowds.

What is the best part of downtown Portland?

Washington Park is the best part of Downtown Portland, as well as Old Town Chinatown, the abundance of galleries in the Alberta Arts District, and attractions like Voodoo Doughnuts and Powell’s City of Books.

What is the safest part of Portland to stay in?

Nob Hill and Central Eastside are the safest parts of Portland to stay in. Avoid alleyways at night and venturing into parts unknown in downtown Portland if safety is your biggest concern while in Oregon’s biggest city.


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