I grew up in Portland and have been a journalist right here for practically a decade. In highschool I would experience the TriMet bus to campus, with a backpack and a french horn in tow. Now I typically bike or stroll across the metropolis.

Portland has a handy and simply navigable transit system. Nevertheless it’s not probably the most auto-centric metropolis — many locals, together with me, favor to bike or take public transit, because the routes are extra direct than driving. Many roads and highways are solely two lanes or one-way, and you may usually see lanes painted inexperienced or crimson, which suggests bike or bus solely.

When you’re planning a visit to Portland, listed below are the most effective methods to navigate to and across the metropolis.

Transportation Portland Oregon

Portland Worldwide Airport is handy to fly into from stateside and worldwide cities.

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Portland Worldwide Airport

Portland International Airport, on the north finish of town alongside the Columbia River, is the most effective industrial possibility for flying into the area. It companies each nationwide and worldwide flights and has been ranked among the best best airports by Journey + Leisure journal quite a few instances for its street prices (which means the airport’s outlets have the identical costs as their downtown counterparts) and famous carpet.

On the airport, you may lease a automobile or catch a taxi or a experience from a ride-hailing service. (When you lease a automobile, the downtown-parking app you need is Parking Kitty.)

To get into town from PDX, you may hop on the MAX light rail — you are taking the Pink Line to Gateway Transit Center, the place you may connect with all elements of town.


When you’re searching for low-cost transportation and do not thoughts spending hours in a bus, Greyhound affords rides into Portland from throughout the US. The outdated station in Old Town Chinatown closed, however the brand new location is a couple of blocks north alongside Station Means. (You’ll be able to nonetheless purchase tickets and get info on the outdated spot, although.)

Automotive leases 

In Portland, the place there are plentiful modes of transportation, a automobile is a luxurious and never a necessity. Nonetheless, if you’d like your individual wheels in your go to, rental choices on the airport and all through town embody Hertz, Kyte, Avis, Enterprise, and extra. 

I like to recommend utilizing the app Parking Kitty, which allows you to pay for street parking on your phone.

public transportation Portland Oregon Jonathan House for Insider

Portland public transit is a less expensive different to taxis and Ubers.

Jonathan Home for Insider

Public transportation

Portland’s public-transport company, TriMet, has the MAX mild rail, buses, and the Portland Streetcar, which navigates the downtown space. The streetcar is handy to hop on to take a loop across the metropolis. 

It prices $5 for an adult day pass for all TriMet traces. You need to use its Hop app to purchase tickets and monitor arrival instances.

Transportation Portland Oregon Jonathan House for Insider

Portland has particular inexperienced lanes for bikes and e-scooters.

Jonathan Home for Insider

Bikes, e-scooters, and Segways

Downtown Portland is comparatively small and largely flat, so bike or scooter leases generally is a handy possibility for hop-on, hop-off exploring. Seize a Biketown bike, decide up a Lime e-scooter, or hop on a Segway.

Earlier than taking off, be sure to know the rules of the highway right here for bikes and e-scooters. Many streets have devoted bike-ways and are the most secure for bikers to make use of. (The inexperienced lanes are for bikes, whereas crimson lanes are buses solely.) 

I have been biking across the Portland metro space my complete life, and lots of locals follow for the Hood to Coast relay, so cyclists typically take highway security and sharing very significantly. 

Navigating Portland

Portland is organized into neighborhoods or districts on both facet of the Willamette River, which separates town into east and west Portland. There’s Nob Hill within the northwest, the Southwest Hills and Goose Hole, the Pearl District, and the South Waterfront. 

The west-side neighborhoods have windy, hilly roads, and on the east facet you may discover downtown, the economic district, and a number of other cute neighborhoods, every with their very own Principal Avenue, organized in a extra grid-like method.

On both facet of the Willamette, the streets operating parallel with the river are in ascending numerical order in each instructions (for instance, SW 2nd Avenue and SE 2nd Avenue are each two blocks from the river, on reverse sides). When you’re north of West Burnside Avenue, all roads are in alphabetical order from south to north. 

Transportation Portland Oregon Jonathan House for Insider

With over 12 completely different bridges throughout town, Portland is a breeze to bike by way of.

Jordan Siemens/Getty Photos

There are 12 bridges throughout the Willamette River connecting the east and west sides. The most recent bridge, Tilikum Crossing, is open for cyclists, pedestrians, and public transit solely — no vehicles are allowed on this bridge, aptly nicknamed the Bridge of the Individuals. When you’re not in a strolling temper, nonetheless, you may take the MAX mild rail’s Orange Line to get throughout.

The Metal Bridge can be a good selection for cyclists, as there is a below-deck pedestrian and bike path, so you do not have to haul as much as the principle overpass. You’ll be able to entry this from the Springwater Hall and Eastbank Esplanade on the east facet, or the Waterfront Park Path on the west facet. Remember that this can be a through-truss, double-deck, vertical-lift bridge — which means that if it goes up, you’ll have to await a barge to navigate by way of.

As for highways, for those who’re in a automobile, know that Interstate 5 goes north-south, the 26 goes east-west, the 405 takes you downtown, and the 205 loops south earlier than heading northeast to the airport. And at all times, at all times yield to the TriMet buses.

View Insider’s comprehensive guide to visiting Portland, Oregon.


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