Portland is undoubtedly one of the coolest cities in the United States. A stunning location, arguably one of the best food scenes in the country, and one-of-a-kind landmarks, it’s no wonder Portland has made “staying weird” look so good.

But being a large city, it can be overwhelming to know where to stay in Portland. Which is why we wrote this article on the best places to stay in Portland, Oregon.

This article breaks down Portland’s best neighbourhoods into small, easy to read sections. Each section focuses on a different travel style or interest so you can quickly find the neighbourhood that’s best for you!

It’s full of hidden gems and our expert travel writers’ best-kept secrets – you’ll be seriously shocked by some of them!

Knowing where to stay in Portland is super important. So let’s jump right into it.

Where to Stay in Portland

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Portland.

Best Airbnb in Portland: Stunning 1-Bedroom Apartment

Downtown Nest

If you’re visiting Portland for the first time, you want to stay close to all of the coolest places and hotspots of the city. This modern Airbnb is ideally located in Downtown, close to the waterfront, restaurants and public transport options. You can chill on your private blacony and enjoey the view of the city. The apartment is perfectly equipped with everything you might need – fast Wifi, a TV, a kitchen and a super clean bathroom. You’ll be in for a treat!

Best Apartment in Downtown: Amazing Waterfront Condo

Million Dollar River View

Yes, you heard right – you’ll be staying directly next to the river. Wake up in the normning to 180° panoramic view of the water while enjoying your free coffee. This top apartment couldn’t offer anymore value for the low price. You’ll get free access to a fitness centre, a super modern living area, a fully equipped kitchen and so much more. On top of that, you’re in the absolute best location in Portland! Definitely an awesome place to stay during your first time in the city.

Best Hotel in Portland: Hampton Inn And Suites By Hilton Portland-Pearl District

Hampton Inn And Suites By Hilton Portland Pearl District

Modern and luxurious, it’s no wonder this Hampton Inn and Suites gets our vote for the best hotel in Portland. A four-star hotel, it has comfortable rooms, contemporary facilities, and an in-house restaurant.

It also has an unbeatable location close to transit, restaurants, bars, cafes and the very best of Portland.

Portland Neighborhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN PORTLAND
Downtown, Portland
FIRST TIME IN PORTLAND

Downtown

Downtown Portland is the best place to stay in Portland for first-time visitors. This area is home to famous street markets, noteworthy museums and galleries, and some of Portland’s most instagrammable locales, including the “Keep Portland Weird” mural

ON A BUDGET
Hawthorne, Portland
ON A BUDGET

Hawthorne

Located on Portland’s southeast side, Hawthorne is one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in the city. This bustling district is packed with hip vintage shops, historic theatres, craft beer and delicious eateries. It’s also affordable making it the best area to stay in Portland for thoseon a budget.

NIGHTLIFE
Centrals Eastside, Portland_2
NIGHTLIFE

Central Eastside

Portland’s Central Eastside is bustling day and night. It’s an area famous for its coffee culture thanks to the many cafes and bistros that line its streets.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Pearl District, Portland
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Pearl District

The Pearl District is far and away the coolest neighbourhood in Portland – which is saying something because this city, as a whole, is pretty cool! It boasts a central location and all the conveniences of downtown, but still maintains a distinct and trendy atmosphere.

FOR FAMILIES
Nob Hill, Portland
FOR FAMILIES

Nob Hill

Nob Hill is one of Portland’s more upscale and fashionable areas filled with sophisticated bistros, boutiques and restaurants. Historic Victorian houses, tree-lined streets and cosy cafes are just a few of Nob Hill’s top attractions. It’s one of the best places to stay in Portland for families

Portland is a city that oozes laid-back cool around every turn. It’s famous for breathtaking views, ironic style, and for “keeping it weird”. It’s also one of the top destinations in the US for coffee culture, craft beer, and hyped up culinary combos.

The capital and largest city in Oregon, Portland covers more than 375 square kilometres in the Pacific Northwest and is divided in two by the Willamette River. On either side, you’ll find incredible neighbourhoods and districts to explore.

In total, Portland is home to 95 distinct neighbourhoods that boast incredible attraction, activities – and of course – restaurants and cafes.

At the heart of Portland is Downtown. Located next to the Willamette River, this central neighbourhood is where you’ll find the commercial, cultural and tourist districts.

To the north of Downtown are Pearl District and Nob Hill. Popular with tourists, these two neighbourhoods are within walking distance of the city’s main attractions and boast a great variety of upscale eateries, hip bars and trendy Portland hangouts.

Across the river from Downtown is Hawthorne. It is one of the most popular neighbourhoods in the city that features craft breweries, vintage shops, and that quintessential Portland cool vibe.

North of Hawthorne is the Central Eastside. A mecca for coffee enthusiasts and party animals, this is where you’ll find many of the city’s best bars, clubs and cafes.

If you’re still not sure where to stay, don’t worry. We’re about to break down this incredibly cool city by style and interest to help you plan your stay in Portland.

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5 Best Areas to Stay in Portland

Getting around Portland couldn’t be easier. Not only does it boast a pretty robust public transit network, but it is super easy to navigate on foot or by bike. Its roads are laid out in a grid system, so even if you’re not the best with a map you’ll be able to get around with relative ease.

Here are the best five neighbourhoods in Portland.

1. Downtown – Best Place to Stay in Portland for First-Timers

Downtown Portland is the perfect neighbourhood for first-time visitors. This area is home to famous street markets, noteworthy museums and galleries, and some of Portland’s most instagrammable locales, including the “Keep Portland Weird” mural.

In addition to its central location, Downtown well connected throughout Portland. Hip and trendy districts like Hawthorne and Pearl are easily accessible on foot or via public transit.

If you love to eat, Downtown Portland is for you. This area of the city is famous for the abundance of food trucks and street food vendors that line its streets. From tasty tacos to succulent sandwiches, in this part of the city, you will eat very well!

Downtown, Portland

Best Airbnb in Downtown: Stunning 1-Bedroom Apartment

Downtown Nest

If you’re visiting Portland for the first time, you want to stay close to all of the coolest places and hotspots of the city. This modern Airbnb is ideally located in Downtown, close to the waterfront, restaurants and public transport options. You can chill on your private blacony and enjoey the view of the city. The apartment is perfectly equipped with everything you might need – fast Wifi, a TV, a kitchen and a super clean bathroom. You’ll be in for a treat!

Best Penthouse in Downtown: Charming Loft in Top Location

Stylish Penthouse Loft with Amazing Views in the Heart of Downtown

Located in the heart of Downtown, you couldn’t wish for a more central and convenient place to stay. This amazing penthouse loft is super welcoming, bright and spacious and feels like a home away from home. If you want to escape the busy streets of the Downtown city, this is the perfect home to chill and recharge for your next adventure. For the ones that aren’t fans of climing up stairs – there’s an elevator available as well!

Best Apartment in Downtown: Amazing Waterfront Condo

Million Dollar River View

Yes, you heard right – you’ll be staying directly next to the river. Wake up in the normning to 180° panoramic view of the water while enjoying your free coffee. This top apartment couldn’t offer anymore value for the low price. You’ll get free access to a fitness centre, a super modern living area, a fully equipped kitchen and so much more. On top of that, you’re in the absolute best location in Portland! Definitely an awesome place to stay during your first time in the city.

Best Hotel in Downtown: Paramount Hotel Portland

Paramount Hotel Portland

This great three-star hotel is ideally located in downtown Portland. It’s close to all the city’s top tourist attractions and hotspots, and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby.

This charming hotel has a great selection of amenities, and every room is outfitted with tea/coffee facilities and a refrigerator.

Things to See and Do in Downtown

Downtown ttd Portland
  • Sink your teeth into a delectable and delightful doughnut at Voodoo Doughnuts.
  • Shop for treats and trinkets at the Portland Saturday Market.
  • Wander through the serene and tranquil Lan Su Chinese Garden.
  • Stand at the centre of Portland’s living room in the Pioneer Courthouse Square.
  • Browse the exhibitions and displays at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.
  • Eat incredible food and enjoy amazing views at Portland City Grill.
  • See interesting works of art at the Portland Art Museum.
  • Visit the Alder Street Food Cart Pod and dine from the largest downtown collection of delicious food carts.

2. Hawthorne – Best Place to Stay in Portland on a Budget

Located on Portland’s southeast side, Hawthorne is one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in the city. This bustling district is packed with hip vintage shops, historic theatres, craft beer and delicious eateries.

It’s where you’ll find quintessential Portland cool and a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere.

Hawthorne is also our recommendation for where to stay in Portland if you’re travelling on a budget. Despite being a large city, Portland doesn’t have a lot of options for hostels. Thankfully, Hawthorne has one of the best. It’s also home to a good selection of guesthouses and apartments. So even cost-conscious travellers can stay at the centre of cool without breaking the bank.

Hawthorne, Portland

Best Airbnb in Hawthorne: Bright and Spacious Private Room

Bright Spacious Heart of Portland

Having to watch your budget while visiting Portland? This is no problem if you’re staying at this affordable Airbnb. You’ll get your own private room in a cozy family house. The bathroom is shared with the other guest room. The hosts are known for going above and beyond for their guests. If you have to work on your laptop, they provide a great working space, a printer, high speed wifi and lots more. Your room is super spacious and bright and you can access it through a keyless touch pad entrance – no more worries about losing your keys!

Best Budget Loft in Hawthorne: Cozy and Modern Studio

Luxurious and Modern Loft Studio SE Hawthorne

This cute studio is the perfect choice for all budget travellers. Close to public transport options, you’ll get into every part of the city without any problems. Super modern and extremely clean, this home has received the best reviews so far. It offers a fully equipped kitchen, bright and light-flooded living areas and a weekly and monthly discount! You’ll have the whole space to yourself, but your hosts will happy to give you great recommendations of hidden gems in Portland.

Best Cottage in Hawthorne: Inviting Designer Cottage

Inviting Designer Cottage

This place might not be the cheapest, but there’s a trick! The amazing designer house accommodates up to 4 people. Bring your friends, split the bill at the end and you’ll get a luxury home with great company for a fraction of the original price – sounds good, right? On top of that, you can enjoy a super modern living area, a fully equipped kitchen and a welcoming living area that’s great for socializing.

Best Guesthouse in Hawthorne: Quiet Home Away from Home

Evermore Guesthouse

If you just want a quiet place to recharge before starting a new adventure, this is the perfect spot for you. The guesthouse is located close to Hawthorne, in a very peaceful area. Some rooms come with a private balcony and a beautiful garden view. There’s also a shared kitchen available. If you need help with deciding what to visit in Portland, the owners are always ready to give great recommendations and look after their guests.

Things to See and Do in Hawthorne

Hawthorne ttd Portland
  • Wander through Mt Tabor Park and enjoy exceptional views of Portland.
  • Enjoy craft beer and excellent nibbles at the Bagdad Theatre and Pub.
  • Sample a variety of street food dishes at the Cartopia Food Cart Pod.
  • Eat amazing tacos at Por Que No Taqueria.
  • Shop for cool and unique clothes at House of Vintage.
  • Savour a delectable doughnut at Blue Star Donuts.
  • Kickstart your day with a satisfying breakfast at Jam On Hawthorne.
  • Sip sexy cocktails at The Sapphire Hotel.
  • Grab a treat at the Waffle Window, a funky eatery that serves Portland-style Liege waffles.

3. Central Eastside – Best Place to Stay in Portland for Nightlife

Wonder where to stay in Portland to party? Portland’s Central Eastside is bustling day and night. It’s an area famous for its coffee culture thanks to the many cafes and bistros that line its streets.

Whether you like your coffee classic or pumpkin spiced, this neighbourhood is packed with options and opportunities to indulge your inner bean fiend.

But there’s more to the Central Eastside than coffee. This vibrant and lively ‘hood is also the best spot in Portland for a fun night out. With its wide range of pubs, bars, clubs and dancefloors, it’s no wonder that this is where Portlanders and tourists in the know like to hang out.

The nightlife and atmosphere here are electric and you’ll be spoilt for choice of what to do.

Centrals Eastside, Portland_2
source: M.O. Stevens (wikicommons) 

Best Airbnb in Central Eastside: Trendy Apartment in Province Park

Trendy Apartment in Province Park

This one bedroom for 2 is in a killer location about 2-minutes to Burnside Street, where some of Portland’s most fabulous restaurants reside. Perfect for a weekend getaway located conveniently near the X-Max line. For times you are looking to stay in, this petite kitchen packs a powerful punch, fully stocked with a Keurig and whatever you need to craft a quick meal.

Best Guesthouse in Central Eastside: Lion And The Rose Victorian Guest House

Lion And The Rose Victorian Guest House

With its great location and charming décor, this guesthouse is your best bet for budget accommodations on the Central Eastside. A short walk from the city centre, it is close to restaurants, bars and many cafes.

It has seven comfortable rooms and boasts a library, garden and modern amenities.

Best Condo in Central Eastside: Cute Dog-friendly Apartment

Dog-friendly condo with fireplace

Travelling with your 4-legged friend? This amazing condo lets you bring your dog! And even if don’t have a best friend with you, don’t worry, the apartment is pefect for all sorts of travellers. Located in East Portland, you’ll be staying in a very hip area. This vibe reflects itself in your home – designed with an eye for detail, you’ll feel super welcome as soon as you step through the door. The neighborhood is relatively quiet, so you can enjoy a good nights sleep as well!

Best Hotel in Central Eastside: Jupiter NEXT

Jupiter NEXT

A fantastic combination of modern and rustic, Jupiter NEXT is a great base for your time in Portland. It’s located in the Central Eastside and is within walking distance of top attraction, including the Oregon Ballet Theatre and Good Coffee. It has comfortable rooms, stylish décor, and a very friendly staff.

Things to See and Do in Central Eastside

Central Eastside ttd Portland
  • Sip a variety of incredible wines at Noble Rot Wine Bar.
  • Grab drinks at Century Bar, a stylish sports bar.
  • Dine at Le Pigeon and enjoy delicious French and international dishes with flair.
  • Listen to live music at the Doug Fir Restaurant Bar & Lounge.
  • Go out for a great night of dancing and drinks at the White Owl Social Club.
  • Laugh to the jokes of well-known comedians at Helium Comedy Club.
  • Dance the night away at Dig A Pony, a bar built in a restored pharmacy.
  • Have your future told and see a burlesque show at the Lovecraft Bar.
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4. Pearl District – Coolest Neighbourhood in Portland

The Pearl District is far and away the coolest neighbourhood in Portland – which is saying something because this city, as a whole, is pretty cool! It boasts a central location and all the conveniences of downtown, but still maintains a distinct and trendy atmosphere.

Here you’ll find a mix of great galleries, rustic breweries, upscale residences and hip local businesses.

Pearl District is also home to the world-famous Powell’s City of Books. The largest independent new and used bookstore in the world, Powell’s spans more than 3,000 square meters and offers titles from some 3,500 different sections.

Calling this institution a book lovers paradise is a serious understatement!

Pearl District, Portland

Best Airbnb in Pearl District: Luxury Penthouse with Amazing Views

Downtown Pearl District Upscale apt w Rooftop

Yes, we admit it, this is definitely not the most affordable home in Portland, but oh my, it offers a ton of amazing value and amenities. Starting with the view, you can either enjoy the unrestricted panoramic outlook from the massive windows in the living area or from your own rooftop terrace. Wake up and make yourself a coffee with the free capsules in the kitchen before you start heading out to explore the city. Speaking of, the Airbnb is ideally located in Pearl District, close to lots of hotspots and puclic transport options. If you want to treat yourself a bit, this is the place to stay at!

Best Luxury Apartment in Pearl District: High-end Home for a Group of Friends

Barsala at Couch

Before you start, yes, this place isn’t the cheapest either. But it also sleeps up to 6 people. Bring your friends and all of you can split the bill at the end to make this luxury apartment into a low-budget treat for each of you. From Fitness Studio to stunning views and roof top lounge, there’s nothing this place can’t offer. The massive apartment is split in three bedrooms and a spacious living area with a fully equipped kitchen. The super high ceilings make your stay even more enjoyable.

Best Apartment in Pearl District: Modern Loft in Prime Location

Modern Loft in Prime Location

From top location to charming interior design, this loft has it all. All main attractions, dining options and cafes are only a few blocks away, placing you in walking distance to all of Pearl District’s Hotspots. The massive windows allow the sun to drench this home throughout the whole day, giving it a super comfy and welcoming atmosphere. 

Best Hotel in Pearl District: Hampton Inn And Suites By Hilton Portland-Pearl District

Hampton Inn And Suites By Hilton Portland Pearl District

Modern and luxurious, it’s no wonder this is our recommendation for where to stay in Pearl District. This four-star hotel has comfortable rooms, contemporary facilities, and an in-house restaurant. It also has an unbeatable location close to transit, restaurants, bars, cafes and the very best of Portland.

Things to See and Do in Pearl District

Pearl District ttd Portland
  • Shop for new and used books at Powell’s.
  • Dine on traditional American fare at Brix Tavern.
  • Excite your sense with a unique blend of flavours at Ovation Coffee & Tea.
  • See works of art by strong contemporary artists at Froelick Gallery.
  • Sample delicious local beers at the BridgePort Brewpub.
  • Take a relaxing stroll through North Park Blocks.
  • Enjoy the world’s best selection of teas at Tea Bar.
  • See the iconic Broadway Bridge.
  • Explore Jamison Square Park.
  • Sip an exceptional coffee at Barista.
  • Enjoy a distinct Northwest-style taste and atmosphere at Deschutes Brewery.

5. Nob Hill – Best Place to Stay in Portland for Families

Nob Hill is one of Portland’s more upscale and fashionable areas filled with sophisticated bistros, boutiques and restaurants. Historic Victorian houses, tree-lined streets and cosy cafes are just a few of Nob Hill’s top attractions.

With its central location and small village feel Nob Hill is our recommendation for where to stay in Portland for families.

Nob Hill is also one of the greenest neighbourhoods in Portland. It is surrounded by parks, forests and luxurious landscapes that are perfect for hiking, trekking and wandering. No matter where you stay in this great neighbourhood, you’re never very far from being back in nature.

Nob Hill, Portland
source: 1000Photography (shutterstock)

Best Condo in Nob Hill: Brandnew Family Home

Newly finished Nob Hill Condo with central location

Nestled between Nob Hill and the Pearl District, this is also our choice for the best hostel in Nob Hill. This hostel is a short walk from downtown and there are many restaurants, cafes and attractions nearby.

It has laundry facilities, calming gardens, and their knowledgeable staff can help you navigate the city with ease.

Best Airbnb in Nob Hill: Charming Apartment in Downtown

Charming Apartment in Downtown

Here’s another one of those air b&bs that’s is keeping Portland weird. It’s a 2 bedroom home so you can squeeze 4 humans here. It’s a walkers paradise located in the base of the neighborhood, that means there is no need to jump in the car or the hassle with trying to find parking staying here! Clean yourself off in the stand-up shower—there’s no time to soak in a tub, when you’re soaking up all Portland has to offer.

Best Hotel in Nob Hill: Inn at Northrup Station

Inn at Northrup Station

The Inn at Northrup Station is a colourful and funky hotel with modern décor and spacious rooms. It’s close to the centre of Portland and is just a quick walk from the city’s entertainment, shopping and tourist districts.

You’ll love not just the location, but the above-average size beds and the modern amenities available.

Best Hotel in Nob Hill: Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Portland-Northwest Downtown

Holiday Inn Express Hotel Northwest Downtown

This hotel is classic, comfortable and clean, with large beds, private spa baths and a friendly staff. It has not only an on-site restaurant but a stylish lounge bar where you can relax after a day of sightseeing in Portland. They also offer a brilliant breakfast buffet.

Things to See and Do in Nob Hill

Nob Hill ttd Portland
  • Go for a hike through Forest Park, which is one of the best places to go hiking in Oregon.
  • Eat fresh and delicious seafood at Bamboo Sushi.
  • Treat your little one to a variety of new flavours at Blue Star Donuts.
  • See your favourite mammals, reptiles, birds, insects and more at the Oregon Zoo.
  • Stop and smell the roses at the International Rose Garden.
  • Enjoy freshly baked breads and other treats at Ken’s Artisan Bakery.
  • Try small-batch artisan popcorn at Poplandia Popcorn. Trust us, you’ve never had popcorn like this before!
  • Sink your teeth into delectable sweets at Saint Cupcake.

Final Thoughts

Portland is one of the coolest cities in the United States. It’s where you’ll find fun food trucks and hip breweries, incredible coffee and local shops, and stunning views and verdant nature. Trust us when we say, there’s something for every traveller in Portland.

In this guide, we highlighted the best areas to stay in Portland divided by interest and budget. Although there aren’t many hostels in Portland, we tried to include affordable and cost-conscious options, like guesthouses and apartments.

Of the four hostels, HI Portland Hawthorne is our favourite thanks to its central location, eco-friendly attitude, and its awesome amenities.

Hampton Inn And Suites is a great hotel to stay at in Portland. Its modern and luxurious, and has an unbeatable location in the trendy Pearl District.

Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below.

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