Where to Stay in Portland, Oregon - 7 Best Areas & Places

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An aerial view of a city next to a river with a bridge over it under a blue sky
There is a neighborhood for everyone in the exciting city of Portland

Portland, the largest city in Oregon, is one of the most popular travel destinations in the Pacific Northwest. Known for the slogan, "Keep Portland Weird," it's unsurprising that the city is divided into many unique neighborhoods, each offering visitors a different perspective for their trip.

From centrally-located Downtown Portland to the bohemian Alberta Arts District, each place to stay will provide travelers with its own pros and cons.

Choosing where to stay in Portland is an important decision that can heavily impact the quality of your vacation. Some areas have much more to see and do than others, while visitors not planning to rent a car will likely want somewhere walkable with excellent access to public transportation.

Throughout this article, you'll learn more about each of the most popular neighborhoods in Portland. By the end, you will have all the information you need to decide on the best area to stay in during your trip.

🏨 Best mid-range hotel: HI - Portland Northwest Hostel
🏖 Best family-friendly hotel: Lolo Pass
💕 Best romantic hotel: The Nines
🛎️ Best luxury hotel: The Nines

7 Best Places to Stay in Portland, Oregon

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Best Areas to Stay in Portland, Oregon

Skyscrapers and two identical towers near a body of water
The Lloyd District is a good location for those going to the Oregon Convention Center

Lloyd District

Popular among business travelers and sports fans, Portland's Lloyd District boasts the Moda Center, home to the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers, and the 255,000-square-foot Oregon Convention Center.

A visitor-focused neighborhood, the Lloyd District has plenty of quality chain hotels, including budget-friendly options and familiar dining opportunities. Thanks to its significant landmarks, the Lloyd District is one of the most accessible areas in Portland.

The neighborhood is served by four light rail train lines and numerous streetcar and bus routes, making it easy for travelers to explore without a vehicle. With hotel rates comparable to Downtown Portland, the Lloyd District is a smart choice for convention attendees and anyone visiting for an event at the Moda Center.

🏨 Well-priced accommodations in and nearby the Lloyd District

🏖 Family-friendly accommodations in and nearby the Lloyd District

💕 Romantic accommodations in and nearby the Lloyd District

🛎️ Luxury accommodation in and nearby the Lloyd District

A city skyline with a body of water in the foreground
Downtown Portland is where to stay in Portland if you want easy access to attractions

Downtown Portland

With its central location, numerous exciting landmarks, and abundance of reasonably-priced hotels, Downtown Portland is favored by first-time visitors looking for a convenient base for sightseeing. It's also a great place to stay for families or travelers on a weekend trip who want to make the most of their limited time in Portland.

Many of Portland's most visited attractions are downtown, including the Portland Art Museum and Oregon Historical Society. The area also boasts the Tom McCall Waterfront Park and Pioneer Courthouse Square, one of the town's busiest outdoor spaces and a popular site for concerts and cultural events.

It's hard to go wrong staying in Downtown Portland. There's plenty of public transportation, so visiting other local areas is simple, even without a car. Unless your itinerary has you spending most of your time in another part of Portland, the Downtown neighborhood is one of the best locations to stay in Portland for all kinds of travelers.

🏨 Well-priced accommodations in and nearby Portland Downtown

🏖 Child-friendly places to stay in and nearby Portland Downtown

💕 Romantic accommodations in and nearby Portland Downtown

🛎️ Luxury accommodations in and nearby Portland Downtown

A statue of a guardian lion near a red Chinese-style arch and a tree
Old Town Chinatown boasts a diverse culture which mainly has an Asian influence

Old Town Chinatown

As the name implies, Old Town Chinatown is the oldest part of Portland. It was also historically the home of Portland's Chinese and Japanese communities. Today, the neighborhood is a melting pot of people and cultures, although much of the area's distinctive Asian influence remains.

The Lan Su Chinese Garden and the Shanghai Tunnels are some of the main attractions to check out within Old Town Chinatown. And don't miss out on snapping a picture of the famous White Stag sign. Old Town Chinatown is also home to one of the sweetest landmarks in Portland: the original Voodoo Doughnut location!

While you'll find a handful of lower-priced accommodations within Old Town Chinatown, most hotels in the area are a few blocks south, in Downtown Portland, or west, in the Pearl District. But if you're looking for great nightlife, plan to stay in or around the neighborhood: most of Portland's nightclubs are concentrated in Old Town Chinatown.

🏨 Mid-range places to stay in and nearby Old Town

🏖 Child-friendly places to stay in and nearby Old Town

💕 Romantic accommodations in and nearby Old Town

Nob Hill

An upscale neighborhood dotted with historic Victorian homes, Nob Hill, is where you will find some of Portland's most luxurious shopping and dining. You'll notice more tree-lined streets in Nob Hill than in other parts of Portland. It's also near outdoor spaces like Washington Park, home to the Portland Japanese Garden, among other attractions.

While Nob Hill has no MAX light rail stations, the Portland Streetcar NS line connects the neighborhood to the nearby Pearl District and Downtown Portland. But if you plan to explore much outside Nob Hill, you'll want to consider private transport for convenience and time-savings.

Albeit slightly pricey, Nob Hill is the best neighborhood to stay in Portland if you're looking for a romantic getaway or are planning to dine, drink, and shop till you drop. However, Downtown Portland or the neighboring Pearl District would be more suitable locations for most other travelers.

🏨 Mid-range places to stay in and nearby Nob Hill

🏖 Child-friendly places to stay in and nearby Nob Hill

💕 Romantic places to stay in and nearby Nob Hill

An aerial shot of a city near a bridge over a river
The Pearl District is known for its chic atmosphere and galleries, shops, and cafes

Pearl District

Known for its trendy art galleries, boutique stores, and artisan coffee shops, the Pearl District is a great neighborhood to stay in if you want to get a taste of the upscale side of Portland.

It's also an excellent spot for nightlife: you'll find no shortage of bars, restaurants, and breweries within the Pearl District. And if you're looking to keep the party going all night, adjacent Old Town Chinatown is home to most of Portland's nightclubs.

There's a lot for visitors to see and do in the southern half of the Pearl District. Perhaps the most famous landmark in the Pearl District, Powell's City of Books, is located along the neighborhood's southern border with Downtown Portland. The northern end, however, is much more residential.

Located near Nob Hill, Old Town Chinatown, and Downtown Portland, the Pearl District is a top location to stay in Portland for sightseeing or a romantic getaway. But plan for hotels to cost a little more than in other neighborhoods.

🏨 Well-priced accommodations in and nearby Pearl District

🏖 Child-friendly places to stay in and nearby Pearl District

💕 Romantic accommodations in and nearby Pearl District

🛎️ Luxury place to stay in and nearby Pearl District

City buildings near a body of water and a bridge under a cloudy sky
Central Eastside is perfect for those who are looking for an urban but tranquil stay

Central Eastside

Situated across the Willamette River from Downtown Portland, Central Eastside surrounds visitors with Portland's unique local culture of independent restaurants, coffee shops, and stores.

Although not known as a tourist hub, the semi-residential, semi-industrial Central Eastside is growing in popularity among travelers as an off-the-beaten-path alternative to the Pearl District. The majority of hotels in Central Eastside are towards the north of the neighborhood, around the busy thoroughfare of Burnside Street.

Even though two Portland Streetcar lines run through Central Eastside, public transportation isn't as good as in other more touristy neighborhoods. But most accommodations are located near the Lloyd District, which is serviced by four MAX light rail lines.

With its lack of major attractions, Central Eastside may be best for repeat travelers who have already seen the quintessential Portland landmarks and would like a more local experience.

However, there are a few attractions within the area. For example, one of the unique things to do in Portland is going to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. This landmark is located about 15 minutes from the Central Eastside along the riverfront Eastbank Esplanade.

🏨 Well-priced accommodations in and nearby the Central Eastside

🏖 Family-friendly accommodations in and nearby the Central Eastside

💕 Romantic places to stay in and nearby the Central Eastside

🛎️ Luxury places to stay in and nearby the Central Eastside

Alberta Arts District

Located in Northeast Portland, the Alberta Arts District is the vibrant artsy neighborhood surrounding Alberta Street, around 25 minutes from the downtown area by car. Popular among hip travelers for its chic, bohemian ambiance, you'll find plenty of local shops and ethnically-diverse restaurants. There's also impressive street art covering many of the buildings.

Because it's a predominantly local residential area, there are only a few accommodation options in the Alberta Arts District. You'll find a handful of boutique hotels along and around Alberta Street but plan for prices higher than average in other locales.

Due to its location outside central Portland, public transportation within the Alberta Arts District is limited to a handful of bus routes. Travelers staying in the area should rent a vehicle or plan to use taxis and rideshare throughout their stay. Because of how isolated it is from other tourist areas, the Alberta Arts District is not typically a good choice if it's your first visit to Portland.

🏨 Well-priced accommodations in and nearby the Alberta Arts District

🏖 Child-friendly places to stay in and nearby the Alberta Arts District

💕 Romantic accommodation in and nearby the Alberta Arts District

Where to Stay in Portland, Oregon

City skyscrapers near a still body of water with a boat
Whether it be nature spots or historic landmarks, Downtown has something for all ages

Where to stay in Portland with family?

For families, the best area to stay in Portland will most likely be Downtown Portland. Not just because the downtown area hosts some of the best things to do in Portland for kids but also due to its proximity to 410-acre Washington Park.

The park, one of Portland's top outdoor green spaces, encompasses several other attractions like the Hoyt Arboretum and International Rose Test Garden.

In addition to the great attractions for kids in and near the center of town, Downtown Portland is perfect for families who want to explore other areas of the city. Public transportation options are abundant downtown, while the area's central location makes for short rides to most points of interest.

Accommodations within Downtown Portland are reasonably priced compared to neighboring areas like Nob Hill and the Pearl District, making it a smart choice for families on a budget.

🏖 Child-friendly places to stay in and nearby Portland Downtown

Where to stay in Portland for a romantic getaway?

For most couples planning a romantic getaway to Portland, the northwest neighborhoods of Nob Hill and the Pearl District fit the bill perfectly. Nob Hill, with its old Victorian homes and upscale shopping, provides one of the most romantic settings Portland offers.

Then there's the adjacent Pearl District with its trendy boutiques and contemporary art galleries. In fact, one of the best things to do in Portland on a date is to art gallery hop in the Pearl District.

The neighborhood is also home to Powell's City of Books, billed as the world's largest independent bookstore. Visiting this attraction is an undeniably unique date idea for book lovers. However, when planning to stay in the Pearl District or Nob Hill, be prepared for hotels to cost a little more than in Downtown Portland or the Lloyd District.

💕 Romantic places to stay in and nearby Nob Hill

Adjacent old bricked buildings on a sunny day
Aside from its closeness to Downtown, nothing beats the charm of the Pearl District

Where to stay in Portland for sightseeing?

If you're planning to do a lot of sightseeing on your trip, especially if it's your first time visiting the city, then the best neighborhoods to stay in Portland will be either the Pearl District or Downtown Portland.

That's because these areas are packed with landmarks and attractions to check out. In Downtown Portland, you'll find all-ages destinations like the Portland Art Museum and Pioneer Courthouse Square. The Pearl District, just to the north of downtown, has sights to see of its own, including Powell's City of Books and the historic North Park Blocks green space.

Not only are Downtown Portland and the Pearl District great for sightseeing, but they're also centrally located with excellent public transportation. This allows you to visit landmarks throughout Portland easily without relying on private transport.

🏨 Well-priced accommodations in and nearby Portland Downtown

🛎️ Luxury accommodations in and nearby Portland Downtown

Downtown is where to stay in Portland for an exciting weekend trip
Downtown Portland is home to many attractions you'll want to visit on a weekend trip

Where to stay in Portland for a weekend trip?

If you're planning a short weekend trip or only have a couple of days to explore the city, your best bet is to stay in Downtown Portland. The downtown area is home to many of the city's most visited landmarks, like the Oregon Historical Society and Pioneer Courthouse Square.

It's also served by many light rail, street car, and bus lines, making seeing more of Portland easier on a limited schedule. Plus, Downtown Portland is bordered by some of the city's other most visited neighborhoods, like Old Town Chinatown and the Pearl District.

The major exception is if you're visiting Portland for an event at the Oregon Convention Center or Moda Center. These popular attractions within the Lloyd District are surrounded by competitively priced accommodations ideal for visitors not planning to venture far.

🏨 Mid-range places to stay in and nearby Portland Downtown

🛎️ Luxury accommodations in and nearby Portland Downtown

Where to stay in Portland for a business trip?

Portland is an innovative hub with businesses of all types spread from one corner of the city to another. But most travelers coming to town on a business trip will find the best place to stay in Portland, Oregon, either Downtown Portland, the city's central business area, or the Lloyd District, home to the Oregon Convention Center.

Both of these neighborhoods have great coverage by public transportation, including multiple light rail lines (which connect both areas directly to Portland International Airport), streetcar loops, and numerous bus routes.

Downtown Portland and the Lloyd District each have plenty of business-friendly chain hotels. And if you're traveling on your own dime (or have a limited company budget for travel), you'll be happy to find that hotels in both areas are more affordable than nearby neighborhoods like Nob Hill and the Pearl District.

🏨 Mid-range places to stay in and nearby Portland Downtown

🛎️ Luxury places to stay in and nearby Portland Downtown

A sign saying "Portland, Oregon: Old Town" and an old water tank tower during sunset
Old Town has many pubs, bars, and other nightlife venues

Where to stay in Portland for nightlife?

The epicenter of nightlife in Portland is Old Town Chinatown. You will find most of the city's nightclubs and late-night party venues here. But while Old Town Chinatown offers a handful of hotels, most accommodations nearby will be a few blocks away in either Downtown Portland or the Pearl District.

These three areas offer competitively priced accommodations, although the more upscale Pearl District will typically run slightly higher. You'll also find convenient public transportation options throughout, although Downtown Portland may be the best choice if you plan to go sightseeing during the days.

If you aim to soak in as much nightlife as possible, the best time to visit Portland will be during the summer. This is when the city is busiest, and the nighttime weather is most enjoyable, with lows hovering just under 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

🏨 Well-priced accommodations in and nearby Old Town

In Summary

No matter where you stay in Portland, you're almost guaranteed to have a good trip. There's so much to see and do in all city areas that it would be hard not to. But the truth is that choosing the right place to stay can turn a good vacation into an unforgettable one.

For most visitors, Downtown Portland offers reasonable prices, top-notch public transportation, and famous landmarks within walking distance. Conventioneers, and travelers coming for events at the Moda Center, on the other hand, will probably want to stay in the surrounding Lloyd District.

For a romantic getaway, consider the Pearl District and Nob Hill to make the most of your time in Portland. No matter where you stay, you'll have an excellent time exploring this Pacific Northwest city!

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Written by Jonathan Davis

JDavis WRITER Jonathan is a Florida-based travel writer who can't seem to stay in one place for long. With more than two decades of trips under his belt, Jonathan has a wealth of information to share about travel within the United States and abroad.

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