The word’s out: Portland is one of the hippest cities in the United States. But for travelers wanting to experience this West Coast gem, choosing where to stay in Portland isn’t always easy.
Oregon’s largest city sprawls far and wide. For most visitors, the best areas to stay in Portland radiate from the downtown core, west of the Willamette River. Central neighborhoods like Downtown and Pearl District are home to most of the best hotels in Portland.
But don’t stop your accommodation search there. In districts outside the city center, like the Central Eastside, you’ll find plenty of great lodgings, too. Staying in Portland’s quirkier corners, you might just uncover why its slogan, “Keep Portland Weird,” rings so true.
Want to score the perfect accommodations? Discover all the best places to stay in Portland, Oregon, with this complete guide to the top areas, neighborhoods, and hotels.
Best places to stay in Portland, OR
For first-time visitors, nailing down where to stay in Portland is important for planning your trip. Over 2.4 million people live in the Portland metro area. As you’d imagine from its size, the city teems with interesting areas and neighborhoods.
Portland divides into four quadrants: NE, NW, SE, and SW. On the north-south axis, the Willamette River splits the city east and west. Crossing the entire city, Burnside Street divides it between north and south.
Many of the most popular areas in Portland, including Downtown and the Pearl District, sit west of the Willamette River. These neighborhoods hold the most interest for travelers. Many of the most popular Portland hotels also dwell in these districts. That’s not to say you won’t uncover excellent accommodations elsewhere.
To witness the city at its most eccentric on your Portland itinerary, venture east of the river. Neighborhoods like the Central Eastside and Hawthorne are home to Portland’s quirkiest moments. The areas are packed with cool boutiques, vintage shops, coffee shops, and craft breweries.
The best areas to stay in Portland include:
- Downtown Portland
- Old Town/Chinatown
- Pearl District
- Central Eastside
- Nob Hill & Northwest Portland
- Lloyd District
✔ Best area to stay in Portland for first-time visitors
First-time visitor to Oregon’s biggest city? Set your sights on staying in Downtown Portland. Located west of the Willamette River, the downtown core is the most convenient base for exploring this Pacific Northwest city.
Downtown is home to many of the best places to visit in Portland. The area also connects to the rest of the city by public transportation. You’ll have no problem hitting up every corner of Portland from the city center.
Start your exploration at the buzzing Pioneer Courthouse Square. With its distinctive red bricks, Portland’s favorite city square was voted one of the finest urban parks in the USA.
As you roam downtown’s streets, you’ll stumble upon Portland’s finest museums and art galleries. Art lovers will love the chance to peruse the collections at the Portland Art Museum, a gallery that’s home to a massive collection of notable Asian and Native American art.
To temper your food cravings, Downtown Portland is jam-packed with great restaurants and cafes. For a truly Portlandian food experience, check out the food trucks at the 5th Avenue Food Cart Pod or the stalls of Pine Street Market. Both offer mouthwatering introductions to the city’s exquisite culinary scene.
Downtown Portland is the city’s most popular area with travelers, and accommodation prices reflect it. Budget hotels are limited. Expect most lodgings to fall within the mid-range and luxury.
Want to stay downtown without breaking the bank? Hunker down for the night at the Paramount Hotel. Located in the heart of the city, the hotel offers some of the area’s best value. You’ll enjoy a wealth of amenities here, including a 24-hour gym and on-site restaurant & bar. Washington Park and the Oregon Zoo are a 10-minute drive away.
Sitting on the northern edge of downtown, The Mark Spencer Hotel is one of the city’s top mid-range picks. The popular boutique hotel charms guests with its exposed brick walls and elegant decor. Upgrade to a suite for a full self-catering vacation. Powell’s City of Books, the world’s biggest bookstore, is a two-minute walk away.
This historic downtown hotel shuns Portland’s hipster reputation. Instead of rustic post-industrial design, The Benson shows off a classic European elegance. In the hotel’s common areas, you’ll spot Italian marble floors reflecting light from ornate chandeliers. The rooms are a different story. They impress with their dark, rich decor and ultra-modern bathrooms.
✔ Best district to stay in Portland for nightlife
Interested in digging up Portland’s roots? Spend some time exploring Old Town/Chinatown. The small city center neighborhood sprawls across a couple dozen blocks. It’s located in the northeast corner of Portland’s westside.
In Old Town/Chinatown, you’ll spot hints of Portland’s days as a frontier town. Although a tad scruffy in parts, the city’s original downtown shows off a handful of attractions.
To celebrate the heritage of Portland’s Chinese community, chill out in the Lan Su Chinese Garden. Built in 1999, the 40,000-square-foot garden is modeled in Ming Dynasty style. With its bridges, pond, and pavilions, it’s one of the loveliest outdoor spaces in the downtown area.
For relaxation, don’t miss the chance to take a stroll in Tom McCall Waterfront Park. On the weekend, pop into the park’s Portland Saturday Market to find locally-made handicrafts. The waterfront park is especially beautiful in spring. During its spring bloom, delicate pink cherry blossoms blanket the riverside.
Aside from the limited sightseeing, Old Town/Chinatown is one of Portland’s nightlife hotspots. The district teems with live music venues, bars, and clubs. Check out Shanghai Tunnel Bar on Ankeny Street for laid-back drinks with a side of local myths & legends.
The area is also instrumental in Portland’s food & drink scene. The revered Stumptown Coffee Roasters opened their first location here. Old Town/Chinatown also hosts the flagship store of the mega-popular Voodoo Doughnut.
With its central location, The Society Hotel is one of the top picks in Old Town/Chinatown. Its rooms with shared bathrooms offer some of the area’s best value. Splurge on a king suite for a private bathroom and garden or mountain views.
On the edge of Old Town, Embassy Suites is located one block south of Burnside Street. It’s a quick walk from this mid-range hotel to the area’s top restaurants, bars, and attractions. The rooms offer plenty of space and excellent views.
For luxury in Old Town/Chinatown, there’s no better option than The Hoxton. This lovely 4-star hotel dazzles with its remarkable contemporary style. You’ll love relaxing to views of Mount Hood at the rooftop bar & taqueria.
✔ Recommended area to stay in Portland for foodies & craft beer lovers
Few neighborhoods in Portland experienced a bigger renaissance than Pearl District. In the past two decades, the former industrial district has transformed into one of Portland’s most upscale areas.
Many of Pearl District’s old warehouses & industrial buildings have found new life. Today, they house cool boutique shops, coffee houses, and art galleries. The bustling district is also one of the most important in Portland’s culinary scene. Walking its cobblestone streets, you’ll bump into some of the city’s finest restaurants and bistros.
For craft beer lovers, Pearl District is one of the most popular neighborhoods to stay in Portland. Enjoy some of Oregon’s finest craft beers at Deschutes Brewery & Public House, 10 Barrel Brewing, and Back Pedal Brewing.
Like other city center districts, hotels in Pearl District sweep toward the mid-range. To extend your travel budget further, you’ll look to places like Central Eastside or Hawthorne in Southeast Portland.
For budget travelers, McMenamins Crystal Hotel is the top choice in Pearl District. With its quirky, eclectic style, the hotel is far from ordinary. You’ll also enjoy amenities not normally available in its price range. Extras include two on-site restaurants and a saltwater pool.
Few hotels capture Pearl District’s feel better than the Canopy by Hilton. Throughout the property, you’ll sniff out interesting artwork and retro touches. Rooms are well-equipped with extras like coffee machines and flat-screen TVs. For book lovers, Powell’s is a short 4-minute walk away.
Looking for a little more space? Plop down your head at the Hampton Inn & Suites. The rooms at this family-friendly Portland hotel are larger than the city’s norm. Upgrade to a suite to enjoy even more room for your trip. Start the morning with a workout at the fitness center or unwind from a day of sightseeing at the indoor pool. You’ll also love chillin’ to city & mountain views on the delightful rooftop patio.
✔ Recommended area to stay in Portland for coffee lovers & budget travelers
Looking to escape the downtown bubble? Slide into Portland’s Central Eastside. The former industrial district is perched on the east bank of the Willamette River. In recent years, it’s become one of the city’s coolest neighborhoods.
Central Eastside is most famed for framing Portland’s famous coffee culture. On its busy streets, a multitude of laid-back coffee shops and cafés. Indulging in a gourmet coffee, just the way you like it, is never difficult in the Central Eastside.
Like in Pearl District, the area’s industrial buildings have found new uses. Many now house trendy boutique shops, art galleries, restaurants, and bistros. Central Eastside teems with nightlife options, including brewpubs, bars, and clubs. For a wild night out in Stumptown, this district is a solid bet.
Nearby areas in Southeast Portland, like Hawthorne, are particularly popular among hipsters. Wandering around, you’ll slip into trendy vintage stores, bookstores, and craft breweries.
Central Eastside is also a great alternative for budget travelers. Accommodation prices in the neighborhood are more budget-friendly than in areas west of the Willamette River.
If budget is your main concern, the no-frills rooms at Eastside Lodge might fit the bill. Located on Burnside Street, the property is a 20-minute walk to Hawthorne Blvd.
The eclectic Lolo Pass offers everything from shared dorms to queen rooms with private bathrooms. Settle down at the hostel & hotel’s rooftop terrace to get the full experience.
The most recommended hotel in the Central Eastside, Jupiter NEXT Hotel charms with its large, well-appointed rooms. Guests will love relaxing in the hotel’s private garden and patio.
For mid-range luxury in Central Eastside, nothing beats Hotel Grand Stark. Rooms are bright & colorful and beset with cool retro touches. The hotel is a 25-minute walk to Pioneer Courthouse Square via Morrisson Bridge.
Nob Hill & Northwest Portland
✔ Recommended district to stay in Portland for hikers & nature lovers
Located directly west of Pearl District, Nob Hill is one of the city’s premier neighborhoods. The area is the anchor for Northwest Portland’s residential scene.
Centered upon NW 23rd Avenue, Nob Hill feels miles away from the bustling districts of downtown. Along its leafy tree-lined streets lie a cascade of lovely Victorian houses. Many of its elegant restored mansions now house trendy restaurants, cafes, and boutique shops.
Besides its coffee culture & cuisine, Nob Nill is also a fantastic choice for nature lovers. Northwest Portland is close to the city’s finest green spaces, including Washington Park and Forest Park. Both are within walking distance and well-connected to the area via several public transportation options.
Budget travelers will love staying at Portland International Guesthouse. The budget-friendly hotel is wedged between 23rd Avenue and 21st Avenue, Nob Hill’s two main commercial streets. Rooms are simple & no-frills but comfortable. The beautiful International Rose Test Garden is less than 20 minutes away by foot.
Located on the district’s southern edge, Park Lane Suites & Inn is a great option for mid-range travelers. The rooms are spacious and modern. Some suites offer a comfy living space and kitchenettes. Providence Park, home of the Portland Timbers of the MLS, is a 5-minute walk from the inn.
For couples and solo travelers alike, Inn at Northrup Station is the place to stay in Nob Hill. The colorful studios feature comfortable seating areas. The kitchenettes are equipped with a mini-fridge, coffee maker, and sink. The venerable Salt & Straw ice cream shop is 7 minutes away by foot.
✔ Recommended neighborhood in Portland for business travelers
With all the interesting neighborhoods in Portland, Lloyd District may seem a little out of place on this list. As home to the Oregon Convention Center, the largest event venue in the Pacific Northwest, it at least deserves mention.
For business travelers, Lloyd District is one of the most popular places to stay in Portland. Near the Oregon Convention Center, you’ll find a string of mid-range chain hotels. Even if a little less inspired than hotels in Portland’s quirkier corners, they offer great value and an excellent range of amenities.
Besides its business focus, Lloyd District hosts the Moda Center. The multi-purpose arena is home to the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers and WHL’s Portland Winter Hawks. In the district, shoppers will also find the Lloyd Center, once the biggest mall in the United States.
One of the better value picks in Lloyd District, Hotel Eastlund wins over guests with its exceptional design. Retire to the rooftop terrace to enjoy drinks with views over the city.
With its convenient location at the Oregon Convention Center, the Hyatt Regency is a great option. It’s one of the most popular hotels for business travelers. Facilities include a fitness center, private parking, and a restaurant. All reservations include a complimentary breakfast.
For basketball fans and shoppers alike, the Courtyard by Marriott is one of Lloyd District’s top hotel picks. The hotel is steps from the Moda Center and a 2-minute drive to the Lloyd Center.
Other areas in Portland
- Hawthorne: Located in Southeast Portland, Hawthorne is among the city’s hippest areas. The bohemian neighborhood centers around Hawthorne Blvd, running east and west. Most of the accommodations in Hawthorne are homestays and Airbnb-style rentals.
- Alberta Arts District: Art lovers should consider spending a night in the Alberta Arts District. The eclectic neighborhood in Northeast Portland springs from Alberta Street. The Alberta Arts District teems with art galleries, street art, restaurants, and bars. It’s most well known for its monthly street fair, Last Thursday.