Free Things to Do in Portland: Enjoy the City on a Budget

    Portland, Oregon is known for its quirky and eclectic culture, beautiful parks, and delicious food scene. While Portland can be an expensive city to explore, there are plenty of free activities and attractions for visitors and locals alike. In this article, we will explore the top free things to do in Portland.

    Free Things to Do in Portland

    Visit Washington Park

    Washington Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. This sprawling park spans over 400 acres and is home to several iconic Portland landmarks, including the International Rose Test Garden, the Japanese Garden, and the Oregon Zoo. While there is a fee to enter some of these attractions, the park itself is free to explore and offers stunning views of the city.

    Explore the Portland Art Museum

    The Portland Art Museum is one of the oldest art museums in the Pacific Northwest and offers free admission on the first Thursday of every month. The museum’s extensive collection includes works by local and international artists, and there are always rotating exhibitions to check out.

    Walk Across the Tilikum Crossing Bridge

    The Tilikum Crossing Bridge is a pedestrian and bike-friendly bridge that spans the Willamette River. The bridge offers stunning views of the river and the city skyline, and it’s a great way to get some exercise and explore the city on foot.

    Wander Through Forest Park

    Forest Park is one of the largest urban forests in the United States and is home to over 80 miles of hiking trails. The park is located just a few miles from downtown Portland and offers visitors a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse themselves in nature.

    Visit Powell’s City of Books

    Powell’s City of Books is a Portland institution and is the largest independent bookstore in the world. Visitors can spend hours wandering through the store’s many rooms and shelves, browsing for books and enjoying the cozy atmosphere.

    Explore the Portland Saturday Market

    The Portland Saturday Market is a popular outdoor market that takes place every Saturday and Sunday from March to December. The market features over 250 local vendors selling everything from handmade crafts to delicious food.

    Check Out the Street Art

    Portland is known for its vibrant street art scene, and there are several neighborhoods in the city that are home to colorful murals and graffiti. Some of the best places to check out street art in Portland include the Alberta Arts District, the Pearl District, and the Central Eastside Industrial District.

    Take a Stroll Through the Portland Farmers Market

    The Portland Farmers Market is a weekly market that takes place on Saturdays from March to December. The market features over 140 local vendors selling fresh produce, flowers, and artisanal products. It’s a great place to grab a snack or a picnic lunch and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city.

    Visit the Lan Su Chinese Garden

    The Lan Su Chinese Garden is a peaceful oasis in the heart of downtown Portland. The garden features traditional Chinese architecture and landscaping and is home to several ponds, bridges, and pavilions. While there is an admission fee to enter the garden, visitors can enjoy free admission on the first Tuesday of every month.

    Take a Hike in the Columbia River Gorge

    The Columbia River Gorge is located just a short drive from Portland and is home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the Pacific Northwest. Visitors can explore waterfalls, stunning vistas, and lush forests on a hike through the gorge.


    Portland offers plenty of free activities and attractions for visitors and locals alike. From exploring parks and gardens to checking out street art and farmers’ markets, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant and eclectic city. So grab your walking shoes and explore Portland on a budget!

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