Portland, Oregon is one of the best budget-friendly cities! Unlike New York, San Francisco or Washington DC, you don’t need a lot of money to have a good time. If you do your research, you can easily find bars with the best happy hour deals or cheap eats around the city. You can also find a range of fun activities for little or no money. Below are some budget-friendly things to consider while visiting Portland.
PORTLAND SATURDAY MARKET
252 booths to tickle your fancy. Portland’s Old Town neighborhood transforms into an amazing market every Saturday. Local artists and vendors showcase their amazing talents. (Free)
If you’re wandering around the Saturday markets, grab some Bahn Mi from Pho TNT, a hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese Restaurant. These little pork rolls are super tasty. ($3.50)
Portland does Farmer’s Markets the way it should be done. They have eight markets serving the Portland area. The markets are great to walk around. You are sure to find something unique. (Free)
ROSE FESTIVAL EVENTS
Portland is known for its beautiful roses. There’s even a festival to celebrate the rose. The festival lasts all summer. There are several free events to enjoy, so check out the calendar. (Free)
HIKE FOREST PARK
Forest Park is filled with lush vegetation and plethora of wildlife. If you are up for a hike, it has a 30-mile trail. Donated by Frederick Van Voorhies Holman, a prominent lawyer in Portland during the 1890s, the 52-acre parcel has become what Forest Park is today. (Free)
EXPLORE THE PEARL
The Pearl District is trailblazing Portland’s urban renewal. The area is filled with shops, eateries, galleries, parks, breweries and much more. You could kill a whole day here. (Free)
PLAYS IN THE PARK
Get your culture up to speed by checking out Shakespeare in the park. Pack a picnic and enjoy a free play. Erica Terpening will direct Romeo & Juliet, playing July 6-29. (Free)
Dubbed the museum of living trees, the Arboretum was created in 1928 to help preserve endangered species. It showcases some of Oregon’s most beautiful plant life. While the arboretum is free, you must pay to park. Take a free shuttle around Washington Park from May through October. (Free+)
FREE COMEDY NIGHT
Everyone could use a laugh. Head to East Burn for their FREE Monday stand up comedy night. Yep, Mondays, no cover charge. The show starts at 8:30pm and is 21+ only venue.
BlOCK OF BOOKS
Get lost in Powell’s City of Books. It is the largest used and new bookstore in the world! It occupies an entire city block and is home to nearly one million books.
THE SIMON BENSON HOUSE
Logger and philanthropist, Simon Benson, built the Queen Anne house style in 1901. After nearly 100 years the house was moved to the Portland State University campus. It is now the home of the PSU Alumni Association. The attention to detail is remarkable. (Free)
If you are just leaving the bar and feeling a little peckish, Blackbird’s pizza has a deal for you. Between 1a – 2 grab a slice for a buck. Choose from cheese or pepperoni slices. ($1)
PIONEER COURTHOUSE SQUARE
Otherwise known as Oregon’s “living room,” Pioneer Square is a great place to kick around. You can find events like the So Delicious Dairy Free at Festival of Flowers, Dave’s Killer Bread at Festival of Flowers, and Oregon Cannabis Festival / Global Cannabis March. Check out the calendar to see what’s happening. (Free)
FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN
If you love going out to drink but you are on a budget, find your way to Fire On The Mountain for their Monday night drink specials. Enjoy a pint of craft beer for only $2.50. They also dish up some of the tastiest buffalo wings ($6.25 for 6). Go early because this joint gets hoppin’.
ALBERTA MAIN STREET
Alberta street is another great place to walk around. Their mission is to develop Alberta Street into a vibrant, creative, and sustainable commercial district. If you happen to be in Portland in August, beat feet to the street fair, a day-long celebration of Portland and its residents. (Free)
MIMOSA’S FOR BUCK
Rae’s Lakeview Lounge serves $5 biscuits and gravy or a brunch Frittata for $9. You’ll also find they serve $1 mimosas from 9a – 2p. Winning!
GET YOUR SKATES ON
Head down to the Oaks Amusement Park and try roller skating or rollerblades. Roller skates are $1.75 to rent and you can get your skate on between 7-9:30p for only $6.25.
Tamale Boy is a counter-service place, however, the lines move fast and the food comes quickly. They have THE best tamales for under $6. They also offer several other Mexican options.
If you’ve been to Portland, what are your favorite budget-friendly things to do? Let us know in the comments below!