The How To of Portland

Getting to and from Portland – Most people will arrive to Portland by one of four ways. They will fly in by way of Portland International Airport. They will drive here by vehicle. They will come by bus. Or they will come by train. On rare occasion some might come here by water. In the early days most everyone came by water. Later they started coming by wagon or horse. Then the railroad got built and it was all about train travel. Today most people will fly here or drive here.

By Air

Portland International Airport (PDX) – According to Travel and Leisure Portland airport is the best airport in America. And for what we pay in taxes it should be. The airport website has some nice virtual tours that will give you the basic layout of the airport. To get from airport into downtown there a MAX light rail station at the airport.

By personal vehicle

If you are driving in you will most likely be coming in from the North, South or East. West is the Pacific Ocean and coastal communities so they already know where the big city is. From the North or South you will come in on Interstate 5 (I-5) that runs through downtown Portland. From the East it will be Interstate 84 (I-84). I-84 terminates in downtown Portland and will have you merge onto I-5. Depending on where you plan on going this where you need your navigation app. In general the freeways were never designed for the traffic load they handle now. So during rush hours you will for sure crawl along in traffic. Often during the day you will crawl along in traffic. They are not to bad in the middle of the night. As a Portlander you learn the best surface street to get around on and have plan B routes. But traffic still is not as bad here as Seattle.

By Train or Bus

The train station and bus station are right next to each other in downtown. Amtak trains come and go from the historic Union Station. This is a great old building and I have more about it on my Union Station page. The light rail line was extend to circle this area several years ago. This will take you into the downtown core and you can connect to many other places from here. There are taxis usually available. Try not to arrive at night as the homeless problem is pretty bad around this area.

Getting Around

Public Transportation – TriMet


Max Light Rail


Portland Streetcar


Rental Car


Uber & Lypht



These bike stations are in a lot of areas of downtown.


Electric scooters are new to Portland but looks like they are catching on fast.

Hotel Transport

Place to Stay

Motel/Hotel Clusters

Air BnB

Something Different

Tiny House