There are so many different activities to do in Portland, including visiting breweries, trying new restaurants, playing in a ping pong bar, seeing shows, and so much more! If you’re looking for something to do but don’t want to spend the big bucks (or any bucks at all), you’re in luck. Here are some of the best free things to do in Portland that will keep you busy for days:
1. Portland Art Museum
On the first Thursday of every month from 5-8pm, the Portland Art Museum is free. Here you’ll see incredible works of art and you’ll walk away feeling enriched.
2. Forest Park
Portland's very own forest is just outside of downtown Portland. You can hike the Lower McLeay trail to Pittock Mansion to view the city's awe-inspiring skyline.
3. Pioneer Courthouse Square
Hang out downtown in Portland's City Center, where there's a hidden man made waterfall. If you're lucky, you can go on a day where there's a farmers market, free show, or an outdoor movie.
4. International Rose Test Garden
Why don't you stop and smell the roses in the City of Roses? There is nowhere else in the world like this Mecca of roses and, thankfully, tours are free
5. Portland Fountains
Bring your family on a hot summer day to the fountains near Old Town/Chinatown, where they (and maybe even you) can frolic on a hot day.
6. First Thursday
On the first Thursday of each month throughout the year, galleries all over the Pearl District open their doors for free gallery viewings and openings. If you're lucky, you can catch some with wine and/or delicious snacks.
7. Last Thursday
On the last Thursday of each month from May to September, there is an outdoor art festival in the Alberta Arts District. The streets are closed off for a weekly bash that promotes and celebrates local artists and purveyors!
8. Columbia Gorge
Although just a few miles outside of Portland, this is the hotspot for locals to go for free hiking adventures. If it's a hot day, you can even find swimming holes to jump in!
9. Powell's Bookstore
Although purchases of books from this independent bookstore (the largest in the country), obviously cost money, you can scour the literary treasures as much as you want.
10. Tom McCall Waterfront Park
The ideal spot to hang out on a summer day is on the Portland Waterfront. If there aren't one of the many festivals going on, you can still go there for the prime view of some of our coolest bridges.
11. Find a park
There are so many spacious parks in Portland, most notably Irving Park and Mt. Tabor. Grab a blanket and go have a picnic under the trees.
12. Secrets of Portlandia
Take a free tour with Secrets of Portlandia! Discover new neighborhoods and businesses on a free tour of Portland. Not to mention that it's a perfect opportunity to see why our city is considered one of the most beautiful of them all (mostly the abundance of greenery).