How to Spend 48 Hours in Portland, Oregon: A Travel Guide / Carmen Varner // Travel Influencer, Blogging Coach, Social Media Consultant


How to Spend 48 Hours in Portland, Oregon: A Travel Guide

Portland, Oregon is a beautiful city in the Pacific Northwest known for its parks, bridges, microbreweries, coffee houses, & eco-friendliness. This is an ideal destination for travelers in the USA, definitely a popular city in the West Coast. 

My pro tip: visit in fall so you can see just how glorious it can be. If you're looking for tips on how to spend 48 hours in Portland, Oregon, this is it! Stroll around downtown Portland, play games at the arcade, eat scrumptious food like fresh-baked bread or pizza, sip wine, & relish in everything that is Oregon. Spend a day or two in this magnificent city.

Consult this two-day Portland travel guide if you want to experience all the Portland essentials (but you should stay longer if you can :] ). If you have a travel bug or want to do some more traveling the United States, check out this city. Whether enjoy shopping or craft beer or food, there is a little bit of everything in this city. You'll feel included in some capacity. You'll find a hotel or restaurant to suit your taste.

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24 Hours in Portland

9 a.m. - Grab a coffee & pastry from the closest cafe to where you're staying. There are so many delicious patisseries in Portland, you can't go wrong. Try the Tarte Abricot Amande at St. Honoré Boulangerie or the almond croissant at Ken's Artisan Bakery. *Instagram-friendly spot!

10 a.m. - Make your way to Waterfront Park for some remarkable river views. Walk the path as you digest your breakfast & take in the fresh air. *Personal Favorite

11 a.m. - Head to Portland Saturday Market, which opens at 10 a.m. This is the spot to thrift if you like vintage shopping. Browse through the vendors & see if anything catches your eye. Grab lunch while you're there. We got some amazing perogies from the Polish food cart.

Spending the Afternoon in Portland 

1 p.m. - Spend the afternoon exploring Lan Su Chinese Garden, one of the most authentic Chinese gardens outside of China. The garden melds art, architecture, design, & nature in serene harmony. Tickets are $9.50 for adults. *Personal Favorite & Instagram-friendly spot!

2:30 p.m. - Still hungry? Stop by Alder Street Food Cart Pod or Bamboo Sushi for a bite to eat. Both had a respectable amount of vegetarian options. The city has quite a lot of budding food carts & trucks if you want more affordable, quicker food.

3:30 p.m. - Make sure to carve out some time for Powell's City of Books in the Pearl District in downtown Portland. You won't want to miss this gargantuan book store. It's more of an experience than a store, really. We grabbed a couple books & some souvenirs. The Pearl District has a lot to offer. *Personal Favorite & Instagram-friendly spot!

5:30 p.m. - Bring some bills & let out your inner child at Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade. Play Creature from the Black Lagoon pinball, Frogger, Donkey Kong, & more.

How to Spend 48 Hours in Portland, Oregon: A Travel Guide

7:00 p.m. - Like beer? Get a flight of beer at Rogue Distillery & Public House. Pickled Piper was so delicious but opt for a taster rather than a full pint. Getting a flight allows you to sample a variety of the house beers. Wine lovers - there are options around downtown for you too. You'll find craft beer, wine, cocktails, mocktails all around town. There's a bit of everything.

8:30 p.m. - Stand in line & nab a pizza slice at Sizzle Pie in West Portland. Grab a seat if you can or simply eat as you head to the next stop.

9 p.m. - Catch a movie at the Living Room Theaters. Seats are super comfortable & you can even drink a beer as you watch your movie. The theater is 21 & up after 7 p.m. Cinema 21 is a bit further away, but it's a great choice if you're looking for indie films. You can purchase beer or wine there too.

How to Spend 48 Hours in Portland, Oregon: Voodoo Doughnuts

11 p.m.Voodoo Doughnut is open 24-hours a day, so avoid the massive line & go at night. It's a popular spot for tourists & maybe a local or two. The Voodoo Doll doughnut is iconic, but I recommend the Memphis Mafia doughnut with its banana chunks & cinnamon, covered in a glaze with chocolate frosting, peanut butter, peanuts, & chocolate chips. The sign looks better at night anyway. *Instagram-friendly spot!

How to Spend 2 days 48 Hours in Portland, Oregon: coffee cupping

48 Hours in Portland

9 a.m. - Sip on some of Portland's famous coffee. It's one of the city's finest attractions, well the most caffeinated at least. There's Coava Coffee RoastersStumptown Coffee Roasters, & so many other options. Check a map to find one close to you. Bonus option: go for tea at Steven Smith Teamaker. Go on a coffee tasting tour! *Instagram-friendly spot!

10 a.m - Breakfast begins at Blue Star Donuts. Yes, donuts again! I went to Blue Star in the afternoon on two different days & they were either closed or sold out. Go in the morning. The longer you're in line, the better everything looks. We got the Raspberry Rosemary Buttercream & the Meyer Lemon & Key Lime Custard donuts. *Instagram-friendly donuts!

11 a.m. - The Portland Japanese Garden is a haven of beauty dedicated to authentic Japanese garden design. You can visit the International Rose Test Garden for free. Pittock Mansion is nearby & worth seeing.

2 p.m. - Time for some food & grub. Get ice cream at Ruby Jewel or Salt & Straw. Get a flight of beer & a cup of beer cheese soup at Cascade Brewing Barrel House. Eat the veggie bagel sandwich at Petunia's Pies & Pastries. Loads of tasty options in Portland. Lots of food options if you're staying in downtown Portland, Oregon!

3 p.m. - Head back into downtown & explore the Portland Art Museum. Tickets are $19.99 per adult, which is a bargain if you're an art lover. This may be the perfect place to spend the afternoon if it's particularly rainy or glum outside. Make sure to check museum opening time. They close at 5 p.m. every day besides Thursday & Friday.

How to Spend 48 Hours in Portland, Oregon: Keep Portland Weird Sign

5 p.m. - Snap a selfie at the Keep Portland Weird mural on 3rd Street between Burnside & Ankeny before it gets dark. *Instagram-friendly spot!

How to Spend 48 Hours in Portland, Oregon: 2 Days in Portland White Stag Sign

6 p.m. - After you're done at the mural, walk the Burnside Bridge to check out the White Stag sign. You only need to walk halfway across the bridge to land a good photo. The sign looks better at night. *Personal Favorite & Instagram-friendly spot!

6:30 p.m. - Do you like dive bars, a place that's low key, where the locals are, where everybody knows your name? You've had a long weekend & your trip is winding down. Kells Irish Pub is one of my favorite spots in Portland. Sip on one of their house-made brews & stay for dinner. Their fries are definitely in my top 10 fries EVER. Decent amount of vegetarian options too! 

Our first 30 minutes arriving in Portland late one evening, Fred & I felt hungry, tired, & unmotivated to figure out what to eat. I ultimately stepped up to lead us on a walk to nowhere. Most things were closed & I didn't have a plan but we just happened upon Kells Irish Pub. I swear those fries tasted like the most decadent fries in the entire world. We left with our bellies full & our minds happy with the start of our Portland trip.  *Personal Favorite

How to Spend 48 Hours in Portland, Oregon: 2 Days in Portland Portland Travel Guide

8 p.m. - The night is young. Giggle a bit at Helium Comedy Club. Listen to some tunes at the historic Crystal Ballroom. Hit up Commons Brewery. Make a pit stop at Splash Bar grab a drink & play some of their free arcade games.

No matter what you like in life, spend one day or two in the heart of Portland. You'll have a nice experience walking the area, stop to shop if something catches your eye. Hike some trails & take in Portland's gorgeous views, especially in autumn. I love the way the sunbeams & light hits the leaves. It will remain in my heart.

Got extra time? Want to try something that's not on the Portland travel guide list?

  1. Attend a Portland Timbers game.
  2. Spend the day at Colombia River Gorge looking at all the waterfalls & nature.
  3. Visit the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium for some oddities & curiosities.
No matter how long you spend in the city, you'll find something you enjoy. Would you spend one day or more a few days in Portland?


  1. coffee, farmers markets, and book stores...i'm already in love with portland (:

  2. Wow! I can totally do this following this detailed schedule. I would love to visit Portland and I think these pictures just convinced me. Xoxo colorsofmei

  3. Ooooh great list! I've been planning to go to Portland soon, this is a great resource! The Timbers game and visiting Columbia River Gorge are "must-dos" on my list along with various coffee shops and visiting Powell's!

  4. Portland is a place I have always wanted to visit. You have made we want to me want to move it to the top of my travel list. Looks like some great places.

  5. Great list. I absolutely LOVE Portland; I think that it is a beautiful city to spend a weekend in. Sadly, it has been too long since I have been there.

    - Melissa xx

  6. Abdelkhalek BenrahhoApril 2, 2017 at 4:15 AM

    Such an interesting and great article

  7. Talk about an action-filled 48 hours! I'd image you'd definitely get the most out of your trip if you followed all of these recommendations, haha! Portland sounds like a great place, and kind of the epitome of everything I've heard about the Pacific North West. It would definitely be on my list - maybe I'll do some British Colombia/Washington/Oregon traveling some day :)

    Erin | Explore, Refresh

  8. Such a great way to spend time in Portland! I haven't gone yet, but I have been wanting to go for such a long time. I'm going to keep this list for when I visit!

  9. This is a great list! I loved the Chinese and Japanese gardens when I visited. Also, if you happen to be in Portland on a day where there is a Farmer's Market those are a DEFINITE MUST GO. I also enjoyed Jamison Park immensely :)

  10. Sounds like so much fun! I would love to visit!


  11. We are thinking about going to Portland next weekend - I will give some of your ideas a try!

  12. I live in Seattle so these tips are perfect for a weekend trip!! Thank you!

  13. Dying to visit Portland! It looks like such an amazing place. Happy Monday!


  14. I've never been to Portland before Lots of great places to visit and things to see! If I ever visit there I will keep these places in mind!

  15. Pinned this to my Places I want to Go board :) My daughter and I want to do a Portland weekend. We live in Western Washington, about 3 hours from Portland.

  16. This is such a great guide! I want to visit Portland so badly!

  17. Literally, ever item on the itinerary is making me want to go to Portland. And eat. And drink. Thanks for the awesome post!

  18. Portland is such an unique city! Along with the happening food and beer scene it is also so close to nature and that makes it so special. I will definitely be saving this post to help me plan my next adventure there.

  19. I really can't wait to visit Portland one day! It sounds like you had a fantastic trip there and did a great job of putting together a guide. Those coffee shops sound amazing!

  20. Thanks Stephanie! Portland has so much offer. I would definitely recommend visiting in the fall because it's gorgeous. :]

  21. That's absolutely right Sara! It has the perfect balance of food, drink, nature. :]

  22. Glad I could give you a little bit of wanderlust. :]

  23. Thanks Bobby! Do you visit Portland very often? :]

  24. Definitely lots to see & eat, that's for sure. :]

  25. Right!! So many coffee shops too. :]

  26. I need a Seattle trip, now that you mention it. :]

  27. I went to the Saturday market, don't know if the farmers market is different but I do love farmers markets! :]

  28. We went because tickets were cheap & it just worked out. :]

  29. This is certainly a jam-packed 48 hours. Afterwards you're going to want to sleep in. But hey, if you want to maximize your trip, this is the way to go or you can pick & choose. :]

  30. I loved it! I recommend visiting in autumn - the leaves are insane. :]

  31. You have a good list going so far! I would love to do the Columbia River Gorge!! :]

  32. Glad to be of assistance! Enjoy Portland. :]

  33. Wow I need to visit Portland ASAP! I need that beer cheese soup in my life!! Lol. Your trip looks incredible!

  34. Wow your article very informative. Thanks for sharing such a useful post.


Thanks for reading & writing. :] // ▲


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