Portland is the largest city in Oregon.  The name was decided on a coin toss and it would either be named after Boston, MA or Portland, ME.  Portland is home to some of the largest and smallest parks in the US.  Booklovers could lose days exploring the largest independent bookstore in the world.  The Simpsons creator grew up in Portland and many Simpsons characters are named after famous Portland streets.  As the most bike friendly city in the US, you may wish to explore these streets on 2 wheels.  Before we explore the Portland landmarks and top Instagram spots, let’s investigate how to book hotels through KAYAK.  Afterwards, we’ll explore my Portland landmarks.

Why Use KAYAK to Plan Your Portland Trip?

Portland is one of the greenest cities in the US.  Additionally, it’s the largest city in Oregon and therefore has tens of thousands of hotel rooms to choose from.  Try KAYAK to find the best hotel for your budget and location.  KAYAK compares the price of the same hotel room on several different platforms which finds you the best possible deal on your desired date.  What’s more, each hotel search will be clearly listed with easy to use filters available for you to refine your search.  After just a few clicks you can confirm a hotel room and start planning the Portland landmarks you wish to visit.  The KAYAK comparison method works when you book hire cars as well.  Lastly, consider booking your flight into Portland as it’s voted one of the best airports in the US.


Powell’s City of Books

Powell's City of Books, Portland landmarks

Powell’s Books is the largest independently owned book store in the world.  As a result, book lovers cannot visit Portland without paying a visit!  It’s said that there are over a million books in this store.  What’s more, there’s a Gold Room which shows their rarest and most expensive collection.

Pittock Mansion

Pittock Mansion, Portland landmarks

Known as Portland’s finest historic house, Pittock Mansion not only gives you the opportunity to explore the interior but you can also enjoy splendid city views from the gardens.  The interior features a museum exploring the history of Portland from the creation of this mansion in 1914 until present day.

Portland Japanese Garden

Portland Japanese Garden

Portland Japanese Garden has been described as the most beautiful Japanese garden outside Japan.  With over 5.5 acres to explore, consider spending a whole day relaxing here.  Lastly, the garden offers some spectacular panoramic viewpoints of Mount Hood, Oregon’s highest mountain.

Portland Art Museum

Portland Art Museum

Dating back over 100 years, Portland Art Museum is one of the oldest museums in the US.  Have you ever seen an original piece of Monet artwork?  Waterlilies by Monet is on permanent exhibition in the Portland Art Museum.

Oregon Zoo

Oregon Zoo, Portland landmarks

With all the acres of green space in and around Portland you may be forgiven for skipping Oregon Zoo.  However, as you explore Oregon Zoo you’ll discover animals from Africa, Asia, Europe and South America which you certainly won’t find in the parks of Oregon!  Red pandas are an incredibly popular animal within Oregon Zoo.

Washington Park

Washington Park, Portland landmarks

Washington Park is a Portland landmark itself which is also home to several other Portland landmarks within it.  In fact, Washington Park is home to Oregon Zoo, Japanese Garden, International Rose Test Garden as well as spectacular city views.  Alternatively, visit Mill Ends Park in Portland which is the smallest park in the world.

International Rose Test Garden

International Rose Test Garden, Portland landmarks

The climate in Portland is perfect for growing roses.  As a matter of fact, Portland is known as the city of roses.  Perhaps the best place to see roses in Portland is at the International Rose Test Garden.  Due to the popularity of roses I’d consider photography with roses as a top Instagram spot in Portland.  For this reason, you’ll see girls dressed up posing alongside the flowers.

Tallest Building in Portland

Tallest Building in Portland, Portland landmarks

The tallest building in Portland is the Wells Fargo Center at 546 feet.  In addition, this is also the tallest building in the state of Oregon.  Secondly, the US Bancorp building stands at 536 feet tall.  Thirdly, KOIN Center stands at 509 feet tall.  With so many vantage points around the city you can clearly view the tallest buildings in Portland from a distance.

Forest Park

Forest Park, Portland landmarks

Forest Park is one if the largest urban parks not only in Oregon but the whole of the US.  As a result, you’ll find miles and miles of well marked trails within Forest Park.  If you wish to escape the bustle of downtown Portland, Forest Park will enable you to quickly get away,


OMSI, Portland landmarks

OMSI or Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is home to hands on exhibits themed on industry, technology as well as natural sciences.  In addition to these permanent exhibitions you can also visit a large screen theater and planetarium.  Check what’s on in the theater when you’re in town.

Pioneer Courthouse Square

Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland landmarks

Pioneer Courthouse Square marks the heart of Downtown Portland.  The famous Instagram spot of Pioneer Courthouse Square is the sign.  Not only will you see the distance to Portland landmarks close by but also to far away locations such as Vancouver, Canada and Casablanca, Morocco.  Several landmarks within walking distance of Pioneer Courthouse Square include Portland Art Museum, OMSI and Oregon Convention Center.

Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland landmarks

Tom McCall Waterfront Park stretches alongside the Willamette River.  Due to the riverside location, this park makes a lovely place to go for a walk or run.  Visit during springtime to witness beautiful cherry blossoms.

Keller Auditorium

Keller Auditorium, Portland landmarks

The spectacular Keller Auditorium is home to the Portland Opera as well as the Oregon Ballet Theatre.  An interesting fact about the Keller Auditorium is that JFK spoke here in 1960.  Check the current schedule to see if there’s a performance on when you’re in Portland.

Shanghai Tunnels

Shanghai Tunnels, Portland landmarks

Also known as the Portland underground, Shanghai Tunnels is a must for those exploring dark tourism.  Beneath the Old Town Pizza & Brewing are the haunted Shanghai Tunnels.  Legend has that a ghost called Nina has made an impression here.  If you’re too scared to go underground, maybe try a slice of pizza in the restaurant.  However, Nina has made her presence known to restaurant guests too!

Tilikum Crossing Bridge

Tilikum Crossing Bridge, Portland landmarks

The Tilikum Crossing Bridge is a 21st century cable-stayed bridge which crosses the Willamette River.  Pedestrians can cross this stunning bridge which is illuminated each night to let its beauty glow.

Enjoy Your Visit to the Portland Landmarks

Choose a hotel in the best area for your needs to explore your favourite Portland landmarks.  With the intensive comparison search of KAYAK you may be able to afford an extra night in the hotel of your choice.  Perhaps, even stay in a luxury hotel for your stay!  Finally, I’ve only scratched the surface with these Portland landmarks, as you walk the streets yourself you discover much more of Portland.  Enjoy.

Visiting Oregon?  Learn how to plan an Oregon road trip with KAYAK.  More US cities to read about include Salt Lake City, PhoenixBostonNew YorkPhiladelphiaWashington DCOrlandoAtlantaNew OrleansDallasSanta FeLas VegasSan DiegoLos AngelesSan FranciscoSeattle and Chicago.