Kaplan City Guide: Portland

Considered one of the most eco-friendly cities in the USA, Portland is a quirky and artistic place packed with delicious food, world-famous coffee, and more hiking trails than you could ever dream of. We got in touch with some of our students studying at our English school in Portland, and here is what they had to say about their city.


Explore Portland’s natural surroundings

“Go to Multnomah Waterfalls, it’s a 25-minute hike to the top and there is a beautiful view. We took many pictures, and I might go again.”

Tip provided by:

Sameer Allahyani, Saudi Arabia

With so much natural land surrounding Portland, there will always be some sort of adventure worth discovering. Escape from the city for the afternoon and visit the Multnomah Falls, a 611-foot-tall awe-inspiring cascade of roaring water and the highest waterfall in the state of Oregon (second highest in the USA!). Depending on the time of year, you might even be able to go for a swim. Hike to the top and take in the stunning views. You’ll return home with fond memories and amazing pictures to show your friends and family.

Multnomah waterfalls Portland
Experience the wonders of Oregon up close


Check out the local sports teams

 “You can watch basketball games at the Moda Center and soccer games at Providence Park.”

Tip provided by:

Takehiro Ogawa, Japan

Indulge in an American sports tradition and attend a basketball game! Surrounded yourself with a stadium full of screaming, passionate fans as you cheer on the Portland Trail Blazers. Or if basketball is not your sport, you can watch the Timbers play soccer at Providence Park, or the Winterhawks play hockey at the Moda Center. No matter what sort of athletic excitement you are looking for, this city’s got it!


Catch a show in the park

“I always like to go to the Waterfront Park where they usually play live music or have markets.”

Tip provided by: 

Nasser Assery, Saudi Arabia

Why not explore one of the many beautiful parks that Portland has to offer? You can even rent a bike for the day and ride it around the city, discovering all the different parks and attractions. Whether you are looking to do a bit of shopping at an arts fair, grab some organic and local produce at a farmer’s market, or chill out in Waterfront Park and watch a bit of live music, spending the afternoon in one of this city's fabulous parks opens up these opportunities and more.

biking around Portland
Portland is a bike-lover's dream. So why not ride a bike through the park?


See the independent side of Portland

“Powell’s Bookstore is very interesting and people of all ages go and enjoy it.”

Tip provided by:

Yuko Togami, Japan

While in Portland, you definitely have to stop by the world-famous Powell’s Bookstore, one of the largest remaining chains of independent bookstores in the world. In fact, the flagship store  is so large that you’ll need a map to navigate your way around it. And the bookstores aren’t the only impendent gems in this city. With over 2,500 coffee shops to choose from, Portland is definitely a coffee haven. You’ll be sure to find something worth coming back for.

Independent shops Portland
Whether its an independent shop or restaurant, there are plenty of places to visit


Taste one of Portland's famous donuts

"I recommend Blue Star Donuts."

Tip provided by:

Hana Ishibash, Japan

Be sure to visit one of the wacky and wonderful donut shops, like Blue Star Donuts or Voodoo Doughnut. With a mix of traditional and unusual combinations, it will definitely be a treat you won't forget. Who wouldn't want to try a maple bacon donut bar or one of the many delicious combinations with oreos or cereal? And if donuts or sweets aren't to your liking, there are plenty of trendy and tasty food trucks scattered across the city, so you'll be sure to discover something worthwhile.

voodoo doughnut Portland
Be adventurous and try an interesting treat


Come and discover the cool and quirky city of Portland, Oregon yourself! You never know what you might find. If you’ve lived or studied here, feel free to share any other tips in the comment section below.

Want to find out more about how you can study English in the USAContact one of our advisors for more information.

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