Flight time from London
9 hrs 50 mins
Be charmed by the city’s trademark quirks
Flight time from London
9 hrs 50 mins
Distance from London
The north west coast of the USA is full of surprises – with its off-beat charm, laidback lifestyle and back-to-nature appeal. You can now touch down in Oregon’s coolest riverside town, Portland, with British Airways.
This dynamic city is all about expression – with its hippie heart in the Hawthorne District and the Pearl District, bursting with classy boutiques and sleek culinary joints. Head Downtown and look out for bumper stickers with the slogan ‘Keep Portland Weird’ on your way to check out a myriad of microbreweries; it will soon become clear why the city’s nickname is Beervana. Or if you prefer, pop into a coffee shop for Portland’s renowned rich roast coffee.
With its sprinkling of luscious parks, from the Portland Japanese Garden to the International Rose Test Garden, nature thrives in the city centre. But you should venture beyond for a real treat from Mother Earth. Lace up your hiking boots and spend a day exploring Forest Park in the West Hills. Looking for a road trip? Hire a car and venture east to the mesmerising Mount Hood and Columbia River Gorge, which is home to dozens of waterfalls. Otherwise, make tracks west to the striking coastline and pitch up at Cannon Beach, complete with its own waterfall and towering sea stacks. Fly direct with British Airways to enjoy a plethora of curiosities.
Portland is a standout city to visit any time of year, but the best season to visit is during the city’s clement summertime, when we restart flying directly in June 2022. Arrive for the start of festival season and join the locals in a showcase of annual events: Portland’s Beer Week, the Dragon Boat Race and Movies in the Park with popcorn and films at sunset. Summer days are a mix of warm and hot here, but always bring a brolly, just in case.
Our direct flights from London Heathrow (LHR) to Portland International Airport (PDX) will take 9 hours and 50 minutes.
Portland International Airport is situated alongside the Columbia River, ten miles from the city centre. With a selection of great connections to get you from A to B, all you have to do is choose. The light-rail service takes around 40 minutes and stops at the airport every 30 minutes. Or catch the Airport MAX service to downtown, running every 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can find a ride with Uber and local taxi firms (including Portland taxis) – or you could hire a car from day one.
If you’re travelling on a British passport, there’s no need to get a visa in advance – but you do need to apply for an ESTA at least 72 hours before you travel. There is a $14 fee for registration and, once approved, your ESTA is valid for multiple journeys for two years or until your passport expires.
We have a generous baggage allowance, so you can pack everything you need for your trip to Portland. If you're travelling in economy (World Traveller) and premium economy (World Traveller Plus) – you can check in 2 x 23kg bags.
Business (Club World) travellers can take along two pieces of luggage weighing up to 32kg each. That’s plenty of room to pack for all eventualities, whether you’re staying in Portland for a while or taking a multi-centre tour of the USA. Read our baggage guide to find out more.
Which cabins can I book when I fly to Portland?
Our economy (World Traveller) cabins are great value for those looking for cheap flights to Portland. You can select your seats in advance for an extra fee – the quieter seats are towards the front of the plane, while those directly above the wings reduce the intensity of turbulence. Choose to fly with hand baggage only or pick a price that includes a 23kg checked baggage allowance and free seat selection 24 hours before you fly.
Premium economy (World Traveller Plus) gives you more legroom and a smaller, more private cabin.
Our business (Club World) cabin has fully flat beds for total comfort.
Our Portland hints and tips will have you feeling like a local in no time
Portland has a contrasting climate throughout the year with four distinct seasons. Winter tends to be wet, snowy and cold; and January temperatures plummet to -6°C. Springtime sees a rise to around 7°C, followed by a balmy 21°C average in July – the hottest month of the year. With occasional highs of 31°C, it’s no surprise that many travellers prefer to visit during the short summers. Although temperatures fall to an average of 10°C in autumn, it is a pretty time of year to visit, as the park leaves turn scarlet and gold.
Portland is the perfect place for pedestrians. Most of the city is flat, so you can walk and explore with ease. Or why not hire a bicycle, with over 350 miles of bikeways to use – you’ll get around the city in no time. If you prefer, there is a brilliant public transport network too. Ride on the light-rail service or jump on a choice of buses. Taxis are also plentiful here. However, if you want to discover more of Oregon, hire a car and plan a road trip along US west coast.
Start with a visit to Pioneer Courthouse Square, which hosts hundreds of concerts and fairs throughout the year, with most occurring in the summer. Then soak up the sweet scent from more than 8,000 roses at the International Rose Test Garden when the flowers peak in early June. Although weather varies throughout the year, you can wander through Portland’s parks and explore the neighbourhood of your choice at any time. If the weather is no good, look up local breweries that provide free tours and book a spot to learn about how the city’s beers are made.
It’s true that the interior of the Kimpton RiverPlace Hotel matches the eccentricity of the locals. Quirky and unique, this hotel is full of personality. Its rooms are decorated in elaborate patterns, and it has a full service spa, as well as a fitness centre that remains open 24/7. The Red Star Tavern is attached to the hotel and hosts a daily happy hour from 2pm - 4pm – be sure to try the Cold Awakening cocktail, for a blend of bourbon and Portland’s intensely delicious coffee.
Book your stay
Ride the Portland aerial tram. It travels between the Oregon Health & Science University in Marquam Hill and South Waterfront and takes around four-minutes one-way. On a clear day, you can soak up the sweeping views – the Downtown cityscape, and sometimes as far Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens. There are also plenty of parks and gardens to see, including the tranquil Lan Su Chinese Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden. In addition to the flowers and trees, both parks have unique architectural structures, inspired by their origin countries.
Portland’s food is packed with flavour and made with local ingredients. Some of the city favourites include spicy chicken wings, grilled cheese burgers and slices of BBQ brisket – just to name a few. If you have more of a sweet tooth, try the ice cream from Salt & Straw (the Stumptown Coffee & Burnside Bourbon is a must-have) and before you leave, try a slice of Marionberry pie made with local berries.