Portland Life and Visitor Travel Tips
(Portland, Oregon - OR, USA)
It doesn't take long to understand why Portland is billed as America's most livable city. With its laid back atmosphere, multiple parks and gardens, mouth watering cuisine, humming creative life and pristine surrounds, Portland is loved by locals and tourists alike.
The city's progressive environmental and urban development policies have ensured that Portland has retained its beauty and the city's equally progressive locals have given it the slightly off beat, funky and relaxed charm that keeps so many visitors coming back for more. Here are some travel tips that may prove useful during your stay in Portland.
Tourism and Tourist Information
Portland encompasses a myriad of fabulous sites, unforgettable restaurants and quaint microbreweries, as well as dozens of buzzing bars and live music venues. Check out the bohemian Hawthorne District for the best in wayward entertainment, the Pearl District and Nob Hill for cutting edge style, the Old Town/Chinatown for historical value and the Cultural District for performing arts.
Portland Oregon Information Centre
Address: Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW Sixth Avenue, Portland, Oregon (OR), 97204, USA
Tel: +1 503 275 8355
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 08:30 to 17:30, Saturday - 10:00 to 16:00
Portland / Oregon Visitors Office
Address: World Trade Centre 3, 26 Southwest Salmon Street, Portland, 97204, Oregon (OR), USA
Tel: +1 503 222 2223
Oregon State Welcome Centre
Address: 12348 North Centre Avenue, Portland, 97217, Oregon (OR), USA
Tel: +1 503 285 1631
Oregon Tourism Division
Address: 775 Summer Street Northeast, Salem, 97310, Oregon (OR), USA
Tel: +1 800 547 7842
Over 300 languages are spoken in the USA, including over 170 that are indigenous to the area, with the most commonly spoken language in Portland, Oregon and throughout America being English. Many different ethnicities and nationalities are well represented in the Portland, and other languages in addition to English are available for study in Portland's many schools
For details on whether you will require a visa for travel to Portland and America, it is best to check with your nearest consulate or embassy for information specific to your country. There are a number of different types of visa available, with tourists visiting Portland normally needing a non-immigrant visa that permits temporary stay. Citizens from Visa Waiver Program countries are allowed to enter Portland and America without a visa, providing that they can meet certain requirements.
There are several categories of non-immigrant visas available to those wishing to work in the US temporarily. Working without a visa is strictly forbidden in Portland and throughout Oregon, with harsh penalties for those who are caught in breach of this law. Persons wishing to work in the Portland need to apply for the relevant visa in their home country and usually require a letter from their prospective Portland employer, and possibly other documentation.
Tipping is common in the Portland, although is only required should you consider service to have been satisfactory. When eating in Portland's numerous restaurants, a 15 percent tip is standard, although it's worth checking whether there a service charge is already included in your bill. Bars in Portland differ slightly, leaving a tips tray at the counter, where customers are expected to leave a small tip when leaving the establishment.
Taxes and Refunds
Most states in the US have a sales tax of between seven and eight percent on goods and services, although some states have no tax at all. Sales tax is not reclaimable by tourists on their departure from Portland, unless they hold a relevant working permit.
Not so long ago, residents in Portland and throughout America accepted smoking in public places without much fuss. These days things are quite different, with laws restricting the public areas in which people are allowed to smoke. Cigarette advertising is now banned and Portland's restaurants are required to have non-smoking sections. Public transport options now also prohibit smoking in Portland.