Portland Airport parking
Parking at PDX is spread across a range of on-site short- and long-term garages and lots that all offer free jump-starts and flat tire assistance, disabled parking spaces and electric vehicle charging stations. There are no reservations and one important point to note is that you must let the airport know if your car will be parked for more than 30 days; otherwise, they may tow it on the assumption that it has been abandoned.
Dropping off and picking up
Drop-off and pick-up points are located outside the arrivals and departures terminals, but to reduce traffic congestion, there is also a cell phone lot just a short distance away where you can wait for free to get a call from outside arrivals.
The garage immediately opposite the terminal building has short-term parking spaces charged at an hourly rate, where you can park if you want to see people off in the airport or meet someone as they exit arrivals.
Short- and long-term parking
The parking garage immediately opposite the terminal offers short- and long-term parking rates with the most convenient terminal access, though these spaces can work out expensive on a longer trip.
The most cost-effective option at the airport is an economy lot near the main entrance to the property. Thanks to regular shuttle buses to and from the terminals, you can take advantage of a much lower daily rate and only lose a little convenience by being further away from check-in than in other lots.
The most convenient option is the airport valet parking service, whereby you simply drop your car at the valet parking point at the terminal building for a member of staff to take care of finding a space for you. They will also have your car waiting for you when you get back.
Motorcycles and bicycles
Motorcycle and bicycles both park in a dedicated area next to the terminals and the main parking garage.
Off-site valet and ‘park and ride’ services
More parking choices are offered at a number of off-site parking lots. Most run ‘park and ride’ services, so you self-park a few minutes from the airport and a free shuttle bus will carry you to the terminal building and, of course, back again when you return.
Some of these lots can also provide a valet parking service where a driver will meet you outside your departure terminal, take care of parking your car and have it waiting outside your arrivals terminal for you when you return.
Guide to Portland Airport
- (+1) 503-460-4234
- CA, CB, CC, CD, CE
- Car, train, taxi, rental
- Free access
Portland International Airport (PDX) is the largest airport in the state of Oregon, accounting for 90 per cent of passenger travel by carrying around 18 million passengers every year to destinations across North America, Central America, Europe and Asia. It is a joint civil and military airport, with the Oregon Air National Guard permanently based at the site.
PDX Airport is a hub city for Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and PenAir, with Alaska, Southwest and Horizon responsible for more than half of the passengers traveling through the airport. The most popular destinations are domestic cities such as Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver, whilst Vancouver, Amsterdam and Tokyo are the most traveled international routes.
Portland International has an exceptional reputation with travelers and is repeatedly identified as the best airport in the USA based on schedule keeping, concessions, connections, design, security, environmental protection and services for passengers. The airport has won recognition from Travel + Leisure magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, JD Power and Associates and the Air Line Pilots Association International.
Even with such an outstanding reputation, PDX has become best known amongst travelers for the unique pattern design on the old terminal carpet, which was in place from the late 1980s to 2015. It became fashionable to post photos of your feet on the carpet to social media and a cult fan-base built up that collects and re-purposes the original carpeting.
Location of Portland Airport
PDX is about six miles (9.6 kilometers) from the center of Portland in Oregon and serves the local region including Portland, Gresham, Hillsboro, Beaverton, Salem, Albany and Eugene. The I-84 and I-5 are the main road routes into the area, connecting in Portland and then reaching the airport via the I-205.
A huge number of taxi, limo and shared-ride companies operate between the airport and Portland, whilst public transport is provided by TriMet. There are no bus services direct to the airport, however, the MAX Red Line is a light rail route running from PDX Airport, through Portland and onto Beaverton, connecting with other routes in the city center.
History of Portland Airport
Originally established on Swan Island in 1926, which was almost immediately proclaimed far too small, Portland International Airport was truly realized in 1936 when the city purchased the current site and outlined plans to develop a super-airport. Completed in 1940 but then taken over by the US Army Air Force during the war, Portland-Columbia Airport finally began civil operation once World War II was over.
It gradually built passenger numbers throughout the 1950s, developing the runway and a new terminal building, as well as becoming Portland International Airport in the process. Passenger numbers continued to climb steadily, leading to a range of improvements in the 1970s that renovated the main terminal and extended a runway to accommodate jumbo jets.
Constant development set in as demand continued to grow; another major terminal renovation in 1980, renovations to baggage claim and ticketing and new concourses in the mid-1980s and early-1990s added an entire shopping mall to the concessions. The most recent works have seen expanded airport parking and restructuring of concourses for a more efficient flow of passengers.
Travel + Leisure Magazine called it a “foodie haven” and the best airport in the USA, Condé Nast named it the best airport for business travelers four times partly for the food, shopping and amenities available. Portland isn't even in the 30 busiest American airports, but it delivers an incredible passenger experience. With major concourse development on-going, there's sure to be even more choice soon. You can find up-to-date listings of facilities at the Official Portland Airport Website.
PDX runs a full ambassador program; Volunteer Information Persons (VIPs) are dressed in blue uniforms and can be found at the information booths and throughout the airport. They can help you find your way around the airport, direct you to facilities and services and answer your questions about the airport. If you have any questions in advance of travel, it's best to contact customer services at Portland Airport on (+1) 503-460-4234.
- Short-term parking
- Long-term parking
- Covered parking garages
- Electric vehicle charging
- Motorcycle Parking
- Bicycle parking
- Bike assembly and repair station
- Cell phone lot
- Accessible parking
- Free jump-starts and flat tire assistance
- Train station
- 24/7 free airport shuttle buses
- Rental car center
- Global Entry and TSA Precheck
- Nearby hotels
- Hotel shuttles
- Airline lounges
- USO lounge
- Gifts and souvenirs
- Fashion, jewelry and apparel
- Gadgets, technology and entertainment
- Books and newsstands
- Shoe shine and barbers
- Fast food and snacks
- Farmer's market
- Food carts
- American, Asian, Mexican, French and Italian food
- Bakeries and desserts
- Deli, sandwiches and subs
- Art program
- Live music performances
- 17-seat micro-cinema
- Nursing suites
- Children's playroom
- Pet relief areas
- Airport ambassadors (VIPs)
- Currency exchange
- Baggage storage
- Lost and found
Portland Airport hotel and parking
Several hotels located near to PDX Airport offer complete hotel and parking packages in another off-site option. As long as you stay at the hotel for at least one night, most packages will let you park for free in the hotel lot for around a week.
Shuttle buses are provided for free to get you to your terminal and back and some of the hotels allow you to park for up to 30 days with no additional charge, so it can prove to be a cost-effective option if you have a long trip.
Airports offering hotel and parking packages in the Portland area include a number of popular chains such as Ramada, Radisson, Comfort Inn and Quality Inn, alongside budget hotels like Studio 6 Portland Airport.
Top things to do in Portland Airport
Browse the airport art program
Portland International Airport has nine exhibition spaces for art throughout the terminal building, which rotate work on a regular basis to showcase the most talented artists in the region.
The diverse work includes murals, textiles, photography, glass work, sculpture and painting in both contemporary and traditional styles. Further permanent exhibits found around the airport are similarly diverse and include large-scale work as well as site-specific installations like bronzes, floor decorations and architectural features. There's a full listing of all current exhibits at the Portland Airport Art Program website, so you can make sure you don't miss anything.
Watch a short film in the micro-cinema
A truly unique feature in an airport, the Hollywood Theatre at PDX is a 17-seat micro-cinema dedicated to showing short films by both local filmmakers and internationally recognized media artists.
Created in partnership with the Hollywood Theatre in central Portland, the cinema is free to attend and currently screening a range of fiction, documentary, animation and music films. Playing on an hour-long loop in Concourse C, you can drop into the cinema at any time to pass the time like nowhere else.
Indulge in gorgeous restaurant food
PDX Airport has some incredible airport food choices that includes many restaurants and stores native to the region. There's plenty of diversity, from the southern American fine dining at the Country Cat restaurant to Burgerville's unique twist on fast food with a menu full of limited-edition items made from seasonal goods.
Other highlights include MOD for customizable pizzas, Rogue Ales Public House for a taste of Oregon’s beer, Stumptown Coffee Roasters for their full-flavored espresso and Blue Star Donuts for brioche-donut style sweets. If you’re after some genuinely delicious gluten-free, vegetarian food, The Whole Bowl food cart is just the spot.
Enjoy the live music program
Live music is a huge part of the local culture and Portland Airport hosts an impressive number of live music performances every day by jazz, classical and contemporary musicians and groups.
There are around eight acts playing every day of the week at various times throughout the day, so there's a good chance that something will be on when you’re passing through. PDX maintains a listing website, PDXMusic, with full schedules of music day-by-day, locations and web links to the musicians that are booked to perform.
Relax in the airport spa
The best possible way to unwind and relax at PDX is with a massage from the Dragontree Spa on Concourse C.
Offering private candle-lit treatment rooms (or, indeed, a communal space if you want to get the treatments with traveling companions), the Dragontree offers head, neck, shoulder, foot and hand massages lasting from 10 to 30 minutes each, as well as aromatherapy foot baths to ease any aches and pains.
Top things to do near Portland Airport
Covering more than 400 acres (162 hectares) of forested hillsides, Washington Park swathes the parkland, gardens and properties located about 15 miles (24.1 kilometers) from Portland International Airport.
Including a zoo, museums, arboretum, Japanese garden, amphitheater, sports fields, picnic areas, public art and a wild forest full of walking trails, you could spend days exploring the site.
The International Rose Test Garden, Portland Japanese Garden, Oregon Zoo and Hoyt Arboretum are all incredible attractions in their own rights, but their gathering together in a single expansive park makes this is a must-visit while you're in the Portland area.
Sat nav instructions: 4001 Southwest Canyon Road, Portland, OR 97221
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
Exploring the natural sciences, technology, industry and other subjects through temporary exhibits, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is based in an old power station next to the Willamette River.
Exhibits at the museum are impressive, such as the submarine USS Blueback, which is moored in the river next to the main building for daily tours, the ultra-large-screen theater, the planetarium and the expansive turbine hall housing interactive exhibits on engineering, physics, laser holography and space travel.
It’s a fantastic place to take children and it’s only about 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) from the terminals at Portland International Airport.
Sat nav instructions: 1945 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR 97214
Portland Art Museum
Portland Art Museum is one of the oldest in the USA, dating to 1892. With a collection of over 40,000 works of art spread across 112,000 square feet (10,405 square meters) of floor space, it is also amongst the largest in the country.
Regularly hosting touring exhibitions, the museum includes centers for Native American art, Northwest art and modern and contemporary art, with permanent exhibitions of Asian art, photography, an outdoor sculpture garden and the Northwest Film Center to boot.
At just 13 miles (20.9 kilometers) from Portland International Airport, this museum always offers something new and unexpected.
Sat nav instructions: 1219 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205
Once a warehousing and industrial neighborhood, the Pearl District was embraced by artists in the mid-1980s, who soon gave it a reputation for art galleries and iconic independent stores.
As its reputation grew, the area went through an urban renewal. Today, high-rise luxury apartment blocks sit amongst the cool bars, clubs, restaurants, galleries and craft breweries.
There are several beautiful park areas that play host to festivals and events throughout the summer months, but this is a great neighborhood to explore at any time of year. It’s just 13 miles (20.9 kilometers) from Portland Airport.
Sat nav instructions: NW 9th & Lovejoy, Portland, OR 97209
BridgePort Brewery and Brewpub
Portland has a thriving independent brewery industry, so it’s no surprise that you can encounter home-grown craft beers in many of the bars and restaurants around the city.
BridgePort is one of Oregon's oldest craft breweries and distributes beers to 18 states nationwide. Famous for their award-winning India Pale Ale and the mouthwatering Blue Heron Pale Ale, there's no better place to sample some of their beers than at the brewery itself, which is about 12 miles (19.3 kilometers) from Portland International Airport.
The Brewpub also has a restaurant to shout about; it serves an eclectic range of foods alongside, of course, a very substantial list of beers.
Sat nav instructions: 1313 NW Marshall St, Portland, OR 97209
Valentine’s live music venue
Portland has one of the most vibrant live music scenes in the USA, so no visit to the city is complete without trying to catch a show.
There's some great spots to choose from, like Mississippi Studios, the Aladdin Theater, Holocene, The Know or the Doug Fir Lounge, but if you want something unique, head for Valentine’s.
Hidden away about 13 miles (20.9 kilometers) from Portland Airport, it can just about squeeze 40 people into the main room, but it creates a rather special atmosphere. Great staff, a second room upstairs and a cobblestone alleyway facing onto the legendary Voodoo Donuts all make for a very Portland night out.
Sat nav instructions: 232 SW Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97204
Portland Saturday Market
At only 13 miles (20.9 kilometers) from PDX Airport, the Portland Saturday Market is held every weekend from March to December.
Dedicated to arts and crafts in the region, it attracts 100,000s of people every year, many of whom visit to browse the work by local independent artists and stores.
Live music and often quite unusual street food are strong features of the market. It’s set next to the water, so the market is a top spot to spend a sunny day soaking in the atmosphere, culture and people.
Sat nav instructions: 2 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204
The Grotto – National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother
About four miles (6.4 kilometers) down the road from Portland Airport is the National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother. It’s a 62-acre (25.1-hectare) outdoor shrine popularly known to locals as ‘The Grotto’.
Consisting of a large meditation hall and church at the top of a cliff, it’s a memorable place to explore via the extensive trails around the property (there’s an elevator to get up and down the cliff face, too).
Botanical gardens at the top of the cliff have expansive views of Mount Saint Helens, the Cascade Mountains and the Columbia River Valley. Originally conceived as a natural cathedral, the end-result is a uniquely peaceful and tranquil place amidst the hip, urban surroundings of Portland.
Sat nav instructions: 8840 NE Skidmore St, Portland, OR 97220
Alberta Street, the heart of the Alberta Arts District, is a counterculture-styled neighborhood full of restaurants, independent stores and art galleries and work spaces.
The entire area has a vibrant, upbeat, bohemian feel to it and is a great place to try out some interesting foods or find some strange souvenirs. A street fair is held every Thursday for local artists to sell their work alongside street performers and endless food carts, so it’s an ideal stop to find a meal with a difference and spend hours soaking up the street culture just six miles (9.6 kilometers) from Portland Airport.
Sat nav instructions: NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211
Portland International Airport has just one terminal building. Although it is divided into a north and a south section, most navigation at the airport revolves around the five lettered concourses (A, B, C, D and E). The majority of passengers are served by Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and Southwest.
The terminal is laid out simply to make it easy to find your way, but if you do get lost, the Volunteer Information Persons (VIPs) are spread throughout the terminal to help (they can be identified by their blue uniforms). If you want to check any details in advance, you can contact customer services at PDX Airport on (+1) 503-460-4234.
|Alaska Airlines||CA, CB, CC|
|Boutique Air||Boutique Terminal|
|Delta Air Lines||CD|
|Sun Country Airlines||N/A|
How to get to Portland Airport
There are two main Interstate routes into the Portland area; the I-84 from Salt Lake City and the I-5 running north-to-south along the West Coast connecting Portland to Seattle and Sacramento.
Taking the I-5, you can connect with the I-84 in Portland city center. Exits 8 and 9 lead onto the I-205, which runs onto NE Airport Way and the Portland International Airport terminal building, which is located in the 97128 ZIP code area.
Taxi services, rental cars and shared-ride shuttles are available from a range of suppliers in the Portland area, including Uber, Lyft and Wingz. Many will pick you up from any location you request and drop you directly at the terminal; you can find a list of current services on the Portland Airport Ground Transportation Website.
No public bus services run directly to Portland Airport. However, the local network is operated by TriMet, which also operates the MAX Red Line light rail service that runs directly to the airport station. You can connect to the MAX Red Line from TriMet bus services in the center of Portland at Union Station.
The TriMet MAX Red Line light railway service runs direct to a station next to the Portland International Airport terminal buildings from several stations across Portland. The line starts at PSU South and calls at Pioneer Courthouse, Union Station, Rose Quarter Transit Center, Hollywood and Gateway before arriving at the airport.
If you're traveling from outside the area, Amtrak trains run to Portland Union Station, where you can transfer to the MAX Red Line to reach the airport itself.
Look out for the VIPs
The Volunteer Information Persons (VIPs) are there to help travelers passing through PDX. You can find them at the information desks and regularly walking around the various concourses; they can be recognized by their blue uniforms. Whatever you need to know, make the VIPs your first port of call; they'll go out of their way to help you.
Try out the micro-cinema
Watching short films in such a small space would be a fun experience wherever you were, but doing it in an airport whilst waiting for your flight is a dream opportunity. The live music and art program are also excellent, so boredom rarely strikes at PDX.
Evening pick-ups: Use the upper road outside the terminal building
The road on the lower level that is designated for quick drop-offs and pick-ups can become clogged with traffic very easily, so the upper level is recommended most of the time. In evenings, it is much quieter, so be sure to avoid the jams when you’re swinging by the airport with or for your passengers.
Don’t try to carry marijuana outside the state of Oregon
Whilst marijuana is decriminalized in Oregon, it is against the law to transport it across state lines in the USA. The TSA has the authority to call the Port Police on suspicion of illegal activity, so, whether it’s recreational or medicinal, be sure to know where you stand before you travel through PDX with marijuana in your possession.
Portland Airport FAQs
Can you sleep at Portland Airport?
Whilst it isn't a 24-hour facility, Portland International Airport allows for people to sleep there so long as they can produce an ID and evidence of a forthcoming flight, such as a boarding pass or ticket.
There are several hotels gathered around the entrance to the airport and they all run free shuttle buses to and from the terminal building.
Where is PDX Airport?
Portland International Airport sits just a few miles from Portland in Oregon, near the West Coast of the USA and not far from Seattle and the Canadian border. It sits on the southern bank of the Columbia River near the I-5 and I-84 in the 97128 ZIP code area. Located in the north west of the USA, Portland is in a good location for flights to Canada and Asia, but routes to Europe and Central America are also popular with passengers.
How far is Portland Airport from Downtown?
Using the I-84 to get back into Portland, Downtown is about 13 miles (20.9 kilometers) from the terminal buildings. Journey time in a car varies dramatically depending on traffic in the city center, but it's possible in 30 minutes, whilst the light rail system is timetabled to take about 45 minutes.
Can you smoke at Portland Airport?
No smoking is allowed inside any or the airport buildings, but there are several designated smoking areas just outside the arrivals and departures entrances of the terminal building.
Does Portland Airport have free WiFi?
Yes, free WiFi is provided throughout all the concourses of the airport. Simply select “flypdx” from the list of available networks on your device, accept the terms and conditions and you’ll have complete access to the web for as long as you require.