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A Guide to the Best Neighborhoods in Portland

Updated on:
March 27, 2024
Best Neighborhoods in Portland

Image Source: Canva

Award-winning beer, unique arts, diverse culture, and delicious coffee are only a few of the many attributes of living in Portland.

If you are considering moving to Rose City, you must have a couple of the best Portland neighborhoods in mind. While Portland isn't without its flaws, you will discover a variety of excellent entertainment and charming scenery across the city.

Let's walk you through some of the top neighborhoods in Portland, highlighting the safest areas and the most conducive environment for every type of person.

Quick Overview

  • Pearl District | Perfect for Young Adults and Singles
  • Goose Hollow | Best Neighborhood for Sports Fans
  • Nob Hill | An Environment for Luxury Shoppers
  • Alameda | Safest Neighborhood for Families and Retirees
  • Northwest District | Best Walkable Neighborhood
  • Sellwood-Moreland | Most Relaxed, Family-Friendly Neighborhood
  • Mississippi Avenue | Perfect for Young Adults and Hipsters
  • Richmond | Best for Style Icons Who Love to Shop
  • Hillside | Excellent Public Schools
  • Downtown | Most Beautiful Neighborhood

Pearl District

Imagine a neighborhood where everything you need for entertainment is at your fingertips.

Pearl District offers a perfect mix of trendy cultural entertainment and contemporary apartments, unlike some other neighborhoods in Portland.

Similar to what any Portland local movers would tell you, Pearl District is the perfect hip area with excellent nightlife, fine dining scenes, and unique boutiques. 

In this neighborhood, the arts take center stage, having the largest number of galleries in the entire city on its grounds.

Pro Tip: 

Visit the First Thursday Street Gallery on the first Thursday of every month for free tours of the art galleries. 

  • Population: 10,079
  • Crime rate: Median
  • Average Home Rent: $2,025
  • Median Home Sale Price: $341,500
  • Median Household Income: $72,323
  • Known For: Vibrant Art Scene, Hottest Area in Portland

Goose Hollow

Portland Thorns FC and Portland Timbers FC are the heart choices for many of the soccer fans in this neighborhood. Living here gives you a taste of youth and young energies mixed with a love for their soccer clubs.

The name Goose Hollow has a history that means little to nothing today in the area. In the past, many locals raised geese as a thing of pride before development hit the neighborhood, but today, not a trace suggests the area's name could have come from such a history.

Fortunately, the only visible history around the area is the huge mansions and curvy, steep streets dating back to the 20th century. Moreover, this neighborhood has no shortage of greenery as it is home to the Rose Test Garden, Washington Park, and Portland Japanese Garden. 

Pro Tip: 

Visit Providence Park to join the soccer fans, cheer up their local teams, or catch the game at local sports bars like the Civic Taproom or the Independent Sports Bar & Grill.

  • Population: 6,968
  • Crime rate: Low
  • Average Home Rent: $1,762
  • Median Home Sale Price: $330,000
  • Median Household Income: $54,760
  • Known For: Sports Love, Historic Homes

Nob Hill

Nob Hill will probably be one of the best neighborhoods in Portland for you if you love shopping.

Mostly regarded as one of the high-end neighborhoods having tree-lined streets with out-of-ordinary shops nearby. You can stop by Kiehl's shop for luxurious skin treatment therapy or visit any of the fashion boutiques on NW 23rd.

For bikers and residents with a walking spirit, the flat streets and well-paved paths in Nob Hill are perfect for a ride or stroll. Moreover, there are local laws guiding bikers and pedestrians to keep them safer within the neighborhood. 

Pro Tip: 

During your stay in Nob Hill, visit NW 23rd and NW 21st Avenues. That's where you are likely to find the best of everything in the area.

  • Population: 11,455
  • Crime rate: Median
  • Average Home Rent: $1,966
  • Median Home Sale Price: $546,063
  • Median Household Income: $69,005
  • Known For: Upscale Eateries, Luxurious Boutiques


What are the safest neighborhoods in Portland, Oregon? Well, Alameda tops this list.

Situated between Williams, Hollywood, and Alberta Arts Districts, Alameda is among the safe neighborhoods. Alameda has some of the most educated and wealthy residents in Portland, plus many of its housing units have 1940s designs.

Greenery in this neighborhood isn't in short supply; there's Grant Park, Irving Park, and Wilshire Park. They are all within walkable distances, making it easy for families and other residents to enjoy spending time out there.

Pro Tip: 

Participate in artsy events like The Last Thursday on Alberta Street and shop for vintage accessories or furniture at Antique Alley.

  • Population: 5,393
  • Crime rate: Very Low
  • Average Home Rent: $1,572
  • Median Home Sale Price: $815,000
  • Median Household Income: $104,580
  • Known For: High Safety, Walkable Neighborhood, Affluent Residents

Northwest District

If you can't find a spot in Nob Hill but prefer the area, check out the entire Northwest District.

It is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Central Portland. It houses many Victorian-style homes with a mix of modern infrastructure. The Northwest District is also home to most young professionals in Portland, as it projects a classy environment and abundant bars.

Walkability in this neighborhood is perfect—bars, entertainment, and dining scenes are all within easy access. Moreover, if you are searching for school options, Northwest District has one of the best public school systems in Portland.

Pro Tip: 

Check out Bartini to enjoy an assortment of small plates and martinis. Enjoy dessert treats at Salt & Straw for the best ice cream flavors in the neighborhood.

  • Population: 16,501
  • Crime rate: Median
  • Average Home Rent: $1,475
  • Median Home Sale Price: $369,500
  • Median Household Income: $79,387
  • Known For: High Walkable Neighborhoods, Luxurious Shopping at NW 23rd Street
Image Source: Canva


What are the Portland neighborhoods for those looking for the best laid-back suburban environment? Think Sellwood-Moreland!

Residents love this area and prefer it just as it is! It's the ideal neighborhood to raise a family, have a career, or even live in as a retiree. Most of the residents here own their homes, but you can still snatch up some rentals at affordable prices.

The schools are ideal for kids; plus, the amusement park opened in 1905 will serve as a great getaway destination for your family. Moreover, in Sellwood-Moreland, residents have unique cuisines ranging from Asian fusion to local curated menus.

Pro Tip: 

Catch some of the latest Hollywood blockbusters at the historic Moreland Theater, which opened in 1926.

  • Population: 43,507
  • Crime rate: Low
  • Average Home Rent: $1,560
  • Median Home Sale Price: $607,864
  • Median Household Income: $87,266
  • Known For: Quiet Lifestyle, Historic Landmarks, Friendly Community Folks

Mississippi Avenue

Whether you consider yourself a hipster or just someone who loves to follow the trends, Mississippi Avenue is the neighborhood for you.

Boise is the official name, but most locals refer to it as Mississippi Avenue. 

From a history of low income and rough starting in the '90s, Mississippi transformed into one of the hottest areas in Portland. Living here offers diverse dining options, vibrant nightlife, trendy shops, and colorful arts that define the area.

If you are truly going to come live here, you should prepare to join the locals in complaining about the cost of living. However, if you plan your budget right, you'll enjoy the endless supply of outdoor entertainment.

Pro Tip: 

Visit Paxton Gate to shop for a wide variety of things. Every shop on its street has its own unique story.

  • Population: 5,065
  • Crime rate: Median
  • Average Home Rent: $1,779
  • Median Home Sale Price: $459,900
  • Median Household Income: $92,255
  • Known For: Vibrant Culture and Lifestyle, Trendy Neighborhood


Coming out on top as among the best Portland neighborhoods is the ever-populous Richmond.

Richmond has quite a population for a neighborhood, and it's due to the vast availability of amenities per capita in Portland. The area has loads of unique boutique shops, packed with many other shopping markets on its streets.

Due to its large population, the city's dining scene offers a diverse menu for residents, ranging from Indian cuisine to local desserts from nearby neighborhoods like the Hawthorne District.

Richmond also has a unique Bollywood Theater where residents can enjoy original Asian movies. Living here is worth it, and it's a perfect place for families and young adults hoping for an urban settlement.

Pro Tip: 

During the summer, you can head over to the Hawthorne Famer's Market to get amazing local and street food while enjoying live music.

  • Population: 13,413
  • Crime rate: Median
  • Average Home Rent: $1,594
  • Median Home Sale Price: $535,000
  • Median Household Income: $84,908
  • Known For: Variety of Shopping Amenities Per Capita


Ranking amongst the top neighborhoods to live in Portland is Hillside.

It is famous for its above-average safety ratings, excellent schools, diverse communities, and attention to greenery. Living here offers residents an urban and suburban mix, with most people owning their homes.

Bars, coffee shops, parks, and restaurants aren't scarce either in the neighborhood, as there are enough to keep you and your family occupied. The only downside to Hillside is the higher cost of living.

Pro Tip: 

Explore the many accessible trails for a walk or bike ride to enjoy some outdoor activities.

  • Population: 2,294
  • Crime rate: Low
  • Average Home Rent: $1,656
  • Median Home Sale Price: $1.2 M
  • Median Household Income: $79,387
  • Known For: Good Public Schools, Engaging Outdoor Activities 


Wondering what neighborhood has the most urban feel and high-rise buildings in Portland? Think Downtown!

Residents here would describe their Downtown as probably one of the best in any city due to its perfect score in lush greenery, transport system, cultural diversity, and walkability.

Downtown Portland has a touch of everything, and it's perfect for people on the go, those who like a picturesque environment and want world-class shopping.

Pro Tip: 

Visit the Portland Saturday Market Downtown; you will experience one of the nation's largest arts and crafts fairs.

  • Population: 14,116
  • Crime rate: Median
  • Average Home Rent: $1,500
  • Median Home Sale Price: $300,000
  • Median Household Income: $78,476
  • Known For: Picturesque Environment, World-Class Shopping

Conclusion—Best Portland Neighborhoods

What are the best Portland neighborhoods? Where is the safest place in Portland?

  • Overall Best: Pearl District
  • Safest Neighborhood: Alameda

However, before moving into any neighborhood, it's best to consider some factors: cost of living, crime rate, economy, housing, and job opportunities. 

Best of luck with your transition into Portland!

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