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Portland, OR

Mount Hood, Portland

Practical Info about Portland, OR

Getting around the city

Getting around Portland is quick and easy on the city's award-winning light rail system, nicknamed 'MAX' (Metropolitan Area Express), which extends to the east and west of downtown with a spur at the Portland International Airport. MAX also connects to the popular attractions at Washington Park in about 10 minutes from the city centre. Portland has a streetcar system connecting the downtown cultural district to the Portland State University, the Pearl District and northwest 'Nob Hill' area. The Tri-Met bus service also covers the town centre and suburbs. Taxis are readily available, with regulated rates, and those who prefer to hire a car will find plentiful car rental companies.

Time

GMT -8 (GMT -7 from March to November).

Electricity

120 volts, 60Hz. Plugs are mainly the type with two flat pins, though three-pin plugs are also widely used. European appliances without dual-voltage capabilities will require an adapter.

Currency

The official currency is the US Dollar (USD), which is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards are widely accepted. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.

Communication

The international country dialling code for the United States is +1. Mobile networks cover most of the country, including all urban areas, however unless you have a tri-band phone it is likely your cellular phone from home will not work in the United States. Internet cafes are prevalent in most towns and cities.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 911

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

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2015 2016
New Years Day 1 Jan 1 Jan
Martin Luther King Day 19 Jan 18 Jan
Presidents Day 16 Feb 15 Feb
Memorial Day 25 May 30 May
Independence Day 4 Jul 4 Jul
Labour Day 7 Sep 5 Sep
Columbus Day 12 Oct 10 Oct
Veterans Day 11 Nov 11 Nov
Thanksgiving Day 26 Nov 24 Nov
Christmas Day 25 Dec 25 Dec

Climate

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Portland has a temperate oceanic climate, with four distinct seasons. Winters, between December and February, are mild and wet, while summers, between June and August, are warm and comparatively dry. Summer temperatures average between 53°F (12°C) and 81°F (27°C), but during heat waves temperatures can be substantially higher. Winter temperatures average between 35°F (2°C) and 51°F (10°C). Spring and autumn are generally mild but unpredictable seasons. Rain is less common between June and September, but the weather is extremely wet between November and April.

Portland International Airport

www.pdx.com

Getting to the city

Portland's MAX light rail system serves the airport, connecting to the heart of the city, for a fare of around $2.50, and with a travelling time of around 40 minutes. Trains depart roughly every 15 minutes. Taxis, shuttles, buses and rental cars are also available. All transportation pickups occur on the airport terminal's lower roadway, on the baggage claim and departure level.

Car rental

The Car Rental Center on the first floor of the parking garage includes Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise and Hertz offices. Alamo/National and Thrifty have kiosks outside the Car Rental Center.

Airport taxi's

The airport is served by taxis, although they may need to be ordered by telephone for late night arrivals. Taxi rates are regulated and the fare to downtown should be about $30. Reputable providers include Broadway Cab Company and Green Cab.

Facilities

The airport has several ATMs, a currency exchange bureau, and a shopping mall called the 'Oregon Market', which includes restaurants, coffee bars and a pub. There is also a postal service, information desks and a state-of-the-art conference centre.

Parking

Portland International offers ample parking options, including long-term and economy, in close proximity to the terminal building and with a direct connection to the I-205 highway. Valet parking costs about $10 per hour or $30 per day. Short-term parking starts at around $3 per hour and costs $27 per day. Long-term parking costs about $21 per day and economy parking is $10 per day.

Internet

Free wifi is available throughout most of the airport.