Etiquette

  • Formality Portlanders are super laid-back. Casual attire is accepted just about everywhere.
  • Politeness It's standard courtesy to greet staff when entering establishments, and to wish them well upon leaving.
  • Greetings Handshakes are standard when first interacting with strangers; hugs are common among friends, but with acquaintances and colleagues, it's best to ask first.
  • Conversation People in Portland are extremely friendly and will strike up a conversation with just about anyone, anywhere.
  • Taboo topics In a liberal hotbed such as Portland, it may seem as if there's no political topic that's off limits. Even still, such matters are deeply personal here, so choose your battles wisely.
  • Transport Allow passengers to exit the MAX cars before entering; don't block the doors.
  • Gratuity Expected in restaurants or bars; don't forget to tip.
  • Road rules Portland drivers are notoriously pokey and deferential to pedestrians. Cyclists are respected more here than elsewhere in the US.