Would you rather live in Seattle or Portland? Why?

Would you rather live in Seattle or Portland? Why?

You can check the answer of the people under the question at Quora “best coffee in portland reddit

0 thoughts on “Would you rather live in Seattle or Portland? Why?”

  1. I have been fortunate to live in the Portland area for the past year. Being a lifelong Californian this took a cultural adaptation. People in the PDX move at a slower pace. Just on the freeways it’s common to be driving in a 55 zone compared to California where you may be flying at 65 thru traffic. That alone has lowered my stress levels. Portland is filled with numerous green spaces and trails that weave thru the areas and make it easy for someone on a bike who commutes to work.
    Seattle is a beautiful city with an incredible downtown and plenty of things to do. The traffic would be the major negative over Portland. I can travel across Portland in about 30 minutes from where I live in Milwaukie and reach many fun places in half that time.
    Headquarters in each metro area
    Seattle—Everyone of these companies hires in the thousands and there are plenty of options available.
    Portland—Having a reputation for the outdoors sure helps.
    Under Armour
    Portland in many areas has a small …

  2. I have lived in both cities, but more recently and for a longer period in Portland. Despite frequent comparisons, these cities are quite different.
    The short answer to “which is better” is that it depends on your definition of a better city…
    (1) If livability is a matter of good food, down to earth culture, quality produce, easy commutes (you can probably get by without a car, bike everywhere and hands down better public transit), affordable housing, involved community, access to nature, a generally stress-free and accepting culture… then I think Portland wins.
    (2) If livability is about access to more metropolitan amenities and sophisticated cultural options, greater diversity, better job market, more neighborhoods, more things to do, more surrounding areas, being part of a larger social conversation… then I think Seattle wins.
    Portland mostly like a unique and progressive small city/big town (maybe not so much nowadays) and Seattle is a NW city, still very progressive but a closer comparison to Vancouver than Portland.
    In my experience, Portland was all about the subtle untold experiences in life and Seattle had a more pronounced identity and cultural context. Both have excellent coffee, though 🙂

  3. Seattle has two strikes against it. The traffic, which is better than the LA or SF Bay areas (most everywhere else is) but still terrible. I was a field technician with Nextel, a job that required me to visit cell sites scattered around the area. Typically I’d spend two to three hours a day stuck in traffic.
    The second is the weather. Portland has a reputation for being a rainy city but its nothing like Seattle. Portland has some extended periods of rain, weeks at a time for most most winters.
    Seattle is worse by far. In the Seattle area the clouds hang low and are dark and heavy like when a thunderstorm is threatening to let loose. And they are constant. Weeks and sometimes months go by without seeing the sun.
    This is the absolute truth: One day I was in my work truck looking up some technical data when the sun broke through. It STARTLED me! It had been so long since I had seen sunshine that it took an instant or two to recognize it!
    Sun breaks such as this are rare for much of the year.
    Portland has its rainy season too, but between rainy spells there is a week or so of nice weather. It is not a sun worshipper’s dream but it certainly beats our northern neighbour.

  4. Seattle . I would rather live in Seattle any day over Portland.
    Larger Asian community in Seattle with more West, Central and South Asians.
    Larger and more diverse Muslim community including a very active Dawoodi Bohra Jamat .
    Better food including more Halal options.
    Better MLS team, better fan base.
    Better hip hop scene with more up and coming artists.
    Large International airport with direct flights to fun destinations including Dubai, London, Amsterdam, Tampa, Honolulu, and in the near future Bengalaru.
    Better overall vibe. Way less hipster than Portland but still environmentally conscious.
    More room for professional, personal and religious growth. Less cliquey and more open minded.
    More fun things to do.
    Better quality of living.

  5. This is a completely subjective question.
    Personally I like Seattle better, because it’s a bigger city with a more dymanic economy. I like that it’s right on Puget Sound with an extensive ferry system. I don’t mind that it’s both rainier and colder than Portland on average, because I like rain and some degree of winter cold. So that’s me. But someone else could see all those things as negatives for Seattle and pros for Portland. There’s no way for anyone to answer this question for you, and especially not with the zero details you’ve given.

  6. Seattle. Definitely Seattle.
    Portland is full of miscreants and feral cats and sewer rats.
    But mostly hipsters. Don’t move to Portland.

  7. I’ve lived in both. Grew up in Portland. Seattle raised me. They both have good and bad. Portland perks no tax, you don’t pump your own gas and of course Nike…Seattle is more scenic, much more of a night life. So honestly it would depend on what you’re looking for.

  8. I’m fond of saying that “Portland is Seattle’s little alcoholic brother.” But in a good way. It’s a city that is laid back and partied hard through the college years but now has a real job and is growing up a bit.

  9. Lived in Seattle for 13 years- from 2003–2016. I moved to Portland, which has got it beat. Seattle’s still not a big city, there’s no mass transportation, and many of its residents have never lived anywhere else, so they think it’s the greatest place on earth.
    Sorry, Emerald City.

    Eight O’Clock

  10. Both have great places to eat and drink and plenty of nightlife. The weather is dreadful half the year in each although Portland has a worse winter. They are both pretty for the most part. Portland has the best bookstore on God’s green earth (Powel’s). Seattle has the largest University, more than one actually. But Seattle and Portland are not alike at all. I like both of them but the vibe is very different. Seattle is a rich, powerful waterfront city with a lake in the middle, a roaring economy and a lot more jobs than places to live. Portland is a river city tight for places to live but it doesn’t have anything like Microsoft, Amazon, Costco, and Boeing etc.
    So it’s more a matter of what you are looking for.

  11. I’ve lived in Portland nearly all my life. My aunt and uncle lived in Seattle and we visited often.
    Seattle’s winter weather is cooler and more damp. In the summer, the marine layer often wont burn off until 4 or 5 in the afternoon.
    Traffic….Seattle is built around Puget Sound. Everywhere you go there is gridlock because of bridges and lines waiting for ferries. Portland is trying to catch up with people moving here in droves, bridges across the Willamette and the Columbia are getting updated or replaced. But we’re not keeping up with population growth. With many people working in Portland but living in Vancouver, the two bridges are gridlocked during rush hour.
    Portland has a large hi tech community but Seattle’s job market is bigger.
    Lifestyle…Portland has a more down to earth vibe. We’re more likely to eat at a restaurant with picnic tables instead of white tablecloths. There’s more to Portland than ‘Portlandia’
    Portland has breweries, wineries and distilleries. Pourlandia: Toast wineries, breweries and distilleries in Oregon’s buzz-iest city

  12. I spend a lot of time in both cities – I live in Portland and visit family frequently in Seattle. In reality, there are many more similarities than differences between the two. The people, the food, the culture and the lifestyle mirror each other in many ways.
    One major point of difference, though, is size. Seattle is a much larger city and IMHO has a ‘big city’ feel to it while Portland feels like a classic mid-market town. Think Chicago versus Milwaukee. It comes down to where you feel more comfortable – the dynamism of a large metro area of the relative laid back vibe of a smaller city.

  13. I live half way between and have lived briefly in each. Portland feels a lot smaller. Maybe less to do there but easier to get around in and smaller crowds. Easier to get out of town to do stuff, smaller commutes. Culturally Portland is a bit more progressive vs. liberal Seattle. The Seattle metro area feels just vast and the traffic reflects it. But if I was career-minded, Seattle is full of large progressive companies always hiring. Portland, not so much.

  14. I would rather live in Seattle. I don’t care much for Portland. I have lived north of Seattle for over 20 years.
    Seattle has more to offer than Portland. I like the state of Washington better than Oregon as well.
    Seattle has better medical facilities, more job opportunities, and a more diverse economy in general than Portland.

  15. Kind of flip a coin… They both have pros and cons. I’d pick San Francisco over both though, if I had the money…
    For Seattle…closer to mountains, more to do, quicker to Vancouver, better flight connections, better job market. More diversity. Water access in town.
    For Portland, while smaller, it has a better and more cohesive downtown and neighborhoods IMO, more of a local vibe, better and warmer weather, less gloomy/cloudy, warmer summers in particular by quite a bit. Seattle barely gets a summer. Closer to the actual coast. Money goes further.


  16. Overall, I think they are very similar cities with similar climates, political preference and lush green parks. The differences between these two cities, most of the times, are negligible. However, there are some stark differences that should be mentioned:
    Cost: Housing in nice neighbourhoods in Seattle such as Capitol Hill, Central District, Fremont, Queen Anne, Ballard, Wallingford, U District is extremely expensive. I live in U District, and average rent here is around $700–800 for a tiny room if you share a detached house with 2 to 4 other people. Plus, sales tax in WA is 10%, which adds to the already pricey cost of living. In Portland, rents are way cheaper. There is no sales tax in Oregon, though salaries tend to be lower than Seattle (plus add income tax). So depending on the source and amount of your income, one of these cities can be advantageous for you financially. For instance, as a grad student on a fellowship from UW, my life standards in Seattle is high enough for me. Portland State, which is the biggest public university Portland, has ridiculous salaries for grad students.
    Education/career: If you are planning to pursue a professional or academic graduate degree, Seattle is the best option. Especially UW is a very well-known school all over the world. It’s one of the most prestigious public research universities on the West Coast, just behind Berkeley and UCLA on the rankings. Many departments at UW like medicine, public health, social work, engineering(s), geography, sociology etc… are well-respected, not to mention the career options you can have here in tech, healthcare, biomedicine etc…
    People: Seattle and Portland are the whitest major cities in US. In the central areas of these cities, it’s rare to come across a latino or a black person. Seattle has a sizeable middle class Asian population and some international tech workers that makes it a bit more diverse than Portland. Seattle is more on the upper middle class level dominated by the sectors and yuppie tech workers I mentioned above, whereas Portland is more of a middle class majority city where no industry stands out as much as Seattle. Portland might seem to be more provincial than Seattle, yet people in Portland generally tend to be warmer and more approachable than people who have been living in Seattle for a long time. Portlanders you meet are likely to be more laid back and modest than competitive, self-absorbed Seattle dwellers (not everyone is like that luckily) who are obsessed with their career (though Portland has a self-absorbed, pretentious white hipster community).

  17. I prefer Portland’s metro area, but it is no knock to Seattle. It is a gorgeous city. I like the less traffic and cost of living. In our respective industries, my wife and wouldn’t make much more than we do now so there is little compensation for salary. Oregon does have higher taxes all things considered at our income level, but it is probably only different by maybe $1000 a year. Although wife works in Vancouver, the double taxation on my income and the horrendous commute aren’t worth the trouble living in WA. I did the math that the $5000 savings or so on income tax on her income would be more than paid in sales tax in WA + higher property taxes. I feel like the access to outdoors is a tad better here because there are just less people and less traffic to the outdoors.
    Plus Oregon has a better license plate.

    Victor Allen’s

  18. Seattle of course no way to compare for me Portland is nothing but a hippie yuppie town in short words the people are the opposite of what they try to advertise themselves as very rude very racist very ignorant and very closed on themselves therefore overall fake but fake friendly specially Seattle still at least has business and economy it’s a mid size city and the people are fine a lot better than Portland area for me both has great outdoors but Portland is simply a drain surrounded by it while Seattle is just a city I would add so if they get rid of the keep Portland weird thing it‘ll all be ok instead

  19. I’ll let you know in a few months. I’m moving to ptown tomorrow morning if i get on the train. Seattle has not lost me yet. I still am not sure.

  20. Portland… while Seattle is the bigger metro with more amenities. Portland is the better actual core city imo. It’s got a denser street grid, and the neighborhoods are more cohesive as well, with better urban planning, better transit, better bike lanes, and easier access to nature. Seattle has more tall apartments but at street level it is not as pedestrian friendly. It also has a less corporate feel to it. Seattle prob has more impressive mountains nearby, but they also take longer to get to. You can be hiking in Portland quite a bit quicker.
    Also i know they have similar climates…but Portland gets warmer and for longer, which is a plus in my book.

  21. That is a matter of personal preference. Make a list of the qualities of life that you value, and see which city provides more of what you are looking for than the other one.
    Thanks for the A2A.

  22. Portland for me, hands down. I grew up in Portland, moved away at 22, came to Seattle at 32, moved back to Portland at 53 and am now moving to the bay area for work reasons. The Seattle Freeze is very real and crippling for many. It was for me and I am a flaming extrovert. People are far nicer in Portland. I don’t work in tech, so Microsoft, Amazon etc. are irrelevant to me–just adds to the traffic. I am a life science entrepreneur so both cities are horrible for raising money. I always got on a plane to New York or CA for that. I miss the Mountaineers from Seattle and hiking and climbing in the three National Parks and the Alpine Lakes. I really don’t miss a thing about city living in Seattle. Sellwood in Portland is far nicer than Wallingford or Mt. Baker or Edmonds where I lived. But Mt. Adams is pretty cool near Portland and Mt. Hood is ridiculously close. And the high desert is easier to get to from Portland (Smith Rocks!). And the rivers near Portland are where you go to swim in summer and they are superlative. Too cold in Seattle area for that, have to go east of the mountains.

  23. I’ve never lived in Seattle, but my husband lived in Lynnwood for a year in the 90s. The traffic was horrible. Everything else about Seattle was okay.
    He has lived in Portland his entire life. I’ve only lived here 49 years. We’ve been other places but prefer Portland, even though both the housing prices and the traffic are horrible. It’s home.

  24. I’ve lived in both and honestly at this moment I’d say “Portland” but only because the traffic doesn’t suck as much as Seattle traffic. Of the cities of Cascadia I would rate Vancouver BC my Favorite, Seattle my second favorite, and Portland as my least favorite… but in terms of living t…

  25. If you spend a lot of time looking for antiques and other fine things, donate time and money to charities, tip well, have a new job every year, keep your car in impeccable condition, and have a flair for fashion, you would do well in Seattle.
    If you don’t mind taking the bus, carefully put used items on the curb with a sign that says “free” on sunny days, attempt to garden on the 3×5 patio of your apartment, and that finds even the most carefully crafted outfit looks like you fell asleep in it, you will blend right into Portland.

  26. I lived in both, and I would pick Seattle because it is busier. Mind you, both are pretty crappy cities compared to places like London, Tokyo, New York, Hong Kong or Bangkok – I wouldn’t recommend living in either of them.
    If you have the ability, I would go more to a alpha+ city like the ones mentioned above.

  27. After living in both cities, definitely Portland. There are several reasons. For one, Portland is much laid-back and resisted much of the urban sprawl. It seems everywhere you go in the Seattle area, it is much more urban unless you drive way out of town. I live in the Southwest side of Portland and there is still farmland and forests nearby. Portland has a lower cost of living too. No sales tax, and it seems less expensive overall. Plus, Portland sits between the Oregon Coast and the Cascade mountain range. Sure, Seattle has Puget sound but the Pacific Ocean is so much nicer.

  28. You seem to ask 2 different questions?? Economically Seattle has more money than Portland so its probably the more expensive of the 2 places to live. Wages you could be expected to be paid? Again I think Washington will win out simply because there is no state income tax in Washington State.


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