Where to go when you have to go in Portland

Travel Tips — By Brie Milgrom on November 10, 2010 at 12:06 am

Every traveler knows it is difficult to properly enjoy wandering around town with a full bladder. If you get caught up sightseeing and need a bathroom don’t worry. You have options. Even though Portland doesn’t have many public bathrooms, there are a number of places where you can use the bathroom without buying anything. Bathrooms are western style with flush toilets, toilet paper, sinks, soap, paper towels and/or hand dryers. Some bathrooms have multiple stalls. Most men’s bathrooms have urinals and stalls. Generally establishments have separate bathrooms for women and men. Occasionally there are unisex bathrooms. Sometimes there is also a designated family bathroom. The bathroom doors are marked with signs that say “Women” and “Men,” these figures, or something similar.

It is fine for small children to accompany adults in the opposite sex bathroom (a mother and son, for example). Many places have diaper-changing tables too. Bathrooms with multiple stalls include at least one stall that is wheelchair accessible.

If you need to use the bathroom, ask, “Where is your bathroom?” or “Can you please tell me where your bathroom is?” Other commonly used words for bathroom are restroom, washroom, and occasionally facilities.

If you’re in the Pearl District or downtown go to Powell’s Books. Other great options include department stores (Nordstrom, Macy’s, etc.) and hotel lobbies. Gas stations and convenience stores are another option, although the bathroom may not be as clean.

Restaurants and coffee shops abound in the Rose City, and they have bathrooms. These bathrooms are for customers only. In coffee shops, most bathrooms have a key near the cash register. If you don’t see the key hanging somewhere, either the bathroom is occupied, or the key is behind the counter. Ask the person at the register for the key.

Tags: bathroom, downtown, portland


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