Portland Walking Tours

Portland Walking Tours FAQs – Answers to All of Our Most Frequently Asked Questions!

February 5th, 2016

Thinking about booking one of our fabulous tours? Already booked a tour and still have questions? We’ve got the 411 on our most popularly asked questions.

What if it rains?

Lucky you, you’re going to get the full Portland experience if you do a walking tour in the rain! It’s hard to avoid our liquid sunshine during certain months of the year, and we hope you will embrace it like we do. Our tour guides come dressed for the Oregon weather, and we recommend our tour guests do the same. Umbrellas are even available for sale in our box office!

Should I tip my tour guide?

That is always a great way to show your guide that you have enjoyed the tour, and will be very much appreciated by them. Feel free to use the 15-20% scale that you would give at a restaurant or other industry of service.

How much of the Underground Portland tour explores the Shanghai tunnels?

OK this is probably the most asked question we get. So here’s the skinny folks: about ¼ of the tour goes into a subterranean space to explore the area that once led to the legendary Shanghai tunnels. The actual tunnels have been closed off since the 1970’s, and no one, not even the water bureau, can go into them. But we show you what’s left of them (and yes you need flashlights, and yes we provide them!) and give you all the expert and true information about the practice of “crimping,” or kidnapping, that is a very real part of Portland’s history. That said, just because you are not going into any tunnels does not mean that this is not the most incredibly fascinating tour giving you all kinds of information about the dark side of Portland’s criminal past, including other “underground themes” such as gambling, ethnic crimes, corruption, and much more.

I live here in Portland. Why would I want to take a tour?

We literally hear every week from locals who say things like, “I’m finally getting around to learning more about my city!” — or as is more frequently the case — are accompanying their out of town guests, and remark “I cannot believe how much I learned on my tour. And I thought I knew Portland! Ha!” Don’t let the out of town visitors leave more knowledgeable than you are about your beloved hometown!

Can I bring my dog on a tour?

Portland is a very dog friendly city, so we do allow pet dogs on our Best of Portland tour. That said, other guests need to be comfortable with your pet dog being on the tour, and we ask that you keep it leashed, well behaved, and not take it into any buildings. Only certified service dogs are welcome on any of our tours.

Which tours are child friendly?

Our Best of Portland tour is a delight for children, and if your child is okay with ghosts as a theme, our all-ages Beyond Bizarre ghost hunting tour at 7:00 PM is a lot of fun. Our food tours are also fun for children, depending on how comfortable they are with trying new things. And of course you are the best judge of the adventurousness of their palates. Keep in mind, every person on a food tour needs to purchase a ticket, even children. We don’t recommend the Underground Portland tour for children under 13 since the topics covered are for a more mature audience, but again, it is at the discretion of the parents. The only tours that are specifically age restricted are the 10:00 PM Beyond Bizarre tour (18 and over only) and the We Got Tipsy in Portland tour (21 and over only).

Should I buy tickets in advance or can I just show up?

Our tours regularly sell out, therefore we highly recommend that you buy tickets in advance as that is the only way to guarantee your spot on the tour. There are three ways to purchase advanced tickets: on our website, by calling 503-774-4522, or by visiting us in person at our box office located indoors and under Pioneer Courthouse Square (701 SW 6th Ave). If you are not able to purchase advanced tickets, you can take your chance and show up early to purchase the tickets on-site if there are still tickets remaining for the tour.

Do you have a tour today?

We sure do . . . we have tours literally every day of the year! Our tour schedule varies depending on the day of the week and the time of year (and we have seven different tours to choose from!), so feel free to give us a call or visit our website to discover your options.

Can I cancel or change my tour?

Because we operate a ticketing system as opposed to allowing reservations, our tickets are sold as a non-refundable and non-exchangeable purchase to a specific event — your tour. We keep our tour numbers small to give you the best experience possible, so if you do encounter an emergency and you won’t be there for the tour, let us know as soon as possible so we can open up spots for other people.

Where do I meet my tour guide?

Your guide will be waiting for you at one of two locations depending on which tour you are taking. For the Best of Portland, Epicurean Excursion, Flavor Street, Chocolate Decadence, and We Got Tipsy in Portland tours, the starting location is the Theater on the Square under Pioneer Courthouse Square at 701 SW 6th Avenue. For the Underground Portland and Beyond Bizarre tours, the starting location is 131 NW 2nd Avenue between NW Davis and NW Couch at the Old Merchant Hotel Building.

Where will we go on the Epicurean Excursion, Flavor Street, Chocolate Decadence, and We Got Tipsy in Portland Tours?

While we do have several regular stops on all of these tours, the selection can vary depending on several factors, so we leave that as a delicious surprise for our guests. Also if you come back and do the same tour again, you might very well experience a whole different variety of places!

Do I need to print my tickets?

No! We try to make it as easy as possible for our guests. As soon as you make your purchase, your name goes on a guest list for the tour, and all you need to do when you arrive for your tour is tell the guide your last name, how many are in your party, and you will be all set. You don’t even have to show your guide the confirmation email on your phone.

How early do I have to arrive for my tour?

Check in time is officially 15 minutes before the start of the tour, and we greatly encourage that you arrive by then because we start our tours promptly at their designated times. We wouldn’t want you to miss yours!

How can I pay for my tour?

We accept credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover) on our website and through our box office, and in person you can also pay with cash.

Which tour should I take?

Each of our tours are quite different from each other, and all offer a wonderful combination of fun and information, so it is just a matter of what you are looking for. We have a description of each tour on our website, or feel free to call us and we’ll help you decide. And why not take more than one?

I have dietary restrictions, can I still go on your food tours?

Absolutely! Your guide will ask the group before the start of the tour if there are any dietary restrictions, and they are often times able to provide alternate tastings when available. This does not guarantee that there will be alternate tastings at every stop, but the guides will do their best to accommodate you.

What is the difference between the all ages Beyond Bizarre tour at 7:00 PM, and the adults only tour at 10:00 PM, and why is their a price difference?

The 10 PM tour covers the same tour route and topics, but there is no holding back with adult language and expressions. You are paying for the guarantee of having an adults only experience.

If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask them! You can contact us through our website or call us at 503-774-4522. We look forward to seeing you on a tour soon!

Article by Natasha Kelly


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