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Portland (Maine)

Travel Guide North America USA Northeastern United States New England Maine Portland

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Introduction

Portland is Maine's most populated town.

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Neighbourhoods

  • East End-Munjoy Hill-Eastern Prominade
  • West End-West Street to Western Prominade
  • Old Port
  • Downtown

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Weather

Summers last from June to September and are nice and warm, between 25 °C and 30 °C during the day and between 15 °C and 20 °C at night. Winters last from December to March with average daytime temperatures mostly around 0 °C or slightly above. Nights are well below zero during this time. Precipitation is quite evenly distributed throughout the year, with sometimes very heavy snowfall in winter. During summer, heavy showers can occur, especially after periods of hot weather.

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Getting There

By Plane

South Portland Airport (PWM) is an airport that borders with Portland, Maine, about 2 miles (3.2 kilometres) from the Central Business District.
The airport is accessible from I-95 (the Maine Turnpike) and I-295. METRO Bus and taxi service can be accessed from the ground transportation booth outside the baggage claim. A shuttle bus service called The Portland Explorer provides access to area hotels and to other local transportation, such as the Amtrak Downeaster train service, and Concord Coach Lines intercity bus service at the Portland Transportation Center.

By Train

The Downeaster travels between Boston, Massachusetts and Portland.

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Getting Around

Most people get around Portland by car, bike and on foot.

By Car

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.===By Public Transport===

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Eat

  • Stir Crazy - 579 Congress St. Tel: (207) 871-1689‎ - Very nice Asian dining. Prices can be pricey, though.
  • Happy Teriyaki - 630 Congress St. Tel: (207) 771-2000‎ - Nice Asian dining.
  • Mister Bagel - 10 Moulton St. Tel: (207) 774-8704‎ - Come and grab a bagel for sitting down or checking out.
  • Wild Burrito - 574 Congress St # 5 Tel: (207) 761-1600‎ - A nice sitdown or takeout Mexican-style burrito shop in downtown Portland.
  • Bill's Pizza - located in the Old Port
  • Bangkok Thai - a pricey Thai styled restaurant located on Congress Street.

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Drink

  • Norm's Bar and Grill617 Congress St. Tel: (207) 828-9944‎

There are many bars in the Old Port on Wharf Street.

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Keep Connected

Internet

The Javanet Cafe in the Old Port provides internet connection. There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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This is version 24. Last edited at 7:16 on Jul 12, 13 by Utrecht. 10 articles link to this page.

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