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Pittsburgh has transformed itself from being the butt of jokes about post-industrial gloom into a vibrant city that has recently been voted one of the USA's most liveable. It has a credible selection of galleries and museums for its size, as well as a lively dining and nightlife scene. Make the most of your three days in Pittsburgh with my guide to the city's greatest sights and experiences.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nightlife Seeker
  • Foodie
  • Like a Local

15 Places

8 City Tips

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Map

15 Places

Day 1

Point State Park

Historic Sites, Parks, State Parks

Andy Warhol Museum

Art Museums

Carnegie Science Center

Science Museums

National Aviary

Nature & Wildlife Areas, Zoos

Senator John Heinz History Center

History Museums

Day 2

Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Natural History Museums

Carnegie Museum of Art

Art Museums

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Historic Sites, Gardens

Cathedral of Learning

History Museums

Heinz Memorial Chapel

Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites

Day 3

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

Art Galleries

Frick Art and Historical Center

Speciality Museums

Shadyside

Neighbourhoods

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

Aquariums, Zoos

South Side

Neighbourhoods

Nick E's City Tips

  • There are many places to eat to suit all budgets, from takeaway pizza to fine dining.
  • In line with the American norm, a tip of 15–20% is expected for a sit-down meal.
  • The downtown area is compact and walkable, but buses and the "T" light railway are free to use within it (known as the "free fare zone").
  • There is a reasonably efficient bus system by American standards. Check the latest schedules online via the port authority website.
  • Although you can pay cash fares on buses and the "T," you might want to buy a 10-trip ticket book to save scrabbling for change.
  • Parking downtown is mostly in metered spaces or lots. Some free spots are available around First Avenue and in the nearby Strip District.
  • Surprise and amuse the locals by addressing them as "yinz," (Pittsburgh's version of "you").
  • Very few restaurants or bars have a dress code but if you're planning to eat at an upmarket venue, you may want to check in advance.
    Day 1
  • Point State Park
    Historic Sites, Parks, State Parks
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    At the tip of the downtown area, where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet to form the Ohio, you'll find Point State Park. This is a great place to orientate yourself, with views of the city's skyscrapers, bridges, sports stadiums, and Mount Washington to soak in. The pleasant green park also contains the 1764 Fort Pitt Brickhouse.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • It's a short walk from the heart of downtown.
    • If it's a nice day, this makes a great place to take a breakfast snack and sit outside by the fountain.
    • The confluence of the rivers is an ancient energy center for indigenous people — see if you can tap into it.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #13 of 147 things to do in Pittsburgh
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A nice place to walk around for a bit 22/10/2018
    • Disappointed 20/10/2018
    • Point State Park
    Address:
    601 Commonwealth Pl
    Bldg A
    Pittsburgh, PA 15222
    Phone:
    +1 412-565-2850
    Other:
  • Andy Warhol Museum
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    Perhaps Pittsburgh's most famous son — even though he rather disowned the city — Andy Warhol has been honored with what claims to be the largest museum dedicated to a single artist in the world. The six floors of imaginative pop art here will certainly inspire you!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • LGBT
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The museum is a short walk across the Seventh Street Bridge from downtown.
    • Don't miss the fascinating archival material in the basement.
    • Look out for regular music and performance events on the museum website.
    • The lobby has a cash bar, which is open for "Good Fridays" every Friday 5–10pm.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #25 of 147 things to do in Pittsburgh
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Unexpected Mandatory Fun 20/10/2018
    • Very interesting museum... 15/10/2018
    • Andy Warhol Museum
    Address:
    117 Sandusky St
    Pittsburgh, PA 15212-5890
    Phone:
    +1 412-237-8300
    Hours:
    Tue - Thu
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Fri
    10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
    Sat - Sun
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Carnegie Science Center
    Science Museums
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    This cutting edge science museum is particularly appealing to kids, featuring loads of interactive exhibits guaranteed to hold their attention. There are also regular shows held at the huge OMNIMAX theater on site.

    Good for
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Admission includes entry to the USS Requin, a WWII submarine that lies outside on the river.
    • The Miniature Railroad & Village is one of the most fun exhibits.
    • The museum is open until 7pm on Saturdays.
    • Take a look at the adjacent Heinz Field, home of Pittsburgh's famous NFL team.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #18 of 147 things to do in Pittsburgh
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Very fun day 14/10/2018
    • great exhibits! We became members! 11/10/2018
    • Carnegie Science Center
    Address:
    1 Allegheny Ave
    Pittsburgh, PA 15212-5895
    Phone:
    +1 412-237-3400
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • National Aviary
    Nature & Wildlife Areas, Zoos
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    The National Aviary is a wonderful airy place to visit for anybody with even the slightest interest in ornithology. The vast number of species on display here are divided into areas by biosphere, such as cloud forest, grasslands, wetlands, and tropical rainforest.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Join in on one of the regular feeding sessions that take place at various times. Check the website for the latest schedule.
    • Take a snack break/picnic outside by Lake Elizabeth on the green expanse of Allegheny Commons.
    • Take a stroll through the attractive Victorian era Mexican War Streets area, just to the north of Allegheny Commons.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #26 of 147 things to do in Pittsburgh
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • I enjoyed it 22/10/2018
    • Beyond Incredible! 21/10/2018
    • National Aviary
    Address:
    Allegheny Commons
    Pittsburgh, PA 15212
    Phone:
    +1 412-323-7235
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Senator John Heinz History Center
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    Dedicated to the memory of one of the local Heinz food clan who died in a plane crash, this is the best place to get a grasp of Pittsburgh's history. Special attention is paid to immigration and the rich mixture of ethnic groups who helped build the city's industrial reputation.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • The museum is easily walkable from downtown.
    • Free 2–4 hour parking is available not far away in the nearby Strip District.
    • The Strip District has a host of great cafes and restaurants, making it a fine place to spend the evening.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #11 of 147 things to do in Pittsburgh
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great Museum 20/10/2018
    • World class museum 17/10/2018
    • Senator John Heinz History Center
    Address:
    1212 Smallman St
    Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4208
    Phone:
    +1 412-454-6000
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Day 2
  • Carnegie Museum of Natural History
    Natural History Museums
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    Originally endowed by steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, this museum has a superb range of exhibits on the natural world, with a particular emphasis on dinosaur remains and geology; including some priceless gems.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Numerous bus routes run along Forbes Avenue from downtown and pass the museum.
    • Being in the student area of Oakland, the nearby stretch of Forbes Avenue offers lots of cheap places to eat.
    • Look out for Dippy, the life-size model diplodocus that stands outside one corner of the museum.
    • The admission ticket also includes same-day entry to the Carnegie Museum of Art in the same building.
    • The museum is closed on Tuesdays but opens until 8pm on Thursdays.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 147 things to do in Pittsburgh
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Nice museum with lots to see 15/10/2018
    • A Very Good Museum of Natural History 15/10/2018
    • Carnegie Museum of Natural History
    Address:
    4400 Forbes Ave
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213-4007
    Phone:
    +1 412-622-3131
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    Mon
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Wed
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Thu
    10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
    Fri - Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Carnegie Museum of Art
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    Housed in the same stunning neoclassical building as the Museum of Natural History, there is a wealth of art on display here, from Impressionist and post-Impressionist works to creations by modern local and regional American artists.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Numerous bus routes run along Forbes Avenue from downtown and pass the museum.
    • Being in the student area of Oakland, the nearby stretch of Forbes Avenue offers lots of cheap places to eat.
    • The admission ticket also includes same-day entry to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in the same building.
    • The museum is closed on Tuesdays but opens until 8pm on Thursdays.
    From the community
    Ranked #20 of 147 things to do in Pittsburgh
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Top of the list! 23/10/2018
    • International exhibition 15/10/2018
    • Carnegie Museum of Art
    Address:
    4400 Forbes Ave
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213-4007
    Phone:
    +1 412-622-3131
    Price range:
    US$ 20 - US$ 20
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    Mon
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Wed
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Thu
    10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
    Fri - Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
    Historic Sites, Gardens
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    Set in the extensive leafy surroundings of Schenley Park, the elegant glass and iron structures that make up the Phipps Conservatory contain a huge collection of flora. These are divided into 17 distinct botanical biospheres.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The conservatory is easily walkable from the center of Oakland.
    • The conservatory is open until 10pm on Fridays.
    • The pleasant and modern cafe is a good place for lunch.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 147 things to do in Pittsburgh
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A MUST-SEE attraction! 23/10/2018
    • A beautiful and restorative environment 22/10/2018
    • Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
    Address:
    1 Schenley Drive
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3830
    Phone:
    +1 412-622-6914
    Hours:
    Fri
    9:30 AM - 10:00 PM
    Sat - Thu
    9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Cathedral of Learning
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    One of the most unique university buildings in the world, this Gothic Revival behemoth towers above Oakland and is visible for miles around. You can take a tour of the 26 distinctive Nationality Rooms showcased here, and ascend the tower for splendid panoramic views.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Numerous bus routes run along Forbes Avenue from downtown and pass the Cathedral of Learning.
    • Being in the student area of Oakland, the nearby stretch of Forbes Avenue offers lots of cheap places to eat.
    • Don't call this place by its ironic alternative name in academic circles — the Height of Ignorance!
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #10 of 147 things to do in Pittsburgh
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Local treasure 17/10/2018
    • Art Deco with a dose of Hogwarts 16/10/2018
    • Cathedral of Learning
    Address:
    University of Pittsburgh
    4200 5th Ave.
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Phone:
    +1 412-624-6000
    Other:
  • Heinz Memorial Chapel
    Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    Tucked down below the massive Cathedral of Learning, the Heinz Memorial Chapel is a favorite venue for weddings (where money is no object) and is famed for its exquisite stained glass windows, which depict various religious, literary, and political luminaries.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Numerous bus routes run along Forbes Ave from downtown and pass close to the chapel, which belongs to the university.
    • Look out for opening times, and upcoming concerts and recitals on the chapel's website.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 147 things to do in Pittsburgh
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Worth a quick walk thru 17/10/2018
    • Quick Tour of Pittsburgh 02/10/2018
    • Heinz Memorial Chapel
    Address:
    1212 Cathedral of Learning
    University of Pittsburgh
    Pittsburgh, PA 15260-6124
    Phone:
    +1 412-624-4157
    Other:
  • Day 3
  • Pittsburgh Center for the Arts
    Art Galleries
    Nick E Says:

    This ultra cool modern art center is a showcase for cutting edge creative arts across a variety of media, from cartoons through photography to film-making. There are constantly revolving exhibitions, as well as frequent classes and workshops.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The center is closed on Mondays but opens until 7pm on Thursdays.
    • Several bus routes run along Shady Avenue to the art center.
    • Nearby Squirrel Hill is a lively area, with plenty of cafes and restaurants to explore.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #75 of 147 things to do in Pittsburgh
    • Excellent Art by Local Artists 30/06/2018
    • Wedding 17/08/2017
    • Pittsburgh Center for the Arts
    Address:
    6300 5th Ave
    Pittsburgh, PA 15232-2922
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    Tue - Wed
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Thu
    10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
    Fri - Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Frick Art and Historical Center
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    The best part of this cultural complex, tucked in residential East Pittsburgh, is the Frick Art Museum, founded by the same person as its more famous sister gallery in New York City. Despite it being less well known, there is a treasure of art to explore within its walls, especially its collection of European works from the 15th to 19th centuries.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Buses 67, 69, and 71C go to the museum from downtown.
    • The center is closed on Mondays.
    • The cafe is a good place for refreshments.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #27 of 147 things to do in Pittsburgh
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Nice Historical Setup 21/10/2018
    • Beautiful Grounds 15/10/2018
    • Frick Art and Historical Center
    Address:
    7227 Reynolds St
    Pittsburgh, PA 15208-2919
    Phone:
    +1 412-371-0600
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Shadyside
    Neighbourhoods
    Nick E Says:

    Shadyside is one of the trendiest areas in Pittsburgh for its selection of quirky shops and eateries. While the traditional central strip along Walnut Street still has plenty to offer, those 'in the know' now frequent the places along nearby Ellsworth Avenue.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • Bus 71A goes to Shadyside from downtown or you can take other routes and walk from nearby Fifth Avenue.
    • La Feria at 5527 Walnut Street is a colorful Peruvian restaurant that offers tasty food and has a lovely little shop.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #37 of 147 things to do in Pittsburgh
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Nice area in Pittsburgh 25/09/2018
    • Nice area but small 23/09/2018
    • Shadyside
    Phone:
    +1 412-682-1298
    Other:
  • Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
    Aquariums, Zoos
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    Located out in the rustic environs of Highland Park, Pittsburgh Zoo houses a wide range of animals, including a rare komodo dragon, and has successfully bred a couple of elephants. The aquarium is also home to a host of fish and other aquatic creatures.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Opening times vary throughout the year, with earlier closing in winter months. Check the website for details.
    • The zoo hosts various events throughout the year — check the website for details.
    • Bus 71B to Highland Park stops near the zoo entrance.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #30 of 147 things to do in Pittsburgh
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • LOVE this place! 21/10/2018
    • Zoo on a hill 14/10/2018
    • Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
    Address:
    7370 Baker St
    Pittsburgh, PA 15206-1075
    Phone:
    +1 412-665-3640
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • South Side
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Nick E Says:

    Over the years, South Side has undoubtedly become the most buzzing part of town for nightlife, and so it makes the perfect place to spend a night trying some of the cuisine on offer and checking out a few of the lively bars.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • A number of bus routes travel along E Carson Street, South Side's main artery, from downtown.
    • South Side's most noticeable geographical feature is Mount Washington, which you can take the Duquesne incline (a funicular railway) up to for great views.
    • If you're a Brit hankering after a taste of home and some Premier League football, Piper's Pub at 1828 E Carson Street is the place for you.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #34 of 147 things to do in Pittsburgh
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Rustic Side of Pittsburgh 13/10/2018
    • Great Transformation 09/10/2018
    • South Side
    Phone:
    +1 412-431-3360
    Other:
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