20 Best Things to Do in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh is a beautiful, dynamic city full of sights and attractions sure to please the avid sports fan, history enthusiast, and culture maven. Whether you're in town for a visit, or just looking for something new to try, these must-see Pittsburgh spots offer something for everyone.

01 of 20

Ride to the Top of Mt. Washington

Pittsburgh Pennsylvania skyline from Mt. Washington
Universal Images Group/Getty Images
Address
Pittsburgh, PA 15211, USA

No visit to Pittsburgh is complete without a ride on one of the restored 1800s inclines to the top of Mt. Washington, just across the river from downtown Pittsburgh. There are plenty of great restaurants to choose from on top of this former "Coal Hill" and each has stunning views of downtown (especially beautiful at night). It's one of the best places to snap photos of the skyline.

02 of 20

Visit the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh History Center

John Heinz History Center
Klaus Nahr/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
Address
1212 Smallman St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4208, USA
Phone
+1 412-454-6000
4.7

This former ice house has been reborn as a seven-story museum, with interactive exhibits that bring more than 250 years of Western Pennsylvania history to life. Discover how immigrants shaped the region, uncover the myths of the Underground Railroad, or climb aboard a 1940s Pittsburgh trolley. Two floors are dedicated to the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum. After all, what's the history of Pittsburgh without Franco Harris, Mario Lemieux, Roberto Clemente, Arnold Palmer, and the gang?

03 of 20

See Incredible Birds at the National Aviary

Toucan at the National Aviary
Heather Young/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
Address
700 Arch St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212, USA
Phone
+1 412-323-7235
4.2

Just across the Allegheny River from the History Center is the National Aviary, where over 600 of the world's most incredible birds are displayed in naturalistic exhibits and walk-through habitats. Marvel at hummingbirds the size of a thumb or Andean Condors with giant 10-foot wingspans at the nation's premier bird zoo! Penguin Point is among the most popular exhibits.

04 of 20

Stroll Through the Strip District

The Strip District
Chris Hondros / Getty Images

Join locals for a Saturday tour in Pittsburgh's popular warehouse district. Grab a great cup of coffee and a fresh biscotti before taking a stroll through this combination farmer's market/street fair. Vendors, shops, and exotic grocery stores offer everything from kitchenware to costumes and Steelers merchandise to fresh flowers and fish.

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05 of 20

Check Out the Andy Warhol Museum

Andy Warhol museum in Pittsburgh
Archie Carpenter/Getty Images
Address
117 Sandusky St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212, USA
Phone
+1 412-237-8300

Campbell's soup cans anyone? Continue your exploration of Pittsburgh at the Andy Warhol Museum, an ultramodern tribute to the founder of pop art. The most comprehensive single-artist museum in the world houses more than 4,000 works of art, including paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, films, and videos, from this native Pittsburgh artist. While dedicated to Andy Warhol, the museum also hosts rotating exhibits by artists who push the boundaries of art, just as Warhol did.

06 of 20

Learn About the World at the Carnegie Museums of Art & Natural History

Statue of Diplododocus dinosaur outside Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
Richard Cummins/Getty Images
Address
4400 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
Phone
+1 412-622-3131

The Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History combine two world-renowned museums in one unforgettable visit. Same day admission to both museums provides a wide variety of things to explore, and many sections include hands-on activities where children are encouraged to touch as well as look. Enjoy one of the best dinosaur exhibits in the world, breathtaking gems and minerals, and an extensive Native American gallery.

07 of 20

See Unique Plants at Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

Aerial View of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Zolashine/Getty Images
Address
1 Schenley Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
Phone
+1 412-622-6914
4.8

Stroll through one of the largest Victorian "glass houses" in the country to see towering tropical plants that were the original seedlings at the 1890 Exposition, including beautiful orchids, indoor and outdoor gardens, and a fabulous bonsai collection. Children will revel in the Discovery Garden, where they are invited to exercise their green thumbs and explore the world of plants and flowers, worms and all. Seasonal exhibits include a butterfly garden, flower shows, and a miniature railroad display.​

08 of 20

Interact with Science at the Carnegie Science Center

Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh
Moment Editorial/Getty Images / Getty Images
Address
1 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15212, USA
Phone
+1 412-237-3400

It's an "amusement park for the mind" at this large science museum, where more than 250 hands-on, interactive exhibits bring together science and fun for all ages. Explore a WWII submarine, marvel at a four-story Omnimax film, or tour Southwestern Pennsylvania via miniature railroad.

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09 of 20

Visit a One-of-a-Kind "Mattress Factory"

Mattress Factory Museum in Pittsburgh

Popscreenshot/WikiCommons

Address
500 Sampsonia Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15212, USA
Phone
+1 412-231-3169

The beds are gone, and this former mattress factory is now home to a one-of-a-kind art experience. The Mattress Factory museum of contemporary art features some of the best installation art in the United States, all created by in-residence artists. The avant-garde art is sometimes a bit bewildering, but always interesting.

10 of 20

Learn About Pittsburgh's Diversity

University Campus Building, University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Douglas Sacha / Getty Images
Address
4200 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA
Phone
+1 412-624-6000

Located in the inspiring Cathedral of Learning on the University of Pittsburgh campus, each of the 24 classrooms reflects the culture and heritage of one of the area's diverse ethnic groups and represents that nationality's contribution to the fabric of Pittsburgh.

11 of 20

Test Your Sporting Mettle at Highmark SportsWorks

Carnegie Science Center's Highmark SportsWorks

Photojunkie/WikiCommons

Highmark SportsWorks is a unique space next to the Carnegia Science Center. Here, you can learn about physics, anatomy, and the life sciences through a series of interactive exhibits—race against an Olympic sprinter, try out your fastball, or climb a rock wall, all at the place where science and sports come together.

12 of 20

Watch Hilarious Improv at Arcade Comedy Theater

Pittsburgh's Arcade Comedy Theater was founded in 2013 and offers an intimate performance space (just 75 seats!) that showcases improv performances and plays. The venue even offers comedy classes if you want to try your hand at making the masses laugh.

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13 of 20

See a Baseball Game at PNC Park

ameson Taillon #50 of the Pittsburgh Pirates heads to the mound past a field decoration for Roberto Clemente Day during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park

 

Justin Berl /Getty Images 

PNC Park is home to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the city's Major League Baseball team. The classic ballpark seats 38,000 and is located right on the banks of the Ohio River. The season runs from early spring through fall, making for a great summertime activity.

14 of 20

Visit the Pittsburgh Zoo

Monkey in a cage at the Pittsburgh zoo

 

seele/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium is one of only six zoo-aquarium combinations in the U.S. Housing more than 4,000 animals, the zoo represents nearly 500 different species, many of which are endangered. It's located in Highland Park.

15 of 20

Drink Local Beer in an Old Church

The Church Brew Works, Pittsburgh

ctj71081/Flickr

 

Church Brew Works was founded in 1996, but the building dates back much further. Housed in a church built in 1902, the popular brewpub has four core beer brands, all with fitting names like Celestial Gold and Pious Monk Dunkel. Come for the beer and stay to admire the space's incredible architecture—including original stained glass.

16 of 20

Try the "Greatest Cake in America"

Prantl's Bakery is a Pittsburgh tradition for more than 50 years. While they're famed for their burnt almond torte cake, Prantl's also offers more than 100 other sweets, sure to satisfy any dessert lover.

Continue to 17 of 20 below.
17 of 20

Ride Rollercoasters at Kennywood Amusement Park

Kennywood Amusement Park, a building with fountains illuminated are framed by roller coaster tracks

 

Richard T. Nowitz/Getty Images 

Kennywood is among the oldest amusement parks in the United States, having opened in 1899. This popular attraction now has six roller coasters and a kid's area with 14 different rides. As of early 2019, the park is building the Steel Curtain, which will be the state's largest roller coaster.

18 of 20

Enjoy the Outdoors at Point State Park

Pittsburgh Pennsylvainia skyline, photographed from the Point State Park

 

npage/Getty Images 

Point State Park sprawls across 36 acres in downtown Pittsburgh. It opened in 1974. The park is well-known for its iconic fountain, in addition to remains of Pittsburgh's two oldest buildings, Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne. The National Historic Landmark has stunning views and is a great way to spend time outdoors.

19 of 20

Get a New Book at City of Asylum

City of Asylum's Main Venue - Alphabet City

Popscreenshot/WikiCommons

Pittsburgh's City of Asylum is a unique non-profit with multiple venues throughout the city. As its name suggests, the organization supports exiled writers in residence and also sells an assortment of international literature at its North Side bookstore.

20 of 20

Try New Foods at Federal Galley

This North Shore food hall has four different restaurant concepts, plus a full bar that focuses on local brews. Whether you're interested in Mexican food at El Lugar or pizza at Michigan & Trumbull, there's something for everyone at Federal Galley.

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20 Best Things to Do in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania