Pittsburgh Travel Guide

Pittsburgh Travel Guide

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Pittsburgh’s nicknames actually tell a good story about Pennsylvania’s second largest city. It’s the City of Bridges, with more than any other city i... Read More

Pittsburgh’s nicknames actually tell a good story about Pennsylvania’s second largest city. It’s the City of Bridges, with more than any other city in the world at nearly 450 in total. It’s the Iron, Smoke, or Steel City, all references to when it was the steel-producing capital of the world. From the 19th century on, Pittsburgh’s steel mills and coke works attracted millions of immigrants from Poland, Italy, Ireland, and so on. The traces they left on local culinary culture, architecture, and language together with the monumental libraries, museums, and other institutions built from endowments by the Frick and Carnegie families made the city what it is today. You may also hear it called the City of Champions—especially by locals—as this is a town where all roads lead to one stadium or another. For a long time, professional baseball, hockey, and football games—and the tailgating that ripples out to the parking lots around them—were what drew the majority of visitors.

But Pittsburgh is changing. Most recently, it has been called the Robot City as companies like Google and Uber—not to mention Facebook and a cluster of other tech start-ups—are establishing new headquarters in this river valley town that’s becoming sort of a budget Silicon Valley of the east. Whatever you choose to call it, Pittsburgh has never been more ripe for the exploring, though it’s best done by car because of the city’s distinct provinciality. The gritty inclines of Polish Hill are a dramatic shift from the trendy restaurants, shopping, and boutique hotels in neighborhoods like Lawrenceville, East Liberty, and Shadyside.

It’s a city where choice abounds. In the same day, if you feel ambitious, you might catch a Pirates game, go whiskey tasting at Wigle in the Strip District, take in a concert at the Carnegie Library Music Hall or an exhibition at the Andy Warhol Museum, and top off the night at a raucous Lawrenceville dance club. There is plenty to do that’s affordable and inclusive, and even though the city has started catering to trends, there’s still a seat at the bar for its checkered, blue-collar history. And that is exactly what makes Pittsburgh fun. Read on our for our full Pittsburgh travel guide.

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Visit Pittsburgh

Best Time To Go

The best time to visit is September through October. The weather is still warm and the autumn colors begin to show in the surrounding hills. It’s still a great time to bike or stroll along the rivers, visit Point State Park, or take in a baseball game or concert at one of Pittsburgh’s open air stadiums.

Transportation

The best way to get around the city is by car, as Pittsburgh is not known for having excellent public transportation. Buses and taxis are the main options, with bus fares starting at $2.50.

Weather

Pittsburgh’s weather is temperamental. The city’s summer and autumn months are the best times to visit. This is when the parks are filled with picnickers sunbathing or admiring the colorful leaves. Winters are usually bitterly cold with the wind whipping off the city’s three rivers. Spring months usually tend to be cold and rainy with occasional warm, blue sky days.

Know Before You Go

The best way to prepare for your trip is to make some sort of loose plan that maps out locations of the places you’ll want to go. As mentioned, Pittsburgh is more or less a car-dependent city that’s low on parking, and at times heavy with traffic. It has quite a few one-way streets, some complicated intersections on hilltops, and a somewhat maddening freeway system, but it’s not nearly as bad as Los Angeles or Miami. Budget in some extra time to get where you’re going, especially if you don’t want to miss the start of a movie, concert, or game.

Language

English

Electric

Type A (two-prong plug) or Type B (three-prong plug)

Currency

United States Dollar ($)