About 20 miles east of the Ohio border, the city of Pittsburgh is an epic place to visit when exploring the state on a Pennsylvania road trip. Great for a few days off, there are tons of the best things to do in Pittsburgh across the city.
From huge museums, chic shopping, and incredible architecture, it’s one of those fun US cities that are absolutely cool to visit. Plus, you can easily combine this with a much wider journey towards the shores of Lake Erie which is absolutely lovely. especially with all the delicious vineyards.
Anyway, a little off-topic … but Pittsburgh is amazing and well worth a weekend getaway when in the state!
To make it nice and easy, I wanted to share some of my favorite places that I totally love. That way, you’ll have a lot more time to focus on traveling and less time to spend on all of that planning.
Check out the best things to do in Pittsburgh below. Have the best trip in town.
1.) Explore the Carnegie Science Center
Located right on the Ohio River coast, the Carnegie Science Center is one of the best things to do in Pittsburgh that is great for the whole family.
Here, you can learn anything and everything from cool science to artificial intelligence to food production. It’s all encompassing
Once inside, you can see the collection of robots, practical displays or visit the OmniMax theater and also visit the sports center. It’s a great place for kids to test their climbing and zip-lining skills.
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2.) Visit the Cathedral of Learning
Not far from Schenley Park, the Cathedral of Learning is one of the most iconic buildings in all of Pittsburgh. You see, it’s a Gothic Revival building proudly standing over 42.Stories up, that’s so nice.
If you have the time, be sure to check out the Nationality Room tours, which run at specific times throughout the year. Trust me, IThese nationality spaces are a must, with the Syria-Lebanon space being my favorite.
Then visit the Heinz Memorial Chapel, which is so amazing inside.
Such a breathtaking place that really cannot be missed.
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3.) Take the cable car at Duquesne Incline
Driving the Duquesne Incline is sure to be one of the best things to do in Pittsburgh if you want to experience part of the city’s long history. Formerly used for the transport of workers since the 19th century.
Once in Duquesne, you can learn more about the history of the slope and lots of details about how the slope works. For me, the fun is the drive and the amazing views of the city from Grandview Overlook.
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4.) Eat in the Strip District
The Strip District is just outside the city center and has the same vibe you’d expect to find in Shoreditch, London. Once you are here, head over to Primanti Bros. for their giant sandwiches. you’ll go crammed.
Alternatively, you can enjoy the most delicious gnocchi and homemade meatballs at DiAnoia’s Eatery. So good.
The best nightcap can be found in the Marco bar. It’s one of the best things to do in Pittsburgh for cocktails. The nutty buddy cocktail is totally delicious (and pretty strong too).
5.) Stroll through Point State Park
Point State Park is right on the edge of downtown Pittsburgh and is a great place for an afternoon stroll around town.
Here you can visit the Fort Pitt Museum and learn about the history of this historic British fort – it is believed to date back to the 18th century. Plus, you can take in the river views and take in the famous 150-foot fountain where the three rivers meet.
6.) Visit the Heinz History Center
If you want to know all about the history of Pittsburgh you must visit the Heinz History Center.
You can learn all about the history of Pittsburgh from the Revolutionary War to the Subway to the city’s Industrial Revolution. It’s fantastic and not just for the history buffs between us.
Give yourself plenty of time, this place is huge.
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7.) See Randyland
Another place that reminds me of London; Camden this time! The whole Randyland area is an epic reminder of how incredibly diverse, creative and unique Pittsburgh is.
Once here, you can Explore public art exhibits and colorful, vibrant buildings next to the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum. A relatively small place perfect for a quick peek when in the area.
8.) Find the Carrie stoves
Ok listen to me Carrier Furnaces might not look like the best things to do in Pittsburgh, but it’s really totally cool.
As part of Pittsburgh’s history, the steel industry once had a massive place in the city. Nowadays, however, the site can be visited on an industrial tour or an art and land tour that incorporates the creative side of the site.
It takes around 15 minutes by car to get here (from downtown) and it’s worth it if you want something a little more unique.
9.) Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History
You must love museums, especially if they’re as good as the ones in Pittsburgh.
Here you can see many American and European paintings from the past two centuries, sculptures, decorative arts, and architecture spanning centuries. It’s a totally amazing place that can take all day to really see everything.
From African art, temporary exhibitions, unusual modern pieces, the beautiful sculpture hall are a real treasure trove to visit.
10.) Stroll through Mount Washington
Mount Washington is a neighborhood in Pittsburgh that is really easy to visit once you’ve taken the Duquesne Incline from the riverside.
Here you will find loads of gourmet eateries and bars for a great evening out on the town. The best cocktails are available at The Summit, where you can enjoy some goodies at the bar. Plus, the grilled pineapple tacos are so delicious.
Again, don’t forget to take in the view and check out Emerald View Park too.
11.) Phipps Conservatory
Exploring the Phipps Conservatory is one of the best things to do in Pittsburgh if you want a lazy afternoon.
Here you can explore the beautiful themed rooms, including the; Orchid room, desert room, Japanese courtyard, tropical forest conservatory and several other themed rooms. Every focus on different flora and fauna from around the world – it’s amazing.
The winter garden is huge and great in every season!
Then, head to Hastings Street (10 minutes by cab) and eat at Point Brugge Cafe for the best brunch. Your duck confit hash is to die for!
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