Pittsburgh, also known as the “Steel City,” is well known for its steel production and as the birthplace of Andrew Carnegie. But this city has so much more to offer visitors. There are plenty of attractions and things to do in Pittsburgh that will keep you occupied during your visit.
From world-class museums and interesting architecture to top restaurants and vibrant nightlife, this city has it all. So if you’re visiting here for the first time or just want to see more of what it has to offer, here is a list of the 12 top tourist attractions and things to do in Pittsburgh to check out.
Things to Do in Pittsburgh
1. Carrie Furnaces
No list of top tourist attractions in Pittsburgh would be complete without mentioning the Carrie Furnaces. The furnaces are a top industrial heritage site and National Historic Landmark that are still standing on the grounds of a former steel mill.
The industrial furnaces were the epicenter of all things steel in the late 1800s and early 1900s, making them some of the earliest steel-making facilities in Western Pennsylvania. At their peak, they produced about a quarter of a million tons of molten iron every year during World War II.
Along with supporting many good jobs for local people over the years, these mills helped build the city into an industrial center. However, as industry declined from 1960 onwards due to globalization and other factors, they became obsolete and had to close down by 1974.
Today, after decades of neglect, the Carrie Furnaces have been reclaimed as an important historical and cultural site. Visitors can now walk around the furnaces and learn about their history, as well as Pittsburgh’s industrial past. It’s definitely a top spot for anyone interested in industrial heritage, and it’s also just a really cool place to check out if you’re in Pittsburgh. So make sure to add it to your list of things to do while you’re here.
2. Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Another top attraction in Pittsburgh that I recommend to all visitors is the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. This is one of the top museums in the city and also one of the oldest museums in the United States, opening its doors in 1895. It houses one of the most comprehensive collections of natural history objects in the world, with thousands of specimens from all over the planet.
The museum’s main building, a beautiful Romanesque Revival structure, is home to dinosaur skeletons, gems and minerals, ancient Egyptian artifacts, and much more. There are also extensive exhibits on human cultures and natural environments around the world. The museum offers educational programs for all ages and hosts traveling exhibitions throughout the year.
For anyone looking for things to do in Pittsburgh, this would definitely be one of the first places I would recommend visiting. You can easily spend half a day walking through the museum’s many exhibits. And as a history lover, I appreciated spending time in this museum discovering all of Pittsburgh’s history. From dinosaurs to gems and minerals to fossils, you’ll find lots of interesting things on display here that will keep you occupied for hours. So don’t miss it.
3. Carnegie Science Center
Located on the banks of the Allegheny River in the North Shore neighborhood, the Carnegie Science Center is a popular destination for families and science enthusiasts. This museum dedicated to science and technology was founded in 1991 and offers a variety of educational exhibits, programs, and activities for visitors of all ages.
The main building contains four floors of interactive exhibits on physics, chemistry, biology, Earth science, and technology. There are also theaters, classrooms, and event spaces. The Science Center also operates two other facilities in the city: the Buhl Planetarium & Observatory and the USS Requin submarine.
The center is especially popular with kids, as it offers plenty of opportunities for interactive learning. The Robot exhibit, for example, lets visitors get up close and personal with robots from around the world. And the Buhl Digital Planetarium features a variety of shows that teach about space and astronomy.
There’s something for everyone at the Carnegie Science Center, making it one of the top tourist attractions in Pittsburgh. With so many exhibits to explore, you could easily spend an entire day here. I would recommend it to anyone in Pittsburgh with kids or anyone interested in science. It’s a great place to learn about the world around us.
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4. Historic Market Square
One of the best things to do in Pittsburgh is to spend time wandering around historic Market Square. This is an area with a long history, stretching back centuries, and there are plenty of interesting buildings still standing today.
Market Square was originally constructed in the 1890s as an open-air marketplace for local traders to sell their wares. You can still see many of these old trading posts scattered around the edges of the square today, giving off a distinctly rustic charm. These days it’s mostly filled with cafes, bars, restaurants, and shops selling fashionable clothes and other attractive items. And best of all, there’s always something happening here. From farmer’s markets to holiday celebrations and street festivals, you’ll definitely find something that interests you.
So if you’re looking for a place to wander around and explore, I would definitely recommend checking out Historic Market Square. There are plenty of shops and restaurants to check out, and the square is also home to some beautiful landmarks. Plus, it’s a great place for people to watch and experience the energy of downtown Pittsburgh. So be sure to add it to your list of things to do in Pittsburgh.
5. Frick Art and Historical Center
If you’re looking for something a bit more artsy to do in Pittsburgh, then I would recommend checking out the Frick Art and Historical Center. This center is home to one of the top art collections in the United States, with works by some of the most famous artists in history. It also has a large collection of historical artifacts, including furniture, paintings, and sculptures.
The Frick Center offers guided tours of its art collection as well as its historical buildings. It’s also home to gardens that are open to the public during certain times of the year. And if you’re interested in learning about how the wealthy lived in previous centuries, then this is the place for you. The center offers educational programs for all ages, so it’s a great place to spend the day with your family.
The Frick is one of the most famous places in Pittsburgh and offers a unique glimpse into how the wealthy lived back in the day. The center also hosts special events throughout the year, so be sure to check their website for upcoming. It is one of the top attractions in Pittsburgh that you won’t want to miss.
6. Strip District
Pittsburgh’s Strip District is a must-visit destination for food lovers and anyone interested in learning more about the city’s history and culture. This vibrant district, located just east of downtown, is home to an eclectic mix of businesses, restaurants, bars, and art galleries.
The Strip District has been a center of commerce and industry since the late 19th century when it was home to Pittsburgh’s produce markets. These days, the district is known for its many ethnic restaurants and lively nightlife scene. You’ll find everything from pizza joints to Indian curry houses in the Strip District.
In addition to its abundance of restaurants, the Strip District is also home to some great shopping opportunities. There are several vintage clothing stores, art galleries, and specialty food stores in the district. You can also find some great deals on fresh produce, meat, and seafood at the various markets in the district.
So if you’re looking for a fun place to eat, drink, and shop in Pittsburgh, the Strip District is worth checking out. The diversity of businesses and restaurants here means that there’s something for everyone. And with its convenient location just east of downtown, it’s easy to get to from anywhere in the city. So be sure to add it to your list of things to do in Pittsburgh.
7. Cathedral of Learning
This is another of the top attractions in Pittsburgh that I enjoyed visiting, as it is one of the most iconic and famous landmarks in Pittsburgh. It’s a 42-story Gothic Revival skyscraper, and at 535 feet tall, it’s the tallest educational building in the world. The cathedral was commissioned in 1926 and completed in 1934.
It currently serves as the main campus for the University of Pittsburgh and is home to more than 30 Nationality Rooms, one for each country that participated in World War I. These rooms are decorated with traditional furniture, art, and other objects from the respective countries, providing a unique glimpse into their cultures.
The cathedral is open to the public, and you can take a self-guided tour or join a guided tour. You can also visit the top floor for a great view of downtown Pittsburgh. So if you’re looking for fun things to do in Pittsburgh, visiting the Cathedral of Learning is one of the top things to do. It’s just one of those places you need to visit in order to really appreciate all it has to offer.
8. Phipps Conservatory
If you’re looking for a more nature-oriented attraction to visit in Pittsburgh, then I highly recommend checking out Phipps Conservatory. This greenhouse and botanical garden is one of the top tourist attractions in Pittsburgh, and for a good reason. It’s home to a 13-room botanical garden, as well as a conservatory of tropical plants and an exhibit on green roofs.
Phipps Conservatory is a beautiful place to walk around, relax, and take in some natural beauty. The gardens change with the seasons, so there’s always something new to see here. And if you’re visiting Pittsburgh with kids, this is a place you’ll want to bring them. They’ll love exploring all the different gardens and learning about the plants that grow there.
This is truly one of the best places to go in Pittsburgh if you love plants or simply want to spend time outdoors admiring nature. So don’t miss out on visiting this attraction when you come to visit this city.
9. Point State Park
Located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, Point State Park is among the best things to do in Pittsburgh for any visitor. This 36-acre park is situated at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, and is home to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks.
The park is best known for its triangular point, which marks the spot where the two rivers meet. The park offers stunning views of the city skyline and is a popular spot for both locals and tourists to come and relax. There are also a number of attractions in the park, including:
- The Fountain at Point State Park: This iconic fountain was built in 1974 and is one of the largest fountains in North America. It features a 150-foot high jet of water that shoots into the air.
- The Fort Pitt Museum: This museum is dedicated to the history of Fort Pitt and the British, French, and American troops who fought for control of the fort during the French and Indian War.
- The Pittsburgh Point Lighthouse: This lighthouse was built in 1818 and is the oldest surviving lighthouse in Pennsylvania. It’s open to visitors from April to October.
Point State Park is a must-see for anyone visiting Pittsburgh. It offers some of the best views of the city skyline, and its attractions are sure to fascinate history buffs and park lovers alike. So be sure to check it out.
10. Andy Warhol Museum
If you’re interested in art, you don’t want to miss the Andy Warhol Museum. The museum is dedicated to the pop artist and Pittsburgh native Andy Warhol, and features exhibits of his work and other modern art pieces from the 20th century. It’s one of the top museums in Pennsylvania, showcasing hundreds of works by Warhol himself as well as his contemporaries.
The museum is located in Pittsburgh’s downtown Cultural District and is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. It’s open seven days a week and offers educational programs for all ages. There’s something for everyone at this museum, whether you’re an art lover or not.
I had a great time visiting the Andy Warhol Museum and would highly recommend it to anyone traveling to Pittsburgh. If you’re interested in 20th-century art and American pop culture, then you really need to check this place out. It’s a top Pittsburgh attraction for a reason.
11. Duquesne Incline
One of the top tourist attractions in Pittsburgh that I recommend for those looking for a bit of adventure is the Duquesne Incline. This funicular railway offers stunning views of downtown Pittsburgh and the surrounding area as it carries passengers up and down Mount Washington. It opened for service in 1877, making it one of America’s oldest cable railways still running today.
A ride on the incline takes about 10 minutes, but that’s more than enough time to see several great scenic spots along the way that are worth stopping for photos. There are also plenty of places to stop at the top before getting back on your way down so you can admire even more of Pittsburgh’s stunning skyline! There are also fine restaurants that can be accessed by the Monongahela Incline, where you can get drinks or food while enjoying the views.
If you’re looking for something fun and unique to do in Pittsburgh, a ride on the Duquesne Incline is definitely it. You’ll get some amazing views of the city, and it’s a great way to learn about Pittsburgh’s history too. So make sure to add it to your list of top things to do in Pittsburgh.
12. Carnegie Museum of Art
If you’re into art, then the Carnegie Museum of Art is a must-visit for you. This top museum in Pittsburgh is home to one of the most impressive collections of art in the country, with over 30,000 objects on display. The museum was founded in 1895 by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and is now one of the largest museums in the United States.
It’s not just paintings that you’ll find here, but also sculptures, prints, photographs, and decorative arts from all around the world. The museum has been host to some famous exhibitions over the years, including Andy Warhol: A Retrospective and Matisse.
With so much to see, you may find yourself spending most of your day here. So prepare to be amazed by the incredible pieces on display in this museum. And that’s why it’s among the top tourist attractions in Pittsburgh that should not be missed. It’s top-quality and has something for everyone. So be sure to check out their website to see what exhibitions are currently on display. You won’t regret it.
Pittsburgh is a city that has something for everyone, and I hope this blog post of top tourist attractions in Pittsburgh has will help you plan your trip. From museums to stadiums, there are plenty of things that will keep your interest high while visiting our city. And if you can’t make it there, I hope that this blog post will inspire you to visit one day. So go ahead and plan your next vacation with this insider’s guide to Pittsburgh so you don’t miss anything. Happy exploring!