10 Cheap & Easy Things to Do in Pittsburgh


This post is third in the “10 Easy and Cheap” series that I’ve already covered with Philly and Scranton.  You could read more about the idea behind this in one of those posts.  The gist is, that sometimes you find yourself in various locales visiting friends and don’t have time to see or do a lot because of your social obligations.  These lists are meant to give you some easy and cheap ideas to help you get some flavor of the city without disrupting the real reason for your visit (namely, visiting friends).  Here goes the Pittsburgh list:

Pittsburgh Skyline
Pittsburgh from Mt. Washington

1) Duquesne Incline:

I’ve written about the Duquesne Incline in some depth before.  It’s one of Pittsburgh’s defining features and for $5.00 and only about ten minutes is easy for to do without disrupting your day.

2) Catch a Pirates Game:

PNC Field is the second smallest field in MLB (first is Fenway Park) and sits on the North Shore of the Allegheny RIver with awesome views of the downtown skyline and Mount Washington.  PNC Field is also one of the cheapest baseball stadiums around with GA tickets ranging from $3-35.  Even if you don’t like baseball, it’s a good excuse to eat some Pittsburgh grub (PNC is also one of the only parks were you could bring your own food) drink some over-priced beer and spend a nice day down on the river.

3) Hofbrauhaus:

I’ve written about the Hofbrauhaus before as well. It’s a German beer hall style bar on the banks of the Monongahela on the South Side.  The bar serves its own brewed German style beer in mugs the size of your head and encourages patrons to stand on their benches and sing along with the polka band.  An outdoor beer garden is a more low key hangout in the summer.

4) River Walk and Point State Park:

Pittsburgh’s Point Park sits at the tip of downtown where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers become the Ohio and is a nice place to walk around and take in the city.

5) Visit the Carnegie Museums:

The Carnegie Museums are comprised of four buildings: the Museum of Natural History and Museum of Art which are located in Oakland near Pitt’s campus and the Science Center and Andy Warhol Museum which are on the north shore.

6) Brewery Hop:

Like any good PA city, Pittsburgh is right on trend with a burgeoning microbrewery scene.  You can try the Church Brew Works, Penn Brewery (they have an awesome Pumpkin Roll beer I just had recently in Lancaster), Pittsburgh Brewing Company (also known as the Iron City Brewing company and producer of IC Light Mango, which I don’t love but which my cousin and her friends constantly have her brother or my brother import to them up in NEPA), East End Brewing Company or Copper Kettle Brewing Company.  If you’re in town for a longer stint, try PA Brew Tours to see all the beer western PA has to offer.

*My mistake: I just learned you can’t visit Pittsburgh Brewing Company, but you should try some of their beers when visiting.

7) Wander the South Side:

The South Side is the mecca of Pittsburgh’s nightlife and Carson St. is said to have more bars on it than any other street in the US (thought I was unable to confirm this anywhere).  When I’ve been to Pittsburgh we often head over here for lunch and some daytime barhopping as it’s quite a ways from where my brother lives in Shadyside.

8) Go Kayaking:

I’ve been wanting to go kayaking in Pittsburgh since I’ve visited, but alas always end up there during the winter.

9) Rent a Bike:

While it’s certainly a very hilly city, the area down around the rivers would be perfect for a short bike ride.

10) Station Square:

Station square is a riverside entertainment complex on the Southside below the inclines.  It has a lot of bars and makes a good daytime spot, as it’s somewhere you want to drive while the majority of your group is still somewhat sober.  Getting a cab at night in Pittsburgh is awful, I know from personal experience.  See this while someone in your group is still capable of driving.

*Out of the three cities I’ve done so far, I’m least familiar with Pittsburgh, so if you have any recommendations, leave them in the comments. 

4 comments on “10 Cheap & Easy Things to Do in Pittsburgh”

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